Conditions + Treatments
My name is Tucker Cayse. I’m 17 years old, and I have grown up playing sports my entire life in Springville, Alabama. I have been playing soccer and other sports since I was 5 years old. I’m currently in my senior year at Springville High School, where I play varsity football and soccer.
I have had ankle problems since my sophomore year of high school, but this past fall I experienced my first high-ankle sprain during a football game. I have sprained my right ankle eight times during my high school sports career, so I’ve learned to cope with this recurring injury. I’ve always wanted to keep playing, so we would rehab for a while then get back on the field with some tape and brace.
This past football season, we were on a 3rd and goal from the 1-yard line. I ran into the defender on the opposing team, and we rolled over each other. I hit my head into the defender’s chin, and simultaneously remember feeling an extremely painful pop in my right ankle. At first, it felt like I had suffered a concussion based on how hard I hit my head. I also immediately knew I had injured my right ankle. I laid on the ground for a minute but was able to stand up and hobble off the field. My right ankle hurt worse than it ever had, and I knew I had seriously injured it this time.
My high school athletic trainer was able to help me to the sideline and examine my ankle. He could tell it was a bad ankle sprain, so he highly recommended an x-ray and further examination to make sure he didn’t miss anything. He taped and braced my ankle, and I was able to run and jump, so he let me play in what ended up being my last high school football game. When the game ended, I sat on the bench for a bit to gain some composure. When I tried to stand back up, the pain had really set in and I couldn’t put weight on my right ankle.
With the assistance of my school’s athletic trainer, I was able to schedule an appointment with a foot & ankle specialist, Dr. Charles Pitts at Andrews Sports Medicine. Dr. Pitts was absolutely phenomenal from the first moment we met! He was very logical and straightforward in explaining my high ankle sprain injury and road to recovery. Dr. Pitts ended up having to perform two procedures on my ankle. He initially performed arthroscopy on my ankle to fix the lateral ligaments of my ankle; however, he saw that my ankle was still unstable, so he performed an additional surgical procedure with the tight-rope device.
My recovery went great at ATI Physical Therapy! With some hard work and consistent dedication, along with direction and support from my PT team, my rehab went rather smoothly. I was non-weight bearing in a splint for about 2 weeks, then I was required to wear a boot for 6 weeks. Initially, I was told it was going to be about 6 months to return and I may miss several weeks of the soccer season. However, I was able to return to the soccer field 4 months after surgery for the first game of my senior season! Looking back, I was surprised at how short my recovery time was but am very thankful that I was able to get back to playing so quickly.
On February 7, 2023, I played in our team's first soccer game of my senior year. We opened the season on the road at Guntersville High School. I am happy to report I played with zero pain, and my coach said I played really well! I have no doubts I will have a great season season!
I am very grateful for Dr. Pitts and his athletic trainer, Emily. In my opinion, they are truly the best of the best and they helped me achieve Victory Over Injury!