“We couldn’t be more impressed with Dr. Lipscomb and the care he provided. He went above and beyond.”
Knowing that patients and their families prefer to receive medical care in their hometown, Brant Lipscomb, M.D., a Memorial Hermann-affiliated orthopedic surgeon and team physician for The Woodlands High School (TWHS), rode home with TWHS football player Kevin Butts and his family after Kevin was injured in a Dallas suburb playing against Skyline High School.
“You get into this decision paradigm as to whether you take Kevin to the hospital in Dallas or get him back home,” said Dr. Lipscomb. “Families are much more comfortable receiving care in their hometown. It’s one of those things where experience tells you what can be done.”
Dr. Lipscomb’s biggest concern was the possibility of compartment syndrome. This painful condition occurs when swelling and bleeding builds up within a compartment, or grouping of muscles, nerves and blood vessels. This can disrupt the blood flow to muscles and nerves and result in permanent damage.
“I thought we could get Kevin back home, but I felt like I had to stay with him, so I rode back with the Butts and admitted Kevin to the hospital,” said Dr. Lipscomb.
Kenny Butts, Kevin’s dad, talks with gratitude about Dr. Lipscomb’s care.
“It meant a lot to my wife and me that Dr. Lipscomb would ride home with us from Dallas to The Woodlands, leaving his own family to drive home on their own,” he said. “We couldn’t be more impressed with Dr. Lipscomb and the care he provided. He went above and beyond.”
The injury Kevin sustained was rare but serious. The top of his tibia, or shinbone, fractured just below the kneecap. As a result, his patellar tendon detached from the tibia.
For a guy who had played football since he was 6, and had worked extremely hard to make it to his school’s highly-competitive varsity team, the injury was a huge blow. It didn’t help that the injury occurred during the first quarter of the offensive lineman’s first varsity game.
Although Kevin doesn’t know how he sustained the injury – there was no player contact – he remembers Dr. Lipscomb telling him he had a season-ending injury but would be back the following year.
“I was real upset when I heard the news, but my first question was, ‘When can I start working out again?’” Kevin recalls of his conversation with Dr. Lipscomb. “Dr. Lipscomb said this was rough, but that he was going to make me better for next year, my senior year.”
After returning home and undergoing surgery with Dr. Lipscomb, Kevin was confined to a wheelchair for about a month. His coach remembers his brief discouragement.
“Kevin didn’t feel part of the O line because he wasn’t playing, but after the initial letdown he went right back to work,” said Jim Rapp, offensive coordinator for the Highlanders. “I wasn’t surprised. That’s just the way he is.”
Focusing on his senior season and his status as the strongest bench presser on his team, Kevin kept his upper body conditioned with daily workouts. After receiving approval from Dr. Lipscomb to use light weights on his lower body, he was elated. Kevin worked with Andy Cox, a physical therapist with Memorial Hermann Sports Medicine & Rehabilitation.
“Andy taught me how to reactivate my quadriceps as I had some muscle atrophy,” said Kevin. “I just kept at it.”
Less than six months after his injury, Kevin placed fourth in the Region IV Texas High School Powerlifting Meet, Super Heavy Weight division. He continues to work on strength and conditioning, looking to his upcoming senior season and his dream to play college football.
There’s no doubt that hometown care advanced Kevin’s recovery. That’s one reason Dr. Lipscomb is delighted to serve as the medical director of the third, and newest, Memorial Hermann IRONMAN Sports Medicine Institute, recently opened in The Woodlands.
“We have an extremely active population here in The Woodlands that is very sports and fitness oriented,” said Dr. Lipscomb. “This is an excellent facility to serve their needs.”
The Institute provides elite care to athletes of all ages, sports disciplines and playing abilities. Customized treatment and training programs are delivered by affiliated, sports-medicine-trained physicians and orthopedic surgeons, as well as physical therapists, nutritionists, exercise physiologists, biomechanists, strength and conditioning coaches, and athletic trainers. Additionally, Memorial Hermann serves as the official healthcare provider for many Houston-area public and private schools, furnishing game-day medical support and priority access to Memorial Hermann-affiliated physicians.