Getting Back on the Court with Orthopedics

Arionna Dozier had just stolen the basketball for the second time in the region tournament game. Her heart pounded as she dribbled towards the goal, and she could feel a defender hot on her heels. Planting her foot, she leapt up in the air to score a lay-up. But as she released the ball, a defender shoved her from behind while she was in midair. She landed completely off balance. The main thing she remembers was the loud “pop” her leg made when her foot hit the ground. Her teammates urged her to get up, but Arionna knew the tournament was over for her.

When she went to visit Orthopedic Surgeon Dr. Mark Floyd, he explained to her that she had torn the anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) in her right knee, and she would need surgery if she ever wanted to play sports again. At the time, Arionna’s soccer season was only weeks away, and she feared her dreams of being a college athlete were fading. She was very nervous to have surgery for the first time, but based on Dr. Floyd’s recommendations, it seemed like her only way forward. 

When Arionna describes her experiences with Dr. Floyd, she specifically remembers he recognized her fear and tried to calm her concerns by carefully explaining the incisions he would make during surgery. After she came out of surgery, Dr. Floyd told her the surgery had gone extremely well. “I challenged her to work hard in therapy. I had high hopes she would be back for her senior year of basketball if she put in the time at therapy. That was her goal, and we were determined to help her reach it.” 

It was February 28th when she had surgery, and she then went from bedrest to 3 days a week of therapy. “It was a tough schedule,” she said, “but I had to trust Dr. Floyd.” And as she worked to recover, she stayed connected with her team, going to practices and sitting on the bench. “Beyond playing basketball, I love being on a team. They are family to me, and they were there with me through this journey. I love getting to know athletes from all different grades.” 

After 9 months of lots of hard work, Arionna Dozier finally got to return to the court. She loves to share that Dr. Floyd considers her repair one of his best. When asked what she wanted to share about her ACL care, she described again how much shetrusted Dr. Floyd. “I just want to tell Dr. Floyd, thank you for giving me the confidence to have surgery. I was so scared of surgery I might not have gone through with it.” Now, she’s headed into senior soccer season and has high hopes for the future.

Get to know Dr. Mark Floyd and the orthopedics group during March Madness, and remember the doctors helping your favorite athletes get back on the courts this season.