“If you think you are hurt, go to the doctor and have it checked out. If I had waited, I would have required a much more intense surgery. Going when I did probably saved my golf career!”
FORE!!! You will hear 24-year old golf professional Brandon Dvorak yelling this as often as possible. Growing up, Brandon played a lot of hockey but always wanted to be out on the golf course with his dad. After numerous requests, when he was 9, his father finally took him out to hit some balls. Brandon enjoyed playing golf and spending time with this dad. “I played in a few tournaments to explore competitive golf. Then when I was 15, I started playing for the Broomfield High School golf team, which really drove my passion for the sport.” Brandon continued to pursue his dream and started working at the Interlocken Golf Club at the Omni hotel while he attended college. Now he is the 1st Assistant Golf Professional, helps with day-to-day operations, and runs all charity events.
Brandon was living his dream until he went to an Avalanche game and had to climb over some seats. He enjoyed the game, but the next morning he woke up in excruciating pain. “I had never felt a pain that bad! I thought maybe I had pulled a muscle, so I gave it a few weeks.” Brandon had some good days and some bad days over this time. However, about 3 weeks in, the pain started affecting his everyday life. “Getting out of bed was borderline paralyzing. I felt like my leg was going to crumble beneath me. I couldn’t get out of the shower or even walk to a restaurant from the car.” It was also affecting his job, “I could barely walk with the pain, so I definitely had trouble golfing to the standard I was used to. I knew I needed to see a doctor.”
Brandon got an MRI which revealed a torn labrum. He was referred to Dr. Shah for hip arthroscopy. Hip arthroscopy is a minimally invasive surgery that utilizes small incisions. A tiny camera and miniature surgical instruments are placed to treat the hip joint and the surrounding soft tissues. Dr. Shah is one of the few surgeons in Boulder County that performs this procedure. “It only took a little over 2 weeks from my first appointment until I had surgery. I was a little nervous about the surgery, but Dr. Shah told me exactly what to expect and gave me a timeline for recovery, which put me at ease. When I arrived at the surgery center, it was warm, and everyone was smiling. The nurses kept talking to me while I was in pre-op, which helped keep my mind off the procedure. It felt more like just going to the doctor than having surgery. ”
“The staff did an amazing job making sure I was ready to go home and could do so safely. They even helped me get into the car!” Brandon’s first day of recovery went well. “Days 2& 3 were pretty painful, and I was concerned about bleeding. We had Dr. Shah on speed dial, and he totally put my mind at ease by explaining that what I was experiencing was totally normal.” Brandon only took pain medication for about 3 days. At a week post-op, he had no pain in his hip whatsoever. He was driving again after 7 days and went back to work after 3 weeks. Brandon was off crutches after 4 weeks- a week early. “I was diligent about my physical therapy and sticking to the recovery plan. I made each PT appointment count, and I did my exercises at home. I pushed myself but not to the point of hurting.”
Brandon is back to living the active life of a professional athlete. In fact, just recently, a few short months after his surgery, he went on a vacation to Mexico where he snorkeled, kayaked, zip-lined, and even did some cave swimming and cliff diving! Brandon’s advice for all young men his age is, “if you think you are hurt, don’t push it off. Go to the doctor and have it checked out. If I had waited longer, I would have required a much more intense surgery. Going when I did probably saved my golf career!”