As Hurricane Matthew swept into the Lowcountry in the early morning light on October 8, engineer Leigh Colyer took a tumble down a darkened flight of stairs. He was unable to walk without assistance and was not even able to get to the Emergency Department at MUSC Health until late afternoon due to the flooding in downtown Charleston.Photo of Leigh Colyer, sons and wife

  Leigh Colyer pictured with his sons and wife at Clemson graduation.

He was first seen in the ED by Dr. Edward Jauch, then by two orthopedic residents. The diagnosis was a complete tear of the quadriceps tendon. Leigh was referred to Dr. Harris Slone, an orthopaedic surgeon specializing in injuries to the ACL, ankle, knee and shoulder at the MUSC Musculoskeletal Institute. On Thursday, October 13, outpatient surgery was performed at Rutledge Tower. It involved reattaching the tendon that connects the muscle of the thigh to the knee cap with two anchors in the kneecap and sewing down the torn tendon. The surgery went well and Colyer was discharged the same day and returned home.

Colyer has had several follow up visits with Dr. Slone and has been making good progress in the recovery phase, with physical therapy sessions two or three times per week with therapist Michelle Mills.

“Dr. Slone is an engaging doctor with a wonderful bedside manner. He fully explained what this injury entailed and what outcomes I could expect after surgery,” says Colyer. “Dr. Slone fully understood that my prognosis was essential in planning how I could best deal with my family and business commitments. I can sum this up by saying the entire experience, from the ED to surgery to outpatient visits and now through PT, has been extremely good. I can’t think of anything that could have been done to improve my experience with the entire MUSC staff.”

The injury has been a particularly difficult one due to the nature of Colyer’s business, which involves a lot of travel both by car and air. For the first four weeks, he was unable to even sit at a desk comfortably and it wasn’t until week six that he could start travelling on a limited basis. He is now close to his original travel schedule, even though he still wears a full leg brace and has limited flexibility.

Colyer is also looking forward to returning to his recreational activities, which include hunting, fishing, walking – and especially golf. “I can't wait to see Leigh back on the golf course in a few short months,” quips Slone. “Since we will let him back on the putting green before playing a full round, maybe we will even take a few strokes off his game!”