It's no secret that the Wartburg College football program had a historical season in 2022. Unfortunately, tight end Trever Heitz, of Charles City, had to cheer his teammates on from the sidelines while recovering from an injury. During practice, Trever's anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) in his right knee suffered an impact that cut his sophomore season short by three months.
Trever is no stranger to knee injuries. While in high school, he had an ACL replacement and a medial collateral ligament (MCL) repair, also on his right knee. The high school injuries were surgically repaired at the University of Iowa Hospitals and Clinics (UIHC). When Trever injured his knee again, he wanted to stay closer to home for care. Trever's UIHC surgeon referred him to Dr. Jeffrey Clark, an orthopedic surgeon with Cedar Valley Medical Specialists at Waverly Health Center (WHC).
Since 2016, Dr. Clark has been the head team physician at Wartburg College and recently became the medical director of Wartburg Athletics. Together, he and Trever decided the best plan was to begin with a minimally invasive approach in hopes that Trever would be able to hit the field yet that season.
Dr. Clark removed a part of both the lateral meniscus and medial meniscus in Trever's knee. Prior to the surgery, Trever experienced extreme swelling in his knee. His knee would also frequently lock up. Trever reported that these problems were gone once he woke up from surgery.
"The care I received from the doctors and nurses at Waverly Health Center was top notch, just like the care I received at UIHC with my previous surgeries," said Trever. "They treated me with respect and made the plans for my care very clear to me before going into surgery."
Another benefit of receiving care close to home was Trever's access to physical therapy. Taylor Physical Therapy provides services to Wartburg students at WHC's Noah Clinic, located on the college campus, as well as to student athletes. Adam Rave, a therapist specializing in sports medicine, worked with Trever on campus. Trever was impressed with Adam's knowledge and willingness to answer any questions he had about his recovery.
Having surgery and therapy close to home made the entire situation more convenient and tolerable for Trever. Although he wasn't able to return to the field during the record-breaking season, he knows he received the best care possible, setting him up for a successful future.