Zach’s Story
Zach’s Story

For as long as I can remember I have loved football! As a kid, I admired the Iowa Hawkeyes and had my own Hawkeye uniform that I often wore playing football in our backyard. By 3rd grade I was involved in rec. and youth football leagues. By the end of 7th grade I was fully committed to football. I knew I wanted to play football in college someday and so I began my journey of healthy eating, healthy sleep habits, hard work in training/lifting, and goal setting. I wanted to be a running back in high school and hopefully college too.

I came to see Dr. Vinyard after enduring a collar bone injury on Friday night October 2nd, 2020. This injury happened on week 6 of my last high school football season of my senior year. It was surprising that our team had made it this far into the season because of the covid-19 pandemic and the number of schools that had to forfeit games due to sick players. Yet, here we were and I was hungry for playing time. Then this injury happened and it really brought me down. I felt like I was finally getting the interest and attention from college recruits for football from the D1 and D2 schools I was interested in! I knew Dr. Vinyard from a previous injury my junior year where I sustained a grade 3 MCL strain of my right knee. My mom works at Iowa Ortho in the Mercy River Hills surgery center and trusts the work that Dr. Vinyard does. I put my full trust in him as well.

I was injured on Friday, October 2nd during the middle of the game. I went to the Iowa Ortho Sports Clinic the next day and by late Saturday morning Dr. Vinyard called my mom with the results of the x-rays confirming a left clavicle fracture. On Sunday evening Dr. Vinyard called my family and I to explain our options. By Monday, October 5th, I was having surgery to repair my left clavicle. The surgery went very well and I secretly like the gnarly scar it left behind- it’s a great conversation piece. My arm was in a sling for about 1 ½ weeks after surgery. I started PT immediately and worked to get ready to play football 3 weeks post-surgery! With a little extra padding, I ended up playing the last 3 quarters of our second high school football playoff game. Unfortunately we lost, but I ended my senior year playing and not standing on the sidelines.

Dr. Vinyard really understands sports and the physical demands it entails. But, in addition to that he also understands the mental and emotional impact it has on an athlete as well. Especially after years of hard work and dedication. He provided my family and me with options ranging from a conservative to an aggressive approach so that I could choose what was best for me. He is genuine, compassionate, and listened to what I said. I really appreciated his aggressive approach to my injury and I feel good about my decision because it healed me quickly. Dr. Vinyard got me ready to get back on the field as soon as possible!

I have never felt better. I returned to all my previous training right after that final high school football playoff game. I have been lifting and strength training all winter- football drills and sprinter workouts. I am just starting my final season of track this spring. Better yet, even thought I was scared that my surgery may have negatively impacted my recognition I needed to play college, I am happy to share that it all worked out. I have committed to playing football with the Iowa Hawkeyes for the upcoming fall of 2021! Thank you Dr. Vinyard and go Hawks!