Nick Hassan has gotten countless bumps and bruises since he started playing team sports at age 3. Typically, he’s been able to shake off his injuries and get back in the game, whether it’s football, basketball or baseball. So when he took a hard hit to his leg early in his sophomore football season and didn’t return to the field, his parents knew it must be bad.
“The initial prognosis was, ‘Oh, it’s just a sprain, it’ll be OK,’” said his mom, Michelle. “But the swelling got worse and not better over time, and we thought, ‘Something’s not right.’”
Nick’s pediatrician referred him to Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta, where orthopedic specialists diagnosed a Salter-Harris fracture, or a fracture involving a growth plate, in his left leg. Surgery with Dana Olszewski, MD, was scheduled that same week, and then the road to recovery—and back to the playing field—began.
Treating the multisport athlete
Although Nick was injured playing football, his passion is playing baseball. He’s been honing his skills as a catcher since he was 8 years old. Now, as a junior in high school, he plays almost year-round: high school baseball in the spring, travel ball in the summer and even some fall ball during football season. The first phase of his recovery had him in a full-leg cast and wheelchair for 8 weeks—a challenge for any high school kid, but especially a multisport athlete who doesn’t usually have an off-season.