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George Hornig

New York, NY
  • George Hornig in the photo 1

One of my favorite sayings is “No good deed goes unpunished”. And in the annals of good deeds gone bad my fall off a high ladder while helping to set up for a charity benefit event at our beach house is right up there. I ended up breaking my calcaneus (heel) bone which though excruciating, was actually lucky because if it had been my head hitting the stone pavers instead, well anyone know a four letter word that rhymes with “head”?

Shortly after my fall I ended up at Southampton Hospital having x-rays taken. The care was prompt and their diagnosis correct—my heel looked like hell. But best of all was their prescription—call Hospital for Special Surgery. And with the help of my friend and knee surgeon Dr. David Altchek, I was referred to Dr. David Levine.

When I met with Dr. Levine, I was in considerable pain but even more depressed. For a very active exerciser like myself, this type of injury is pretty devastating.

As the words “many months of no weight bearing” rolled out from Dr. Levine, I went into a funk. But he challenged me to go for a course of treatment which would ultimately get me “back in the game”. This included surgery with steel plates and pins inserted to stabilize my heel and allow me the potential to work my way back to full activity again. But he cautioned it would take a year to have full recovery. I protested that I wanted to be on the fast track not Amtrak, but Dr. Levine told me there are no bullet trains to recovery from a heel fracture like mine.

So I had the surgery, followed by the prescribed regimen of a boot and knee scooter for 3 months, then graduating to crutches, then a cane, and now back on my feet again walking (or rather a reasonable facsimile thereof). It’s been 7 months so far but I have turned the corner. I am again doing Soul Cycle, my elliptigo bike and walking to my office from my apartment (2 miles). I am looking forward to stand-up paddle boarding on Mecox Bay this summer. And in general to just getting around without much pain.

With the unrelenting support of my family and friends, and thanks to Dr. Levine and HSS, my heel is mostly healed and more importantly my body and head are “back in the game”.