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Hugh Jessiman

New York, NY

I played hockey professionally for 10 years. Towards the end of my career, I was hit by a hard shot in the ankle and a bursa sac created in my ankle. A bursa sac is basically big sack of fluid that your body makes to protect itself. Anyways, not only is it not very pretty to look at, but more pertinently it made it extremely uncomfortable for me to put my foot in my hockey skate.

The problem arose in my 8th year and I decided to have surgery at the end of the season. Unfortunately, the surgery didn't work and the problems would persist for the next two seasons. I literally didn't go a day for two and half years in practice and games where I couldn't wait to get off the ice and get my skate off. In hockey, you train yourself to push through things - to battle, to fight, especially through pain. You always want to be on the ice and you miss it dearly when you aren't.

So I kept pushing and I had my ankle drained over 20 times in my 9th and 10th years. I played those two years in the KHL (Russian) and Austrian league in Europe. It was an amazing experience and time in my life. But on the ice, still lots of pain. Draining the ankle was pretty simple, but very short term (as it fills back up with fluid unless compressed) and leads to increasingly high risk of infection. Sure enough, it did get severely infected a couple times eventually and I realized that I would have to go back in for another surgery.

I came across Dr Levine's name after hearing that he had done similar surgeries in the past. Knowing that he was at HSS automatically gave me a good feeling that this was the right guy. I'd had surgery in the past at HSS (my shoulder in 2009 with Dr. Warren) so I knew that HSS is first class. From the second you walk in to your first appointment, to the surgery, the recovery, the follow up appointment - everything is first class.

From the second I met Dr. Levine, I knew I had not just the right guy - I had THE guy. We formulated a game plan, and he explained to me with a very calming confidence that he could fix my ankle but that it would need to be a join effort between me and him. After the successful surgery, he outlined exactly what the recovery process would look like and what I would need to do to give myself the best chance at full recovery. Every time I went in for a follow up I was even more impressed with not only Dr. Levine, but with the whole staff. They're with you all the way until you're back in the game.

I hung up the skates and am now working here in NYC. Even though I am not playing professionally anymore, it still feels great to get out there on the ice free of pain. I feel like a kid out there again. So, thank you Dr. Levine and the entire staff at HSS for everything you did for me. Thank you for getting me Back in the Game.

All the best,

Hugh Jessiman