Robert Wood Johnson University Hospital
New Brunswick • Somerset

Successful Surgery Helps Athlete Achieve Goal

August 20, 2010
Achieving 1,000 points in high school basketball is an elusive goal for many young athletes. Andrew Madlinger thought his dream of joining the 1,000 point club was over in the third basketball scrimmage of his senior year at Ridge High School. With 801 points scored in his high school career, Madlinger, 18, of Basking Ridge, went for a lay-up, like he had successfully done many times before. However, this time, instead of landing on his feet, he landed on his wrist and broke it.

But after successful surgery at Somerset Medical Center, he returned to the court, and despite missing half of his season, was able to play in 14 games and score his record-breaking basket.

“When I learned that I needed to have surgery on my wrist, I feared that I wouldn’t be able to play for the remainder of the season, and would not score my 1000th point,” Madlinger said.

After this injury, Madlinger, went to see his family physician, Anthony Frisoli, MD who immediately referred him to Robert Boretz, MD, chair of the department of orthopedics at Somerset Medical Center, who is board certified in both orthopaedic surgery and hand surgery. An x-ray and consultation confirmed that he had suffered a scaphoid waist fracture, a common injury seen when athletes fall on their hand. In some instances, if the fracture is non-displaced, a cast will heal the injury, but when the fracture is displaced, surgery is necessary for proper alignment and healing. Madlinger’s fell into the latter category.

Dr. Boretz operated and inserted a screw into Madlinger’s wrist less than a week after his injury. Five weeks after the surgery, he was back to playing.

“I’m very thankful to Dr. Boretz for his excellent surgery, and for allowing me to finish my high school career on such a high note by individually scoring 1000 points, and by winning the county championship with my team,” says Madlinger. “I knew that as a shooter the flexibility in my right wrist was absolutely critical, and that the surgery had to go well for me to make a quick and complete recovery. Dr. Boretz and his team at the medical center were so good that within five weeks I was practicing and by six weeks I was good to go.”

“Andrew is a young, healthy and motivated individual,” says Dr. Boretz. “He did what he could to ensure a successful recovery and I am happy that I was able to help him accomplish his goals.”

After a successful completion to his season, Madlinger will head north to Brunswick, ME to attend Bowdoin College where he is interested in studying international economics and finance, and has been recruited to play basketball. 

Somerset Medical Center’s orthopedic surgeons perform the latest surgical techniques to care for patients with hand, wrist, shoulder, elbow, knee, hip and spinal injuries. The medical center has received the Health Grades 2010 Joint Replacement Excellence AwardTM, ranking it among the top 10 percent of hospitals nationally for joint replacement surgery such as total knee and total hip replacements. The new Joint Surgery Institute at Somerset Medical Center is a special program that brings together a team of experienced and expert surgeons with caring and specially trained nurses, therapists and technicians. Our goal is to provide seamless, coordinated care, and get you back to your favorite activities as soon as possible. For more information about orthopedic surgery at Somerset Medical Center, visit somersetmedicalcenter.com/surgery. For a physician referral, call 800-443-4605.