CentraCare Helps SCSU Women’s Hockey Captain Get Back on The Ice

“Dr. Lovse is one of the best doctors I’ve ever had, and she helped me through one of the biggest injuries I’ve ever had. She made it a lot easier and I’m so thankful.”

A mid-season ankle injury took St. Cloud State University Women’s Hockey Captain Taylor Lind out of the game. Thanks to CentraCare M Physicians Orthopedics, the fifth-year senior forward was able to get back on the ice in time to finish the 2022-2023 hockey season.

It was Dec. 2, 2022, and there was a loose puck at St. Thomas’s blue line. The Canada native decided to try and poke past her opponent’s defenseman.

Taylor Lind“I was feeling good that day even though we were losing to St. Thomas with 10 minutes left in the third period.”

But she lost her stick in a two-to-one battle. With a back checker behind her, Taylor lost her balance, and the two collided, sweeping her off her feet. The rivals crashed into the boards and Taylor’s ankle got caught in the crossfire.

“As soon as it happened, I knew something was wrong,” she admitted.

Despite being in shock, the team captain skated herself back to the bench. She jumped over the boards and was evaluated by SCSU’s athletic trainer.

“We were down against St. Thomas, and I did not want to leave the game. At that point, I knew if I went to the training room I would not be returning,” she lamented.

Taylor tried to walk but almost at once realized she could not. That is when the trainer called in CentraCare M Physicians Orthopedics (CCMPO) Surgeon Lisa Lovse, MD, who also serves as the lead physician assigned to SCSU’s Women’s Hockey team. CCMPO serves as the exclusive medical provider for all SCSU athletics.

“She assessed it right away — I got my skate about halfway off and that is when I could tell something was wrong, but I did not know what it was. We thought it was a sprain,” Taylor recalled.

Even though Taylor and her care team thought she had a sprained ankle, Dr. Lovse ordered an X-ray to rule out the possibility of a more severe injury.

“I remember I was in one of the anti-gravity machines where you lift your leg for an X-ray and gravity pulls it down. I was hopeful that things were going to be good,” she wished.

Taylor and her coaches went back to the hockey rink where she got the news that she suffered a broken ankle.

“I was heartbroken when I learned this might be a season-ending injury and not something I could just skate off and play through,” she mourned.

Dr. Lovse met with Taylor and discussed the possibility of letting the injury heal naturally or scheduling surgery for the following morning. After considering all of Taylor’s concerns, they decided as a team to go the surgical route.

Dr. Lovse said, “We discussed what would be the best choice for her and her injury. Given the fracture pattern, as well as her young age and desire to get back to a competitive sport quickly, I recommended we fix the ankle with plates and screws to ensure the bone healed in the best possible position and to limit the chance of her developing arthritis in her ankle later in life.”

Taylor said, “That was what I felt safe doing and what I thought would get me back on the ice the quickest.” She continued, “Dr. Lovse didn’t want me to feel pressured at any point. She would give her opinion when I asked, but no part of her was trying to sway me one way or the other. She was supportive.”

Taylor Lind in the hospitalOn Dec. 3, 2022, Dr. Lovse performed an open reduction and internal fixation surgery on Taylor’s ankle.

Dr. Lovse stated, “We put the bones back in their anatomic position and then use plates and screws to hold them in that position. We then rely on the body to heal the fracture. Eventually, the bone ends up stronger and takes over the load from the plates and screws.”

Taylor was told she’d be out of the game for about eight weeks.

“I mapped out what games would look like and when I could hopefully get back. My goal was always to play in the Wisconsin series, which was exactly two months following my surgery,” Taylor enthusiastically recalled.

The team captain started collaborating with a physical therapist to set mobility goals, learn to walk again, work on a range of motion, and feel comfortable using her ankle again.

“It wasn’t just a physical thing — it was also mental. I had to understand things were OK and I could be confident and trust my ankle,” Taylor asserted.

Taylor Lind at the netAfter six weeks, the hockey captain laced up her skates and was able to join her team for practice again.

Dr. Lovse said one of the most crucial factors in Taylor’s success was her cheerful outlook, motivation and drive to get back to her sport. “She is an outstanding competitor both on and off the ice. The drive she shows during games is equally as intense when she does her off-ice training, which allowed her to get back to a competitive level quickly after recovering from this injury.”

The senior forward was able to return to the ice again and finish out her season—including playing in the Wisconsin series she had been hoping for. Today, she’s considering options to continue to play the game she loves professionally.

Taylor acknowledged, “Dr. Lovse is one of the best doctors I’ve ever had, and she helped me through one of the biggest injuries I’ve ever had. She made it a lot easier and I’m so thankful.”