Nick's Patient Story - Health Education

Hard work and skill keeps player in the game

“I grew up dreaming of playing college football or even in the NFL—I simply love football,” says Nick Frohreich, a quarterback from Champlin. But a series of injuries put Nick’s dreams in jeopardy.


Nick, orthopedic surgery patient

As a high school freshman, Nick dislocated both knee caps and then dislocated his left knee cap a second time as a sophomore. This time, he needed surgery to rebuild his ligaments and stabilize his knee cap.  

After receiving recommendations from several people, Nick turned to Bradley Nelson, MD, a University of Minnesota Physicians orthopedic surgeon at Fairview Maple Grove Medical Center. As the medical director for University Of Minnesota Athletics and a member of the Minnesota Wild’s medical team, Dr. Nelson is an expert in keeping athletes in the game.

Nick recovered well from his knee surgery and stayed injury-free until his senior year. “I was running down the football field, and another player spun me around. My right shoulder and arm went back and over my head,” remembers Nick. “I knew right away I was hurt. I worried whether I’d be able to play quarterback again.”

Nick finished the season playing tight end, but despite wearing a brace, he still dislocated his shoulder a few more times.  In December, Dr. Nelson operated on Nick’s shoulder. “As a throwing athlete, he needed surgery to restore stability to his shoulder,” says Dr. Nelson. “The surgery to repair a labrum can be an open surgery or arthroscopic. I chose arthroscopy to repair Nick’s labrum as the technique uses very small incisions, increasing the chance for a full recovery.”

Nick completed four months of physical therapy at Fairview Maple Grove Medical Center and then worked with a physical therapist that specializes in throwing for a month. “I was pretty nervous when I first started throwing again,” admits Nick. “It was hard to get my arm back to its full strength, but I started lifting weights and throwing the football every day, and I’ve had a fantastic recovery.”

Nick is now fulfilling his childhood dream— he’s a freshman quarterback on the football team at University of Wisconsin – River Falls. “For Nick to overcome two major injuries is a testament to the amount of work he’s put in and passion he has to follow his dream,” says Dr. Nelson.

Nick’s father, Scott also gives credit to Dr. Nelson. “We trusted his opinion and skill. He’s always very forth coming about the extent of Nick’s injuries and set realistic expectations for his recovery. Dr. Nelson came highly recommended to us— and now we recommend him to anyone with a sports injury.”

Expert orthopedic care in Maple Grove
Whether you have a sports injury, or knee, hand, shoulder or back pain, the orthopedic team at Fairview Maple Grove Medical Center can help. Our specialists offer the best in orthopedic care for people of all ages. We offer comprehensive orthopedic services, including:

  • Care for sports-related injuries
  • ACL and knee repair
  • Hand and wrist surgery
  • Rotator cuff and shoulder repair
  • Foot and ankle surgery
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