"Dr. Dean's care and determination to help me get better played a big part in my recovery."
Nate Berry was a freshman soccer player at the University of North Carolina at Greensboro when a stress fracture in his left foot sidelined him. After surgery by Scott Dean, MD, of Piedmont Orthopedics – the team orthopedic physicians for UNCG Spartan sports – Nate underwent physical therapy and recovered fully.
"I was able to continue my playing career," says Nate.
In the fall of 2007, Nate was part of the UNCG soccer team that advanced to the Southern Conference (SoCon) Tournament Championship game. The next year, Nate was chosen SoCon Player of the Month in November and played a key role as goalkeeper when the Spartans won the SoCon tournament and advanced to the final 16 in the NCAA tournament.
After Nate suffered a devastating injury in the fall of 2009 at the end of his senior season, he had no question about where to go for treatment.
"When I needed a second surgery, I went right back to Dr. Dean," he says.
This time Nate had a more troublesome set of injuries – including a shoulder dislocation and labrum tear that threatened to end his career and potentially leave him with a 30-degree loss of mobility in his right shoulder. Dr. Dean performed surgery, then worked extensively with Nate and his rehabilitation team to help him regain strength and range of motion so he could play collegiate soccer again.
"I spent hours and hours in rehab to regain mobility," says Nate. "Dr. Dean worked very closely with the physical therapist on campus and was very open to communications with me. He wanted to be updated on my status and how the rehab was going. I checked in with him at least every two weeks: Where are my numbers, how are we doing, what are the next steps. The physical therapist spoke to him a lot as well. Their relationship was vital to my rehabilitation."
Nate ended up not playing a fifth year due to a change in graduate school plans, but he rehabbed to the point where he had the strength and mobility to do so. Now in Oregon as an assistant coach for the Portland Thorns, one of eight clubs that began competing in the National Women's Soccer League (NWSL) in spring 2013, Nate is grateful for the individualized attention Dr. Dean provided to aid in his recovery.
"To have gotten to the point where I was fully capable of playing again was outstanding,” Nate says. "Also, just from a living perspective, I have no issues with my right shoulder. They predicted I could have a 30-degree loss of mobility in that shoulder, but I have only a negligible difference between the two sides. Dr. Dean's care and determination to help me get better played a big part in my recovery."