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Patient Story - Hunter VeltKampHunter – Broken Clavicle

Tackled from behind on the football field of Central Montcalm High School, the sophomore quarterback Hunter VeltKamp fell forward, his faceguard forcing his head sharply to the side. Team athletic trainer Katlyn Saunders ran to check on him. She moved his shoulder pad aside and ran her fingers cautiously across the young man’s collarbone.

“I knew immediately something wasn’t right,” Saunders says. “I could feel the bones protruding under his shoulder pad; his clavicle was broken.”

At Spectrum Health Kelsey Hospital Emergency Department, the diagnosis confirmed Saunders on-field assessment. Hunter’s clavicle was broken in three places.

Phil Adler, MA, AT, ATC, manager of the Spectrum Health Sports Medicine program, and Kendall Hamilton, MD, orthopedic surgeon and sports medicine specialist as well as team physician for the Central Montcalm High School football team, were in agreement: Hunter needed surgery and he needed it as soon as possible.

“Katlyn made the right call on the field; Hunter got immediate triage and an outstanding diagnosis,” says Dr. Hamilton. “The bone had pierced through the muscle and was millimeters away from breaking through the skin. Had it broken through, the risk for infection would have increased greatly.”

“A situation like this is the reason we place athletic trainers in the community – to provide acute care, management and education to parents and athletes about their options after injury,” said Adler. “Katlyn was awesome at recognizing something more than a simple fracture had taken place.”

Hunter’s surgery was performed at Spectrum Health Blodgett Hospital, where Dr. Hamilton repaired the broken bone.

“It all went smoothly,” added Hunter’s mom, Stacy VeltKamp. “If we hadn’t had a trainer at school, this might not have gone nearly as well. Every school should have an athletic trainer present!”

Spectrum Health Medical Group Sports Medicine has partnered with 17 area school districts to provide athletic training services.

Read more about Hunter