Healthy You - Every Day

Lehigh Valley Orthopedic Institute Hand Surgeon Saves the Season for Souderton High Lacrosse Player

A minimally invasive surgical technique got Nick Mancini back on the field quickly

Nick Mancini felt the pain in his hand just after a weightlifting session in late February for the Souderton High School lacrosse team didn’t go as he planned.

“I got upset and punched a wall,” says the 18-year-old senior. “My hand hurt a lot after that, but I just wanted to forget it and went to practice. I told my coaches and wanted to play through it, but they told me to get it checked and be sure.”

An X-ray done at an outpatient center in Quakertown showed a fracture in his right hand. Mancini was told he would likely need surgery and six to eight weeks of healing.

“That would have meant the end of my lacrosse season,” Mancini says. “I also play saxophone in the jazz band at school, and we had a competition coming up in a little more than a week. That seemed gone too.”

Connecting with hand specialist

That’s when Mancini’s cousin, Brooke Winter, suggested he talk with an orthopedic surgeon where she works. Winter is a Lehigh Valley Health Network medical assistant for LVPG Sports and Orthopedic Medicine. She connected her cousin with Paul Sibley, DO, who specializes in hand surgery.

“Nick’s X-rays indicated an angulated and displaced fifth metacarpal (which is the bone in the hand below the little finger),” Sibley says. “Traditional surgery would have required a lengthy recovery time, but that’s an outdated approach to such cases. We were able to use a minimally invasive technique that has worked well for athletes with hand injuries.”

Quick fracture fix

After he set the fracture, Sibley made a small incision in the bone to guide a titanium screw into the bone’s canal, so it acts as an internal splint. The 20-minute procedure is completed with a small stitch and a soft dressing over the single incision. Range-of-motion exercises start right after the procedure to prevent stiffness. Recovery requires a matter of just a few days.

“I injured my hand on a Monday (Feb. 28), had surgery the following Thursday (March 3), and I was able to be part of the jazz competition the next week (March 11),” Mancini says. “I was able to play my sax like nothing happened. I couldn’t believe I was that lucky.”

Stronger than ever

Sibley points out that there’s generally less pain and recovery time with any surgery that’s less invasive. The screw will remain in the bone, which technically makes it stronger than it’s ever been.

“I saw Nick about two weeks after the procedure, and the hand looked really good,” Sibley says. “I’m glad everything worked out for him.”

Mancini was able to complete the lacrosse season as well. After graduating from Souderton, he will play lacrosse for Moravian University in Bethlehem, where he will major in music.

“I’ve had zero problems with the hand,” Mancini says. “I will tell everyone I meet who has hurt their hand that I know a great hand surgeon if they need one.”


Lehigh Valley Orthopedic Institute

Lehigh Valley Orthopedic Institute

The region’s leader in joint, spine and orthopedic care gets you moving again

Learn more

Explore More Articles