Jakes Success Story 2

Jake

speciality: Orthopedic Oncology

Hockey Player, 19 years old, Long Island, NY

at barely five-seven Jake Drucker may be the smallest hockey player in his league, but he plays like a giant on the ice.

Hockey Player Graphic

But his energy disappeared one morning in 2017. Unlike the usual soreness that comes from five-hour days on the ice, and repeated body checks into the boards, Jake’s pain felt like a slapshot to the leg.

I just had the most excruciating, horrible pain around my knee. Just the worst pain possible.

Jake:
I just had the most excruciating, horrible pain around my knee. Just the worst pain possible. So, I went to one doctor who told me it was bursitis. But the pain was still there for two weeks, so I ended up being referred to Montefiore.

Doctors in the Department of Orthopedics at Montefiore discovered a tumor was quietly and aggressively eating away at Jake’s femur.

I’m a pretty rough player to play against.

Jake:
I’m a pretty rough player to play against. I kind of fit into the role there of ‘the agitator’. That’s the kind of game I play. I try to get under their skin and be as pugnacious and energetic as I can.

Hockey Player

In this instance, the tumor was benign, and he was very glad, but even though the tumor is benign, we have to take it out

Dr. Hoang:
When you’re young, you’re invincible and you don’t think that you’re gonna have a problem, ever. And then to have somebody come and tell you that you have a tumor and that you need to have surgery. It’s pretty scary. In this instance, the tumor was benign, and he was very glad, but even though the tumor is benign, we have to take it out because that it will help the bone to heal much better and he can go back to playing hockey much quicker and he doesn’t have to worry about subsequent fractures.

Bang H. Hoang, MD - Research Director, Orthopedic Surgery,  Professor, Orthopedic Surgery - Orthopedic Oncology

With hockey season fast approaching, Jake had less than three months to get his atrophied right leg back up to speed so he could qualify for his team, the New England Wolves.

Hockey Player Jake 2

Montefiore basically gave me a mental road map of how I could do it.

Jake:
Montefiore referred me to a physical therapy company and basically gave me a mental road map of how I could do it. First I had to learn how to walk again, then I had to re-learn how to skate. Then I had to learn how to skate while someone is trying to shoot a puck at me or trying to take my head off.

Today, Jake has rejoined his pack and is back to being a playmaker on the ice – lacing up and facing off with the best of them.

Hockey Skates

Andrew Trimble, New England Wolves Head Coach:
“Jake came into our program and has been a key ingredient in our teams making the playoffs. He is the first person on the ice to practice and the last to leave. He takes extra reps and will bike after games for hours until you have to kick him out of the rink. Jake is an incredible young man with a bright future”

It’s been a year since my surgery and I’m on the ice pretty much all day, every day

Jake:
It’s been a year since my surgery and I’m on the ice pretty much all day, every day. I’m in the gym when I’m not on the ice. And I honestly think that I’m stronger now than I was before this entire ordeal. Doctor Hoang, he saved my hockey career. Without Montefiore I wouldn’t have these opportunities to continue traveling the world and meeting all these great people. So, at the end of the day, Montefiore kind of saved my life.