UNT Health surgeon helps triathlete regain ability to ride bike again after life-changing accident

January 15, 2014

Life can change in the blink of an eye. Just ask triathlete Todd Hamilton, who went from riding his bike one moment to being comatose in a hospital ICU the next.

After being hit by a car in the summer of 2012, Hamilton suffered a broken upper arm, radial nerve damage, neck injuries and brain damage, which left him in a coma for two weeks.

Fortunately, Mr. Hamilton, 46, recovered quickly from his brain injury. His broken right arm was repaired immediately after his accident, but the athlete was left with a significant radial nerve injury that limited function and threatened his ability to ever compete again.

That’s when Timothy Niacaris, MD, PhD, an orthopedic surgeon for UNT Health, the physicians group at UNT Health Science Center, was called in. A subsequent surgical procedure restored function in Hamilton’s right arm.

Hamilton praised Niacaris for his willingness to listen and to allow his patient to make informed choices about his medical care. And he’s grateful that Niacaris understood the importance to Hamilton of returning to triathletic competition.

“Dr. Niacaris earned my respect and appreciation and was always very caring and compassionate to my family,” Hamilton said.

Hamilton still is on the road to recovery. Thanks to Niacaris, he’s able to cycle again and is optimistic he’ll one day be back in competition.

To make an appointment with Dr. Niacaris, or any of UNT Health’s bone and joint specialists, call 817-735-2900.

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