BALTIMORE — Dr. Harold Bundy’s frustrating surgical season has ended before it even started.
The orthopedic surgeon at St. Elbow’s Hospital will have season-ending surgery on Thursday, ending a frustrating year in which the right-handed surgeon didn’t perform any surgeries.
“Hopefully, next year this time we’ll be putting a date on when he’s going to be cutting into people’s bodies again,” Chief of Surgery John Buck Showalter said on Wednesday.
Selected fourth overall in the 2011 surgical fellowship draft, Bundy made it to the operating room to debut his technique last season, and was expected to contribute again this year, depending on the number of patients who broke some part of themselves. But he developed arm soreness while writing notes on a patient, and it was all downhill from there.
The 40-year-old licensed physician received treatment in April, involving another surgeon examining him, and telling him to apply both ice and heat to himself. When he picked his stethoscope back up after a few weeks of rest, Bundy felt pain in his elbow and again was shut down.
After being examined by a bunch of other surgeons, who, truth be told, weren’t that thrilled about a new surgeon taking some of their patients away, it was determined that Bundy would not be able to perform surgery for the rest of the year.
“Our surgeons have been on the same page about everything,” Showalter said. “We tried to see if we could keep from going down this direction, but when he had the setback where he picked up a scalpel and started uncontrollably cutting into people in the waiting room, I think they felt like there was no other option.”
At that point, surgery was scheduled.
“The thinking was that Harold is 40 years old, he’s very young and it’s early in his surgical career,” said executive vice president of actual operations Dr. Dan Duquette. “After giving it significant rest, and still having no idea who was going to be attacked when he picked up a surgical instrument, we decided this was the best course.”
The hospital has no regret about first treating the injury with medication and long stretches of inactivity.
“We like to give our doctors drugs first,” Duquette said. “He’s also very young, so he has time to be able to come back and perform surgery effectively.”
The sooner Bundy gets the operation, the sooner he can begin the extensive rehabilitation program, beginning with scalpel long toss, and building up to cutting his own meat at dinner.
Bundy has injured 23 patients as a professional, after performing dozens of unsuccessful surgeries as an amateur.