Patient Stories

Brandon Bucker, MD

As a Physical Therapist I can both professionally and personally attest that any patient under the care of Dr. Brandon Bucker is in good hands.

On the afternoon of Sunday November 26, 2017 while working on my garage the ladder came out from under me and I fell about 15ft to the concrete below. The pain immediately told me I wasn't ok. Looking down to see my foot pointing in the wrong direction confirmed I was definitely not ok. After several failed attempts my wife and son were able to get me into the car and to the emergency room.

X-rays and MRIs revealed multiple fractures of my 2 lower leg bones (a trimalleolar ankle fracture, medial tibial fracture, and proximal fibula fx). Dr. Bucker came in to deliver the bad news. I wouldn't just require surgery but would likely require several surgeries and possibly and external fixator. They would need to play it by ear during surgery the next day to see how much of the damage they could address and how. I understood and consented to whatever Dr. Bucker thought was best while also expressing how much I did not an external fixator if possible. Having treated patients with external fixators in the past I knew how uncomfortable and cumbersome they were.

Surgery was over in a flash, for me anyway. For the surgical team it was a long afternoon that went into the early evening. I awoke to find my leg in a cast and not an external fixator. Shortly after I awoke an exhausted Dr. Bucker appeared and I thanked him for sparing me the fixator.

I stayed in the hospital another 4 days and started the long road to recovery. I ended up needing just 1 additional surgery. On October 10, 2018 Dr. Bucker removed some of my hardware and screws to assist with my ankle mobility. During a follow-up visit Dr. Bucker asked me what goals I had for my recovery. He had asked me this question before and I always started with wanting to get back to motorcycling. I answered the same but this time I was more serious about it. During the recovery from my second surgery I began to dream about finishing my quest to travel to every state on a motorcycle. I only had a few states left including the biggest one - Alaska.

In late October, still in an ankle boot recovering from my second surgery I purchased a motorcycle that could handle the trip. I wouldn't be able to ride it for a couple more months but I went to work with my son equipping it for the trip with a skid plate, crash bars, luggage racks, etc.

On the afternoon of May 24, 2019, I departed for my 3 week Alaskan adventure. I traveled a total of 7600 miles on my journey seeing sights that included Jasper and Banff National Parks in Canada, the Alaska Highway, Anchorage, Seward, Homer, Valdez, and Denali. My biggest adventure, however, was north of Fairbanks. The farthest northern drivable point in the U.S. is Deadhorse, AK near the Artic Ocean's Prudhoe Bay. There is one road to get to Deadhorse, the James Dalton Highway otherwise known as the Haul Road made famous by the TV shows Ice Road Truckers and World's Most Dangerous Roads. The Dalton Highway consists of 414 mostly unpaved miles of narrow mountain passes, steep slopes, soft shoulders, potholes, wooden bridges, as much as 240 miles between fuel stops, and little traffic other than the occasional 18 wheeler.

The road proved to be a challenge but after 2 days on the road, camping under the sun at Coldfoot Camp (no sunset north of the artic circle in June), damaging the bike during a crash in some soft gravel, and subfreezing temperatures I arrived in Deadhorse. I felt tired and beaten and so did my bike but I made it accomplishing my goal of driving to the literal end of the road. Without the expertise of Dr. Bucker and the team the OrthoVirginia I would never have been able to recover as I did. I will forever be grateful for all of their hard work, skill, and kindness.