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Friends in Ortho Places

Published March 2024 | In Spring 2024

A friend in need is a friend indeed, especially when one needs a hand. Or a shoulder.

Friends in Ortho Places Media

For Rapid City-area real estate agent Nick Dupont, friendship with an orthopedic surgeon eventually led to a new outlook on long-persisting injuries and a trusted source of care for a loved one.

Nick was rear-ended in traffic in 2020 and has been on a journey of recovery ever since. As time went on, Nick continued to seek treatment for the ongoing effects of the wreck, but did not want to accept that “toughing it out” may be a new normal for him. He was frustrated by a lack of progress that held him back from his active lifestyle. Nick needed a second opinion, and he ended up getting one from his friend, Orthopedic Surgeon Daniel Lochmann, M.D.

The two met when Nick served as the real estate agent during Dr. Lochmann’s relocation from Wisconsin in early 2019, and the two have been friends and business associates ever since. One evening while playing golf together, Nick lamented his continuing difficulties with healing. Dr. Lochmann suggested they reconvene the discussion at Monument Health Orthopedic & Specialty Hospital, inviting his friend to see him as a patient.

“Nick is a really physical guy and is really active, but he was struggling with some things,” Dr. Lochmann said. “I told him I’d be happy to take a look.”

Nick had an MRI shortly thereafter, which led to Dr. Lochmann recommending surgery with Joseph Humpherys, D.O., FAAOS.

“Nick certainly had some deficiencies in function with his rotator cuff, and some issues with the biceps tendon as well,” Dr. Lochman said.

While in pre-op, Nick was briefed by Dr. Humpherys and also got a visit from Dr. Lochmann, who stopped in to wish his friend well.

“This is precisely why we have our team of surgeons who have multiple specialties,” Dr. Humpherys said. “Collaborating with Dr. Lochmann to help this patient is an example of our practice here.”

“I was joking that Blake wanted to be just like me,” Nick said. “Now we have the matching scars to prove it.”

-Nick Dupont

Nick had the procedure in late October and is eagerly awaiting the end of his 6-month recovery window to resume full activity. He and his wife, Alicen, stay busy with three children and their business.

Now that he has nearly recovered, Nick is much more optimistic about his healing and returning to his active lifestyle. “It’s made a world of difference for me. It’s given me comfort that I needed, because I was just managing before. It’s a lot better, that’s for sure.” Nick said.

“I’m looking forward to getting back into some things,” he added. “My family is, too.”

While Nick expressed his gratitude for his friend’s assistance, he may have seen more of the Orthopedic & Specialty Hospital than he wanted to this past year. Nick once again found himself in Dr. Lochmann’s care when his son, Blake, 15, had an accident at school and suffered a broken collarbone.

“Blake’s clavicle didn’t reset on its own the way we would have liked, so we ended up putting in some plates and screws to get it lined up again,” Dr. Lochmann said.

He was glad to see Blake make a full recovery, although Nick said ending up on the operating table was not an example he hoped his son would follow.

“I was joking that Blake wanted to be just like me,” Nick said. “Now we have the matching scars to prove it.”

Story and photos by Bob Slocum

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