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Workplace Accidents – Ernest Richards

By January 5, 2021June 21st, 2021Patient Stories

Ernest Richards woke up on October 14, 2018 ready for another day of work at the Port of Tampa. Life, however, had other plans. A terrible work accident left his hand badly injured rendering it almost useless.

His injury landed him at Tampa General Hospital, where he was met by Hand & Upper Extremity surgeon Dr. Jason Nydick. Due to the extent of his injury, Ernest had to undergo Open Reduction and Internal Fixation (ORIF) to fix his shattered hand.

ORIF is an emergency procedure usually performed when a bone breaks into many different pieces. This procedure allows the bones to heal together.

“It was a long process because of the nature of the injury,” Richards said. “But Dr. Nydick explained the whole process to me.”

Like any accidents, workplace accidents range from mild to severe. Richards, unfortunately found himself at the latter end of the spectrum. His injury prevented him from doing many of the usual things he performed on a daily basis.

“My accident prevented me from working, playing my different sports and simple tasks,” he said. “Like opening a bottle of water, getting dressed or picking up things with my left hand…I was also told that my hand and wrist would never be the same.”

Some people are lucky enough to return to full function after tragedy strikes. Others may not experience the same, however are still eternally grateful for not losing everything.

“I’m still coping with trying to get used to not being able to use my left hand and wrist like I used to,” Richards said. “I just thank God that I was able to get Dr. Nydick. I could have just as easily lost my hand, but because of him and his fantastic staff, I still have my hand.”

Recovering from trauma is never a quick process, however the physicians and staff at Florida Orthopaedic Institute make it their mission to provide exceptional patient care to ensure your journey is as seamless and painless as possible.

“I highly recommend Dr. Nydick and Florida Orthopaedic Institute for anyone that has orthopedic problems,” he said. “They are the best. Even though I still have a long way to go, I love Dr. Nydick, Erica and Victoria.”

To learn more about Florida Orthopaedic Institute’s Worker’s Compensation Program, click here!

Florida Orthopaedic Institute

Founded in 1989, Florida Orthopaedic Institute is Florida’s largest orthopedic group and provides expertise and treatment of orthopedic-related injuries and conditions, including adult reconstruction and arthritis, chiropractic services, foot and ankle, general orthopedics, hand and wrist, interventional spine, musculoskeletal oncology, orthopedic trauma, physical medicine and rehabilitation, physical and occupational therapy, sports medicine, shoulder and elbow and spine services among others. The organization treats patients throughout its surgery centers in North Tampa and Citrus Park, two orthopaedic urgent care centers in South Tampa and Brandon, and 10 office locations in Bloomingdale, Brandon, Citrus Park, North Tampa, Northdale, Palm Harbor, Riverview, South Tampa, Sun City Center and Wesley Chapel. For more information, please visit: and ‘like’ us on Facebook: