Colonel Todd Turner, 43, is used to physical wear and tear. A helicopter pilot in the U.S. Army for more than 20 years, he led soldiers at the platoon level and up to the battalion level while serving in the Pacific, Europe and Afghanistan.
But Turner’s time playing football as a cadet at the U.S. Military Academy at West Point probably dealt his body its worst blows. In the early 1990s, he suffered ACL tears in his right knee that required two surgeries. “We played on artificial turf due to the weather there,” he said. “That’s like playing on concrete.” He also took a hit on his right shoulder, which tore his rotator cuff.
Two decades later, the pain from Turner’s past injuries had grown worse. “I’ve been dealing with pain for 20 years,” he said. “I was always able to push through it. But I’d begun having so much pain in my knee and shoulder it was keeping me up at night.”
Last year, Georgia-based Turner spent a year living in Cary and studying at Duke’s Sanford School of Public Policy. It seemed like the perfect time to have his damaged joints repaired. Between moving his family from one place to another and frequent deployments, “you don’t have time for yourself,” he said. “With my schedule as a student, I knew I could do the rehab.”