April 3, 2024

Andretti INDYCAR Mechanic Gets The Green Flag After Hand Surgery

OrthoIndy News

It can be devastating to work towards something for years and then have it pulled out from under you due to an injury, especially a career you value and cherish that relies heavily on your ability to move about. 

Neil Kaiser, a mechanic for Andretti INDYCAR, had this happen to him. After a hand injury that tore an FPL tendon in his thumb, Neil initially had stitches, but was told he’d need more surgery for how bad the injury was. “That’s when I was like, ‘Okay, I need to actually think about this strategically. I want to go to OrthoIndy.’ I was already experienced with the people there and the rehab facilities. Knowing that Andretti  had the relationship with OrthoIndy, I knew that’s where I wanted to go.” 


Neil went to see Dr. Matthew Walker at our Brownsburg location that following Friday – the day before the team was supposed to head to Barber Motorsports Park for the start of the NTT INDYCAR SERIES season. He was able to go in for an MRI that day and have the surgery soon after. “Everything was just smooth,” Neil recalled. “The communication was probably the best part about it. They were emailing me, calling me and monitoring my progress with the physical therapist working with me at the rehab facility.”   

The surgery with Dr. Walker was successful, but with a five-month recovery timetable, Neil had to take a back seat for the race season. “It’s very, very hard to be a mechanic with one hand, I can tell you that,” he said. Having to sit on the sidelines was no picnic, either. “To watch a car on TV that you put all this time into and devotion into, you just feel like you let the team down. You feel like you’re not being the team player. You’re not participating, you’re just the burden. You’re just the guy that’s there.” 


While hard to endure, the recovery process was crucial to helping Neil get back nearly all the feeling in his hand and return to his duties full-time. “I’m glad we were able to expedite Neil’s care and ultimately get him back to the sport – the career – he loves,” said Dr. Walker.  

The race at Road America was his first test. “It took until almost the end of the season for the muscle memory and the hand-eye coordination to finally return. But the team was happy to have me back and I was happy to be back,” Neil said.


Call us at 317.802.2000 to schedule an appointment or click here to find the right specialist for you. 

If your injury or condition is recent, our OrthoIndy Urgent Care locations are ready with immediate care. For rehabilitation and physical therapy, no referral is needed to see one of our physical therapists

Related Posts

More from OrthoIndy

Get stories and News in your inbox

Subscribe to our weekly articles