As an athlete, have you ever wondered what it would be like to suffer a major injury requiring surgery? What would be involved in the struggle to return to your sport?
It’s a question many athletes face, and they should since each year 2 million high school athletes experience an injury. That’s not a number to take lightly, nor is it one that should keep adolescents from going out for a sport.
This post, however, looks briefly at two specific student athletes, who experienced a serious injury and returned to their sports after recovery.
Laura’s ACL Tear
Women are up to 9x more likely to tear their ACL. This is the injury Laura (pseudonym) suffered in January, 2012 while playing basketball. She had successful reconstructive surgery performed by Dr. Jon Whitehurst.
After rigorous physical therapy, she was considered a “normal person” and discharged in June, 2012. This left her and her family wondering what’s next?
Laura’s mother said, “We stressed over how to get our 13-year-old daughter back to basketball shape without direction and guidance.”
She was instructed to continue her home exercise program and was also given a functional knee brace to wear while playing sports, and she was advised to try and return to full participation in basketball around November (about 7 months after surgery).
Without guidance, returning to athletics becomes more difficult, and that’s where an expert in athletic training makes a huge difference. Customized programs, individual attention, and someone to push you matter.
Jamie’s Labrum Tear
During a shoulder dislocation, a stabilizing structure called the labrum is often injured. This is the injury my second athlete suffered in January of 2013. Jamie tore his labrum and required 6 screws/anchors in order to repair it. His surgery was performed by Dr. Scott Trenhaile.
Jamie also completed physical therapy and was discharged in the early summer of 2013 with instructions not to press any heavy weights or participate in any contact sports until early August. Jamie loves football and is also a competitive wrestler, so not lifting weights was certainly a challenge!
Both of these athletes and their parents contacted Precision Sports Training where the staff was able to pick up where physical therapy left off.
Laura said about the training, “…Fun and tiring. It’s a lot of work but it pays off. [the staff] is creative and makes it interesting.”
Jamie has since joined the football team and has assumed a role with the special teams that help minimize the risk of contact.
“Training has boosted my confidence in my shoulder. It allowed me to go out for football, and I can’t wait for wrestling,” said Jamie.
During wrestling, athletes find their arms/shoulders in potentially compromising positions and situations. Training, though, can recreate the compromising position and train the appropriate musculature to withstand the force. Jamie and I would wrestle at times to test out his shoulder (at a modified intensity).
“Character cannot be developed in ease and quiet. Only through experience of trial and suffering can the soul be strengthened, ambition inspired, and success achieved.” ~Helen Keller
It gives me great pleasure to work with these athletes and be a huge part of their return to competitive sports. It starts with a great physician, like the two above. Next, it requires a great physical therapist and team to progress the patients back to “normal.” Finally, the circle is completed with post therapy sports training, which fills the void, helping the athlete return to his/her sport.