Josh, Age 28
Reconstruction of Glenoid Labrum, Rotator Cuff, Biceps Tendon
Baseball has been a lifelong passion of Josh’s. He started playing when he was only five years old in his community recreational leagues. He started as a catcher but by high school he was moved into the outfield to make better use of his speed and his strong throwing arm. Josh played with a healthy arm throughout his high school career. He was recruited by George Mason University and earned a spot as their Left Fielder.
At 19, beginning of his sophomore year, Josh was diving for a fly ball and landed on his chest. He over rotated his right shoulder and partially dislocated his shoulder. He continued to play with significant pain for the next nine to ten months until finally he couldn’t continue to play any longer. He consulted with an orthopedic surgeon and received an arthrogram which indicated a Rotator Cuff Tear (RCT). Josh had a rotator cuff reconstruction and was referred to physical therapy following surgery.
Josh had several family members who had previously received physical therapy at Blaser Physical Therapy and were very pleased with the care they had received and by their outcomes. Consequently, Josh did not hesitate in scheduling his physical therapy with Blaser Physical Therapy (BPT). He initiated his rehabilitation with BPT but several weeks into his program he had to return to college. His physical therapist outlined his upcoming protocol of treatment and he transferred the remainder of his rehabilitation to a facility close to school.
Josh progressed well. Although he was instructed by his doctor and physical therapist not to return to play for six months, he returned after three months. He now admits that by returning to that level of throwing prematurely, he caused his rotator cuff to re-tear. But he also acknowledges that there was significant pressure to return to play in order to retain his position on the field.
Following Josh’s second rotator cuff repair, his progression was nearly identical to his first recovery, including the fact that he returned to competitive play at fourteen weeks. Josh’s clear recollection was that he had been practicing in thirty-degree temperatures and over throwing leading up to their opening games. During the season — only three and a half months after surgery — Josh recalls:
“I threw a guy out at home from centerfield and immediately felt my shoulder pop and everything around it unraveling. That was the last competitive play of my career. But I got the guy out.”
Josh’s third surgery was a total soft tissue reconstruction of his shoulder the summer before his senior year. He returned to Blaser Physical Therapy for his comprehensive rehabilitation program. This time he completed his full program with Blaser Physical Therapy.
“The individual care I received at Blaser Physical Therapy was superior to other care that I had received. There was more specific instruction given and my treatment plan was more tailored to me as an individual.”
Following this rehab, Josh took a year off from sports and all physical activity, including exercise. However, once he did return to activities he was performing too much too soon: flag football, competitive bowling, softball, and weight lifting. The amount of stress on his shoulder proved to be destructive and deteriorated his repair leaving him with increasing pain.
Josh sought out a new surgeon and was told immediately that he needed a complete reconstruction once again. His surgeon explained it was his only hope of ever having a functional shoulder. Therefore, in 2011 Josh underwent his fourth shoulder surgery. The reconstruction repaired his labrum, rotator cuff, and biceps tendon. His surgeon later told Josh that it put “every skill he had to the test to repair the damage.”
Upon completion of his physical therapy with Blaser Physical Therapy, Josh now weight lifts on a limited basis, plays golf, and participates in triathlons with full strength and function. He has this advice for injured athletes:
“Listen to your doctor and physical therapist. Take your time with your rehabilitation. And don’t return to your sport too soon or overdo once you do return.”