Shoulder Injury Won’t Stop This Football Player
Jake is an active 19 year old freshman who plays junior varsity football at a liberal arts college in Kansas.
Stacey, Jake’s mom, said he has always been into sports – first with soccer, basketball and baseball when he was younger, then moving on to football in sixth grade and wrestling for a year in high school.
No stranger to the bumps and bruises that can come with sports, she was a little taken aback when he called her from school one day in October to tell her his coach and trainer wanted him to have surgery on his shoulder.
“Jake had ongoing pain in his shoulder and the team trainer suspected a torn labrum*,” said Stacey. “They had taken him for testing at the local hospital and were recommending he have surgery. I am four hours away in Wentzville and I said wanted a second opinion.”
She searched online in the St. Louis area and found upper extremity orthopedic specialist, Dr. Richard Howard. She explained that her son would have a brief break later that month and asked if his office could work them in.
Dr. Howard diagnosed a labral tear in the back of Jake’s shoulder, causing the shoulder to be unstable. Treatment was surgery to repair of the labrum and a positive capsular shift to tighten the shoulder joint.
Jake had surgery over the Thanksgiving break. It was his first surgery but Stacey said the pre-op nurse made sure he was comfortable and calm.
“The office and the hospital were amazing,” Stacey said. “I have never been so informed before going into a surgery. And during surgery I never had to ask for an update on my son.”
Jake is healing well and started physical therapy in January. He is expected to make a full recovery and play again next fall. His biggest fan will be on the sidelines cheering.
* The labrum is fibrocartilage (rubbery tissue) attached to the rim of the shoulder socket. It helps keep the ball of the joint in place. When this cartilage is torn, it is called a labral tear.