JC's Story

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  • Orthopedics
  • Physical Therapy

This past spring I went outside to play catch with my teenage son. After a few throws, my right shoulder wouldn’t get loose. It just didn’t feel right. As an athlete my entire life, you just know when something is a little off with your equipment. This troubled me because I still enjoy pitching competitively and coaching my son’s youth team.

The pain gradually worsened to the point where I was having trouble sleeping on my right side. I knew I had to get it looked at, so I scheduled an orthopedic appointment at Hennepin Healthcare. At first, I was skeptical being that it was still a pandemic, but from the moment I arrived, it was clear they were taking all the necessary steps to ensure everyone’s safety. They took X-rays/MRI and discovered a SLAP tear of my labrum. The doctor talked me through the diagnosis and all the treatment options available – including surgery. We decided the best route would be steroid injections and physical therapy. If after 4 weeks there was no improvement, I would opt for surgery.

At my first session, I told my physical therapist (Nicole) I wanted to be pitching again by August, or if not in time for the playoffs in September. She drew up an exercise plan and worked the shoulder in our weekly sessions in their new PT gym. Knowing how important
pitching is to me, she researched and crafted a pitching program too, preparing me to pitch full games in a month.

I’m happy to report that I was not only able to start pitching again ahead of schedule, but I was pitching as well as I was pre-injury. I’m thrilled with the results and care I received at HH. From the MRI all the way through to the personalized PT plan, everyone was so professional and kind. I’ve heard many stories of local ortho groups jumping right to surgery — not here. Full recovery for me and no surgery required. The experts at Hennepin Healthcare truly care about what is best (and least invasive) for the patient, and I highly recommend for your ortho and PT needs.