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Patient Stories

Learn how our quality of care enhances our patient's quality of life


Austen Thomas

Arthroscopic Bankart Repair Surgery

During a recent game, local Freedom High School football player Austen Thomas dislocated his right shoulder. “The injury occurred when I lunged after a running back,” Austen said. “I hyperextended my right shoulder and immediately heard a pop. After, I felt pain and couldn’t move my arm.”

The athletic trainer at Freedom High School, Andrew Lee, was able to put Austen’s dislocated shoulder back in place during the game. In the following days, Austen continued to experience pain and visited his primary care physician. After having an MRI, Austen was diagnosed with a labral tear and referred to Dr. Matthew Griffith, an orthopaedic surgeon who specializes in treating sports injuries.

The labrum is the attachment site for shoulder ligaments that are important for stability. Labral tears (or bankart lesions) that do not heal properly may lead to recurrent dislocations, pain, popping and difficulty returning to sports. According to Dr. Griffith, “Many of these injuries do not fully heal with conservative treatment, and players may experience multiple dislocations if they continue playing contact sports.”

Dr. Griffith examined Austen’s shoulder and determined he was a good candidate for arthroscopic bankart repair surgery. This involves using minimally invasive techniques to reattach the labrum and torn ligaments to the shoulder socket. This provides stability to the joint, preventing dislocation and restoring function.

Physician assistant Stephanie Modzelesky, commented, “Most patients recover really well after Bankart repair surgery. We do have strict physical therapy protocols for our therapists to follow so that the patients heal completely and to prevent re-injury.”

After surgery Austen worked with the physical therapists at Arthritis & Sports to regain shoulder strength and stability. “We worked at re-strengthening my shoulder through laughter and pain,” Austen said. “Physical therapy was great, and I finished ahead of schedule.”

Austen is back to playing football for Freedom High School, already having many sacks and tackles on the field this year. “I am back in action and loving the game,” he said. “Go Freedom football!”

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