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Patient Story – Hockey Player’s Road to Recovery


WRITTEN BY: Sports Medicine
Sunday, September 20th, 2015

Sean, a former college hockey player, is used to taking a few hits. In November 2012, during his junior year at Duquesne University, Sean had his first shoulder injury. With a diagnosis of a dislocated shoulder, Sean began attending physical therapy at UPMC Center for Sports Medicine. Sean and his physical therapist worked on strengthening exercises to help him continue playing.Sean B Patient Story Photo

In September 2013 during Sean’s senior year, he took a hard hit during preseason training and again dislocated his shoulder. He returned to the UPMC Center for Sports Medicine and saw Dharmesh Vyas, MD, PhD who diagnosed Sean with a near-circumferential shoulder labrum tear. Given the amount of damage in the shoulder, as well as the shoulder instability and pain reported by Sean, Dr. Vyas recommended and performed arthroscopic surgery to repair the labrum.

One week after surgery, Sean began a physical therapy regime. Sean’s physical therapy appointments, led by Tara Ridge, MS, PT, and Joe Micca, took place one-to-two times a day at first and decreased as he got further into his recovery. His physical therapy, which took approximately four months, focused on restoring the range of motion and strength in his shoulder and returning him to hockey.

Dr. Vyas followed Sean’s recovery and was pleased by Sean’s progress. Dr. Vyas reports, “Sean was an excellent patient. His positive attitude, motivation to get better, and dedication to his rehabilitation serves as a testament of how athletes of all levels can return to their sport with the help of our team at UPMC.”

Today, Sean is back to playing hockey recreationally every chance he gets.

“I had a great experience at UPMC. All of the doctors and the team of physical therapists I worked with really helped me get better in the fastest way possible.”

*Sean’s father is a UPMC employee, working with commercial and cancer services.

Sports Medicine

UPMC Sports Medicine is the region’s largest and most experienced center dedicated to caring for athletes of all levels. For more than 25 years of world-class care, we’re proud to offer more services, have more physicians, and treat more student athletes than any other sports medicine provider in the region. Read More