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Home    HealthSense Magazine    2011 Archives    Winter 2011    Ready for spring training
Ready for spring training

Zak Taylor completes exercises to strengthen his shoulder with guidance from Dan Schmutz, physical therapist.
As a baseball player for as long as he can remember, Zak Taylor does not recall a period of time that he was unable to play, until an injury during his sophomore year.

"I dove for a ground ball and landed on my right arm wrong. It was very painful," says Taylor, a second baseman for Willard High School.

Taylor had a Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI) test, which helped Dr. Bill Duncan, his orthopedic surgeon, diagnose Taylor's injury and develop a treatment plan.

"Taylor had a bankart tear, which is a tear of the labrum. The labrum is a piece of cartilage that makes the shoulder joint more stable and allows movement. When it is torn the shoulder can slip out of place, which causes pain and a feeling of instability," says Dr. Duncan.

Taylor first tried conservative treatment with at-home exercises, but continued to have symptoms. After consulting with Dr. Duncan, Taylor decided to go ahead with surgery.

During the minimally-invasive surgery at the new Meyer Orthopedic Center, Dr. Duncan reattached Taylor's labrum to the socket of the shoulder. Eight weeks later Taylor began physical therapy at The Meyer Center for Wellness and Rehabilitation.

"I started Taylor with exercises that stabilize the shoulder joint so he could start doing normal tasks without pain, with the ultimate goal of getting back to baseball," says Dan Schmutz, physical therapist. "Then we moved onto strengthening exercises, and eventually throwing a baseball."

After three months of physical therapy, Taylor began working with Melissa Giboney, a licensed athletic trainer at Willard High School.

"I continue to work with him on throwing and strengthening, as well as provide him with at-home exercises," says Giboney.

"I have been able to tell a difference in my shoulder since surgery and therapy. I am able to throw again," says Taylor, who is excited to get back on the field this spring.


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