Rehab and Resilience Pay Off for Starting Pitcher
MERIDIAN, MS — Nothing can be more upsetting to a young athlete than an injury that derails his sports career. West Lauderdale High School starting pitcher Ryan Lane thought that is what had happened to him in May 2013 when he heard a loud “pop” in his elbow while pitching.
An immediate visit to Dr. James Green Jr., a physician at Meridian Orthopaedic Clinic who works with the Anderson Sports Medicine Team, revealed the unfortunate diagnosis — a right elbow ulnar collateral ligament tear. The UCL tear could have been a career-ending injury for Lane, but with surgery and intensive outpatient rehabilitation, he not only made a complete recovery but improved his game.
Dr. Green referred Lane to Dr. Benton Emblom at Andrews Sports Medicine in Birmingham, Ala., and after the surgical procedure May 22, 2013, Lane knew he had a long road to recovery ahead of him. That recovery began at Anderson Outpatient Rehabilitation Center with outpatient occupational therapy just nine days after the surgery.
Lane’s treatment protocol consisted of phases progressing from range of motion and strengthening to advanced strengthening and return-to-activity sessions. A short 16 weeks after surgery, through a team effort with occupational therapy specialists and the Anderson Sports Medicine Team, Lane began an interval throwing program. As he became stronger, his physician approved a rehabilitation program that became more specific; his throwing program advanced when he successfully completed each phase. In the advanced phases towards Lane’s return to the game, the Anderson Sports Medicine Team provided his ongoing care.
On March 1, 2014, Lane returned to the pitching mound for the West Lauderdale High School baseball team and played a huge part in the successful 33-2 season. Lane pitched the final game in the MHSAA Class 4A State Championship series, helping his team take the title. Despite the injury of less than a year before, Lane pitched seven strong innings, allowing just two hits while striking out six batters and earning the win.
Before his injury in 2013, Lane pitching speed was 82 to 83 miles per hour; after the injury, surgery and vigorous rehabilitation, Lane now has a pitching speed of 87 to 89 miles per hour.
The career-threatening UCL injury did not sideline Lane, thanks to expert help from physicians, Anderson Occupational Therapy specialists and the Anderson Sports Medicine Team — plus a lot of hard work on his part.
“My Occupational Therapist, Scott White, did everything he could and then some,” Lane remembers. “If it wasn’t for his hard work, I wouldn’t be back playing baseball.”
Lane has a bright future in sports ahead. He was named a second team All-State player for the 2013-14 baseball season and has signed to play baseball with Meridian Community College.