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Coming Back to Softball after Tommy John Surgery

Lauren Roecker was inspirational during her physical therapy after her Tommy John surgery.  She took advantage of the specialized care Omaha Physical Therapy Institute (OPTI) provides for throwing athletes as well as utilized OPTI’s Athletes In Motion clinic at the Omaha Sports Complex to perform her return to play rehabilitation on the field turf!  She has battled back to the softball field and is feeling better than ever, making her way to the record books at Duchesne High School and feeling confident about her future!  Check out Lauren’s comeback story below!

What was your injury and how did it happen?

I injured myself playing catch with the softball. I was warming up during practice one day and I heard a pop in my elbow. I thought it was just in my head, but I tried to throw again and that’s when I knew something was wrong. It turns out I tore my Ulnar Collateral Ligament (UCL) in my right elbow and I had to have it repaired with Tommy John Surgery. I also had a nerve decompression as I had also pinched the ulnar nerve.

What did you learn from your injury?

Before surgery, I did not think I would ever be able to play softball again, as none of my attempts to get better were successful with physical therapy (at a different PT clinic than OPTI), Active Release technique (ART), and eventually total rest from activity. While I was in recovery, I learned how to listen to my body and to not push myself too far. It was definitely hard to watch all of my friends play while I was on the bench, but I knew I had to be patient and wait for my arm to heal as I did not want to reinjure myself and have to restart the process again.

What did you enjoy most about your physical therapy?

 During physical therapy, I loved coming in to OPTI and knowing that I was going to get better. I loved talking to all the staff at OPTI and knowing that I was in the same boat as everyone else. It gave me hope seeing everyone else my age in physical therapy being able to go back to their sport once they had fully recovered. When we started playing catch in the clinic, I knew that I was going to be able to overcome this and that getting back on the field would actual be an achievable goal.

What have you accomplished since coming back from your injury?

Since returning from my injury, I had the best season of my entire career this fall!  I hit my first home run and hit another one a few games later. I’m in the record books at Duchesne for batting average and was able to play second base this year. I’m hoping to come back with the same energy for my senior year and hopefully play second or third base.

If you are looking for specialized care for a softball or baseball injury, call Omaha Physical Therapy Institute!  OPTI is a locally owned physical therapy clinic that provides the care that you deserve!  We get you back to the things you love the most AND we have LOTS OF FUN doing it!

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Your Comeback Story Starts Here!