Playing Time: Dr. Tomas Pevny tackles college athlete’s shoulder repair by Lev Illouz

I’m a 19-year-old student at Loyola University Chicago, where I play for the Loyola Rugby team. Having played rugby for more than five years at varying levels of competition, I was certainly no stranger to the harsh physical demands of the sport. I have endured my fair share of minor injuries: broken ribs, concussions, muscle tears, etc. However, on October 15, 2023, I suffered a fully dislocated shoulder in a regular season match against the University of Chicago, which resulted in a nearly complete Bankart lesion labrum tear and a fractured humerus, which required the shoulder to be put back in place by our team’s trainer.

A few weeks after the initial injury, it took an MRI to reveal the severity of the tear in my labrum. It was certainly disappointing to learn I would not be eligible to play for the remainder of the season, not until I recovered from surgery. It was especially difficult to reconcile as I had just been injured in a match before our playoff run, and was not able to participate in further games and support my teammates. Despite making considerable changes in the roster, I still enjoyed the opportunity to travel with the team to the Great Midwest Conference playoffs, as well as the National Collegiate Rugby playoffs, resulting in us placing 15th in the nation.

On December 27, 2023, I had the labrum in my left shoulder repaired by Dr. Tomas Pevny with anesthesia administered by Dr. Jorgenson at Valley View Hospital. My tensions were incredibly high on the morning of my surgery. I had never expected to require such a significant surgery so early in my life. But it was the balance of professionalism and kindhearted care from the Valley View nurses, as well as Dr. Jorgenson, and Dr. Pevny, that calmed me. Moments before heading into the operating room, the team was very clear on how the procedure would be conducted, exactly what was going to be done, and the structured path to recovery I would be able to follow to be cleared to continue playing rugby.

          Post-surgery, the physical therapy regimen supplied by Dr. Pevny and the telehealth consultations have been excellent. As of now, I am on track to be fully recovered and ready to play full-contact rugby by mid-May 2024.
In late March I was even cleared to resume non-contact weight and skills training, which I was told is a great outcome so soon after surgery. Here in Chicago, my physical therapist said I had some of the best post-surgery shoulder mobility he had seen in his career, which I would accredit to Valley View and Dr. Pevny’s surgical prowess. Now, with my recovery nearing completion, I will soon be back on the rugby field and am thankful for the astute care I received at Valley View Hospital.