Tyler Brassard’s life revolves around sports. The 18-year-old started playing football when he was four. Today, he is a three-season, four-year varsity athlete for Fitchburg High School. Last year, after experiencing debilitating shoulder pain, he thought he might not play again. But the Emerson Health orthopedics and sports medicine teams got him back in his games — healthy and without pain.
Shoulder Surgery with a Winning Team
“I play football (quarterback), ice hockey (right wing), and baseball (catcher). Last spring, during my junior year, my shoulder pain grew worse and limited my range of motion. I knew I needed medical help. My grandmother works in healthcare and recommended Emerson Health Orthopedics. I made an appointment to see an orthopedic surgeon who works with athletes. After a thorough assessment, an MRI showed torn tissue around my shoulder that needed to be surgically repaired.
“I was upset. I wanted to play sports as much as possible, especially as captain during my senior year of high school. The orthopedics team understood my mindset as a person and an athlete. They know about athletes’ passion, focus, and commitment to get back in the game.
“We scheduled the surgery over the summer, so I had some time to recover. When I arrived at Emerson on the morning of surgery, I met Vicky on the child life team. She explained everything and served as my guide. She supported me through the whole experience.
“The surgery went very smoothly. The doctors used a nerve block, so I felt no pain. I went home the same day. Two days later, when the block wore off, I took Advil and Tylenol to stay ahead of the pain. The first six weeks after surgery, I wore a sling and started physical therapy.”
Catching Fastballs and Inspiring Future Athletes
“During recovery, I worked closely with Emerson’s Sports Medicine & Performance team. They helped me build my strength back to where it was before my injury. Finally, halfway through hockey season, I was cleared to play. It took a bit to get the rust off, but then it felt normal to play again. Our team made it to the playoffs; it was so great to represent Fitchburg at the state ice hockey playoffs during my senior year.
“Now, my catcher’s mitt is back on, and I am playing baseball with the team. My shoulder feels good, and I catch and throw fastballs like I used to. I learned that the whole team, including doctors, physical therapists, coaches, and teammates, is there for you. They love what they do and want you to succeed. I hope to pursue a career in physical or occupational therapy and help future athletes perform at the top of their game.”
Emerson’s Sports Medicine & Performance Team
Are you looking to compete at a higher level, or have you recently suffered an injury and want to return to peak performance? Emerson’s Clough Sports Medicine & Performance team offers training customized to your needs. Whether you are an elite athlete or weekend warrior, our highly-specialized sports physical therapists provide one-on-one training to help athletes get back in the game and perform their best. For information, including podcasts, or to schedule an evaluation, visit emersonhealth.org/sports or call 978-287-8200.