Fall at St. Ambrose University, Davenport, means football and along with the autumn air rustling through campus oaks, there is a whiff of excitement for a run at a national championship. Just ask sophomore Keion “Kee” Lewis, a wide receiver for the Bees who says he owes thanks for his ability to play for a title to his surgeon at ORA Orthopedics.
“There is no way I wanted to miss this season, no matter what it took to get back on my game,” affirms Kee, referring to a serious shoulder injury near the end of the ’21 season that could have sidelined him this year.
Diving for the ball left Kee with a serious shoulder injury
“I was running plays at practice when I went to dive for a ball. While my arms were out, I hit the ground and pushed my head into my right shoulder.
“I felt the pop of my arm going out of its socket, and when I stood up, it was just hanging. As I took off my equipment, it popped back into place, so they put in me a sling.”
A trip to ORA Orthopedics and a consult with St. Ambrose Bees’ Team Physician and Sports Medicine Surgeon, Dr. Ryan Dunlay, confirmed the player’s worst fears.
“Keion sustained a significant tear of the labrum,” Dr. Dunlay explains. “The labrum is a piece of cartilage that acts like a bumper to the shoulder’s ball and socket and stabilizes the joint. His labrum had completely torn off the socket.”
A significant tear on his labrum required arthroscopic surgery
“The doctor told me I was out for the remainder of the season and that I needed surgery. I missed our last three games and was really concerned about coming back for the fall.”
Kee underwent outpatient arthroscopic shoulder surgery to repair the tear, a minimally invasive surgery with only three small incisions.
“To perform the surgery, I use a special camera that magnifies the tiny surgical area in the shoulder joint to make the delicate repairs. I used anchors to reattach the labrum to his bone where it is supposed to be. It is an intricate procedure that takes about an hour.”
Kee is back on the field and feeling stronger than ever this fall
Following surgery, Kee knew he faced a six-month endurance test for rehabilitation. “I told Dr. Dunlay I would be back in under six months, and I did it.” Kee completed therapy in four and a half months.
“He is a great kid and exceeded my expectations in his recovery. Kee has full range of motion, strength, and no pain. I am really impressed with his work ethic and dedication to get back on the field.”
Kee says he’s ready for the season opener. “I feel great! I am still getting stronger with our daily practices and workouts. Our team is going to be a national championship contender and I’m so blessed to be a part of this program.”
Dr. Dunlay says labral tears are not uncommon among athletes, especially those in sports that involve repetitive overhead weights and contact like football, hockey, lacrosse or rugby. Dr. Dunlay advises athletes who experience a shoulder that feels “loose,” unstable, or if they experience a “dead arm” where the arm is limp (as Kee experienced) they should seek immediate medical attention.