Ava Metzger – UCL Repair Surgery

Hi! My name is Ava Metzger and I am a pitcher on the Manhattan College softball team. I attended Colts Neck Highschool in New Jersey where I was able to help lead my team to win its first ever softball state championship. That year I was also selected as the 2020-2021 NJ Gatorade softball player of the year. That year I was a workhorse, but I didn’t mind it because it was so awesome to see the accomplishments my team had made that season. Although the season was very rewarding, that season also came with a lot of physical pain…

After highschool and travel ball season had ended, I saw a different orthopedic doctor (before I saw Dr. Ahmad). He diagnosed me with golfer’s elbow. He wrote me a script for PT over that summer and promised I would be as good as new entering my freshman year of college. I was excited and hopeful that I’d rehab for about 2 months and be back to normal…

Flash forward to the end of my freshman year and I was again pitching at least 1 full 7 inning game of our in-conference doubleheaders. I was stoked to be getting opportunities as a freshman and again being successful at the collegiate level. My pain was masked with adrenaline and there was no stopping me, until our game against Canisius college, April 31st 2022. I was pitching and experiencing a different type of pain. Normally I could feel pain in my forearm, but I was starting to feel pain in my inner elbow, and my pinky and ring finger also started to feel funky. Our athletic trainer, Toni, made the decision to pull me and have me looked at by a doctor. I was so frustrated because at the moment I thought it was just my old golfer’s elbow acting up and nothing serious could have been going on. My MRI came back stating I had a partial thickness tear in my UCL!

I was obviously devastated. I was sent over to Dr. Ahmad, where he and his team thoroughly diagnosed me and gave me all of my options, explaining the surgical as well as non-operative treatment methods. Dr. Ahmad and Frank Alexander were nothing but supportive of whatever decision I made. I decided to go with the non-operative choice, which was to receive 3 PRP shots in my over the course of 3 months (1 shot a month). Though painful, I did the 3 shots and rehabbed in PT that whole summer with the hopes of starting and feeling better my sophomore season.

I started a throwing program about the end of August just before reporting back to school. Throwing was painful, and on days I was throwing from 60ft, my throws were super inaccurate and could not even reach my throwing partner. I went back to Dr. Ahmad and his team and we decided that it was best for me to have the surgical option of a UCL repair with an ulnar nerve transposition in order for me to get back playing at the highest level. And more importantly to be pain free!

I had my UCL repair surgery in October 2022. Dr. Ahmad’s team was nothing but supportive. It was one of the best decisions I have made in my life. Today, I can throw, pitch, and hit pain free. It is the best feeling ever! I couldn’t have done it without the help from Dr. Ahmad, and his team specifically Frank and Megan, and Derrick my PT. I can’t wait to see what the future holds with my fixed elbow!