Shane Barringer – Tommy John Surgery

Baseball, as everyone who is involved with it knows, is a game of ups and downs. The end of my first full season of pro ball was no different. I started the season fantastic, then had a streak of not so good games, and the rest of the year followed suit with ups and downs. This was embodied as the season commenced. I finished the season with the most innings of my career, tied for the most wins on the staff, and felt good about my plans and prospects for the year coming up.

To make sure I was doing everything in my power, I decided to get examined by the best orthopedic Dr. I could find, which brought me to Dr. Ahmad.  Luckily, he was only three hours away from where I call home. While I did not miss any games throughout the year, and saw no significant drop in velocity, I had some significant discomfort so I felt it was necessary to be examined. In previous exams, not done by Dr. Ahmad and his team, I was told I would need to strengthen some areas, and I should be fine to continue training again. Within one minute of seeing just my x-rays, Frank Alexander was able to identify the calcifying of my UCL, and extensive bone fragments in my left elbow, which he knew would need some major attention. After being thoroughly examined by both Dr. Ahmad and Frank Alexander (The Tommy John Coach!), we determined that the best possible route to allow me to continue my pro career would be firstly to elect for the removal of the bone fragments and then do a Tommy John surgery.

Hearing those words will give any pitcher the chills. Very upset and surprised, I made my decision within fifteen minutes. I knew I was in the best care that is possible for this type of injury. I knew that still playing with these injuries inhibiting me, would not allow me to further my career the way I anticipated. I talked to Dr. Ahmad and Frank about what my thoughts were and they were the most helpful and involved every step of the wayExplaining to me how surgery would go, what my rehab would look like, the dedication I would need to put into it and even explaining the process to my agent.

Dr. Ahmad’s team had me in for surgery in less than two weeks after electing Tommy John, even while the Yankees were in the midst of a playoff run, which I was very grateful for. Although I was still very nervous the day of surgery, this went away immediately after speaking with Dr. Ahmad in the waiting room. He came in with an aura. He was not only incredible about uplifting my spirits, but also making me confident in his and his team’s ability to get me to where I needed to be.  Dr. Ahmad went above and beyond removing nine bone chips, stabilizing my ulnar nerve and repairing my torn UCL. 

He and his team were with me every step of the way. Checking in the ensuing days after surgery, so attentive during in person and video calls to check on my progress. Helping ease my mind and giving incredible insight when I thought I was having setbacks.  They also recommended the most incredible PT’s, whom they would keep in constant contact with checking on my progress, taking data points all along the way to track my progress.

Now, just over one year post surgery, I can honestly say I am in the best shape of my life. It is the first time in a very long time that I feel I am able to use my arm as it was intended to, instead of compensation and throwing with pain. This has translated to not only baseball but the training room as well, as I am able to accomplish feats of strength that were previously unattainable. Rearing to get back on the field again, my fastball is back into the low 90s where I previously averaged pre surgery. Additionally, my off-speed pitches have seen significant improvements in their movement profiles, direction, and results.  As I’m just starting throwing live batting practice again, this is only the beginning of what I and my performance coaches and PT’s feel is possible with my rebuilt elbow.  I have never so eagerly anticipated a baseball season more than the 2024 season, and I owe it all to Dr. Ahmad and his team.  

I am very truly grateful to have been able to work with Dr. Ahmad, Frank Alexander, Suarez PT, and everyone who played a part in my operation. I have never felt so valued in such a professional environment. While I am not a part of the Yankees organization, I was treated by Dr. Ahmad and his team as if I were the most important member of the team.