Riley Ewen is a senior at Tri-County High School who plans to play three sports at Manchester University during the fall 2018 semester. In November 2017, Riley was at basketball practice when he felt a pop in his right knee and fell to the ground. After testing and examination, his knee seemed ok so returned to playing. However, on the first inter-squad scrimmage of the year, Riley’s knee gave out again.
“At that moment, I knew something was wrong, so we got him in to see a doctor immediately,” said Sarah Gustus, ATC, an athletic trainer with Franciscan Health Sports Medicine Western Indiana, who works at Tri-County high school.
Riley had surgery on both of his knees in December and had to be on bed rest for a week following the surgery. He began rehab with Gustus immediately at the high school.
“Our long term goal with rehab was for Riley to play at least some part of the basketball sectionals at the end of February and early March,” says Gustus. “Riley really put in the work with his exercises, stretches and icing.”
At Riley’s two-month checkup after surgery, he received a green light to be put in a functional return to sport court progression. With this, he kept his exercises in place and also started to become more integrated into drills in basketball practice.
In February, at Tri-County boys’ basketball senior night, Riley was able to play with 11.2 seconds left in the game and drained a three point shot. Once the IHSAA Class 1A basketball tournament began Riley was cleared to play. Tri-County won their first two tournament games and advanced on to IHSAA Class 1A basketball sectional finals where they eventually lost to Covenant Christian high school.
“I was with him during every step of this process, from the moment he found out his basketball season might be over to the glimmer of hope he received that he might be able to play again this season,” says Gustus. “To see your patient at their lowest and then succeed is such an overwhelming moment. All of the long hours and time spent is what makes it all worth it for me.”
By Jill Akers
Marketing and Public Relations