Alexandra Stevenson - Injury and Return

Injury and Return

Stevenson experienced shoulder pain in 2003 at the Wimbledon Championships. She worked on strengthening the area, but was unable to repair the tear. Stevenson went to Birmingham, Alabama, where Dr. James Andrews performed a Type II labral repair on her right shoulder on September 21, 2004. Alexandra had a Type II labrum repair. Overhead athletes (tennis players and pitchers) tear the labrum at the top of the socket – and she did that between 11:00 and 1:00 on a clock face. When you pull on the biceps during a tennis serve motion, this contributes to the injury, and as the labrum detaches, it becomes painful. This also adds strain to the rotator. You feel grinding, popping and pain. In 2006, following 18 months of shoulder strengthening, Stevenson began a baseball pitcher-type rehabilitation that her mother designed to gain muscle endurance in her shoulder. This required a similar baseball rehab program of innings in and innings out which resulted in retirements during tournaments.

Stevenson played in the qualifying round at the 2006 Wimbledon, but after defeating Jelena Dokić, a player that she had played in 1999 in the Wimbledon quarters, when they were both qualifiers, she suffered a pectoral strain and fell in the second round of qualifiers. At the 2006 Cincinnati Women's Open, she also had a successful run in the qualifying round, but continued shoulder pain caused her to fall in the final round to Chin-Wei Chen 3–6, 6–3, 7–5. Stevenson continued to use the 2007 and 2008 seasons for the baseball pitcher-type rehabilitation program. By 2009, Stevenson gained shoulder strength and posted strong results. In 2010, Kevin Wilk, Dr. Andrews physical therapist said that Stevenson's shoulder "feels like a non-surgical arm."

Stevenson won the Sarasota Clay Court Invitational April 2012.

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