Accessibility Tools

Evan MacFarland Says “Yes” To Playing Guitar Again!

Evan MacFarland

I first injured my shoulder midway through my senior season playing football at Norfolk Christian High School. My doctor at the time recommended a course of physical therapy, confident that my shoulder would heal because I was so young. Despite the injury, I was able to continue playing sports in college, until I succumbed to a pretty bad skateboarding accident during my junior year at Old Dominion University.

I was riding along on my skateboard through the ODU campus pretty quickly when I hit a crack. I went down and stretched my right hand out to break my fall. My arm was yanked back severely during the fall, and afterwards, my shoulder began acting up again—worse, this time. After awhile, the constant soreness in my shoulder started to impact my daily activities. I love being active, participating in sports, and playing the guitar, so having full use and mobility in my arm and shoulder are extremely important to me! I sought advice from a Sports Medicine Specialist at SMOC, Dr. Sam Brown.

Dr. Brown came highly recommended by a person who I trust implicitly — my dad. My dad is an avid runner who once suffered from a few troubling knee injuries, but is now back to normal, thanks to successful treatment from Dr. Brown. After reading my MRI, Dr. Brown confirmed the labral tear was severe enough to warrant surgery this time around. I scheduled my surgery around the holiday break in December 2015.

It was the first surgery I’d ever had (other than having my wisdom teeth out), so I was a little nervous. My confidence in Dr. Brown definitely helped ease my nerves. Dr. Brown’s original plan was to perform the surgery laparoscopically, but partway into the procedure, he noticed a lot of scar tissue since my shoulder had been injured for so long. He consulted with my parents, who agreed with his decision to continue via open surgery. We were very grateful for his wisdom in “changing the plan” for a better surgical outcome.

I don’t remember anything from the procedure itself, but when I woke up, I was treated with care by the very nice nursing staff at Chesapeake Regional Hospital. I was a little worried about being in pain after the surgery, but thanks to the nerve block Dr. Brown put in place, I didn’t really feel my arm much at all when I first got home.

I started physical therapy at SMOC’s Chesapeake office a few days after surgery. Going into PT I was nervous and uncomfortable, but Jennifer and the rest of the PT staff at SMOC made me feel right at home. Everyone was friendly and welcoming – everyone from the therapists to Shannon at the front desk. After a few weeks, I began to recover mobility in my arm, and I was joking and laughing with the staff as if we were all friends. I love the encouraging environment there.

It took about six or seven weeks, but I am starting to feel back to normal. A few weeks ago, I went to a college retreat for ODU, and I felt fine during the whole thing. It was a great feeling like a normal college kid again!

Going into this, I was genuinely concerned about ever completely recovering mobility in my shoulder. But PT at SMOC has done wonders, and I’m actually done. The staff gave me all the resources I need to continue strengthening on my own, and we are all confident my shoulder is going to recover 100 percent.

I’m really grateful to Dr. Brown and the Physical Therapy staff at SMOC and the work they’ve done. Thanks to them, I can say YES to playing the guitar again! I play a lot of guitar with a group of guys. We’ve recorded a few songs, and I’m looking forward to where that may go. Thanks, SMOC!

  • The American Board of Orthopaedic Surgery
  • American Association of Hand Surgery
  • American Association of Hip and Knee Surgeons
  • American Orthopaedic Foot and Ankle Society
  • American Board of Foot and Ankle Surgery
  • American College of Foot and Ankle Surgery
  • Virginia Orthopaedic Society, Sentara
  • Sentara
  • Chesapeake Regional Medical Center
  • 5801 Harbour View Blvd
    Suite 200
    Suffolk, VA 23435

    Monday-Friday 8am-5pm

  • 501 Discovery Drive
    Chesapeake, VA 23320


  • 150 Burnett’s Way
    Suite 100
    Suffolk, VA 23434

    Monday-Friday 8am-5pm