Have an injury?

Appointments within 24 business hours. Virtual visits available. Call (313) 651-1969.

A Successful Surgery Leads to a Dream Opportunity

As a junior at Bloomfield Hills High School and pitcher with two travel baseball teams, Brandon Newland has already racked up an impressive list of accomplishments, including breaking the ERA record in a single season and ranking fourth in single season strikeouts with two more years to move that record up.

His dream to one day play professionally came into question when showing his pitching skills at a showcase event in 2021. The event includes radar guns and videos that shows how hard you can pitch the ball to a catcher.

“It was only my second pitch, and I felt an excruciating sharp pain in my elbow,” says Brandon.

He and his family knew from the way he reacted that it was something potentially serious.

One of his high school trainers saw the swelling in his elbow and recommended that Brandon be evaluated by Eric Makhni, M.D., a Henry Ford Health sports medicine orthopedic surgeon who is also a school doctor for Bloomfield Hills High School.

Dr. Makhni, who has published studies on injury prevention and has special expertise in the treatment of throwing injuries in baseball players, explained Brandon suffered a significant injury to the elbow. He would need surgery if he wanted to continue to play baseball.

“The force of his throw was so high that he actually pulled the bone off the growth plate, resulting in a fracture that had to be fixed with a screw,” Dr. Makhni says. “Thankfully, the outcomes of the surgery are reliable provided that the bone fragment successfully heals to the rest of the humerus bone,” he adds.

Dr. Makhni says in many ways the easy part was the actual surgical procedure. After surgery, Brandon had to keep the elbow protected so that the bone fragments would heal together. Then, he had to regain all of his motion back, which can be a lengthy process.

Brandon’s road to recovery did not end with surgery. Several months of hard work entailing physical therapy at Henry Ford was needed to slowly regain his range of motion and increase his strength and stamina in order to begin pitching once again.

“After motion was restored, he had to regain his strength. Finally, he had to get back to pitching, which was a complex protocol with many steps and milestones,” he says.

Hard Work Pays Off

Brandon, an accomplished athlete with an equally impressive academic record, knew that hard work and perseverance would be needed to continue to play the sport he loved at a collegiate level.

That hard work paid off when he was recruited to play baseball at the University of Michigan after he graduates from high school in 2024.

“My dad and several family members went to University of Michigan. Growing up as a Wolverine fan and having the opportunity of excelling there as a student and athlete makes all the hard work worth it.”

Giving Back In The Future

Brandon’s injury coupled with the knowledge to recuperate that he learned from his Henry Ford sports medicine team, has also sparked an interest in helping others who may develop sports injuries.

“After my injury, it opened me up to the world of exercise science,” says Brandon. “With this experience, I learned how moving efficiently really impacts your performance.”

He plans to pursue studying exercise science so that even after his playing career is over, he can still stay among the baseball realm.

Brandon and his sports medicine team at Henry Ford channeled their inner Henry when they knew despite the challenges, perseverance would win in the end.

“My family could not be happier with the Henry Ford team. There was nothing that they told me that was soul crushing. I listened to my doctors and therapists, worked hard at getting back in shape and never lost focus.”

Have an injury?

Appointments within 24 business hours. Virtual visits available. Call (313) 651-1969.


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