Gary D. Hammer, M.D., Ph.D.

Shoulder Surgery

Millie Schembechler Professor of Adrenal Cancer

Director – Endocrine Oncology Program

University of Michigan

“Numbers are just numbers right?? But for my climbing family and friends, numbers can both ‘keep us grounded’ (hmmm, I am not as good as I thought I was) as well as propel  us up a boulder or mountain, (a route, a problem, a wall, a rock face) Now to the “numbers” —- It has been 9 months since a major shoulder operation to repair the massive tears of my rotator cuff muscles with re-attachment of 3 left shoulder muscles (supraspinatis, infraspinatis and biceps tendon) using 6 inserted anchors/pins.  Shout out to amazing orthopedic surgeon Peter Millett, MD Orthopedic Surgeon – Sports Injuries (Vail Health) and outstanding physical therapists/trainers  –  Nico Brown at Howard Head Sports Medicine and Medical Provider – USA Climbing) and Dale Hazard (University of Michigan MEDSPORT). It has been a journey of professional rehab with these amazing folks together with guided self-rehab every day 4-6 AM and a slow climbing progression over the last few months. Now the drumroll!!! This old guy at 52 just climbed a bunch of V6 and a V7 bouldering problems (his first at these levels) over the last couple week. Feels good to be back on rock with shoulders that are probably stronger than pre­injury.   I know, I know, they are indeed just numbers and some would say the climbs were weak, indoor problems and/or rated too high.  Maybe!!!  Doesn’t matter what matters is the journey and the motivation to return so I can still climb with my kids and wife, Lisa. So ­ like a young schoolboy ­ I am giddy and grateful to be back.

Onward and upward….”

Kip Gates

Rotator Cuff Repair

“This is what can happen when you have a great doctor put your shoulder back together. I am doing great! Leslie and I spend the winter in Arizona training my horses and competing in big roping competitions.  My shoulders is great.  Thanks a lot!”

Jason Bernstein

X-A-M Sports and Entertainment, Agent for Colin Kaepernick

“Just wanted to express our gratitude in all of the work you have done with Colin.  When we had the ability to choose any doctor in the country to make sure Colin received the highest level of expertise in getting him healthy, you came highly recommended as you know, and from our perspective you have more than lived up to your impeccable reputation.  It would be an understatement to say that Colin is extremely happy with his progress to this point.

In addition, we would like to thank you for really going above and beyond to ensure that the 49ers medical staff was, and continues to be, kept up to date every step of the way.  In my experiences, the level of detail and frequency of your communication with the 49ers has been second to none, both with updates before/after the procedures you performed, as well as the updates in Colin’s treatment to date.

Once again, we can’t thank you enough, and Colin knows he absolutely made the right decision in his medical care.

Best Regards,


John Huard

Chief Scientific Officer of Steadman Philippon Research Institute

Tricep Tendon Injury

“Injury on January 13, almost full tear of tricep tendon. January 14, surgical repair by Dr. Millett. January 15, no sling needed and I gave a keynote lecture. January 16, no pain medication. January 17, small walk in vail. January 18, travel to Houston. January 19, 5 mile run with no pain!

Thank you Dr. Millett. This is within the SPRI and Steadman clinic mission, keeping people active.”

Maya Burrell

My days of Professional Swimming and Pro-Beach Volleyball are long behind me now. I just turned 52 years old a couple of weeks ago. But when you are a lifelong athlete, you have a natural intensity, focus and basic personality type that is applied to all life activities and pursuits.

I put my shoulder surgeries off for 20 years and managed to function well enough in my various activities; or so I thought. Before I came to Dr. Millett, I was limited in the sports I could do, the clothes I could wear, the movements that I felt comfortable in performing. Basically, I had a great deal of daily fear knowing that at any moment, if I wasn’t hyper-vigilant, either of my shoulders could dislocate.

Dr. Millett has changed my life. Psychologically and emotionally, I am calmer. I have less fear in general and this gives me more joy and pleasure in life. I can adventure travel and engage with life activities without worrying and doing advance planning for if my shoulders happened to dislocate in a remote part of the world. Since my surgeries, I have traveled to Africa, Myanmar and scuba dived in Thailand.

Physically, I am healthier and in even better shape than before the surgeries. I play tennis intensely. It is my new sport and I enjoy the learning progression. Even though I am not competing professionally as I did in my other sports, I do play tournaments a couple times a year. Thanks to my stable shoulders, I have worked my way up the ladder so that most of my female opponents now are college level players. One of my latest weapons that is developing well is a wicked overhand serve. I definitely need a strong serve to continue competing and developing at this level.

I feel my life has a wonderful balance now that was missing before. To sum everything up, I feel free. Thank you so much, Dr. Millett, for your exceptional skills and commitment to healing. I am honored and appreciative beyond words to be one of your patients. Thank you for how you change people’s lives for the better.

Ryan Dyer

US Ski Team Member – Freestyle Moguls 2015

North American Grand Prix Champion

Shoulder Surgery

“Dr. Millett and the entire staff at The Steadman Clinic took extra time and care to not only understand my injury history but also my unique sport and what it demands from my body. This attention to detail led to a wonderful experience and a speedy recovery. It’s great knowing that I have such a knowledgeable and skilled team behind me willing to provide outstanding treatment and advice. I’m so thankful for the shoulder repair and I look forward to continuing my successful career.” (Photo Credit: The Mogul Skiing Academy)


Kurt Konrath

CAM Procedure

“I am just about a year out from surgery and couldn’t be happier with the results.  Every doctor I saw in Chicago told me I needed a new shoulder.  You were the only one that told me you could help me despite advanced arthritis without the need for replacement.  I am thankful I found you and the Steadman Clinic.  Frankly the procedure was life changing and I am back to racing my sports car competitively again.  It was rough for the first 6 months, but I was diligent about therapy and progressive exercise and am now back in the gym doing light to moderate resistance training and am at a reasonable strength level considering age.  My left (CAM) shoulder feels better than my right these days.  I am hopeful that with more careful age appropriate activity levels that I will be able to avoid joint replacement in the future.”

Joseph Urban

Rotator Cuff Repair

“I am writing to express my heartfelt gratitude for amazing care that was recently provided to me.

I had a failed rotator cuff repair at another institution out of state following a mountain biking injury in 2013.  I had attempted to rehab the injury for more than a year without success.  I did extensive research seeking the best orthopedic care I could find which led me to the Steadman Clinic and to Dr Millett in particular.

The entire process was smooth sailing. The evaluation by Dr Millett and his team was extensive and thorough.  The care i received from Vail Valley Surgical Center before during and after my surgery including an overnight stay was second to none.

 The extensive integration between all the departments involved in my care was seamless.  My physical therapist actually observed my surgery and then Dr. Millet’s surgical team meet me at physical therapy for my first treatment session.  Howard Head PT is a shining star as well.   The physical therapists spend the entire visit with you and provide amazing care and education.” (please note, photo is of Joseph pre-injury)