“I stopped doing what I wanted, and I even had to stop climbing,” David reported. “I wasn’t happy about that.” David knew his shoulder had had enough, but he wasn’t willing to quit rock climbing forever, given his passion for the sport. Instead, he started researching innovative, cutting-edge treatment options. He knew he had degenerative joint disease (glenohumeral osteoarthritis), and he knew he needed to seek treatment for his shoulder arthritis. Kozak said he was resigned and knew he needed a shoulder replacement. However, he pushed it off, dreading the process, the recovery, and the possibility that even after a surgery, he still might not be able to return to climbing.
After consulting with influential friends in the orthopedic field, David was referred to Dr. Peter Millett at The Steadman Clinic in Vail, Colorado. “I wanted the best,” he said. “I wanted to be able to climb again and I needed to have the best outcome,” Kozak states. “I knew what I was looking at, I knew I needed a shoulder replacement. I wasn’t going to settle for anything but the best surgeon to do the replacement and everything in my research pointed to Dr. Millett.”