Harold W - Rotator Cuff and Shoulder Repair

As a photographer for 30 years, Harold W. has a passion for holding his camera and capturing images of everything that moves, stays still, smiles or shines. In his spare time, he was an avid biker, swimmer and skier who loved being active on a regular basis.

However, on April of 2018, life changed for Harold in one brief snapshot.

Harold was hit by a car and suffered a shoulder injury

Harold remembers, “I was riding my bike when a car collided into me on a neighborhood street. With no warning, the Toyota minivan pulled out and struck me, leaving large dents in the side of the van from the impact and knocking me 10-15 feet backward. I was initially worried about broken ribs along with a sore head, hip and shoulder.”

Harold’s shoulder pain worsened

Shortly after the accident, Harold began to experience extreme pain in his right shoulder. To begin with, holding a camera became very challenging. He was also unable to swim or bike which eliminated some of his favorite weekly exercise routines. As the days progressed, Harold was getting increasingly frustrated because his right arm was in constant, severe pain.

Clearly, this was not going to work for Harold. Not short-term, and certainly, not long-term.

He searched for a shoulder specialist

He connected with a friend who recently had his rotator cuff operated on by Dr. Millett. According to Harold, “My friend, along with a few other acquaintances, recommended him as a top shoulder specialist in his field. I decided to schedule an appointment for an evaluation with Dr. Millett.”

Arthroscopic shoulder surgery would be needed

After careful examination, Dr. Millett determined the best treatment for my shoulder injury would include:

  • A right shoulder arthroscopic debridement – a minimally invasive technique where Dr. Millett uses small incisions and specialized surgical tools to operate inside the shoulder. Debridement cleans out any torn or damaged tissue and smooths the area.
  • Subacromial decompression – Treats subacromial impingement by removing bone spurs and/or smoothing down the part of the bone causing pressure on the rotator cuff.
  • Partial acromioplasty – Removes a small piece of bone from the bone and soft tissue of the acromion (bony process on the scapula) further reducing the stress on the rotator cuff.
  • Rotator cuff repair – Which involved repairing 2 of the tendons: supraspinatus and subscapularis.
Harold - Looking on the Bright Side

He wondered if he would have a painful recovery after rotator cuff repair

Like many people, Harold had concerns before his surgery. For example, he was worried about how long the recovery would take and how much pain he would experience post-surgery.

“Dr. Millett was very confident, professional, and assured me that my shoulder was repairable,” said Harold. “Rumors were running rampant that there would be a painful and horrible recovery from this surgery. However, I was relieved to discover the rumors were untrue as the pain and recovery were not an issue for me because of the surgical techniques used by Dr Millett.”

Harold’s shoulder repair went better than expected

Even a few years after his shoulder surgery, Harold is happy to report: “My shoulder is now possibly the strongest and most healthy part of my body at this point in time! The Steadman Clinic is superior to all other options available anywhere. I highly recommend Dr. Millett as he is the best shoulder surgeon around.”

He had the best possible outcome after arthroscopic shoulder surgery

After being unable to work for several months due to the injury, the surgery was a major success! Able to work longer hours once again, his photography business just had its most successful year in the last 10 years. Equally important, he was able to resume his everyday chores and get back to his favorite activities including swimming and biking.

* Our special thanks to Harold W. for sharing his story and his experience with Dr. Peter Millett and his team. If you or someone you know is suffering from a rotator cuff injury or from shoulder pain, or if you would like to have a second opinion for your shoulder, elbow or knee pain, please contact the offices of Dr. Peter Millett, orthopedic shoulder specialist at The Steadman Clinic.