Mara was advised Mara to do “sleeper stretches” and core strengthening. “My daughter was a young, healthy, 19-year-old at this point, and no one could offer help!” Suzy said. “Ridiculous!” Mara felt as if several doctors thought her shoulder condition was in her head. “I couldn’t understand how ‘working on my core’ was going to help my shoulder!” Mara was still in pain and still couldn’t lift her arm above shoulder height.
Disappointed, they went back home to their original surgeon. “I did everything,” Mara said. “I’d had multiple surgeries, shoulder injections, a year of physical therapy and I’d seen over a dozen doctors. Nothing helped!”
With nothing left to lose, Mara followed the recommendation of a local doctor and visited Dr. Millett in Vail
Finally, her doctor at home suggested an Orthopaedic colleague in Vail, Colorado who specialized in shoulder surgery at The Steadman Clinic. At this point, Mara was 20 years old and attending college but she was feeling a bit hopeless. Suzy, still determined to see her daughter recover from this shoulder condition, called and made an appointment with Dr. Peter Millett. “We had extremely low expectations,” she admitted, “but I thought, at this point, what did we have to lose?” They then traveled to Vail, Colorado to The Steadman Clinic to see Dr. Millett.
Mara said, “We had talked to Dr. Millett and his staff beforehand. The day of the appointment, Dr. Millett did the exam, looked at all of my films, and then talked to me.” Her tone of voice expressed her amazement. “He listened to me!” Mara relates. “He took the time, like I was his only patient that day, and he heard me!” After her exam, Dr. Millett left the room and Mara and Suzy looked at each other, shrugging. “We didn’t want to get our hopes up,” Mara said. “We just thought, ‘well, we hope this isn’t another wasted trip.’”
Dr. Millett concluded that Mara had developed scapulothoracic bursitis snapping scapula as well as left shoulder stiffness (frozen shoulder). She had undergone multiple surgeries back home prior to her trip to The Steadman Clinic and hadn’t had much improvement. After careful discussion with Mara, a thorough history and exam, review of her studies, Dr. Millett had good news for Mara and Suzy.
“Doctor Millett walked back in the exam room and said: “Yes, I can fix this.” Mara and Suzy continued, “You can’t imagine the relief, joy and hope we suddenly had! It had been four years of being told my condition wasn’t fixable and suddenly someone could help!” They felt like they had experienced a miracle.
Doctor Millett explained to them that Mara had two separate shoulder issues that would require two separate operations. Twelve days later, after a quick trip home, they returned to Vail, Colorado for surgery #1.
The first surgery was to address her snapping scapula and scapulothoracic bursitis. The second surgery was to address her shoulder stiffness from her previous surgeries.