Patient Profile

Scot

Profession: Science
Hobbies: Basketball, Cycling/ Mountain Biking, Fishing, Jogging/ Running, Sailing, Skiing
Doctor: Winston Warme

Briefly describe your symptoms and the medical condition that brought you to see the doctor.

Many years of bone on bone arthritis in my right shoulder.

What one or two things stand out to you about your experience with your doctor and their team?

A profound dedication to the well-being of his patients.

What can you do now that you could not do before surgery? Have you been able to return to your hobbies or sports at the same level as pre-injury or at an even higher level?

It's not so much what I can do now that I couldn't do before the surgery, though those gains are significant: I can throw (right handed), even snowballs, which is important with a 14 year old in the house. I can shoot a basketball, do pull-ups, hit a squash ball or play tennis, and even climb again. What's perhaps even better is all the other activities that I never stopped, don't hurt anymore (well mostly don't hurt; I still have time to recover). I can sleep, ski, fish, ride, surf, and paddle without pain now. On second thought, the climbing is a big one. I can't wait to take my son on some easy alpine routes in the Sierra.

Please share any additional comments!

When I saw Winston a couple weeks ago for my six month check up, he reminded me that when we first met I was dubious about needing to undergo the ream and run procedure. After all, I was getting along pretty well with a bad shoulder; I could live with the pain and do most of what I wanted. Six months later I am so much better off than just toughing it out. Within a couple weeks I was sleeping better than before the surgery, and by my six week checkup, I beat my goal of walking more than 20 miles per week. I had very little daily pain during the first six weeks, other than doing my exercises.
After six weeks I started running a little with some discomfort, but swinging my arm in the running motion also seemed loosen the muscles around the joint. At eight weeks, my family went on our first camping trip of the summer. The first night sleeping on a thin pad was not my best night’s sleep since the surgery, but it also was not the worst, so I considered that trip another big milestone. By the end of the summer, 12 weeks post-op, we spent the weekend camping and fishing. A couple hours of throwing big nymphs with a fly rod were about all I could take without rest, but then again we were catching so many big fish, just playing them was about all my shoulder could take. Resting my arm while watching my son catch 20” rainbow after 20” rainbow was far better than just a consolation prize.

Around 12 weeks I also started road biking, with a stern prescription not to fall. My shoulder felt much better after a ride, the light stretching from riding with my hands on the hoods and the exercise really loosened up the shoulder. Then I noticed that riding over the expansion joints in the road didn’t hurt anymore…. More progress.

By four months I was ready to start easy mountain biking, by myself so I wasn’t tempted to try anything crazy, and much to my joy, I had no shoulder pain for the first time in years. At five months I started roller skiing to get ready for the ski season. I started slowly, just 10 minutes per session, but when the ski season started early, I was ready to go.

Since I crossed the seven month threshold, I’ve been able to nordic ski more than 75km, ski bumps and rip groomers with my son, and get quite a few powder turns skiing in the backcountry.

I know I still have a lot of work to do. After so many years of limited motion, I’m still pretty weak and my tendons are short, but I feel I’ve made a lot of progress on those fronts in the last six weeks, and every week seems better.