Patient Profile

Shannon

Profession: Health Care
Hobbies: Family, Hiking/ Camping, Jogging/ Running, Pets
Doctor: Winston Warme

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

5+ years of progressing arthritis/bone spur formation and pain of the sternoclavicular joint. I wasn't able to tolerate my arm hanging at my side for periods of time after my arm was at rest, primarily in the mornings after waking up. I could not raise my arm above my head without pain and I also couldn't do any strenuous activity on my right side (I am right handed) including carrying my 2 year old son. I consulted with 2 other orthopedic doctors prior to being referred to Dr.Warme. One of those physicians diagnosed thoracic outlet syndrome (which I don't believe I have) and sent me for physical therapy, which only helped a small amount. Once at UW, we tried a steroid injection in the joint initially because I was hesitant to jump right into surgery. The steroid injection took the pain away for 1-2 glorious weeks but it returned, so we moved forward with a surgical debridement of the SC joint. I am currently 6 weeks post op, and feel better than I thought I could. The pain is gone and other than strengthening the muscles in my shoulder and back that I have compensated with for years, I feel more normal now than I have in a long time.

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

Dr. Warme and his whole team including MAs, nurses, fellows, residents, PAs and every other staff member I encountered were caring, friendly and knowledgable. Dr. Warme is the only (attending) surgeon I encountered in my journey as a patient that never made me feel rushed, listened to my concerns and understood my disease process and needs.

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?

Play piano! Ok, kidding. I still can't do that. I am only 6 weeks post op, so I am beginning to experiment with what I can do now that I couldn't before, including raising my arm above my head without pain. One of my main goals (maybe silly) is to be able to do money bars again with my son.

What advice would you like to share with a patient with a condition such as yours who is considering surgery?

Don't give up seeking answers and knowledge. Not every doctor and facility are going to be able to meet your needs. Dr. Warme is someone I would recommend ANYONE to.

Please share any additional comments!

Thank you Dr. Warme and UW for a perfect patient experience and for giving me back a chronic pain free life.