Orthopedic Surgeon Dr. Steinberg Treats AC Joint Arthritis and Rotator Cuff Tears

Fred Butts had the good fortune to retire at an early age, with the intention of playing golf for many years. However, a few years ago, he noticed that his game was beginning to deteriorate. He experienced increasing shoulder weakness and had difficulty making shots that were easily part of his repertoire in the past. “One day, while I was doing some yard work and moving a wheelbarrow full of wet mulch, I knew that I had a serious problem with my shoulder. “ Sadly, Mr. Butts realized he could no longer play golf. He attended physical therapy, thinking and hoping that he was improving. He worked hard but in retrospect, believes that he probably exacerbated his situation. By about the twelfth week, Mr. Butts came to the conclusion that his situation was quite extreme and getting worse. In fact, even the simplest activities such as washing his hair, getting dressed or crossing his arm in front of his chest was difficult.

At that point, Mr. Butts’ doctor recommended that he seek the opinion of a specialist. As a former NASA engineer, and one who is used to seeking out facts and problem solving, Mr. Butts knew he needed to find the best to help him with his problem. In asking around, he heard that Bruce Steinberg, M.D. was an expert in all matters related to the upper extremities. “From the very first meeting with Dr. Steinberg, I was impressed with his professionalism and matter-of-fact dealings with me.”

Upon examination and testing, Dr. Steinberg diagnosed Mr. Butts with AC joint arthritis and a rotator cuff tear and that he would require surgery. “He said that he would do his part in the operating room, but it would require that I put in 100% afterwards in physical therapy to obtain the desired optimal result.” Mr. Butts continues to say that he appreciates Dr. Steinberg appropriately setting expectations for after the surgery. “I was willing to work hard and do whatever it took; I liked knowing that I had some level of control in my recovery. I believe that this appropriate expectation setting had a profound impact on my outcome and the fact that I knew what I was going to have to do after the surgery.”

Dr. Steinberg performed a surgery consisting of a left shoulder arthroscopy with acromioplasty, distal clavicle excision, SLAP repair and rotator cuff tear debridement. At this point, Mr. Butts could not be happier with the outcome of his surgery as well as the physical therapy that was provided by the JOI rehabilitation department. Approximately 8 months after his surgery Mr. Butts returned to competitive golf. Remarkably, he placed first in a field of 80 golfers in his initial tournament after surgery! “If someone would have told me I’d be winning golf tournaments after shoulder surgery, I’m not sure I would have believed it. In fact, my handicap is the same now that it was prior to the onset of my shoulder problems. I am grateful to Dr. Steinberg and his skill in helping me to get back to the golf game that I love and that helps to make my retirement so enjoyable.”

Learn about Shoulder Arthroscopy »

– Fred Butts