Monica Could Not Lift Her Arm Until She Had Shoulder Surgery to Repair Rotator Cuff and Labral Tears

Monica C. knows about athletics and the human body as a physical education teacher, college basketball referee and former collegiate athlete. So when she dove to catch a ball during a softball game, she realized that the pain in her shoulder was more than just a simple muscle strain. “The pain was fairly intense, but I finished out the game,” Ms. C. recounts. “As an athlete, I’m use to minor injuries, but it was obvious this was something more.” She could not lift her arm and her range of motion was severely hampered thereby making her job as a PE teacher extremely difficult.

A family member has been in the medical field in Jacksonville for years, so Ms. C. turned to her for advice about what doctor she should consult. “There was no hesitation. She knew how important it was for me to get the best care possible, because my livelihood and hobbies all revolve around athletics.” Ms. C. met with Bruce Steinberg, M.D., specialist in upper extremities. Upon examination and testing, Dr. Steinberg diagnosed her with rotator cuff and labral tears. Ms. C. found Dr. Steinberg to be personable and very intent on helping to get her back to work and the referee job so important to her. “At first we tried some non-invasive techniques, but they just didn’t do the trick.” So Dr. Steinberg performed a left shoulder arthroscopy with acromioplasty, anterior labral repair and rotator cuff repair.

Ms. C. appreciates that Dr. Steinberg was very honest with her about what would be required to achieve a full recovery after her surgery. She readily admits that she tends to “push the envelope” when it comes to her physicality, and Dr. Steinberg told her that she needed to follow the physical therapy protocol exactly. “As much as I wanted to hurry the process, he was adamant that I follow a good, sensible program of physical therapy. He reminded me that the ultimate goal was a healthy shoulder for life, not just for my current interests and desired level of activity.”

Ms. C. attended physical therapy at JOI Rehabilitation three times a week, and did everything as advised. She worked hard and replicated at home the exercises she was taught at therapy. In doing as recommended, Ms. C. is now back to her previous level of activity. “I have zero pain, and 100% of my strength has returned. I can lift a substantial amount of weight, and I referee for seven college basketball leagues.” Ms. C. continues, “I am grateful for the care Dr. Steinberg provided me. Obviously he figured out quickly that I am the kind of person who will push herself to do more, and he helped me to be smart about recovering in the best way possible. I have already recommended him to another friend, and will continue to do so for anyone who needs help with shoulder, arm and hand problems.”

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– Monica C.