Until He Met Jacksonville Orthopedic Surgeon Dr. Bruce Steinberg, George Bartley Could Barely Use His Arm Due to a Massive Rotator Cuff Tear

George Bartley recalls sustaining an injury nearly 30 years ago while serving in the U.S. Marine Corps and that is when his shoulder pain began. He believes that his later work as a paramedic, carrying stretchers and heavy equipment, likely aggravated his condition. In 2012, Mr. Bartley’s pain level and diminished arm function had grown to the point that he sought help. A surgeon at another local practice suggested shoulder surgery. “I went into that first surgery with great hope that my shoulder would be repaired and the pain would be better.” Unfortunately, that was not to be the case. Mr. Bartley returned to the same surgeon, who performed a second surgery six months later, in another attempt to repair Mr. Bartley’s shoulder. Again, the surgery was unsuccessful. “In fact, after the second surgery, my pain became much worse than before either of the surgeries was performed. I couldn’t sleep or move my arm. I was miserable.”

Fortunately, about nine months later, Mr. Bartley found his way to Bruce Steinberg, M.D., specialist in upper extremities. “What drove me to Dr. Steinberg is that I was in agony. I could barely use my arm. I had returned to the first surgeon who told me my only option at that point was to have a total shoulder replacement. As a nurse, I know that shoulder replacement is a significant surgery. Unfortunately I no longer had confidence that he was going to be able to help me.” So Mr. Bartley turned to his primary care physician for a recommendation. “He said that I needed to go see Dr. Steinberg at JOI. He is the best.”

From the very beginning, Mr. Bartley appreciated Dr. Steinberg’s approach. “Dr. Steinberg was extremely professional. He was not condescending of the other doctor but very diplomatically and honestly described what was happening with my shoulder. He showed me the x-ray, and explained that my shoulder was out of place by almost a full inch.” Mr. Bartley goes on to say that while he was angry that his earlier surgeries had worsened his condition, he gained solace and comfort in the plan that Dr. Steinberg proposed. “Dr. Steinberg explained that while it was not going to be easy, he felt confident that he could help me without having to replace my entire shoulder.”
Upon examination and testing, Dr. Steinberg diagnosed Mr. Bartley with a massive rotator cuff tear. Dr. Steinberg performed a right shoulder arthroscopy, with extensive debridement of glenohumeral joint arthritis, subacromial decompression, removal of foreign material and revision of a rotator cuff massive, scarred tear.
Mr. Bartley is delighted to report that just three days after the surgery performed by Dr. Steinberg, his pain level was decreasing. “As a nurse, I know that is significant, because there is always post-surgical pain. Obviously Dr. Steinberg had given me the surgery that I needed, and had done it well.” Now, after following a protocol of physical therapy, Mr. Bartley has no pain, is back to having full motion of his arm and his arm strength has returned. He is happy to say that this is the best he has felt in 30 years. 

“After the unsuccessful surgeries I had prior to becoming a patient of Dr. Steinberg, I remember telling my friends that if this doesn’t work, I just wanted to get to the point where I could allow my wife to rest her head on my shoulder. Thanks to Dr. Steinberg, my wife is back to making ‘honey do’ lists, and I’m back to being able to complete everything she asks! If I could say one thing to Dr. Steinberg it would be: ‘Thank you. Thank you for giving me back my life when others could not.’”

– George Bartley

New Grandpa Gary Kovar Can Now Toss A Football and Throw Grandchildren in the Air Thanks to Shoulder Surgery Performed by Orthopedic Doctor Bruce Steinberg

In January of 2012, Dr. Bruce Steinberg performed a complicated shoulder surgery on Mr. Gary Kovar. The surgery was particularly complex because it involved a latissimus dorsi rotation flap transfer, which is essentially transplanting a portion of muscle from Mr. Kovar’s trunk to repair the massive tearing of his shoulder muscles. Following are Mr. Kovar’s words about his experience.

I had a full tear of my shoulder cuff. I did have a reasonable range of motion but I was unable to lift anything that weighed more than one pound above my shoulder. I could not throw a football. I am a fairly new grandpa and I am so proud of my three grandsons: an active 11-year old, an always on the go 2-year old and a one year old who likes it best when he is being held. Fortunately, I was able to hold the younger grandsons on my good side, my left side; yet, I couldn’t toss them in the air, or lift them above my shoulder. There were many times where I just watched the older grandson play catch with his dad knowing I couldn’t throw the football. I couldn’t swing a golf club.

The loss of strength was hard…I remember being on vacation with my wife and we were staying at a nice hotel with the amenities such as a nice, terry cloth robe hanging on hanger on the bathroom door. I went to lift it with my right arm (side with torn rotator cuff) and I could not lift it. I had no problem lifting with my left arm. I couldn’t lift a robe… Any home repair job that required holding something above my head I could not do. I couldn’t use a paint roller if I had to extend above my shoulder.

I have three brothers and no sisters. Early on our mother taught us how to do all of the inside chores: washing clothes, vacuuming, cleaning, cooking, sewing and even how to iron. In fact, I prefer to iron my own shirts. When I was done ironing and after the iron had cooled I could not put it away if I used my right arm because it required lifting the iron up above my shoulder. I didn’t have the strength to lift an iron.

There was intense pain when I slept on my stomach or on the injured shoulder side of my body, which meant I did not have a restful night. 

Upon examination and testing, Dr. Steinberg diagnosed Mr. Kovar with complete tearing of the right side supraspinatus and infraspinatus tendons (the rotator cuff) with marked retraction and atrophy. Mr. Kovar originally was sent to Dr. Steinberg by another orthpaedic surgeon who identified the non-repairable rotator cuff tear. Dr. Steinberg, assisted by Dr. Philip Hardy, performed a right shoulder arthroscopy with subacromial decompression, latissimus dorsi rotation flap transfer with repair of the rotator cuff. More from Mr. Kovar about his life post-surgery:

I can toss the football and I can toss grandchildren in the air. No problem in putting the iron away, either. I am back to being able to do home improvement work and I recently painted two rooms. I am so well pleased by my strength and my full range of motion. In fact, I have started to work on my golf swing.

It is now nearly 10 months after the surgery and the healing has come along just fine. It is important to work hard on your pre-operation physical therapy exercises so your body is better prepared for the healing. A must do is the post operation physical therapy. Because I worked hard my shoulder has healed very well.

Although I still have moments when I sleep where there is pain it is because I have slept wrong, which I understand is due to the ongoing healing with the shoulder being susceptible to aggravation. The good news is there are more nights when I am getting a good restful night of sleep.

When asked about how Mr. Kovar feels about the treatment he received by Dr. Steinberg, he responds as follows.

How does one say thank you for providing the treatment, the procedure that totally eliminated 12-14 years of pain before I would have been old enough to qualify for a full-shoulder replacement with an artificial shoulder?

How does one say thank you for giving me my arm back?

Each time I lift a grandchild or throw a football to a grandson my feeling is one of “Thank you, Dr. Steinberg!”

When asked about Dr. Steinberg’s strengths, and whether or not he would recommend Dr. Steinberg to others, Mr. Kovar shares:

I see three strengths — (1) wisdom (knowledge, experience, training, understanding); (2) compassion (listens, consideration, care for patient); and, (3) faith.

He can be fully trusted with your shoulder surgery. His gift is doing the surgery that can give you back the use of your shoulder.

Everyone I tell about my shoulder surgery – latissimus dorsi muscle and tendon transfer — I always tell them it only happened because Dr. Bruce Steinberg is a brilliant orthopaedic surgeon.

Dr. Steinberg is pleased to be able to offer the latissimus dorsi rotation flap transfer option to his patients. He is the only physician in the region with the proven expertise and experience to do so. 

– Mr. Gary Kovar

Until She Met Sports Medicine Doctor Bruce Steinberg, Athena Ballas Didn’t Think She Could Play Golf Again Due to Rotator Cuff Tear

As an avid golfer, Athena Ballas was extremely disappointed to learn from her doctor that she may not be able to play again, due to severe problems in her shoulder. She was even more disappointed that she would no longer be able to do the job she loved, a labor and delivery nurse. “My situation was rather unusual. Almost 10 years ago, I saw a doctor who relieved pain in my shoulder through a series of injections. I was able to continue to golf and perform my job. However, about 8 years later, I began to experience intermittent pain, as well as a clicking and popping sensation in my left shoulder when golfing. Sleeping on my left side became painful.” Ms. Ballas knew that something had changed, and so she met with a surgeon who told her that she required an “open” surgery, and that she would need to give up her physically demanding job and golf. “I was shocked and heartbroken. While I knew that my shoulder difficulties would no doubt increase over time, I certainly never expected to hear that I would have to give up two of my great loves.” A few days later, Ms. Ballas made the decision that she needed to more fully explore her options. A friend who was undergoing physical therapy at that time, asked her therapist, who is not associated with JOI, for a recommendation. “The therapist said I needed to get to ‘the best in town: Dr. Steinberg.’”

From the first moment of her initial appointment, Ms. Ballas connected with Bruce Steinberg, M.D, specialist in upper extremities. “He reminds me of the way I practice nursing. He’s very conservative in his approach; he is an educator in that he wants his patients to understand the whole picture and he makes you feel as though you are going to work through it together.” After examination and testing, Dr. Steinberg diagnosed Ms. Ballas with a left shoulder rotator cuff tear. Ms. Ballas was very relieved when Dr. Steinberg told her that he could repair her shoulder, and that he would be able to do so arthroscopically. “I knew that my recovery would be easier if he didn’t have to make an open incision.” While Dr. Steinberg did not promise that she would be able to resume her golf, he knew he could help her to return to the job she loves. 

Dr. Steinberg performed a left shoulder massive, frayed, old retracted rotator cuff tear repair and acromioplasty. Ms. Ballas is quick to point out that her recovery was “not a bed of roses”, but that she followed Dr. Steinberg’s post-operative instructions to the letter. “Dr. Steinberg made it very clear, prior to my surgery that my therapy was going to be crucial in my recovery. If I was told to do six repetitions of an exercise, I didn’t do five, I didn’t do seven, I did six.” She believes that having a realistic understanding of what to expect prior to her surgery, and closely following Dr. Steinberg’s instruction, is what has helped her to recover. She also thinks that Dr. Steinberg’s conservative approach to recovery is part of what lends itself to his stellar reputation in the medical community. “I would guess that Dr. Steinberg’s patients have a much lower incidence of repeat surgeries, not only because of his skill as a surgeon, but also because he is adamant that thorough, structured therapy is critical to giving patients the very best opportunity for healing.”

Ms. Ballas could not be more satisfied with her outcome. “The day Dr. Steinberg cleared me to go back to work, I was so happy. And while I never mentioned that it was a priority for me, I am thrilled to be able to play golf again.” In fact, Ms. Ballas shares that the first time she played a full 18 holes, she shot an 82, “…not too shabby after having undergone shoulder surgery!” Ms. Ballas happily recommends Dr. Steinberg to others. “I wouldn’t recommend anyone other than Dr. Steinberg. He is committed to providing his patients the best possible chance to get better, and it’s apparent in every aspect of his practice.”

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– Athena Ballas

After Falling and Dislocating Her Shoulder, JoAnn Jenkins Could Not Drive or Perform the Simplest Daily Activities

JoAnn Jenkins loves animals and a favorite past time was horseback riding. Unfortunately, such activities came to a halt the day she fell at home and suffered an injury, dislocating her left shoulder. She went to the emergency room where she underwent a relocation maneuver of the shoulder. However, she continued to experience numbness and tingling, as well as weakness of her arm. “People around me could see that I hurting. But what they didn’t seem to understand was that I truly could not move my arm. It wasn’t a matter of being unwilling to ‘push through the pain’. My arm was incapable of function.” In fact, Mrs. Jenkins had to use her right arm to move her left. She could not drive, and the simplest daily activities were impossible. “I even had to miss Grandparent’s Day at my grandchild’s school. For me, that’s a big deal.”

Mrs. Jenkins scheduled an appointment with Bruce Steinberg, M.D., specialist in upper extremities. “It meant so much to me that someone looked me in the eye and acknowledged that I wasn’t avoiding activity because I didn’t want to be in pain. He knew I truly could not move my arm.” Upon examination and testing, Dr. Steinberg determined that she had a very complex set of problems including a massive rotator cuff tear in addition to instability and an axillary nerve injury. During her appointments, Mrs. Jenkins always felt that Dr. Steinberg would take as much time as needed to ensure she understood her situation. He frequently used pictures to explain. “I felt blessed to be treated compassionately, not only in his trying to heal me, but also in helping me to understand what was going on.”

Dr. Steinberg performed a left-shoulder arthroscopy with acromioplasty and a rotator cuff tear repair. “He was very upfront with me prior to my surgery and I appreciated his honesty. He didn’t sugar coat the situation. It helped me to have realistic expectations and also to know that I had responsibility for my recovery following the surgery.”

Hard work and determination in physical therapy was critical to recover functionality, which Mrs. Jenkins underwent for six months at the JOI Rehabilitation department. “I do not have pain anymore and am able to use my arm. I am grateful for all that Dr. Steinberg has done to help me.” Mrs. Jenkins is delighted to be back to enjoying activities with her grandchildren and precious pets. “I appreciate being able to actively participate in family fun, but also enjoying the quiet moments of cuddling with my cats. When I was injured, those simple pleasures were not possible.” Mrs. Jenkins credits Dr. Steinberg for giving her the opportunity to fully embrace and enjoy her life once again.

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– JoAnn Jenkins

Leigh Davis Thought She Needed Major Shoulder Surgery Until She Met Jacksonville Orthopedic Surgeon Dr. Bruce Steinberg

A little over four years ago, Leigh Davis was diagnosed with a right side torn rotator cuff. She underwent a rotator cuff repair, performed in a traditional, open-surgical style, as well as physical therapy. After a very lengthy recovery period, Mrs. Davis assumed her problem was resolved. She didn’t have full use of her arm, but concluded that this was the natural outcome of undergoing major shoulder surgery. As a logistics technician for a major corporation in town, Ms. Davis has a heavy daily workload of data entry, filing and other activities that require the ability to use her arms. Doing her job became increasingly difficult as the pain worsened and function decreased.

At about this time, Mrs. Davis’ husband had some problems that were treated at Jacksonville Orthopaedic Institute. Mrs. Davis was impressed with the care her husband received and determined that she needed to have her shoulder re-examined. She is grateful that she found her way to Bruce Steinberg, M.D., specialist in upper extremities. “I was so happy to meet with Dr. Steinberg. He didn’t talk ‘medical’ to me; he was obviously interested to figure out what was going on with my shoulder, while wanting to ensure that I understood everything. He prepared me for what he thought was ahead.” Mrs. Davis was also impressed that Dr. Steinberg used pictures in his explanation. “The visualization made a big difference for me. For the first time, I was able to see what was going on, rather than having to try and imagine it.”

Dr. Steinberg diagnosed Mrs. Davis with a split rotator cuff, and attempted to treat her initially through a conservative approach of injections. Unfortunately, she was unable to gain enough relief, so he performed a right shoulder arthroscopy to fix the malfunctioned repair Mrs. Davis had undergone previously. Key to this procedure was that Dr. Steinberg was able to do the surgery arthroscopically, thus allowing Mrs. Davis a much reduced recovery period. “After what I experienced the first time around, I expected that I would have a lot of pain for a long time following my surgery, and that I would have to sleep in a recliner for weeks, cushioned by pillows. I was very pleasantly surprised this time around.”

Four days later, when Mrs. Davis returned for her first post-operative visit, she was delighted to report little to no pain. She was also extremely impressed that a therapist was included in her appointment. “I can’t tell you how much that meant to me. Clearly Dr. Steinberg was interested in my complete recovery, not just ensuring that I had a successful surgery. Dr. Steinberg, the therapist and I looked at my ‘before’ and ‘after’ pictures. Then Dr. Steinberg and the therapist laid out a clear-cut plan for my complete recovery. This was a very different experience from my first shoulder surgery, in a most pleasant way!”

Mrs. Davis’ experience with JOI’s Rehabilitation Department was equally good. Her therapists gave her great confidence and guidance, while at the same time making sessions fun. “The JOI therapists really were just fantastic—I can’t say enough good about them. I actually enjoyed going to therapy with them, and was just a little sad when I ‘graduated’!”

Now Mrs. Davis has resumed all of her normal activities at work and around the house. She recently helped to paint a room and even assisted her husband in installing a ceiling light fixture. “To be able to lift my arms above my head would have been impossible; to be able to do so for an extended period of time, unimaginable. I am beyond grateful to Dr. Steinberg.” When asked if she would refer him to others, Mrs. Davis is quick to respond: “I already have! Dr. Steinberg is a rare doctor who doesn’t make you feel like you’re a number or a dollar sign. You are an individual with real problems who needs help. Of course I am happy to recommend him to anyone.”

Read about Dr. Steinberg's Treatment Philosophy

– Leigh Davis

After Meeting Shoulder Surgeon Dr. Bruce Steinberg, Connie Lahey Rennie Has Regained Full Functionality of Her Arm and Has No Pain

Retired educator Connie Lahey Rennie describes herself as a “type-A personality” who has been treated by Bruce Steinberg, M.D., for three different problems at various times: numbness and tingling of her hands, a broken left wrist, and pain and weakness of her right shoulder. Mrs. Rennie believes that her active lifestyle, which includes intense exercise such as running, Pilates and weight training, has contributed to some of her injuries. During her workouts she always pushes her body to do more. However, after suffering these injuries, her quality of life was greatly diminished. “It got to the point where enjoying simple pleasures, such as a steak dinner out with friends, was impossible.”

Over the years, Mrs. Rennie has undergone multiple procedures, including a right-sided endoscopic carpal tunnel release and surgery for a left wrist comminuted fracture. In each case she followed Dr. Steinberg’s post-operative instructions, recovered quickly, and was able to get back to her normal active lifestyle.

Mrs. Rennie’s most recent surgery for a tear of the right shoulder rotator cuff was preceded by pain and loss of function. “There was no specific point to which I could attach a place and time to the injury, but I consider it a pretty good guess that it was in the gym, lifting from a weight machine. Eventually, I could only raise my arm about a quarter of the way. I had to use my left hand to put the right arm in various positions.” Finding a comfortable sleeping position was difficult. Mrs. Rennie blamed the situation on overwork and thought that rest and limiting exercise would help. After about a month she realized that she was not improving and scheduled a consultation with Dr. Steinberg.

Upon examination and testing, Dr. Steinberg diagnosed a rotator cuff tear and performed a right shoulder arthroscopy. As with Mrs. Rennie’s other surgeries, her improvement did not end in the operating room. She undertook a ten-week course of physical therapy and credits the extraordinary rehabilitation division of JOI for her complete recovery. Her therapist was committed to helping her to achieve maximum usage of and comfort for her shoulder. Mrs. Rennie admits that she wanted to do more and push herself harder, but her therapist guided her at a constant and appropriate rate that led to yet another successful outcome. At this point, Mrs. Rennie has regained full functionality of her arm and has no pain. She can now sleep in any position, including on her back. “This has been a life saver in disguise as I have developed sleep apnea, and it is best for me to sleep this way.”

“Dr. Steinberg’s ability to take a human body part and put it back into working order is well documented. I understand he has been called upon to teach other surgeons, which speaks volumes.” In fact, Dr. Steinberg was recently selected to serve as a Master Instructor in shoulder arthroscopy, where he teaches advanced arthroscopic techniques to orthopedic surgeons from around the world at the prestigious Orthopaedic Learning Center in Rosemont, Illinois.

As an individual dedicated to fitness who wants to understand how her body works, Mrs. Rennie appreciates that Dr. Steinberg has consistently been forthright in their conversations. She always understood what would occur with her surgeries and what would be required for her recovery. “He is not condescending, but speaks straight forward with all the facts.” Furthermore, Mrs. Rennie feels that Dr. Steinberg is attuned to what she required as a patient. “He is sympathetic to the needs of the individual and exhibits a delightful sense of humor. I cannot imagine that my three operations and consequent recoveries would have been the same with another surgeon. I have joined the ranks of many, many people who are thankful to Dr. Steinberg and his dedicated staff.”

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– Connie Lahey Rennie

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.”

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– Fred Butts

Jacksonville Orthopedic Doctor Bruce Steinberg Treats Patients Suffering From Elbow Arthritis

Joe Schmalzried, an active, “always on the go” kind of guy, participates in athletics and enjoys working at a golf course. Unfortunately, several years ago he suffered a radial head fracture of his right elbow after a 22 foot fall. Since the time of that injury, he experienced ongoing problems with his right elbow but the discomfort was never enough to prevent him from participating in the sports he loves. That is, until one day while doing yard work, his right elbow locked up. The pain was great enough that Mr. Schmalzried could barely move his arm. “I’m the kind of guy who likes to be busy; golf and bowling are some of my favorite activities. However, after my elbow locked up, the pain kept me from doing much of anything.”

It was at this time that Mr. Schmalzried went to see Bruce Steinberg, M.D. Upon examination and testing, Dr. Steinberg diagnosed Mr. Schmalzried with loose bodies in the right elbow as well as arthritis throughout the elbow joint. Dr. Steinberg recommended a right elbow arthroscopy.

“With the elbow problems, I have seen a lot of doctors over the years. Dr. Steinberg handled our meeting just right. He broke down my condition and the procedure into simple layman’s terms. I understood what he was saying and how it related to my body. I also knew what to expect after the surgery.”

Fortunately, Mr. Schmalzried recovered quickly, and he did not require any physical therapy. He has been able to resume and enjoy all of his normal activities. “Dr. Steinberg gave me new life in the elbow. I have complete range of motion in the arm, and anything I ask it to do, it does.” Mr. Schmalzried continues to say that he could not be more satisfied with the care he received from Dr. Steinberg. “The outcome was much better than I ever expected. I am 110% happy with the operation and I gladly recommend Dr. Steinberg to anyone who needs an exceptional orthopaedic surgeon--one who is skilled, both in the operating room and also in communicating with patients.”

– Joe Schmalzried

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.