August 27, 2018

Artist continues painting after shoulder surgery

Patient Stories | Shoulder

On a snowy winter day Susan Kline was taking her dog Maggie to be boarded while her and her husband headed to Florida. Maggie is a rescue dog, part Golden Retriever and part Border Collie. Susan had Maggie on her leash and was walking to the door when Maggie took off.

“I was walking only about 100 feet to the door, when Maggie saw a chicken walking across the barn lot,” said Susan. “Needless to say, the Border Collie part of her kicked in and left me face down in the ice and snow.”

Susan was experiencing a lot of pain in her shoulder and headed to the nearest emergency room where she found out she had dislocated her left shoulder. Nonetheless, after having her shoulder put back into place in the ER, Susan headed to Florida. Her and her husband had plans to go to an art show, one of Susan’s passions, and visit some friends.

Relentless shoulder pain

While she was in Florida, Susan was still in a lot of pain, so she visited a local orthopedic clinic where an orthopedic physician encouraged her to make an appointment with a shoulder specialist right away.

Once she returned to Indiana, Susan made an appointment with OrthoIndy shoulder specialist, Dr. Jonathan Shook. She had met Dr. Shook’s mother-in-law and wife a few years earlier and they had bonded over dog rescues. Susan had even donated some of her own paintings to their cause.

Before Susan’s appointment, she was feeling downhearted. In the past couple of years not only had Susan lost her older sister to whom she was the caregiver, she also lost sight in her left eye. Susan is an artist, so this took a huge toll on her life. She used her art as a creative outlet to fight depression, from which she has suffered for over 20 years.

The shoulder injury was another setback.

“When I came to my first appointment at OrthoIndy it was then I got to meet with my future miracle worker,” said Susan. “I was greeted by a wonderful staff that I would get to know pretty well over the next few months. Dr. Shook was kind, compassionate and very understanding; something that I needed at this time in my journey. He explained everything in detail and put me at ease.”

Shoulder surgery

Susan needed shoulder surgery to relieve her pain.

“Susan had a massive tear in her shoulder. She had completely torn all parts of her rotator cuff,” said Dr. Shook. “Whereas most people tear one of the rotator cuff tendons, Susan had torn all three. This happens in less than 10 percent of all rotator cuff tears. As an artist, I knew that Susan would need full use of her arm, so we laid out our plan to make this happen. We were able to repair her entire rotator cuff through a minimally invasive arthroscopic surgery. This helped reduce Susan’s pain, scarring and recovery time.”

After surgery, Susan worked hard to recover and before too long, she was spending time kayaking and painting again.

Another setback

However, about a year later, Susan had another setback. She was setting up at an art show in Saint Louis and while standing on a stool to place her art in a display the stool sunk into the soft soil and sent Susan to the ground.

After another trip to the emergency room, Susan was told that she had likely torn her rotator cuff again; this time it was her right one.

“Back to my miracle worker,” said Susan. “Dr. Shook was surprised to see me, but I was assured that I was in good hands. It is so nice when you can trust a doctor and a surgeon. I had no worries, for I knew what I was in for. I was happy to see him and the staff…although I would have rather it be under different circumstances.”

Susan underwent another surgery and rehabilitation.

“When Susan tore her other rotator cuff I felt terrible for her. She had worked so hard to recover from the first injury. But I knew that Susan was up to the challenge again. It’s pretty hard to keep her down! I knew that if I did my part Susan would do hers,” said Dr. Shook.

Shoulder surgery recovery

Although Susan had more difficulty with her right shoulder being injured, since it was her dominant hand, she was determined to get back to drawing and painting. However, her hard work paid off. She’s back to setting up her art displays and enjoying her life.

However, Susan’s journey with OrthoIndy is not over yet.

“Since my two surgeries I have continued the rigorous physical life of an artist. Setting up tents and displays is not for sissies,” said Susan. “I have slowed down a little, but not because of my shoulders….but my knees. Yes, two new knees are in my future, beginning in 2018. OrthoIndy is still part of my life…but I get to meet a new miracle worker. Story to be continued.”

To schedule an appointment with Dr. Shook please call 317.569.2514 or learn more about shoulder treatment at OrthoIndy.

Schedule an appointment

Your well-being is important to us. Click the button below or call us to schedule an appointment with one of our orthopedic specialists. If your injury or condition is recent, you can walk right into one of our OrthoIndy Urgent Care locations for immediate care. For rehabilitation and physical therapy, no referral is needed to see one of our physical therapists.

Schedule an Appointment Call OrthoIndy 317.802.2000

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