June 3, 2019

Patient undergoes two rotator cuff tear surgeries

Patient Stories | Shoulder

Dan Postlewaite is a dynamic and active guy. Not only does his job involve a lot of manual labor and energy, but his unique hobbies also demand strength.

One of Dan’s hobbies is caber tossing, which requires competitors to toss a large tapered pole. The pole is usually over 19 feet long and weighs over 170 pounds. The objective is to toss the caber so that it turns end over end. Dan uses his strength to balance the caber against his shoulder and neck before tossing it away.

In November 2015 Dan’s dedication to his job and his hobbies were put at risk when he injured his shoulder while he was at work. Dan reached up to slow iron down that was being swung in by a crane too fast. Immediately Dan knew something was wrong when his shoulder was radiating pain.

Worried about being able to continue working and enjoy his hobbies, he made an appointment with Dr. Scott Gudeman, OrthoIndy shoulder specialist.

Dr. Gudeman determined that Dan had torn his rotator cuff.

“During Dan’s exam I could see he had some weakness around the rotator cuff,” said Dr. Gudeman. “The MRI confirmed the tear and I was able to determine the best treatment plan for him.”

A rotator cuff tear is a common cause of pain and disability among adults. A torn rotator cuff weakens the shoulder and makes daily activities painful or even impossible to do.

Rotator cuff surgery

Some rotator cuff injuries do not require surgery. However, if you are active and use your arms for overhead work, your physician may suggest surgery. Dan would need surgery if he wanted to continue his normal lifestyle.

“Dan is an active guy, both at work and outside of work due to his hobbies,” said Dr. Gudeman. “Arthroscopic rotator cuff repair would give him the best chance to return to that active lifestyle.”

Shoulder surgery recovery

Dan’s surgery went well and now he was on the road to recovery. After rotator cuff surgery, the affected arm is typically placed in a sling. Physical therapy is started within the first week to begin strengthening the shoulder and improving range of motion.

“A patient’s primary goal is to return to their pre-injury level of activity. When discussing surgery, I remind patients that rehabilitation after surgery, and their dedication to it, will be just as critical as the surgery itself,” said Dr. Gudeman.

Luckily for Dan, he was quickly able to return to work and resume his hobbies.

Injured again

But Dan’s journey with Dr. Gudeman wasn’t over. In February 2018, Dan slipped on a slick surface and tried to catch himself with his left arm. This time he knew where to go when he experienced shooting pain in his shoulder.

“I chose Dr. Gudeman and his staff again in 2018 because of the high quality of care I received in 2015,” said Dan. “Dr. Gudeman is awesome and very caring, along with his staff. They provided prompt service.”

This time Dan had torn his left rotator cuff. Once again, he would need surgery and a diligent recovery process to return to his normal activities.

“Dan is not only a good-natured guy who has a positive attitude but was very dedicated to the physical therapy after his surgery. I knew he would have a good outcome with his other shoulder as well,” said Dr. Gudeman.

Life after shoulder surgery

After undergoing another surgery and working through the recovery process, Dan is back to his everyday activities. Dan is looking forward to golfing with his wife and enjoying all his favorite hobbies.

“Above the professionalism, I felt that with Dr. Gudeman and his physician assistant Eric Frazier, along with the staff and personnel, I received the best care than any other medical facility has ever provided.”

To schedule an appointment with Dr. Gudeman please call 317.884.5161 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
Megan Golden

By Megan Golden

Megan is the current Marketing Team Lead at OrthoIndy. Megan graduated from Ball State University in 2012 with a bachelor’s degree in public relations and advertising and communications studies minor and has been with OrthoIndy since June 2012.

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