September 4, 2019

Patient undergoes a torn rotator cuff surgery

Patient Stories | Shoulder

Illinois native, Jon Bryan enjoys working out on a daily basis to stay fit. Occasionally, he likes to switch up his routine by incorporating new exercises to help work different muscles.

In December 2016, Jon fell down a short flight of ice-covered concrete stairs while leaving his home. He extended his arm in an attempt to catch his fall, but pain immediately took over his shoulder when he landed.

Jon’s frequent changes in his workout routine would now be replaced with a new challenge.

Jon tried to ignore the pain in his shoulder; thinking he could push through it and recover on his own. He could still use his arm and shoulder, but certain movements triggered sharp and brief immobilizing pain.

As time went on, the pain became more frequent and unbearable. It wasn’t until about 10 months after the accident that Jon decided he needed professional help.

Jon knew he had made a mistake by waiting to seek care. “In fact, I foolishly put off taking action, unwittingly contributing to further damage of my shoulder,” said Jon.

A friend of Jon’s wife, Connie, recommended he visit OrthoIndy to have his shoulder evaluated. Even though Jon lives in Illinois, he knew it was worth making the trip to OrthoIndy.


Jon made an appointment with sports medicine physician, Dr. Troy Roberson, who determined that Jon had severely torn his left rotator cuff.

“A rotator cuff is a group of muscles and when they become detached, the muscle can begin to wear away and the tendon can continue to pull back from the attachment site,” said Dr. Roberson.

Dr. Roberson determined that waiting 10 months for treatment made Jon’s injury worse. “Due to the size of the tear combined with the degree the tissue had pulled back from the attachment site, we questioned whether the tear would even be repairable,” said Dr. Roberson. 

Rotator cuff tear treatment options

Dr. Roberson and Jon discussed the pros and cons of his surgery. The decision to proceed with a rotator cuff repair surgery was decided based on Jon’s personal goals. “Based on the severity of the tear, I was worried if repair was even achievable,” said Dr. Roberson. “Fortunately, we were able to use a few advanced arthroscopic techniques to free up the tissue and achieve a successful and stable rotator cuff repair.” 

After torn rotator cuff surgery

Jon was eager to get back to his normal workout routine. “Jon liked to show his range of motion and strength early in the recovery process and we had to remind him that despite being able to put the tissue back where it belongs, it takes time to fully heal,” said Dr. Roberson. “He continued to work hard throughout his recovery.”

Jon was pleased with his experience at OrthoIndy. “My experience at OrthoIndy was most impressive from the initial reception and examination, through the procedure itself and subsequent follow-ups,” said Jon. “The careful attention and expert performance by Dr. Roberson was amazing.”

Now, Jon is excited to get back to his daily routine. “Today, I feel as though I’m back to normal without pain or limitation in the use of my arm and shoulder,” said Jon. “I have already undertaken tasks that would have been impossible previously. I plan to get back to my daily regimen of physical exercise.”

Since Jon has fully recovered from his rotator cuff surgery, he has seen Dr. Roberson for his opposite shoulder. “In this case, we were able to pursue simple conservative care and get a similar great response,” said Dr. Roberson. “There are situations where it is time to act with delay and other times when the more conservative approach is most appropriate. Being able to see each come together for the right problem, at the right time and for the right individual situation is one of the more rewarding things about being an orthopedic surgeon.”

Jon is pleased with the care he received and would recommend OrthoIndy to anyone. “I would strongly encourage anyone who has suffered serious injury or damage to their shoulder to seek the remarkable benefit of what I have enjoyed at OrthoIndy through Dr. Roberson,” said Jon. “Even an out-of-state insurance adjuster at a well-known health carrier informed me that OrthoIndy is one of only two providers in Indiana that they recommend in the region.”

To schedule an appointment with Dr. Roberson please call 317.802.2477 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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