April 23, 2020

Patient finds relief at OrthoIndy after a misdiagnosis

Patient Stories | Shoulder

Diane Davis was walking around her house when she slipped on her wet tile and heard a “crack” in her left shoulder. In extreme pain, she immediately went to the ER. The ER technicians diagnosed her with a dislocated shoulder. They gave her a sling to treat her shoulder pain and said to contact her family physician if she had any other issues. She went home discouraged and feeling fairly confident she was misdiagnosed.

Diane enjoys working out and traveling with her husband and felt like those things were now impossible with the pain she felt. The next week, she was forced to put her dislocated shoulder back into place two more times. 

When should I see a doctor for a shoulder injury?

Diane decided to make an appointment with her spine and joint physician. She got an MRI a few weeks later, and it showed what was actually causing her shoulder pain. Diane has suffered a torn labrum, bankart lesion and a broken humerus with two bone fragments floating in her armpit.

Her physician made her an appointment with an orthopedic surgeon in northern Indiana where Diane is from, so her condition could be assessed, and they could make a recovery plan.

Diane met with the surgeon but wasn’t impressed with his bedside manner. When he informed her the bone fragments would not be able to be reattached to her humerus, and she would never be pain free again, she decided to leave and not return.

“He said half of the top half of my humerus was missing and that would make it difficult to re-attach my ligaments and tendons and repair my shoulder joint,” Diane said. “He said I would be disabled with only 60% range of motion to my left shoulder and wouldn’t be able to do the things I normally did. He stated I would have osteoarthritis the rest of my life. I would experience never ending pain. He said I would never recover from this trauma.”

How do I choose a shoulder surgeon?

Diane had hope in a solution to find relief for her shoulder pain. She wanted a second opinion from a surgeon who believed in her case. This determination led her to look online, and she stumbled onto OrthoIndy’s website. 

“I was elated to see how many surgical specialists they had for every part of the body,” Diane said. “They had countless shoulder surgeons and many of them had won the ‘Physician of the Year’ award. I was highly impressed that OrthoIndy was built by physicians, owned by physicians and ran by physicians.”

After all of the positive things she saw online, she wanted to find a shoulder specialist who would be right for her. Then, she read about OrthoIndy knee and shoulder surgeon, Dr. Jeffrey Soldatis.


How do you know if you need shoulder surgery?

Dr. Soldatis suggested arthroscopic surgery with bankart and rotator cuff repair since Diane wasn’t getting better under treatment elsewhere.

“When I told her I thought she had a repairable injury, she immediately had an ‘A plus’ attitude and said ‘OK, let’s get this done,’” Dr. Soldatis said.

Diane had a wonderful experience from start to finish on the day of her surgery. She felt like everyone she met loved their job and cared for her as a patient.

Before she went in for surgery, she experienced an allergic reaction from a relaxant medication. Because of this, they reserved a surgery suite just for her.

She appreciated the extra measures the anesthesiologist and Dr. Soldatis took to make sure her reaction didn’t happen again. She also appreciated Dr. Soldatis and the two anesthesiologists’ senses of humor in a time when she felt uncertain.

“As I entered the surgery suite, they were all standing in a row and had huge grins on their faces saying, ‘Hi, Diane,’” Diane said. “That is the last thing I remember before coming to.”

What should you expect with arthroscopic shoulder surgery?

Dr. Soldatis said Diane had injuries in two areas of her shoulder. Her injuries were in the front of her socket, and there was a small tear in her rotator cuff. Diane underwent arthroscopy with bankart and rotator cuff repair.

“Due to advances in arthroscopic techniques and implants, we were able to address both problems in one surgery,” Dr. Soldatis said. “This meant only one trip to the operating room!”

Diane’s surgery went well but since she was coming from South Bend, Dr. Soldatis told her to stay in town for a few days. When you have shoulder surgery, they place a pain port in your shoulder, and some people have issues removing it. 

Diane and her husband stayed in a hotel for a night. She was impressed that she received a discount for being an OrthoIndy patient.  

What is the fastest way to recover from shoulder surgery?

Diane’s determination to put in the work for recovery has paid off. She got back to work within two weeks and took her dog for a walk just three days post-surgery.

Dr. Soldatis directed her to perform her physical therapy at-home. The physical therapy plan began two weeks after surgery and continued for about four months. She wore a sling to protect her shoulder from any type of motion. Additionally, Diane was not allowed to drive for six weeks.

“I had 12 weeks of physical therapy, and it wasn’t until I had 8 weeks of therapy under my belt that Dr. Soldatis let me start to slowly work my way back to the gym and pool,” Diane said.

Now almost a year post surgery, Diane is doing terrific. She is back to a lot of the activities she loves and is so grateful she decided to get a second opinion for her shoulder pain.

Swimming, cycling and an excellent range of motion (ROM) are just the beginning of her recovery journey. She hopes to return to her pre-injury workouts and swimming level, as well as being able to travel with her husband more.

Diane’s ability to return to work and an active lifestyle so quickly impressed her friends and husband. Several of them are considering traveling to OrthoIndy for their own orthopedic needs after seeing Diane’s recovery.

Diane recommends OrthoIndy to anyone looking for orthopedic care. 

“It is the best facility, best surgeons, and best treatment and outcome by far!” Diane said. “No comparison to anything near South Bend. They are amazing and will give you the best outcome available. I am so glad we decided to go to OrthoIndy, the 5-hour round trip drive was worth the outcome. I am a lifetime fan!”   

To make an appointment with Dr. Soldatis, please call 317.569.2515 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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