A true Italian-American New Yorker, Gary Candullo was born and raised in the Bronx. From running a Chrysler-Jeep dealership, constantly renovating homes to driving muscle cars, wave runners, boats and riding motorcycles, his arms were always working.
In April 2015, however, Gary started experiencing debilitating pain. He soon found himself in the hospital due to a staph infection in three of his joints: his left shoulder, left ankle and right knee.
“I was hospitalized for months and underwent multiple surgeries on each infected joint,” he said. “The infected shoulder was left with the most significant damage from irrigation, scraping and debridement. The arm forever fell out of its socket leaving me in excruciating pain. The rotator cuff had been severed completely, preventing me from raising my arm.”
The infection spread to his ankle and knee, resulting in multiple surgeries and placed him in a wheelchair, then walker. With the infection in his arm, not only was he unable to raise it, he couldn’t carry anything.
“Being in a wheelchair, I couldn’t wheel myself with only one arm. I struggled to go even a short distance or use the bathroom,” he said. “Daily activities like eating and cutting food were impossible. I even needed help showering and getting dressed. The pain was unbearable.”
Gary had a brilliant surgeon in New York, but was soon told that he could not provide further help. Gary was not nearly done with surgeries and his arm was completely immobile. He needed a joint replacement, but not just any replacement: a reverse total shoulder replacement.
Most surgeons at the time had never performed the surgery, but Gary was told by his doctor that the physician that developed the procedure and implant lived in Tampa, Florida. He had performed this procedure more than 2,000 times. This doctor was Dr. Mark Frankle.
“He was knowledgeable and decisive,” Gary said. “He calmly and quietly analyzed all the information and reassured us that he could be of help. He discussed the situation and professionally explained all the details, good and bad. There was much to consider, but Dr. Frankle didn’t even blink. Nothing seemed to scare him off!”
Surgery was scheduled and Gary got his new shoulder. Now in Florida, he needed to find replacements for all the other specialists he had in New York. Dr. Frankle was able to refer him to the best local physicians for each specialty, including an infectious disease doctor.
“My most recent visit with Dr. Frankle showed that the implant is exactly where it should be,” he said. “No change in four years. That’s perfection. We jokingly call him Dr. God, which is our way of saying he changed my life in ways I never thought I would need.”
“Whatever the orthopedic issue is, there are no better doctors, more efficient staff or choice than Florida Orthopaedic Institute. Since my shoulder surgery, I personally have seen doctors at FOI for knee, foot and leg issues stemming from my 2015 issues. We all recommend FOI. All of us are extremely happy with the process and our results.”