Kyle Karpiscak | Florida Orthopaedic Institute
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Kyle Karpiscak

Orthopedist or Podiatrist

Orthopedist or Podiatrist: Who to pick?

By | You Should Know...

Orthopedist or Podiatrist? When it comes to foot and ankle problems, many people are left wondering which kind of doctor they should see. With so many kinds of physicians out there, the decision can seem daunting. Two common types of foot and ankle doctors that patients come across are podiatrists and orthopedists. But what’s the difference?

Podiatrist

A podiatrist is a Doctor of Podiatric Medicine (DPM). Podiatrists undergo specialized training to only treat disorders of the foot and ankle. They receive four years of medical training at an accredited podiatric medical school, gaining specific training on the foot, ankle and lower leg. Podiatrists also take three to four years of foot and ankle surgical residency training.

Orthopedist

An orthopedist can be a Doctor of Medicine (MD) or a Doctor of Osteopathic Medicine (DO). These doctors are trained to treat the musculoskeletal system. They are not limited to just one part of the body. Our surgeons are all fellowship-trained meaning that, in addition to being experts in the musculoskeletal system, they have further experience in their subspecialties. Florida Orthopaedic Institute surgeons specializing in Foot and Ankle are fellowship-trained in the Foot and Ankle subspecialty.

The foot and ankle surgeons at Florida Orthopaedic Institute are well-respected fracture specialists, managing the most complex of these problems with a national and international reputation. Many of the devices used to treat these injuries (plates, screws and intramedullary nails) were developed by members of the team. This expertise is unique in the region and allows for managing problems with predictable outcomes, as well as teaching others through courses, lectures, and publications.

While each doctor is different, orthopedic surgeons have a better general medical background and more surgical expertise. Some podiatrists do not do surgery or are not trained in the latest surgical techniques, while others are well trained to perform complicated reconstructive surgeries.

To learn more, read our page dedicated to further explaining the difference between orthopedists and podiatrists!

Dupuytren's Contracture

Dupuytren’s Contracture — Terri Hall Patient Story

By | Patient Stories

Terri Hall is the CEO of Doubletake Marketing & PR by Design, a full-service marketing, advertising and public relations firm. When she isn’t helping her clients establish their brands, she divides her time between working with non-profit organizations and enjoying her hobbies like making jewelry, golfing and yoga.

More than 10 years ago, Terri began feeling painful ‘nodes’ in the palm of her hand.

It kept me from enjoying my hobbies where I use my hands – which is just about everything I do. Anything from computer work, intricate jewelry making, yoga (downward dogs were miserable and put a strain on my wrists) and even wearing gloves. These were all challenges with my bent fingers.

Terri, left, celebrates a round of golf!

Terri was diagnosed with Dupuytren’s Contracture. Known formally as palmar fibromatosis, Dupuytren’s affects the hand, causing the fingers to contract and “freeze up” over a span of several years. After some unsuccessful treatments with her family doctor, she started doing her own research. That’s when she found Dr. Alfred V. Hess at Florida Orthopaedic Institute. Dr. Hess is an orthopedic surgeon specializing in hand and upper extremity disorders.

I just felt that he had extensive knowledge about hands and after researching him online, I thought my case was pretty mundane compared to some of the incredibly technical surgeries he’s performed. He never made me feel that my case was not important. We worked together to come up with a way to take a disease with no cure and manage it in the best way possible.

While there are no known cures for Dupuytren’s, both non-surgical and surgical approaches are examined and discussed with the patient. More often than not, steroid injections and collagenase injections (like Xiaflex) prove to slow the progression of the disease. However, surgery is often sought when Dupuytren’s prevents one from completing daily tasks.

When my disease finally did reach the point where surgery was my best option, I was well informed by Dr. Hess and his physician assistant, Tony, about the procedure and what to expect.

Terri, right, enjoys making her own jewelry. Dupuytren’s made enjoying her hobbies a lot more difficult.

Terri underwent outpatient hand surgery. She was home recovering the very same day. Thanks to the instructions of her care team, Terri was on her way towards fast healing!

The best thing to do is listen and follow the post-op instructions. Get yourself moving and healing the best way possible. If they tell you to do exercises, do them. If you need to wear a splint to keep your fingers ‘trained’ to be straight – do it. Your outcome is only as good as your follow through.

After conducting her own research led her down the path towards recovery, Terri advises everyone to do the same. Find someone who knows about your condition and get yourself a doctor that specializes in it.

I would research who specifically knows your condition and get a good doctor that specializes in what you have. I feel so fortunate to get Dr. Hess with a team that knows what they’re doing and feel confident recommending them to anyone that would have a condition like mine or any hand issues that require a true professional.

Dr. Alfred V. Hess, hand and upper extremity orthopedic surgeon.
running tips

Running Tips: Racing into 2020

By | You Should Know...

With the New Year right around the corner, many are planning to start the new decade off running! Whether your goal is to run faster, further or to simply start running, it’s important to have a game plan to begin the year right.

Training Plan

You’ll need to determine how much you’ve run in the past and how much you plan to run moving forward. This is always the best place to start so that you can set sufficient goals for yourself. You’ll be able to see if you’re progressing too quickly, which may result in overexertion, or not progressing fast enough.

Decide how many days a week you want to run. You should run at least two days a week to maintain progress and at least three days to increase. You shouldn’t run more than six days a week, giving yourself at least one rest day. Plan according to your own schedule to ensure you have enough space to progress.

If you increase speed, don’t increase mileage. If you increase mileage, don’t increase speed.

Check out this video on the 10% Rule featuring Dr. Adam C. Morse! Dr. Morse is an orthopedic surgeon specializing in sports medicine.

Rest and Recovery

Leave at least one day a week for recovery. The harder you work, the more you need to recover. You don’t necessarily have to stop working altogether, but you can substitute a particularly strenuous day of running with an easy walking or jogging day. Cross-training is also recommended to prevent overuse injuries.

Hydration

The amount of water you should drink during a training session depends on a few variables that you should take into consideration. You should be aware of the temperature where you’ll be running, the humidity level and the time and distance of your run. Dr. Morse recommends drinking at least 16 ounces of water 2 hours before running. While you’re running be sure to drink between 4-8 ounces every 15 minutes.

Want to see more Running Tips? Watch our videos below with Dr. Morse as he stays Keeping You Active!

Bloomingdale Lady Bull Takes Leadership Role by the Horns

By | Athlete of the Week

Tampa, Fl. – December 27, 2019 – Florida Orthopaedic Institute (FOI) is proud to announce Alyssa McDonald from Bloomingdale High School as the ‘Athlete of the Week’ for the week ending December 27, 2019.

McDonald was nominated by her soccer coach, Nikki Porter, for her game-winning efforts on the field and her involvement within her team and in the community.

“Alyssa exemplifies all qualities of a true competitor,” said Porter. “She is a big asset to the Bloomingdale Lady Bulls’ Soccer team. Alyssa leads by example on the field of play, displays a great knowledge for the game of soccer and competes to her highest potential throughout each match. In a district game, Alyssa scored the game-winning goal to help the Lady Bulls come out on top with an important win. Not only does Alyssa excel on the field, but she also demonstrates these characteristics off the field. Alyssa gives her all in the classroom maintaining a GPA of 4.8 and she has also collected 107 hours of community service.”

A dual-sport athlete, the multi-talented McDonald proudly gives herself a substantial workload. She feels an obligation to show others that success is earned with the proper mindset.

“Ever since freshman year, I have been an accomplished student-athlete because of soccer, flag football, steering, NHS and Beta,” said McDonald. “I have always been motivated to do my best and to help others be the best they can be. I want to show everyone that we have the talent and desire to win every game and that if we aren’t winning, we will never give up.”

The best team is a team that functions as a cohesive unit. McDonald makes it her mission to ensure that each athlete is operating on the same level.

“As a senior and team captain, I have a responsibility to my teammates, coaches, and school to be an example and leader,” said McDonald. “I have to be a voice for the team as well as be the first to get on my teammates when we’re not getting it done. As a team, I know that we can do much more than we could ever do as individuals. My role is to make sure we never lose sight of that.”

The skill of a team is greater than the skills of each individual athlete. For a team to grow, each athlete needs to make a commitment to providing their talents to support one another.

“You have to help your teammates to be better than yourself to make the team succeed,” said McDonald. “Be yourself and set the example. Everyone knows when you’re faking it.”

Florida Orthopaedic Institute’s Athlete of the Week campaign is designed to focus on student-athletes, recognizing them for their hard work and dedication both on and off the field. The Athlete of the Week award can be earned by displaying one of the following characteristics:

Team Player: Athletes who are nominated for excellence in team play are chosen by a coach who feels the athlete does his or her best to put direction into action, makes a significant contribution to the team and continuously works to improve his or her skills, attitude and training.

Leadership: Athletes who earn the award in recognition of excellent leadership must exemplify strong relationship building skills, show excellent initiative and serve as role models for his or her peers.

To view previous award winners, please follow this link.

Florida Orthopaedic Institute

Founded in 1989, Florida Orthopaedic Institute is Florida’s largest orthopedic group and provides expertise and treatment of orthopedic-related injuries and conditions, including adult reconstruction and arthritis, chiropractic services, foot and ankle, general orthopedics, hand and wrist, interventional spine, musculoskeletal oncology, orthopedic trauma, physical medicine and rehabilitation, physical and occupational therapy, sports medicine, shoulder and elbow, and spine services among others. The organization treats patients throughout its surgery centers in North Tampa and Citrus Park, two orthopedic urgent care centers in South Tampa and Brandon, and 9 office locations in Bloomingdale, Brandon, Citrus Park, North Tampa, Northdale, Palm Harbor, South Tampa, Sun City Center and Wesley Chapel. For more information, please visit: FloridaOrtho.com and ‘like’ us on Facebook: facebook.com/Florida.Orthopaedic.Institute

Total Knee Replacement – Colonel Ron Rook

By | Patient Stories

57 Marathons and Still Running.

Ron Rook is a retired Colonel with the United States Marine Corps. As a child, he was extremely active, playing sports of all kinds and usually earning first place trophies in the process. Being physically fit and a well-trained athlete, he had the advantage when he first joined the Corps. Soon thereafter, Colonel Ron ran into a problem, although he’ll be the first to tell you that it was the best possible problem to have.

Colonel Ron Rook after finishing just one of his 57 marathons.

“I was very active all my life. I got married four years after I joined the Marine Corps and six months into it, for the first time in my life, I had all the food I could ever want. I gained ‘love weight’.”

Forty-one years ago, Colonel Ron made a decision that would forever change his life.

“During the Christmas holiday of 1968, I started running.”

And he never stopped.

“Ten years later, I ran my first marathon.”

By 2013, at 67 years old, Colonel Ron had finished 53 marathons including one 40-mile marathon on his 40th birthday and one 50-mile marathon. He had clearly developed a deep appreciation and love of long-distance running and the preparation involved leading up to running marathons. It was around this time that Colonel Ron noticed something looming.

“I started developing pain in my left knee and it affected my work performance as well as my home life. [Eventually], I wasn’t able to walk from one building to the next. I also wasn’t able to ride my Harley because it was 900 pounds and I’d have to keep it up with my leg.”

Colonel Ron needed solutions to his knee pain. He found them in Dr. Michael Miranda at Florida Orthopaedic Institute. Dr. Miranda is an orthopedic surgeon specialized in adult reconstruction and arthritis surgery of the hip and knee. After exhausting all conservative treatment options, Dr. Miranda told the avid runner that he would need a total knee replacement.

Colonel Ron Rook and Coach Mike Krzyzewski talk about knee pain and osteoarthritis.

In February of 2014, Colonel Ron had his left knee replaced and after his intensive rehab, he was ready to get back to running.

“I asked Dr. Miranda if I could run. He said yes, but that I should mix it up with jogging and speed walking. He gave sage advice.”

Colonel Ron used that advice and, on his newly replaced knee, was able to complete four more marathons by 2018, bringing his lifetime total to 57 completed marathons. Soon needing his other knee replaced, Colonel Ron has no doubts or concerns as long as he is in the care of Dr. Miranda.

Dr. Miranda was very professional, sensitive to my pain and did such an outstanding job on my other knee that I have been able to complete four marathons on it.

Request Dr. Michael Miranda by name and follow all his medical guidance. Make sure you do all the physical therapy that they advise you to do. You have to be disciplined, dedicated and driven to do all the required PT to fully recover and be normal again without any stiffness or pain. I was very fortunate to have Dr. Miranda.”

On October 25th, 2019, Colonel Ron was inducted into the Marine Corps Marathon Hall of Fame in Washington, D.C.. Established in 1976, the Marathon has hosted millions of runners since its inception. Colonel Ron was given the award for finishing 27 of 44 Marine Corps Marathons.

Colonel Ron Rook proudly holding his award after being inducted into the Marine Corps Marathon Hall of Fame.

Female Athlete Triad

By | You Should Know...

What are some differences between male and female athletes?

It is widely known that playing sports and getting enough exercise leads to positive benefits. Both male and female athletes alike experience healthier lifestyles than non-athletes, however Primary Care Orthopedist and Sports Medicine Specialist Dr. Jeff Sellman notes that there should also be a distinction made between male athletes and female athletes.

“It’s important to remember that males and females are quite different,” said Dr. Sellman. “Many of them play the same sports; often they play different sports. They are physiologically different. Their body chemistries are different, specifically from a metabolic and hormonal standpoint.”

What is the Female Athlete Triad?

When it comes to athletic health and performance, males and females do, in fact, operate quite differently. Females, specifically, experience a condition known as Female Athlete Triad. It’s a condition that is actually a combination of three other biological conditions.

“Female Athlete Triad is a condition that has been documented in literature and medicine for almost 40 years, but still not quite elucidated on how [three certain conditions] interact,” said Dr. Sellman. “[Female Athlete Triad] is three pillars, or three points of a triangle, that contribute to the overall health of a female athlete. That is caloric intake or energy expenditure which would be disordered eating; bone mineral density loss or osteoporosis or osteopenia; and amenorrhea which is a lack of the menstrual cycle.”

Could one variable influence another or could each condition develop separately from the others?

It’s important to note with the Triad, that certain symptoms or conditions do not always lead to the next sequential condition. For instance, disordered eating could directly lead to osteopenia in some female athletes. In other athletes, however, it could lead directly to amenorrhea.

“As the triangle would suggest, one condition can lead to another, but they all can actually come about on their own,” said Dr. Sellman. “The main basis of it, however, is that a lot of women, especially in sports, are body conscious such as in gymnastics, swimming and dance. They are aware of what they put in their bodies so often times they will restrict their calories or they will practice so much that they will expend too many calories. Without sufficient calories, women may lose a menstrual cycle and when that happens, they can lose the protective benefits of estrogen which are related to bone and other processes in the body.”

How would an athlete know if they had one or more conditions of the Triad?

Unlike an orthopedic condition, it may seem hard to determine whether or not a female athlete is experiencing conditions within the Female Athlete Triad. Dr. Sellman and other Primary Care Orthopedist and Sports Medicine Specialists at Florida Orthopaedic Institute are trained to look for non-orthopedic sports medicine issues like the Triad.

“We look to see if they have a history of shin splints, stress fractures or fractures in their feet,” said Dr. Sellman. “We commonly see this in ballet dancers. We ask them if they’ve had their menstrual cycle. If they have, we ask, “How many have you had in the last six months?” If you’ve had less than six or you’ve had very irregular cycles, then we will delve further into their eating habits. Often, what is interesting is that it’s not an actual eating disorder such as Bulimia. It’s rather a disordered eating where women are not taking in enough calories to meet the caloric expenditure. The last thing we always screen for is their birth control choices. When you are on a progesterone only birth control that can often lead to the pillars of the Female Athlete Triad.”

How are these conditions treated?

Again, unlike orthopedic conditions treatment options may not necessarily always involve the musculoskeletal system. Often, a mental health provider and other specialists may be called to work with the athlete in order to provide assistance.

“The treatment process is multi-disciplinary and multi-factorial,” said Dr. Sellman. “We have to get to the roots and elucidate what is actually going on. Maybe we need a mental health provider to talk about the disordered eating and body image. Talk to a nutritionist to see what exactly is being taken in. If necessary, a bone mineral density scan if, in fact, it is indicated that there are repeated shin splints.”

Dr. Jeff Sellman is a Primary Care Orthopedist and Sports Medicine Specialist at Florida Orthopaedic Institute.

Targeted Muscle Reinnervation (TMR): Diane Pollock

By | Patient Stories

In 2002, Diane Pollock had her left leg amputated due to severe osteomyelitis at 32 years old. Osteomyelitis is a bacterial disease in the bone that affects about two in every 10,000 people and, if untreated, can lead to the deterioration of bone tissue. Diane sought the help of a care team at Duke University.

“My treatment choices were either a straight leg fusion through the knee or an above-knee amputation,” Diane said. “So I chose the amputation.”

Diane taking her first steps at Duke University in 2002.

Although she lost her lower leg, Diane gained a second wind. She immediately got to work, knowing what would be required of her in order to make a full recovery.

“I quickly became aware of the self-discipline needed to maintain a good level of fitness in order to optimize all of the advanced prosthetic components that are available,” she said. “[I wanted] and active ‘new normal’ life.”

Diane quickly immersed herself into the world of adaptive sports. For three years, she was a sponsored athlete as she competed in competitive rowing. Diane obtained her United States Coast Guard (USCG) Captain’s license in 2011 and even became a member of the USCG Auxiliary in 2012. In the years that followed, however, Diane began to experience pain in her residual limb that made it difficult for her to wear her prosthetics.

Despite certain obstacles, Pollock attained her USCG Captain’s license and joined the USCG Auxiliary.

“By 2014, it was confirmed that I had a substantial sciatic neuroma at the distal end of my amputated femur,” she said. “My prosthetist and I continued to make changes within the prosthetic socket, with a larger and more pronounced relief pocket for the neuroma to travel into during the weight bearing phase of my gait.”

Throughout all the changes with her prosthetics, Diane was able to live as normal as she could while fighting through the pain due to her neuroma. Five years later, the pain worsened to the point where she knew she had to put an end to it once and for all.

Diane learning some balance drills at the Amputee Coalition of America’s annual conference in Boston, 2003.

“After an exhaustive six month search for the best qualified medical provider, I found Dr. Jason Nydick with Florida Orthopaedic Institute,” Diane said. “I had read the story about Dr. Nydick assisting with the reattachment of a teenager’s hand and I knew that the skill level and confidence required for such a surgery is immense. I also felt like his experience as a surgeon in a field hospital in Kandahar, Afghanistan was a good foundation.”

Dr. Jason Nydick is fellowship trained in hand and upper extremity surgery and is a member of the Orthopaedic Trauma Association (OTA). Within the last year, Dr. Nydick established the Reconstructive Limb Loss Clinic, a clinic that focuses a multi-specialty team approach on improving pain and function to patients who have upper or lower amputations.

Her new prosthetic socket! Saltwater proof with a gyroscope, accelerometer, computer processor and a hydraulic cylinder!

After a consultation with Dr. Nydick, Diane was recommended to undergo Targeted Muscle Reinnervation (TMR). TMR is a procedure developed by doctors at Northwestern University that reroutes the nerves that once controlled the amputated limb, eliminating pain and giving the remaining limb freedom to control the prosthesis.

“The evaluation was very thorough, with Dr. Nydick answering all of our questions without us feeling rushed,” Diane said. “I feel like Dr. Nydick is a very capable surgeon and a much needed care provider for amputees struggling with neuromas and the pain caused by them. Neuroma pain can make it impossible for an amputee to use his or her prosthesis no matter how advanced the components may be.”

Diane’s post-surgical outcome has been nothing short of amazing. Thanks to Dr. Nydick, her neuroma pain has completely gone away. Each day she gets closer and closer to returning to her boating, conducting boat charters and getting back to her water sports.

Pollock will never stop climbing to reach her goals. She is on a mission to advocate TMR for anybody that may be a candidate.

“Do not give up,” Diane said. “Simply giving up and accepting that ‘there is nothing you can do’ is not acceptable. I could not be happier with my decision to consult with Dr. Nydick and the treatment plan that we executed.”

Florida Orthopaedic Institute Announces New Primary Care Orthopedics and Sports Medicine Physician

By | Announcements, Our Physicians

Tampa, FL. – December 3, 2019 – Florida Orthopaedic Institute (FOI) announces the recent hiring of Dr. Reza Alavi to its practice of more than 40 fellowship-trained physicians. Dr. Alavi is a primary care orthopedist fellowship-trained in sports medicine.

“We are pleased to announce the addition of Reza Alavi, M.D. to our expanding roster of extraordinary primary care physicians at Florida Orthopaedic Institute,” said Dr. Roy Sanders, M.D., president, chief medical officer and founding member of Florida Orthopaedic Institute. “Our Sports Medicine Division welcomes Dr. Alavi and we are eager to care for even more patients in the realm of sports medicine.”

Dr. Alavi earned his medical degree in Shahrekord, Iran before completing his residency at Capital Health Regional Medical Center in Trenton, NJ. He later gained his fellowship in Sports Medicine at Bayfront Health Sports Medicine in St. Petersburg, FL.

“I am really excited to join Florida Orthopaedic Institute,” Dr. Alavi said. “It’s the largest orthopedic institute in Florida and has been a point of reference in orthopedics for decades. I am very grateful that they are allowing me this wonderful opportunity to pursue my beloved passion.”

Dr. Alavi is a member of numerous organizations including the American College of Sports Medicine and the American Medical Society of Sports Medicine. He has also been the team physician for multiple schools in Tampa and St. Petersburg including Keswick High School, Northside Christian High School, Eckerd College and University of South Florida.

Dr. Alavi began seeing patients on December 2 at the North Tampa, Citrus Park and Palm Harbor locations.

Youth Sport Specialization: What is it and What are the Risks?

By | You Should Know...

What is Sport Specialization?

In general, most might say that in order for an athlete to be considered ‘elite’ in a sport, they must start young and focus on that sport and that sport alone. Recent students, however, are showing otherwise. Currently, there is an increasing trend in young athletes (youth and high school) participating in what professionals call ‘sport specialization’. George Eldayrie, M.D., primary care orthopedist and sports medicine specialist at Florida Orthopaedic Institute, weighed in on the definition.

“When we talk about it in a broad sense, in the sports medicine world, there are different aspects of sport specialization,” said Dr. Eldayrie. “The biggest issue is kids specializing a little too early. We define that as when a kid is pushed into doing, or chooses on their own to do, just one particular sport or one position. Usually before the age of 12 is when they are considered specialized.”

What are the dangers?

Doctors and medical professionals alike are now conducting studies that show that young athletes specializing in one sport may actually be hindering their own performance. Experts are attributing an increased risk of injury to the lack of diversity in movements. In sports like tennis, baseball and even cross-country, the repetitive motions tend to neglect beneficial stress on other muscles and often leads to overuse injuries.

“If a kid is doing one particular sport or activity too much, they are at risk for overuse injuries and certain types of issues related to how their bones are growing,” said Dr. Eldayrie. “Most kids do better when they are involved in multiple different sports. Those athletes end up doing better in the long run. They become a little more athletic. They develop skills. They stress other joints and parts of their body to help adapt for other types of athletic success.”

Why is it so prevalent?

Across the board, sports medicine specialists say that youth sport specialization comes down to two main factors: culture and parenting. With an increasing glorification of professional sports, both athletes and their parents are hoping to achieve those same levels of success.

“Sports are such a huge part of the American culture,” Dr. Eldayrie said. “Eighty percent of kids who reach an elite level of sports think that they are going to go professional. Realistically, less than one percent of athletes are going to go professional.”

He continued, “I think there’s a movement where we are really pushing our kids a little too much and starting them a little too early. There is nothing wrong with that. It’s great to put your kid in a sport; there’s so many benefits to that, but it’s worthwhile to spice it up [and experiment with different sports].”

How can it be prevented?

Dr. Eldayrie is confident that data and further research will decrease the amount of youth athletes specializing in sports which, in turn, will lead to a decrease in overuse injuries and related conditions.

“[Again,] specialization is not a huge problem when you reach the elite level, but it’s more so the developmental stage. It’s the ten-year old playing baseball twelve months out of the year. Show them the proof. Yes, these injuries are happening more frequently and there is data to support that athletes are doing better when they aren’t sport specialized so early. As we continue to gather data, hopefully mindsets will change.”

Dr. George E. Eldayrie
Primary Care Orthopedist and Sports Medicine Specialist

Reverse Total Shoulder Arthroplasty: Richard Settle

By | Patient Stories

Richard Settle was a junior in high school when he injured his shoulder for the first time. During a wrestling match, his left shoulder tore out of its socket, rendering it dislocated. Every since then, Richard has been the unlucky host to a number of shoulder injuries with the surgeries to pair.

“In my early thirties, I had a Bankart procedure done,” Richard said. “[I had] a partial shoulder replacement roughly 15 years later. I would average a dislocation of the left shoulder at least four times yearly.”

His chronic shoulder pain eventually found him not being able to do simple tasks or even enjoy his hobbies. Without his full range of motion, Richard felt somewhat incomplete.

“I wasn’t able to lift my arm above my shoulder,” he said. “I couldn’t even hang a picture. As a guitar player, my left arm never had the strength to fully embrace the guitar neck. I always buried my elbow into my rib cage and that altered the way I play.”

After nearly 50 years, Richard was in desperate need of a doctor who could finally put an end to his shoulder pain, especially following the unexpected passing of his former surgeon.

“My only problem was that I knew I had the very best and now he is gone,” Richard said. “After all the time I had put in with this surgeon… How do I find another Dr. Oliver?”

With hope seemingly dwindling, Richard found relief in Dr. Christopher Baker, an orthopedic surgeon at Florida Orthopaedic Institute. Specializing in sports medicine, shoulder and knee repair, Dr. Baker was able to put Richard’s mind at ease with his experience and determined approach.

“[As a medical publications salesperson], I was aware of the reverse total shoulder surgery and knew I wanted this done,” Richard said. “But I really needed a crafts person behind the scalpel. Dr. Baker’s completely casual chat brought me in. He is honest with no surprises and no worries. He recommended the reversal and that’s when I knew I was home.”

Richard lived with shoulder injuries for over three decades. When he woke up from surgery, that familiar pain that traveled with him his entire life was gone. All of his aches, pains, worries and woes vanished. His surgery was a success.

With his mobility restored, Richard can now reach for the stars!

“Having experienced the intense pain of surgery many times, it was impossible to envision what Dr. Baker and his staff were telling me,” Richard said. “You do not need to rehabilitate as you did prior. You will not feel that level of pain and you will see wonderful improvement. I am not enjoying breaking my mind free of the image controlling a limited shoulder, now free to roam around as it sees fit.”

With a new lease on his shoulder mobility, Richard is forever thankful for the services provided by Dr. Baker and his staff.

“All the tools and advancements are wonderful however, in the hands of a master orthopedic surgeon such as Dr. Baker, the results are exponentially amplified.”