Monday, July 25, 2016

Patient Story: Peter Gori

For patient Peter Gori, and others whose livelihood include physical activity, the occasional body aches and soreness are part of the job. Peter owns a landscaping business and therefore relies on his body to get the jobs done. But when that pain worsens, making movement difficult, it is time to seek professional help.
“I was never a ‘sit-down’ boss. My line of work causes me to rely on my body,” explained Peter, who was recently injured on the job. “I knew right away that I did something to my left shoulder, when I lifted a wheelbarrow filled with heavy debris.”
Peter is no stranger to shoulder or knee pain or Dr. Vitolo, who performed surgery on both Peter’s right shoulder and right knee in the past.
“When I tore the ACL in my right knee I met with Dr. Vitolo for a second opinion. After talking to him, I trusted him right away,” said Peter.
“Now after these surgeries, I wouldn’t trust anyone else. He is a phenomenal orthopedic surgeon who goes in and gets the job done.” 
 After an MRI showed significant injuries to his left shoulder, surgery was performed on May 10th. However, the damage was worse than expected. He had three tendons that were damaged: two rotator cuff tendons and the biceps tendon. Peter continues to recover and is hoping for the best.

Q & A with Dr. Vitolo

“Due to the amount of damage his prognosis was guarded. But Pete could not do his job or resume his active lifestyle with the current injury he sustained.” 
 What pain can be expected following surgery?
“Initially it can be significant, but after the first few days it typically becomes manageable. 
 What after care is expected?
“Usually physical therapy for 8-12 weeks. However, because of the size of Pete’s tear, his physical therapy will be longer.”  
 Who is prone to a torn rotator cuff?
“Individuals who perform repetitive lifting like landscapers and laborers, or those who perform overhead jobs such as electricians and carpenters.  People active in weight lifting and other overhead sports such as, tennis and throwing may also experience such injuries.” 
 How common are rotator cuff tears?
“There is a one in twenty chance of rotator cuff tears in the general population. The incidences of rotator cuff tears is increasing in women.” 
 Can rotator cuff tears be prevented?
“There is no known preventive measures other than not doing the activity.  However, Pete’s surgery went well in part because he was in good physical condition to start and he has a positive attitude toward his recovery.”
 Importance of a positive attitude
“Pete was determined to get better. He owns his own business, which depends on his mobility so he was highly motivated. In addition, his desire to remain active and involved in sports and coaching also contributed to his determination to get better.  
 This is Peter Gori’s third operation performed by Dr. Vitolo. According to the doctor, with each surgery Peter has exceeded expectations from his surgery, namely a faster recovery as well as better –than- expected function after such a severe injury.
“Over 90% of the time the surgery is successful in restoring function and decreasing pain,” added Dr. Vitolo.

Peter’s right knee and right shoulder are now pain free. He hopes for the same outcome for his left shoulder. He expresses his gratitude for the surgeries Dr. Vitolo performed and believes the doctor’s skill is the reason for his successful surgery and recovery.
“I feel ahead of the game because of the work Dr. Vitolo does. He is a true professional, said Peter. “He put me back together and allowed me to resume my life. It has been life changing and I am very grateful.”