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Joseph Twardy

Annandale, NJ

I initially tore something in my right shoulder lifting weights when I was 20. Back then, the doctor sent me to therapy and on my way. The therapy didn’t work. I lived with pain that progressively got worse until I was 45 and decided to get something done in 2001. I had my first rotator cuff repair at a local hospital. The doctor said the tendon was torn for a long time and was retracted and difficult to repair. I recovered but fell in 2004 and tore the rotator cuff again. Had it repaired with the doctor not giving me much hope that it would last very long. It tore again in 2006 and I was told by two different doctors that it was not repairable. Over the next thirteen years I lived with my shoulder being immobile and painful. Over that time my shoulder got progressively worse with the arm slowly migrating upward until I could not lift my arm at all. To do anything overhead I had to swing my arm up and try to hold it. I read about the reverse shoulder arthroplasty (RSA) for many years but wanted to wait until some of the initial problems were worked out. So finally I decided to get it done in 2019. I did some research as I wanted the best doctor at the best hospital for orthopedics. I decided on Doctor Gulotta at HSS. I went to see him with my MRI in hand. As expected, he told me my rotator cuff was completely gone and my humerus had migrated upward. He initially said he could perform the RSA but felt my deltoid muscle was damaged and lacking. He said I probably would be able to lift my arm and perform some basic functions. I figured that was better then what I had and didn’t want to live the rest of my life with a totally immobile and painful shoulder. So on May 30, 2019 I had the procedure performed at HSS. The operation went smoothly and less than 90 minutes. The recovery and therapy was very painful as I adjusted to my new shoulder and used muscles I hadn’t really used much in 10 years. After about 4 months I got in a routine of exercising with very light weights and lots of reps to get the blood flow into my shoulder. Now after 8 months I can say I am extremely happy with the miracle Doctor Gulotta and HSS performed on my shoulder. My shoulder is not perfect, but I have good range of motion and strength with minimal pain. The results of the RSA is more than I expected. I will be very careful not to ruin the great work done by Doctor Gulotta.