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Russel Matson

Margaretville, NY
  • Russel Matson in the photo 1
  • Russel Matson in the photo 2
  • Russel Matson in the photo 3

My birth certificate says I'm 56, but I'm not buying it. My wife and I own and operate a golf course in the Catskill Mountains, and for fun I practice Japanese martial arts - I'm the only guy in my dojo to fight for his black belt after his AARP card was validated.

Unloading pallets of fertilizer, shoveling sand, and getting tapped out by shoulder locks and armbars - as well as the impacts of judo throws - eventually took a toll on my shoulders. I selected Dr. Lawrence Gulotta after carefully researching the shoulder specialists of HSS on the internet. A surgeon, yes, but one who often considers surgery as the alternative, rather than the primary, treatment.

We agreed to treat my dominant arm first with an ultrasound guided cortisone injection. That alleviated most of my symptoms, but when my left shoulder flared, Dr. Gulotta prescribed a course of physical therapy that almost got me through 2014. When I overdid the shoveling at the end of the golf season, we finally made the call to surgically repair the damage.

It's been six weeks since my surgery - I'm only 25% through Dr. Gulotta's thorough physical therapy prescription. The arthroscopy was performed so expertly that I never needed pain medication (even though it was prescribed). My therapist says I'm way ahead of schedule, but I'm not rushing things. Golf season begins in a month, and I'm back teaching martial arts (though I'm careful to follow one of our school's mottos "It's better to give than to receive"). I expect to come back stronger than ever thanks to Dr. Lawrence Gulotta and the great care I received at HSS.