I am a very active person who had been living for several years with a bad shoulder after a fly-fishing accident. I was hoping the shoulder could heal on its own, but finally realized that it wouldn’t, and got an MRI. I was frustrated at how my shoulder joint would give out, cause pain, and I was becoming increasingly worried about how it would become an even bigger problem as I aged. The MRI showed a near complete tear of my subscapularis tendon and partial tear of my supraspinatus tendon. I took the MRI to Dr. Wulf
at TCO and two other highly regarded and experienced Twin Cities shoulder surgeons at prominent clinics.
The two other surgeons looked at the MRI and told me there was nothing they could do for me. They said the subscapularis muscle had atrophied too much to be surgically reattached. They both suggested PT and that at some point I may need either a complete shoulder replacement or surgery to graft some of my pectoral muscle in place of the subscapularis. Dr Wulf, on the other hand, was able to look at my MRI and see that while there was atrophy, there was still enough viable muscle to allow reattachment. He told me that even if only half of the muscle remained, reattaching the tendons and getting the tissues back in place around the joint would provide the stability I needed to regain performance and keep the shoulder from failing.
Dr. Wulf’s prognosis was what I wanted to hear, but I was still apprehensive given the two other opinions. I scheduled two additional appointments with Dr. Wulf where I inundated him with questions. He patiently answered them all, never wavered, and this encouraged me to put my faith in his knowledge, experience and surgical skill.
And he was 100% correct. I could tell early on in my recovery that this was an excellent repair, and that belief has only grown. After seven months, I am back playing tennis again. I can serve and stretch for a volley without hurting my shoulder. When I go to the gym, I can do flies without my shoulder giving out. I can throw a ball and a Frisbee normally. I can put a bike up on ceiling hooks in the garage. I can scoop hard ice cream with my right hand.
Dr. Wulf restored my shoulder. He was the only surgeon who had the insight and experience to see that reattachment surgery was a real possibility, rather than seeing only options of last resort. His surgical skill was evident in my quick, largely pain free recovery and my joint strength. I am grateful that because of his insight, experience, and skill, I am able to regain strength and performance and can continue doing the things I love.