Southern Oregon Orthopedics

Patient Stories

Submit your testimonial

Leonard's Massive Rotator Cuff Tear

Dear Dr. Denard:

I'm writing this letter to express my appreciation for your wonderful work and the successful surgery you performed to repair "a massive retracted tear to my left shoulder." I am grateful for your efforts and encourage you to feel free to share my story with future patients and colleagues.

My injury occurred when I took my dog, Jambo outside for his morning "duties". I tripped and fell forward catching myself with both arms to prevent slamming face first into these stairs.

Immediately, I felt intense pain on my left shoulder and knew I had injured myself. We drove directly to the emergency room in the Sacramento area. I was immediately taken into the x-ray room and advised by the emergency room doctor that I had a severe left shoulder injury.

In the next few weeks, I had an MRI and met with the Orthopedist at Kaiser. I was advised by the Doctor there that "your rotator cuff injury is very extreme and I am doubtful it can be repaired. It will be very difficult surgery and I am not optimistic the surgery will be successful. After extended conversation about the pros and cons of surgery and having limited use of my left arm I decided to pursue surgery in Sacramento. The post operation results relayed to me by the Kaiser Dr. were you have suffered "irreparable RCT." I proceeded to try to recover from a failed operation with little hope of recovering any significant future use of my left arm. I was trying to resign myself to live with a left arm that I would not be able to lift above my hip with minimal use of my left arm for lifting, driving, opening and closing doors, etc. etc.

After about 6 weeks of physical therapy, I was visited by phone by a close friend who lives in Medford, Oregon. My friend asked if I had obtained a second medical opinion on my shoulder diagnosis and treatment. He suggested seeing Dr. Patrick Denard, whose entire practice is focused exclusively on arm injuries. My friend said, Dr. Denard was highly regarded in the Medford Medical community for his skill and medical experience.

I contacted Dr. Denard to obtain a second opinion. Prior to my appointment I furnished him with my MRI, X-Rays, and medical records for his review. I drove the 450 miles to Medford to meet with him and at the conclusion of the 30-minute physical exam and meeting he advised, "I feel very confident I can do a successful surgery which will allow you to regain use in your left arm. However, I cannot at this time tell you the extent of your recovery but I can promise you will have more mobility and strength in your left arm than you have with your current situation".

The surgery went very well and in fact so well, I was released the same day and "Ok'd" to return to my residence in Roseville, California. Needless to say, I did not drive home, my daughter was kind enough to drive us back to Roseville.

After surgery, I had 6 weeks with my left arm mobilized in a hard plastic arm sling/cast. Dr. Denard maintained contact with me to monitor my recovery via phone, email, and to observe the progress of my recovery via Skype.

Dr. Denard gave me a "clean bill of health" five months later with full mobility to use my arm as long as I didn't do anything stupid. Since then I have started to see a physical trainer and I have not only regained full use of my arm, but my mobility has improved. Dr. Denard has made himself available to me and he continues to stay in touch and encourage my efforts.

In conclusion I was compelled to write this letter in appreciation of the amazing skill Dr. Denard has developed over the years and in which I have benefited. Prior to this surgery I had resigned myself to never regain the full use of my left arm because the shoulder muscle was disconnected from my arm. As previously noted the first operation was unsuccessful. So, finding Dr. Denard and the surgery he performed has given me a whole new lease on life. I am now able to resume a lifestyle consistent with a whole person's range of physical activities.

I am grateful to Dr. Denard for his skillful surgical talent as an orthopedic surgeon and I look forward to many good years ahead with the full use of my left arm.
Eternally grateful,

- Leonard
Sacramento, CA