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  • Patient: Jack
  • Category: Shoulder and Elbow

“ When I woke up after this last procedure I had zero pain. I almost panicked, wondering if they’d taken my arm, until I saw and wiggled my fingers.”

Procedure: Right Rotator Cuff Arthroscopic Repair, February 2015 and 2017

Twisting through a golf swing last year, Jack Murphy heard his right shoulder’s rotator cuff rip. Again. This was the third torn rotator cuff the retired engineering executive and programming hobbyist has sustained. The first one happened 31 years ago while carrying out garbage. His second, three decades later, happened while doing yard work.

Jack’s first repair was performed in Oregon, when open surgeries were still the standard of care for rotator cuff injuries. Jack recalls, “I woke up experiencing the greatest pain of my life. It took a full year before I could use my shoulder again. I still have a three-inch scar from the surgery, although my shoulder eventually completely recovered.”

Now living in Fountain Valley, Jack turned to a local Hoag Orthopedic Institute shoulder surgeon for his second and third repairs – both performed as minimally invasive, arthroscopic rotator cuff repair procedures. He recalls, “When I woke up after this last procedure I had zero pain. I almost panicked, wondering if they’d taken my arm, until I saw and wiggled my fingers.”

Since retiring a few years ago, Jack, 73, has spent countless hours on his hobby of software development. He also took up golf and quickly became passionate about the game. He even wrote software providing an accurate simulation of his golf ball flights.

Then Jack’s shoulder pain from the golf injury began cramping his style. He couldn’t drive his new car because he couldn’t reach out for the touch screen. Golf became out of the question. He couldn’t wait for the day of his arthroscopic procedure and relief.

“Everybody at the Hoag Orthopedic Institute Surgery Center - Newport Beach was very competent and professional, and extremely considerate to my wife while she waited for me,” he recalls about his ambulatory surgery center (ASC) visit.

Jack went home in a bolster/sling to keep his shoulder properly positioned, but found the device was chaffing his neck, so he re-engineered the sling for better support and comfort.

At six weeks, Jack is finally out of the sling. He says he is “rapidly headed toward normal,” adding, “I feel good now, but I know I need to not overdue using my shoulder because the reattached tendon is still healing to the bone.”

He continues, “I’ve been visiting a physical therapist since a week after my procedure. The therapist was amazed by how little pain and how much flexibility I had that first week after surgery.”

Jack was also pleased to immediately resume time on his computer. Adjusted properly, he could work on his keyboard while wearing his sling.

Jack adds, “My Hoag Orthopedic Institute medical team was outstanding. I hope I never have another orthopedic injury, but if I do, I wouldn’t hesitate to go back there for care.”