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Patient gets three shoulder repairs in one surgery

Surgery is not always warranted with an orthopaedic injury, so it pays to have a care team that presents all your options. 
Mike Ingram found that team and those options for his shoulder injury at Great Basin Orthopaedics.


Like many of us, Mike Ingram was not eager to have surgery when he injured his shoulder five years ago. A friend who’d had a similar injury referred Mike to Great Basin Orthopaedics (GBO) and Dr. Thomas Fyda who gave Mike the news he wanted to hear: He could attempt non-operative treatment for his rotator cuff.

Finding the right time for surgery


One of the options presented to Mike in lieu of surgery was a steroid shot, which he got, and which alleviated his pain for about a year. However, Mike didn’t return to GBO until a ladder accident at home further injured the shoulder and compromised both his range of motion and his strength.

“I took the conservative route originally years ago and it worked for me,” says Mike. “But when I was no longer able to play softball or ride my bike without pain, I knew it was time for surgery.”

Dr. Fyda confirmed that Mike had indeed sustained further damage to the shoulder – he had a fully torn rotator cuff and a tear in the labrum (soft tissue that helps connect the scapula with the head of the humerus). It was time for surgery.

“It’s pretty common to see these injuries together – a torn rotator cuff and a labral tear. The repair includes releasing the bicep and reattaching the rotator cuff tendon,” Dr. Fyda explains. “Fortunately, we can address all of these issues in a single arthroscopic surgery and get good outcomes.”

There was never a question in Mike’s mind who would perform the surgery. The friend who had referred Dr. Fyda to him had gotten great results following his surgery. Mike met with Dr. Fyda, discussed the procedure, recovery and expected outcome, then scheduled the surgery.

Better than expected results

Mike went in for surgery on the morning of September 17, 2018 and was home by noon. Two days later he was in physical therapy at GBO’s physical therapy center. At the time of this story, Mike was six weeks post-surgery and seeing steady progress in his range of motion and strength gains.

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“The surgical pain was gone in three to four days, and overall the pain has been minimal,” Mike explains. “I was back at the office within a week. Recovery has been much easier than I expected.”

Mike will follow up with Dr. Fyda, continue with physical therapy for another six weeks and then ease back into all the activities he enjoys. “My wife and I will be able to resume bike riding together in the spring,” he says. “I’ll also be able to do some swimming in the summer and throw a frisbee when we go to the beach.” He adds, “I’d like to say that my golf game will improve, but it was bad before my shoulder issues.”

While his recovery is still in progress, Mike is doing better than he expected earlier than he expected. And, based on his experience, he would not hesitate to refer anyone to Dr. Fyda for their orthopaedic issues.

If joint pain is keeping you from the activities you love, get evaluated by an orthopaedic expert at Great Basin Orthopaedics. Call (775) 786-1600 and start on the road to recovery.