OAA Patient Ambassador: Meet Brian

October 01, 2017

Meet Brian – the proprietor of Salix Springs Landscaping in Berks County. In his free time, you will find Brian Brian; OAA Patient Ambassadorspending time with his two active children or outside hunting, gardening, or grilling. Brian relies heavily on his hands every day for work, so when he encountered debilitating hand pain and numbness, he was concerned.
As a prior surgical patient of Dr. Richard Battista at OAA’s Hand Institute, Brian returned to Dr. Battista with what he thought was just carpal tunnel syndrome. “It turned out that Brian did have carpal tunnel syndrome, but he also had another common nerve compression – cubital tunnel syndrome. Cubital tunnel syndrome occurs when there is a compression of the ulnar nerve in the elbow, and typically presents itself with numbness and tingling in the elbow, hand, wrist, or fingers. In addition to carpal tunnel surgery, I also moved the pinched ulnar nerve in Brian’s elbow from the back of his elbow to the front to alleviate the ulnar nerve compression,” Dr. Battista explained.
Dr. Battista earned Brian’s trust several years ago when Brian’s family doctor referred him to Dr. Battista with a unique injury. “My initial x-rays showed nothing, but I had swelling in my knuckles and near constant pain. Eventually, I had surgery to remove several bone chips that were floating in the joint spaces of my hand and sculpting bone. My injury also revealed carpal tunnel syndrome, which I had operated on at the same time. With that initial injury, I actually sought out a second opinion in the Philadelphia area, but it did nothing to help confirm diagnosis or a course of action. It did, however, tell me that if I decided on surgery that it would only be with Dr. Battista. If a surgeon speaks with certainty, but has never encountered your situation before, run, don’t walk. Dr. Battista was very easy to deal with and conservative in his approach” Brian shared.
In addition to his surgeries with Dr. Battista, Brian also had knee surgery with Dr. Hawk of OAA’s Sports Medicine Institute last year. “All of my surgical experiences at OAA have provided me with very good outcomes. My ulnar nerve and carpal tunnel surgeries this year went very well. I no longer have tingling, numbness, or debilitating pain. My healing time was much shorter than many people I know that have had carpal tunnel surgery with other surgeons, and I attribute this to the skill of Dr. Battista,” Brian elaborated.
Brian admitted that he is not a patient person and wanted to move full throttle instantly, but hand therapy did play a role in his treatment plan. When asked about his recovery, Brian said: “therapy helped me to learn the exercises and what I could safely do in given time frames. Within two and a half months I had a grip strength that was approaching 100 PSI, and at the three month mark I started to forget that the surgery had taken place. My only reminder is when I occasionally I bump my elbow – that reminds me that the nerve has not completely settled in.”
After having his most recent surgery, earlier in the year, Brian was ready to take on the busy season in the landscaping business. “The life and career path that I have taken has led to some pretty severe abuse of my body. It is comforting to know that when you are about to go under anesthesia and leave your life in other people’s hands, that your best possible outcome is also the goal of those who you are entrusting with your livelihood,” Brian recalled.
“I am so glad that I was referred to Dr. Battista and the staff at OAA in the first place, because now I wouldn’t even think about going anywhere else for orthopedic care. The doctors and staff really stand apart from other medical practices I have been to and I have never encountered a less than helpful or friendly employee at OAA. The level of commitment and teamwork truly shines through.”
Dr. Battista derives great satisfaction from patient interaction. “I enjoy learning about my patients personally and I enjoy the challenge of restoring function so that they may be able to return to the level of activity that they crave. For Brian, that meant getting him back on the job as quickly as possible. As a business owner in the landscaping industry, his hands and arms are just as important as his heavy equipment. It was an honor to help get him pain free so he can continue to serve his customers and help provide for his family.”

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