OAA Patient Ambassador: Meet Connie

August 28, 2019

Meet Connie, a patient of OAA, who has lived in Whitehall her entire life and is married for 55 years. Connie loves keeping busy in her community and doing things for others. She enjoys knitting, making greeting cards and rubber stamps, and doing adult coloring pages.

Connie has experienced some unfortunate shoulder injuries in the past several years, and each time she has faced a shoulder injury, she has chosen OAA to help her get back to doing the things she loves. Connie explains, “In 2005, I had shoulder surgery due to it worsening over time. OAA did a great job and this lasted for 13 years and probably would have lasted even longer had I not fallen.”

In November 2017, Connie fell and reinjured her shoulder. Connie trusted OAA to help her again and scheduled an appointment with Dr. Kalawadia of OAA’s Sports Medicine Institute. Dr. Kalawadia started Connie with conservative treatment, receiving an injection and starting with physical therapy. After a few months of attempting all non-operative modalities with modest improvement, Dr. Kalawadia and Connie decided that surgery would be the next step to heal her shoulder. She says, “Dr. Kalawadia explained everything and knew my concerns. We both came to the same conclusion that surgery was the best route. The surgery was a success and 4 months later, I had full range of motion and never really had any pain (only some discomfort off and on).”

Unfortunately, later in 2018, Connie fell again and reinjured this same shoulder. She came back to Dr. Kalawadia, who was committed to helping her heal again. This time, the injury was worse than before and surgery was the only option. Since this was the third surgery on this shoulder and her second surgery of 2018, Dr. Kalawadia explained that a full recovery would be much more difficult, but he would do everything he could to help get her mobility back. He was honest, explaining that he had at least a 70% chance to get her most of her motion back.

“From the moment I met Connie, I knew that repairing the rotator cuff would be a difficult task," said Dr. Kalawadia. "As we age, the rotator cuff tissue tends to thin. She had already had one rotator cuff repair in the past. When I performed the revision surgery, the tendon was thin, but using the most up-to-date techniques on rotator cuff repair, I was able to achieve a strong repair. She was healing well and met all her milestones well ahead of time. Unfortunately, she fell and tore her cuff for the third time. I was genuinely very concerned about the potential outcome. I honestly did not know what I would have to work with in attempting another repair. I likened this to a car that had been totaled three times, and attempting to fix it with hopes that it runs properly. I had a good relationship with Connie, and I explained the situation as I understood it. We talked about all possible options and I reviewed what I thought would be the difficulties in attempting another repair. At the end, we both decided that she wished to attempt a re-revision repair.”

Connie says, “I trusted Dr. Kalawadia’s judgement, and I’m glad I did. He did more than I expected. By the 4-6-month follow-up after surgery and therapy, I have full range of motion and no pain. I can’t say enough about Dr. Kalawadia. He showed that he was concerned for me and worked hard to fix my shoulder. It worked and for that I am very thankful. I’m happy I can do all the things I have always done.”

 “I am thrilled that Connie had an excellent outcome. She is an active individual who is constantly on the go and traveling. I am happy that we were able to regain her function so she can carry on doing activities that she loves. More than the surgery, I think Connie did well because of her optimistic outlook and her perseverance to regain her range of motion and strength. She impressed me with her resolve through both surgeries despite her post-operative fall, which would take an emotional toll on any of us. She was motivated to get her life back and often, it makes all the difference.”

Dr. Kalawadia and the entire staff at OAA are committed to being there for our patients every time they are faced with adversity. Dr. Kalawadia was drawn to the specialty of orthopaedics because the surgical outcomes are very rewarding for the patients, and the fact that the field is predominately focused on improving a patient’s overall quality of life.

He specializes in arthroscopy and other minimally invasive surgical techniques that are constantly changing and improving for the benefit of the patient. He commonly treats patients and athletes with various hip, knee, and shoulder complications with conservative non-surgical treatment options, and when necessary, surgical intervention.

Learn more about Dr. Kalawadia and OAA Orthopaedic Specialists’ Sports Medicine Institute. To schedule an appointment, call OAA at 610-973-6200 or fill out the “Request an Appointment” form on our website.
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