OAA Patient Ambassador: Meet Dan

June 01, 2017

Meet Dan – an active Allentown resident who enjoys playing guitar, skiing, and racing BMX in his free time. As a competitive BMX rider and a member of Blue Mountain’s ski patrol, Dan has had his fair share of injuries over the years; several of which brought him to OAA Orthopaedic Specialists. Most recently, Dan was competing in a BMX race when he fell and fractured his clavicle. To repair the fracture, Dan underwent surgery with Dr. Robert Palumbo of OAA’s Sports Medicine Institute.
 
Dan’s injury was rather significant, and for someone that enjoys being so active, the post-surgery restrictions proved to be the most difficult for Dan. “I was immobile for the first eight weeks after my surgery before starting physical therapy. After those eight weeks, I went to physical therapy about twice a week. Therapy seemed slow at first because I wanted to jump ahead and do more, but the therapists were excellent and kept me on track. In a total of about six months I had full range of motion and no restrictions,” Dan recalled. Throughout his recovery and after his formal physical therapy ended, Dan was also doing his due diligence by performing exercises he learned from physical therapy at home to help the progression of his recovery. 
 
Dr. Palumbo is an accomplished and nationally recognized sports medicine surgeon that specializes in sports-related injuries of the knee, shoulder, ankle, elbow, and hip. Dan and Dr. Palumbo had a past relationship from previous injuries, so Dan knew just who to call when he found out that his clavicle was fractured. “Dr. Palumbo and Brian Kephart, PA-C are fantastic! They are great to work with, very thorough, and take time to answer questions and explain where you are on your path to recovery. Both Dr. Palumbo and Brian allow you to understand what they are thinking and why, and are genuinely compassionate with the care they provide to patients,” Dan shared.
 
When asked about Dan’s injury, Dr. Palumbo said, “There are two treatment options for a clavicle fracture. Patients can immobilize their arm and shoulder for an extended period of time and let the fracture heal on its own, or undergo surgery. Due to the fact that Dan’s injury displaced his clavicle, surgery was the best course of treatment for his clavicle to heal in its proper position. In comparison to nonsurgical healing, Dan had use of his arm more quickly and was able to be more mobile during his recovery.” 
 
Dan underwent a procedure known as open reduction and internal fixation (ORIF). This is a relatively common orthopaedic surgery that is used to stabilize and heal broken bones. During an open reduction, orthopaedic surgeons reposition the broken bone(s) back into their proper alignment through surgical intervention. Internal fixation is the term used to physically reconnect the bones. Internal fixation requires special hardware that can include screws, plates, wires, or nails to position and hold the broken bone(s) into their correct position.  This procedure is typically performed to help prevent bones from healing abnormally.
               
Dan is thankful for OAA and his friends at physical therapy for helping him get back in action and back to playing guitar. “I play guitar every day and every Sunday in church. It was difficult not being able to do something you love to do because of an injury,” Dan shared. Now, Dan is back to playing the guitar with his band at church and was skiing during the winter months. “I even rode BMX, much to the chagrin of my family and friends,” Dan said jokingly. 
               
As for Dr. Palumbo, he and his colleagues at OAA find the most gratification when helping patients return to an activity or lifestyle they enjoy. When asked about what Dr. Palumbo likes the most about providing patient care, he shared: “I like that after caring for a patient and releasing them, they can go back to the things they enjoy or return to the sports they are passionate about.”
 
Dan will continue to be his active self and ski and ride BMX, but needless to say, he does not plan on getting injured again any time soon. “I am just happy that such a great place like OAA is here in the Lehigh Valley. It is great to know that I have a place to turn to if the unfortunate does happen.”  




Do you or a loved one have a similar story? Share your story with us, and you could be next month's patient ambassador! 
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