OAA Patient Ambassador: Meet Ward

October 05, 2015

Meet Ward – OAA’s October Patient Ambassador, who became a victim of Mother Nature’s brutal cold and Ward ten days after he removed his sling.snow last winter. Unfortunately, Ward slipped on ice while he was at work and jammed his right elbow and shoulder. After the fall, Ward felt immediate shoulder pain and disability. After experiencing this, Ward was put on light duty at work and had an MRI done before he sought out care from Dr. Gregor Hawk of OAA’s Sports Medicine Institute. Ward’s daughter, who works for Good Shephard Physical Therapy and knows Dr. Hawk’s reputation, was pleased with her father’s decision.
Dr. Hawk has been practicing orthopaedics since 1996, and moved to the Lehigh Valley to join OAA Orthopaedic Specialists in 1999. Early in his medical career, Dr. Hawk completed a fellowship in sports medicine which gave him additional skills and expertise to treat patients with the use of an arthroscope for arthroscopic procedures of the shoulder, knee, and elbow. When asked what he enjoys most about his job, Dr. Hawk stated “I enjoy watching people improve under my care. My #1 goal is to relieve pain and restore function to my patients. I also enjoy meeting so many different people from all walks of life. Sometimes they teach me as much as I teach them.” Dr. Hawk also has the privilege of being the lead team orthopaedic surgeon for the Lehigh Valley Phantoms. In his second year with the team and lifelong hockey fan, Dr. Hawk loves being involved with the sport and the Flyers organization. “I enjoy being involved with these highly skilled athletes, as well as the experienced coaching and training staff.”
While Dr. Hawk is a fan of ice hockey, he is not fond of people slipping on ice and hurting themselves. Unfortunately, when Ward fell, he suffered a 70% tear to his biceps tendon along with a large rotator cuff tear. This left Ward with constant pain, and required surgery. When reflecting on his experiences prior to surgery, Ward stated that “Dr. Hawk answered every question I had. The professionalism and courtesy of the entire staff at OAA made me feel confident and relaxed.”
Dr. Hawk performed an outpatient arthroscopic procedure on Ward’s shoulder. During the procedure, Dr. Hawk cleaned frayed tissue, trimmed down the acromion bone, and sewed Ward’s biceps tendon. “Next, using suture anchors which were screwed into the ball of the shoulder the rotator cuff tendon was placed back down onto its normal anatomic attachment site.  The sutures are secured with a locking slipknot and then strapped down further with an additional anchor screwed into the bone slightly more to the side and down the arm.  This firmly secures the rotator cuff to give it its best chance to heal” says Dr. Hawk. Sample images of a rotator cuff repair can be seen below.

Arthroscopic images of procedure.
After the surgery, Ward recalls “The first 6 weeks while in a sling had its difficulties but I overcame most, and physical therapy was tough to start but became easier as time went on. When the sling was removed all became easier, as each day I could do more and more. My surgery was on April 7th, I was released to return to work with no restrictions on July 6th.” The surgery allowed Ward to regain his pain free lifestyle and range of motion. He now is back to work, and enjoying his two favorite hobbies – golf and bowling.
While Ward is a prime example of Dr. Hawk’s ability to relieve pain and restore function, Dr. Hawk feels that OAA is unique because of its team approach to patient care. “All the medical physicians, orthopaedic surgeons, and our chiropractor work as a team to help our patients.  If I do not have the expertise needed to take care of a particular patient, I certainly have a partner that can take over” says Dr. Hawk. The entire staff at OAA takes great pride in the service they provide and want to make the entire experience – from the first phone call to the last visit – pleasant, comforting, and efficient.
When asked if he would recommend Dr. Hawk to family and friends, Ward stated “I would recommend Dr. Hawk and OAA to anyone who needs care.”