People in the know choose Summit Medical Group Orthopedics. Who knows more about orthopedic surgery than orthopedic surgeons? When surgeons need surgery, where do they turn?
When Dr. Thomas Nordstrom, an orthopedic surgeon and sports medicine specialist, needed rotator cuff surgery, he didn’t go across the river to New York City. Although Dr. Nordstrom has been trained in world-class facilities and knows he has incredibly high-quality surgery options in Manhattan, he stayed in northern New Jersey, with SMG Orthopedics.
For Dr. Nordstrom, the choice was easy. “I decided to ask my partner and colleague, Dr. David Abrutyn, to perform my rotator cuff surgery,” he said. “I’ve seen Dr. Abrutyn’s work and excellent outcomes for the last 15 years.”
In His Patients’ Shoes
The experience of having his rotator cuff repaired lent Dr. Nordstrom some additional empathy for his patients. He says he feels he has a better idea of what they’re going through and how he can help them, especially in the postoperative recovery process.
“I found it surprisingly difficult to follow orders and take things slowly,” he said. “But I trust Dr. Abrutyn and knew he was telling me to take it slow to get the most optimal results.”
The sling Dr. Nordstrom wore for the first five weeks was particularly troublesome. “It was cumbersome, but I know I needed it to protect my shoulder,” he said. “It was very nice to wean off the sling.”
Being a patient instead of a doctor has given Dr. Nordstrom a better feel for where patients may struggle in their recovery. In the future, he’ll be able to talk to patients from a place of greater understanding of what they need.
When patients trust their surgeons, they’re more likely to follow directions and be compliant. Surgeons provide these directions so their patients will have better recovery and return to function. Dr. Nordstrom’s experience with his own rotator cuff surgery will be a further point of trust-building connection between him and his patients in the future.
Surgery at SMG Orthopedics
The surgeons at Summit Medical Group Orthopedics have collectively performed thousands of rotator cuff repairs. Both Dr. Nordstrom and Dr. Abrutyn were confident going into the surgery, and the procedure went smoothly.
Dr. Nordstrom is especially happy with how his postoperative recovery has gone. He is happy with his decision to have a nerve block, which allowed the surgical team to use less general anesthesia. “There was minimal pain and no nausea,” he said.
After a period of recovery, Dr. Nordstrom had his 10-day follow-up appointment, where he was told he was recovering nicely. He was cleared to begin performing at-home exercises.
Recovery from surgery is always a fine line between staying active but not overdoing it. Patients don’t want to stress their already-compromised body part before it is ready, but doing nothing at all can lead to deconditioning, which makes for a longer, harder recovery. Toeing that line was something Dr. Nordstrom said he struggled with.
At four weeks out, Dr. Nordstrom was cleared to begin outpatient physical therapy. One of the benefits of a multispecialty group such as Summit Medical Group Orthopedics is the availability of these related services. The physical therapy department at Summit Medical Group Orthopedics has some of the best therapists in the area.
Dr. Nordstrom says his recovery is going very well. He’s looking forward to returning to the office and the operating room…once again, on the other side of the scalpel.
If you need rotator cuff repair or any other type of sports medicine procedure, request an appointment with one of our sports medicine specialists.