Successful rotator cuff repair enables Wilhelm to enjoy cycling, hiking and mountain pursuits.

Following a traumatic rotator cuff tear, Wilhelm sought shoulder surgery to continue leading an active lifestyle.

During the 1980s, Wilhelm experienced a traumatic fracture to his shoulder, which resulted in a long history of shoulder problems. In recent years, when his symptoms increased, he saw Mr Ali Noorani twice on the recommendation of his physiotherapist Andre Le Leu.

However, early in 2019, Wilhelm picked up a suitcase with one hand to place it in the boot of his car and felt excruciating pain, as if something in his shoulder had ruptured. Following this injury, Wilhelm experienced severe pain that limited his ability to move his shoulder. A few days later, Wilhelm saw his physiotherapist who suspected that he had torn his rotator cuff.

Wilhelm booked a consultation with Mr Noorani who arranged an MRI of the injured shoulder, which confirmed that he had torn his rotator cuff. Mr Noorani explained that it was a severe tear of 90% and, whilst the chances of PRP injections would be good, if it was a less significant tear, with such a large tear the chances of success would be reduced. However, Wilhelm was keen to avoid surgery and went ahead with a course of three PRP injections into his shoulder.

With a mixture of the PRP injections and physiotherapy, Wilhelm felt that he was slowly starting to recover. He went on his holiday in April of that year, where he experienced a noticeable increase in pain when he was engaging in limited physical activities. When he saw Mr Noorani for follow-up, three months after the injections, Wilhelm had another MRI scan that showed that the rotator cuff had completely detached. Still keen to avoid surgery, Wilhelm continued with his exercises during the summer months. However, all the activities he loves, cycling, hiking and swimming, were affected by the reduced mobility of his shoulder and accompanied by pain.

Wilhelm could see that his life would remain too restricted, so, following discussion with Mr Noorani, he decided to have a rotator cuff repair in September 2019. Mr Noorani found, during surgery, significantly more damage than what was visible on his MRI scans, but he was able to repair all the damage and the surgery was successful. Wilhelm began physiotherapy a couple of weeks after surgery and after some time, gradually introduced more strenuous exercises. He was very conscientious and disciplined with the exercises the physiotherapist recommended.

Just six months after his surgery, Wilhelm was back to his normal day-to-day life, with still some restrictions and pain. A few months later, he was able to resume the activities that he once enjoyed, including cycling, hiking, mountaineering and swimming. Wilhelm remarks, “I can do all of the things I’d done before the injury now without any pain.”

To summarise his experience with Mr Noorani, Wilhelm says: “I was very worried about having an operation and what the eventual outcome could be, so the final result exceeded my expectations. Thanks to Mr Noorani’s outstanding treatment and to the excellent rehab, my shoulder is now better than it was before the injury, due to pre-existing damage, and I am delighted.”

Mr Noorani concludes: “Wilhelm has done really well, and I’m so pleased he has got back to all his outdoor pursuits within 10 months of surgery. It is important to recognise that when you have a rotator cuff repair it takes time for the tendon to heal and regain its strength. It takes an average of six months but can take a year or more. As long as the fixation is done well, and rehab goes well, most people tend to do really well, just like Wilhelm, and age is not a limiting factor in rotator cuff repair.”

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October 2020