Greg’s Story: “Pain Is Not Something You Should Have To Live With”

Greg Greve feels more like a partner than a patient with his team at Premier Orthopedics after a successful rotator cuff surgery relieved him of crippling pain.

"I found the whole group I worked with at Premier Health very easy to talk to and very approachable,” said Greve, 59, a business executive from Oakwood. “They were very informative and candid and transparent, and they really appreciated my level of engagement with my own care. I felt as if I were doing this with them, as opposed to someone doing this to me."

After Greve fell on the slopes during a family ski vacation, his shoulder pain soared from manageable to all but unbearable. “At night, you try to sleep, and a dull ache and pain creeps in that just won’t let you go,” he said. “It feels as if someone is stabbing you in the shoulder.”

Fortunately, he knew just where to turn: Premier Orthopedics and surgeon Joseph Rubino, MD, who performed rotator cuff surgery on Greve’s left shoulder in 2014.

An MRI revealed a full tear of Greve’s rotator cuff and a partial tear of the biceps. Dr. Rubino performed the surgery on his right shoulder on March 12, 2020 – timing that brought its own set of complications with the outbreak of COVID-19. Greve’s physical therapy took place mostly at home, with extensive instruction and follow-up from the Premier Orthopedics team.

“They were exceptional about staying in touch with me, and they worked through physical therapy with me,” Greve said. “It was a challenging and difficult time for everyone, with more unknown than known because of the pandemic. It was a tough time to be in recovery from surgery, and it was comforting to know they were so engaged.”

Dr. Rubino urges patients to follow Greve’s example in seeking medical attention sooner rather than later if they are experiencing pain or difficulty sleeping. “Early intervention is really helpful in avoiding surgery or making surgical recovery easier,” Dr. Rubino said. “Otherwise, tears can get bigger with time, and people can lose strength.”

This past winter Greve returned to the slopes. “I had a really great ski season,” he said. He is once again pursuing other favorite hobbies, such as cycling and making furniture.

“It’s very gratifying to see people resuming normal activities and getting back to doing what they love,” Dr. Rubino said.

Patients suffering from shoulder pain should listen to their bodies, Greve said: "It's easy to hope the pain will go away on its own and keep putting off treatment, but rarely do things resolve themselves like that. So, if your body is telling you something is wrong, you should do something about it. Fortunately, there are good talented people at Premier Health who can get to the other side. Pain is not something you should have to live with."