Eric’s Story: Throwing Again After Shoulder Surgery

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Eric Horstman is always on the go. In both his business and personal life, he's happiest when he's staying active. Eric is the founder, president and CEO of Sports Image, Inc. His company helps schools and grassroots organizations obtain new equipment and revenue for their programs through corporate sponsorships. He is also the founder and president of the Premier Health Flyin’ to the Hoop High School Basketball Invitational a national event held every January in Dayton, Ohio.

In addition to his sport-oriented career, Eric enjoys an active, sports-filled life with his family. When shoulder pain initially began to bother Eric, he shrugged it off. "The first thing you do is ignore it," he says. "You just play through the pain."

Over time, however, this stoic approach, even with the help of ibuprofen, was not getting the job done. Perhaps most troubling, the pain was interfering with the backyard games of catch Eric regularly enjoyed with his two children. So he sought help.

The problem was diagnosed as a tear in the labrum, a cup-shaped piece of cartilage in the ball joint of the shoulder that plays an important role in supporting the various components — tendons, ligaments, muscles, and bone — that allow the shoulder to move freely and perform its job well.

Giving Physical Therapy a Chance

When Eric got the diagnosis, his natural inclination was to set about finding a solution to the problem as soon as possible, so he embarked on a physical therapy program. After a couple months, his shoulder began to feel better, and he returned to his normal activities. But it was too soon. "I went back to doing my own thing again," he says, "working out and what have you. But after a while, the pain came back again."

The Surgical Solution

After talking the matter over with Michael Herbenick, MD, of Premier Orthopedics, Eric opted for surgery. When Dr. Herbenick gave him options, Eric chose to have the operation in the fall. He appreciated the scheduling flexibility, as he didn't relish the idea of spending an entire summer with his arm in a sling.

Eric's injury and the surgery were more complex than originally expected. Dr. Herbenick performed a procedure called a biceps tenodesis, in which the biceps tendon is moved from its original location, stopping the muscle's ability to pull on the labrum.

Post-Surgery Physical Therapy and Recovery

When the time came for post-surgery physical therapy, Eric was as gung-ho as ever. "He made optimal progress in an optimal amount of time," says Jamie Rodman, PT, DPT, SCS, MTC, a physical therapist at Sports Medicine Center at Miami Valley Hospital South, and he met all his physical therapy and all his personal goals in the quickest time possible."

Dr. Herbenick says Eric's case is a good illustration of how complicated problems within the shoulder can be dealt with and good result achieved. "We do the best job we can to recreate the anatomy and normalize things," Dr. Herbenick says. He says it helps when patients are enthusiastically involved in the recovery process. "It's the patient like Eric who does exceptionally well."

Eric is very happy he made the decision to have the surgery. "My normal day-to-day activities are back exactly where they were before I started feeling all the pain," he says. He's even back to throwing the ball with his children.

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