ACL Reconstruction Gets Player Back on Court

Emily Gardner’s full ACL tear took her out of her freshman season, but she’ll be ready for sophomore year thanks to Dr. Daniel Zanotti and the PT team at CFO.

High school freshman, Emily Gardner, is a front row hitter in competitive club volleyball year round. While in Chicago, at a game on Easter weekend, she was close to the net for a tight set, scored the point, and came down hard.

Emily says, “I didn’t think I tore my ACL, but I heard a pop and wasn’t sure what it was, but I could walk on it.”

Her parents in the stands were holding their breath. Emily’s Mom, Kim, says, “Our hearts sank. We hoped it was a strain and sprain. But we got home and went to the CFO injury clinic to get X-rays and MRI results. It was a complete tear of the ACL.”

In addition to the left ACL tear, Emily had a torn meniscus, and Dr. Daniel Zanotti knew that reconstructive surgery was the best treatment for both injuries. Unfortunately, it meant Emily would be off her Freshman High school team, but would be ready to play again in her Sophomore year, which is the season that matters for college recruitment.

“I love volleyball,” Emily says, “It’s like my life. I want to play D2 Volleyball in college on scholarship.”

Kim, Emily and family are pleased with Emily’s post surgical recovery. Kim is a nurse and has been impressed with the low post-surgery pain levels and the physical therapy support Emily has received from CFO and her school Athletic trainer, who works closely with Emily’s PT team.

Kim says, “She never needed all that much pain medication because there was not much pain to speak of. Six months out from the April surgery, and she’s running on a 12% incline on the treadmill with no pain and she’s had no pain through all of rehab. And, this has not gotten her spirits down. She’s amazing.”

Emily has taken charge of her rehab and works diligently at her PT appointments, home and school, where she can use the high school gym with her Athletic trainer.

Emily says, “I have a Physical Therapy team that has really helped me, and at-school PT has been cool. I miss playing a lot, but I should definitely be playing next year.”

Everyone here at CFO is rooting for Emily and wishing her and her family the best of luck on next year’s season. If your student athlete is injured at a game, come to our CFO Injury Clinic or call 440.329.2800 to make your appointment today.

Add comment Posted in  Sports Medicine ,Surgeries October 12, 2017

“Rebuilt” by Dr. Robert Zanotti – Innovative Procedure, Inspired Relationship

Ruth Twardzik talks about her unique relationship with Dr. Zanotti and the pioneering procedure they both brought to Lorain County.

Ruth Twardzik has struggled with arthritis since 1965. Now she jokes that she has been rebuilt by Dr. Robert Zanotti. He’s replaced both of her knees, one hip, one shoulder and this year the second shoulder was due for replacement.

Ruth says, “My sister was with me at my last appointment and he said, ‘Would you like to do another injection or should we schedule surgery?’ She just looked at me, and I knew it was time to get it done. And I’m glad I did. Just like last time, I went in, had it done, healed well and didn’t really need pain meds.”  

“Last time” Ruth had her should done, in 2007, it was a bit of a bigger deal than she originally realized. Because the damage to her shoulder was so extensive, she qualified for a brand new (at the time) procedure called a reverse total shoulder replacement. And it just so happened that Dr. Robert Zanotti had the unique expertise to complete the pioneering procedure.

But back then, all she knew was that corticosteroid injections were no longer cutting it. “I couldn’t get my arm up anymore, and I couldn’t use my hand. It was starting to keep me in the house.”

It wasn’t until she got to the hospital that she fully realized she played a key role in a pioneering surgical technique.

“When I first got there, the nurse told me, ‘You are historic.’ I barely paid attention. I just knew Dr. Zanotti was going to fix me. But then another nurse came in and asked for my permission for a team to learn from the surgery. That’s when they told me I was the first person to have a reverse shoulder replacement in Lorain County and maybe even in NE Ohio!”

The surgery involves implanting a “cup and ball” shaped device in the shoulder. A normal shoulder is considered a “ball and socket” joint, with the rounded portion of the upper arm being the ball and a shallow, dish-shaped structure attached to the shoulder blade being the socket. During the reverse shoulder surgery, the ball portion of the joint is attached to the shoulder blade and the cup is attached to the upper arm, thus “reversing” the normal anatomy. This changes the mechanics of the shoulder to allow the joint to maneuver even though there isn’t a functional rotator cuff.

Both times Ruth had the reverse total shoulder replacement, she came away with a fixed shoulder and a grateful heart. “Thank God for Dr. Z,” says Ruth. “I always hope I don’t have to go see him, but I’m glad he’s there when I need him.”

People ask Ruth why she and her husband travel from Parma out to Lorain County to go to The Center for Orthopedics, but she tells them it’s worth the drive.  

“These folks have been taking care of me for over 20 years. I have been in physical therapy so many times and each time, it is amazing. When I walk in, everyone is so caring from the woman at the front desk to the nurses and all the staff and doctors. I wouldn’t want to go anywhere else.”

And Ruth encourages anyone suffering to go see the docs at CFO too. “I know when you’re hurting you put it off. I know people hesitate, but don’t. I recommend that anybody that has trouble go to CFO and get whatever is hurting looked. Just get it fixed. They know what their doing.”.

If you’re suffering and have been putting off a doctor visit, consider a consultation with Dr. Robert Zanotti or another of our pioneering physicians here at The Center for Orthopedics. Just call 440.329.2800 to make your appointment today.

Add comment Posted in  Replacements ,Testimonials July 6, 2017

Water skiing, Phys Ed Teacher Keeps Doing it All with New Hip

Richard Garvelink (center) with Dr. Robert Zanotti and Bob Harasty.

When Dr. Robert Zanotti walked into Richard Garvelink’s examining room, Garvelink said he gave him a “funny look.” As it turns out, the look was genuine surprise.

Dr. Zanotti said, ‘I thought you were going to be 75. That hip is not pretty.”

Richard, however, is only 60, and also very active. He’s a high school physical education teacher who likes to waterski. However, in the past 2 years, each time he’d go out on the water, it would take longer and longer to recover. At first it was one full day of recovery and then finally 3 or 4 days, but it was when he could no longer cross his leg that he thought he’d better see someone as a “precautionary thing.” He had no idea how bad it had gotten.

Dr. Zanotti suggested a hip replacement and Richard said, “Not if I can’t get back to being active afterwards. I had fun wearing this hip out and I would do it again.”

But Dr. Zanotti assured him he could most certainly remain active after recovery and do so with less pain. This was good news for Richard, who has summer hiking plans in Yellowstone. “I did decide I better cancel the 9.5 mile trip we scheduled, but we’re keeping some of the lower mile hikes.”

Richard had surgery on March 8th at UH Elyria Medical Center and was in the hospital for 2.5 days. He especially appreciated the hospital therapist, Sharon Hill, affectionately known as “Sarge,” who Richards says is, “encouraging and professional.”

Regular post-op Physical Therapy was done in in Sheffield and Richard said it was a great experience. “Everyone was wonderful. You get out what you put in, and I wanted to get back to skiing and hiking, so I pushed it, but not too much. I was encouraged and pleased with the results.”    

And those results were good. Richard describes his pain level as no more than a 1.5 and was able to return to work at the school within 7 weeks — strong enough to teach the kids Phys Ed.

“Endurance is an issue. At 7 weeks, I can walk about 4 – 5 miles, but I may be a little tired because of it. My students were happy to see me, so it’s been worth it.”

Richard says he would highly recommend Dr. Zanotti and the Physician’s Assistant Bob Harasty. “They are a great team. I was incredibly impressed with every bit of care that I got from them and the staff at UH Elyria and the Physical Therapy team.”

For final thoughts, Richard encourages active people to get checked out. “We active folks tend to ignore physical pain hoping it will go away. But I would absolutely recommend getting it checked out if you can’t do what you normally do. Just get it fixed and move forward. It might ruin a summer of activity, but get it done for all the other summer’s ahead in your future.”

Thank for sharing Richard! If you are having trouble with your hip, don’t delay. Call Dr. Robert Zanotti at CFO to make an appointment. 440.329.2800.



Add comment Posted in  Replacements ,Testimonials June 7, 2017

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