“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

Start Your Season with a Free Sports Physical

Get your free sports physical by attending our 9th Annual Center for Orthopedics Sports Physical Event on Friday, June 9th. Check-in times: 1 – 5 p.m.

You’re working hard to prepare for the coming season. But before you can take the field, you’ll need a sports physical. Don’t get left on the bench!

Make plans to get yours at the Center for Orthopedics sports physical event. The examination is quick, easy and (best of all) free. All participants will receive a complimentary goody bag and T-shirt, while supplies last.



  • Go to your school website and download the 2017 – 2018 Ohio High School Athletic Association (OHSAA) Preparticipation Physical Evaluation Consent form.
  • Complete and sign it with your parent/guardian prior to your scheduled exam or bring your parent/guardian with you – OHSAA forms will be available at the event.
  • You must also bring any relevant medical records.
  • Visit Center4Orthopedics.eventbrite.com no later than Monday, June 5 to schedule your check-in time.
  • Call 440-329-2860 for additional information.


Add comment Posted in  News ,Sports Medicine April 20, 2017

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