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

July 6, 2017

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.

Entry Filed under: Replacements,Testimonials. Posted in  Replacements ,Testimonials .

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