Shoulder “Stronger Than Ever” after Surgery

March 10, 2017

Rotator Cuff Repair Gets Fireman Back on Full Duty

Fireman, Eric Dudziak, got a partial tear in his rotator cuff on the job two years ago. Workers Comp put him through physical therapy.  

He says, “I ended up at about 80%.”

Eric serves as the Fire Marshall and 80% got him back on call for occasional shift work. Then, in August of 2016, he was hauling some firewood while camping. He tripped and tore two muscles in his shoulder. “I couldn’t move my arm,” he said, “This time, I ended up in the ER.”

The ER doctor referred Eric to Dr. Robert Zanotti who saw Eric within a few days and scheduled a rotator cuff surgical repair 4 weeks later. The ER wasn’t the first time Eric had heard of Dr. Zanotti. Another fireman at work had his shoulder fixed by Dr. Zanotti at CFO as well.

“A guy I worked with recommended Dr. Zanotti to me back when I tore my cuff. He had the surgery and got back to 100%.”

The outpatient surgery went well, but Eric is allergic to opioids, so he struggled with pain after the operation. “The surgery went great, and I felt great for 18 hours after because of the nerve block, but when that wore off, I was in trouble.”

Luckily, a call into the office got Eric hooked up with a medication that helped ease him through that tough transition without opioids. After those first 3 days, Eric did well. And now, Eric reports that he is entirely pain free. “I have no pain now, and I can do everything.”

Eric credits the surgery, of course, but also the physical therapy for his returned shoulder strength. When he experienced the tear and did PT, he was able to restore much of his shoulder strength and range of motion. However, surgery and PT helped Eric completely recover.

“Before the surgery, when I had the tear and did PT, I got it to about 80%, but this time I’m 100%. I believe it’s because I did what I was told, and I didn’t overdo it. I gotta say, my shoulder is stronger than it’s ever been, and I’m about an inch away from complete range of motion.”

Although he felt better sooner, Eric gave his shoulder the recommended 6 months for full healing. “Now I’m back on full duty as of 2017. I’m still the Fire Marshall, which is light duty, but I can be on call, train, and do shift work with no problems.”

Just like his colleague who first recommended Dr. Zanotti, now Eric would also recommend him along with many of the other people involved in his recovery process.

“The Physician Assistant, Bob, was great, the hospital was great, and PT was great. Overall, my experience has been positive. I am very pleased and would refer anyone, in a second, to Dr. Robert Zanotti.”

Thanks for sharing, Eric. We’re pleased it’s going well and that you’re able to continue your important work for the community.

If you’re having rotator cuff issues, give Dr. Robert Zanotti’s office a call over at Center For Orthopedics:440-329-2800. Learn more about Dr. Robert Zanotti and shoulder repair, including the groundbreaking reverse total shoulder replacement at our main website:


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

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