I mentioned last week
that I was going in for a rotator cuff operation on my right
shoulder on Friday, March 9. I said I did not expect to be up
and about for a couple of weeks afterward. Having had past experience
with this type of surgery, I thought I would surely be out of
commission for quite a while. Well, guess what? It was a piece
This time I had the operation done arthroscopically--and
boy, what a difference! The surgery took place just five days
ago, and here I am back at the computer. I'm one-and-a-half-handed,
to be sure-but on the previous occasion I was still in bed at
this time, just wishing I could die so the pain would go away.
My previous operation was done the old way,
with a large surgical incision to provide access to all the
repair work needed on my left shoulder. (It seems that the trouble
with both shoulders was caused by my attempts to remain a tennis
and softball athlete somewhat longer than I should have.) The
cut required weeks to heal, and the pain during that time was
terrible. The painkillers the doctor prescribed for me knocked
me out, so I couldn't win either way.
But this time I tried the new way. It's called
arthroscopy, which means using a tiny camera on a tube no bigger
than a soda straw to probe into the injured joint through much
smaller incisions. Although five such cuts were needed to get
the job done, all of them together were much less invasive than
the big one performed on me before. As soon as I came out of
the anesthesia, I knew I was not going to suffer the post-operative
ordeal I endured on the other shoulder.
Dr. Dan Guttmann at Taos Orthopedic Institute
in Taos, New Mexico (e-mail email@example.com),
was my surgeon, and I can't say enough good things about him.
Dr. James H. Lubowitz is the director of the institute, and
I understand from some of his former patients that he is wonderful
If you need some kind of joint reconstruction,
don't hesitate to contact these doctors. Although they have
chosen to establish their institute in rural New Mexico (they
enjoy skiing), they have national-quality credentials. I think
you will be very happy with the results. If you are from out-of-state,
here is your opportunity to get great results in pleasant surroundings.
And don't forget to come and visit us in Santa Fe after you
feel better. Based on my experience, you'll be feeling better
sooner rather than later.
I'm not sure I'll be doing my walk next week either. But whatever
I'm up to, I'll let you know.
So long for now.