Stan's Tuesday Walks

A Weekly Feature
by Stan Evans,
President, Santa Fe Always Online

 

March 14 , 2001

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 of cake.

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 toi@laplaza.org), 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 also.

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.

Stan

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