Unfortunately, shoulder injuries after falls are common. If the falls are severe, the bones in the shoulder (proximal humerus) may break (fracture), causing severe pain and dysfunction. In older patients, bone quality is lower, and these fractures become increasingly complicated and challenging to treat. Depending on the patient and type of fracture, multiple options may be available to restore function and improve pain. These include treating the fracture without surgery, fixing the fracture with plates and screws, or performing a shoulder replacement. Often it can be challenging for surgeons to determine which option would be best for a given injury. As a result, Dr. Gregory and his colleagues have recently published an overview of these treatment options in the prestigious Journal of Bone and Joint Surgery. It includes current evidence-based guidelines for management of proximal humerus fractures in older patients, and will help surgeons nationwide treat these injuries in the most up-to-date successful manner.
Despite advances in rotator cuff repair techniques and instruments, not all rotator cuff repairs heal. As a result, finding ways to improve rotator cuff healing is critically important. The subacromial bursa, which is tissue that sits on top of the rotator cuff, has been found to be rich in stem cells. These cells are thought to be critically important in healing, but traditional rotator cuff repair techniques involve removing and discarding this subacromial bursa tissue. Dr. Gregory’s technique of saving this tissue and incorporating it into the rotator cuff repair has the potential to significantly improve rotator cuff healing. As a result, Dr. Gregory has initiated a research study with his partners at UT Ortho to evaluate this technique.
Patients who choose to be a part of the study will be placed into one of two groups: those who receive a standard rotator cuff repair, and those who receive the same repair with the addition of the stem cell rich subacromial bursa tissue. There is no cost to participate in the study, and patients may be eligible for small reimbursement for their participation. If you have a torn rotator cuff and would like to participate in the study, please reach out to Dr. Gregory’s office to schedule an appointment for further evaluation and discussion.
Dr. Gregory remains at the forefront of advancing care with shoulder replacement surgery. His advancements allow most of his patients to leave the hospital the very same day of their surgery. As part of his desire to share his knowledge and advance the care of shoulder patients nationwide, Dr. Gregory recently published his outcomes on outpatient shoulder replacement in patients over 65 years of age. The link to this article can be found below.
Traditionally, these patients have been required to stay overnight after shoulder replacement surgery. However, with Dr. Gregory’s advances in pain management, counseling, and surgical technique, the majority of these patient are now going home the same day. Dr. Gregory found that these patients did just as well as those who stayed in the hospital after surgery, and in fact, had a lower chance of being readmitted to the hospital for medical issues. If you are considering a shoulder replacement, please reach out to Dr. Gregory’s office to discuss if you are a candidate for same-day discharge.
Fortunately, many shoulder problems can be treated without surgery. Often physical therapy is necessary to focus on restoring muscle balance and posture. These rehabilitation exercises are best done in a guided fashion, with professional therapists focusing on specific exercises and muscle groups to speed recovery. However, attending physical therapy can be time consuming and expensive. Also, many patients feel uncomfortable attending a physical therapy location during the coronavirus outbreak.
In an attempt improve post-operative recovery, Dr. Gregory has developed world-class non-operative rehab programs with myHealthTrack to coach patients through their optimized recovery journey.
myHealthTrack is a mobile app in which Dr. Gregory’s specific therapy guidelines are combined with videos, daily reminders, and detailed instructions from sports psychologists and trainers to develop a mental and physical framework that guides, motivates and tracks patients back to their active lifestyles.
Currently, non-operative protocols for rotator cuff problems, labral tears, biceps tendonitis, frozen shoulder, AC joint sprain, and shoulder arthritis are currently active. To explore, please download the myHealthTrack mobile app from the application store, create a profile, and use Dr. Gregory’s unique code prov_53805. A one-time fee is charged for access to the program. This fee is substantially less than in-person physical therapy copays, and the rehab program can be done at home, at your convenience.
Focusing on rehabilitation can head off many problems before they become severe. If you’d like to discuss non-operative treatment of your shoulder issue, please contact Dr. Gregory’s office.
A challenging aspect to caring for athletes who are returning to their sport from an injury can be trying to establish the appropriate time to do so. If an athlete returns too soon, he or she risks further injury. Too late, and uncessary time is spent away from sport. Dr. Gregory has worked alongside physical therapists to help develop a functional testing program, specifically focusing on athletes who are recovering from a UCL injury – both with and without surgery. Although a majority of these injuries are seen among baseball players, they are also very common among gymnasts, wrestlers, or other competitive athletes. This testing program has been modeled off of a longstanding series of tests that are performed on patients recovering from ACL surgery. The objective of the testing is to determine a safe timeframe for the athlete to begin sports-specific rehab activities, as well as help decrease the re-injury rates following surgery. Through this unique, data-driven, team approach to therapy, Dr. Gregory is helping athletes get back quickly and safely.
Navigating the pre-operative and post-operative recovery process can be hard. In an attempt to streamline and improve post-operative recovery, Dr. Gregory has partnered with a company called myHealthTrack to extend world-class care through daily, digestible content that coaches patients through an optimized recovery journey.
myHealthTrack is a mobile app in which Dr. Gregory’s specific post-operative recovery guidelines are combined with detailed instructions from sports psychologists and trainers to develop a mental and physical framework that guides, motivates and tracks patients back to their active lifestyles.
Currently, protocols for rotator cuff repair and shoulder replacement have been developed and are currently active. To explore, please download the myHealthTrack mobile app from your application store, create a profile, and use Dr. Gregory’s unique code prov_53805. New protocols are being added each week, so check in with Dr. Gregory to see if you are a candidate to participate in this exciting addition to the recovery process.