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Back in "Rock and Roll" Shape

Restoring an Athlete’s Quest for Body Perfection

Will definitely use him again.

Extremely pleasant. Extremely knowledgeable and very nice. Explains everything so that I could understand. Very professional!  Same for the staff.  Will definitely use him again.  
Sanford Weissman

Doing Gymnastics Again

Over 2 years I've seen 4 different doctors and none could help fix my wrist problems and help me get back to gymnastics. Dr. Doumas helped me by taking me through every option possible to avoid surgery first. Unfortunately, my wrist was in pretty bad shape and I ended up getting the surgery done by him. A year later I am finally back to doing gymnastics again and almost back to 100%!

Keeping Up with My Life

Dr. Doumas, I probably should have sent this thank you sooner. However, as I was doing some major rehabilitation on my son's wooden garage doors last week, (the very garage roof that I fell from, causing catastrophic damage to the bones in my wrist) It occurred to me that it is quite amazing that I was able to do this sanding, staining and polyurethaning, using my left hand. The very hand that you reconstructed using cadaver bones, rods, screws and mostly your knowledge and incredible talent. I cannot thank you enough for "fixing" my broken bones in a manner that has caused me minimal lose of movement and use. Although there is some restrictive movement, it is not nearly what I had anticipated. I am left-handed which was a bit of a concern after this injury. Just for a brief update: (even though it is closing in on 4 years!). I am a very limited but enthusiastic guitar player. I am able to play more than 95% of my previous ability. Previous to the injury, I obsessively did push-ups, never missing a day up until Sept. 28, 2016- injury date. I actually did 122,500 push-ups the year I turned 60....yes, I counted. At this date in 2020, I have not missed a day of 200+ push-ups each day since January 1. I could go on with examples of the amazing results of the repair to my mangled wrist, but I will not take up any more of your valuable time. I just wanted to make sure you know how appreciative I am for your work and your talents. You only take a back seat to me thanking God for my recovery! Thank You very, very much. May God continue to bless and guide you.
Michael Brogan

Saved My Military Career

In 2019, I got injured playing hockey for my college team. I went to a doctor who told there was no major problems and sent me on my way. 6 months later, I re-injured and saw a new doctor who after looking at my CT scan, told me I really needed labrum surgery. After I went to Dr. Doumas who told me I had a full fracture, not just a tear, in my shoulder and that he would be able to fix it. 3 days later, I had surgery and it has since been fully repaired. Dr. Doumas saved my military career from being over, just by taking the time to listen to my concerns. Thank you!


This place is awesome. Great staff.
Ion Encarnacion

Youth Athlete Back on the Field, Doing What He Loves

Dr. Buckley patient John Gannon after labral repairIt’s difficult for John Gannon to describe what his arm felt like while blocking an opponent during a football kickoff in the fall of 2018. That’s because his arm was bent and pushed in unnatural angles that can only be described as “pretzel-like”, causing his shoulder to pop out of its socket. John, a 17-year-old three-sport varsity athlete (football, baseball, swimming) and Neptune High School junior had suffered a posterior labral tear of his shoulder. It wasn’t the first time he had hurt a shoulder; however this shoulder injury was enough to send him to Dr. Patrick Buckley at University Orthopaedic Associates.

What Is a Labral Tear?

The shoulder joint is comprised of the humerus (upper arm bone, the head of which acts as a ball) and the glenoid (socket). The socket of the shoulder is shallow and can be unstable. The labrum is a structure that acts like a bumper, to hold the head of the humerus centered on the glenoid to allow for movement of the arm. With trauma to the shoulder joint, especially when the shoulder dislocates, the thick labral tissue is prone to tearing. These tears are common in collision sports, such as football, but also affect an overhead athlete like John who relies on shoulder motion and stability for baseball and swimming.

Labral Tear Treatment Options

In the course of John’s appointment, Dr. Buckley explained his options to both John and his mother. Relates John, “He told me I could try to play through it. I could go to physical therapy (which I had already been through) or I could get surgery right away. Even though I could have played through it, Dr. Buckley explained the risks of doing that.” John felt those risks—chipped bones, continued pain and missed time, and further tearing of the labrum causing greater instability and weakness—weren’t worth it. “It would have been all downhill,” John decided. “It’s cartilage. It could get worse, not better.” Dr. Buckley made John feel that by attempting the play through his injury, “the consequences outweighed the benefits,” he said. John realized that this type of injury does not completely heal on its own, and often requires surgery. Even more important, he had hopes of being ready for baseball season, his main sport, which he also intends to play in college. Using arthroscopy, Dr. Buckley performed a posterior labral repair and a posterior capsulorrhaphy (repair of the joint capsule) to address John’s shoulder pain and instability. Dr. Buckley performed this surgery in a minimally invasive way through three, one-inch incisions around the shoulder. The surgery, says John, was done in “perfect timing.” Eyeing his baseball season, he explains, “I felt comfortable with the four-month timeline for recovery that Dr. Buckley gave me. I healed pretty quickly.” Like all such surgery, John’s recovery included rehabilitation. That’s when it really helped to be an athlete. “I knew what to expect in rehabilitation, and the work I had to do to get back onto the field,” says John. “Being an athlete helps 100 percent. I understand the hard work and the dedication it takes to get better.”

A Satisfied Customer

John knows he found the right surgeon. “When Dr. Buckley explained things, he was super confident,” says John. “That made me confident in him. He was thorough, and I was comfortable with him. He’s a good guy.” Beth Gannon, John’s mother and the parent of four athletic children, is an expert at finding the right medical professional for her kids. “Parents talk a lot on the sidelines of games about which doctors to see,” says Beth. “I tend to sit back, listen, and take it all in. It’s a difficult situation, since everyone sees these doctors at a traumatic point.” Her analysis: “Dr. Buckley explained how the body and the healing process works, and every treatment option for John’s injury. It was important to him that John understood. “He is so personable and cared about my son from the get-go. When Dr. Buckley spoke, he wasn’t looking at me. He spoke directly to John. That was a huge plus. He was never condescending and always supportive. I knew right away John felt comfortable with him. He was also sensitive to the fact that John wanted to get back onto the field. He helped him to make an informed decision.” In fact, so enthusiastic is Beth Gannon with Dr. Buckley’s care that she recently took John’s twin brother Ryan, also a multi-sport athlete, to Dr. Buckley for a lacrosse injury.

Back Behind the Plate

It’s baseball season, and John Gannon is back behind the plate playing catcher. “I can work out regularly, swing a bat and catch a ball,” he happily reports. As of this writing, the Neptune High School catcher and clean-up batter is having a stand-out season, batting .470 with five homers. He was the Player of the Week in week three for the Shore Conference. Concludes John, “I feel like a have a new shoulder. It’s stable; it’s strong. I’m good to go.” If you have experienced a labral tear of your shoulder, request an appointment with University Orthopaedic Associates. Our shoulder experts will diagnose your injury and help you pick the most effective treatment option to return you to your goals.

Back to Work and Back to the Links

Sometimes, a job is just a job. But other times, there are risks that catch us by surprise. That was the case for 53-year-old Spotswood, New Jersey resident Bijen Patel, whose career as a restaurant manager led him down a path to physical disability. That’s because one of his restaurant roles entailed lifting boxes and buckets, some as heavy as 50 pounds or more. And how long did he perform this gym-worthy task? “Over 25 years,” he reports. “Too many years.” His current restaurant stint that began in August 2017 requires a 60-hour week. That all adds up to a lot of lifting. What’s more, he admits that in hindsight, he also wasn’t lifting with proper technique. “The pain built up over time and age; it all catches up to you,” he says.

Finding a Solution to a Common Problem

The trouble began in early 2018. Slowly and intermittently at first, he began to experience arm pain radiating down to his right hand. He went to his family doctor in January, who gave him a cortisone shot to ease the pain. That worked, until it didn’t. The cortisone wore off and the pain returned. Patel went back to his doctor in April, who told him that continuing pain could not be solved by more cortisone injections. The doctor told Patel that he should see an orthopedist and recommended University Orthopaedic Associates (UOA). In July Patel was paired with Dr. Christopher Doumas, a hand and upper extremity specialist at UOA. Relates Patel, “As soon as I told him about the pain, he performed an ultrasound to see if there was damage to the [tendons] of my right arm.” Dr. Doumas pointed out a couple of areas of tendon disease evident from the ultrasound, coming from Patel’s elbow. This was confirmation of a condition called lateral epicondylitis, also known as tennis elbow. Although Patel felt the pain extending into his hand, lateral epicondylitis is the most common cause of elbow pain, which especially affects those age 40 to 60. It is caused by repetitive use of the wrist extensor muscles and tendons. In addition to tennis and other similar sports or activities, tennis elbow is a common malady among workers such as plumbers or painters and those like Patel who often lift heavy objects. It was evident to Dr. Doumas from the ultrasound and failure of conservative treatment that a small procedure was the next step. “This is the best course of action that can help you heal, and can prevent further damage to the tendons,” Dr. Doumas told Patel. Surgery is not a recommendation Dr. Doumas makes lightly. Careful and conservative treatment is the basis of his personal experience and philosophy. But in Patel’s case, the procedure was clearly indicated. In addition to other methods of tennis elbow treatment, Dr. Doumas is also an expert in Tenex Health TX, a minimally invasive outpatient surgery that precisely targets and removes damaged tissue. This surgery has been shown in a number of clinical studies to decrease pain and improve overall functionality. It is also much less invasive with less risk involved than typical open procedures and is performed under local anesthesia so the patient is awake without any of the risks or ill effects of anesthesia On November 14th, Patel underwent outpatient surgery. “It was easier than I thought,” he says of Tenex recovery. “I didn’t feel anything other than a little pain on the second night.” He took some Advil that night but no other pain medication.

The Road to Recovery

Patel was instructed to keep his arm in a sling and remained on disability for three weeks. “I missed going to work,” he says, “but I had no choice. I couldn’t do my job since I mostly have to use my right hand.” He went back to work on December 8, and when he explained to his coworkers that he couldn’t initially lift anything, they all pitched in and helped him. Patel began light lifting by the middle of January and his recovery continues. Overall, “everything is fine,” he reports. To minimize the risk of getting a recurrence, Patel gets by with a little help from his friends. “I used to pick up merchandise, load and unload,” says Patel. “Now, my coworkers do it for me. ‘You stay in the restaurant; we’ll do everything else,’ they tell me.” Of his care from Dr. Doumas he says, “I’m happy. I found the right doctor. Dr. Doumas is a very pleasant person. By my second appointment, I felt like I had known him for a long time.” Of UOA and his treatment he feels that, “everyone was very professional and courteous.”

Longing for His Game

Only one hurdle remains. As he explains, “The bad thing is I can’t golf,” says Patel. He’s enjoyed the sport since 2004 but has missed for the past two years. “It is hard, believe me,” he says. But with care from Dr. Doumas and UOA, it’s back to the links for Bijen Patel. “I’m definitely getting back to golf,” he promises.

I had my shoulder surgery October 7th. with Dr. Coyle, and I would like to say thanks for a tremendous job before and after.  Not forgetting all those I interacted with from the time started the process at the Group's office, X-ray, MRI, and Surgery scheduling, I was met with nothing less than proficiency & efficiency. On the day of the surgery, at the PreOp, Janice and Jennifer, and at PACU Susan, as well as Joan Grady, and to all the others that I didn't catch their names, you really are the utmost of caring & competence. Thank you all.
May God bless you all.

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