Good Follow-Through Puts Retiree Back in Game

Any baseball player knows a good throw or hit also involves careful follow-through. For one Granbury man, he found that follow-through is just as important in medical care as it is in sports.

Tim Hatch is a retired firefighter who relishes time spent with his family. He enjoys working in the yard, traveling, swimming and being active outdoors. Tim also spends time playing baseball with his grandkids in the front yard, playing catch and throwing balls for them to practice their swings.

Tim was enjoying this inning of his retirement until life threw him a curve ball. As he was working on a fencing project on his property, Tim was lifting and moving heavy posts. He began to feel the effects the next day and knew something was wrong.

“My hand started going numb, and over a period of time, it was difficult to really do anything,” Tim remembers. He sought the help of Dean Papaliodis, M.D., an orthopedic surgeon and sports medicine physician at Orthopedic Specialty Associates, a Texas Health Physicians Group practice. Papaliodis is fellowship-trained in sports medicine, specializing in reconstructive management of the upper and lower extremities.

“Tim had a full thickness rotator cuff tear, and he also had a bone spur underneath the top of his shoulder blade, which looked to be a braiding on the top of where his rotator cuff tear was,”  Papaliodis said.

To return Tim to his active retirement, minimally invasive surgery was needed to repair the rotator cuff injury. Papaliodis first removed the bone spur arthroscopically to make room for the rotator cuff repair. Suture anchors were then used to sew the tendons to the bone and allow the healing process to begin.

Tim’s rotator cuff regained full range of motion in about six to eight weeks, and then he began strengthening his muscles with physical therapy to help ensure long-term health for his shoulder. Three months after surgery, Tim was back to his former activities.

“We’re not just technicians as surgeons. We don’t just do the surgery and then forget about you as you go through your healing process,” Papaliodis emphasized.  “You want to make sure that people are going along the right course.”

Tim is now back in the game, playing baseball with his grandkids and teaching them all about proper follow-through.

Dean Papaliodis, M.D., Orthopedic Surgeon and Sports Medicine Physician

“I have great range of motion,” Tim said. “I continue to stretch regularly to make sure that I continue to improve my range of motion.  My strength is pretty much coming back to where it was. So I feel really very good right now.”

Learn more about Dean Papaliodis, M.D., his colleagues, and the specialized orthopedic and sports medicine care they provide by visiting THPG.org/Orthopedic-Specialty-Associates. To schedule an appointment, call (682) 212-5480.

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