My testimony is rather long because my shoulder problems and the attempts to correct them took place over a protracted period of time. If you want the end of the story first, Dr. Toman hit a home run in performing my shoulder replacement! If you’re reading this to try and decide whether to trust him to operate on you, I can tell you that he did a great job on me and I doubt if your surgery is as difficult as mine was. He succeeded where at least FIVE surgeons before him had failed. I have seen enough of shoulder replacement surgical and rehabilitation techniques to know what I’m talking about when I say that if you need a shoulder surgeon, you want to go with a surgeon who is going to fix the problem. That surgeon is, without qualification, Dr. Toman.
My shoulder ordeal began some 20 years ago when I began to notice pain when I used a screwdriver. It became worse over the years so that in 2004, I consulted an orthopedic surgeon who recommended open shoulder surgery to repair the shoulder and scrape off arthritis nodules.
I had that surgery and followed up with physical therapy.
In 2005,since I had experienced no improvement, I consulted another surgeon who was purported to be a “shoulder specialist”. He denigrated the surgical techniques used on me the year before and said that he could fix me up using arthroscopic surgery. Had the surgery, went to PT, experienced no improvement.
Fast forward to 2009. I had retired and moved to NC. Pain in shoulder was constant and I was taking significant amounts of OTC pain relievers. In addition, shoulder was now dislocating and locking up to the point that I sometimes had to ask a passenger to shift the car. I consulted a couple of orthopedic surgeons and after X-rays, MRIs and nerve studies, it was recommended that I have a total shoulder replacement because Osteoarthritis had eaten up half of the head of the Humerus. Went through the surgery and on my post op visit, the surgeon expressed some concern that the head of the replacement was too large and that the placement was too high. Nonetheless, he sent me to PT and the pain continued to build. Three PTs working together could not get my arm to rise much above 90. The surgery was performed June 25.
By October 2009, the pain was so bad and the lack of use was so significant that I dropped that Orthopedic group and drove 100+ miles to consult and be evaluated by a supposed Orthopedic shoulder specialist at Duke University. After he had taken more films and consulted all my surgical history, etc., he told me that he could free up my shoulder with a 30 minute arthroscopic procedure.
I had that done in late November 2009. After keeping my shoulder immobile for a few weeks, he prescribed “aggressive” physical therapy. I underwent that therapy, again with up to the three largest, strongest therapists trying unsuccessfully to move my arm.
At the beginning of February 2010, I went for my 2d or 3d post op checkup and the surgeon said he needed to do an immediate revision to correct the errors of the previous surgeon. I underwent that surgery at the end of February 2010, followed by the immobilization and subsequent aggressive PT. I had some improvement in range of motion but I still had quite a bit of pain in the shoulder. He said that was nerve pain from all the invasive maneuvers and from the fact that he had removed 3/4 of an inch of scar tissue that had formed around the nerve bundle. In any event, he discharged me in May 2010 with instructions to return if things didn’t improve after a year.
In October of 2010, we again relocated. This time to Port Charlotte. I found a Primary Care Physician, Dr. Dakouny, in Port Charlotte. At my initial visit and physical, he expressed grave concerns about the amount of OTC pain relievers I was taking. He prescribed some meds to try and provide me relief and then over the course of the next six months monitored my condition as the pain increased and my range of motion decreased. At this point, he referred me to Dr. Toman who agreed to attempt a revision on my shoulder. After the surgery was completed, I was told that it was one of the, if not the, most complicated surgeries ever been performed at Fawcett Memorial Hospital. I am now nearly four months post op and my range of motion is sufficient to perform any task that I encounter. I have exceeded all expectations of my physical therapists and, I think, even Dr. Toman himself. I hope and pray that I will never again have to undergo joint replacement surgery, but if I do, I certainly know who will perform it! Thank you Dr. Toman for doing such a great job.