Conditions + Treatments
I am in my mid-60’s and I’m a long-time patient of Andrews Sports Medicine. I have been successfully treated by various Andrews doctors over the years and quite frankly this practice is the best in the business! I wanted to take the time to share my most recent experience.
I’ve had various surgeries on my right shoulder over the years – my initial surgery was in the late 1970s, another in the 1990s and my last surgery was in 2015. For the most part, my right shoulder hasn’t given me too much trouble in the last 5 years.
However, in August of this year, my right shoulder started aching and the pain got so bad that my only relief was when I kept my elbow held tight against my side. I enjoy fishing and compete in bass fishing tournaments across the state of Alabama. My shoulder pain brought my fishing tournament days to a complete halt. At that point, I had a strong suspicion that I had torn my rotator cuff and made the decision to seek relief at Andrews Sports Medicine.
I made an appointment with Dr. Michael Ryan, one of Andrews’ surgeons. Dr. Ryan ordered X-rays and an MRI. To my surprise, Dr. Ryan told me my rotator cuff was not torn, but instead, I had calcific tendinitis, a disorder characterized by deposits of hydroxyapatite (a crystalline calcium phosphate). Dr. Ryan told me this condition is most common in the tendons of the rotator cuff and this was causing the pain and inflammation in my shoulder. He referred me to Dr. Ricardo Colberg, one of the non-surgical orthopedic physicians at Andrews Sports Medicine, to discuss a minimally invasive procedure that would clean the calcific tendinitis.
According to Dr. Colberg, the calcium had not fully hardened, so he was very confident he could remove the calcium deposits and alleviate my pain without surgery. Dr. Colberg recommended he perform an ultrasound-guided barbotage of the calcific rotator cuff tendinitis, a procedure that he could do in the clinic. In layman’s terms, Dr. Colberg explained that he would be injecting a fluid into my tendon to wash out the calcification and then would pull the fluid back out together with the calcium deposits. He confidently stated that I would experience immediate relief.
At that point, I’m thinking this procedure sounds too good to be true, so I proceeded to ask Dr. Colberg, “How good are you at this procedure?” to which he, replied, “I am great at this procedure.” (Note: I have seen many doctors over the years, and I must say some of them have been cocky and sometimes they forget that the patient writes their paycheck). However, the tone and delivery of Dr. Colberg’s “I am great at this procedure” comment instilled immediate hope and I was very confident he was going to make my shoulder feel better without surgery.
Dr. Colberg then applied a numbing agent to my shoulder and performed the ultrasound-guided barbotage right there in the exam room. Dr. Colberg was spot on with the procedure - I felt immediate relief! Prior to leaving the office, Dr. Colberg confidently stated that my shoulder was going to continue to feel better and that I would even be able to fish in my bass tournament the next weekend.
Thank you Dr. Colberg for being a great doctor! As a patient, you made me feel important and I appreciate your kindness and confidence in your abilities. In the fishing world, you are what we call “a keeper!”