After three years of shoulder discomfort he tried to address through physical therapy and cortisone shots, Pharmacist Ralph Oliver could no longer escape the sharp pains in his shoulders that were waking him up in the middle of the night. While he could no longer lift his arms above his shoulders, the pain and discomfort weren’t affecting his tennis game. As a competitive, year-round player, it was his tennis game he feared losing the most from having surgery.
That’s why when surgery became inevitable—and being right handed—Ralph had Dr. Michael Giovan of Plymouth Orthopedics & Sports Medicine operate on his left shoulder first, followed by the right one six months later. Dr. Giovan performed an acromioplasty, an arthroscopic surgical procedure to make more room for the tendon in the joint socket. Ralph had calcium buildup and scar tissue believed to have developed over time from repetitive motions related to his 37-year occupation.
“I had complete faith in Dr. Giovan and I liked the fact that shoulders are his specialty,” Ralph says. “In both cases, I had surgery on Thursday and was back to work on Monday. Dr. Giovan did such a good job, and it never entered my mind to seek treatment anywhere else.” Ten weeks after surgery on his right shoulder, Ralph was back to swinging his tennis racket. He continues to do resistance exercises to strengthen his shoulders—something he couldn’t do before surgery.