“Expert, Patient-Centered Surgeon and Practice,”” Says Flagstaff Resident About Her Complex Rotator Cuff Repair Experience with Dr. Brian Gruber

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“I’m not the type of person who goes on social media to review and endorse,” says Flagstaff resident Kathleen Park regarding her rotator cuff repair with Dr. Gruber. “But where Dr. Gruber is concerned, I do it. I hand out his pens to everyone I meet who talks about shoulder or knee pain. He’s that good.”

Expert, Complicated, and Successful Rotator Cuff Repair

Dr. Gruber performed a particularly complex rotator cuff repair procedure on Kathleen’s right shoulder in March 2018. Nearly two years later, she feels good and has returned to many physical activities that she would never have been able to do again otherwise.  She has now gone back to swimming, fishing and hunting, as well as crafts such as soap making, canning, stained glass and her beloved pottery making she gave up as her shoulder muscles deteriorated during the mid-2010s.

Physical therapy helped to a point. Like many patients, Kathleen learned to compensate for rotator cuff damage. But PT won’t repair a torn cuff and in Kathleen’s case, Dr. Gruber discovered several rotator cuff tears tears in her MRI, plus tendon damage in her bicep.

A couple of hiccups almost put off Kathleen’s surgery when Dr. Gruber’s anesthesiologist ordered additional pre-op tests as a precaution. Instead of rescheduling her surgery, Dr. Gruber moved forward with other patients and waited until the anesthesiologist reviewed the new tests and approved Kathleen’s condition for surgery.

“Dr. Gruber could have easily sent me home to Flagstaff (a 2.5 hour drive from Phoenix) and rescheduled my surgery. Instead, he waited for the anesthesiologist’s report. And then he performed an already complex procedure that turned out to repair even more damage than we expected.”

Dr. Gruber is One of the Few Capsular Rotator Cuff Surgeons in Arizona

Kathleen knew she was a candidate for a complex procedure called superior capsular reconstruction surgery and initially consulted with local Flagstaff surgeons. All agreed that her rotator cuff was probably beyond repair and none had performed superior capsular reconstruction surgery, which reattaches torn muscle-tendons around the shoulder joint.

Dr. Gruber is one of the few Arizona surgeons who are experienced with and qualified to perform this surgery, which has only been done for about seven years. It goes well beyond traditional rotator cuff surgery and involves placing a cadaver tissue patch into the shoulder joint to repair and grow new, stronger muscle and tendon tissue.

Patient-Centered Care

 Kathleen says Dr. Gruber runs a highly patient-centered practice that starts at the top. “Everyone there is pleasant to work with. Dr. Gruber personally is focused on his patients and very considerate of them.”

As far as recovering from a complicated surgery, there were no surprises. “Of course I hoped for a faster recovery, but it went exactly as Dr. Gruber told me it would,” she comments. “My family and I would definitely count on him for any future orthopedic needs.”