Rommel pictured here proudly lifting his daughter after his shoulder surgery and recovery.
Rommel Hipolito is an Information Technology (IT) Architect that has lived in Arizona for almost 19 years. He has always had a passion for working out at the gym and doing CrossFit. However, Rommel recalls that after getting married and having 3 beautiful children, he “slowly noticed that life took over,” as is the case for many people, causing him to understandably no longer spend his usual 12-16 hours a week in the gym. He decided to get back into the gym to enjoy doing what he loved. Rommel shared that he made the unfortunate mistake of assuming he could keep up at the pace of his previous high intensity workouts, causing him to tear both his pectoralis major and minor tendons due to overuse in September 2018.
Thankfully, he was able to quickly schedule an appointment with Brian Gruber, MD, MBA, board certified orthopedic surgeon after reading his website’s reviews and watching his Instagram videos. Rommel said, “It was ultimately Dr. Gruber’s positive reviews and background in Sports Medicine that led me to select him as my orthopedic surgeon”.
Rommel recalls showing up to Dr. Gruber’s office with his arm bruised from his shoulder clear down to his elbow. Rommel stated, “Dr. Gruber immediately knew I had torn both my pectoralis tendons, which was immediately confirmed with an MRI test,” Rommel added, “I was very happy with Dr. Gruber’s assessment of my injury and appreciated there being no guess work.”
Pectoralis Tear Surgery and Recovery
It was then that Dr. Gruber suggested to Rommel that he undergo pectoralis tear surgery, in addition to beginning Integrated Orthopedics’ physical therapy(PT) 6 weeks after the procedure. “The care plan Dr. Gruber and his team provided me was excellent,” Rommel proclaimed. After getting out of his sling 6 weeks post-surgery, Rommel began the intensive physical therapy program offered at Dr. Gruber’s office. Rommel progressed through the program at an astonishing rate and finished in only 11 weeks. During this time, he followed the program very strictly by performing his at-home exercises 3 times a day and never missed a PT appointment.
Rommel said, “Danielle McConnell [one of Integrated Orthopedics’ staff physical therapists] was surprised to see that I had recovered so quickly and still had full, 100 percent range of motion.” Since completing PT in December of last year, Rommel has been able to resume his normal daily activities with no pain or discomfort. This is especially moving for him because when the injury first occurred, he feared he’d never be able to play with or lift his children in the air again. In addition, Rommel is back in the gym doing what he loves, which includes pull-ups and box jumping!
He said, “I attribute 95 percent of my success to Dr. Gruber and his team, and even with having been so diligent with my PT care myself, I know I wouldn’t have the outcome I do now if it wasn’t for everyone at Integrated Orthopedics.”
Rommel thanks Dr. Gruber and his team for getting him back to 100%, adding, “I couldn’t have made a better choice.” Rommel recommends Dr. Gruber and his team to anyone needing orthopedic care and believes Dr. Gruber’s “professionalism, knowledge, and down-to-earth personality” can’t be matched. For those who plan to resume intensive physical activities after taking a break from them, Rommel offers two pieces of advice: 1) “Motion is lotion for the joint,” meaning that you should continue to stay active; and, 2) Slowly, not abruptly introduce a sport or physical activity back into your fitness plan.