After a rotator cuff tear and years of shoulder pain which eventually caused him to give up golf and basketball, Mike Bauer, 57, of Bloomington, IL was ready to get back to his favorite activities. And he knew exactly the right people to ask about the best surgeon for his care and treatment.
“I’ve been in medical sales for 30 years and I know that if you want the very best doctors, ask a sales rep – they know them all intimately,” Bauer explains. “Shoulders are fairly complicated, so I was willing to go to Chicago or St. Louis to see the best expert.”
After Bauer was diagnosed with bone-on-bone arthritis by a local doctor who recommended a shoulder replacement, he polled several friends in orthopedic medical sales. All three came back with the same recommendation: Dr. Brian Forsythe of Midwest Orthopaedics at Rush. Bauer researched Dr. Forsythe and appreciated Dr. Forsythe’s breadth of experience, academic background, and track record treating professional athletes.
“I’ve played sports my whole life,” Bauer says. “Baseball, basketball, golf, ping pong, you name it. In my 20’s I lifted too much weight and damaged my rotator cuff, but never had surgery. I knew that a lifetime of using my shoulder had caught up to me.”
Bauer and Dr. Forsythe met to discuss a plan of action at the Midwest Orthopaedics at Rush downtown Chicago clinic. Bauer liked Dr. Forsythe’s thoughtful, direct manner and appreciated that he patiently answered all of his questions.
“I explained to Dr. Forsythe that I had gotten some relief from cortisone shots over the years but that I couldn’t sleep on my side anymore and even playing the guitar was painful,” he says. “Basically, I had given up many of the activities that I loved to do.”
After a careful exam and review of Bauer’s imaging, Dr. Forsythe agreed with the recommendation that a total shoulder replacement was the best treatment to relieve his pain.
“Mike was a perfect candidate for shoulder arthroplasty (replacement surgery),” explains Dr. Forsythe. “He understood the damage his shoulder had accumulated over the years.”
Bauer’s surgery was delayed once due to the elective surgery shutdown mandated during COVID, but when it was rescheduled shortly thereafter, he appreciated the opportunity to recover and rehab while working from home. He dedicated himself to physical therapy back home in Bloomington and appreciated the notes that his physical therapist and Dr. Forsythe shared about his surgery and recovery. Lee DeDore, Dr. Forsythe’s physician assistant, was always available for questions Bauer had along the way.
“He was committed to the rehab process,” says Dr. Forsythe. “Mike’s tenacity and goal-oriented approach certainly helped him achieve his successful outcome.”
And Bauer is happy to be back on course, literally.
“I am ecstatic,” Bauer says. “I feel great. No pain sleeping, shooting hoops, playing the guitar, and golfing. I’ve had a really, really great outcome. It was a great experience.”