A PICTURE IS WORTH 1,000 WORDS
Mr. Martin Sutherland, an airline pilot from Jamaica, lives a very active life, including playing golf and running. Unfortunately, he injured his left shoulder a few years ago while engaged in a race with his son’s football team.
Mr. Sutherland tried various forms of conservative therapy including physical rehabilitation to improve functionality and reduce pain in his shoulder, but nothing worked. His range of motion was increasingly worse and his day to day life was being significantly impacted, both at work and at home. “I couldn’t continue playing golf or even run, and any jolt would cause an awful sharp pain,” explained Mr. Sutherland.
When it became clear that he needed surgery, Mr. Sutherland asked for referrals to good surgeons in the UAE. He concluded that Dr. Ali Al Suwaidi was the right person.
Mr. Sutherland explains: “I received three recommendations from physicians and coworkers, all for Dr. Ali Al Suwaidi, so I was confident that I was choosing the right doctor.
According to Mr. Sutherland, from the first visit to the Shoulder and Upper Limb Clinic (SUL), he could sense how confident Dr. Ali and his team were. “I came to know from Dr. Ali that that I had a large rotator cuff tear in my left shoulder and that surgery was required to repair that tear. I agreed with Dr. Ali’s recommendation and underwent arthroscopic surgery, followed by intense post-operative rehabilitation in Dr. Ali’s Unit. My treatment ended in mid-2017 and I’ve been doing great ever since.” Mr. Sutherland adds enthusiastically: “I can even do pull-ups! My shoulder is doing absolutely great”.
In Mr. Sutherland’s words: “Everyone at the unit was very nice and extremely organized. The SUL Unit offers superior care with excellent customer service. Thank you Dr. Ali and SUL team! I am sending you a video of me in action with my fully healed shoulder because a picture is worth a thousand words!
Military personnel successfully treated after a serious work Injury
H.S, suffered from a work injury back in 2014 while he was on duty with the military. The injury was part of a helicopter crash and H.S. sustained a serious right shoulder fracture that included badly injured tendons.
“I was told that my injury was complicated, so I believed that I could only get such treatment if I traveled outside of the UAE” said H.S.
H.S travelled to Germany for 18 months but unfortunately he did not get better. He was very discouraged, but did not want to give up, so he continued his research. “I was told by the Zayed Military Hospital and by friends that we had the best Shoulder Surgeon in the Gulf Region. His name is Dr. Ali Al Suwaidi.”
H.S headed to Dr. Ali Al Suwaidi’s clinic at the Shoulder and Upper Limb Unit for a consultation in 2016. “I was told by Dr. Ali that I had a Labrum tear. I needed Shoulder Stabilization Surgery first followed by other procedures later on”. Although he was nervous about having surgery, H.S. was impressed by Dr. Ali’s clear understanding of his situation and the time he took to thoroughly explain everything. H.S. was confident that he was taking the right step towards healing.
H.S. underwent surgery in 2016 which was highly successful. As part of his plan, he started physiotherapy to improve his shoulder and to prepare for the second surgery. “I started Physiotherapy as soon as I was cleared after my first surgery. I was already feeling better, but I knew that physiotherapy was important. The team was very professional and knew what they were doing.
H.S. returned for the second planned surgery six months later for Capsular adhesion procedure and Subcromial decompression of the same shoulder. This time, he wasn’t nervous at all, and actually looked forward to completing his treatment. “I felt so much better after my first surgery and the physiotherapy sessions. So I knew that Dr. Ali’s treatment plan was the right one.” The second surgery was also successful, and H.S is now undergoing physiotherapy sessions. “I know that my case was complicated and the treatment plan has taken time, but I am so much better and I am very close to being back to normal thanks to Allah’s grace and the SUL Team. Imagine, I wasted about 2 years and traveled thousands of kilometers when I received the best care right at home. Thanks to Dr. Ali Al Suwaidi and his whole team. I have been through a lot and the care I received is outstanding”.
Total Shoulder Replacement Surgery
Mr. Omar, a 56-year old married father of two children suffered from years of pain with his shoulder, which affected his sleep and movement. “I literally could not raise my shoulder because of the pain and any movement hurt a great deal” says Mr. Omar. “All other therapies, including medication and physiotherapy, were not working anymore.”
Mr. Omar shares: “My Rheumatologist told me that my case was complex and that I needed to see Dr. Ali Al Suwaidi, in Abu Dhabi. Even though Dr. Ali is over an hour away from my home, he is considered to be the best with shoulders. So I decided to take the time to drive to Abu Dhabi and am so glad I did.”
Mr. Omar, who works for the Abu Dhabi Government, drove immediately to Burjeel Hospital to meet with Dr. Ali. Even though he did not have an appointment, the Shoulder and Upper Limb Unit fit him into Dr. Ali’s clinic that day.
“Dr. Ali was able to diagnose my shoulder problem using the existing images I brought with me. As soon as he saw my X-rays, he was able to determine the extent of the damage from arthritis. He understood how much pain I was in. After examining me and discussing my history, he recommended shoulder replacement surgery,” states Mr. Omar.
“I was nervous at the beginning and did not understand what this type of surgery was, but Dr. Ali, his nurses and my patient coordinator all put me at ease by explaining the surgery itself in great detail and what to expect. They also walked me step by step through the process leading up to surgery and answered all of my questions. They gave me great peace of mind. I went into the surgery confident that this was the right thing for me.”
Dr. Ali, a Western-trained orthopedic surgery consultant and the head of the Shoulder and Upper Limb Unit (SUL) at Burjeel Hospital specializes in shoulder surgeries. He recalls Mr. Omar’s first visit: “Mr. Omar had suffered from significant arthritis for a number of years and more conservative modes of therapy had been exhausted. Total shoulder replacement surgery was Mr. Omar’s best chance to help restore function and comfort to his shoulder.”
Right after the surgery, Mr. Omar continued his Physiotherapy sessions with one of the Upper Limb physiotherapists in SUL. “The operation went exactly as it was described to me, and the recovery time and physiotherapy went by very quickly as well.”
“I am very satisfied with the results of Mr. Omar’s surgery,” says Dr. Ali. “He now has improved movement in almost every direction, and even more importantly, he has significant pain relief, which was one of our main goals for the surgery.”
One year later, Mr. M. Omar has returned to his normal life and explains that although he still experiences mild pain on occasion, for which he was prepared by Dr. Ali, he is doing so much better than he thought he would.
“The best thing I ever did for myself was to decide on the Shoulder and Upper Limb Unit,” Mr. Omar says.
“The surgery was a complete success and Dr. Ali restored full function to my shoulder. He’s such a humble and kind man and never made me feel that he had to rush me, always taking the time to explain what I needed to do. In fact, everyone in the office is great, from the people who sign you in to those who check you out. My experience top to bottom was really excellent. “Thank you Dr. Ali and the Shoulder and Upper Limb Team!”
Doctors perform a new technique in shoulder surgery for a fast and effective recovery
Published: May 07, 2017
When Luis Evia, a highly experienced Etihad Airways pilot, injured his shoulder in a biking accident, he was worried that his career might be over. Mr. Evia, a 36-year old Mexican national, had seriously injured his Acromioclavicular (AC) Joint, which is the joint between the collar bone and the shoulder.
“After speaking with Mr. Evia, we realized that the stakes were very high for him. If the surgery was not successful, not only would he be unable to pursue his love of outdoor sports, but he might not be able to continue with his career,” explains Dr. Louay Jabban, Consultant Orthopaedic Surgeon at the Shoulder and Upper Limb Unit of Burjeel Hospital Abu Dhabi.
Dr. Jabban and his team discussed options with Mr. Evia and decided on a relatively new surgical technique. This new AC technique allows for earlier rehabilitation and a lower complication rate, due to a more flexible implant that does not need to be removed from the patient’s shoulder.
While this newer surgery is more technically demanding than other traditional shoulder procedures, Mr. Evia had done his research about the surgery and concluded that this surgery was the best option for him.
Not only was the surgery highly successful, but something remarkable happened. In less than 3 months after the surgery, Mr. Evia was able to achieve his dream of successfully competing in ITU World Triathlon Abu Dhabi – a triathlon race requiring significant upper body strength and endurance. Not only was he able to participate; his shoulder was free of pain throughout the race.
Mr. Evia expressed his gratitude and heartfelt appreciation for the quality of service and patient care he received with Dr. Louay and his team at Burjeel Hospital, “I didn’t really believe I was cured until my recent feat. I still remember the first day when I visited Burjeel Hospital; I had significant pain. My condition was restricting me from living a normal life, but Dr. Jabban and his team gave me the confidence to take a chance on surgery. They truly lived up to their promise. I am very grateful to the entire team of Burjeel Hospital for giving me my life back.”