Saved From Surgery Twice!
On a beautiful Friday afternoon, March 30, 2018, after working half day, I had gotten home, changed clothes, eaten a late lunch, and I decided to go for a ride on my 4-wheeler. I went up the old road going up the north side of Screamer Mountain behind my home. I had ridden those roads for years, easy horizontal trails that are generally safe for most riders.
I had noticed an old, vertical trail had been opened up, going up the mountain, off the main trail, with a 3'-4' incline to get up on the trail. I, of course, had to try it, to see where it came out. I lined up the 4-wheeler, placing the front wheels at the bottom of the incline of the new trail. I stood up, leaned over the handlebars, placing my weight forward and started to climb up onto the trail. The engine stalled, I rolled backwards a few feet to level ground. I cranked the engine again and started once more to climb up the small incline. This time I noticed the front end of the 4-wheeler was not only going up, it was falling backwards on top of me. I could hear the words "get off this thing!" in my head; but it was too late. I felt the ground pushing into my back, something was painfully digging into my left shoulder blade. The pain was excruciating. I had to get this thing off of me to keep from being crushed. I pushed with all my might, and flipped the 4-wheeler on its left side. I got myself up off the ground, immediately thinking "hot engine, leaky gasoline"! I managed to turn the 4-wheeler off its side back onto its wheels.
I assessed my injuries, my left shoulder felt like I had dislocated it, or had maybe fractured it. My left shoulder blade felt like it was fractured also. After I calmed down, caught my breath, and was thankful things weren't worse, I knew I had to get back down the trail to get my wife to take me to the hospital. It was painful holding onto the handlebars going over the rocky, rough road home.
We got to the new hospital just at dusk, the ER doctor ordered x-rays. I almost passed out in the x-ray room from pain, trying to move the shoulder for a different angle for one of the x-rays. I looked at the x-rays before leaving the Imaging Department (having read thousands of x-rays myself over the years). The ER doctor confirmed there were no fractures. The nurses placed me in an arm sling, and the doctor dismissed me with a diagnosis of "shoulder strain". As I was leaving the ER room, a nurse told me "to see someone next week if I needed to!"
Having been in private chiropractic practice for nearly 40 years and having treated hundreds of shoulder injuries, I knew this was a serious injury, not just a "shoulder strain." Monday morning I called a friend of mine, who was an orthopedic surgeon. He was closed that day, but was willing to meet me at his office at 8:30 am. He examined my shoulder, said I had done some damage, ordered an MRI and we had the results that afternoon.
The MRI revealed two rotator cuff injuries, one a 90-95% tear in the Infraspinatus rotator muscle tendon, and a less than 50% tear in the Supraspinatus rotator muscle tendon. I had my office staff cancel the entire weeks scheduled patients. I would have to figure out how I was going to handle the following weeks scheduling later. The next day, my orthopedic friend reviewed the MRI and ordered an arthrogram (MRI with contrast). This revealed an additional 15% tear in the biceps tendon. He told me that "any other doctor would want to do surgery immediately", but he felt I could heal on my own without surgery "if you behave yourself!" I knew from experience that healing on its own without surgery could take a minimum 12 weeks, and up to a year for some. I could not afford to shut down my business, or have someone substitute. None of those options were acceptable to me.
Then I remembered an injury I had gone through 3 or 4 years ago. I had torn the meniscus in my right knee completely away from the bone where it was attached. The second week after the injury, I had gone to Franklin, NC to a colleague that had a laser (it was a Class III laser) to see if it would help my knee pain before I was leaving for a week vacation in Florida. He applied the laser which was a pencil thin light that was shining on my leg from the side of the thigh across my knee to the side of my calf. He told me to lie still for 35 minutes. I tried this twice that week with no results, he said it may take 20-30 visits.
The trip to Florida was very aggravating with my knee. When we arrived, I called a colleague that had been a classmate, making arrangements to meet with him one day for lunch to visit. He told me that he had just gotten a K-Laser: a Class IV therapeutic laser, and wanted to treat my knee 3 times that week. I got approximately 25% relief with each 5 1/2 minute treatment, and had a much more pleasant trip home at the end of the week.
Thinking of the effect that K-Laser could have with my shoulder injury, knowing that it could heal injured tissue 30-50% faster than any other modality, I looked online to find someone in my area that might have one. I found a doctor in Seneca, SC that would treat me, his K-Laser was the same model as my classmate had in Florida. I had 2 treatments on my left shoulder per week for 4 weeks with 100% range of motion by the third weekend, and complete pain relief.
After helping heal me from two very serious injuries, I decided then that the K-Laser had to be a part of my practice from now on, for my patients and my family. I wanted and needed that kind of God giving "healing light" to offer those who sought my services.
The end of August 2018, I ordered the latest K-Laser: the 1st Smart Laser, improved liquid cooled, that was approved by the FDA in August 2018. I want everyone to know there is an option for musculoskeletal injuries which is painless, noninvasive, and a lot less costly than surgery