Patient Gives Injections a Shot to Relieve Shoulder Injury


Patient: Ken Opielski

Over the last 25 years, Ken Opielski had rotator cuff surgery on both shoulders. Recovery from those surgeries was difficult.

“The first month after surgery I couldn’t sleep,” Opielski says. “Then it was two more months of hard physical therapy. When it became apparent that I had a new tear in my right rotator cuff I began to seek alternatives to surgery.”

Opieski made an appointment to see Kelly Scollon-Grieve, M.D., a specialist in regenerative medicine at Premier Orthopaedics, who had previously treated his Achilles tendon.

She performed an ultrasound evaluation in the office that confirmed another tear in the rotator cuff.

“He was a good candidate for platelet rich plasma therapy,” Dr. Scollon-Grieve says. “I had a good feeling, based on my experience and the registry outcome data from the Regenexx network of physicians, that he would have a positive outcome.”

Under local anesthesia and guided by ultrasound, platelet rich plasma was injected directly into the tear. The procedure was nearly painless.

Opielski could not help but be nervous about the recovery, especially the pain that he feared might soon be coming.

“The first 24 hours I kept waiting for the spike in pain after the anesthesia wore off, but the pain never really ramped up and I got through that period with eight Tylenol. Plus, I had a good first night’s sleep in my own bed,” Opielski says.

“The next week the shoulder was noticeably fragile, but there was no pain,” he continues. “Therapy focused mainly on stretching exercises. I started therapy on day 4, and by day 12 I was chipping and putting! Two days after that I was cleared to play golf. It was amazing! I am now six weeks from the procedure and am throwing a baseball and pitching to my nephew. I am still pain-free and thrilled to be able to do the things I love. Thank you Dr. Scollon-Grieve.”