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Mario Estevez

Patient Success #1586: Mario Estevez, "Racquetball Master"
Activity that lead to injury: Severe trauma, Racquetball
Official Diagnosis: Traumatic Shoulder Dislocation, Torn Rotator Cuff, Torn Anterior Capsule, Myofascitis

Over two years ago on the Fourth of July weekend I was wrestling with a 260 pound friend, who rushed me and fell on top of the back of my right shoulder. The weight of the fall caused some tearing in my shoulder nearly dislocating it, and stretching the nerves that go through my shoulder and into my hand. Prior to that, my right shoulder and arm were already having problems from 10 years of handball and racquetball abuse. The end result was that I could no longer move my arm in certain directions, such as putting my hand behind my back.

I developed circulation problems in my shoulder and my hand used to go numb and develop tingling periodically. I couldn't sleep on the shoulder without flaring it up. After years of pounding, twisting and lunging for shots I had lost my balance and strength in playing racquetball.

Three months after my wrestling injury I went to a doctor and was sent to physical therapy. The physical therapists did some ultrasound and massage, and gave me some stretching and strengthening exercises. My arm never loosened up however. I still felt like I was only 20% recovered, functioning only at 20% of my potential. The physical therapists told me that I would have the scar-tissue and restriction in my shoulder and that there was nothing else I could do about it. At that point my shoulder was still so tight that I could not even reach behind my back with it.

After seeing a flyer at Gold's Gym I went in to see Dr. Janzen. I was not expecting much, perhaps that he would be able to loosen me up temporarily or something like that. If I were to describe myself as functioning at 20%, then I thought maybe he'd get me to 50 or 60%. I never thought I'd get my mobility back!

However, after being worked on just once, I was suddenly able to put my arm behind my back again! I was amazed and didn't think it would last. Everyday for the next two weeks when I would wake up I would check to see if the motion was still there, and sure enough it was!

As treatment continued under Dr. Janzen and time went on, my form and my racquetball game began coming back. Soon Dr. Janzen had me strengthening my back, shoulder and right arm; giving me back flexibility I hadn't had in 10 years. I began hitting many more aces, up to 20 aces in a day, whereas I used to get only 2 or 3 when my shoulder was injured.

My buddy Ric who had always dominated me was starting to lose games. We play on an A-league which is the highest rating league in racquetball. Ric's fitness was always superior to mine with all his training and semi-pro soccer experience. I am happy to say I have held the racquetball title for a month straight and now Ric has inquired as to how I have gotten so much better.

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