Testimonials: - Dr. Martin R. Coleman

Brian Killough – Shoulder Surgery

I have been a competitive golfer since I was 9 years old and played golf at the University of Virginia in the 1980s. Likely, as the result of years of golf and some acute lifting injuries, I developed pain and lack of strength in my right and left shoulders at about the age of 40. It was nearly impossible to lift anything with an extended arm and golf required anti-inflammatory medication and ice. The team at OSC evaluated the situation and diagnosed the condition as a SLAP tear. As my right shoulder was the worst, it was decided that I needed surgery in October 2009. Dr. Marty Coleman performed the surgery and placed 3 pins in my right shoulder to repair the torn muscles. The initial recovery was quite slow, due to a “frozen shoulder” condition, but the persistence and patience of the OSC Physical Therapy team helped resolve the situation and I reached a full recovery in about 6 months. I later returned to golf in the spring of 2010 and happily had a “pain free” right shoulder.

Unfortunately, my left shoulder started causing similar issues in 2012. It was decided that I would have a similar surgery in October 2013. Dr. Marty Coleman performed another successful surgery and placed 2 pins in my left shoulder. The recovery in late 2013 was quite rapid and the OSC Physical Therapy team helped provide exercises for stretching and strengthening the repaired muscles. Thanks to the outstanding and professional work of Dr. Coleman and the patient and caring OSC Physical Therapy team, I have returned to completely “pain free” golf! Now with some “surgery” on my golf game, I hope to return to competitive golf again in the future.

Beverly Williams – Reverse Shoulder Replacement Surgery

The first time Beverly Williams saw Dr. Coleman, she was in a wheelchair. “I was having tremendous pain in my left ankle,” she says, but that’s not why she sought care at OSC. Only in her 40s, Beverly has suffered from debilitating rheumatoid arthritis since the late eighties, so she attributed her ankle pain to RA. “I assumed it was part of the joint breaking down,” she says. It was a natural assumption: she’d already had all but one of her joints replaced – all but her left hip.

A former reporter with The Daily Press, Beverly had worked in the field for years, covering the courts, criminal and civil, in both Hampton and Newport News. She suffered the effects of RA, undergoing several joint replacement surgeries throughout her journalism career, until she ultimately took a less strenuous job with the communications department at Ferguson Enterprises.

It was in 2009 that her reporter’s keen eye caught a notice in the paper announcing one of OSC’s community lectures: Dr. Coleman was speaking about new modalities in rotator cuff repair and shoulder replacement. She’d had surgery on her right shoulder in 2000 in Richmond, and “…swore that I’d never go through that again, because they cut through my rotator muscle to get to the joint. That recuperation – the physical therapy – was so painful.” But her left shoulder had started to break down, and she was in constant pain. “I knew something needed to be done. Pain is something you remember, and I wasn’t sure I wanted to go through that again. But I knew I couldn’t keep going the way I was. It was hurting to get dressed – I started wearing cardigans because I couldn’t get clothes over my head.”

With her reporter’s curiosity, she was also intrigued by the new technology. She attended the lecture and subsequently made an appointment with Dr. Coleman.

After examining her and reviewing her x-rays, Dr. Coleman remembers, “Beverly’s joint was destroyed and she literally had no rotator cuff. Ten years ago, when people like Beverly came to see us, we’d have to say, ‘sorry, we can’t help you, we can’t make you better.’ We would give them cortisone shots and they’d keep suffering.” He told her that a conventional replacement – putting a ball where the ball was and a socket where the socket was – could give her some pain relief but no function. She’d be unable to lift her arm, and worse, the repair could quickly fall apart, leaving her back where she started.

But that was ten years ago, he assured her, and then described the new procedure: a reverse total shoulder replacement, which relies on different muscles to move the arm. “The very clever French researchers who discovered this particular device realized that if you put it in basically backwards – that is, if you put a ball where the socket was and a socket where the ball was – then the outside muscle, the deltoid muscle, can do the work that the cuff used to have to do,” Dr. Coleman explained, noting that “It’s a mechanical issue; it has to do with the lever arm being better with that arrangement.”

At the time, Dr. Coleman had been doing the reverse total shoulder replacement procedure for about six years. “It was the Holy Grail of shoulder surgery,” he says. “Everybody had been looking for something like this. They’d tried dozens of different techniques – all kinds of things trying to solve the problem – but the French figured it out and it’s become the standard. Everybody now generally agrees this is the best way to solve a problem like Beverly’s.”

Shoulders are Dr. Coleman’s real focus, and he had adopted the procedure early on because he recognized its value, especially since he knew it would offer relief from pain as well as improving range of motion. They booked the surgery.

Of the post operative period, Beverly says, “It was totally different from the right shoulder. Instead of cutting through the muscle, Dr. Coleman was able to just move it out of the way to do the replacement. My healing time and physical therapy were so much better.” Today, she says, “I have more range of motion with my left shoulder, the shoulder Dr. Coleman did.” Naturally right-handed, she’s even begun doing some things with her left hand. She still protects her left hip, but realizes that it too might ultimately break down because of RA. “After the seminar and meeting with Dr. Coleman, I felt I was in good hands, really comfortable,” she says, and “after the surgery and the physical therapy at OSC, there was no doubt I was in the right place. If my hip becomes an issue, OSC would be my first option because of the treatment I received there.”

For someone who had suffered so much and for so long, such a good result would have been remarkable. But that’s not the end of the story, and not why Beverly remains grateful to Dr. Coleman and to OSC. Recalling her eighteen months in the wheelchair, Beverly explains: “At one of my appointments with Dr. Coleman, my mother asked if he knew anyone who works on feet and ankles. He immediately referred me to a local foot and ankle reconstruction specialist, who took one look at my ankle and said I had a ruptured tendon.” She had been walking on a ruptured tendon for about 4 years, until the pain forced her into the wheelchair. Her foot was already beginning to deform to the left.

“It was because Dr. Coleman referred me to the foot and ankle specialist that I got my ankle straight and got out of the wheelchair,” Beverly says. Able to walk without ankle pain, and move without shoulder pain, she was able to exercise, and has lost around 150 pounds. And the wheelchair? “I use it for a desk chair!”

She calls herself “literally, a new woman”; and in fact, when Dr. Coleman saw her at a community event – where she was a featured speaker – he didn’t recognize her. “She was out of the wheelchair, moving around comfortably, and she just looked terrific,” he says.

Today, Beverly devotes her time to working on behalf of patients with RA. As part of the Patient Ambassador Program with The Snow Companies, Beverly produces a monthly webcast, providing information and encouraging conversations about how to live successfully with rheumatoid arthritis.

“No one knows what causes RA,” she explains, “although it’s known that it can be hereditary. In my family, my paternal grandmother was diagnosed in her 70s. I’m the first one to get it so young.”

She still has RA, but before her first visit to OSC, Beverly would never have dared imagine the life she’s living today. “Everything is working, and I feel really good. I’m so thankful to Dr. Coleman, not just for getting my shoulder straight, but because he helped me get my ankle fixed. He started it all. I owe him so much.”

Margaret E. Bailey – Ankle Fracture/Spine Surgery/Knee Surgery

Physician Name: Drs. Coleman, McFarland, and Snyder

My story: A few years ago after breaking my ankle and not knowing any orthopedic doctors, my friend recommended Orthopaedic & Spine Center. Dr. Coleman saw me immediately and gave me advice to reduce the chance of putting pins in. I followed his advice and with his great care I have not had any aches, pains, or problems with my ankle. When I developed back problems other government physicians gave me treatment options that would only be temporary, if they found the problem. I again called OSC where I met Dr. McFarland. He removed 4 bone spurs off my spine. He was honest and told me I would always have some pain, but it would be manageable (and it is). Then I had to have knee surgery which Dr. Snyder performed. I am 74 and active. Thank you all. If you have a problem, don’t hesitate to call – they are caring and they listen. I hope I won’t need their services again, but they will be the first call I make.

Beverly N. Williams – Reverse Shoulder Replacement/Physical Therapy

I can’t stop talking about the great job Dr. Martin Coleman did when he performed a Reverse Total Shoulder Replacement (Arthroplasty) on me in August, 2009. Not only was the recuperation of my left shoulder 100 times easier than when I had my right shoulder replaced in 2000, I am now back to using my shoulder the way I did before rheumatoid arthritis ate up the joint. I can reach for things now without pain, and getting dressed is no longer an agonizing chore. I also can raise both of my arms high in the air when cheering for my NFL team, the Pittsburgh Steelers! Awesome!

Dr. Coleman’s great work was followed by awesome physical therapy at OSC Physical Therapy. Everyone there made coming in for physical therapy fun, which helped me work through the pain. I couldn’t have asked for a better physical therapist than Jim Koske. Jim understood the limitations I faced due to rheumatoid arthritis affecting my joints and causing most of them to be man-made. He came up with a variety of exercises for me to do at OSC and at home to get my shoulder going.

Thanks to Orthopaedic & Spine Center, my left shoulder now feels as good as new.