Farming with a Fixed-Up Shoulder | Andrew’s Altru Moment

GrottesWhen Andrew Grotte isn’t driving tractor near Thompson, N.D., he can often be found snowmobiling, hunting or riding motocross. But in the fall of 2015, Andrew’s motocross fun landed him at Altru Advanced Orthopedics in the care of Dr. Darin Leetun.

“I misjudged a jump and fell off my bike, landing on my shoulder,” explains Andrew. “I could immediately tell something was wrong by the pain I felt. It appeared to be misshapen compared to my other shoulder.”

During his initial appointment, Dr. Darin Leetun presented Andrew’s options and shared the pros and cons of each.

Joint Separation
“Dr. Leetun was very knowledgeable about my injury, which was a grade three acromioclavicular (AC) joint separation in my dominant shoulder,” explains Andrew. “My ligaments were torn, so the bones in my shoulder were no longer held together as they should be.” In other words, Andrew’s collar bone was separated from his shoulder blade.

“Once I decided to go through with surgery, Dr. Leetun encouraged me to do it as soon as possible in order to get the best outcome.”

“The nursing staff were all caring toward me and my wife,” shares Andrew. “They made us feel comfortable and checked on us often, both in the emergency room and on surgery day. Dr. Robin Severud, my anesthesiologist, was good at explaining each type of anesthesia I would get, how it works and what to expect.”

Back in the Field
A local potato, sugar beet, wheat and soybean grower, Andrew likes (and needs) to stay active. “I was told my recovery time would be about 12 weeks, and that the outcome would be better than with a nonsurgical route. I chose to go through with the surgery to enable me to continue working and doing other activities I enjoy for many, many years to come.”

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