Dr. Stephen A. Wasilewski
Dr. Stephen A. Wasilewski, GRAFTJACKET™ Regenerative Tissue Matrix Recipient
Dr. Stephen A. Wasilewski, an orthopedic surgeon in Ketchum, Idaho, is used to performing surgeries on his patients for a variety of conditions. Dr. Wasilewski has been in practice for years and never thought an injury would put him on the operating table.
Dr. Wasilewski was playing golf one afternoon when he accidentally sustained a rotator cuff tear. The pain was immediate and he decided to have an MRI that revealed a massive rotator cuff tear with a fair amount of retraction. The pain intensified to the point he could not get through a two to three hour surgery and, ironically, shoulder arthroscopy was a particular challenge. Function was limited in his arm and the pain impacted things in his everyday life. He had to switch sides of the bed with his wife to be able to turn off the light at night, and golf was a thing of the past. Dr. Wasilewski’s experience as an orthopedic surgeon was a key factor in his realization that his injury needed urgent professional care.
Dr. Wasilewski consulted many specialists in the field of shoulder surgery until he came across Dr. Stephen J. Snyder. Dr. Snyder shared with him his experience with the GRAFTJACKET™ Regenerative Tissue Matrix, a soft tissue graft designed to reinforce and augment repair of rotator cuff and tendon tears. GRAFTJACKET™ Regenerative Tissue Matrix strengthens the main repair and provides the ideal environment for new tissue growth by quickly reestablishing blood, cellular and nutrient activity within the tissue matrix, converting over time into a functional tissue that is much like the patient’s own.
Dr. Snyder explained the science behind the material as well as his arthroscopic technique, and presented other options. Dr. Wasilewski had to choose between lattisimus dorsi transfer, releases to mobilize tendon, allograft cuff patch, or simply live with pain. What appealed to Dr. Wasilewski about the GRAFTJACKET™ Matrix procedure was that this appeared to be a “burn no bridges” approach with very little risk other than that associated with surgery. Dr. Wasilewski considered Dr. Snyder’s skill level and reputation, and decided to undergo the surgery with GRAFTJACKET™ Matrix.
On July 14, 2004, Dr. Wasilewski had arthroscopic surgery to repair the rotator cuff which incorporated the GRAFTJACKET™Matrix to fully reconstruct the anatomy. Today, Dr. Wasilewski is doing very well. His rehabilitation period was relatively easy following the GRAFTJACKET™ Matrix procedure, and he hasn’t experienced major pain or movement issues. After nine months, he was back playing golf. In his first round back on the golf course, Dr. Wasilewski had three birdies and during his third round of golf shot the first eagle of his golf career. In addition, he is now able to do surgeries that he could not perform prior to his own surgery.
Dr. Wasilewski is extremely happy with his outcome to date. “I would definitely recommend GRAFTJACKET™ [Matrix] to other patients,” he says.