Charles, GRAFTJACKET™ Regenerative Tissue Matrix Recipient
Charles is an auto body mechanic and father of three small children. When he began to experience severe shoulder pain in 2004, he was worried about his job and ability to play with his kids. The pain had been developing for years, but Castillo assumed it was muscle soreness or bursitis–after all, he did lots of heavy lifting at work every day. The problem worsened getting to the point where his shoulder was constantly sore, and by 2005, he couldn’t lift much at all. Because Charles suffers from arthritis, he was certain a cortisone shot would relieve the pain. This treatment offered little relief, and over the next two weeks he developed a staph infection in his shoulder.
In treating the staph infection, his doctors conducted an MRI of his shoulder, and found that Charles had a major rotator cuff tear–an injury of the tendons that support the shoulder. He was referred to Dr. Marc Labbé, who conducted a thorough examination and recommended that all infection needed to be removed before the rotator cuff tear was repaired. The infection was advanced and required Dr. Labbé remove a great deal of dead, damaged and infected tissue from Charles’ shoulder–including much of what was left of his rotator cuff. Charles recalls, “My doctor had to literally grind infected bone off my shoulder, and the infection had eaten up some of my tendons as well.” After six weeks of intravenous antibiotics and physical therapy, Castillo’s infection was cleared but he was very weak. His shoulder still had only 50 percent normal range of motion and he could not return to work without reconstruction of the rotator cuff.
Not excited about undergoing another major surgery, Charles was thrilled when Dr. Labbé suggested an arthroscopic procedure with Wright’s GRAFTJACKET™ Regenerative Tissue Matrix, a treatment typically used to reinforce torn ligaments and tendons and to treat wound defects. The treatment is designed to provide strength to the repair, but also a biologic scaffold that allows the body to repopulate with host cells and ultimately convert to host tissue. Charles says, “I had just had surgery to treat the infection and I didn’t want to open up my arm again. Dr. Labbé gave me a choice. I wanted to avoid the invasive surgery because it would have involved damaging other muscles to get at the rotator cuff area. Dr. Labbé sincerely felt that the GRAFTJACKET™ Matrix would work best.”
On March 1, 2006, Charles was treated with GRAFTJACKET™ Matrix and then received physical therapy for several months to regain strength. By October, he was cleared to return to work and although he’s still cautious about his ability to lift heavy objects, he has regained much of his strength and is again able to play with his kids and maintain his six acres of land. Charles’ only regret is that he wasn’t treated sooner. “Sometimes men try to be too tough–we’re going to just keep going until the arm falls off! But I should have been to the doctor right away when the pain started, and had the rotator cuff tear treated.” Today, Castillo suffers from only minor work-related aches and pains, and is pleased that he has “gotten my life back.”