Allan K., Orthopedic Surgery Patient

Gardnerville resident, Allan, has always loved racing bikes. A While back though, he was in a serious accident, one that left him with a big decision to make. Allan needed to find the right orthopedic experts for replacement surgery. He chose Carson Tahoe. Thanks to their advanced technology, expert surgeons and personalized care, Allan has successfully taken on the road to recovery… along with every other road he comes across.

Allan has raced bicycles since he was 12 years old. He races at the elite amateur level and has gone around the world to compete. Usually his races are around 100 miles long and he has gone up to 128 miles. He has been involved in four serious bicycle accidents since he started the sport.

On June 26, 2009, Allan was racing in a criterion on a closed course. This type of race is usually shorter than the longer races that he’s used to, but they are much more fast and dangerous. During the race, he crashed on a rider that had fallen in front of him. He landed on the other rider’s handle bars and broke all of the ribs on his left side. In addition, he had broken vertebrae in both his neck and back and had punctured a lung. His left arm and shoulder were also affected.

Allan drove himself to the ER and was immediately transported to a Trauma Unit. He spent three days there until he could return home. He was advised to follow up on his shoulder since an x-ray had shown injuries. Many of Allan’s friends are physical therapists and they had highly recommended Dr. Jeff Cummings. After a visit to his office, Dr. Cummings immediately saw concerns, including a bone chip off the ball of his shoulder that was about the size of a cashew. He immediately realized that Allan would need shoulder replacement surgery within the next two years. However, Dr. Cummings did not pressure Allan and he decided to wait.

Almost exactly two years later, on July 18, 2011, Allan’s shoulder had only 60-65% mobility and he could no longer bear the daily shoulder pain. Throughout his experience, Allan describes Dr. Cummings as “super friendly,” honest and upfront with his patients. Cummings is very confident in his own abilities, which helped Allan know that going through with the surgery was the right decision.

Dr. Cummings scheduled Allen’s shoulder replacement surgery at the Carson Tahoe Regional Medical Center. The minimally invasive procedure involved replacing the “ball” of his shoulder with cobalt and chromium replacements. The cup side of his shoulder was resurfaced to remove arthritis and the muscles were then reattached.

Allan was amazed to see that this entire procedure left only a two and a half inch incision on his left shoulder. While an inpatient at the RMC, he was surprised at how good the hospital food was and how polite and helpful all of our nurses were.
Dr. Cummings continued to follow up with Allan, seeing him the week after and once a month for the next six months. He instructed Allan that the next 6-9 months in rehab was very important for full recovery. Hard work and determination would be the only thing to help him get back to the things he loves.

Today, Allan is up to 95% mobility and completely pain free. Looking back, he would have scheduled this surgery a week after his injury if he had known the difference it would make in his life. He recommends Dr. Cummings very highly and would refer any friend or family member to his services. In addition to getting back to bicycles, Allan is eager to go kayaking, skiing, and cross country skate-skiing, thanks to Dr. Cumming’s efforts and that of the Carson Tahoe Regional Medical Center.