Complex Revision Shoulder Surgery
As the former New Orleans Saints team physician and current director of medical services and head team physician for the New Orleans Pelicans, Dr. Misty Suri, a New Orleans native, has cured a number of high-profile athletes over the course of his career. He also is head team physician for the University of New Orleans, and several high schools in the area, and works as a consultant for LSU Athletics.
“Taking care of professional athletes is both enjoyable and demanding,” he said. “My responsibilities are significant, but are a welcome challenge. Keeping the players healthy and performing at their highest level and returning them from injury safely is a fine balance that I enjoy.”
The toughest case of his career involved a revision shoulder arthoscopic surgery, involving a massive rotator cuff tear and a suprascapular nerve decompression that had two prior shoulder surgeries in another state.
“The nature of the tear and the quality of the tissue necessitated several different surgical techniques to get the rotator cuff tear closed and re-repaired,” he said. In fact, “the repair needed to be supplemented with a special patch on top of the repair” in order to fortify the tissue and increase its chance of healing.
In complex shoulder problems and in sports medicine in general, he says it’s important to fully examine the patients’ history. “Basic imaging such as X-rays are important, as well,” he said. “Advanced imaging, MRI and CT scans are also often indicated and can confirm the initial diagnosis, adding further information such as the size of the rotator cuff tear, quality of the tissue, cartilage status and biceps tendon damage.”.
The prognosis was good in this specific case, he says, given that the repair quality was strong. “The rehabilitation process was slow and gradual with extensive physical therapy to regain motion of the shoulder and increase the strength of the shoulder. Ultimately, the patient did excellent and had a great outcome with a pain-free and strong shoulder with full range of motion.”
For Suri, it was another example of how determination, hard work and persistence can lead to improved outcomes for his patients. “It also showed me the value of continued lifelong learning and being on the forefront of new techniques in sports medicine and shoulder surgery, in order to help solve real-world problems.”
Undergraduate: University of Pennsylvania
Medical School: Chicago Medical School
Hometown: New Orleans