SHOULDER SURGERY / CHAD ZEHMS, MD
Lindsey Marshall had been in pain for more than three years after two automobile accidents injured the same shoulder. Pain had become part of her daily life and kept her from doing the things she loved most.
Now she’s finally found relief and is happy to tell everyone about the surgeon who helped her get her life back.
Lindsey’s troubles began with her first car accident in 2015. She was struck from behind by another vehicle and injured her right shoulder. “I had arthroscopic surgery at another orthopedic center in the area,” she said. “Nothing was torn and I didn’t have rotator cuff damage. They removed a bursitis sac from where bursitis had set in and they shaved off some damage from inflammation.”
Three years later, in October 2018, Lindsey was driving on I-75 when she was again hit from behind, this time much harder. “From what I understand, a young driver realized she was about to miss her exit and cut all the way across several lanes of traffic,” she said. “She ended up hitting me at 80 miles per hour.”
Lindsey was put in a neck brace and on a back board before being rushed by ambulance to the E.R. She was released a few hours later and a few days later contacted her primary care physician. She was referred to physical therapy and had several MRIs. “I had horrible shoulder pain and four bulging discs in my neck and back,” she recalls. “I could hardly move.”
Lindsey did her best in physical therapy. Each time she experienced any kind of relief in her neck and back, her shoulder would irritate the area and she would be back at square one. Eventually, her physical therapist told her that surgery was most likely the only option.
Finding the right orthopedic surgeon turned out to be an easy choice for Lindsey. She works in a medical office in Bluffton and had recently coordinated a “meet and greet” with her physicians and Dr. Chad Zehms from Optim Orthopedics. “Because I had met him in person and knew his background and experience, I felt that he was the best surgeon to properly diagnose and treat my condition.”
Dr. Zehms performed the surgery in February 2019. The procedure was a shoulder arthroscopy with a biceps tenodesis. Dr. Zehms also repaired a partial rotator cuff tear he discovered during the surgery.
“My surgery and whole experience was amazing,” said Lindsey. “I would send anyone to Optim Orthopedics or to Dr. Zehms, without a doubt. They really bent over backwards and jumped through hoops to get my surgery scheduled right away.”
Lindsey couldn’t help but point out that the difference between her 2019 surgery with Optim and her surgery in 2015 with another orthopedic group was night and day. “Even though the orthopedic surgery with Optim was a much more invasive procedure, my recovery time, range of motion and overall recovery was much better than with my first surgery,” she explained.
She also noticed the difference in the quality of patient care. “I didn’t even get a follow-up phone call from the other group after my first surgery,” said Lindsey. “With Optim, I had so much support from Dr. Zehms and his nurse (Chelsea Selner, LPN). They followed up immediately after the surgery and were available and willing to answer my questions and help me every step of the way.”
Lindsey is thrilled to again to be back in action, especially alongside her husband, David, and 12-year-old daughter, Olivia. She’s working out again, gradually building up her strength, and is looking forward to getting back on the golf course.
But if you ask Lindsey which activity she missed most of all, she doesn’t hesitate. “I’m able to brush my daughter’s long hair again.”