Competitive Wakeboarder - Glenoid Bone Grafting for Complex Shoulder Instability

Casey Gibson, now 26, from Lebanon, TN, injured his shoulder wakeboarding. His shoulder dislocated frequently and his strength and range of motion were severeley limited on the affected side. Two arthroscopic surgeries by his first surgeon were unsuccessful. He described his quality of life as terrible and said his shoulder dislocated every time he went to sleep. A second surgeon performed open surgery but determined that nothing could be done except install an artificial shoulder joint or fuse the shoulder joint. Casey's father declined both options, saying his son was much too young to have these kinds of surgeries. While Casey was recovering from the third surgery and working in a 'Smoothie' shop, a customer came in who had recently had shoulder surgery (Casey knew this because the
customer was wearing the typical sling with a pillow to support his arm and shoulder). Casey asked the customer about his shoulder surgery and the customer said that he had been to several doctors before Dr. Petty was finally able to help him. The customer gave Casey Dr. Petty's card and, soon afterwards, Casey went to see him. Dr. Petty confirmed that the shoulder instability was due to a significant amount of bone loss from the glenoid, the bone that supports the humeral head. The surgical repair was complicated. Dr. Petty cut a piece of bone out of Casey's pelvis, selecting a location where the curvature of the pelvis approximated the curvature of the ball joint. He then shaped the harvested bone as necessary to provide a perfect fit with the damaged glenoid bone and match the shape of the humeral head. Dr. Petty then attached the bone piece to the glenoid using three anchors. Three years after surgery, Casey has full use of his shoulder and has resumed wakeboarding, which he describes as "the love of my life," as well as other athletic activities including white water rafting and throwing a baseball with his 6 year old nephew.