“Dr. Pater is extremely knowledgeable. He explained everything to me, and I knew exactly what was happening.”
Chris Mayer discovered Jiu-jitsu at the Dark Horse BJJ academy in Longmont in 2010 and was instantly hooked. He is dedicated to his sport and trains several hours 3-4 times a week. Chris was in the best shape of his life and was competing in Jiu-jitsu tournaments. In addition to winning medals at numerous local tournaments, he took the podium and medaled in 2013 in the Pan-American Championship, often referred to as the “Pan Ams,” which is the largest and most prestigious Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu competition in North America.
It was just another day on the mat “rolling” with a black belt when Chris, a purple belt, got caught in a lasso sweep and heard and felt a pop in his shoulder. He was lying on his back, and when he tried to move his arm, he couldn’t. Chris thought he had dislocated his shoulder. Of course, his buddies at the gym were eager to help and wanted to re-set it right then on the mat. Chris realized he had a serious problem and went to the ER. He had an MRI and contacted his primary care physician, who recommended he see Dr. Pater. At first, Chris was diagnosed with a torn labrum, but he started to notice asymmetry in his chest over the next couple of weeks and realized there was more to his injury. Chris returned to Dr. Pater and had an additional MRI that covered more of his chest. Chris actually had an extremely rare injury – his pectoral major tendon had ruptured. In other words, the tendon connecting his “pec” muscle to his humerus bone in his shoulder had torn off the bone. The only way to correct this injury is to have surgery, and Chris scheduled his procedure at the Orthopaedic & Spine Center of the Rockies. “It’s a little weird to say, but my surgery was fantastic. Dr. Pater is extremely knowledgeable. He explained everything to me, and I knew exactly what was happening. Dr. Pater even drew out the surgery for me to help me understand. There were no surprises.”
After surgery, Chris’s injury required complete isolation of his arm for a month. Therefore, he had to wear a sling, even while he slept, for 4 weeks. He was off pain medication about 10 days after surgery and back to work full time 14 days post-procedure. Once he reached the 1-month mark, the hard work of rehabilitation began. For 3 months, Chris worked hard on a range of motion and strengthening exercises. After 6 months, he was cleared to return to most activities. “I had a very rare injury with a long recovery period. Dr. Pater was great at setting and managing my expectations. I felt that I had the best surgeon and best caregivers treating me.”
In the words of Grand Master Carlos Gracie Sr., “There is no losing in Jiu-jitsu. You either win, or you learn.” Chris is feeling good and has returned to training Jiu-jitsu. He has even tapped two of his training partners! See you on the mat, Chris!