Jonathan’s AC Joint Revision Surgery Story
The Injury: AC joint injury
Jonathan Yau has been through quite the trouble to get his shoulder back into shape. After catching an icy edge and suffering a direct blow to his shoulder while snowboarding on New Years Eve in 2019, Yau hadn’t found what or more importantly, who he needed to repair it.
And he certainly did not foresee that it would take one botched surgery and a long-standing battle with his insurance company to restore his impaired shoulder.
It would take Yau almost an entire year to find the resolution he had been seeking.
“When I went to the doctor in Mammoth,” the popular skiing resort where Yau sustained the blow, “he told me it was a minor injury and to wait and see how it heals on its own,” said Yau.
He had torn the ligaments of his acromioclavicular (AC) joint, a joint critical for mobility and stability of the shoulder.
Yau visited another doctor when he returned to his hometown of Los Angeles days after his injury, who shared the earlier physician’s ease. Still, Yau was not convinced.
“My bone was sticking out,” said Yau. “There was discomfort in my shoulder that prevented me from doing anything more than bodyweight exercises.”
Before his injury, Yau was exceptionally active, regularly partaking in surfing, golfing, and weightlifting. Post-injury, he could barely sit at his computer and type without flinching in pain.
He waited six months before renouncing the earlier recommendations of inactivity and waiting. His pain was not subsiding as suggested, and he couldn’t get back to any of his favorite sports.
Yau found a doctor who seemed promising. He assured Yau that he could alleviate his pain and restore normal function in his shoulder through an AC joint reconstruction. However, its results were all too temporary.
“About two weeks after the surgery, the hardware popped and my bone was sticking out again,” said Yau. “I had a lot of nerve pain and my bone was clicking and grinding,” he continued.
So Yau sought other options.
Three months following the failed surgery and after extensive internet digging, he found Dr. Petrigliano whose “positivity, calmness, and kindness” was what Yau needed to revive hope.
“He gave me a lot of confidence when I was really broken up,” said Yau. “He said I should make a complete recovery and do everything I was doing before”, he continued.