As a cattle farmer, slowing down isn’t an option for Michael McClelland. Growing up on a farm, it’s a pace of life he’s come to know since he was little. His dad and grandpa were both farmers, and as soon as he was old enough, he was out in the field right alongside with them.
“I was probably 7 or 8 years old when I started running the tractor with a square hay baler for my dad,” he said. “It’s all I’ve ever known.”
Now 54, he’s continued the family tradition of farming, alongside his brother-in-law and son. Not much has kept him from the day-to-day demands of his job, except a few injuries, including one earlier this year.
“It was back in January. We were calving, I went out one night to check the cows and there was ice on the ground,” he shared. “I was coming back to the house and made a left turn and my feet went up in the air and I landed on my shoulder.”
He says the pain was tremendous, but he carried on with his work, hoping the pain would subside. After a few days, he realized the pain was worsening and told his wife he better get checked out. They drove to Memorial Hospital in Carthage and after x-rays didn’t show anything, it was decided he would have to have an MRI. That’s when he met Quincy Medical Group Orthopedic Surgeon Dr. Douglas Navasartian, who also serves the Carthage area with outreach services at Memorial Hospital.
Dr. Navasartian diagnosed him with an acute tear of the rotator cuff and subluxation (partial dislocation) of the long head of the biceps tendon.
”When he first came in, he had significant pain and difficulty performing duties at work as a cattle farmer,” Dr. Navasartian explained.
Dr. Navasartian outlined for McClelland both the non-operative and operative treatment options available to him along with the risks, benefits, and alternatives with each of them. McClelland took a week to think over his options and decided surgery was the best route for him.
Going into surgery McClelland says he was ready, but apprehensive, as he’d heard “horror stories” of rotator cuff surgery and the recovery. But, his experience was positive thanks to Dr. Navasartian.
“I could hardly move my shoulder before the surgery, and he was definitely right that I needed it,” he said. “I feel great today. I was surprised about how fast things moved along. I felt like I could see improvement almost every day.”
After surgery, he began rehabilitation with QMG Physical Therapist Kristen Thompson at QMG, where his recovery continued to progress.
“She was fantastic. I saw her in the beginning and I was there every week, once a week, for probably about two months. I feel fortunate to have both her and Dr. Navasartian,” McClelland said.
As he nears the end of his recovery, McClelland says he has enjoyed getting to know Dr. Navasartian and is grateful for his care.
“I really enjoyed him as a doctor. So many doctors don’t have a good bedside manner, but he was great. He was always honest and upfront with me. I’ve had a pretty good time with him.”