We first met Garrett Gross right out of surgery still in a sling, but so immobile he couldn’t even move his shoulder OUT of the sling. In January five months later, with treatment from Miller PT and being diligent in his exercises and health overall, Garrett won his MMA fight by TKO in St. Louis.
Garrett fought in St. Louis back in April of 2014, and in the first round tore his rotator cuff quite badly, to the point that surgery was unavoidable. Amazingly, and to his credit of fierce determination, Garrett won his fight regardless.
Garrett then did what most people try to do – especially younger athletes: he tried to wait it out and see if his shoulder could heal on its own. Although he made small inches of progress, it wasn’t near his original strength - no darn good for competition - and that’s when he knew he’d have to bend to surgery.
The shoulder is an elegant and complex piece of machinery. Its design allows us to reach and use our hands in many different positions. However, while the shoulder joint has great range of motion, it is not very stable. This makes the shoulder vulnerable to problems if any of its parts aren't in good working order – or, if you’re an MMA fighter.
The rotator cuff tendons are key to the healthy functioning of the shoulder. They are subject to a lot of wear and tear, or degeneration, as we use our arms. Tearing of the rotator cuff tendons is an especially painful injury. A torn rotator cuff creates a very weak shoulder. Most of the time patients with torn rotator cuffs are in late middle age. But rotator cuffs tears can happen at any age.
Since July 2014 Garrett has been coming to Miler PT and has undergone a personalized protocol with a lot of hands on / manual treatment to improve range of motion and mobility, stretching, strengthening and stabilization exercises to help return him to his prior level of function.
We love Garrett at Millet PT – great guy, and his prognosis is excellent because he has been very diligent with his home exercises, which is a vital component of most rotator cuff surgeries. We are thrilled he has made the move permanent from St. Louis and has made South Florida his home, with his fiancée and his young son.
Garrett himself says,
“Love the Miller PT Team. These guys know what they are doing. But moreover, when I go there I know they care, that they are focused on only my recovery when they work on me, and that they are completely vested in my getting 100% well. That personal care is hard to come by.”
Garrett trains at the American Top Team in Coconut Creek, FL – and you can catch his next fight in April. Check out his Facebook page to learn more about him and his next fight.
Keep pushing to stay healthy -
Scott & the Miller PT Team
More On Shoulder & Rotor Cuff Anatomy:
The shoulder is made up of three bones: the scapula (shoulder blade), the humerus (upper arm bone), and the clavicle (collarbone). The rotator cuff connects the humerus to the scapula. The rotator cuff is formed by the tendons of four muscles: the supraspinatus, infraspinatus, teres minor, and subscapularis.
Tendons attach muscles to bones. Muscles move the bones by pulling on the tendons. The rotator cuff helps raise and rotate the arm.
As the arm is raised, the rotator cuff also keeps the humerus tightly in the socket of the scapula. The upper part of the scapula that makes up the roof of the shoulder is called the acromion.
Want to learn more? Schedule an appointment to come in, or just drop by!