Bryan Exterminates Pain After Shoulder Replacement

Bryan Weiss grapples with some tough adversaries on the job: ants, spiders, cockroaches, termites, mosquitoes, and other creepy-crawlies that make the hair on the back of your neck stand up.

But for years, one thing that really bugged him was the pain from his shoulder arthritis. 

“It built up to the point where it was unbearable. My wife said I cried in my sleep,” said Bryan, 53, of Cherry Hill.

Bryan went to see Virtua orthopedic surgeon Andrea Bowers, MD. Dr. Bowers had successfully treated Bryan’s mother for the same condition, and he was confident she could provide positive results for him as well.

“We tried to treat him with conservative measures for over two years before endeavoring surgery,” said Dr. Bowers. “He was young to need a total shoulder replacement, however he had very severe wear— likely a combination of his physical lifestyle and genetics—which validated the need for surgery.”

Dr. Bowers performed an anatomic shoulder replacement and transfer of his biceps tendon. Bryan’s muscular build and calcification of his tendon made the surgery challenging.

“Dr. Bowers was removing pieces of bone from my bicep for a half hour,” said Bryan. “There’s no one I would not send to her. There’s no one else I would trust with my insides and a power tool.”

The surgery and physical therapy gave Bryan more than the ability to hoist a heavy mosquito sprayer onto his back again. It served as a catalyst to turn his life around. At more than 280 pounds, Bryan knew he was heavier than he should be.
“I went to Jamaica. Afterward, I looked at the pictures of myself and was disgusted,” he said.

By happenstance, a Facebook friend named Pete Cerqua, a fitness instructor and author in New York, reached out. Pete helped get Bryan into a workout and diet regimen that in the three years since his surgery has helped him to lose more than 60 pounds.

“I’m doing stuff I hadn’t done in 10 years,” said Bryan, who still carries on his phone the X-rays of his shoulder before and after surgery. “It all goes back to Dr. Bowers.”

“Bryan did his part to achieve an optimal result. He was very compliant with the postoperative physical therapy and diligent about his home exercise program. He restored full active range of motion with excellent mechanics and robust strength,” said Dr. Bowers. “He also took it one step further. He committed to a lifestyle change that resulted in a substantial weight loss. At his most recent follow-up, he was a more vibrant, energized version of his old self. No doubt these changes will benefit his physical and mental health for decades to come!”

Dr. Bowers has gone on to perform procedures on several of Bryan’s family members. He considers her part of his family.

“She is the sweetest person,” he said. “I trust her with everything.”

Don’t Let Joint Pain Hold You Back
From pain management and physical therapy, to surgery and rehabilitation, Virtua Health can help you get back in the game. Our board-certified and fellowship-trained sports medicine specialists and orthopedic surgeons guide your care – from diagnosis to treatment, and beyond. Learn more about the Virtua Orthopedics & Spine program or call 856-517-8812.

Photo credit: Tami & Ryan Photography


Updated June 25, 2021

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