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Appleton Leader Reclaims Her Lake Life after Successful Shoulder Surgery and Rehabilitation

Appleton Leader Reclaims Her Lake Life after Successful Shoulder Surgery and Rehabilitation

Colleen Dreher is spending the summer of 2020 enjoying the “Lake Life” with her family. The CEO of Dreher Collision Centers steps from the dock into the hull of her boat with ease, hugging two of her 12 grandchildren as she takes a seat next to them. This would not have been possible last summer.

While traveling in Chicago eighteen months ago, the active business owner fell out of a pothole, damaging both of her shoulders. The injury was the final blow after years of aggravation from playing golf and hanging from the monkey-bars with her grandchildren.

“I had a torn rotator cuff and there was atrophy of the muscle,” says Colleen. “It was difficult to drive to our service locations, which are located about an hour apart. I wasn’t the high-energy leader I wanted to be. It was impacting the relationships I had with my employees and my family.”

She had shoulder surgery with another provider after her injury. When her pain persisted, she was told there was nothing more that could be done. She sought a second opinion, which was met with the same conclusion.

After struggling through the winter of 2019, Colleen asked her nurse and best friend for advice. They both referred her to the Sports Medicine Center (SMC). The nurses’ husband had his shoulder repair done by Dr.ET Meija. After checking with her insurance provider to confirm SMC was in-network, she made her first appointment.

“I was amazed by Dr. Mejia’s disposition and confidence. I remember walking back to my car feeling hope that I could be back to normal again. I only wished I had seen him first for my shoulder surgery after being told I’d have to live with my condition by two other physicians.”

Colleen admits she was not an easy patient for Dr. Mejia and his attentive physician assistant, Jeremy Belter. “They took every precaution necessary to figure out my problems that I encountered such as large anchors, no real estate to work with, scar tissue issues, and much more.”

Dr. Mejia states, “The merit of her case is that against those odds we felt optimistic and offered to perform her shoulder surgery so she could return the function that she was told she could not have again. It’s a wonderful success story.”

Colleen is thrilled with her care and outcome. “I must say after my shoulder surgery in February of this year, I literally had no pain. It was a miracle.”

Dr Meija performed an additional surgery in June to get the most performance out of the arm. Colleen states she was resisting a little bit due to frozen shoulder (link to involving removing scar tissue and bone spur. Her secondary (or acquired) adhesive capsulitis developed from stiffness following her surgery in February.

Colleen continues her physical therapy sessions, which has allowed her to progress to full use of her shoulder with no limitations.

“The Sports Medicine Center of Appleton is the place to be! I owe a debt of gratitude to them for helping me get back on the water, my happy place with the people I love.”

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