Victim of Motorcycle Accident Finds Help at Restoration Orthopaedics

A Case Study by Dr. Jesse Allert

Shoulder injuries might be the most labor intensive and longest lasting injuries to withstand and heal from. Especially for active individuals, shoulder injuries like dislocation, rotator cuff tears, among other injuries are painful, take a long time to heal, often require surgery and physical therapy, and above all, these injuries impact a person’s everyday life.

Shoulders have the widest movement variety out of any part of the human body. So, when that is disrupted, the repair and rehab required to get better is no joke. In one unique case, a passionate biker lived through a collision that jettisoned him from his motorcycle after being hit by a vehicle head-on. After hospital visits and initial rehabilitation, this patient sought help from Dr. Jesse Allert of Restoration Orthopaedics. Allert’s sophisticated knowledge of shoulder injuries and surgeries combined with the patient’s undying effort to return to his active lifestyle was able to get this man back in the saddle—without pain.

Case Study: Shoulder Versus Motorcycle

Matthew Murray is a husband, father, motorcycle enthusiast and Correctional Officer from Northern New Jersey. Back in October of 2016, he lived through a brutal head-on crash after a vehicle struck him while driving his Harley Davidson bike through his hometown.

“I was coming home from work, about six blocks from home. The car in front of me, which was about 10-15 feet in front of me, was making a left turn. I went slightly to the right around the car. And a car hit me head on,” recalled Murray. “When I hit the windshield, I blacked out. I woke up 35 feet down the road from the accident.”

Murray was rushed to the hospital where he stayed for two days. When he was in stable condition, he was transferred to a rehab center for three weeks. During his rehab stint, Murray met Dr. Julie Keller, of Restoration Ortho—she referred him to see shoulder and elbow specialist, Dr. Allert. After a nerve test, MRIs, and multiple meetings, Dr. Allert suggested surgery.

“The most significant injury that Matt sustained was to his shoulder. His shoulder was dislocated to the point that it damaged the nerves in the front of his shoulder. And he also damaged most of the soft tissue structures that stabilize the shoulder. And he sustained a significant proximal humorous fracture,” explained Allert.

Much more than a sports wound, there were multiple facets to this injury that made it unique and rare, suggesting a custom approach.

Murray remembered waking up on the road after the crash: “In the front of my shoulder there was a piece of bone sticking out,” he said. “And I tore my rotator cuff in the rear.”

Once Allert was able to give a final consultation and the two agreed upon a path forward, it was time for surgery.

“We were able to treat him arthroscopically, which involves putting a camera into the shoulder,” said Allert. “And through other surgical incisions we were able to repair the structures in the shoulder.”

The surgery was successful and physical therapy was imminent. Yet all things considered, Murray was on a great track toward his return to health. At each step, there was no doubt what had to be done to get this patient back to his demanding career and active lifestyle.

Post-surgery, Murray had gone back to “Full duty, and working myself back to the gym,” he recalled. “I’m riding again and there’s nothing I can’t do—I feel great. I have a custom-built Harley, my wife loves the bike, and my kids like it too. I contribute being 100% healthy to Dr. Allert. Both Dr. Keller and Dr. Allert are fantastic doctors, and I wouldn’t be here without them.”

The doc agrees too…

“He has no functional deficits and was able to get back to doing everything he loves to do,” concluded Allert. 

More About the Procedure: Rotator Cuff Surgery

In the case of Matthew Murray, the consultation and treatment had to be a custom job. This injury required surgery on the rotator cuff. Plus, Dr. Allert had to keep in mind that the shoulder was recently dislocated, and a bone had been broken.

A rotator cuff injury and/or tear will almost always require surgery. The rotator cuff is a collection of muscles and tendons that surround a person’s shoulder joint. This group of muscles maintain the top of the upper arm bone within the shoulder socket. Rotator cuff injuries often stem from car crashes or sports injuries. However, the rotator cuff can also get injured and/or wear down over many years’ time.

Shoulder Dislocation

When a person’s shoulder is dislocated, this refers to sliding of the upper arm bone (the ball portion) from the glenoid (the socket portion) of the shoulder. Shoulder dislocation can be partial (subluxation) or complete. Both injuries cause pain and shoulder instability. A patient’s shoulder joint can dislocate in the forward direction (anterior instability) or the shoulder can also dislocate in backward or downward direction. What’s more, this injury can also be associated with ligament or tendon tears, as well as nerve damage.

Specialist doctors like those at Restoration Orthopaedics treat this condition through closed reduction process—placing the ball of a patient’s upper arm back into the shoulder socket. After the shoulder is set back into place, patients are instructed to immobilize the shoulder using a sling for several weeks—along with physical therapy rehabilitation and exercises to restore range of motion.

Restoration Orthopaedics’ Dr. Allert: A Shoulder and Elbow Specialist

Jesse Allert, M.D. is a board certified, fellowship trained orthopaedic surgeon. His work has run the gambit of sports, trauma, among other injuries his patients have sustained. Allert has worked on all sorts of shoulder and elbow injuries—from rotator cuff surgeries to shoulder replacement, shoulder dislocation, repairing shoulder arthritis, as well as on labral tears.

Born and raised in Staten Island, NY, Allert entered New Jersey in a big way—earning a full ride to TCNJ for his undergrad. He went on to earn his medical degree from New York Medical College and completed his orthopaedic residency at Seton Hall University-St. Joseph’s Regional Medical Center, where he was elected to be chief resident. Dr. Allert was also awarded the “Seton Hall University Endowed Scholarship Award”, in recognition of outstanding commitment to ethics, community service, and scholarship.

Allert completed a dedicated American Shoulder and Elbow Surgeons (ASES) accredited fellowship in Tampa, FL at the Florida Orthopaedic Institute (FOI). In Florida, Allert trained under President of ASES Dr. Mark A. Frankle as well as world-renowned shoulder surgeon Dr. Mark A. Mighell. Caring for sports medicine injuries, Allert learned advanced arthroscopic shoulder techniques, and trained under these two pioneers in the world of anatomic and reverse shoulder replacement surgery. Now with Restoration Orthopaedics of North Jersey, Dr. Allert treats patients of all activity levels to return these patients back to their desired level of activity.