How were you injured?
I was swimming laps at a hotel pool while in Scottsdale, AZ and that night I felt pain in my right shoulder. After that, I had weakness in my shoulder, and I couldn’t hold anything heavy out in front of me or do everyday chores like using hedge clippers. Tennis and golf were out. It wasn’t so much a painful injury as it was limiting in what I could do and the things I enjoy.
What was your diagnosis?
I initially went to see an orthopedic surgeon who gave me a cortisone injection and that helped with the pain, but didn’t alleviate any of the underlying weakness in my shoulder; I had an MRI and it confirmed that I had a tear in the supraspinatus tendon in my rotator cuff. The surgeon said there was no guarantee he could fix the problem surgically and wouldn’t know until he was in there; needless to say, that’s not what you want to hear from your surgeon prior to a surgical procedure. I then asked my primary care physician who to see for a second opinion and she said without hesitation that I should see Dr. Bodor.
You received PRP and BMAC procedures at the Bodor Clinic to treat your injury. For people who don’t know, can you explain what these are?
The platelet rich plasma (PRP) procedure is a simple procedure where they draw your blood and then spin it in a centrifuge to separate the components and then inject the plasma into the site of your injury. The Bone Marrow Aspirate Concentrate (BMAC) is similar except the fluid is aspirated from the hip bone.
How long until you were able to resume your normal activities?
My physical therapist recommended I wait to play tennis until 8 weeks after the procedure and it was another two weeks after that until I was allowed to play golf again. My first time back playing tennis, I was rusty, but I could play without any restriction. I was relieved that I had no issues from that first day back on the courts and I’ve been playing tennis regularly ever since.
Were you surprised that this procedure helped you avoid surgery?
I was very surprised and thrilled because a surgical procedure would have been so much more difficult. It would have been a far more intensive rehabilitation to recover from surgery.
What lead you to join the Foundation Board?
I first learned about NMRF through my friend Con Hewitt, who was already a board member. Because I had such an incredible experience with the Bodor Clinic, I was already aware of the wonderful treatments Dr. Bodor was providing for people in lieu of surgical procedures, so I jumped at the chance to support and help promote his research. I became a donor and board member in 2019.
What most impressed you about the Napa Medical Research Foundation?
The most impressive thing about the Foundation is that they’re making these orthopedic treatments available to everyone. To have Dr. Bodor right here in Napa Valley is amazing given that he could do this research at Stanford or any significant research facility in the world. Anyone would love to have Dr. Bodor at their hospital. It’s incredibly special that he wants to stay here and provide these procedures and leading-edge treatments for adults and children who are suffering from orthopedic problems.
We interviewed NMRF Director, Robert Fowles about his personal experience with regenerative medicine after a shoulder injury and how it led him to become a supporter and advocate for the Foundation.