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  • Surgery on Rolen proves complicated

    Surgery on Rolen proves complicated
    By Joe Strauss
    Of the Post-Dispatch
    08/29/2005

    MIAMI - Doctors who performed a two-hour arthroscopic surgery on Cardinals third baseman Scott Rolen's left shoulder Monday morning found "a reconstruction zone" that required more time and more extensive measures to repair than initially believed.

    "He must have had a very high pain level to do what he did," said Dr. Timothy Kremchek, who performed the surgery in Cincinnati after consulting with Rolen earlier this month. "He dislocated or shifted the shoulder out of the back. He had to have a reconstruction. It was the right thing to do and the timing was right. Surgery confirmed it was a lost cause and that further rehabilitation was a waste of time."

    Kremchek called the procedure a success and said Rolen would wear a sling for four weeks and resume baseball-related activities in January.

    "If everything goes as planned, Scott should start hitting in January," Kremchek said. "I think he should be able to get to spring training without missing anything."

    The scope of the procedure indicated a more extensive problem than previously known. Rather than use three screws to reattach Rolen's shoulder capsule to its lining, or labrum, Kremchek tacked four in the back of the shoulder and a fifth in the front to stabilize the area.

    Cardinals medical supervisor Dr. Rick Wright attended the surgery but did not assist.

    "There's no question that he needed this operation - zero," Kremchek said. "I made my recommendation a few weeks ago but after getting in there, there was no question. Scott would not have been able to compete, especially at his level, without it. It just wasn't going to happen."

    Rolen, injured May 10 in a collision with Los Angeles Dodgers first baseman Hee-Seop Choi, attempted to rehabilitate the shoulder after a first arthroscopic procedure May 13.

    He returned to the disabled list July 22 and ultimately sought Kremchek for a second opinion after having severe pain and failing to generate power with his swing.

    "I had an idea what we were going to do," Kremchek said. "I know he gave it the old college try, but I could see why he continued to have the problem. There's a big difference between pain and instability."

    Cardinals orthopedic consultant Dr. George Paletta, who operated on Rolen in May, agreed with the diagnosis that led to Monday's surgery. The club, however, advocated a more conservative approach than Kremchek in the hope Rolen could make a contribution during the postseason.

    After consulting with Kremchek on Aug. 12, Rolen described his condition as having "regressed" during the club's recent home stand. A release issued by the team Aug. 21 named Paletta as the chief surgeon with Kremchek assisting. Surgery also was set to take place in St. Louis. Last week Rolen and his agents notified both doctors he preferred that Kremchek perform the surgery, a development that was not received well by the club.

    "That's past history," general manager Walt Jocketty said. "He had the surgery. It's over with. All we can hope for now is a speedy recovery and just go forward."

    Kremchek underscored that he and Paletta shared the same diagnosis and initial prognosis for Rolen's injury. The Cincinnati Reds team orthopedist, who is scheduled to perform shoulder surgery on Chicago Cubs pitcher Kerry Wood later this week, emphasized that he was comfortable with the initial arrangement of Paletta as lead surgeon.

    "I hope they go on to win the World Series, all the stuff that went on with Scott Rolen is viewed as a non-issue, and he comes back to be the same player as before next year," Kremchek said.

    Reporter Joe Strauss
    E-mail: [email protected]
    Phone: 314-340-8371

    "Can't buy what I want because it's free...
    Can't buy what I want because it's free..."
    -- Pearl Jam, from the single Corduroy

  • #2
    After consulting with Kremchek on Aug. 12, Rolen described his condition as having "regressed" during the club's recent home stand. A release issued by the team Aug. 21 named Paletta as the chief surgeon with Kremchek assisting. Surgery also was set to take place in St. Louis. Last week Rolen and his agents notified both doctors he preferred that Kremchek perform the surgery, a development that was not received well by the club.

    "That's past history," general manager Walt Jocketty said. "He had the surgery. It's over with. All we can hope for now is a speedy recovery and just go forward."
    I don't blame Rolen one bit.
    RIP Chris Jones 1971-2009
    You'll never be forgotten.

    Comment


    • #3
      Originally posted by JWB@Aug 30 2005, 12:29 AM
      After consulting with Kremchek on Aug. 12, Rolen described his condition as having "regressed" during the club's recent home stand. A release issued by the team Aug. 21 named Paletta as the chief surgeon with Kremchek assisting. Surgery also was set to take place in St. Louis. Last week Rolen and his agents notified both doctors he preferred that Kremchek perform the surgery, a development that was not received well by the club.

      "That's past history," general manager Walt Jocketty said. "He had the surgery. It's over with. All we can hope for now is a speedy recovery and just go forward."
      I don't blame Rolen one bit.
      I'm gonna hafta eat some crow on this b/c I chastised some for claiming 'conspiracy' on this, yet the Cardinals somehow bungled this...

      "Can't buy what I want because it's free...
      Can't buy what I want because it's free..."
      -- Pearl Jam, from the single Corduroy

      Comment


      • #4
        Originally posted by *007*+Aug 30 2005, 12:31 AM-->
        QUOTE(*007* @ Aug 30 2005, 12:31 AM)

      • #5
        Glad they waited so long.
        Dude. Can. Fly.

        Comment


        • #6
          So if Rolen isn't ready for Spring Training, can we then assume that this new doctor is a quack also?

          Just checking, because I like to be prepared with my bag of insults.

          Moon

          Comment


          • #7
            The whole 'team doctor' concept has always had a fundamental hole in it and this is the latest example of it. In this case, the possibility exists that Dr Paletta was, understandably, under some pressure from someone in Cardinals management to get Rolen back playing this year.

            These players make so much money that it would seem to me that if my body were the source of my income I'd rather have an expert opinion from an expert who is not paid by my employer.

            Eventually he did that but I wonder how much more damage was caused by bringing him back early.

            Comment


            • #8
              Originally posted by DaLode@Aug 30 2005, 07:59 AM
              The whole 'team doctor' concept has always had a fundamental hole in it and this is the latest example of it. In this case, the possibility exists that Dr Paletta was, understandably, under some pressure from someone in Cardinals management to get Rolen back playing this year.

              These players make so much money that it would seem to me that if my body were the source of my income I'd rather have an expert opinion from an expert who is not paid by my employer.

              Eventually he did that but I wonder how much more damage was caused by bringing him back early.
              I agree, it's like that in all sports. Manangement has expectations to get the guy back asap. The player has to remember he has to make a living with his body. I think J.D. Drew took it to an extreme but that is the problem with "team" doctors.
              RIP Stan the Man
              The StL Blues will NEVER win the Stanley Cup. I repeat, NEVER!
              I miss TLR!

              Comment


              • #9
                I don't blame Rolen a bit. The Cards screwed this up.

                I agree, the team doctor concept just doesn't work.
                Go Cards ...12 in 13.


                Comment


                • #10
                  Originally posted by TTB@Aug 30 2005, 11:23 AM
                  I don't blame Rolen a bit. The Cards screwed this up.

                  I agree, the team doctor concept just doesn't work.
                  The only reason it's around is the team's want control over who the players see and prevent them from potentially seeing some 'quack'....sometimes it works and sometimes it doesn't (Barry Bonds)...

                  "Can't buy what I want because it's free...
                  Can't buy what I want because it's free..."
                  -- Pearl Jam, from the single Corduroy

                  Comment


                  • #11
                    This isn't as clear and cut as some may believe, I think. Sure the Cards wanted badly to have Rolen back for the playoffs, but why would they "rush him back" so early if they pretty much had the division wrapped up by the all star break? I think Rolen is a tough SOB and he wanted to play too. To place no blame in his direction is a bit harsh, IMO.

                    I agree that team doctors can sometimes not have the players best interests at heart, but remember the Cards still have Rolen under contract for 5 more years. Would they honestly risk rushing him back when they could possibly be shortening or even ending his career? Just some alternative things to think about.
                    *Syria becomes the 7th predominantly Muslim country bombed by 2009 Nobel Peace Laureate Barack Obama—after Afghanistan, Pakistan, Yemen, Somalia, Libya and Iraq

                    Comment


                    • #12
                      Wood chose the same doctor for his surgery. Guys like Andrews and Jobe were available for him, too. Maybe this guy is just the best at what he does- no big conspiracy or lack of competence on the Cardinal's medical staff. Isn't Milton Bradley going to Kremchek, too?
                      Do what thou wilt shall be the whole of the law ~

                      A.C.

                      Comment


                      • #13
                        Originally posted by TTB@Aug 30 2005, 10:23 AM
                        I don't blame Rolen a bit. The Cards screwed this up.

                        I agree, the team doctor concept just doesn't work.
                        ++

                        Ask Alan Benes what he thinks of the Cardinal medical staff.

                        jj twiggs - A great family restaurant

                        Dear God, KBF here. I'd just like to say thanks, once again, for allowing Dusty Baker and I to live during the same time period. Every time I think he's given me his last gift -- overpitching Prior in the playoffs, getting cocky in Game 6 vs. the Angels, blowing another game for the Cubs -- he does something stupid like pitching to Albert Pujols. Thy will be done, baby!!!!!

                        Comment


                        • #14
                          From Bernie...

                          The club isn't happy that Rolen went off on his own for the surgery ...

                          Despite his positive public spin, privately Rolen isn't happy that the club pushed him into returning and playing so much so soon after the first injury.

                          Time will heal both -- the shoulder and the soreness over his medical treatment.

                          In the grand scheme -- not a big deal. Both parties are frustrated over the fact that he can't play and they won't have him in Oct.

                          --B

                          "Can't buy what I want because it's free...
                          Can't buy what I want because it's free..."
                          -- Pearl Jam, from the single Corduroy

                          Comment


                          • #15
                            Originally posted by *007*@Aug 30 2005, 04:39 PM
                            From Bernie...

                            The club isn't happy that Rolen went off on his own for the surgery ...

                            Despite his positive public spin, privately Rolen isn't happy that the club pushed him into returning and playing so much so soon after the first injury.

                            Time will heal both -- the shoulder and the soreness over his medical treatment.

                            In the grand scheme -- not a big deal. Both parties are frustrated over the fact that he can't play and they won't have him in Oct.

                            --B
                            Again, good for Rolen.
                            RIP Chris Jones 1971-2009
                            You'll never be forgotten.

                            Comment

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