"My left rotator cuff was severely torn from falling off a horse while on a hunting trip in Montana. I went to an Orthopaedic Surgeon in Rhinelander. They cut my shoulder open, sewed it back up and informed me that the rotator cuff was too badly torn to be fixed. He said I would not have use of my arm. A friend of mine told me about Dr. Dopirak, a shoulder surgeon at Lakeshore Orthopaedics. I made an appointment with him and sent him my MRI. I chose to have Dr. Dopirak perform my revision surgery. He used a procedure only used in California. He constructed a new rotator cuff from a graft patch using stem cells from my bones to grow new tissue. I was the only one he had done outside of California. I was able to return to work as an assembler for Caterpillar Forest Products Building Equipment. I like to hunt, fish and cut firewood. I raise buffalo, Christmas trees, and make maple syrup. In winter I cross-country ski and snowshoe." - David K.
"A local physician told me that my shoulder damage was too bad and there was nothing he could do. They referred me to Dr. Dopirak, who is an orthopaedic shoulder surgeon. After major rotator cuff repair, I can now use my arm like before! I have full range of motion with no restrictions. It is just wonderful. I can now reach over my head with NO PAIN, and can do activities like yard work once again. Dr. Dopirak is wonderful. He is very thorough in explaining things and has an excellent bedside manner – just great. He told me exactly what he was going to do, and he did it." - Gary J.
"What I thought might be just a strain or tendonitis, turned out to be a 90-95% tear of my rotator cuff. Each time I needed to reach above my head, I had no strength and pain in my shoulder. I am an avid gardener and would often get fatigued while doing yard work. It became very achy and weak. I tried exercising and lifting weights, but my upper body strength was still very weak compared to my lower body. Our community has many great orthopaedic surgeons, however, I chose Dr. Dopirak because of his specialty in shoulders and arthroscopic surgery. He is very tactful, honest, and optimistic. After surgery, he showed pictures to me and my family and explained the procedure thoroughly, and indicated that the physical therapy and exercises are essential to recovery. With Dr. Dopirak’s arthroscopic rotator cuff repair, I now have strength, no pain and full range of motion once again. I am very pleased with the surgical results and can lift 2-3 times the weight than before the surgery. I also compliment the physical therapists, who are a vital part of the recovery process." - John S.
"As a senior at Roncalli High School in Manitowoc, I was a captain for the Jets football team. During our game at Waterloo, I suffered a serious shoulder injury. I went to the emergency room, where they could not immediately find what was wrong. I went to Holy Family Memorial and Lakeshore Orthopaedics, where they immediately scheduled a series of tests to pinpoint exactly where I was injured. I had torn a small piece of connective tissue in my shoulder. Lakeshore Orthopaedics' shoulder specialist, Dr. Dopirak, gave me my options for treatment, starting with the least invasive. He talked to me about treatment plans, my needs, and my worries rather than pressuring me into a procedure. I always felt like Dr. Dopirak had my best interests in mind. Dr. Dopirak and I agreed to treat my injury first with physical therapy. However, my shoulder mobility was still limited and Dr. Dopirak suggested arthroscopic shoulder surgery. At first, I was frightened about getting shoulder surgery, yet Dr. Dopirak assured me that it was safe, effective, and that I would be able to enjoy all the activities I used to do. The surgery went great; Dr. Dopirak was there to see me before and after the surgery and that made me feel extremely relieved. After some more physical therapy, I felt better than ever, and it is all thanks to Dr. Dopirak and the staff at Lakeshore Orthopaedics. Lakeshore Orthopaedics has helped me maintain an active lifestyle. Currently, I am an Exercise Science major with a Physical Therapy Emphasis at Carroll University and at times, my classes require a lot of physical activity. My surgery has not limited me in this sense at all. I am able to run, weight lift, swim, and do other physical activities. My shoulder feels stronger than it was before the surgery." - Andrew L.
"I dislocated my right shoulder in a football game in Sheboygan Falls. My parents talked to my primary care physician, Dr. Karl Larson, and he referred us to Lakeshore Orthopaedics, specifically to Dr. Dopirak, a shoulder specialist. Dr. Dopirak did the surgery on my shoulder and I am now at 100% mobility. With the surgery, I no longer have to worry about having my shoulder pop out of the socket. This made it possible for me to continue my career goal to become a police officer. I am currently three months away from graduation and have had no problem completing the difficult tasks during my training." - Kurt B.
"I started to have trouble with my right shoulder in January 2008. Since I have osteoarthritis, I attributed the pain to the onset of cold weather and a flare-up of my arthritis. This was a yearly problem so I took Tylenol. By April, the pain and restrictive motion in my arm sent me to my orthopaedic doctor. An MRI revealed a massive tear of the right rotator cuff. As it was explained to me, the rotator cuff was completely detached and rolled up like a window shade. My orthopaedic doctor did not have the skill to repair it and he had no one that he would recommend to do the surgery. I started my search for an Orthopaedic Shoulder Surgeon and turned to the internet for help. My family and I located three doctors, Dr. Dopirak at Lakeshore Orthopaedics, a surgical group at Johns Hopkins University in Maryland and the orthopaedic department at Mayo Clinic in Minnesota. I set up appointments with Dr. Dopirak, the Mayo Clinic and with the surgical department at my local hospital. The trip to Manitowoc, Wisconsin was four hours and was worth every minute of the drive. After reviewing the MRI, Dr. Dopirak sat down with me and my family. Using a model, he showed me where the injury was and what he would do to reattach the rotator cuff. He stated he would not be able to see the full extent of the damage until he went in, but would stabilize the shoulder and repair the rotator cuff with the tendon that was left. His recommendation was to have the surgery. I explained that I had appointments with two other surgical groups and that I would be in contact. I think the thing that impressed me most was what he said to me next. "It is wise of you to get a second or third opinion. I appreciate your coming all this distance (four plus hours) to see me. There is a group of surgeons closer to your home that I think could help you. If you would like, I will give you their names. You might want to have another opinion." When was the last time you heard a doctor say that? I had two other opinions, but never really had any doubts. I returned to Dr. Dopirak in May 2008 for surgery with excellent results. I was most impressed with the pre-operative briefing. When I woke in recovery there were no surprises. The steps listed on my instruction sheet were very complete. I found the staff at Lakeshore Orthopaedics very professional and most of all very concerned about me. They all went out of their way to coordinate therapy with the clinic near my home. I started physical therapy in July 2008 and by December I was back on my cross country skis. It felt great to be out and about. With Dr. Dopirak's words ringing in my ears, "Don't fall!", I finally put the skis away and finished the year on snow shoes. I'm looking forward to swimming and canoeing next summer. My husband and I plan to camp our way to Alaska later this year. I have placed Dr. Dopirak at the top of my list and would not hesitate to contact Lakeshore Orthopaedics in the future." - Susie B.
"I had a serious shoulder injury, and knowing someone Dr. Dopirak had helped, we traveled to Manitowoc for surgical care. We found Dr. Dopirak and his staff professional and caring. Since the operation I have regained full mobility and expect, with continued strength training, to be able to enjoy all the outdoor activities I previously enjoyed including bow hunting and golf." - Charles S.
"I just read about a study that stated "People who suffer chronic pain tend to have general physical capabilities similar to those decades older." It is nice not feeling a decade older than 82! I want to thank Dr Dopirak, my shoulder surgeon, for trusting my judgment when I said that I wanted surgery for my rotator cuff problems. The fine accommodations he and Holy Family Memorial arranged for me to remain in the hospital 23 hours following surgery were wonderful! The surgery he performed was very, very successful! I really did not experience much pain following the surgery, have been pain free for many months and I am able to move my arm and shoulder very well now. Thank you to Dr. Dopirak, his Physician's Assistant Mike, his MA Amber and the entire staff at Holy Family Memorial Hospital. I felt that they treated me extremely well at each appointment and I will make a special point of telling my other doctors about the successful surgery they performed. I met a former classmate who had rotator cuff surgery and she cannot get her hand any higher than her ear and continues to have pain. Her orthopaedic doctor said she would have to live with it. I told her that my doctor is a shoulder specialist and does corrective surgery, but she is not interested. How thankful I am that I trusted Dr. Dopirak with my surgery! So are my children! I am very, very appreciative of Lakeshore Orthopaedics and its staff. Sheboygan really needed Lakeshore Orthopaedics!" - Betty G.
"I was experiencing some pain and weakness in my left shoulder in early 2007. Some friends asked me to substitute on their volleyball team in November. After the first evening playing volleyball, I had significant pain in that shoulder and very little strength (you know it is bad when you cannot lift your beer glass). In the coming days, it was a chore to open my car door from the inside. After waiting a couple of weeks in vain for the pain to subside and the strength to return, I went to see Dr. Dopirak, who is an orthopaedic shoulder surgeon. Dr. Dopirak laid out my options for physical therapy, cortisone injections and/or surgery. After deciding that surgery was the best option, Dr. Dopirak laid out the time line for recovery and rehabilitation. The surgery took place on December 28th and I shared with Dr. Dopirak that I had planned a trip to Arizona in March and that I expected to play golf on that trip (with his clearance). Dr. Dopirak was encouraging throughout the healing and rehabilitation process, and on March 28th of 2008, I was back on the golf course making full swings with absolutely no residual pain or weakness. Now if he could just fix my hook! I currently have no restrictions as it relates to my left shoulder. I went back to weight lifting about 4 months post surgery and have full shoulder strength in this shoulder. Now, as for my right shoulder....I had similar surgery performed on it about 8 years ago by a Green Bay physician. This shoulder has never recovered to its pre-injury state. Dr. Dopirak will undoubtedly be seeing me for a "redo" on this one sometime in the future." - Will C.
"I have had arthritis since age thirty, which over the years created spurs in the shoulder area. I have also had at least three falls (one off a ladder, another from pushing a car and another on the ice) that apparently caused dislocation of the right shoulder and contributed to problems with the biceps and the rotator cuff. I have had pain for much of my adult life, but nonetheless, have been an extremely active individual in both my work and personal life. In addition to work, I enjoy sports and outings with friends, working around my home and yard, playing with my grandchildren and traveling with my wife. However, for the past several years I have had to give up activities one by one, either because they were too painful, or I did not have the motion I needed to do them. Excruciating pain and inability to move my shoulder/ arm prompted me to finally seek care. I knew I needed to see a shoulder specialist. Although I have previously gone to Green Bay physicians for my orthopaedic care, this time I decided to go to Manitowoc to be evaluated by Dr. Dopirak, who is a shoulder specialist. I eventually underwent surgery for a massive rotator cuff tear in my shoulder. I now have much more mobility in my right shoulder than I had for years and I am almost without pain. In fact, my pain was dramatically decreased immediately after surgery - I couldn't believe it! Per doctor's orders, I have had to take things slow in order to let the surgery site completely heal. However, even with that, I don't have to limit or avoid the things I like to do like I was before. I am able to do the things that make life more enjoyable. My only regret is that I did not go to Lakeshore Orthopaedics for my total knee replacement in October 2009. Being from the greater Green Bay area, I did not believe I needed to travel from Green Bay to Manitowoc for knee surgery. My shoulder is doing great. I wish I could say the same for my knee. Because of the surgery, I am now able to use my gavel freely and without pain as a municipal court judge. I can now do yard work such as mowing, pruning trees and raking some grass, things I had problems with until the April surgery. I also have a bowling party in September, something I could not do for a long time. And most of all, I am able to play with my three grandchildren. As the photo shows, I can now lift and hold my youngest grandchild, Maxwell. I couldn't do that easily before surgery." - Ron L.
"I’m an avid softball player, so I keep in shape by running and lifting weights. I hurt my left shoulder while lifting, so I went to Dr. Dopirak and had an X-ray and MRI done, which revealed a detached biceps tendon and a torn rotator cuff. Now that Dr. Dopirak fixed my shoulder, it has never felt so good! I am an auto mechanic, and the shoulder repair helps me to work overhead, which is necessity in my line of work. I am able to play lots of softball. It even feels better when I am driving my motorcycle! Because of how well the left shoulder turned out, I am actually going to have my other shoulder done this month!" - Richard P.
"Almost a year ago I came to you with some serious knee issues. A few weeks after surgery you were refreshingly candid with me and told me that if I really wanted my knee to heal that I would need to lose 50 pounds. I tell you this morning as I got on the scale that I have hit my goal of losing 50 pounds! I just want you to know that what really motivated me was the fact that at one of our appointments, you took 10-15 minutes out of your very busy schedule and showed me how Weight Watchers worked. The fact that you thought enough of me and my situation and that you would take extra time that you didn't need to gave me motivation. We all get motivated for different reasons and this was mine. The knee is doing fairly well - every now and then I will step awkwardly and give me some issues for a day or two, but overall it is 150% better than before I came to see you. No doubt taking 50 pounds off my joints really helped! I have mixed the Weight Watchers with working out 6 days per week (resistance band training one day, followed by low impact aerobics the next, etc...). I have recently consulted with a personal trainer and he has developed a circuit training plan for me that allows me to get strength training and cardio in one workout so that I can workout 3 days per week as I'm finding the 6 days a week difficult to maintain. I thought you needed to know that by being very personable with me and not trying to get out of my office visit with you as soon as you could made me feel like you honestly cared - I cant' tell you what that meant. That approach will help others as well. Thanks for everything." - Paul H.
"I had a torn rotator cuff, a work injury. I had constant pain in my arm and shoulder and researched the doctors in Sheboygan. I heard many good things about Dr. Dopirak, so I chose him and am very glad I did. He is a very caring and compassionate doctor. He cares about you as a person and not just as a patient, keeping a person comfortable. He returns phone calls right away. Very reliable. My shoulder is better, but I'm still healing. I had a slight speed bump with all this. I was diagnosed with lung cancer and had to have 30% of my lung removed. Dr. Dopirak was so understanding through this whole process. He said, "Go take care of your lung issue and we will resume when you are able." He gave me a hug and wished me well with prayer. A couple of months later I went back and we finished up where I left off. For me it was a long process, but in the end well worth it. Great doctor! Great man!" - Vicki V.