Santa’s QC Cookie Elf Baking Overtime After Shoulder Surgery

Joni King, Eldridge, IA, is the queen of Christmas cookies, after successful shoulder surgery at ORA Orthopedics.

Frosted and buttery sugar cookies are fast and furiously coming out of Joni King’s Eldridge, IA, oven, thanks to successful shoulder surgery at ORA Orthopedics. “I love baking cookies. I bake them year ‘round including Valentine, Easter, and Halloween cookies. However, there’s no doubt my specialty is baking Christmas cookies!”

Joni wasn’t able to share her holiday cheer with her well-known cookies after a summer gardening accident. “I was outside trimming one of my lilac bushes with my electric hedge trimmer, when all of a sudden, I had horrible shoulder pain! However, I worked through the pain because I wanted to finish.

“That night, and for several months later, I was barely able to sleep due to excruciating pain. In the fall, when I tried to roll out my Halloween cookies, the pain was so severe, I had to give up on doing them. I tried acetaminophen, naproxen, and chiropractic care; then finally was referred to ORA.”

Dr. Suleman Hussain, ORA Orthopedics
Dr. Suleman Hussain, ORA Orthopedics

Shoulder Surgeon, Dr. Suleman Hussain, ordered an MRI and determined Joni’s injury was a “full thickness tear” in her rotator cuff. “It was a complete detachment of her rotator cuff. She also suffered from inflammation, as well as two partial labral and bicep tears. Her shoulder had significant detachment of one of the main tendons.”

During the 2016 Christmas cookie season, Dr. Hussain performed minimally invasive arthroscopic shoulder surgery at Crow Valley Surgery Center, Bettendorf. He repaired her rotator cuff and labral tears, as well as removed arthritis and the damaged tissue in her biceps.

“The shoulder is a complicated joint and full of soft tissue,” explains Dr. Hussain. “Rolling a cookie is a fine motor skill because the shoulder performs a complicated kinetic movement that takes coordination. Without a full functioning shoulder, she couldn’t do the things she loved most.”

After a successful surgery and four months of physical therapy, Joni is back on the job and rolling the dough, now that her repaired rotator cuff has restored her ability to wield the rolling pin like a pro.

“I am so very grateful to Dr. Hussain and Physician’s Assistant, Bradi Kipper, as well as everyone at ORA who gave me my life back. Without my rotator cuff, bicep, and labrum repair surgery, none of this would be possible. Look at me now! There is nothing I can’t do!”

Keep on rolling, Joni. Santa’s sleigh is filling up fast.

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