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Andrew Udoff

Andrew Udoff
Procedure: Wrist surgery

Andy Udoff remembers the day he did something to his wrist; the Eagle County fire fighter was on a structure fire in Red Sky Ranch. As the Engine Company Officer, he was first into the house and was helping his crew pull hose. “All of a sudden, I felt a twinge of intense sharp pain in my wrist, it only lasted a second. I didn’t think much of it at first,” remembers Andy who continued to put the fire out.

Later that day, he noticed he couldn’t move his wrist to the right without intense pain. After filing a workman’s comp form, Andy went to see his family physician who took an X-ray but didn’t see anything. Thinking it was probably a sprain, the doctor sent Andy to physical therapy. “Everything they were doing wasn’t doing anything or was making it worse,” recalls Andy. After several weeks and no relief, his doctor said it was out of his scope and told him to see a specialist.

After asking for a recommendation, Andy’s physical therapist referred him to Dr. Erik Dorf with Vail-Summit Orthopaedics.  “I made an appointment and from the start, Dr. Dorf was the best. I really liked his bedside manner,” says Andy. “I’ve had other orthopaedic injuries and have gone to other clinics where you’re treated like a dollar sign; they don’t care about you at all.” Andy said Dr. Dorf took the time to sit down, listen to Andy’s story, and even took an interest in what he does as a firefighter.

Dr. Dorf ordered an MRI, which showed a torn ligament. Andy apparently did not have a lot of cartilage in his wrist to start with. The MRI showed enough damage that Dr. Dorf recommended liproscopic surgery. “He said once he’s in there, he’ll see what’s going on and decide what to do. He explained everything to me,” says Andy.

“On my surgery day, there was an emergency situation at the hospital and the nurse started explaining to me that my surgery would have to be bump. Dr. Dorf came in and said ‘No, the other guy can wait, he’s stable. Andy’s prepped and ready to go.’ That was the coolest thing,” Andy said.

During surgery, Dr. Dorf discovered the ligament was too badly torn to repair, so he had to use a procedure called ‘debridement’ where he uses a shaver to grate the ligament.

Andy, who was left with three small incisions on his wrist, says he had very little pain after surgery. He went back to physical therapy to get back his strength and range of motion. “A six week injury was fully healed in four weeks. It healed better than it was to start with. I’ve never had a problem since.”

Overall, Andy was extremely pleased with his experience with Vail-Summit Orthopaedics. “VSO doesn’t treat you like a little person. When you make an appointment, you’re in right away. I’ve never waited more than 5-10 minutes. And once you get into the room, the wait is less than 5 minutes.”

And as for Dr. Dorf, Andy can’t say enough good things about him. “I wish I knew him when my shoulder was injured. He’s so smart, but he’s also a great doctor. I just really like how he treats you. He’s focused on what you have to say. I would recommend him to anyone.”