Patient stories | Megan Talarico

Whatever it takes to find a cure for intense pain in her shoulder, Megan Talarico was willing to keep looking. Fortunately, she looked until the day she met Dr. Ferdinand Liotta, at Valley View’s Glenwood Orthopaedic Center.

“I was in acute pain every day — I couldn’t fold laundry or even wash the dishes,” Megan says. As someone who enjoyed climbing, rafting and pottery, she knew her hobbies were taxing her upper body, and the problem built up over time until the regular pinching in her shoulder was too much to ignore. The problem had already led her to seek out a first surgery in the Roaring Fork Valley followed by physical therapy, but the pain returned.

Upon meeting Dr. Liotta, Megan says she immediately recognized him as an empathetic caregiver and problem solver.

“He’s honestly just so caring — he treats the whole patient and not just the physical aspect,” she says. “He was really concerned with my mental health as well as my physical health.” He also seemed especially perceptive when it came to diagnosis — Megan says when she was unsure if his moving her arm hurt or not, he would note her body language and how she seemed to be bracing herself for the movement. “I wish I had gotten hooked up with Dr. Liotta sooner, or had gotten a second opinion the first time I got my shoulder looked at.”

It did, in fact, take two additional surgeries to solve what turned out to be shoulder impingement syndrome, but Dr. Liotta worked hard with Megan to find the problem, and make her comfortable. “I felt vulnerable and nervous going into the third surgery, but everybody was really great — they allowed my family to be with me even in the crowded room, working carefully with me,” she says. “I had heard how amazing the culture is at Valley View, and it was true — Valley view is very patient-centered.”

Megan is carefully following through with the recovery process, and back in front of a classroom of middle schoolers, teaching math and science. She says Dr. Liotta was just as happy as she was to find that the shoulder pain was gone.

“I really do feel like Dr. Liotta gave me my life back — to not be in pain every day is like having a new lease on life,” she says. “I’m able to focus on happy things in life and move through my day with ease, thinking about the fun things I want to do.”

It took time and patience, but Glenwood Orthopedic Center at Valley View ended up being the exact care that Megan was looking for.