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Healthy You

Hear Me Roar

Thursday, December 28, 2017 7:51 AM

High-powered attorney by day and strongman by night, Brian Pozzi is always pushing himself to the next level. When he is not at work, you can find the 48-year-old flipping tractor tires in his backyard for sport.


Pozzi, of Hawthorn Woods, is dedicated to all of his physical pursuits—from weightlifting to CrossFit to flag football. He even hosts a Saturday morning workout for like-minded friends, complete with kettlebell lifting and tire flipping.

These intense activities came to a screeching halt a few years ago while Pozzi was lifting weights on vacation. He instantly knew he suffered a serious injury in his upper chest. Despite the pain, he recalls his first thought was “how long will it be before I can work out again?”

Assessing the Injury
Pozzi made an appointment with NorthShore Orthopaedic Institute Surgeon Bradley Dunlap, MD, who confirmed a tear in his pectoral muscle tendon. Dr. Dunlap suggested that his sidelined patient also consult with colleague and fellow Surgeon Steven Levin, MD, before making any treatment decisions. Both physicians hold academic appointments at the University of Chicago Pritzker School of Medicine.

“Dr. Levin understood I didn’t want to be out of commission for too long” said Pozzi. “He thoroughly explored the pros and cons of opting for physical therapy (PT) and rehab instead of immediate surgery,” said Pozzi.  

“One of the unique things about Brian’s case,” noted Dr. Levin, “was that on examination he seemed to have a complete tear, but an MRI suggested only a partial tear.” Knowing this, they agreed to first try PT, hoping it would be successful.

Yet, after several months of PT, Pozzi still wasn’t where he wanted to be. “I knew Dr. Dunlap and Dr. Levin were both great surgeons and once we made the decision to have surgery, I was confident it was the right thing for me.”

Team Approach
Due to an accumulation of scar tissue, Pozzi’s surgery would be more complicated than usual. So the pair of sports injury experts decided to perform the procedure together. Repairing Pozzi’s torn tendon went smoothly, setting him on course for a full recovery.

“I literally had the ‘dream team’ of surgeons. They put me back together and I recovered much more quickly than expected. I owe much of it to Drs. Dunlap and Levin,” noted Pozzi.

“The excitement that Brian brings to life is inspiring,” added Dr. Dunlap. “He wants to do everything he can to the fullest extent.” Sentiments echoed by Dr. Levin, who also praised Pozzi’s work ethic and attitude.

“The whole experience was fantastic,” added Pozzi. “I’m beyond where I was before the injury—better and stronger than ever!”