A lot of the patients who see me are self-referred.
I mean, they just got kind of sick of living with the pain that they’re in and typically
once it starts disrupting their activities, their daily living, or their sleep cycle they’ll
end up seeing me. Other times, a patient is referred by their primary care physician or
a physical therapist because they’re not making any progress with non-surgical treatments
that they’ve been trying. The common things that I’ll see here in the
office, doing nothing but shoulder surgeries, is shoulder arthritis, rotator cuff pathology
— whether that’s rotator cuff tendonitis all the way to a massive rotator cuff tear.
So there’s a whole spectrum of disorders with the rotator cuff. I also see quite a bit of
what we call “frozen shoulder” otherwise known as adhesive capsulitis. Shoulder replacement surgery is what I specialize
in. I’ve done approximately a thousand shoulder replacements in my 14-year
career. Typically, the shoulder replacements are done for people with either severe arthritis
of their shoulder or something called rotator cuff arthropathy, which is people who have
massive rotator cuff tears that can’t be repaired and a lot of these people are very dysfunctional.
They’re in a lot of pain and can’t raise their arm away from their body and so that’s what
would be treated with something called a reverse shoulder replacement, which I’ve got right
here. So this is a model of a shoulder blade and an arm bone. A shoulder replacement is
made of the same material that hip and knee replacements are made out of — titanium,
something called cobalt chrome, which is a metal bearing surface, and something called
high molecular weight polyethylene, which is a plastic bearing surface typically put
in the socket. So a reverse shoulder replacement is designed
for people with certain situations in the shoulder and then there’s something called
an anatomic total shoulder replacement, which is designed for people who have arthritis with
an otherwise normal shoulder, an intact rotator cuff. Same concept, you replace an arthritic
ball and socket with a metal ball and a plastic socket. They’re just designed a little bit
differently for different situations and it’s probably half and half of what I do — reverse
shoulder replacements versus anatomic shoulder replacements. Primary goal number one with a shoulder replacement
is pain relief. Goal number two is improved function, range of motion and just the ability
just to live life and do stuff with minimal pain or no pain.