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Older Shoulders

Posted on June 13, 2019 in Orthopedics

Surgery gives active octogenarian life back

The way Bob Robinson figured it shoulder surgery was his only option and Fort Sanders Regional Medical Center (FSRMC) was the best place to do it.

 “I’d rather go to Fort Sanders Regional,” said the 83-year-old Whitesburg resident who lives almost 60 miles from FSRMC. “I’d had both hips replaced and a knee placed there, and I had great experiences there every time. Why change?”

And he says the easy decision was the right decision. “I’m very pleased. I can’t believe it – no   pain. Never felt any pain – a little discomfort every once in a while, but not now. Not anymore.”

Perhaps, the only person more pleased with Robinson’s surgery is Bradley Jaquith, MD, the orthopedic surgeon who performed the reverse shoulder replacement on him last June 25 at FSRMC.

“He certainly had a home-run result with full range of motion and excellent strength,” said Dr. Jaquith. “He had an outstanding result. Many patients think they are too old for surgery and will suffer with severe pain when there is a solution that can give them pain relief and improved quality of life.”

When Dr. Jaquith first examined Robinson in May 2018, he found severe arthritis of the right shoulder limited his motion and his rotator cuff muscles has lost strength – both factors that made him a candidate for reverse should replacement, a procedure primarily indicated for older patients.

“From Day One, it’s been fantastic,” said Robinson, who after three months of therapy is back to doing the things he loves, whether working in his wood shop, digging in his flower beds, swimming or just strumming on his guitar.

“Before the surgery, I couldn’t even hold the guitar because I couldn’t get my arm around the body,” he said. “But after the surgery, the only time I had any discomfort was when I tried to push my arm as far as I could. But Dr. Jaquith would say, ‘I can’t believe you are doing this, going that far.’ He was shocked. He said a lot of people can’t move their arm back, but I could. I tried to swim overhand a little bit. It’s not bad. I can’t freestyle now, but I am 83.”

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