For over 12 years, Larry Loeser suffered from mild to severe shoulder pain. During that time, he saw a couple of doctors who all recommended the same thing: eventually, he’d need a surgery to replace his deteriorating shoulder cartilage.
Larry knew that he needed to hold out on having the surgery for as long as possible. Years ago, his father had gone through a similar shoulder procedure. However, in the early days of shoulder surgery, Larry’s father’s procedure took longer, was more painful, and required a much longer post-op recovery time.
With this knowledge in the back of his mind, Larry was hesitant about getting the surgery.
Limitations Growing Worse
Over time, Larry’s shoulder pain grew worse and his physical limitations became more serious. Always an active person, Larry went to the gym regularly and enjoyed playing sports with his sons. However, he began to notice that he couldn’t take part in his favorite activities anymore.
Playing catch with his sons became very painful as his shoulder worsened. He couldn’t play the guitar for more than five minutes without his shoulder becoming stiff and sore. By the end, he wasn’t able to screw in a light bulb with his affected arm. He became very good at using his left, non-dominant hand because it was too painful to do things with the right.
Larry realized he wouldn’t be able to put off the surgery for much longer. Then, he met Dr. Wilson.
Dr. Wilson, Shoulder Specialist
As his limitations and shoulder pain grew more severe, Larry was referred to Dr. Wilson. “He put me at ease right away,” Larry said. According to Larry, Dr. Wilson carefully explained the procedure and although he stressed its importance for relieving Larry’s pain, never pushed Larry to have the surgery.
First, Dr. Wilson ran a few basic tests to determine the function and limitations of Larry’s shoulder. These confirmed what Larry already knew: that the cartilage in his shoulder was almost completely gone and that he needed surgery to replace it.
Larry agreed to have the surgery and went in for an MRI to get a better view of the shoulder. Dr. Wilson wanted to see if Larry’s rotator cuff was still strong, as this would determine what kind of shoulder surgery Larry would need.
Simple Reassurance, Great Results
While explaining the surgery in depth to Larry, Dr. Wilson told him, “I think you’re going to be happy with the results.”
“That simple statement meant a lot to me,” Larry says.
A Successful Shoulder Replacement Surgery
“The big day was… almost nothing,” says Larry, referring to how painless and seamless the surgical experience actually was. “The whole surgery process was great.” At EmergOrtho in North Durham, Larry underwent a total shoulder replacement surgery with Dr. Wilson.
The surgery went off successfully and a nerve block was placed on Larry that lasted three days. His shoulder was still numb when he arrived home, and he never really felt a lot of pain as long as his shoulder was in a stable state.
Post-Op Recovery, Back to Normal
Recovering from any surgery is a long process, but Larry was able to take the shoulder sling off after about six weeks and regained normal shoulder function within five months.
He has since returned to all of his favorite activities, including working out, playing catch with his sons, and working around the house.
“To anyone who’s thinking about going through shoulder replacement surgery with Dr. Wilson, you’ll know when it’s time for you to do it.” says Larry, “Find a physician you trust and use them as a resource to answer your questions. Then, you’ll feel more comfortable and know when it’s time. Don’t be afraid of it. It’s a wonderful thing once it happens. You’ll be so happy once you do it.”
Need a consultation with a shoulder specialist like Dr. Wilson? Don’t hesitate to give our practice a call today to set up an appointment.