September 8, 2017

Patient returns to work after two total shoulder replacements

Patient Stories | Shoulder | Total Joint Replacement

Steve Rieke is a hardworking man. His job demands a lot of strength in order to keep up. So when Steve started to experience pain in his shoulders he started to worry about what it meant for his livelihood.

“I was experiencing severe shoulder pain that got to the point I couldn’t sleep at night,” said Steve. “I was also experiencing loss of movement and strength, which made it hard to get dressed or do anything that required over the head movement.”

After meeting with two shoulder specialists, Steve decided to reach out to Dr. Troy Roberson, a shoulder specialist at OrthoIndy.

“After meeting Dr. Roberson I just felt comfortable with him,” said Steve. “He listened to me and understood what I was trying to say.”

Dr. Roberson determined Steve had osteoarthritis in both his shoulders. This type of arthritis is age-related and usually occurs in people 50 years and older. The cartilage that cushions the bones in the shoulder soften and wear away. This causes the bones to rub against one another, which makes the shoulder joint painful and stiff.

“Steve’s osteoarthritis was causing him a lot of pain and discomfort and he had already tried everything possible to get by with it, total joint replacement of the shoulder was the only way to relieve Steve’s pain and get him back to work,” said Dr. Roberson.

In shoulder replacement surgery, the damaged parts of the shoulder are removed and replaced with artificial components, called a prosthesis. The treatment options are either replacement of just the head of the humerus bone (ball), or replacement of both the ball and the socket (glenoid).

“I was able to discuss the options with Steve and reassure him based on the fact I had published a review of the outcomes of these types of surgeries in patients just like him, young but with significant arthritis in the shoulder,” said Dr. Roberson. “Based on this we concluded a total shoulder replacement would be the most reliable option to help him achieve his goals. Both shoulders needed replaced so we set out to fix the most painful one first.”

Since Steve needed both shoulders replaced, he had one shoulder done and then waited some time before having his other shoulder done. Now his pain is gone and he’s getting ready to return to work.

“Steve has regained excellent motion in addition to pain relief. This is a testament to his dedication and hard work as well as his therapist and the whole team,” said Dr. Roberson.

Most shoulder replacement surgeries require a one or two night stay in the hospital. Physical therapy will start right away but it will not be too intense. The physical therapist will also show you simple exercises you can do once you leave the hospital. Total recovery after surgery can take several months. However, you should be able to get back to your daily activities in a few weeks.

“I am glad that I got the surgeries done. The recovery is slow in the beginning, but each week you can see an improvement,” said Steve. “I would highly recommend Dr. Roberson to anyone with shoulder problems.”

To make an appointment with Dr. Roberson please call 317.802.2477. Learn more about total shoulder replacement surgery here.

Schedule an Appointment Call OrthoIndy 317.802.2000
Megan Golden

By Megan Golden

Megan is the current PR Specialist for OrthoIndy. Golden is responsible for all media relations functions and social media strategies. Golden graduated from Ball State University in 2012 with a bachelor’s degree in public relations and advertising and a communications studies minor and has been with OrthoIndy since then.

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