October 25, 2018

The Power of Shoulder Replacement Surgery

Scott Smith of Wisconsin Dells shouldered the burden of an injury for a long time. 

After a horse-riding accident at age 14 did lasting, painful damage to his left shoulder that made it vulnerable to displacement, Scott spent 50 years avoiding activities that involved lifting his arm above his head, such as basketball, wrestling and swimming. 

“I just learned to live that way and deal with it,” said Scott, an active person who opted for limited arm motion with things like water skiing, motorcycling and even sky-diving. “But it was frustrating. And it bothered me that I could never put my son up on my shoulders.” 

It wasn’t until he looked ahead to retirement that he seriously considered shoulder replacement surgery. As much as he enjoyed his 41 years of line work for a power company, it had taken its toll. The levers on the equipment he operated were below shoulder level, but he worked long hours in demanding weather conditions and did a lot of heavy lifting.

Coworkers often noticed him holding his arm across his stomach — and one finally asked him that life-changing question. “He said, are you going to just sit and do nothing in your retirement? When I told him I expected to do a lot, he said I’d better get that shoulder fixed,” Scott recalls. 

And so, at age 66 and anticipating active years ahead with his wife, Agnes, and their two young sons, Scott had his left shoulder replaced. It has not come with any of the pain he anticipated — just great results. He’s finally sleeping on his favorite side and getting a good night’s rest, something he hasn’t done for years. 

“I shouldn’t have waited this long,” said Scott, who has encouraged a friend to stop putting off his two shoulder replacements. “I even look forward to my therapy, because that’s getting me more motion back. I’m really happy with everything and I can’t believe how easy it was.” 

The decision to choose Sauk Prairie Healthcare for his surgery was just as easy because Scott felt such a personal connection. Doctors there had helped Scott and Agnes through other health issues over the years. 

“It’s not just a place where you meet your medical needs. It’s more like family,” Scott said. “I hit it off with Dr. Marcu right away and I had total trust in him. My care has been fantastic.”

To learn more about shoulder surgery options and our orthopedic surgeons, contact our joint care coordinator at 608-643-7689.

David Marcu, MD

Arnold Rosenthal, MD

Matthew Hebert, MD

Michael Lamson, MD

Diana Kruse, MD

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