I had the fun of playing kickball with the grandkids. They're faster than I am and I tripped up and landed on my right shoulder. And wow, I almost went out. The pain was pretty bad. I went to a physician at — an orthopedic specialist — who said, "Well, we could maybe tie it down." And I said, "I'd like a second opinion."
Mr. Lutz presented with a diagnosis of a severe rotator cuff tear — not just a tear, not just some damage, but a fairly substantial tear that would not be amenable to more minimally invasive repair techniques.
In the meantime, I'm driving at most with the car able to keep this hand on the lower part of this steering wheel. I just could not lift it. I couldn't get it shoulder high.
We used a special type of shoulder replacement for his condition. It's called a reverse total shoulder arthroplasty. In simple terms, we do it backwards. We take a new artificial ball. We put it on the socket side. And take a plastic socket, and we put it on the ball side. Backwards in concept, but it changed the mechanics of the shoulder so it actually works quite well.
Well, when I wrecked the shoulder, I figured that probably I wasn't going to get to do some things that I have always enjoyed doing. Instead, it's every bit as good as it was before.
He is an example of what we can achieve with a virtual replacement. It is a man who gets excellent pain relief. And he achieved basically a near normal motion.
He has probably done more reverse shoulder surgeries than anyone else in the country.
It was introduced in the United States around 2004. And we were among the very first to use them. And we've developed an extensive experience history with this technique.
I'm a guy that asks all kinds of questions. And they answer them. And they answer them in ways that I can understand.
The patient is the driver of what we do. As a team — and the patient is part of the team, too — we can come to the decision on what the best care for them is.
One of the things I expected was maybe a little better golf. No. The game has not changed a bit. I still hit them in a drink. But it's a lot of fun. And again, I don't know I have an artificial shoulder in there I have no pain. It's marvelous.