Bob's Story

“I can do things without pain — bow hunt, golf and ride motorcycle. I'd given them up a year before my surgery. I'm extremely happy with the results.”

Reverse shoulder replacement puts man back on the road

“On the road again, just can’t wait to get on the road again…” it’s a sentiment that’s echoed through the mind of anyone who’s felt the wind in their hair. For one local, it’s more than a mantra, it’s a reality that was made possible by a recent procedure called a reverse total shoulder replacement.

After more than a decade of shoulder pain, Bob Larson of Isle, decided he couldn’t wait any longer. “Overuse and over time, my shoulder just wore out. My rotator cuff was gone. They couldn’t repair it,”  Bob said. “I couldn’t do anything without having pain.” Bob sought out an orthopedic surgeon and had a reverse shoulder replacement at age 64. 

The reverse total shoulder replacement was performed at St. Cloud Hospital Bone & Joint Center by Matthew Hwang, MD, St. Cloud Orthopedics. What makes the reverse total shoulder replacement unique is that it alters the shoulder's normal biomechanics, truly "reversing" the ball and socket when the prosthesis is placed.

Bob made a rapid recovery and in 12 weeks was ready to go. Since the surgery, he has put 5,000 miles on his Harley Trike. “I’m back to doing the things I enjoy doing,” he said. “I can do things without pain — bow hunt, golf and ride motorcycle. I’d given them up a year before my surgery. I’m extremely happy with the results, so happy, I had the other shoulder done in December. Bob is looking forward to a speedy recovery and getting back on the open road next summer.

Reverse total shoulder replacement* may be recommended if you have: 

  • A completely torn rotator cuff that cannot be repaired 
  • Arthritis which develops in a shoulder due to a longstanding rotator cuff tear (Cuff tear arthropathy) 
  • A previous shoulder replacement that was unsuccessful 
  • Severe shoulder pain and difficulty lifting your arm away from your side or over your head 
  • Tried other treatments, such as rest, medications, cortisone injections, and physical therapy, that have not relieved shoulder pain

* The reverse total shoulder replacement is relatively new in that is was only approved in the US in late 2004. It currently is offered in St. Cloud.