Back to the Active Life

When Janet fell hiking at 74 years young, she was uncertain if she would ever be able to golf or bike again. Janet suffered a proximal humerus fracture. A proximal humerus fracture occurs when the “ball” of the ball-and-socket shoulder joint is broken. In patients older than 65, proximal humerus fractures are the third most common fracture. To ensure the bone healed in the correct position, Janet had surgery at an outside hospital that involved placing a plate and screws on the broken bone.

For seven months following surgery, Janet worked tirelessly to regain full range of motion and strength in physical therapy. Despite everyone’s best efforts, Janet’s result was suboptimal. “I had zero range of motion and was unable to golf and bike. I was truly depressed,” said Janet. Janet had a friend that was treated by Dr. Millett for a soft tissue injury. “She told me that I needed to go see Dr. Millett.”

Janet visited Dr. Millett’s website and completed the contact form. She sent her x-rays to Dr. Millett’s Practice Director, Amy Manske. Once the imaging was received, Dr. Millett called Janet. “Dr. Millett explained to me that the plate I received during the initial surgery was the best option but despite everyone’s best efforts the bone hadn’t healed correctly. He told me that he could help me get back to golfing and biking with a reverse shoulder replacement.”

Janet drove to Vail where she met with Dr. Millett and his team at The Steadman Clinic. “Dr. Millett was a true gentleman. He was positive that a reverse shoulder replacement would correct my symptoms. He was so confident that having a second surgery, even at my age, was the right choice.”

“Janet was really motivated to get better and other than her shoulder injury, she was quite healthy. In my practice, age is only a relative consideration. Some people would have given up on Janet because she was in her 70’s, but I didn’t. She was in pain and I knew I could help her,” said Dr. Millett.

Janet had a reverse shoulder replacement on June 13, 2017. “I truly never experienced kindness the way that I did during my day of surgery. I felt so relaxed and trusted everyone.” Janet and her husband rented a condo in Vail where they stayed for three nights before returning to her home in Montrose, Colorado.

Janet stopped taking pain medication five days following surgery. “The pain level was nothing like the surgery I had before,” said Janet. She began physical therapy twice a week where she worked on range of motion and strength building.

Janet is now four months out of surgery. “At the three-month mark, I swung a golf club pain free! I have been walking, biking, hiking with poles, and back to golf. Today, I am working to regain full strength in my shoulder and am monitoring my activity,” said Janet.

“It was a huge decision to have another surgery at my age, because I know it takes longer to heal. I put my trust in Dr. Millett, and I could not be happier with my outcome. I also cannot praise the team enough. Amy Manske, Dr. Millett’s Practice Director and Amanda Rakow, Dr. Millett’s Surgery Scheduler really made me feel like family. I am truly thankful to the whole team.”

Janet Biking After Reverse Shoulder Replacement

Janet Golfing After Reverse Shoulder Replacement

While clinical studies support the effectiveness of these procedures, individual results may vary. There are no guarantees of outcome. All surgeries involve the risk of major complications. Before you decide on surgery, discuss treatment options with your doctor. Understanding the risks of each treatment can help you make the best decision for your individual situation.  Always ask your doctor about all treatment options, as well as their risks and benefits. Only your doctor can determine the appropriate treatment for your situation. The clinical information and opinions, including any inaccuracies expressed in this material by patients or doctor are not necessarily those of Peter Millett, MD and should not be considered as substitute for medical advice provided by your doctor.