Shoulder Surgery Options - KTVN Channel 2 - Reno Tahoe Sparks News, Weather, Video

Shoulder Surgery Options

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"So bring your arms up above you as high as you can go,” asks Dr. Michael Lilyquist of his patient. “That's awesome range of motion already." Robert Rodriguez could barely lift his right arm three months ago. He had immense pain in his shoulder; it started bothering him 30 years ago! So Robert finally opted for surgery with Great Basin Orthopaedics Surgeon, Dr. Lilyquist.

We met Robert nearly 12 weeks ago before surgery at Northern Nevada Medical Center. "I'm getting a total right shoulder replacement here,” Robert explained. “I have severe, degenerative arthritis which has worsened over time."

Dr. Lilyquist planned to perform a newer technique on Robert called a resurfacing total shoulder. "Instead of taking off the whole entire ball of the socket - you just resurface it and put a cap on it. The purpose of that is to preserve bone and that's usually done in the younger population." It also means little down time; most people can start physical therapy right away - as opposed to traditional total shoulder replacements. During that procedure, you replace the ball and socket with an implant that stems down your upper arm. Depending on the stability in your shoulder, sometimes the ball and socket are switched.

However, since Robert is only 60, Dr. Lilyquist opted for resurfacing the ball joint instead - so he can have enough bone left for a revision surgery down the road. However, in the operating room, plans changed! When Dr. Lilyquist opened Robert up, he found three-decades worth of bone spurs. "So that's all indicative of arthritis - everything that's going on right there." The bone spurs created so much extra room, the ball was moving around too much in the socket, so Dr. Lilyquist had to use an implant after all. He also put Robert in a sling for six weeks to allow scar tissue to help stabilize his shoulder.       

Today, however, Robert is feeling much better! Now that the pain is gone, he is sleeping better, too, and that has improved his quality of life. "I'm starting to get a lot of range of motion back and a lot of the original pain is gone." Even though surgery plans changed mid-operation, "We always go in prepared and ready to take care of any scenario that may arise like that," Dr. Lilyquist still likes what he sees. "The position of your joint looks fantastic right now.”

To learn more about surgical options for shoulder pain, Dr. Lilyquist will be our Ask the Doctor guest on Monday, August 14th. Call (775) 858-2222 between 5 – 6 p.m. You can also reach him at Great Basin Orthopaedics: http://greatbasinortho.com/.

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