Health Beat: Easier shoulder surgery

Health Beat: Easier shoulder surgery

PHOENIX - Osteoarthritis can lead to severe shoulder pain, wearing down the joint so much that simple movements can become unbearable. Now, a new shoulder replacement is giving patients their reach back.

Larry Green lived with shoulder pain for years, until everyday tasks became debilitating.

"One of the things that, for example, my wife and I do is cuddle at night, and I just couldn't get my arm up and around," Green said.

That's when he opted for a new shoulder replacement surgery. You can see in Green's case there was virtually no cartilage left, just bone on bone.

Dr. Jason Scalise said that makes Green an ideal candidate for StepTech.

"I think that this will be one of those milestones that will help us address significant shoulder arthritis with bone loss," said Scalise, an orthopedic surgeon and shoulder specialist at The CORE Institute.

With this new technique, surgeons make a 90 degree cut, preserving as much bone as possible.

"What we do is we make a very precise cut in the bone and then, instead of implanting a slanted socket, we can implant a more orientated anatomic socket, which we believe will have better results in the long term," Scalise.

"I have no pain. I have no pain at all," Green said.

StepTech patients can be safely out of the sling within the first 24 hours and engage in light activities. The doctor said he believes about 25 centers nationwide are offering the new approach.

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