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updated: 10/9/2012 9:52 AM


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  • Dennis Junod and his wife.

    Dennis Junod and his wife.

Jennifer Okray



St. Charles, ILL. September 13, 2012 -- Dennis Junod, 77, loved to play baseball and maintain his family's real estate investment properties. The great-grandpa from St. Charles suffered through years of arthritic shoulder pain until it left him robbed of his livelihood.

"The shoulder got so bad that I couldn't use the arm," said Junod. "I couldn't play baseball or swim anymore."

Junod was not satisfied with his local doctors because they didn't know what was wrong and wanted to do exploratory operations. He researched on his own and came upon Midwest Orthopaedics at Rush and made an appointment to see Dr. Gregory Nicholson.

"Dr. Nicholson is known for taking care of the Chicago Bulls and White Sox so that's a good referral to me," said Junod. "He knew immediately what was wrong and how to treat it."

In 2007, Dr. Nicholson, who is at the forefront of shoulder joint research, performed a standard shoulder replacement on Junod, successfully restoring his function and mobility.

"Dennis Junod had the classic shoulder replacement case, where the bones in the shoulder joint were rubbing each other due to degenerative arthritis," said Dr. Nicholson. "I see more and more patients like this and their pain becomes unbearable."

Shoulder replacement, also known as shoulder arthroplasty, is a rising occurrence and the third most common joint replacement after knees and hips. According to data from the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, the number of shoulder arthroplasty procedures increased by 145% between 1997 and 2005. This is likely due to improved technology and reports of successful long-term outcomes associated with excellent pain relief and restoration of function.

"One of the things that impressed me was the amount of surgeries Dr. Nicholson performed," said Junod. "Other doctors I saw may do 10 surgeries a year, but Dr. Nicholson did a few hundred per year. In reality, the more you do something, the better you are at it."

Research by the Journal of Bone and Joint Surgery directly connects surgery success to surgeons who have done the most procedures. Doctors at Midwest Orthopaedics at Rush are the among most experienced in the nation with the highest number of shoulder replacement surgeries.

Recovery time for this procedure is typically three to six months to have full use of the arm and shoulder along with a few weeks of physical therapy.

Junod had three months of physical therapy and says it successfully trained his muscles how to operate his shoulder again. Now, five years later, he is still pain-free and looking forward to the future.

"My arm has gone back to 92% of normal function and I don't need to cater to the problem because it isn't there anymore," Junod said.

As one of the nation's top providers of traditional and reverse shoulder replacement surgeries, Midwest Orthopaedics at Rush will hold several seminars about options for shoulder pain and injuries. They include:

Tuesday, October 16, 6:30 p.m. Bolingbrook Country Club, 2001 Rodeo Dr., Bolingbrook

Thursday, October 25, 6:30 p.m., Oak Brook Hills Marriott Resort, 3500 Midwest Rd., Oak Brook

Tuesday, October 30, 2 p.m., Central DuPage Hospital, 25 Winfield Rd., Winfield.

These events are free and open to the public. Refreshments will be served. Space is limited. For more information or to reserve your seat, please call 877-585-0125.