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updated: 10/12/2012 11:24 PM

West Chicago man receives shoulder replacement with Midwest Orthopaedics at Rush

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Jennifer Okray

West Chicago, ILL., October 1, 2012 -- The great outdoors offer an exciting lifestyle that keeps many people healthy and active. Dennis Peterson, 69, of West Chicago, Ill., loved going to his summer home in Michigan's Upper Peninsula for fishing, skiing and an occasional game of golf. Debilitating shoulder pain caused by arthritis left him with no other option but a total shoulder replacement.

"It was severe pain and the joint was bone-on-bone," said Peterson. "I did a lot of outdoor activities that required both shoulders. I couldn't reach things in the refrigerator and put my bank card into the drive-in window at the bank. I needed help putting a belt on or hiking up my pants."

Peterson, who still works selling medical equipment, saw an orthopaedic surgeon for his shoulder but was recommended by a client to see Dr. Brian Forsythe at Midwest Orthopaedics at Rush. After a consultation, Peterson was diagnosed with arthritis and several options were exhausted to avoid surgery, including cortisone shots and physical therapy. Eventually they reached the point where the only option left was a total shoulder replacement.

"Total shoulder replacement is an excellent procedure for people with severe pain and loss of function, when all other treatments have been exhausted," said Dr. Forsythe. "Recent advancements in surgical techniques and implant technology have helped surgeons restore function and alleviate pain."

Shoulder replacement, also known as shoulder arthroplasty, is rising in popularity and is now 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.

Recovery time for total shoulder replacement is typically three to six months to have full use of the arm and shoulder, with help from physical therapy.

Peterson, who just had total shoulder replacement surgery this June, is 10 weeks into his recovery and he feels that he is ahead of the curve.

"I was expecting worse and right now I am absolutely delighted with my progress," said Peterson. "It feels like it did ten years ago."

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

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.