BLOOMINGTON, IL, October 12, 2012 -- Janet Streenz, 72, a life-long dancer and dance teacher, is the model of perfect health with graceful arm movements perfected over a lifetime.
But, her arms haven't always moved so gracefully. Years of dancing and spotting young students took its toll on the shoulders of this Bloomington resident and mother of five, until she couldn't lift her arms any more. Even after three rotator cuff repair surgeries, she still could not use her arms because of the persistent pain.
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"My young students would look at me funny when I couldn't do the proper form for some dance moves," said Janet. "It hurt like crazy. I couldn't even lift a glass of water. It took two hands to do it."
Finally, she sought help from Dr. Anthony Romeo of Midwest Orthopaedics at Rush, one of the most experienced shoulder physicians in the country. He told her she had two options. The first, which was unacceptable to Janet, was to do nothing and never get her dancing abilities back. The second was to undergo a procedure called reverse total shoulder replacement, which might get her back on the dance floor.
"Ten years prior to her visit with me, she would have had no treatment option to repair her severely torn rotator cuffs," said Dr. Romeo. "But, thanks to innovative research, there is now an option for patients like Janet."
Reverse total shoulder replacement was first developed in the early 1980's in France as a way to give shoulder function back to people with torn rotator cuffs. In 2003, the United States Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approved the reverse shoulder prosthesis. Dr. Romeo has been implanting reverse shoulder implants since their FDA approval in the USA, and he is a designer of one of the modern reverse shoulder implant systems.
Like Janet, patients who are candidates for this procedure include those who have a completely torn or failed rotator cuff; severe arthritis; previous shoulder replacement that failed; significant pain with restricted movement in the shoulder; and/or no other viable options for treatment. Patients with large rotator cuff tears present a surgical challenge to relieve pain and restore shoulder function. A traditional shoulder replacement involves substituting a damaged ball and socket of the shoulder with a prosthesis. The new ball is placed upwards so it fits into the new socket at top of the shoulder blade (scapula). A reverse shoulder replacement uses an artificial device to replace the damaged shoulder joint in a reversed manner so the ball and socket are positioned at the bottom of the shoulder with the ball facing downward into the socket. This offers a substitute for the absent action of the rotator cuff by making the deltoid muscle (located on the outer shoulder) do the work.
Janet had both of her shoulders replaced with the reverse prosthetic by Dr. Romeo. Today, she leads a fulfilling life and is pain free and able to teach dance again.
"It's like I am normal again. I have no pain whatsoever, can do all of my dance movements and I can teach," said Streenz. "It's a whole new lease on life."
To make an appointment with Dr. Romeo, call 312-432-2342.
About Midwest Orthopaedics at Rush
Midwest Orthopaedics at Rush offers comprehensive, unparalleled, orthopedic services. The physicians at MOR treat thousands of orthopedic patients each year with problems ranging from the most common to the most complex. MOR's reputation as a leader in specialized orthopedic patient care, education and research has been recognized by several national journals. U.S. News & World Report ranks the orthopedic program at Rush University Medical Center as the top program in Illinois. MOR has offices at: Rush University Medical Center; Prairie Medical Center, Westchester; Central DuPage Hospital, Winfield; and Rush Oak Park Hospital. For more information, log on to www.rushortho.com, or call 877-MD-BONES.