SRO Patient Speaks Out About Total Shoulder Replacement (TSR) Surgery

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Dr. Neema Pourtaheri of Santa Rosa Orthopaedics responds to TSR patient’s story of recovery and shares information on why this surgery works so well on older patients.

Neema Pourtaheri, M.D.

An important part of maintaining an active, healthy lifestyle is having flexibility and mobility in the shoulder and elbow joints ...

Following a 30-year long career in law enforcement Santa Rosa resident Michael Armstrong enjoyed being active over his 22-year stretch of retirement, until a nagging shoulder pain turned into something he could no longer ignore. Unbearable pain caused by advanced arthritis, bone spurs and bruising eventually led Armstrong to be referred to Santa Rosa Orthopaedics. Dr. Neema Pourtaheri, SRO orthopaedic surgeon performed Armstrong's total shoulder replacement (TSR) surgery on the right side. Following surgery and a recovery routine that included targeted physical therapy, this shoulder replacement patient has gained a new lease on life.

“The best part of my treatment is the complete resolution of pain,” Armstrong says. “For so long, the pain in my shoulder caused uncomfortable nights of sleep; any time I would turn over or move, it would hurt. Now I can sleep. I enjoy doing yard work and washing my cars because it no longer is painful. My life is back to normal.”

Dr. Pourtaheri says Armstrong is a good example of what shoulder replacement can do for older chronic pain sufferers. “The number of people undergoing shoulder replacement surgery has increased significantly over the past few years,” he says. “With the improvements in surgical technique related to shoulder surgery it’s a much more viable solution for many patients who have persistent chronic pain due to arthritis or other issues." About 53,000 people in the U.S. undergo shoulder replacement surgery each year, according to the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality.

Nagging pain leads to shoulder surgery

There are many health issues that can lead to should pain including osteoarthritis, rheumatoid arthritis, post-traumatic injury stemming from an accident or fall, to name just a few. While milder cases of shoulder pain can be treated at home with a combination of rest, ice and over-the-counter medication, more severe shoulder injuries and persistent conditions are best treated by an orthopedist for proper diagnosis and treatment. Common orthopedic conditions include; arthritis, shoulder bone spurs, torn rotator cuffs, fractures, dislocation, damaged cartilage and throwing injuries.

“An important part of maintaining an active, healthy lifestyle is having flexibility and mobility in the shoulder and elbow joints,” explains Dr. Pourtaheri. “Nagging symptoms such as chronic pain and arthritis that limit mobility can cause a person to hold back from enjoying a more active life.” SRO orthopaedic surgeons including Dr. Pourtaheri offer a variety of non-surgical and surgical treatment options aimed at helping patients resume the activities that make life meaningful.

About Dr. Pourtaheri and SRO

Dr. Neema Pourtaheri is a board certified and fellowship trained orthopaedic surgeon who brings invaluable medical expertise to the SRO team. He has trained alongside some of the world’s finest orthopaedic surgeons and in highly versed in the latest advancements in shoulder and elbow care. In addition, he practices general orthopaedics including arthroscopy, fracture care, joint replacement, reverse total shoulder replacement and total shoulder & elbow replacement with a focus on minimally invasive procedures. Dr. Pourtaheri also performs Platelet Rich Plasma (PRP) injections to advance healing and pain relief when standard treatments are not as effective.

SRO offers patients in-house diagnostic imaging, rehabilitation, sports injury prevention, as well as advanced surgical treatments in joint replacement, sports medicine, trauma care, hand, foot and ankle, shoulder and elbow and general orthopedic surgery. To learn more, visit the SRO website and to make an appointment with Dr. Pourtaheri call 707-546-1922.

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John Beilharz
since: 12/2013
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