Osteoarthritis can lead to severe shoulder pain, wearing down the joint so much that simple movements become unbearable.
Now, a new shoulder replacement surgery is giving patients their reach back. One of the developers is a Seattle doctor.
To watch him swing, you wouldn’t know Larry Green's should ever gave him trouble. He has lived with shoulder pain for years, until it become 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,” said Green.
That’s when he opted for a new shoulder replacement surgery. In Larry’s case, there was virtually no cartilage left, just bone on bone. Dr. Jason Scalise says that made Larry and ideal candidate for the Steptech surgery.
"I think that this will be one of those milestones that will help us address significant shoulder arthritis with bone loss," said Scalise, and orthopedic surgeon. "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."
The surgery has put Green back in the game.
"Pain?” said Green. “I have no pain. I have no pain at all."
One of the benefits of Steptech is that it allows surgeons to make a 90 degree cut, preserving as much bone as possible.
Seattle Dr. Carl Basamania of the Polyclinic was one of the developers of the Steptech device. He's also one of the few doctors in the country who does this procedure.