Success Stories

Rotator Cuff Damaged Beyond Repair?

Reverse Total Shoulder Replacement Relieves Pain, Restores Function

temp-post-imageRobert Knight, 78, a retired air traffic controller from Elyria, Ohio, fell off a ladder and severely tore the rotator cuff in his left shoulder. As it turned out he severely damaged his tendon and his traditional rotator cuff repair did not restore function. He was in constant pain and had no movement in his upper arm.

“To put my left hand on the table, I had to lift it up with my other hand,” Robert recalls. “I thought I was going to have to live the rest of my life with my shoulder the way it was. Then a friend of mine saw an article about Dr. Robert Zanotti at center for Orthopedics performing reverse total shoulder replacement and I went to see if I could have it done. Dr. Zanotti ran some tests and told me I was a prime candidate, and I said, ‘Well, do it!’”

“Reverse total shoulder replacement (RTS) is an innovative procedure designed to reconstruct a shoulder that no longer has an intact rotator cuff,” says Robert Zanotti, who performed the first RTS surgery in Lorain County in June 2007.

It is called ‘Reverse Total Shoulder’ because, as Dr. Zanotti explains, "The shoulder is a ball-and-socket joint. The rounded portion of the upper arm is the ball and a shallow, dish-shaped structure attached to the shoulder blade is the socket. A reverse total shoulder procedure reverses the ball and socket,” he says. “The ball portion of the replacement joint is attached to the shoulder blade and the cup or socket is attached to the upper arm.”

Robert Knight had RTS replacement with Dr. Zanotti and completed three months of physical therapy.

“His range of motion returned to function quickly and he began strength training at six weeks,” says physical therapist Sara Faris.

Now Robert Knight is gardening, hunting, fishing and lifting his three great-grandchildren.

He says, “I’m pain-free and I can do just about everything!”

If you experiencing rotator cuff problems give Dr. Robert Zanotti a call at The Center for Orthopedics. 440-329-2800.