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A Shoulder that’s No Burden

greenburgFor Pennsdale, Pennsylvania’s Elayne Greenburg, not having to be aware of her artificial shoulder is more than she ever could have hoped for. Elayne, 70, fell in her home and essentially crushed her shoulder joint. After several opinions gave her little confidence, she

met with Geisinger orthopaedic surgeon G. Dean Harter, MD who recommended a reverse total shoulder replacement, a procedure performed at few other hospitals in this area.

“I actually thought my life was over when he showed me the pictures,” Elayne says. “But then he explained that there was a prosthesis that would make my arm more stable than before and that I should be able to function pretty normally within a year.”

A reverse total shoulder replacement involves inversing the shoulder joint with the insertion of a metal ball in the place of the natural shoulder socket and implanting an artificial socket at the top of the humerus, or upper arm, bone.

More than a year removed from the surgery, Elayne never has to worry about her shoulder and has even more strength and range of motion than she had prior to her injury. “It’s like nothing ever happened to my arm,” says Elayne. “I’m back to swimming, doing needlepoint and everything else I love.”

Dr. Harter is currently serving on a design team, with five other prominent surgeons throughout the country, that is helping a device company further improve the prosthesis for the reverse total shoulder procedure. He was asked to participate because of his extensive experience; Dr. Harter performs around 200 shoulder replacements per year.