Goal? Having a healthy new shoulder

Tuesday, October 18, 2016

By: Jeff Ash

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Hope Solo has won two Olympic gold medals and one Women’s World Cup championship as the goalkeeper for Team USA.


She’s played elite-level soccer for more than 20 years. That takes a physical toll.


So, in late September, the 35-year-old Solo had her right shoulder replaced at a Seattle hospital. She’s thrilled with the results.


“I’ve got a brand new shoulder … and for the first time in years, I can raise my right arm above my head,” Solo wrote on social media. “I’m filled with excitement knowing how life-changing this is and I look forward to coming back healthier and stronger than ever.”


Dr. Shawn Hennigan, a board-certified surgeon with Orthopedics & Sports Medicine BayCare Clinic, often hears that kind of joy from his patients.


“Regaining the use of a shoulder can really make a difference in a person’s life. We see that all time,” said Hennigan, who was northeastern Wisconsin’s first fellowship-trained shoulder specialist.


“Having someone as well-known as Hope Solo share their positive experience with shoulder replacement surgery benefits everyone.”


Solo described her shoulder issues as “an injury I’ve been dealing with for some time” and “a long overdue surgery.”


She also had extensive surgery on the shoulder in 2011. At that time, she had a 360-degree tear of the labrum, a biceps tendon detached from the shoulder, bone chips in the shoulder joint, excess wear and tear, and diminished cartilage, according to the Seattle Times.


“We typically don’t see people with that much damage in the shoulder. Our patients are most often dealing with an arthritic shoulder or complications of a rotator cuff injury,” Hennigan said.


Hennigan offers shoulder replacement surgery, in which parts of the upper arm bone and shoulder blade are replaced with prostheses. That can help relieve pain from arthritis in the joint.


He also offers reverse shoulder replacement surgery. It’s an innovative option for patients with severe shoulder damage, including those who have had rotator cuff strains, tears or surgery.


Dr. Shawn Hennigan sees patients in Green Bay, Sturgeon Bay and Marinette. For information, call 877-229-2273 or request an appointment online.

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BayCare Clinic,, is the largest physician-owned specialty-care clinic in northeastern Wisconsin and Michigan’s Upper Peninsula. It is based in Green Bay, Wisconsin. BayCare Clinic offers expertise in more than 20 specialties, with more than 100 physicians serving in 16 area communities. BayCare Clinic is a joint partner in Aurora BayCare Medical Center, a 167-bed, full-service hospital. Follow BayCare Clinic on Facebook and Twitter.