Lynn’s story: A pianist’s shoulder surgery

Thursday, July 13, 2017

By: Jeff Ash


A woman slips on the ice, falls hard and breaks her shoulder. It happens every winter in Wisconsin. In a bigger place, few would have noticed.


But it happened in Luxemburg, a small town, to a beloved music teacher. Everyone notices. Who will play in church? Who will play at weddings? Who will give piano lessons?


That’s why Lynn Seidl was so motivated to get back in action after breaking her right shoulder.


“It was a bad, icy week in January. I was going out to get the paper. I slipped on the ice and landed square on my shoulder,” says Seidl, who is in her early 60s.


She quickly sought out Dr. Shawn Hennigan, a fellowship-trained shoulder surgeon with Orthopedics & Sports Medicine BayCare Clinic in Green Bay.


“Without surgery, there’s a possibility the bone would not heal, or would not heal in the correct position, and there could be a loss of functional use,” Hennigan says.


Without surgery, Hennigan told Seidl, she’d have trouble reaching up and reaching back. She’d have a limited range of motion.


“Then it was a no-brainer” to have surgery, Seidl says.


“I wanted a complete range of motion. I didn’t want to lose that part of my life,” said Seidl, who spent 37 years as a music teacher and choir director in Luxemburg-Casco schools.



In early February, just 16 days after falling in the driveway, Seidl had surgery to repair her broken shoulder. Formally known as a proximal humerus fracture, it’s a common injury among women ages 50 to 60 and men ages 60 to 70.


“We put the pieces of bone back where they belong. The surgery realigned the bone with one plate and nine screws,” Hennigan says. “The implant is to help hold the bone in the correct position so the body can heal.”


After several weeks in a sling, followed by physical therapy, Seidl’s shoulder was well on the way to being healed.


“It’s not exactly where it was before, but I’m really happy with what I can do,” she says.


Four months after surgery, Seidl’s range of motion was “80 to 85 percent of normal” and was expected to continue to improve, Hennigan says.


“She’ll wind up at about 90 percent of normal,” Hennigan says.


“It’s great,” says Seidl, who’s again playing at schools and weddings and at church. “I love it.”

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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.