Edwin back in the swing after keyhole surgery

Wilmslow octogenarian’s shoulder operation means a return to golf

A 10-minute shoulder operation has enabled sports-mad Edwin Warner to resume playing golf after an absence from the golf course of nearly three years… at the tender age of 84!

Edwin, of Wilmslow, is a former marathon runner and mountaineer, who still actively played 11-a-side football at the age of 60.

He had a golfing handicap of 18, but was side-lined after damaging his left shoulder whilst moving heavy furniture.

Now, after a new keyhole surgery procedure, Edwin is back in the swing at his local golf club.

Edwin’s consultant, Mr Ravenscroft, said the procedure is a relatively new alternative to a shoulder replacement for people with an irreparable tear of the rotator cuff tendon.

The rotator cuff keeps the upper arm bone (the humerus) in the shoulder socket and helps a person to lift and rotate their arm.

When it is torn, the shoulder is weakened and many daily activities become painful and difficult to carry out.

The operation involved making a tiny incision and inserting a balloon measuring 6x6x3cm into the affected shoulder.

The balloon is then inflated, and pushes the head of the humerus back down into the socket. The inflated balloon prevents the humerus from rubbing on the shoulder blade, easing the pain and enabling the patient to regain their movement.

Mr Ravenscroft commented: “This type of shoulder injury can be caused by trauma, but is mostly the result of wear and tear.

“A shoulder replacement requires a three-day stay in hospital and potentially has more risks associated with it, as it’s a major open operation.

“The balloon procedure takes just 10 minutes and the patient can go home the same day. The patient soon regains movement in the affected shoulder.”

Over time, the balloon will deflate, and the body will then cover it with scar tissue which is sufficient to do the same job.

The balloon treatment is not suitable for all patients with irreparable tendon tears in the shoulder, and an individual patient’s suitability for the procedure will be discussed  with medical staff at the consultation.

Edwin, a retired regional bank manager, said: “I’ve had both shoulders repaired in the past, but this time I tore my left one really badly while carrying furniture downstairs.

“I was moving back from Brittany to the UK and we had a ferry to catch in the evening, so I wanted to help the removal team.

“I kept putting off any operation because I thought I could manage, but I was in terrible discomfort, with broken sleep, for two years. Lifting anything like a heavy weight was difficult.

“I was expecting to have a shoulder replacement eventually, but the surgeon advised me about this new technique and I am happy to say it’s proved to be a brilliant option.

“Within two or three days I felt great again. I could hardly believe it. He did a really good job.

“I’m thrilled to be able to take up golf again and, who knows, I may get my handicap down. It used to be a lot lower than 18.”

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