Ernie Krapfl is an avid table tennis player, but the 74-year-old’s game was nearly derailed by a severe shoulder injury. “I had been losing a lot of sleep because of the pain. I had a separation and a torn rotator cuff,” he explains.
Krapfl had been living with the injury since his college days and kept putting off getting surgery because of the fear of a lengthy recovery.
However, his primary care physician shared with him the many advances that had taken place over the last several decades and advised him to visit a specialist. That’s when Krapfl met board certified, fellowship-trained orthopedic surgeon Cyrus Press, M.D.
“The majority of my patients are baby boomers. They’re active, and they want to remain active. They’re looking for solutions to their problems that extend beyond pain relief,” explains Dr. Press.
Dr. Press, a specialist at the Sentara OrthoJoint Center®, was the first surgeon in Northern Virginia to perform stemless shoulder replacement surgery. Dr. Press thought Ernie Krapfl could be a good candidate for the state-of-the-art procedure.
During a shoulder replacement, the ball and socket of the shoulder are removed. The ball is replaced with metal and the socket is replaced with plastic.
“The newer technology, which this patient received, is a stemless shoulder replacement. This minimizes the amount we have to go into the bone in order to put this metal ball on,” explains Dr. Press.
That means less pain for stemless shoulder replacement patients. And for Ernie Krapfl, that means he’s been able to return to the game he loves.