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Local physician performs new shoulder joint replacement

CINCINNATI (WKRC) - A medical team in the Tri-State is pioneering a new way to perform a procedure that could make quite a difference in healing and recovery for those who need a joint replaced.

For anyone who has shoulder pain from maybe a little too much tennis or golf, this could have them back into the swing of things in no time. After years of research a physician at Saint Elizabeth Healthcare is now one of the first in the world to replace the shoulder joint in a whole new way. It's already making quite a difference for one local man who is hoping people are already listening.

The real music to Lenny Carbonia’s ears as he hosts his own radio show is simply being able to move his arms and shoulders with ease. Four years ago he had his first shoulder joint replaced, recently he had the other one done.

Carbonia said, “After two weeks with this one, I had my sling removed, I could pick up things, I had my full range of motion.”

Doctor Mike Greiwe performed Carbonia’s most recent shoulder joint replacement. what made it unique wasn't just the procedure itself, it was how it was performed. Dr. Greiwe is one of just a handful in the country, maybe even in the world, doing something so different people probably have never even heard of it.

“This is called a posterior rotator cuff sparing total shoulder replacement,” he said.

Usually to replace the bone with a joint doctors have to take off what covers it, the rotator cuff or the muscular area that lifts the arm. In Carbonia's second surgery Dr. Greiwe didn't remove it. Instead he opened it up like curtains in a window and peered inside the joint.

Dr. Greiwe has spent years researching the new method. He's developed the technique and the tools so he can go in through the back and put the ball and socket in the shoulder while keeping the rotator cuff in place.

For Carbonia that means not only faster healing but a lot less pain.

As with any procedure there is a risk of infection or healing complications. Dr. Greiwe has performed five of them so far on three women and two men. He says all are doing well.

People can hear Carbonia’s radio show on WAIF FM, 88.3 Tuesdays from 1 p.m. to 3 p.m. in Cincinnati.

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