Edward Stoner, MD, a board-certified internal medicine physician on staff at CentraState, has considered team sports as his “gym” for most of his life. A self-proclaimed aging athlete, his interests have ranged from high school football to tennis, golf, and racquetball. But over the past decade, he’s found a new passion in a men’s competitive soccer league based in Freehold.
About five years ago, however, stabbing pain in his right shoulder began interfering with his favorite sport. When the diagnosis was severe osteoarthritis and a rotator cuff tear, Dr. Stoner underwent rotator cuff repair surgery with Gerardo Goldberger, DO, and Alan Nasar, MD, both board-certified orthopedic surgeons on staff at CentraState. The procedure was a success, but it was likely that at some point Dr. Stoner would need a full shoulder replacement surgery to address the osteoarthritis, which wears away cartilage and joint tissue.
“I felt great for a few years, but the pain eventually returned,” says Dr. Stoner. “Then it became so severe that I couldn’t sleep or fully engage in the sport I love. I had to throw in the ball from over my head during the last spring game, and I nearly collapsed from the pain.”
Regaining Function is the Goal
Knowing it was time to address the problem, Dr. Stoner met with Dr. Nasar to discuss next steps. Because the previous surgery was successful in repairing the rotator cuff, Dr. Stoner was a candidate for a standard shoulder replacement surgery rather than a more complex approach.
“Dr. Stoner’s shoulder replacement was still a highly technical procedure, especially as he had developed a very large bone spur deep within his shoulder that probably contributed to his pain and stiffness,” explains Dr. Nasar. “During the surgery, we carefully cleared out existing bone and cartilage and replaced the joint with fitted artificial components that enable the ball and socket to glide smoothly against each other.”
Dr. Stoner underwent surgery in July, and he returned home the same day. After an initial healing period, he began a course of physical therapy to strengthen his shoulder and enhance mobility. For the first time in years, he’s now pain-free—and back on the soccer field with no limitations.
“This surgery changed my life,” he says. “I feel 10 years younger.”
In the past, Dr. Stoner has referred many of his patients for total joint replacement, but having one of his own shed a whole new perspective on the experience.
“I’ve always had confidence in my hospital and the doctors here,” he adds. “This experience has not only reinforced that confidence, but it’s also given me the ability to better educate and empathize with my own patients.”