Carmen Capogreco and her husband, John, have lived in the same Sacramento neighborhood for 73 years. After retirement, John took up woodworking and furniture upholstery as a hobby. Capogreco joined him in the garage while he worked with the tools and soon followed in John's footsteps, carving and sanding the wood and creating unique pieces of furniture. "Woodworking is very relaxing for me," Capogreco says.
The couple have been woodworking for the past 20 years and have crafted pieces for places as far away as China and Italy.
A few years ago, Capogreco gradually began feeling pain in her right shoulder. The pain slowly limited her range of motion until she couldn't perform routine tasks, like brushing her hair, taking clothes out of the dryer, or shutting the car door. Capogreco had a hard time sanding the wood on the furniture she was creating. And the pain was so bad it woke her up at night.
She made an appointment with orthopedic surgeon Dr. Stephen Weber, who gave Capogreco two choices. She could undergo a shoulder arthroscopy to clean out the shoulder and see if that would alleviate the pain, or she could have her shoulder joint replaced.
Capogreco opted for the shoulder arthroscopy with Dr. Weber, which kept the pain at bay for about two years. She then underwent a shoulder joint replacement, again with Dr. Weber.
After the surgery she wore a sling to support her right arm for six weeks. Once the sling came off, Capogreco performed range of motion and strength-training exercises with a physical therapist. "The exercises helped me regain my range of motion without any discomfort," Capogreco says.
Her shoulder is now well enough to tackle small woodworking items, and soon she'll be able to take on more pieces. "I'm very glad I had the shoulder replacement," Capogreco says. "I know it's not as popular as hip or knee replacement, but it's nothing to be scared of. I can sleep again; I've got great mobility, and I'm back to working on my woodwork."