At 77 years young, Eleanore Scott has had 26 various surgeries through the years. She says the two surgeries that made the biggest impact on her life were the bilateral shoulder joint replacements. She underwent shoulder joint replacement surgery with orthopedic surgeon Stephen Weber, M.D., for both her left and her right shoulders — the left in 1994 and the right in 1995.
Scott's first shoulder injury happened while riding a bicycle on her college campus in 1960. When a young man emerged from a hedge and collided with her, she flipped over the handle bars of her bike and landed on the ground with a dislocated right shoulder.
Later that year, while at home on her family's ranch during the summer, Scott reached up with her left arm to see how high the wheat was in her father's combine harvester and accidentally fell, dislocating her left shoulder. "Dislocating your joints causes instant agony," Scott says. "Each time I was in so much pain I couldn't function." Her dislocations were so severe that they always had to be treated in a hospital.
She tried not to let the fear of future dislocations get in the way of her active lifestyle. She continued to snow ski, water ski, swim, play tennis, and work on her parents' ranch and at her job as a nurse. "Every time I met friends for skiing, swimming or tennis I was in constant terror that I'd dislocate one of my shoulders again," Scott says. "They dislocated often."
Shoulder surgeries to correct her problem included shoulder tendon repairs, a shoulder tendon transplant and other types shoulder repairs. Even so, Scott dislocated her left shoulder one day when vacuuming. "I was horrified," she says.
When Dr. Weber suggested a shoulder joint replacement surgery for her left shoulder, Scott hesitated. Dr. Weber connected her with another patient who had a similar history of dislocated shoulders and who had recently undergone shoulder replacement surgery. After talking to Dr. Weber's other patient, Scott agreed to have her left shoulder replaced with a prosthetic joint.
In 1995, Scott underwent the same surgery for her right shoulder. While she had to give up snow skiing and water skiing after her joint replacement surgeries, she continued to swim, work on her ranch and even fly a plane. "I was grateful I didn't have to worry about dislocating my shoulders anymore," she says.
Scott continues to be active. She mows the large lawns around her house, takes care of the family business, picks apples, does housework, washes windows, pulls the airplane out of its hangar when she decides to go flying, swims and plays with her grandchildren. "I'm so grateful to Dr. Weber," she says. "Once I had the shoulder replacement surgery the pain disappeared and I didn't have to worry about dislocating my shoulders anymore. I'm very energetic, and I've been able to stay active in all that I do."