Celia enjoyed swimming laps as a part of her daily routine, but dealt with pain in her left shoulder that impeded her hobby for many years. Her pain started back in 2007, but two and a half years ago, it worsened. It got to the point where it was hard to perform what seemed like the simplest of her daily tasks. Celia Spitzer by the pool

Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, she decided to put her pain aside, which only made it worse. In March 2022, she decided to make an appointment at the MemorialCare Orthopaedic Surgical Group at Long Beach Medical Center to get her shoulder examined.

“My shoulder had continuous pain and it caused so much discomfort,” said Celia. “I just wanted to be able to do normal things again.”

Celia was seen by Shahryar Ahmadi, M.D. an orthopedic surgeon who specializes in shoulder replacements at MemorialCare Long Beach Medical Center. Dr. Ahmadi discovered that her shoulder had arthritis. Four months later, she went in for a left shoulder reverse arthroscopy -- a minimally invasive procedure that repairs the shoulder for patients who have not responded to nonsurgical treatments. In a reverse shoulder replacement, the normal ball-and-socket structure is reversed, and an artificial ball is attached to the shoulder blade to allow smooth movement.

Long Beach Medical Center’s team of orthopedic specialists focus on the diagnosis, care and treatment of patients with disorders of the musculoskeletal system. With advanced technology and specialists experienced in minimally invasive orthopedic procedures, many patients become pain-free, improve their mobility, and resume their everyday activities. 

“Shoulder arthroplasty is the highest growing arthroplasty in orthopaedic surgery,” says Dr. Ahmadi. “The complication rate is extremely low; the recovery is pretty easy and the satisfaction rate is very high. It gives patients freedom to go back and perform activities they love doing. Most patients come back after the surgery and tell me they wish they had the surgery earlier.”

After a successful procedure, Celia noticed positive results quicker than expected. In less than a week after surgery, she did not feel the same level of excruciating pain.

“I only had to use pain relievers for three days after surgery,” says Celia. “Four weeks after surgery, I was able to drive and feel significantly less pain. I have progressed a lot further than I had anticipated.”

Along with the procedure, Celia attributes much of the improvement in her shoulder to physical therapy.

I encourage others who go through this surgery to be consistent in their physical therapy exercises both with a physical therapist and at home, to ensure a complete healing experience, it’s important to do your part in your recovery – be your own advocate.


Celia is excited for the continuous improvement and would recommend this minimally invasive surgery to others with debilitating shoulder pain. 

“Dr. Ahmadi and his staff were wonderful, his communication to me as a patient was very comforting,” says Celia. “He took the time to call me personally just to see how I was doing, which meant a lot to me. The only thing preventing me from getting back to swimming in my backyard is the weather, not my shoulder. I can’t wait for the warmer seasons ahead.”