Robert Armbrust, 61, had been dealing with extreme shoulder pain and limited use of his shoulder for the past 45 years.

A collegiate athlete in his younger days, Armbrust wrestled and played football in high school, before going on to wrestle in college.

“I think I must have originally hurt my shoulder playing football,” says Armbrust. “My shoulder never really felt right, and I always assumed it was an undiagnosed football injury. I know all the pressure I put on my shoulder while wrestling in college, and the powerlifting I did after, didn’t help either.”

Armbrust knew that he must have torn his shoulder or broken a smaller bone in the area sometime during his athletic career, but pushed through the pain for years after, staying physically active and continuing to run and lift weights despite his pain.

“I was living with severe shoulder pain and had a limited range of motion in my shoulder for 45 years,” says Armbrust. “I knew I probably needed shoulder replacement surgery, but I worried about the risks and how complicated the procedure is. I decided I would get my shoulder replaced when I felt like the technology had caught up, and I found the right doctor.”

He finally found the right doctor in Michael A. Pahl, M.D., an orthopedic surgeon at the MemorialCare Joint Replacement Center at Long Beach Medical Center.

Dr. Pahl is the chairman of orthopedic surgery at Long Beach Medical Center and specializes in sports medicine and complex shoulder injuries. He uses the latest technology and minimally invasive procedures for improved precision and results. In fact, Long Beach Medical Center is the first and only health care facility in Los Angeles County to offer the ExactechGPS® Shoulder Application.

“I heard some really good things about Dr. Pahl and I decided it was time I look into getting the procedure done,” says Armbrust. “Dr. Pahl let me know about the procedure he would perform with the ExactechGPS® technology he was going to use to assist him, and I felt confident.”

The ExactechGPS® Shoulder Application allows surgeons to view a personalized 3D anatomical model of a patient’s shoulder during surgery, which allows surgeons more visibility and the ability to make adjustments in real-time. Leading to more accurate and precise procedures and quicker recovery time.

“ExactechGPS® allows me to start preparing and planning out the procedure before we are even in the operating room,” says Dr. Pahl. “I am able to get a 3D preview of the patient’s shoulder and plan out exactly how I want the procedure to go. Because Robert had some pretty severe damage and trauma in the area, as the result of fractures in his youth, precision and accuracy were extremely important. The ExactechGPS® helped ensure that we didn’t cause any unnecessary damage to his shoulder.”

It’s been a couple of months since the shoulder replacement, and Armbrust is now back to everyday life. He is continuing rehabilitation for his shoulder but says he already feels better and stronger than ever before.

“You take a lot of everyday tasks for granted,” says Armbrust. “I can drive comfortably, open doors and cabinets easier in only a couple of months since the procedure. I almost have full mobility back in my shoulder.”

The MemorialCare Joint Replacement Center at Long Beach Medical Center is a leader in Southern California joint replacement surgery, using the latest technologies and a multi-disciplinary care team to help patients become active as soon as possible and get back to everyday life.

Long Beach Medical Center is a leader in the latest technologies and advances in health care treatments. The ExactechGPS® is one of many technologies available for patients in need of surgery. Learn more about the latest and upcoming health care and surgical technologies offered at Long Beach Medical Center.

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