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Back to Her Best Life

Back to Her Best Life

It’s been a long and painful road for Denedra Allen, but thanks to BJC Medical Group orthopedic surgeon Dr. Aaron Omotola at Alton Memorial Hospital, the physical pain is mostly gone.

Allen is an assistant nurse manager at Barnes-Jewish Hospital and lives in Black Jack, Mo. She suffered several injuries 25 years ago, including to her knees and shoulders. Both knees have been replaced by Dr. Omotola, and last Oct. 12 he performed a total reversal right shoulder replacement.

“I was referred to Dr. Omotola by a nurse friend who had multiple surgeries from Dr. Omotola and spoke very highly of him,” Allen said. “He has helped me so much. I’m doing great now.”

Allen suffered multiple injuries from a variety of incidents. She had rotator cu surgery on her left shoulder first, then the two knee replacements in 2020 and 2021, respectively. She had a total right knee replacement in 2021 and ended up with foot drop which caused her to have multiple falls, including on her right shoulder several times. “The pain had gotten so bad that I could not lift my arm to comb my hair,” Allen said. “I had a challenge with getting dressed and I was in physical therapy for a long time.”

Then on a trip to Aruba in May 2022, Allen felt her shoulder pop while in the shower and trying to lift her luggage “was the last straw” she said. She had to use her left arm for everything, she couldn’t lie on her right side and had very limited range of motion.

Allen contacted Dr. Omotola’s office after the trip, and first received a steroid injection, but that didn’t help much. She made another appointment in July. Allen received a steroid injection, a typical first step for this type of injury. When that failed to stop her pain, Dr. Omotola said that the extent of the damage needed a total reversal shoulder replacement.

“Unfortunately, since I had received a steroid injection, I had to wait 90 days before I could have surgery,” Allen said. “Because I had been waiting so long before I decided to have surgery the damage had worsened. Dr. Omotola said that my only option was a right reverse total shoulder arthroplasty. I had never heard of a TRSR.”

A reverse total shoulder arthroplasty is when the ball and socket parts of the shoulder are reversed. The shoulder joint switches sides, which means the natural joint position is reversed.

“After the surgery, I was restricted to not lifting more than one pound and making sure I did not position my right arm behind me,” Allen said. “I started feeling better after a week or so. I did not need pain medicine for long at all.” Allen does physical therapy with Rita Sextro at BJC Northwest HealthCare Graham Medical Rehab Center in Florissant, Missouri. Where she can have therapy close to home. “Rita is the best physical therapist I could ever ask for,” Allen said. “I am now lifting 10 pounds with hand weights. I have been throwing a ball in PT as well. It has been very impressive how successful I have been with using my arm.”

A mother of two grown sons, Allen continues to be amazed at the difference in her life since Dr. Omotola came to the rescue. Allen said, “My life has improved tremendously. I can get dressed without pain as well as do laundry, shower, comb my hair, li­ my arm over my head, put on my necklace, drive, reach my arm out and all kinds of wonderful things. I even put my Christmas tree up and took it down. I am now living my best life!”

Find a doctor or make an appointment: 618.463.7220 or 800.392.0936
General Information: 618.463.7311
Alton Memorial Hospital
One Memorial Drive
Alton, Illinois 62002

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