Zee, actress and singer

A successful hip operation had the unfortunate side-effect of Zee struggling with serious shoulder pain.

Following a successful hip replacement, 55-year-old professional actress and singer, Zee, found that she was suffering shoulder problems as a result of the constant use of crutches and a walking stick, which had worn away the cartilage around her shoulder joint. This shoulder condition began to impinge on Zee’s hectic lifestyle, which involved a lot of travel, and her agonising pain meant she could no long cope with everyday activities such as washing her hair, putting on a bra and sleeping.

She was referred to Mr Ioannis Polyzois by her GP and firmly believed from her research and her previous experience of surgery that she would regain full mobility in her shoulder. Naturally optimistic, once she’d seen Mr Polyzois her confidence in a positive outcome was reinforced.

On examining Zee in March 2015, Mr Polyzois concluded that her main issue was degeneration osteoarthritis of her shoulder’s glenohumeral (ball & socket) joint. He requested CT and ultrasound scans to further evaluate her condition and explained the operative and non-operative options available. The scans confirmed that Zee suffered from severe glenohumeral osteoarthritis impingement and arthritis in her acromioclavicular joint (ACJ – the joint at the top of the shoulder). Mr Polyzois opted to conduct an initial arthroscopic (keyhole surgery) assessment of her left shoulder with the arthroscopic subacromial decompression (removal of bone and tissue to increase space under the bony projection on shoulder blade) and an ACJ excision arthroplasty (removal of damaged tissue and bone to prevent painful contact between joints) in May 2015. Although these procedures would retard further degeneration, Mr Polyzois pointed out that Zee would be likely to need a shoulder replacement in the future.

Despite this initial procedure relieving Zee’s symptoms temporarily, over time the shoulder replacement operation became a necessity and in March 2017, Mr Polyzois performed a total left shoulder replacement and reported: “Zee is extremely pleased and delighted with the shoulder and rates it as 10/10 and has an excellent range of motion in every direction.” Having noted extensive osteoarthritis on her right shoulder, he then performed the same procedure on her right shoulder in June 2018 with similar success.

Zee can now do everything that she could do before her shoulder problems began. Prior to her surgery, she could barely move her arms vertically or horizontally, because there was no cartilage to facilitate fluid movement or rotation in her shoulders. To say that her expectations have been met would be something of an understatement. She says that having her mobility back has, “completely restored my mobility and my life”.

She advises patients in similar situations to make sure that they understand all the implications of their diagnoses and that they prepare for the operation by resting, losing weight if necessary and maintaining a good level of health. She followed her post-surgery exercise programme to the letter and stresses the importance of doing the required physiotherapy.

She adds: “The whole experience of having both my shoulders totally replaced by Mr Polyzois, from start to finish, was absolutely brilliant. He instilled confidence, with honesty about my condition and made me aware of what could happen. The communication with Mr Polyzois and his team was very transparent at every stage and I never felt I had any concerns about the surgery. He has a wonderful manner with patients, friendly with good humour and makes you feel that he sincerely cares about you and what you’re going through. I feel extremely lucky to have had Mr Polyzois as my surgeon.”

Mr Polyzois says: “Zee is delighted with the results of her surgery and the progress on her right shoulder as well as her left. Her wound has healed beautifully.”

February 2020