Former Olympian has a new lease on life after receiving bilateral shoulder surgery with the Medacta Shoulder System

One of Medacta’s core values is Patient Well-Being as our innovations become part of their life experience. Bruce Kennedy, a former track and field Olympian, shares his story and experience with his bilateral shoulder replacements with Medacta Shoulder System implants and how it has given him a new lease on life:

“Hi my name is Bruce Kennedy and I was born in a former British colony in Africa, now known as Zimbabwe, but now live in Santa Barbara, CA. I’m 69 years old and for most of my life I’ve been a very active, athletic type of person. One of my greatest achievements was competing in track and field in the javelin in the 1972, 1976 and 1980 Olympics. All those years of athletics really took their toll - especially on my shoulders.

I started to have severe rotator cuff problems. For many years I was able to manage that problem with physiotherapy and exercise but late in 2007 it became obvious that the degree of damage was causing a real negative impact on my lifestyle. So I went to go see a local orthopedic doctor, who diagnosed that I did have severe tears in both rotator cuffs, but more importantly the degree of osteoarthritis in both shoulders was severe. In his words it was more a question of WHEN, not IF I would need replacement.

At that time I didn’t even know that shoulder replacement was an option. As he does not do shoulder replacement surgery he sent me to another doctor by the name of Dr. Graham Hurvitz here in Santa Barbara. Dr. Hurvitz agreed with the diagnosis and in May of 2018 he replaced my left shoulder with the reverse procedure. Then when I went to see him for my 12-week post-surgery checkup, we were both so happy with the results that he did my right shoulder a month later. Within 4 months I had both shoulders replaced.

Now 15 months later, I would say I have 95-100% functional ability. It’s not just a question of reaching behind my back to tuck in my shirt or thread a belt on, but I want to do other things like maintain a very active lifestyle. In a couple of months I’m going down to Ecuador to climb two volcanoes, one of which is the highest point on the surface of the earth right on the equator. Then in September I’m going to Nepal to climb the highest tracking summit in the Himalayas. Looking back I have no regrets about the surgery, obviously. I didn’t know it was possible, and now I know it was! I now have become a very strong advocate to other people who have talked to me about it.

Recently one of my teammates from the 1980 US Olympic team had her shoulder replaced and there is every possibility and belief that she will have the same results as me. I’m pain-free, can do almost anything I want to, and I am very grateful to both Dr. Hurvitz and to the people at Medacta who developed this technology.”

This testimonial illustrates the powerful patient impact of the Medacta Shoulder System in the hands of a skilled surgeon.

Medacta’s mission is to transform the patient experience by advancing surgical approaches, implants and instruments through responsible innovation and meticulous design. We follow the experience of my father and our Founder, Alberto Siccardi, whose own journey as a patient convinced him of the importance of pioneering a new approach to joint replacement. ” - Francesco Siccardi, CEO.

We would welcome the opportunity for you to vet the Medacta Shoulder System within the variety of avenues of the M.O.R.E Institute. While former Olympians are more the exception, we’re confident the results and patient satisfaction can be the rule.