Shoulder Replacement Surgery: A Patient’s Expectations Exceeded

Shoulder Replacement Surgery: A Patient’s Expectations Exceeded

No Signs of Slowing: An Octogenarian Experiences Surgery Success!

Every day Aspen Valley residents redefine what aging looks like. In fact, a national health survey revealed that Pitkin County ranks #2 for highest life expectancy in the U.S. At 81, Dusty Hamrick frequently encounters her contemporaries on the trails and slopes around Aspen. If you spot a purple helmet on a red scooter, that’s Dusty.

A broken collarbone and shoulder arthritis were no match for Dusty’s determination to lead an active and independent life. After two successful shoulder replacement surgeries, Dusty has been able to resume her life in motion, tapping into her bountiful source of energy with an attitude of gratitude for OrthoAspen.

More Than Shoulder Replacement Surgery Success

Shouldering Shared Goals
While Dusty may seem like an exceptional example of what longevity truly means, zipping around on her scooter, her active lifestyle is just “business as usual” for many like her in her beloved mountain town of 50 years.

Like many physically active locals, Dusty has had her fair share of visits at Aspen Valley Hospital (AVH) over the years. In 2013, she found herself in the AVH emergency room with a broken collarbone after a scooter accident. In-line with what she was accustomed to from previous visits, Dusty was thrilled with the expert care and special attention she received at AVH, and from her shoulder specialist, Dr. Purnell.

Last year, Dusty consulted Dr. Purnell about another problem: osteoarthritis in her shoulders. She had long relied on cortisone shots and lifestyle modifications to manage the pain. Upon further investigation, Dusty and Dr. Purnell agreed that both shoulder joints would benefit from being replaced.

Soon after, Dusty was referred to Dr. Namdar Kazemi, a board-certified orthopedic surgeon at OrthoAspen who specializes in treating shoulder and elbow conditions. Dr. Kazemi is one of the few orthopedic surgeons in the state of Colorado who is a member of the American Shoulder and Elbow Surgeons (ASES) professional society.

“He was so personable, informative and humorous,” Dusty said of her first visit with Dr. Kazemi. “We hit it off right away.”

Dr. Kazemi was equally impressed with his new patient. “Dusty is very energetic, active and positive,” he recalled. “She was also educated about her condition. Like most people with osteoarthritis, she had treated it conservatively for years, and she understood that she had reached the point of needing a surgical solution.”

The Road to Recovery

Positive Shoulder Replacement Outcomes
Dr. Kazemi performed Dusty’s surgeries in 2018, using patient-specific instrumentation to help ensure the best results. With the aid of advanced technology, the implant maker uses a CT scan to create 3D surgical guides specific to the patient’s anatomy. This shoulder surgery technique offers several benefits, which include:

  • Aspen resident, Dusty Hamrick, seen here with trusted OrthoAspen shoulder specialist, Dr. Namdar Kazemi, whom she praises for the successful double shoulder replacement surgeries he performed. Reduced time in the operating room and under anesthesia
  • Improved accuracy during surgery
  • Optimal outcome in post-surgery shoulder functionality
  • Minimized risk of post-surgical complications
  • Decreased shoulder surgery recovery time

In addition to the benefits offered through OrthoAspen and Dr. Kazemi’s advanced expertise in shoulder surgery, Dusty had another major advantage going into her total shoulder replacement surgery—positivity. Dr. Kazemi was astonished and pleased by Dusty’s positive outlook.

Now, after a full recovery from her shoulder replacement, Dusty is already back to her full slate of activities.

“I’d put off surgery for a long time, and I wish I’d done it sooner,” Dusty said. “‘Nami’ is incredibly talented. My adoration for him is very high.”

OrthoAspen Offers Much More Than Orthopedic Care

Assurance for an Active Lifestyle
Dusty Hamrick is one of many success stories that highlight the individualized, integrative and fully-coordinated care provided by OrthoAspen. Whether your preferred activity involves a tennis racket, powder skis, mountain bike, fly rod or another high-alpine offering, our aim is to provide you with the most sophisticated diagnosis and treatment to ensure the continuation of your favorite activities and independence for years to come.

For more information about total shoulder replacement, partial shoulder replacement or other shoulder and elbow related conditions and treatments, reach out any time at 970-544-1289. Or, if you’re like Dusty, determined to overcome shoulder pain and live a life in motion, schedule your appointment now.


Visit OrthoAspen in two convenient locations
Aspen Clinic
Aspen Valley Hospital
0401 Castle Creek Rd., Suite 2100,

Aspen, CO 81611
+(970) 544-1289
+(970) 544-1400
Basalt Clinic
Midvalley Medical Center
1450 E. Valley Rd., Suite 201,

Basalt, CO 81621
+(970) 544-1289
+(970) 544-1400