First reverse shoulder replacement done at Franklin Memorial

FARMINGTON — Franklin Memorial Hospital conducted its first reverse shoulder replacement surgery two weeks ago, a procedure that offers new hope to patients with certain shoulder conditions, according to a news release from the hospital.

Dr. Joseph Noonan Jr., an orthopedic surgeon who provides patient care at Franklin Health Orthopaedics and Franklin Memorial Hospital through a specialty service partnership with MaineGeneral Orthopaedics, recently performed the procedure.

The procedure, which Noonan had performed before coming to Maine, can be used to help patients with failed rotator cuffs or severe shoulder arthritis, or seniors with significant pain and little to no movement in the shoulder.

In a conventional shoulder replacement, the implant device mimics the normal anatomy of the shoulder: a plastic “cup” is fitted into the shoulder socket, and a metal “ball” is attached to the top of the upper arm bone, or humerus. In a reverse total shoulder replacement, the socket and metal ball are switched. The metal ball is fixed to the socket and the plastic cup is fixed to the upper end of the humerus. Instead of relying on the rotator cuff muscles to power and position the arm, the reverse total shoulder replacement relies on the deltoid muscle, thereby providing the patient with the ability to raise the hand over the head once again. The reverse shoulder arthroplasty is a more technical and complicated operation to perform.

Noonan said his patient would undergo about three months of physical therapy.


Noonan’s interest in orthopedics includes treatment of the shoulder and elbow, sport medicine and general orthopedic care. After medical school he completed a shoulder and elbow surgical fellowship at WB Carrell Memorial Clinic in Dallas, and a sports medicine fellowship at University of Pennsylvania in Philadelphia.

Mills-Stevens becomes as VP Regional Community Banker

SKOWHEGAN — Donna Mills-Stevens has joined Skowhegan Savings Bank as the vice president regional community banker for Kennebec County, according to a bank news release.

Mills-Stevens, who has more than 20 years of experience in retail and commercial lending, will focus on working with the bank’s branches and customers in the Kennebec County area.

Most recently, she was assistant vice president of residential lending for the mid-coast and Kennebec and Knox counties for Bar Harbor Bank and Trust.

Born and raised in Waterville, Mills-Stevens attended Thomas College and is a National Association of Mortgage Underwriters Certified Master Mortgage Underwriter. She resides in China, where she and her husband own Stevens Dairy Farm, a supplier to Oakhurst Dairy. Mills-Stevens also is on the China Board of Selectmen; is on the board of directors of the town’s food pantry; and is a member of Sunrise Rotary, the Mid Maine Chamber and the Kennebec Valley Board of Realtors.


Occupational therapists provide expertise in hand therapy

FARMINGTON — The Franklin Memorial Hospital Occupational Therapy department is utilizing a new team approach for providing treatment of conditions and injuries of the upper extremity. Best known as “hand therapy,” the treatment is actually much broader and may include treatment of the wrist, elbow, rotator cuff and shoulder.

The hand therapy treatment team includes: Jessaka Nichols, Theresa Desjardins, and the newest member of the team, Elizabeth Barton. Shelley Rau, who worked as a certified hand therapist for more than 25 years, is providing on-site consultation to the team, and mentorship to Nichols, who is completing requirements to become certified by the Hand Therapy Certification Commission.

The team approach provides a continuum of care that often starts within days of a patient’s injury or surgery creating an individualized and comprehensive treatment program that might include therapeutic exercise, orthosis design and fitting, activity modification, compression therapy, sensory re-education and pain management, among other services.

Compiled from contributed news releases

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