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Hope Solo has shoulder replacement surgery

USA TODAY logo USA TODAY 28/09/2016 Nancy Armour

Solo during penalty kicks in the Olympic quarterfinals. © Christopher Hanewinckel, USA TODAY Sports Solo during penalty kicks in the Olympic quarterfinals. Hope Solo’s shoulder issues are a thing of the past. 

The goalkeeper, currently serving a six-month suspension from the U.S. team, had shoulder replacement surgery Tuesday and began rehab the same day. She did not say how long the recovery process will be, but Dr. Frederick Matsen, who developed the procedure and did Solo’s surgery, has described it as “long and difficult.”

“For the first time in years, I can raise my right arm above my head,” Solo said on Instagram. “I’m filled with excitement knowing how life-changing this is and I look forward to coming back healthier and stronger than ever.”

What this means for Solo’s career remains to be seen. The 35-year-old is suspended from the national team until February after calling Sweden “a bunch of cowards” following its quarterfinal upset of the Americans at the Rio Olympics.

After the suspension was announced, she ended her season with the Seattle Reign of the National Women’s Soccer League.

“An opportunity presented itself after my contract was terminated and while difficult, it opened the door to take care of a long overdue surgery,” Solo said on Instagram. 

Solo has had problems with her right shoulder for several years, and had reconstructive surgery in September 2010. In addition to repairing a torn labrum, 11 anchors were put in place to stabilize the shoulder joint.

But that was considered a “fix” to get her back on the field quickly, not a long-term solution. The procedure she had Tuesday is designed to let her resume high-impact activity.

During the surgery, Matsen replaced the head of Solo’s humerus bone with a metal ball. But unlike traditional shoulder placements, Matsen smoothed down the socket rather than covering it in plastic, which could break down over time.

“I’ve got a brand new shoulder (read: bionic),” Solo said on Instagram. 


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