19:04 PM

Al Roker undergoing shoulder surgery this week

NBC TODAY reports TODAY co-anchor and meteorologist Al Roker will undergo total shoulder replacement surgery on his right shoulder this Wednesday, to be performed by Riley J. Williams III, MD, sports medicine surgeon at HSS, at the Hospital’s main campus in New York City. The need for Roker’s shoulder replacement is due to arthritis.

TODAY spoke to Dr. Williams who noted, “While arthritis affects 50 million Americans and arthritis in the shoulder is common, only about 10 percent of people who have it need replacement surgery after trying other non-surgical therapies.” He added, "What you can expect after having a shoulder replacement is 25-plus years of really good function, provided you do all the requisite things after surgery (like) getting good healing, good nutrition and physical therapy to restrengthen the muscles around the shoulder. It really, really is life-changing and can bring you back to a point where you don't even realize that you had the shoulder operated on in the first place.”

Roker mentioned family members on his mother's side suffer from "really intense arthritis," which Dr. Williams said can play a role in Roker being affected by it. The arthritis in Roker’s shoulder has caused regular pain and affected his range of motion, particularly moving the shoulder up and down. "Osteoarthritis, which is what most of us have and what you [Roker] have, can affect multiple joints and is thought to be what we call a variable penetrance, meaning some combination of a genetic predisposition and some environmental factors," noted Dr. Williams.

Watch the segment on TODAY.com, which aired during the third hour of the show on August 11, 2020.

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