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Howard G. Smith, M.D. is a former radio medical editor and talk show host in the Boston Metro area.  His "Medical Minute" of health and wellness news and commentary was a regular weekday feature on WBZ-AM, WRKO-AM, and WMRE-AM.   His popular two-way talk show, Dr. Howard Smith OnCall, was regularly heard Sunday morning and middays on WBZ.

More recently, Dr. Smith has adopted the 21st century technology of audio and video podcasting as conduits for the short health and wellness reports, HEALTH NEWS YOU SHOULD USE.  Many of these have video versions, and they may be found on his YouTube page:

Trained at Harvard Medical School and a long-time faculty member at Boston Children’s Hospital, he practiced Pediatric Otolaryngology for 40 years in Boston, Southern California, and in central Connecticut.

If you have questions or suggestions about this content, please email the doctor at or leave him a message at 516-778-8864.  His website is:

Please note that the news, views, commentary, and opinions that Dr. Smith provides are for informational purposes only.  Any changes that you or members of your family contemplate making to lifestyle, diet, medications, or medical therapy should always be discussed beforehand with personal physicians who have been supervising your care.

Mar 1, 2019


Our shoulders take a lot of abuse, and the latest statistics reveal a 6-fold increase in shoulder replacement surgery over the past 20 years.  You’re probably what.  We can replace any joint at will, and there is already a good track record for hip and knee replacements.

The problem is that joint replacements don’t last.  They wear out, like any mechanical device.

The latest study from the University of Oxford’s orthopedic surgeons reveals that nearly one in four young men will require ultimately a revision of their shoulder surgery, and the artificial shoulders fail most often during the first 5 years after placement.  Trying to revise shoulder replacements can be complicated and risky.  Living bone and metal replacement parts don’t always play nice with each other.

Shoulder replacements aren’t the only artificial joints that fail or wear out.  Hip and knee replacements each only last about 10-20 years.  

The overwhelming driver of replacement joint failure is being overweight or obese, and the extra pressures on the prosthesis cause the bone around it to break down.  Once that occurs, repair is difficult if not impossible.

Since replacement joints will not carry you through a long life, protect your own joints while you are younger.  Avoid excess weight-bearing exercise such as stair climbing or jogging on hard surfaces without protective footgear.  The best way to keep your joints in tip top shape at any age is by controlling your weight.

#shoulderreplacement #revisionsurgery #obesity #healthnews

Craig, RS, Lane, JCE, Carr, AJ, teal.  Serious adverse events and lifetime risk of reoperation after elective shoulder replacement: population based cohort study using hospital episode statistics for England.  BMJ 2019; 364: 1298 doi: