Al Roker to Undergo a Total Shoulder Replacement

Al Roker
Nathan Congleton/NBC/NBCU Photo Bank via Getty Images

Al Roker is set to undergo an operation. On Tuesday's episode of the Today show, the 65-year-old weatherman announced that he will be out for the rest of the week as he's having a total shoulder replacement due to his arthritis. 

"It's not bad during the day, but at night it's an intense pain that literally wakes me up," Roker said of the pain in his right shoulder. "For the last month, I've only been sleeping about two or three hours a night, which even for me is a little bit less."

"It's gotten to the point where I can't even sleep at night, and Riley's been helping me limp along and finally shared with me I needed to get it replaced," Roker added of his doctor, Riley Williams III.

Dr. Williams noted that the surgery is "really designed to just basically restore the normal joint services so that arthritic, achy pain that he's been having and waking him up at night can go away and we can kind of get him back on a road to recovery."

"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," Dr. Williams added. "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 will wear a sling for three weeks and undergo seven to 10 days of physical therapy following the surgery.

The hourlong procedure will mark Roker's fourth surgery on his joints, which include a 2014 rotator cuff repair on his left shoulder, a total hip replacement on his right hip in 2019, and separate surgeries on both of his knees.

"The deal is that I'm going to have replaced everything by 2027," Roker quipped.



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