Newswise — MAYWOOD, IL – A car accident left college student James Brod with a severe shoulder injury that normally would require a joint replacement surgery.

But James, 19 at the time, was too young to get an artificial joint that would last his lifetime. So Loyola Medicine orthopaedic surgeon Dane Salazar, MD, performed an alternative procedure that is done on a handful of patients at academic medical centers.

Dr. Salazar replaced the smashed-in portion of James' shoulder with a bone graft from a deceased donor.

James' injury involved the ball of the shoulder's ball-and-socket joint (called the humeral head), which was compressed inward. As a result of this compression fracture, James would dislocate his shoulder every time he tried to turn his shoulder inward.

The rare outpatient surgery, which took about two hours, recreated the natural anatomy of the shoulder, enabling normal, pain-free function. Over time, James' own tissue and bone will grow in and replace the donor tissue. "The shoulder will be restored perfectly to what it was before the injury," Dr. Salazar said.

Dr. Salazar specializes in shoulder and elbow surgery. "We were told he is one of the best orthopaedic surgeons in the area," James said.

James' surgery is an example of the complex orthopaedic procedures performed at Loyola that require a team with extensive experience and resources.

"I appreciate that I live right by a hospital where I could get this type of surgery done," James said.

Dr. Salazar said it is very rewarding to be part of a team that returns patients to the pain-free functional level and quality of life they had before their injury.

Loyola Medicine is nationally recognized for its expertise in diagnosing and treating a broad range of orthopaedic conditions. Loyola's orthopaedics program is ranked 39th in the nation in U.S. News & World Report's 2017-18 Best Hospital rankings.