April 30, 2018 / 8:49 PM / 3 months ago

Supreme Court Justice Sotomayor to undergo shoulder surgery

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - U.S. Supreme Court Justice Sonia Sotomayor will undergo shoulder replacement surgery on Tuesday, two weeks after she broke her left shoulder in a fall at her home in Washington, a court spokeswoman said on Monday.

FILE PHOTO: U.S. Supreme Court Justice Sonia Sotomayor participates in taking a new family photo with her fellow justices at the Supreme Court building in Washington, D.C., U.S., June 1, 2017. REUTERS/Jonathan Ernst/File Photo

Tests showed that the April 16 fracture to the ball of Sotomayor’s shoulder joint was more severe than initially believed, and doctors said surgery was warranted, spokeswoman Kathy Arberg said in a statement. Sotomayor, 63, will undergo a procedure called a “reverse total shoulder replacement,” Arberg added.

“Justice Sotomayor will curtail activities for the next few weeks while she recuperates. She will wear a sling for several weeks and will undergo physical therapy for several months. She is expected to recover full mobility and shoulder function,” Arberg said.

The court’s term concludes at the end of June and the justices have several major cases awaiting decisions. Sotomayor’s medical condition will not affect her ability to participate in votes on cases or affect the court’s work flow, Arberg said.

Sotomayor, one of the nine-member court’s four liberal justices, was named to the court in 2009 by Democratic former President Barack Obama. She is the first Hispanic justice to serve on the court.

The shoulder injury marked the second medical issue she has faced this year. The life-long diabetic was treated by paramedics for low blood sugar at her home in Washington in January.

Reporting by Andrew Chung in New York and Lawrence Hurley in Washington; Editing by Will Dunham

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