"It's gotten to the point where I can't even sleep at night," said the Today personality of the joint pain in his right shoulder

By Benjamin VanHoose
August 11, 2020 12:28 PM
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Al Roker on Today
| Credit: Nathan Congleton/NBCU

Al Roker is preparing to undergo surgery this week.

On Tuesday, the 65-year-old Today personality announced during the 3rd Hour of Today broadcast that he will be off the air all week due to a total shoulder replacement surgery. Roker made the announcement along with his surgeon who will conduct the procedure, Dr. Riley Williams III, an orthopedic surgeon at New York City's Hospital for Special Surgery.

The surgery, scheduled for Wednesday, is to address arthritis in the weatherman's right shoulder. Roker had surgery on his left shoulder in 2014 to repair his rotator cuff.

"It's gotten to the point where I can't even sleep at night," he said. "It's not bad during the day, but at night it's an intense pain that literally wakes me up."

"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."

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Williams — who also performed Roker's shoulder surgery back in 2014 — said the procedure is designed to reduce and eliminate the joint pain.

"On the whole," the surgeon explained, "it's 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."

In September, Roker underwent a hip replacement on his left side. He revealed at the time that he opted for the surgery after dealing with unrelenting hip pain for three months.

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“All of a sudden, I started feeling this twinge in my hip — and then my back was acting up,” Roker recalled at the time. “It seems like my hip went fairly quickly.” He added, “My left hip has been deteriorating, and I decided, let me go get it taken care of.”

At the time, correspondent Harry Smith asked Roker if he has a discount card for all of his replacement surgeries (he also had his knee replaced in 2016 and emergency carpal tunnel surgery in 2018), Roker joked that he’s “slowly replacing this body one by one.”