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‘Home Town’ Stars Ben and Erin Napier Open Up About Ben’s ‘Hard’ Surgery

celebrities visit people now january 8, 2020
Ben Napier Opens Up About Recent SurgeryGary Gershoff - Getty Images
  • Erin and Ben Napier opened up about Ben’s March surgery in an interview.

  • They also shared what behind-the-scenes details will air in the new season of their HGTV show, Home Town.

  • Ben shared the hardest part of recovery.


Erin and Ben Napier’s Home Town returned to HGTV on Sunday for its eighth season. In addition to regular home renovations, the new run will also feature Ben’s recovery from shoulder surgery, which took place in March. The dad of two opened up about the operation in a new interview with People.

The surgery repaired Ben’s rotator cuff, which is a tendon that covers the head of the upper arm bone and helps the arm raise and rotate, per the American Academy of Orthopedic Surgeons (AAOS). According to an Instagram shared by Erin, Ben also got cartilage trimmed and a bone spur shaved.

As you can probably imagine, recovery from such an involved procedure was slow, and tested Ben’s patience, given that physical labor as a woodworker and renovator is his full-time job. He told People that “not jumping in to help” the Home Town team on projects was the hardest part of getting well. “I need to jump in and help, and it was hard to not do that,” the 40-year-old admitted.

According to the AAOS, recovery for rotator cuff repair begins with four to six weeks of sling wear with minimal, passive exercise facilitated by a physical therapist. Active exercise begins after that, and at eight to 12 weeks post-op, strength training is introduced.

“It still worries me when he’s like, ‘No, I can do this,’” Erin told People. “He’s still not supposed to lift really heavy things with his left arm. I get nervous.”

And although he may have put manual labor aside temporarily, Ben was still back at work doing speaking engagements just a few days after being discharged. And he learned very quickly how not to time taking his pain medication. “I took my [pain] medicine right before I went in and it hit while I was onstage,” Ben recalled. My confidence soared, and I could not keep a train of thought. The whole time I knew what was going on.”

The experience was jarring, to say the least. “I’ve never drank. I’ve never taken anything so it was like, ‘Whoa,’” he said.

Home Town viewers will get a glimpse into that post-op journey via a recorded FaceTime call Ben had with Erin at the time. “I don’t know. I do not remember this FaceTime at all because I was on drugs,” Ben joked.

That scene, and a few other clips of his recovery will appear in the new season, the couple said. “At the beginning, when he had the surgery, that was the episode we were working on,” Erin recalled. “And so after that it has to just not exist, ‘cause it gets a little redundant to have shoulder problems in every episode for a whole season.”

New episodes of Home Town air on HGTV Sundays at 8 p.m. EST.

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