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Is surgery worth it?
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TOPIC: Is surgery worth it?

Is surgery worth it? 1 year, 10 months ago #24900

  • Meg09
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So here's what happened. I play varsity softball for my high school and I am only 15. I hurt my shoulder by the repetitive overhead throw and pitching. I went to an Orthopedic Surgeon and he suggested an MRI because he suspected a SLAP tear. I go the MRI but no big tear showed up in fact no damage whatsoever. But the question is, where is all my pain coming from? It also pops every time I move it it will partially dislocate. I've been going to the OS for four months now and no real progress has been made so we are going to schedule an ultrasound for my shoulder so you can see what is happening when it is popping. He said the reason for the ultrasound was to see what he needed to repair when we did surgery. However, the thing is, I want to continue my softball career and he said it was only a 50/50 chance of it being successful. Those odds are not in my favor. And plus I am so young and have never had surgery before. Was the surgery worth it? Do you regret it? Should I just learn to live with the pain and popping and half way dislocating all my life?

Re: Is surgery worth it? 1 year, 10 months ago #24915

Is the MRI done with contrast? If no, then I suggest you request one before surgery.
It is likely you have a labral tear, however it is my opinion that you are too young for surgery. I will give it more time with rehab and take a season off while you get stronger.
If it in fact your shoulder dislocate or subluxed again, then maybe surgery is something you can consider.
I am currently 14 weeks post extensive labral repair after a dislocation(first). I did have previous slap and posterior labral tears which were asymptomatic.
If you ask me now(3month after surgery); it is difficult to tell. I am still early on my recovery. Eventhough I do not have significant pain anymore, i still have aches and the recovery is very long. I have develop ac joint pain now as I started recently on my overhead work strenthening. It is no easy.
I was told that it is going to take me from 6-12 month to be somehow completely out of pain as my surgery was extensive.
Get 2-3 opinions and get that arthrogram before scheduling anything.
Good luck!!!

Re: Is surgery worth it? 1 year, 10 months ago #25028

  • Meg09
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Thanks for such a great reply. The MRI was done with contrast, and yes I believe I am too young for surgery as well. In fact I am terrified of surgery! But it doesn't seem to be getting any better. I called my OS and asked if I could try throwing at softball practice this week and he said I could try it, but little did I know that I would be in major pain during and after throwing. My shoulder keeps on subluxing when i put weight on it, or even pick something heavy up and I find that i can voluntarily subluxing it. The OS said it is a 6 month recovery and that is too long! I would rather play in pain than not being able to play at all. Hope your recovery goes well and thanks again for the reply:) I am going to have to find another OS for another opinion soon. The one I am going to was recommended by my schools athletic trainer, and I trust the athletic trainer when it comes to softball because he worked for the blue jays professional baseball team as an athletic trainer for many years. Good luck with your recovery as well!

Re: Is surgery worth it? 1 year, 10 months ago #25029

  • ljansen
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Meg,

Your situation is exactly like mine when I was younger. I was a softball/fastball pitcher growing up, developed pain throwing and then it just kept hanging around and didn't feel stable. My OS initially thought I had a labral tear, but MRI came back ok and figured it was the front of the capsule that had stretched out from repetitive motion. I ended up having surgery when I was 18, on my right throwing shoulder and they did a capsular plication (tightened the ligaments) arthroscopically. I was in the sling 6 weeks and did a throwing program and was able to get back to throwing again...to this day I can still throw. I have had 7 shoulder surgeries now (I'm now 27), with that one successful one on my right and 6 on my left...it's my left shoulder being the reason I had to give up playing. If continuing to play is something that is going to be a big part of your future, well sometimes you have to play the game of risk to keep it going, but you also have to be ready for things to not go in your favour. I worked really really hard at my rehab and had a great therapist who knew the mechanics of pitching that got me back. The younger you are, the greater your chances of success because the tissues heal better. Now, I will never ever tell someone that they should do the surgery, that is a decision that needs to be made by you, when you are ready and feel it is your only option. I wanted to share my experience with you tho so you know that it can be successful.

In my opinion tho, even tho it sounds as tho you've stretched out the front...I would always encourage another opinion (usually 3 opinions are good...a third being a tie breaker of sorts). This is a very big decision, you have a right to get as much information as possible and remember, at the end of the day, you choose a surgeon you are most comfortable with and trust. You don't have to go with the first one, even if they do have the best resume. Another thing, when you are sitting around keep a pad of paper with you to write down any questions you want to ask the surgeon or your PT (a lot of people forget them when they see a doctor). Some good questions to ask in this case would be...

Do you think instability is my problem as opposed to a SLAP?
What are my chances of PT correcting that problem?
What do you do in terms of surgery to fix that problem? Arthroscopic?
What is your rehab protocol for this? Sling time? Range restrictions after surgery?
What is the average return to sport timeframe for that procedure?
What are the possible complications from the surgery? Short term and long term?
How many of these types of surgeries have you done and feel comfortable doing?
Is this best done when I am this young or preferred to be older for a better chance of a successful surgery?
If I have this surgery, return to pitching...what are the chances this problem could recur/come back?


Those are some good questions to ask when you see any surgeon...in the end, they are the ones that have to gain your trust to 'earn your business'...to do that, they need to be able to answer those questions.
R. Shoulder Capsular Shift - Sept. 03
L. Shoulder Bankart/SLAP/Capsular Shift/Rotator interval & SS repair - Jan. 05
L. Shoulder MUA/adhesion release - Jan. 06
L. Shoulder SAD/Bursectomy - Sept. 07
L. Shoulder Biceps Tenodesis - Mar. 09
L. Shoulder Open Latarjet & Arthroscopy - Nov. 24, 2011
L. Shoulder Capsular Release/SAD - June 11, 2012
L. Shoulder Capsular Release/Screw Removal/Biceps Tenotomy - Mar. 22, 2013

Re: Is surgery worth it? 1 year, 10 months ago #25032

  • Cavitator
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No....not worth it.




Okay....here is a question that I should have thought of asking my surgeon:

Is it possible for you to screw me up during the surgery so badly, to where I am permanently a mess, many times worse than not having the surgery, will be rendered unemployable (forget about athletics) and be a permanent burden on all around me?

Just say'in...
3/51 Bilateral VIII C.N. complete neurectomy
2/60 Failed Supratentorial electrotherapy w/subsequent pancerebral resection
2/89 Bilateral aqueous humor drainage w/complete retinectomy
3/02 Quadralateral proximal extremity resection from gestational thalidomide exposure
Last Edit: 1 year, 10 months ago by Cavitator.

Re: Is surgery worth it? 1 year, 10 months ago #25034

  • melc
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Everyone is different, but I think it's worth it. I had a negative MRI and it ended up being a HUGE labral tear that was sitting so tight against the bone it was invisible on MRI. Only once he got in there and started piking around did he see it. I had a lot of other damage in there from playing softball (pitching) my whole life, but oddly enough, it took me tripping over a curb and falling onto an outstretched arm for the labral tear to happen/worsen and cause me pain. I am 1 month post op with 100 % ROM and 2/10 pain at its worst. It's slightly achy but way less painful than prior to surgery!
55/23/2012 - Type II Slap Repair & SAD
01/02/2013 - SLAP Repair Revision & Biceps Tenodesis
11/06/2013 - SLAP Repair Revision
11/30/2013 - Post Op Infection I&D
12/11/2013 - Post Op Infection I&D
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