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      Poll: For those at least 6 months postop!
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      TOPIC: Poll: For those at least 6 months postop!

      Re: Poll: For those at least 6 months postop! 2 years, 9 months ago #30586

      • COgirl
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      Well this is interesting. My first surgery, the SLAP tear and biceps tenotomy, was easy. Very little pain and relatively fast recovery. The second surgery, latarjet, had a long recovery. It was probably successful in that I didn't have any more dislocations. But now I'm dealing with severe osteoarthritis and I'm usually in pain, 4 at worst. So this is a hard question to answer. Off the bat, I'd say I'd do the SLAP tear repair but not so sure about the latarjet. But then again, the dislocations were extremely painful and happened in most inopportune places. (We're talking being rescued off a mountain above treeline.)

      And now my dilemma is whether or not I should continue to deal with the constant and worsening pain or go for a shoulder replacement. (And I will talk to the doc when I cave about a nerve ablation.) Bottom line: Shoulder problems prohibit me from doing all the things I love. Best never to be injured.
      3/2010 Slap Tear Repair, Biceps tenotomy
      8/2012 Latarjet
      11/14 Total shoulder replacement

      Re: Poll: For those at least 6 months postop! 2 years, 9 months ago #30587

      • Cavitator
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      Nothing for the better has changed from my response 5+ years ago
      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

      Re: Poll: For those at least 6 months postop! 2 years, 7 months ago #30809

      • Ealexander
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      I'm 9 months out now. The surgery was worth it to me. I could live with the pain I was experiencing. However; my arm would continually dislocate for literally no reason. It got to where I could not lift anything with it at all.
      If I did not constantly hold my muscles tight it would fall out without anything in my arm. On the plus side the dislocations ended up being painless after awhile.
      PT was not an option. My anatomy is such that my tendons and ligaments are too loose. They ended up calling me elastigirl after my surgery because when the went to put me back together everything kept stretching and they had to "push" the labrum onto the instrument instead of the other way around.

      As they explained it to me mu shoulder is now "pleated" together (think of it like a shirt) and the joint holds together with no problem.
      Yes, I still have pain, but I can deal with that, but that wasn't the main impetus for the repair so ...

      Re: Poll: For those at least 6 months postop! 2 years, 6 months ago #30890

      • ezellmer
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      I’m not sure why my post from 3 months ago was deleted -???? Here it is again:
      --------------------------------------------------------------------------------

      Hello folks:

      I waited until my 6-month anniversary to post my answer to this poll, good or bad. I dislocated my left shoulder 10 years ago at the gym, then 3 years ago skiing, then last year in a fall. Although I did not have any ongoing pain, I did have a stability issue (obviously). So the doctor decided the surgery would have the best results. He said he was going to “fix” it and then it will just be “fixed”. Okay, sure. I’m an athlete so I need all of my bits to work. “Fixed” sounds good to me! Go for it.

      My number one issue is that I was not told upfront what a major surgery this would be. I was told recovery was 4-6 weeks in my pre-op. We all know THAT’S not true. I was also told I could return to work in one week. In the doctor’s defense, my pre-op was NOT with him, it was one of his staff. I could have cancelled the surgery up until 3 days prior. So ONE day prior this weird chair thingy shows up at my door and it is explained to me that I have to sit in it for 6 hours a day, every day for 6 weeks so that it could move my arm because I won’t be able to. (Wait, I can’t even MOVE it for 6 weeks? Why was I not told this in the pre-op? How am I even supposed to drive?) So then began the stress and terror and, yeah, too late to cancel.

      Also in the doctor’s defense, he did not know the mess he was going to find when he went in there. The shoulder was nearly ripped completely off – not even in the joint. He had to call for emergency help to have someone push it back in so he could even begin repair it. “You made me WORK!” he said. What he described seemed like a ¾ tear and major repair job with bicep tenodesis. Yikes! When I asked HIM about recovery time (not just the staff) HE told me about 3 months, which was closer to the truth although not entirely. And I still think they could have been more up-front about the challenges I would face. Looking back, I don’t think I should have been back to work as soon as I was and I definitely should not have been driving.

      Then there were the other challenges. Women, you can relate. How do you handle your hair? You can’t style it and you can’t even put it up. Shaving? Wearing a bra? Or even GETTING IN ONE? Going to the bathroom? All huge challenges for women. I mean I found myself holding it forever or not even wanting to drink WATER just because going was such a challenge. (Sorry but it’s true!) Men may not have to deal with those things but everyone needs to shower, get dressed and put on deodorant. Nearly impossible to do alone! Luckily I had help but, seriously, a maddening experience!

      PT was lovely, as we all know. They started me one week post-surgery. You know how sore the shoulder is after surgery but, hey, let’s just twist it around a bit too. Yaaaaah! I get that it was necessary but that was sheer agony as well as time consuming and exhausting. And I was not aware of how LOOOONG I would have to go. Actually, they didn’t tell me about PT at all. Again, the doctor simply said he was going to “fix” it and then it will just be “fixed”. When he wrote the PT order I’m thinking a few weeks, maybe six. NOT 4½ MONTHS! They could have been upfront about that too but, NOOO! No PT was ever mentioned at all until the day I got the order and went! On top of that, due to the extent of the repair, they did not even allow me move it actively for 8 weeks!
      Back to driving, I was completely unstable behind the wheel. Putting on a seatbelt was hard enough. Looking over my shoulder to change lanes? Hell, I can’t even MOVE! “Oh and here are some drugs to take too.” (What tha?!) But I had to doctors appointments and PT appointments and my husband could not keep taking off HIS new job to take me to all of these. Plus I was back at WORK in a week because they said I could!

      Back to the drugs, I resisted taking them at first – for the first two months I was virtually drug-free. But man I sure got over that in the third and fourth month! Serious, serious back pain was my problem. That was worse than any of the shoulder pain ever was! When I finally addressed it with the doctor he explained that 95 percent of the work should be handled by my shoulder and about 5 percent by the back. However, due to the shoulder weakness, the back is having to pitch in and it’s not used to that. He said I should see a dramatic shift between months 3 and 4, which will reduce the back pain. He was exactly right.

      The last and final issue I was having is that, while I bounced right back with the shoulder strength and went right back to lifting at the gym in month 4 (even went rock climbing), the return of strength to the shoulder seemed to bring with it a LOT of pain! While I was happy that the strength had returned and the back pain was gone, I had some serious concerns about the shoulder pain now! Luckily it was time for my next doctors appointment. “We encourage our patients to be active but not everyone is like you.” The nurse said, “You might be over-doing it just a little.” (Is there such a thing?) So then the doctor came in and further explained to me that I should not be expecting my left shoulder to be like my right one because my left one is “repaired”. The medical term he used for my body type is “super stretchy”. He showed me by twisting my right arm and shoulder around. “Do you see all of this movement in the right shoulder?” My husband chimed in that his shoulders cannot move like that. “No, that is not normal.” The doctor said, “The left (repaired) shoulder has the normal movement now.”

      That was probably the single most important piece of information that I could have been given. This whole time I was trying to get my left shoulder to be back to the way it was, which was never normal! That visit I got a Cortisone injection to reduce the inflammation that I had caused by trying to over-rehab it (and I must say that shot felt absolutely lovely in an already extremely sore shoulder – not!) With that and me easing up on the torture, a few weeks later it is nearly pain-free.

      As for the ROM, everything seems to be “normal” now except rotating out to the side. And the strength is almost all the way back at 6 months. No problems at all with lifting or climbing and it feels pretty solid and stable. So I would say the 6 month time period is fairly accurate. Now I’m only experiencing a little soreness from working on that last little bit of ROM but easy does it now. It’s almost there.

      If asked would I do it all over again, I would have to say yes because, in my case, it was seriously “jacked up”. (And that was the doctor’s term, not mine.) What choice did I really have anyway? My husband would agree as he does not like to see me suffering every time it dislocates. He has been there all three times. It’s in there now, for good.

      My final tip is: CHOOSE YOUR DOCTOR WISELY. My doctor obviously knows his stuff and the guidance he gave me during recovery was spot on. Just would have liked to have known all the gory details upfront, is all.

      -------------------------------------------------------------------------
      Update: 9 months now and I am 100% functional with full strength and ROM with just some mild soreness, which I’m told should go away on its own.

      Re: Poll: For those at least 6 months postop! 2 years, 6 months ago #30897

      • JB in AZ
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      I figure 5 months & two weeks is close enough to qualify! Yes, the surgery was absolutely beneficial to me. I would have rather my SLAP II injury had never happened but the insidious progression of the pain and increasing ROM limitation made it a must-have for quality of life.

      Re: Poll: For those at least 6 months postop! 2 years, 6 months ago #30905

      • Cavitator
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      Discussed efficacy of SLAP repair surgery with an ortho surgeon buddy of mine who frankly said for what it's worth that the conventional wisdom among his peers is moving away from doing them....didn't say why...not surprised though!
      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
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