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  1. #61
    Join Date
    Nov 2009
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    Indianapolis, Indiana
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    Thanks Pax! I also hear you about your knee. For me, those shin splints I got in my OTHER leg in October is still hanging around. I still think that part of that was due to my changed gait from the knee injury and repair.

    I tried to find a closer shoulder Ortho, the one I've been seeing for my shoulder injections is quite some distance away. I figure that fixing my torn shoulder will eventually have to happen since it's deteriorating...so I should find someone closer. Getting to the surgeon's office after a surgery is hard enough, but 25 miles away makes it quite difficult when you can't drive yet.

    So a good friend recommended someone and I called his office. He is with the same overall group as my current Ortho and he looked up his notes on me to decide if he could take over my care and...he passed. He passed because of the level of arthritic change in my OTHER shoulder and he did not think that he could provide proper care for BOTH shoulders.

    Don't get me wrong, I am glad the Ortho was honest, but it's the first time that I've had a specialist turn me down (at all), but especially for that reason. A bit surreal for me. Sure wish I had known just how bad the shoulders were before I started competitive kettlebell training, but that's life.

  2. #62
    Join Date
    Jul 2005
    Location
    IL/FL
    Posts
    3,863
    That sucks that the surgeon turned you down, had the same thing happen to me in FL. Two ortho docs looked at my knee and declined their services, too much scar tissue in the joint. Took a few tries to find a doc who would take on my care... and when we go back to FL in the fall I have to find yet another doctor. Remember when it used to be if you got sick or injured you went to the doctor and they provided care?

    Electra Townie 7D

  3. #63
    Join Date
    Feb 2005
    Location
    Concord, MA
    Posts
    13,102
    To play devil's advocate, I might be, after the initial being angry, glad they did this. It means they don't have the skills to help you and they are being honest. Better than messing you up, even more, which we know can happen. It doesn't mean there isn't someone who could help, but s/he might be far away.
    On my own little level, I have had to do this a few times. Usually, it's just to the intake person, but sometimes I am not the right therapist for someone or someone's family member.
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  4. #64
    Join Date
    Nov 2009
    Location
    Indianapolis, Indiana
    Posts
    10,952
    True, I'm NOT upset and for that very reason. I guess that this really struck home on just how bad my shoulders are. I've been trying to fool myself and ignore pain, especially for the arthritic shoulder. It's sobering when they tell you it's so bad that all they can do is to replace it when it further deteriorates. I am far from pressing for surgery for either of them, from what I've been told it's dicey to replace a shoulder for someone as young as I who still wants to be active, and I can tolerate it's current condition for a very long time (hopefully). What I'm saying was that this was a wake-up call. The surgeon who turned me down has 40+ years of experience and specializes in shoulders...(but he doesn't do replacements). I DO want to find someone closer to me who is qualified to deal with both...for sure.

  5. #65
    Join Date
    Feb 2005
    Location
    Concord, MA
    Posts
    13,102
    I don't blame you in not wanting the surgery, until it's absolutely necessary. But why would it be a contraindication for an active person? Usually they like that. And, being younger.
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  6. #66
    Join Date
    Nov 2009
    Location
    Indianapolis, Indiana
    Posts
    10,952
    I don't think they have been replacing shoulders for all that long. It's a much more complex joint than knee or hip, or so I've been told. Beyond that I can only speculate that it may be about the perceived life of the replacement and that increased activity shortens it? Hopefully that will change.
    Last edited by Catrin; 03-31-2017 at 03:01 PM.

  7. #67
    Join Date
    Nov 2009
    Location
    Indianapolis, Indiana
    Posts
    10,952
    I found the following summary information on WebMD (I added the bold for higlighting):

    "Some doctors will recommend other types of surgery if possible for younger people and especially for those who do strenuous work. A younger or more active person is more likely than an older or less active person to have an artificial shoulder joint wear out.

    Doctors usually do not recommend shoulder replacement surgery for people who have very high expectations for how much they will be able to do with the artificial joint (for example, people who expect to be able to play competitive tennis, paint ceilings, or do other activities that stress the shoulder joint). The artificial shoulder allows a person to do ordinary daily activities with less pain. It does not restore the same level of function that the person had before the damage to the shoulder joint began...

    The younger you are when you have the surgery, and the more stress you put on the joint, the more likely it is that you will eventually need a second surgery to replace the first artificial joint." (this makes sense)

    From what I've read, it does seem a more complex replacement, mechanically speaking. Apparently there is a new method called "reverse shoulder replacement" that has promise for some with major arthritic damage.. So one is guaranteed to have significantly decreased use of the shoulder, but able to do daily tasks with less pain... Obviously one doesn't take this option to regain function! May I never have to go there...
    Last edited by Catrin; 03-31-2017 at 03:10 PM.

  8. #68
    Join Date
    Nov 2009
    Location
    Indianapolis, Indiana
    Posts
    10,952
    I saw my Ortho yesterday to discuss another cortisone injection in my torn shoulder (I decided to put that off awhile longer as it's a balance between pain relief and risking damage to the non-arthritic shoulder joint ), and I asked if my understanding on shoulder replacement was correct. It was...he said that while my other shoulder certainly has enough arthritic changes to justify a full replacement, I am too young and too active to even consider. Apparently there is some return of function, but not much. Basically meant for pain relief and to stop further loss of function.

    With my previous assumptions I thought it would be helpful to post what I learned in case there are others reading this with the same situation. I know this site has far more readers than formal members and posters.

  9. #69
    Join Date
    Jul 2005
    Location
    IL/FL
    Posts
    3,863
    Catrin - so glad your doc was forthcoming! Wish more of them were about what is expected from these life altering surgeries.

    Electra Townie 7D

  10. #70
    Join Date
    Nov 2009
    Location
    Indianapolis, Indiana
    Posts
    10,952
    Quote Originally Posted by Pax View Post
    Catrin - so glad your doc was forthcoming! Wish more of them were about what is expected from these life altering surgeries.
    Agreed - and I got a referral for someone else closer to me. When the time DOES come to fix the torn shoulder - and that time will come I think - I need someone who isn't 30 miles away.

    What's interesting is that even most of the informational websites on full shoulder replacements refer to the same age/activity level issue (some in more detail than others). I think this is an even more complex replacement than either knee or hip - and as good as they've become at those things they still have much room for improvement.

  11. #71
    Join Date
    Nov 2009
    Location
    Indianapolis, Indiana
    Posts
    10,952
    An update since my decision to finally address things in April. I found a great shoulder specialist who picked up immediately that I had a compressed nerve root in my cervical spine that needed addressed before there was any hope of a successful shoulder repair. The neck surgery happened in July, and the difference is amazing! Now I only have pain where it actually should be. The should repair is complex and will require a lengthy recovery period - but at the end I get my arm back and will hopefully be able to return to have a more normal range of activities. That surgery is scheduled for October 16th, and am working with friends to create a support team while I have use of only one arm (and the other isn't in good shape).
    Last edited by Catrin; 09-10-2017 at 08:26 AM.

  12. #72
    Join Date
    Nov 2009
    Location
    Indianapolis, Indiana
    Posts
    10,952
    16 days countdown before a complex shoulder recovery. As complicated as it is, the surgeon is warning me that it may be even more complex than we think. He IS one of the very good shoulder specialists in the area who has done a lot of work with female professional athletes, so what will be is what will be. I've some concern over the reality of living alone and having my dominant arm in an immobilizer for at least 6 weeks (and the other shoulder/hand isn't very mobile due to severe arthritis), but it's the only way to get my arm back and to prevent things from deteriorating even more than they have.

    I AM looking forward to, hopefully, being able to once again be able to exercise properly (and other things) by this time next year!

 

 

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