Tag Archives: Surgery

Unavailable Until Further Notice

20th March 2017 – Update

I’m going to start working through the backlog, catch up on forums, hit emails, etc. The breakthrough pain is still brutal but I need to get back on it. 

I’ll update more once I get some notes and stuff from the quack. 

17th March 2017 – Update

I had my follow up today. I have a more complete list of what they did, still a few unclear bits. It seems lots of this were “discovered” during the process so they fixed it “while they were there”. 

My shoulder socket were in a bit of a mess, lots of debris and osteophytes on the socket part. The ball part of he shoulder were in reasonably good condition, which is apparently a good thing. I’m not quite sure how the socket side can be ruined by the ball is fine.

The GHJ had some osteophytes removed and a “slither” of bone cut away. The AC Joint were removed, which is part of the scapula and collarbone cut away. I think they did something to the Bursa under the AC, but I didn’t understand what they meant. 

They did a subacromial decompression, but the ligament were apparently in good condition so they shaved it, sectioned it. Some other ligament were also cleaned up, one which is deep inside my shoulder. 

I really need to speak to the surgeon but I don’t have an appointment for ages, its all physio and shoulder clinic. I have requested a copy of the surgical notes so I can see it all and work out from there. 

8th March 2017 – Update

Well I’m still here, the pain isn’t even close to what I’m dealing with now. The muscle pain, cuts/scars aren’t too bad, I can touch them and they are tender but not bad. However where they have cut the bone away, holy poopy, that really hurts and the drugs don’t help much. 

I don’t have an exact list of what they did, the operation notes were like nearly a whole page and I didn’t understand all of them. The rotator cuff were fine, the shoulder capsule were fine, the GHJ (I assume glenohumeral joint) were arthritic and repaired, the AC Joint were re-sectioned (removed), and a Subacromial Decompression were performed. I can’t remember what else were there, I only got a brief look while the pain clinic were sorting my drugs out.

Finally Here

Well its finally here, I’m getting my shoulder surgery done, as a result I won’t be online much and I get the feeling the times I will be, I’ll probably be dribbling from the pain medications. 

I’ll try to keep on top of urgent messages, but mobile signal is shocking and half the hospital doesn’t have WiFi, so I can’t promise anything. 

I’ll see you on the flip side ūüôā

p.s. There are a few queued up posts which I already wrote, which may post after my surgery.

A Manchester Based Photographer and Website Developer with interests in Strongman, Fitness and Geekery.

Shoulder Surgery

Some of you who read my health/fitness blog before I moved to blogging here, will know I have quite extensive injuries/damage to both of my shoulders. The consultant doctor who interpreted the last scan (an MRI) used fun words like “Tumorous”, “Cystic”, “Moth Eaten”, “Jagged” and “Arthritic”, lots of fun words like that. The only upside were my rotator cuff has “improved” and is “better”, I couldn’t get him to quantify more than that. Its some times hard to get solid answers, even harder to get the various clinics, consultants, doctors, registrars etc to sing from the same hymn sheet. As a result everything is a little sketchy, and this may not be 100% accurate.

AC Joint Grades I to VI

AC Joint Grade Images courtesy of DurrantOrtho.

The rather informative Durrant Ortho site has a page on¬†AC Joint Injuries¬†which is awesome and where I borrowed the above image. Mine is somewhere between Grade 2 and Grade 3, its hard to visualise from the descriptions and various explanations but it fits. I’m told once the surgeon physically look inside my shoulder they will tell me exactly what damage were and what were fixed/repaired once I’ve come around from surgery.

After a boat load of therapies and various drugs, the last being Triamcinolone injections along with a nerve block (I think), which are injections directly into the shoulder joint and injured areas, which hurts like hell. After that, they finally transferred me from the shoulder specialist to the shoulder trauma clinic. The trauma clinic tell me I have about 4 weeks to make my mind up if I want a rather painful surgery on both shoulders or try more injections.  Since its both of my shoulders which are messed up, they would perform surgery unilaterally about 18 months apart.

Pain and Recovery

Currently the surgery waiting list for a case like mine, is 2-4 months, which lands the surgery Dec-Feb.

The timeline and pain doesn’t sound good at all. When I asked about the pain score, on a scale of 1 to 10, instead they only described it as “horrendous” rather than a score, so I’m guessing that’s about 11 out 10.

They went on to explain they going to cut some of my shoulder blade (scapula) off and my collarbone. I didn’t quite catch what about the collarbone. The also very good ShoulderDoc website, which I borrowed the below image from, gives loads of details about the surgery and what happens. It looks BRUTAL!

ACJ Excision ShoulderDoc

ACJ Excision from ShoulderDoc

They are also going to clean up my shoulder, which I understand would be removing tumours, cysts, ground bone chips, calcium deposits, general clean up and tidy of the shoulder joint.

The “official” word on the various websites inc the Local NHS¬†and Others for recovery and rehabilitation is up to a week in a sling before starting physio, 1-2 weeks before returning to sedentary job, up to 4-6 weeks for a physical work¬†and back to 75% in 3 months. Then up to a 12-18 months for fully healed, slowing improving the whole time.

Unofficial Recovery

The shoulder trauma consultant (I think she were a registrar, but not sure) used various patients to give me examples of healing times and recovery. She were saying its more likely to be near enough double what the official story says. It could be 6+ months before I could return to the gym, and 18+ months before 100%, at which point I’d need to start building again.

Looking at the comments and questions online for example Sports Injury Info makes it look like it could be even worse than that. However the problem is that ACJ Repair, is like saying Car Engine Repair, it could be any of 100 things, all with different healing times. Some have a Rotator Repair (which is a bigger along with Shoulder Girdle), some only the scapula filed, others just a ligament cut, some need extensive stabiliser work, loads of different things. There are also various techniques as well open or keyhole surgery which affect it all too.

Its wildly varied, and inconsistent.

The only consistent thing, seems to be when you cut parts of the bone away, its intensely painful, and a long slow healing process, lucky me. The things I’m dreading the most are (1) the surgery falling during icy/frozen times and me slipping, (2) person hygiene with my right arm essential out of order for months and (3) being out the gym for months.

Images Copyright of DurrantOrtho and ShoulderDoc.

A Manchester Based Photographer and Website Developer with interests in Strongman, Fitness and Geekery.