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Got MRI results, surgery 2 in August

AnonymousUserAAnonymousUser Posts: 49,622
edited 06/11/2012 - 7:20 AM in Neck Pain: Cervical
As most of you know, I had an injuring lifting over 80 pounds myself back in Feb 2007. I had so much pain, neck, shoulder, arm, back pain. I had to fight the WC insurance for over a year to get the surgery approved, through lawyers, and trials, and all the BS that goes with it. I finally won in court and had an ACDF on 2 levels c5/c6 and c6/07 In March this year. Everything seemed to go great with the surgery. The tingling down into the fingers was gone, my thumb felt better, but my left shoulder kept aching. My NS sent me to PT 8 weeks after surgery and slowly got my ROM pretty good. The PT finally looked at my shoulder that was still very painful, and told me I needed an MRI on the shoulder for he felt I also tore the rotator cuff. Today I got my MRI results I have a tear in the Supraspinatus muscle,the infraspinatus muscle, and fraying of the labrum. My acromion also is showing something is going on, this is one of bones of the AC joint. doctor said looks like a mess on the MRI, but hopefully will not be as bad once he gets in there durning surgery... Needless to say, I am not ready for another surgery. It just was 4 months since my ACDF. We took x-rays today for my NS to look at, to make sure the neck is fused enough to do this rotator cuff surgery, and my neck is strong enough, so we can use the neck for support of the sling for 6 weeks...
I am on the books for surgery Aug 28th. I needed time to mentally get ready for another surgery... After 18 months of a lot of pain and complaining, I hope this surgery will be the start of healing the shoulder and the end of pain.
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Comments

  • Good luck with your surgury....
  • Just Me,
    Sorry to hear about your need for more surgery. Hope all goes well...
    mark
  • JustMe,

    I just wanted to share my experience with shoulder surgery since I have had both shoulders operated on. My left shoulder is very similar to yours in that I had tear in my rotater cuff muscles and I had torn the Labrum. If you have never had shoulder surgery I can tell you that it is the hardest joint in your body to rehab from. Not trying to scare you but shoulder rehab can be rough due to the range of motion of the shoulder. For my torn labrum I had to have 2 screws placed in my shoulder to hold the labrum as it healed. Now I don't know if you will require that but you could at least ask your Dr that question. I think it would be better to know before than come out of surgery and be told that the Dr had to put screws in your shoulder. That is what happened to me.

    I do have a question though. Do your ortho doc order an arthrogram? This is a more definitive image of the shoulder and what damage has been done to it. I can explain the process but I don't want to scare you.

    I wish you a speedy recovery with your shoulder and please let me know if I can answer any more questions about shoulder surgery and rehab.

    JT
  • Hi Jthomas,
    The doctor did mention something about having to maybe suture things in there, if it looks like it will need more to hold it together he will do whatever it needs. I have been through 2 levels fused on my neck, and after the first week or two, everything got better slowly, except the shoulder. So I am hoping the same outcome on the shoulder...I didn't have an arthrogram, I had an allergic reaction to the dye before. I have an OS doctor who only does shoulders and arm surgeries. He showed me and explained well what he seen on the MRI. It is a partial tear, and they don't heal on their own. Then again it has been 18 months since the injury.
    Did your doctor know everything he needed going in with the
    arthrogram or did he find more when he was in there looking?
  • Thanks Mark,
    I have been seeing you post on here, and it sounds like you are finely on the right track? I know you have been to H$$$ and back too with all the neck problems...
  • Hi Paul,
    Right now he is saying rotator cuff surgery and shaving the AC joint to remove the mild arthritis that has built up. He said once he gets in there things can change, and MRI doesn't always show everything. My NS referred me to an OS that is a shoulder and arm specialist. The OS will be doing the surgery.
  • Hey BigCat!
    how are you doing these days? Thanks for the support and well wishes.
  • Happy for you, so much to suffer through just to feel better, and closer to normal. Sending prayers and good wisher your way.
  • Thanks gemini-drea
    I know sometimes the tunnel seems very long and dark, but they always say there is light at the end of the tunnel. That is where I have to focus. That light of getting back to doing enjoyable things.
    Justme
  • Hey JustMe,

    Actually neither of my shoulder Dr's knew exactly what was wrong until they got into the surgery. On my right shoulder the Arthrogram only showed rotater cuffs tears and the bursa sac tear. During the surgery my doc told me he almost had to open my shoulder with a full incision because he found that my Bi-cep tendon had been torn off the bone. He could not get it to stay attached so that is why I got screws. The surgery took 7 hours. Had to stay in a sling and keep my arm bent at 90 degress for 3 months. And I am right handed. It was very difficult.

    On my left shoulder the Dr's thought I had partially torn the bi-cep tendon along with the rotater cuff tears. The arthrogram was not clear. During this surgery they found that my bi-cep tendon was fine but it was the labrum that was torn and it required screws for it to heal. And I didn't know this until I was in recovery.

    Each person's situation is different but I think knowing the right kind of questions to ask the Dr can be very helpful in your understanding of what they will be doing.

    Well I hope I have helped in some way and I wish you a speedy recovery. Let me know if I can help in any other way.

    JT
  • How long after having surgery did it take to feel back to normal, or normal as things will get? I understand it will be a long road again...Hopefully no worse than the neck surgery...
  • JustMe,

    In my case I had surgery on 19 Dec 05 and I was back to playing softball in May 06. I did have a little pain with weights for a couple more months but I found out later that the pain I was still feeling was from my neck and that it why I ended up having ACDF in May 08. I was able to regain all range of motion and strength. I have no problems sleeping on either side. So I feel very fortunate with my outcome. During PT though I would push myself pretty hard to get back to doing the things I enjoy. Plus my other motivation is that I am Active Duty AF and I have to be able to do my PT test. One of the requirements is to do a certain amount of pushups in a minute. I only have to do 50 due to my age. But I was able to do that again by June.

    In my personal opinion, rehabing a joint really depends alot on your motivation during PT and what your motivation is. If you want to be better than before your surgery then you will need to be somewhat aggressive. Being too passive with your shoulder can lead to frozen shoulder which can increase your rehab time. You will just have to find that balance of when to push it a little and when to stay within the Dr's limits.

    But I am very grateful that I have been able to recover very well and still be very active. I wish the same for everyone having any kind of surgery. Let me know if I can help in any way. Take care.

    JT
  • thanks Jthomas
    My brother also was in the Air Force, retired last year after 20 years...He still works for the Air Force as a civilian now...
    If I may ask, how old are you? I am 46, I am not Old :O but I am sure because I am getting older this will also effect healing time...
    Any info you want to share please do.
    JustMe
  • JustMe,

    I am 37. I think you will be fine. One thing that may have an affect on your recovery is how active you were prior to your shoulder surgery. I have been told that because I was very active and in pretty good shape that helped reduce my recovery time. I think it will come down to how much pain you can handle during rehab. Because the first couple weeks will focus mainly on your range of motion and stretching. PT will do this until you are able to handle any kind of resistance training. Once you start resistance training, the muscles in your shoulder will tighten up again. This is where your activity prior to surgery can be a benefit. If your shoulder and arm muscles were weak going into surgery, then it may take a little longer because you will not be just rehabbing a joint but muscle strengthing as well. This is what I meant by being active and strong prior to surgery.

    When is your surgery date? I will keep you in my prayers. Take care.

    JT
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