Wednesday, February 27, 2013

Shoulder Update

Hi everyone!  Thanks for the all the kind words from my last post regarding dislocating my shoulder a third time, and second time within 2 weeks!  Even though technically dislocating your shoulder after the first time should be slightly less still hurts like a b&@#$ and I really don't want to keep having this happen!  Plus the $150 ER copay each time is not fun either on top of $30 doctor visit copays.  Well, you all know how that is.

So how is my shoulder doing?  It's ok.  I mean, it's a little sore.  It's weak.  I'm constantly living in fear of dislocating it again.  But the plus side is that with multiple dislocations, recovery is a little less painful. My mobility is good.  Um...that's all the plus side I got for you.

My main concern was whether to have surgery on it or try to strengthen the muscles through exercises.  The ER doctors are all saying surgery.  My chiropractor says that my mobility is good, everything seems good, my shoulder is just very unstable and to try to use the exercises to rehab it.  My next step was to see what the doctor had to say...

I was pretty confident I 100% knew what the doctor was going to say and I really didn't need to hear it again.  I felt pretty sure he would tell me to have surgery.  With multiple dislocations, it's very easy to keep dislocating it (obviously).  I was stressed and nervous about going to see the doctor.  Here's how the visit went...

Every post needs a picture...panoramic of me at the dr. office gone wrong.
Basically the doctor didn't quite tell me what I thought.  He didn't say surgery was 100% necessary right now.  Here's what he had to say in a nut shell...

1. Statistics - after the first dislocation, you are 30-40% (??) likely to dislocate it again.  After the second dislocation, the chance of dislocating it again is 90%.  I'm a 3-timer (according to the doctor's medical terminology)...and now I'm at a 99% chance of dislocating it again.  Nice!....not so much.

2.  He basically didn't tell me what to do.  He said I could have surgery, I could go to physical therapy, or I could do the PT exercises on my own at home.

3.  He also said since I'm young and healthy, there really isn't any harm in waiting and deciding later, even 5 or 10 years, to have surgery.  I will still be relatively young and healthy (God willing). His only caution with that is that I obviously can still continue to dislocate my shoulder in the meantime.  Really not much of a problem except for possible pain.

My plan going in was that I wanted to try to rehab it myself.  I went to PT before and I know the exercises.  I also go to my chiropractor for some shoulder therapy and she gives me exercises to do as well.  I'm just really trying to not dislocate it again.  It's weak.  The motion that pops it out is a up and backward movement of my arm.  So I'm trying not to do that.  The problem is, these are moves you do without thinking sometimes.  I have been pretty lucky to always have someone with me when I have dislocated my shoulder all 3 times...but it will be much worse if I do it when I'm alone.

It's hard for people to understand what the best thing to do is unless they are in this situation.  Surgery isn't always the answer.  It can help...sure.  But it could cause more problems.  Right now, nothing seems to be torn.  If something was torn, surgery might be a much better option.  I'll try this route first.  If it's not working for me...I will consider the surgery option.

I haven't been running at all since February 2nd.  I did on Monday after taking a spin class, decide to run 1 mile on the treadmill to see how it felt.  It would have felt better if I had the right sports bra on...but that's another issue.  I felt a little soreness from the front of my shoulder (where it keeps popping out at) but it wasn't too bad.  I just wish winter would be over so I wouldn't have to worry about outdoor runs.  With the exception of my Thursday night run, I will be most likely taking my runs to the treadmill unless the streets and weather are better.

Hoping to have some good future posts.  I've had enough injuries for one year....


  1. First of all, I had to laugh at the photo - that's what 50% of my pics look like!

    I agree that surgery isn't necessarily the answer, and because you are young, you may be able to push it off some years down the road.

    I am so DONE with our weather! Where the hell is spring?! Hugs!

  2. Ugh - hang in there!! Thats good that you have the freedom to postpone the surgery if you think its the right choice.

  3. If it were me personally, I would probably avoid surgery at all costs. I've been through surgery once (nose job) and it was ROUGH. I wouldn't agree to surgery unless with was absolutely necessary and there were no alternatives.

    Of course I say that ... who knows what I would actually do if it were my decision.

    1. I've been through several surgeries too Maggie, most recent was 2009 for an operation on my ear/neck. I was so sick. It made me never want to have surgery again!