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Standard Shoulder Replacement Finally after 5 years - a new shoulder

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Jamie

Jamie

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bah humbug to mammogram xray techs who are so blind they do not see the lovely post op scar
Ha! I never even thought about the scar. But you're right....she should have seen that . It's definitely there. I just don't think about it much and forget it. I do plan to talk to her when I go back next year, though.
 

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So sorry to hear that you're having new trouble with the shoulder, Jamie. Is the issue with bicep the "long" insert of the tendon? I was told that, even with professional athletes, the cut/release the tendon rather than fixing it or reattaching it - that it doesn't have a significant impact on capabilities. They think mine has caused a tearing of the labrum and that they'll need to release it as they go in to do the rotator cuff surgery.

If you do need the bicep tendon released, my understanding is that is much less of a recovery than other shoulder procedures (you might look at Bruce1984's recovery thread). Unlike a tendon repair, they don't have to immobilize to allow the tendon to knit, so you're on your way much sooner. And if that part of the muscle isn't really that important, maybe you'd be back up to speed relatively soon after the surgical pain and swelling is gone.
 
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Jamie

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The radiologist told me that both areas he was concerned about could be left as is if they were torn and I could still function just fine. This is something he hoped the CT scan might show a little more clearly so I could have a rational discussion with my surgeon. He's a great guy who understands me and my lifestyle completely. I'm not in a hurry to make a decision because I'm not in any real pain. It's just slight and every now and then when I move a certain way. I have a hunch the surgeon may want me to try some therapy first. That's what he suggested when I saw him a couple of weeks ago. At least now if I do have therapy I can talk with my therapist about exactly what the problems are instead of just guessing. I'm glad I am having the imaging done.
 

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At least now if I do have therapy I can talk with my therapist about exactly what the problems are instead of just guessing. I'm glad I am having the imaging done.
It seems to me one should always have testing done so the PT can provide appropriate treatment, and not just guess, and possibly recommend an inappropriate treatment.
 
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Jamie

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I felt the same way. I'm glad my surgeon was agreeable to ordering the test.
 

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Thinking of how the mammogram technician hurt your shoulder, Jamie, I thought of you when I had my endoscopy yesterday.

I told everyone "Be careful with my left shoulder, please." The anaesthetist was particularly solicitous and asked me to position myself for the examination. He was patient and encouraging. The only part of me he had to touch was my arm, when he connected up the IV drip. He even allowed me to position the nasal tubes for oxygen and the bite guard.
 
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I'm glad my experience helped someone. We all need to be watchful of these hurried techs.
 
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Jamie

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Got a call from my surgeon's medical assistant today. The verdict is in......ruptured biceps tendon. It's history and will not heal nor be repaired. Evidently that is not done. Sooooo.....I am to just wait for the scarring to take place and eventually (6 months or so) the pain will stop. I can immediately start some exercises for strength that will improve functionality, which I will do. Obviously I need to start slowly and be mindful if anything causes pain afterwards. None of the exercises will worsen anything and could bring back full strength. Right now I have slight pain but I definitely notice some loss of strength when moving my arm up above head level. Sigh. Those mammogram guys are going to hear from me. I'm not going to wait until next year's appointment. I'll be calling to talk with the facility manager and explain what happened so they can educate all the techs NOT to force someone's arm on the machine - EVER!! And especially not when they can see a visible shoulder scar! Also, that information should be highly visible in someone's electronic file so they see it immediately when a patient comes in.
 

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Sorry to hear the test results were not favorable, But a good lesson for he rest of us so we make sure there are no repeats for us. Hope you can get some strength back with minimal pain. Take care.
 

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So sorry to hear about this, Jamie! If it's totally ruptured, there's not much for them to do. I was told that if the long tendon insert (the most likely to be damaged) was damaged, they would totally detach it and go from there - they don't even do a repair for pro athletes. After healing, though, the other bicep tendon in shoulder would do all that you need it to do.

Those mammogram techs definitely need to be retrained. When I see my surgeon, I'm going to suggest that the hospital consider a new protocol for shoulder surgeries. The nurses in recovery completely changed how and where the sling was sitting (they put the arm completely across my chest just below the breasts) rather than putting it back where they'd put it in OR. I'm going to suggest that, since this is one of the most crucial parts of recovery in first 6 weeks, the patient shouldn't be discharged until a PT or specially trained nurse demonstrates putting sling on and taking it off and where it should rest. Luckily, I knew they were wrong, adjusted it at home and had a PT friend take a look and make a couple of minor adjustments.
 
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Good for you for being proactive with the hospital personnel. Hopefully they will be happy for your excellent feedback.

The thing I'm most concerned about is knowing the condition of the biceps tendon that didn't rupture. The radiologist indicated it looked "thin" in the ultrasound. When I raise my arm and its extended out from my body, there is a point where there is a "pop" noise that doesn't hurt. It sounds and feels like a tendon rubbing over bone or the implant. I need to discuss that with the surgeon. I'm thinking about trying to get a telemedicine appointment set up with him to ask some of the questions that have come up now that I've started back in an exercise program with my trainer. That arm is very weak and it may be that I do need some actual physical therapy.
 

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