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shoulder Here I go again

Discussion in 'Other joint replacements' started by djklaugh, May 15, 2016.

  1. djklaugh

    djklaugh Post-Grad
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    So my right shoulder was replaced 3/2013 and is doing splendidly!:yay: Pretty much full range of motion with only occasional minor muscle aches ( which I figure is more due to age than anything related to the shoulder replacement). Still can't hook a bra behind my back - I think right arm got shortened a bit with the replacement surgery. But no biggy - front closure bras work just fine. Every thing else I need to do, I can do with no problems.

    But alas now the left shoulder is wonky and very painful with certain motions - and sleep has again become problematic with waking up about to scream when shoulder moves in a bad way. :blackcloud: :bricks: So went to my primary doctor a few weeks ago - x-ray report said:

    FINDINGS: Four view examination of the shoulder demonstrates no acute fracture or dislocation. Moderate degenerative changes are noted of the glenohumeral joint, including joint space narrowing, subchondral sclerosis, and osteophyte formation, including a large osteophyte along the inferior aspect of the left humeral head. No calcification is seen along the greater tuberosity to suggest calcific tendinosis. The acromioclavicular joint is intact. The visualized portions of the left lung are grossly clear.

    Impression
    IMPRESSION: Moderate osteoarthritis of the left glenohumeral joint, including a large osteophyte along the inferior aspect of the left humeral head.


    So tomorrow I go in to see the shoulder surgeon again - fortunately the same surgeon is still with Kaiser so I get to see him again. :yes!: My primary doc offered a steroid shot in the shoulder but with the right one those did not help much so I politely declined and said I'd rather see surgeon first to find out what he thinks. I did get a script for Hydrocodone though - it does not do much of course but does help a little with sleep at night.

    IF this shoulder does need replacing (ugh I am so not wanting that but would rather that than on going pain and dysfunction) I do wonder how I'll manage certain things - like carrying heavier items. Right shoulder has permanent restriction to not carry more than 20lbs. I rarely have to move things heavier than that but, of course, once in a while there are those big things than need shifting. I have been doing such activities with the left arm - which may have contributed to left shoulder problems - but with 2 bionic shoulders...... :scratch:

    I'll let you know what surgeon says
     
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  2. Josephine

    Josephine NURSE DIRECTOR, BONESMART Administrator

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    Interesting though don't know that it warrants a joint replacement. Probably just a debridement.
     
  3. djklaugh

    djklaugh Post-Grad
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    Thanks, @Josephine It did not really sound like replacement time to me either - but it sure does hurt as bad as the right shoulder did - We will see what my terrific shoulder OS says :)
     
  4. Jaycey

    Jaycey Moderator

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    @djklaugh So sorry you are going through this again. Please do let us know what your surgeon says.
     
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  5. djklaugh

    djklaugh Post-Grad
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    Surgeon reviewed the x-rays(which he thought showed more damage than the radiologist reported - and that osteophyte is BIG - even I, untrained in reading x-rays, can see it ), did range of motion exam, asked about pain and limitations of functioning - then said "Well the left shoulder isn't quite as bad as the right one was but in another year or so it will be just as bad. So do you want to replace it now?" :good-bad: So - in 3-5 months:fingersx: I go get the left shoulder replaced.... but first he wants to get a CAT scan done to see how worn the socket area is - right one required a bone transplant and he was not sure if left would need that or not. And he ordered a night brace for left arm as apparently the mess in the shoulder is causing some nerve impingement. :sigh:

    I did ask about picking up heavy things and he said "Oh you don't need to worry about the right shoulder - no need to continue the weight restriction. Every thing looks really good there". :yay: Though at least to start off with I will have some weight lifting restrictions on the left side.

    Matching hip scars and matching shoulder scars - the new fashion statement :snork: :martini:
     
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  6. Pumpkln

    Pumpkln Forum Advisor

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    Good news about your right shoulder, now on to the left shoulder.
     
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  7. Jamie

    Jamie Administrator

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    I'm glad you got clarification on the weight restriction. My surgeon has told me that there will be virtually nothing I can't do when I have mine replaced and that's what I'm counting on.

    Like you, I had rather large osteophytes in my left shoulder joint. I opted to try arthroscopic surgery to buy a little time and so far (I'm a couple of months out) it seems like it may work for a while. My pain is gone and I'm slowly getting my strength and range of motion back. I had to do this because I have a hubby recovering from some pretty serious medical stuff, but for you it sounds like a good idea just to get the replacement done and move on.
     
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  8. djklaugh

    djklaugh Post-Grad
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    Thanks @Jamie :wave:

    I asked if there was anything other than replacement that could be done and OS felt the arthritis changes were severe enough to make arthroscopic surgery a poor option - plus the osteophyte is very close to the neck of the humeral head - and OS felt that just doing a debridement might weaken that area too much and make the joint less stable. I'm a little gal with little joints and little joint spaces :shrug:

    I am so glad your surgery is working well for you! And I hope your husband is coming through his medical stuff and getting better :friends: :flwrysmile:
     
  9. Jaycey

    Jaycey Moderator

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    Good news about your right shoulder! I guess it's best to get the left one done and get on with living. With you all the way!
     
  10. djklaugh

    djklaugh Post-Grad
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    :good-bad:
    If it's not one thing it's another! :bricks: So the saga is I couldn't get on the waiting list for surgery until I got a dental clearance which is only good for 9months (??? don't ask me why this length of time - that's what it says on the clearance form) - change of protocol for my HMO.... but my HMO had cancelled my dental insurance for reasons I still have not been able to get a straight answer about. :censored: So it took me quite a while to get that done ... but finally towards the end of August I did get it! :thumb: And it was sent in to the surgical waiting list coordinator ..... and about 3 days later I got a call from my surgeon's assistant saying he is leaving my HMO :( :tantrum2: He wanted to see me before he left .... and first appointment available with him was October 12 -- today.

    Had a nice visit with him - right shoulder x-rays look great, functioning is great, all other health aspects are good :yay:.... except the left shoulder. So he's referring me (telling waiting list people to put me on her surgical schedule) to a different surgeon at my HMO who he says is even more experienced than he is and he is sure she will do as good a job if not even better...... lovely and I trust his judgement and knowledge of his colleagues skills. (His replacement might have sooner appointments but departing surgeon says he's just out of his post residency fellowship and not as experienced as this other surgeon.) BUT I have to have an appointment with her first ..... and her first available is 12/9. :banghead: Sigh - I asked to be put on a cancellation wait list for this surgeon as I've already been waiting since May - yes they will do that but chances of her having cancellation for first appointment are slim :( :bawl:

    BAH HUMBUG! :headbang: Shoulder is getting worse and more and more painful .:boohoo:... and of course pain meds don't help much at all. Plus with last refill I ran short and suspect that either my house cleaner or a short term tenant (thankfully he's left now) swiped a couple of them as I know I did not use more than I normally do!!! :gaah:

    So there's the update - and here I sit fuming, disgruntled, feeling quite put upon and very much in pain - physical and emotional. Usually I like my HMO but at times like this the bureaucracy totally SUCKS!
     
  11. Jaycey

    Jaycey Moderator

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    Wow - this is what I would expect here in the UK - not in the US! So sorry you are caught in the wait list queue! It's so frustrating when you know what needs to be done but it seems so far away. I am going through the same thing for another medical issue.

    Hang in there. December will be our month!
     
  12. djklaugh

    djklaugh Post-Grad
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    Another BAH HUMBUG! day -- just got another call from my HMO -- second surgeon - who I was to see this Friday 12/9 is leaving Kaiser :( Next available appointment with surgeon who can do shoulder replacement surgery isn't until February ..... in Vancouver, Washington about 40 miles north of where I live! Or I could have an appointment in Salem, Oregon - 90 miles south and if I saw that person surgery would be a hospital in Salem which does not have nearly as good a reputation as Kaiser hospitals in Portland. I am majorly POed! I requested the caller (poor gal got an earful and she's got no authority, being an appointment setter, to do anything else but schedule appointments that are available on her computer ) send my disgruntlement to head of surgery requesting perhaps an outside referral to community surgeon - if such is at all possible. Shoulder getting worse and worse - now can barely lift it to shoulder height - and it's waking me up at night more and more :(
     
  13. Jaycey

    Jaycey Moderator

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    Not exactly the best news @djklaugh ! So sorry to read about your delay. They are really not giving you very good options are they. Fingers crossed you can be referred to someone local.
     
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  14. Jamie

    Jamie Administrator

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    So sorry to hear of these roadblocks, Deb. I hope you can get things smoothed out soon. Off and on I hear Kaiser can be a bit of a problem, but I think persistence pays off with them.
     
  15. djklaugh

    djklaugh Post-Grad
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    Thanks @Jayce and @Jamie - I've had Kaiser for a long time - over 35 years. Usually it is very good with some problems common to many bureaucracies --- but lately -at least in my region - things seem to be getting worse. This is the 2nd orthopedic surgeon in 4 months to quit - and not just to retire - quit and move on to some other facility. And I've heard from others that there are other surgeons leaving also. And I've heard rumors of Health Plan (the insurance side of Kaiser) getting overly involved in how doctors (surgeons specifically) do their work. Not working there any more, these are just rumors and I have no direct information other than my own experience. Alas the "bean counters" don't seem to care what patients think or even their out comes from treatment. Bumpa's funny thread over in the Social Room section is often more true than funny, sad to say.
     
  16. tashia

    tashia Sr Bonesmartie

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    sjkiaugh, I just drop by and for some reason stopped here. I have the same insurance and found all four of my replacement were done and loved the outcome. I don't live in your area but if you want to talk to me about it send me a message. I will discuss it but not so openly. I do hope you can work it out because it can be very tiring. Tashia God Bless.
     
  17. Josephine

    Josephine NURSE DIRECTOR, BONESMART Administrator

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    @tashia! How lovely to see you!
     
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  18. VThereandnow

    VThereandnow Graduate

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    Ahh, I found your shoulder thread. After my surgery I will watch for yours. Sorry you had to wait so long. When we are ready we are ready, I sure know that one.


    Sent from my iPad using BoneSmart Forum
     
  19. djklaugh

    djklaugh Post-Grad
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    So finally ... after almost a year's wait, I am scheduled for surgery on the left shoulder :yay: Pre-op exam is on 4/10, gotta go to a shoulder class on the 13th (LOL even though I've done this before still they want me to do this class, oh well, c'est la vie) , meeting with the surgeon is on the 18th, 70th birthday is the 19th, and surgery is on the 25th. Hope this is a good sign - hip surgery and R shoulder surgery were both on Tuesdays and turned out marvelously well.

    This surgeon, the 3rd one I was scheduled to see, told me she is committed to staying at Kaiser for "the foreseeable future" and seems very competent and was very nice to talk to.

    Alas my dear cousin is previously book for commitment she can not change .... but my stepbrother and his wife are coming up to assist and drive me to and from the hospital :loveshwr:
     
  20. Jaycey

    Jaycey Moderator

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    Whew! What a long haul for you @djklaugh ! Onward and upward - at least you now have a date!
     
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