Need two shoulder replacements

Bkownz718

new member
Joined
Aug 8, 2022
Messages
3
Age
43
Gender
Male
Country
United States United States
Hello everyone I’m new to this group just looking for some advice. For the people that had shoulder replacements what was the last straw that made you want to go through with the replacement. here’s my story in a nut shell. I got hurt at work went to the doctors did a mri doctor tells me I need both shoulder replacement. Doctor told me he doesn’t recommend that I get it done because of my age I’m 42 and I would need revisions done as I get older. I really Don’t want to get replacements done after reading about a lot of problems that can happen And knowing people that regretted it after they had it done. I’ve went back to work but my range of motion is limited. Here’s my question do I have to get it done or can I just stay the way I am and deal with it.
 

djklaugh

Staff member since December 30, 2020
BoneSmart Staff
Joined
Sep 5, 2011
Messages
3,745
Age
75
Location
Oregon
Gender
Female
Country
United States United States
@Bkownz718 Welcome to BoneSmart! When I first went to my doctor about shoulder problems in 2012 I was told that my HMO only did shoulder replacement for severe pain and very limited ROM. I was 65yo at the time. I had to try "less invasive" things first - steroid injection and physical therapy. Neither of those things helped at all. So I had that (right) shoulder replaced in 2013. The surgeon assured me that the implants then in use would last for 30+ years so (in my case) it was unlikely I would ever need a revision for implant failure.

Then in 2016 I was having similar problems with my left shoulder and the criteria for getting that one replaced had eased some what so I had it replaced in 2017. And again surgeon assured me that the implant would last for 30+ years.

With both shoulders pain was so bad it would wake me up at night if I moved even a little bit. Would spike up to an 8 on a 1-10 pain scale during the day. I also could not move the arm(s) much above waist height nor could I move them much in any direction. Xrays and MRIs showed bone-on-bone arthritis and bone spurs, calcium deposits, and on the right shoulder a big bone cyst.

For me each replacement has been wonderfully successful! I have no pain in either shoulder and pretty much full range of motion in both. The only things I can not do is the crawl stroke when swimming and hook a bra behind my back. Neither of those things, for me, would be a "nope, don't do this" if I had known about them before hand.

I would suggest that you seek a 2nd opinion. Preferably with an orthopedic surgeon who treats quite a few younger patients.

Best of luck to you. Do ask any other questions you have and read some of the shoulder threads both pre op and post op.
 
OP
OP
B

Bkownz718

new member
Joined
Aug 8, 2022
Messages
3
Age
43
Gender
Male
Country
United States United States
Thank you for your reply. the orthopedic surgeon is the one who didn’t recommend it because of my age. I also went to my primary doctor who told me not to get it done until I can’t deal with the pain anymore. also I’ve been with my employer for 23 years and if I get it done I wouldn’t be able to work anymore. This is from my mri. Both shoulder results are the same.
76F60BF0-730D-46C4-8541-9B25709A0093.jpeg
 

djklaugh

Staff member since December 30, 2020
BoneSmart Staff
Joined
Sep 5, 2011
Messages
3,745
Age
75
Location
Oregon
Gender
Female
Country
United States United States
@Bkownz718 Why would you not be able to work any more??? Many folks who have shoulder replacements go back to their jobs including some who have physically strenuous jobs. Recuperation from shoulder replacement can take a while as you would need PT for a while following the surgery. Most employers are willing and very able to work with their valued employees about leave time for needed surgery and structured return to work plans.

When I suggested a 2nd opinion I meant with a different surgeon - one who treats more patients your age. As I am neither a doctor nor a nurse I am going to ask one of my colleagues to look at your MRI report.
 
OP
OP
B

Bkownz718

new member
Joined
Aug 8, 2022
Messages
3
Age
43
Gender
Male
Country
United States United States
What I was told after having the surgery it’s not recommended to lift anything over 20 pounds over head and repetitive motions. with my job I’m constantly lift heavy items over head. I’m in the construction and maintenance field.
 

Jamie

OneStep AMBASSADOR ..Staff member since Feb, 2009
Senior Administrator
Joined
Mar 24, 2008
Messages
69,938
Age
74
Location
Kansas
Gender
Female
Country
United States United States
OneStep Ambassador Icon
From your MRI results, it doesn't appear you have any rotator cuff tears, which is a good thing. When the rotator cuff muscles are still in tact, you can have a regular shoulder replacement. This gives you the best functionality in your shoulder, although you probably would need to be cautious with very heavy items above your shoulders. Once the rotator cuff becomes significantly damaged, a reverse shoulder replacement is needed which does bring some lifetime restrictions regarding weight.

You mention this began as a work-related injury. Is it being covered under Workman's Comp? If so, in the state of New York you must see only doctors that are approved by Workman's Comp. If you have regular insurance or can pay the fee for an office consultation, I suggest you see a shoulder specialist at the Hospital for Special Surgery for a second opinion. Ask to find a surgeon who works with younger patients. This will at least give you a different set of eyes on your situation. It may not help you with the Workman's Comp coverage, but at least you would have the additional information to make your decisions.

While you can just plow on with bad shoulders, they won't get any better. And, especially with the type of work you do, you are risking further injury. The more damaged the shoulder is, the more difficult the surgery can be and the more likely the rotator cuff might tear.

Shoulder replacements have come a long way in the past few years and it's very likely that you would not need a revision. I know when I had my left shoulder replaced a couple of years ago, my surgeon knew I was frequently lifting heavy things and that I did lots of remodeling work around my home and garden. He purposely gave me a longer stem to ensure I could continue with everything I wanted to do and it has worked very well. Unlike you, I don't frequently lift heavy objects above my head, though. That is definitely something you want to discuss with any surgeon you consult with.

Good luck and please let us know how things go. We'll be here as a sounding board and to help in any way we can so you can make the best decision for you.
 

dapplega

member
Joined
Sep 4, 2017
Messages
183
Age
57
Location
WA
Gender
Male
Country
United States United States
You may want to look into the Ream and Run procedure.
Dr. Frederick Matsen pioneered this procedure and he is in Seattle. There are no limitations w/regards to lifting but the recovery/rehabilitation is harder/longer.
 
Last edited by a moderator:

Mikem132

new member
Joined
Feb 6, 2023
Messages
2
Age
70
Gender
Male
Country
United States United States
Your story is different from me, but first, I was told the 20lb limit is for each arm (if that makes a big difference). Second, I am a believer is rest and rehab first. I Over-did physical therapy beause I always though more was better. No. PT may teach you stuff to do to strengthen your shoulders so it doesn't hurt so much or so often. It worked for me....for awhile. My shoulder (s) were really, really bad on the MRI and the one I just had done was grinding its way down the scapula. If I let it go, not only would it just keep hurting but it would limit surgical options in the future so I pulled the trigger last week (well, decided months before that). I'm 70, though. I also lifted stuff and played sports for many years. I cut back on weight lifting a year ago after therapy and some advice at the gym to do MUCH lighter weights, cut the overhead stuff (didnt) and go very slow in lifting. It seemed to work but was too little too late. You're young enough where that might work. Cortisone injections did nothing at all for my shoulder. Aleve worked, sort of. In your condition, I'd ask if delay of surgery will make your worse over time (would have for me). My second doctor (I got 2 opinions) told me range of motion is not primary reason they do shoulders. it's pain. If exercise and Aleve helps, maybe do that awhile . I researched a ton before getting mine. TSR is not a cure-all. Won't make your shoulder like it was when you were 20. I don't even know if or how well mine will work yet....still in a sling. Good luck.
 

BoneSmart #1 Best Blog

Staff online

  • Layla
    Staff member since November 20, 2017
  • Jaycey
    ADMINISTRATOR Staff member since February 2011

Forum statistics

Threads
61,704
Messages
1,537,313
BoneSmarties
37,567
Latest member
Catmommy
Recent bookmarks
0
Top Bottom