As most of you know, I had my second shoulder surgery back in September. My first surgery was while I was still in the Army, 10 years ago (November 2008). At the time, I had four anchor screws installed in my shoulder (screwed into the bone and stitched to soft tissue) to keep it in place and make it more stable. I lost most of my range of motion, but gained stability. However, it wasn’t made to last forever. Over the past couple years it has been getting more and more painful and unstable. So after physical therapy and some steroid shots, the doc decided it was worth going back into the shoulder.
Prior to the surgery, doc had an idea of what he wanted to do. He had a laundry list of things wrong that could be fixed based on an MRI, but he didn’t want to make any concrete decisions until he was in my shoulder.
Surgery did not go as planned. Doc was unable to do much at all. There is so much damage it is unfixable. He discovered that two of the anchors from my previous surgery had come loose and were wreaking havoc on my shoulder. He removed those two screws and cleaned up the soft tissue that had been shredded by them. Additionally, he found a lot of bone spurs that he shaved off, and cut bone in three different spots to reduce bone-on-bone grinding. He also discovered that the labrum (which is the cushion between the ball of the shoulder and the joint) is basically gone.
All of this means that we are trying to salvage what little is left in the shoulder. I am in physical therapy, and will probably be doing physical therapy for the rest of my life. The goal is to strengthen the muscles around the shoulder to compensate for the complete lack of stability. I need a full shoulder replacement, but doc is nervous to do that right now since I am so young. However, we have considered a partial replacement, where he would give me a replacement labrum so there is more cushion in my joint, and could help stability a bit as well.
To sum it all up, my shoulder is jacked. I’ve got arthritis, minimal soft tissue, and bones that are garbage. Good times!