View Full Version : I'm having surgery in the morning: Shoulder NOT back

09-04-2013, 11:43 PM
Hello all.
I haven't had the patience to put up with how slow this site has been for the last month. I haven't disappeared totally. I just thought I would update and let you all know I'm having my shoulder surgery in the morning. My pain management doctor thinks the problems are caused by the scoliosis. The orthopedic doctor that is doing the surgery isn't convinced. Either way, I'm a little nerved up after hearing all of the horror stories about shoulder surgery. They aren't quite sure what they'll find in there. They are kind of going in blindly since my symptoms don't fit what the MRI showed. They aren't going to fix the torn ligament unless it starts giving me more trouble AFTER this surgery. They are hoping to find what is limiting my range of motion and loosen that up. Fixing the torn ligament would tighten things up and they can't loosen and tighten at the same time. I was hoping for one stop shopping with this. I just hope the HAGL lesion doesn't ever bother me, then I'll be done.

On the flip side of things. After recently suffering from chest pain and having the CT/angiogram, I learned that my heart is being squished and is malformed from the scoliosis, but is functioning well. That kind of puts me on edge for ever having the surgery for my spine. No one commented on the thread that I started on that topic, which is okay. But, I really think it's an important topic to consider. My fear is that if my back were to be fixed and there were suddenly "room" for my heart, the deformity wouldn't work like it is now and the valves might leak. If anyone has any thoughts or experience with this anomaly, I'd REALLY like to hear your input. We tend to focus on cobb angles and such so much. But the real issue is organ function that is affected by our twists and curves. That's the BIG issue for having surgery in the first place, right? Of course, pain plays a role in some people's decision for surgery. But pain is a result of the effects of the twists and turns on the nerves, so it's kind of all the same.

Anyway, I thought I'd get two subjects in at once. My ribs are concaved under the scapula where I'm having the shoulder surgery. That's why my physiatrist thinks it's playing a role in what's going on. He's convinced that there's some impingement going on. I'll try to post back and let you all know my outcome. This website is driving me crazy, though! I can't pop in and out like I used to. I don't have the time to just sit and wait for it to load. But I'll do my best. I miss you all and wish I had the time to read everyone's posts to see how y'all are doing.

Take care and be well!

09-05-2013, 02:53 PM
This is my third time trying to wish you luck with your surgery. The other times, the message went to a black hole and never loaded.

It must be very frustrating to go into surgery and not know if it is going to help or not, but unfortunately, even with all of our modern technology, they just need to look at it the old fashioned way and do an exploratory.

Re: your heart, you need to have a consult with a cardiac surgeon who can answer your questions in an authoritative way.

Sending you healing thoughts and hopes that you are on your way to less pain and more fun in the future. Keep us posted on your recovery. I hope that they finally get this forum working faster without all of the spam. I know that there are probably others trying to wish you well, but access is limited.

Hugs to you, Susan

09-05-2013, 03:20 PM
hey rohr
surprised i could get on here today...
want to wish you the best...hope all goes smoothly and the doctors
are able to fix things so you are not in pain afterwards...
wondering what cardiologist thinks about spinal surgery and how your
heart might function if no longer "squished"

thoughts and prayers for a successful operation and uneventful recovery...

jess...and Sparky

09-05-2013, 03:24 PM
Yes, the slowness is the pits. I am praying for you also and that all is going well. I don't know anything about your heart questions but agree with Susan and Jess about seeing a cardiologist about it. Sending love and healing wishes and gentle hugs along with my prayers.

09-05-2013, 03:41 PM
I tried twice to post my best wishes to you for your surgery. I hope this posts.

Good luck.

09-05-2013, 06:38 PM
Sending healing prayers your way! (THAT'S why the site is working today, so we can encourage you)

I agree that a cardiologist could give you the answers you're seeking. You certainly have a lot to consider.


09-06-2013, 03:42 AM
rohrer, best of luck with the shoulder surgery. If deserving has anything to do with it, it'll be a great success.

Yes, I agree with others, a visit to a cardiologist should give you some answers.

Thinking of you!

loves to skate
09-06-2013, 10:15 AM
Healing thoughts and prayers coming your way for a successful surgery.

09-06-2013, 01:30 PM
I hope that the surgery was successful and you're recovering well. Thank God this site is back to normal - I quit checking it because it took forever to load. Good too see everyone here again.

09-06-2013, 09:45 PM

Hope you are recovering well!! Have someone post for you when you can.

R.e. the heart issue, I wonder if your heart is actually deformed or just appears deformed from being squished. Also, if your curve gets worse, will it get further squished. This is a major dilemma. I wonder if you ever have surgery if they could just kind of freeze you in place so the curve doesnt get worse? Advice to consult with a cardiologist is good, but I also think some of the more advanced scoliosis surgeons should have dealt with this issue. I know it's the one doctors always mentioned to me with very large thoracic curves. Anyway, you've got time to deal with that later when your shoulder is better.

For now, rest up and heal well!

Best wishes,

09-07-2013, 04:28 PM
Finally, the forum is working up to speed. I haven't checked in lately because it was so frustrating.
I am sorry I didn't get the opportunity to wish you the best before your surgery. I hope the surgery went well and that you have a smooth recovery.

09-07-2013, 05:32 PM
Thank you everyone for your well wishes. I'm not in a tremendous amount of pain and they only upped my oxycodone by 20mg/day. The first night was horrible after the nerve block completely wore off.

They found a bunch of thick scar tissue in the shoulder socket, which is typical for frozen shoulder. They also found the upper bursa to be extremely red and inflamed, which is typical for impingement. The surgeon didn't mention impingement, but said that he remove the bursa. In my booklet that they gave me, this is done for impingement syndrome. So I guess I had both. Right now I don't hurt any worse than I did before surgery, so that's great! I have to be careful when I take it out of the sling to do PT on it. It seems to pop a couple of times sending shooting nerve pain down my arm. Once this happens it feels okay out of the sling.

I asked the doctor of he was able to see the HAGL lesion. His reply was to tell me how he was going to do surgery #2 to fix it if I start dislocating. I hope it stays in the socket because surgery #2 involves open incision and bone grafting. UGH!!!

As far as the heart issue, the cardiologist I saw seemed very disinterested in everything. I didn't even follow up with him. He wanted me to follow up with my PCP and change meds to a calcium channel blocker instead of a beta blocker. I don't think he's the guy for me. I felt like he wasn't even listening to me an could care less about anything unless I was surgical. I won't be going back to him. I'll bring it up with my scoliosis doctor at my next visit in about three years. For now everything's working so I'm just counting my blessings that the deformity is a functional deformity. I just wondered if anyone else had been told the same thing about their heart and what the outcome was. I thought for sure Linda Racine would have seen some of this. But maybe she doesn't get that far into the records. She does go to a lot of conferences, though. I would think that this would be a dominant issue for people with scoliosis. Maybe I'm wrong.

Thus far my recovery is going much smoother than my last surgery. They didn't make me eat anything before I was ready. This has been much easier on my GI system for sure!

Again, thanks for all the well wishes!

09-07-2013, 06:24 PM
so glad to hear from you rohr..
and glad the surgery is over...
am guessing you are home...it must help to be recovering at home...
i hope you heal well...and as quickly as possible...

rest and feel better...
jess...and Sparky

09-07-2013, 07:51 PM
Great that you are in recovery. Onward and upward! :-)

09-07-2013, 10:35 PM

Heart issues rarely come into play with curves that are less than huge, but I suspect you have the issue because your curve is so high.

Hope your recovery continues to be relatively easy.


09-08-2013, 12:31 AM
I am so glad this forum is working again!

I'm still feeling pretty good. I've been out of sling off and on today and am able to use my arm much more than I thought I would. I think my biggest problem is going to be the temptation to overuse the arm since it doesn't hurt like the dickens. Maybe I'm feeling so well in comparison with other people who've had their shoulders worked on because my problem was different and not rotator cuff related. I'm not complaining. I might just have a higher pain tolerance than I thought. When you have chronic pain, like I do, you start to feel like a baby when it comes to pain. Other people tend to view chronic pain patients like wimps, too. IDK. So far, so good.

Thanks again, everyone. You are a great bunch of people!

Linda, with some of the severe curves that affect the heart, what happens when they are straightened up? Does the heart keep its deformed shape or eventually return to normal? Does it end up leaking or develop other complications? I'm wondering if I can even be an organ donor if I die...???