View Full Version : More surgery!

09-08-2008, 01:43 AM
I don’t know how to say this but here it comes. About 10 days before my surgery back in Jan 08 I fell on icy steps at my house and I hurt my arm. I really didn’t think it was all that bad and I mentioned it to my surgeon, and he said that with the drugs I was going to be on that I wasn’t going to feel anything.

Anyway, I went through the surgeries and when I came off the drugs, my arm was hurting big time and we knew that something had to be done and I wanted to wait till my spine was fused and I was ready to handle another surgery. My 4th surgery in 15 months! Ahhhhh……………………….

Last month when I found out that my spine was fused and feeling better about my back, I requested a referral for a shoulder expert. Upon visiting him, we shot x-rays of the shoulder and he noticed that I broke, basically shattered half of the ball area of my humerus up in my shoulder. He couldn’t believe that I didn’t go down to the hospital and I told him that with the back pain that I was going through with my scoliosis, that it really wasn’t all that big of a deal. I have been through some unbelievable crippling pain through my years. We also had some MRIs done and confirmed that I tore one of the four rotator cuff muscles.

When I think back to those days leading up to the surgery, I was so engulfed with all that was going to happen, and all of the changes and planning that I made prior to my scoli surgeries, I was working with a broken shoulder! My humerus fused while my spine fused and I didn’t even know it! I did my anterior and my posterior surgeries with a broken up shoulder too boot!

I feel like Evil Knieval after the Caesars Palace jump back in the 70s. Its amazing what the body can handle. Didn’t I mention that in one of my prior posts?

Right now my back is doing great! I just cant believe how successful my scoliosis surgery has been even with the seriousness of my procedures. The old pre surgical pain is completely gone, you know, the really deep achy pain that just wont quit? I have no regrets.
If you want to see a few screws, look at the attachment in my first thread.
Surgery #4 will be on October 6th

09-08-2008, 05:15 AM
Ed, when I saw your post-- and its title, I was afraid of the worst for you-- more surgery for your back. Even though this is terrible, I was relieved to see it was your shoulder. You had mentioned awhile back the need for rotator cuff surgery-- but this sounds more complex. I'm so sorry to hear what all happened with your shoulder from the fall--and find it pretty interesting that the other pain masked the degree of seriousness of the damage done. Keep us posted on this next surgery. I'll be praying for you. :) Susie

09-08-2008, 05:47 AM
Holy Moly Ed, I can't believe you went around that long with such a busted up shoulder! What will they have to do in this surgery, and will it take away your pain? I'm sorry about this, but very happy to hear that your back is doing so well.

09-08-2008, 12:53 PM
Oh they go in and grind, drill, and sew. It will be done orthoscopically. They do thousands of these operations on an annual basis and have a high sucess rate. Also its outpatient, and approx 1 to 1-1/2 hours long.

Im going to do this one on Celebrex. I think it will hurt like hell the first week, then taper off as time goes by. I will have my arm in a sling for approx 1 month and then PT.

I have a car with an automatic transmisson and I dont think that will be so bad. Its working the mouse on my computer that will be a problem. Im going to try lefty, this should be interesting!

After I get through the approximate 6 month recovery, I should be completely pain free. Being out of pain is quite a concept! Im just going to run around and hug everybody.

Watch out here I come!

loves to skate
09-08-2008, 04:56 PM
Hi Titanium Ed,
Good luck on the shoulder surgery Ed. My husband had it done and it came out great. He had let his go for 4 or 5 years constantly complaining about the pain and not being able to do what he wanted. He never even took any pain meds after the surgery. Just follow the Dr's instructions and you will do just fine. Take care and keep is up to date, Sally

09-08-2008, 06:56 PM
Ed ...

So they're going to work with what calcified of the humerus ball, or replace it with a titanium head?

Which rotator cuff muscle? Is it a complete tear? What mobility, if any, have you lost?

Was the socket damaged as well? Just wondering whether you get a shiny new titanium socket too ...

I can totally relate to "eh ... it's just an ache". Like I posted in another thread, it's all relative.

You'll whiz through. Do your rehab. You know the drill.

Best regards,

09-08-2008, 09:21 PM
Hi Ed,

It's about time you got in to get that shoulder checked! Geeze, you don't play when you hurt yourself do you? LOL! I know you are going to sail through this surgery and be better then new. Keep me posted. Suzy

Ginger W.
09-08-2008, 09:59 PM
Your story is absolutely amazing, because your scoliosis was far more painful than a shattered shoulder. Doctors who tell patients that scoliosis doesn't hurt should hear about your history. I can't believe you were dealing with all that shoulder stuff while you were recovering from an anterior/posterior scoliosis surgery. That must have been TOUGH!

I had arthroscopic surgery on my shoulder six months before my scoliosis was corrected. Relatively, it was MUCH easier. I wish you the best for a complete repair!

09-09-2008, 01:12 AM
Yes,they will work on the humeral head (ball area). The "profile of a surface" which is an engineering term, or correct or pre-injured shape of the profile has changed. There is a build-up of material in one area and a hollow in another area. I dont know exactly how bone fuses as far as time frame is concerned, and at what strength the fusion is at any particular time. On a cellular level, as far as bone remodling is concerned, it would be interesting to perform a tensile and yeild test at various times through the actual "fusion timeframe" to know exactly where a fusion is at. My Doc mentioned that the fused areas of my spine is stronger than the actual bone. Im sure that they will use a ball router to "cut" the high spots down.

One of the 4 rotator cuff muscles is torn. Its not torn off completely as I can lift my arm foward and upwards 45 degrees from the hanging position. If I pull hard, I can get to a horizontal position. Its the top muscle thats torn.

Negativo on any more titanium hardware! My scrap value would increase too high! Ive noticed that my cell phone reception has improved since my hardware was installed. If the signal goes weak, I just wave my good arm!

Its probably a good thing that my arm was injured. It kept me from lifting anything at all and it slowed me down. I was sitting on my KTM MXC525 supermoto in my garage idling, dying to go for a ride, and the arm injury kept me from a ride. mention it to your hubby, he will totally understand.

As far as pain goes, I had a double 50 degree curve back when I was 15. It was a perfectly balanced "S" with my cervical vert pretty much aligned with the center of my sacrum. I was "Very" active physically, snow skiing 4 days a week, motorcycling, etc etc and I would get sore but recover quickly. At age 27, thats when I started going to a chiro for pain mgmt. As Pam has said, "pain is relative" is so true, and my body would adjust to the increasing pain levels. My pain levels kept increasing from age 27 to age 42 till the sciatica hit me at several times from age 42 to age 49. After dealing with a 9 month major sciatica spell back in 2002, I guess that my body adjusted to the incredible pain so that something like a broken bone was nothing. I probably would have made a great fighter.

The kidney stone episode I went through was the pinnicle of pain! That was "THE" most "INTENSE" accute painful thing I have ever experianced. It was like parking a Ford F350 Heavy duty on my stomach! It did contribute to some of the grey hairs on my head.

I know that some of you readers out there can relate. I can look at an x-ray and with your age I can just feel how much pain you are in. If you are not posting and just reading like I did for the last few years, thats ok, but it would be nice if you joined us anyway. I really didnt know anyone with scoli that I could talk to since 1975 when I found out that I had scoliosis, and this board has made that possible. Its nice to relate on the same level. Its extra special to be able to do that and just not the same if that person on the other side hasnt walked in the same shoes.