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Thread: shoulder blade dropping

  1. #46
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    Mar 2008
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    Chicago-"land"
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    157

    Hi Jackie! I want to talk about Chicago ortho spine surgeons

    Quote Originally Posted by jackieg412 View Post
    Yes Ed you are right . It is early and you also went through a shoulder problem. As humans we do not even think of our different body parts until they don't work right. It was a long journey to finding the solution to this shoulder blade problem. It got worse in December or January but has been a problem for 4 years. So muscles change and now have to learn a new pattern.
    However the shoulder is in place and staying there. NOW I CAN FEAL The AMAZING BALANCE IN My SPINE. The difference is wonderful. But it was a long battle to get to the answer. I think I am worn out from the journey. I need some down time.
    There are still issues in the shoulder itself but we are putting bandaids on them for now. Also this surgery has to heal more in order to do the rehab necessary after shoulder surgery.
    Hey Jackie! I have a little history on this forum and don't you love the excellent information here? I see you and I had our original surgeries about the same time - we've probably talked before.

    Frankly I didn't read every single one of the posts in this thread. I did however want to weigh in on the surgeons in Chicago. I have a situation where I'm told I need the "rarified air" of the TOP 5% of surgeons in America. AMERICA! Pretty scary. My hardware needs to be removed from T-10-L4 and replaced with all new rods, screws, 3 osteotomies and iliac screws. I'm told it will be a year recovery but actually you can double that. I did my homework and found ONLY TWO surgeons qualified as "rarified air" or the best of the best, in "chicagoland" (Ridiculous name).

    Chicago as a large metropolitan city has the lowest amount of SUPER qualified orthopedic surgeons I have EVER seen - but then again I despise this state. If I were "home" in Southern California, I could find at least 5 of the top 10. But I'm not, I'm stuck here because of family and my condition. Frankly the only good things in this god forsaken state are the friends I've made here. I can't even find a decent community church.

    Anyway, enough of my complaints about Shitcago........

    I interviewed the supposed "top" surgeon in revisions at Rush University (supposedly the best) and I was APPALLED at his recommendation. He actually had the nerve to state he was 53 years old and how in the world could he stand for 11 hours?? (OMgosh, who's the patient here?). I'm sure you can look him up - I won't mention his name. I had only two other choices and praise God in Heaven, I found Dr. Purnendo Gupta. He is friends with and has done presentations with Dr. Lenke (who moved to NYC). I hear Dr Gupta's brother who practiced in Northern CA is now at Lenke's old practice.

    Dr. Gupta is that rarified air. If you are contemplating any more surgery for scoliosis or your shoulder - I urge you to visit him. Please feel free to msg me! I did ALL my homework (and I'm a pro at it - plus my daughter worked for Medtronics in So Cal - she couldn't believe De Wald - oops, either) and if Dr. Gupta was not available, I would truly, truly have moved back to California alone because of the plethora of good surgeons there, and only ONE here. I know two other members are very happy with their surgeons here and that's terrific. Unfortunately for me, my surgery will be so complicated I need the best of the best.

    Best of luck to you!!

    Susan
    Last edited by Chihuahua Mama; 09-21-2015 at 02:58 AM.
    Susan
    XLIF/Posterior Surgery 6/16/08. Fused T10-L5 in CA by Dr. Michael Kropf (don't go there unless it's simple, I hear he's at Cedar's now). Very deformed, had revision w/5 PSO's, rods from T-3 to sacrum including iliac screws, all posterior, 5/23/16 with Dr. Purnendu Gupta of Chicago.


    Owner of Chachi the Chihuahua, So Cal born and bred, now a resident of 'Chicagoland' Illinois. Uh, dislike it here....thank God there was ONE excellent spine surgeon in this area.

  2. #47
    Join Date
    Dec 2008
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    illinois
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    758
    Hi Susan, yes Chicago is many things including a shooting capital of the U.S. it is a beautiful big city with the lake. It has an amazing ability to change weather very quickly. Hot as can be to as cold as you can imagine. But I live south of Chicago about 30 miles.
    I was well cared for at the University of Chicago hospital. Everything you could want. The team approach was what found the answer to my problem. I am so very thankful for them and the outcome. They were dedicated to finding the answer and pleasant and kind. Also they understand the difficult drive to the hospital. There scoliosis doctor was Dr Lee. He is very nice but my scoliosis surgery is fine. So he didn't have to do anything except decide if I needed the thoracoplasty. It was decided that surgery was too risky. So the upper extremity specialist took a chance that removing part of my shoulder blade would be the solution. I don't think it is a common approach. So far it is the answer that is making everything a lot better. It isn't healed yet but doing well. Recovery of a shoulder , I am told, can take a year. So that is were I am now. So many times of starting over and healing. But I will get there.
    Now the disc in the neck is acting up. But, I will get through that too!
    T10-pelvis fusion 12/08
    Fractured t-9 six days out of surgery
    C5,6,7 fusion 9/10
    PJK at t-9
    T2--T10 fusion 2/11
    Removal of left side t6-t10. 8/14
    C 4-5 fusion 11/14
    Right scapulectomy 6/15
    Right pectoralis major muscle transfer to scapula
    To replace the action of Serratus Anterior muscle 3/16

  3. #48
    Join Date
    Mar 2008
    Location
    Chicago-"land"
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    157
    Quote Originally Posted by jackieg412 View Post
    Hi Susan, yes Chicago is many things including a shooting capital of the U.S. it is a beautiful big city with the lake. It has an amazing ability to change weather very quickly. Hot as can be to as cold as you can imagine. But I live south of Chicago about 30 miles.
    I was well cared for at the University of Chicago hospital. Everything you could want. The team approach was what found the answer to my problem. I am so very thankful for them and the outcome. They were dedicated to finding the answer and pleasant and kind. Also they understand the difficult drive to the hospital. There scoliosis doctor was Dr Lee. He is very nice but my scoliosis surgery is fine. So he didn't have to do anything except decide if I needed the thoracoplasty. It was decided that surgery was too risky. So the upper extremity specialist took a chance that removing part of my shoulder blade would be the solution. I don't think it is a common approach. So far it is the answer that is making everything a lot better. It isn't healed yet but doing well. Recovery of a shoulder , I am told, can take a year. So that is were I am now. So many times of starting over and healing. But I will get there.
    Now the disc in the neck is acting up. But, I will get through that too!
    No it certainly doesn't sound like a common approach. You sound like an upbeat, positive person and I will add my good wishes for a speedy recovery. I also get tired of constantly trying to prop myself up (I live alone - the chihuahua isn't much help) but everyone here has been a godsend for me and I'm grateful for the support. I also have a cage between C6-7 and I returned to work after 3 months. It still hurt and I was told my recovery was longer than usual, but everyone heals at a different rate.

    Hang in there and I'm glad you are doing well with the recovery.

    Best of wishes,
    Susan

    P.S. I'm east and slightly north of Chicago - used to live in Orland Park. I liked it there much better - easy access for shopping anywhere!
    Susan
    XLIF/Posterior Surgery 6/16/08. Fused T10-L5 in CA by Dr. Michael Kropf (don't go there unless it's simple, I hear he's at Cedar's now). Very deformed, had revision w/5 PSO's, rods from T-3 to sacrum including iliac screws, all posterior, 5/23/16 with Dr. Purnendu Gupta of Chicago.


    Owner of Chachi the Chihuahua, So Cal born and bred, now a resident of 'Chicagoland' Illinois. Uh, dislike it here....thank God there was ONE excellent spine surgeon in this area.

  4. #49
    Join Date
    Dec 2008
    Location
    illinois
    Posts
    758
    Susan then you will understand where my town is. I live in Lockport. The town next to Orland Park. Yes Orland has about everything but is really busy. If you come down to visit we could easily meet somewhere. I too live alone but I am kept busy with family. We have somethings in common. I too have cervical fusion but mine is now c4-c7. I also t2-pelvis. It doesn't leave me with much and I do not doubt that is what is bothering me. I know I need to go in to talk to my doctor(spine) but I just keep hoping it will go away. Dealing with this shoulder is enough for now. The surgery wasn't bad but getting there was draining and long. But it seems to be successful!!!!
    T10-pelvis fusion 12/08
    Fractured t-9 six days out of surgery
    C5,6,7 fusion 9/10
    PJK at t-9
    T2--T10 fusion 2/11
    Removal of left side t6-t10. 8/14
    C 4-5 fusion 11/14
    Right scapulectomy 6/15
    Right pectoralis major muscle transfer to scapula
    To replace the action of Serratus Anterior muscle 3/16

  5. #50
    Join Date
    Oct 2007
    Location
    Indiana
    Posts
    1,974
    Dear Susan - We go back several years and I've been wondering whether to say something or not but decided to go ahead. I wish you all the best with your upcoming surgery and am glad you have found a surgeon that you are relatively comfortable with. I know you did not like your move from CA to the Windy City. At the same time, I think you need to look at the positives around you or you will never be happy with life and you only get one go around.

    As for Dr. DeWald, I'm sorry that you were so displeased. At the same time, since Chicago doctors are so seldom mentioned on here I feel the need to say at least something. He has been voted to the US News and World Report/Castle Connolly top 10-15% doctors list, Becker's Spine Review's 8 Leaders in Scoliosis Surgery to Know (yes, it's from 2011, but they have not come out with a newer list) http://www.beckersspine.com/orthoped...s-to-know.html , been cited in other areas of Becker's Spine Review (speaker, someone to watch, leader, 63 scoliosis focused spine surgeons to know (Oct.2014) http://www.beckersspine.com/spine/it...s-to-know.html , and so on. You can read about him on SpineUniverse if that helps anyone (and I don't know how legitimate that online source is, http://www.spineuniverse.com/author/1492/dewald He was part of the research team for this paper, most of the other doctors whose names you will recognize: http://www.researchgate.net/publicat...lidation_Study

    Rush Hospital itself has been ranked by US News and World Report about #8 in the US for its orthopedic unit ever since I started watching after my surgery in 2007.

    I am sorry that Dr. DeWald left you with a bad impression and did not help you out. Who knows what the situation was. He is my current doctor but was not my surgeon-- his former partner who is now totally at Shriner's Chicago was-- and I don't know Dr. D all that well, but he has been kind and attentive to me, answering questions and concerns that I may have had at my appointments. At the same time, I don't want him maligned without some sort of rebuttal. If you didn't care for him, then please move on without making such a big deal. I hope this doesn't cause a problem between us as we have been friends for quite awhile.

    Adding on-- his current research is on fusionless scoliosis surgery...
    Last edited by Susie*Bee; 09-23-2015 at 11:39 AM. Reason: add
    66 and still heartbroken...
    2007 52° w/ severe lumbar stenosis & L2L3 lateral listhesis (side shift)
    5/4/07 posterior spinal fusion T2-L4 w/ laminectomies and osteotomies @L2L3, L3L4
    Dr. Kim Hammerberg, Rush Univ. Medical Center in Chicago

    Corrected to 15°
    2014 DXd w/CMT (type 2)

    Click to view my pics: pics of scoli x-rays digital x-rays, and pics of me

  6. #51
    Join Date
    Dec 2008
    Location
    illinois
    Posts
    758
    I work in a local hospital and we all know Rush is great with orthopaedic care. In fact if the doctor at the University of Chicago could not help me I was going to go to Rush. And then maybe the Cleveland clinic or New York.I am glad that I didn't have to go so far.
    Dr Dewalt, I haven't used but have heard nothing but good about him.
    Maybe it was an off day when you were there Susan.
    My surgeon is closer to me but so far so good.except for the shoulder blade, and hopefully now that is fixed.
    T10-pelvis fusion 12/08
    Fractured t-9 six days out of surgery
    C5,6,7 fusion 9/10
    PJK at t-9
    T2--T10 fusion 2/11
    Removal of left side t6-t10. 8/14
    C 4-5 fusion 11/14
    Right scapulectomy 6/15
    Right pectoralis major muscle transfer to scapula
    To replace the action of Serratus Anterior muscle 3/16

  7. #52
    Join Date
    Dec 2008
    Location
    illinois
    Posts
    758
    I really thought we had the fix for my shoulder blade problem but at last it is giving me another problem. It is moving down again and now the scapula is winging out. All this time it was getting better but in December it winged off my back. It seems minor but with it winged off the back all of the shoulder movement is wrong. It won't lift the arm and of course it is my right side and of course I am right handed.
    I just had a whole battery of tests and fortunately ALS was ruled out. So things can be worse then one arm not working.
    In February I will be back down to Chicago to see the specialist. With the scapula like this you can't lift things or reach forward..you can't turn on the light or pour liquids or button a shirt or pump the soap bottle. Stupid small stuff like this.
    T10-pelvis fusion 12/08
    Fractured t-9 six days out of surgery
    C5,6,7 fusion 9/10
    PJK at t-9
    T2--T10 fusion 2/11
    Removal of left side t6-t10. 8/14
    C 4-5 fusion 11/14
    Right scapulectomy 6/15
    Right pectoralis major muscle transfer to scapula
    To replace the action of Serratus Anterior muscle 3/16

  8. #53
    Join Date
    Jun 2011
    Location
    Southern CA
    Posts
    2,224
    I am so sorry
    Melissa

    Fused from C2 - sacrum 7/2011

    December 8, 2014 - Another Broken Rod Surgery

  9. #54
    Join Date
    Dec 2008
    Location
    illinois
    Posts
    758
    Thank you Melissa. You would not think a problem like this would cause so much adapting but it does. I have a brain MRI on Tuesday to rule out any lesions
    The neurologist will only say she doesn't think it is ALS. All the other tests are coming back ok. But the problem still exists with lack of function and strength in my right arm. So I go back to the doctor at the university with test results that do not show the problem.
    Is this were you give up. That is what I feel like. One. Dr thinks more therapy and 2 say not now until we know the problem. One thinks it could be related to cervical but the spine Dr says it isn't.
    Since everyone recognizes the problem but nobody has an answer it gets a bit frustrating and over whelming. Even the tests won't show any answers. I was told we rule out the big things and then keep looking.
    T10-pelvis fusion 12/08
    Fractured t-9 six days out of surgery
    C5,6,7 fusion 9/10
    PJK at t-9
    T2--T10 fusion 2/11
    Removal of left side t6-t10. 8/14
    C 4-5 fusion 11/14
    Right scapulectomy 6/15
    Right pectoralis major muscle transfer to scapula
    To replace the action of Serratus Anterior muscle 3/16

  10. #55
    Join Date
    Dec 2008
    Location
    illinois
    Posts
    758
    Well I am scheduled for another surgery, that makes my sixth revision surgery, on Friday. This is to stabilize the right shoulder blade. I see the surgeon today but the plan is a muscle transfer from my chest to the scapula. It will require using a harvested tendon. Recovery is long and I am tired of hearing that.
    Ed how was it for you to recover from your broken shoulder.
    T10-pelvis fusion 12/08
    Fractured t-9 six days out of surgery
    C5,6,7 fusion 9/10
    PJK at t-9
    T2--T10 fusion 2/11
    Removal of left side t6-t10. 8/14
    C 4-5 fusion 11/14
    Right scapulectomy 6/15
    Right pectoralis major muscle transfer to scapula
    To replace the action of Serratus Anterior muscle 3/16

  11. #56
    Join Date
    Oct 2007
    Location
    Indiana
    Posts
    1,974
    Dear Jackie - I am so sorry about your continued problems. I am praying for you and that this will be the end of the surgeries-- with a good outcome and maybe the recovery time won't be as bad as they say. Sometimes they paint the "worst case scenario" so they are covering their bases. Also, each day of recovery means you are getting that much closer to the new healthy you and NO MORE SHOULDER AND SCAPULA PROBLEMS! Best wishes and prayers. --Susie
    66 and still heartbroken...
    2007 52° w/ severe lumbar stenosis & L2L3 lateral listhesis (side shift)
    5/4/07 posterior spinal fusion T2-L4 w/ laminectomies and osteotomies @L2L3, L3L4
    Dr. Kim Hammerberg, Rush Univ. Medical Center in Chicago

    Corrected to 15°
    2014 DXd w/CMT (type 2)

    Click to view my pics: pics of scoli x-rays digital x-rays, and pics of me

  12. #57
    Join Date
    May 2008
    Location
    reno,nevada
    Posts
    3,531
    Jackie, my PT for the shoulder was around 6 months....Recovery? Hmmm....Maybe we are in constant recovery, it sure seems that way sometimes.

    I had my shoulder done Oct 2008, and 3 days later, my shoulder surgeon wanted me in for PT as he didn’t want it to “freeze” up. They wanted me in a few times a week, and had an approx 3 month PT program lined up. I actually enjoyed it so much that I told them that I wanted to extend the therapies.....I had a really good PT guy, who started out very slow. He was afraid of my spine, and well, was the talk of the PT group you might say. Slow rotational movements with heat and ice, and NO weights for months.....It was mainly about mobility and light stretches. After a month or so, I started on the arm bike pedaling with my arms with no resistance which was really helping my thoracic spine. This was done at the UNR sports center. 1# and 2# weights were added around 2 months into my program.....At 6 months, my arm surgeon watched me do 40 pull-ups and laughed and told me that I didn’t need to be down here any more. It was at that point that Dr Menmuir ordered me to go skiing in March 2009. I have a thread on that. I also noticed that the photo attachments on my old threads are missing probably due to a server software update. If anyone wants to see these photos, I will dig them up and re-attach to the threads.

    Your shoulder and situation is completely different from what I had going on. Some surgeons will paint an ugly picture and say that its going to be long and difficult....I think its an expectation thing so you are prepared. I have seen this before but most of the times, its not like that. It will be interesting to see exactly how your surgeon dictates your therapy schedule......

    I didn’t have much pain and took one Celebrex.....and there was no comparison on pain after having A/P scoli surgeries and wasn’t going back on Percoset or taking any meds again. My battle getting clean after scoli surgeries was too tough....

    I also had no right arm for 10 months from the time I broke it through my scoli recovery. I would lift it on the desk to work my mouse and basically had my left hand on my right wrist supporting it for almost a year. Washing your hair one handed is adaptable, and I was used to doing everything left handed. The whole arm thing was secondary in my mind and I didn’t let it bother me. That’s why I always look ahead, never back. It didn’t matter that it took 100 trips to unload the groceries from the trunk of the car after food shopping. These little things don’t matter.

    I think that all along that I knew it all was going to come around and had mastered my patience..... Small goals, with just a glimmer of hope, not being greedy with prayer since I used that bottle up and cant ask the Lord for too much anymore.

    My shoulder surgeons name is Dr Uppal. Down at work, one of the girls had a shoulder surgery and I asked her who her arm surgeon was and she told me that is was Dr Uppal. The next day, I asked Penny when she was going down to see Dr Downal. She then had this confused look and told me that she was going to kill me. He he This alone made my shoulder surgery worth it.

    Hang in there and post when you can

    Ed
    49 yr old male, now 58, the new 53...
    Pre surgery curves C12,T70,L70
    ALIF/PLIF T2-Pelvis 01/29/08, 01/31/08 7" pelvic anchors BMP
    Dr Brett Menmuir St Marys Hospital Reno,Nevada

    Bending and twisting pics after full fusion
    http://www.scoliosis.org/forum/showt...on.&highlight=

    My x-rays
    http://www.scoliosis.org/forum/attac...2&d=1228779214

    http://www.scoliosis.org/forum/attac...3&d=1228779258

  13. #58
    Join Date
    Dec 2008
    Location
    illinois
    Posts
    758
    Well I did have the surgery on Friday. It did include an exploratory to see what caused this. I haven't had my follow-up with the surgery team yet. I did ask them to see if I am rubbing on the misplaced ribs.
    They did a muscle transfer of the pectoralis major, that is on the upper arm and chest to the scapula. A harvested tendon was used. I have two incisions, one on the upper arm,chest and one on the back very close to my side. It is not possible to lay down so I am sleeping in a recliner. I had too stay hooked to an ice machine for three days. I think it really helped with pain.
    Hopefully this is it but I am not allowed to move too much yet.keeping my fingers crossed.
    T10-pelvis fusion 12/08
    Fractured t-9 six days out of surgery
    C5,6,7 fusion 9/10
    PJK at t-9
    T2--T10 fusion 2/11
    Removal of left side t6-t10. 8/14
    C 4-5 fusion 11/14
    Right scapulectomy 6/15
    Right pectoralis major muscle transfer to scapula
    To replace the action of Serratus Anterior muscle 3/16

  14. #59
    Join Date
    Jan 2012
    Location
    Yacolt, WA
    Posts
    1,525
    Jackie: I hope that you find pain relief with your surgery and that you are recovering well. Looking forward to hearing the outcome of this surgery.
    Take care of yourself.
    Susan
    Adult Onset Degenerative Scoliosis @65, 25* T & 36* L w/ 11.2 cm coronal balance; T kyphosis 90*; Severe disc degen T & L stenosis

    2013: T3- S1 Fusion w/ ALIF L4-S1/XLIF L2-4, PSF T4-S1 in 2 surgeries
    2014: Hernia @ ALIF repaired; Emergency screw removal surgery for Spinal Cord Injury at T4,5 sec to PJK
    2015: Revision Broken Bil T & L rods and no fusion: 2 revision surgeries; hardware P. Acnes infection
    2016: Ant/Lat Lumbar diskectomy w/ 4 cages + BMP + harvested bone + prayer

  15. #60
    Join Date
    May 2008
    Location
    reno,nevada
    Posts
    3,531
    Jackie, Good news...Try to take it easy....

    The ice machine feels pretty good...

    Has the “winging” stopped?

    Ed
    49 yr old male, now 58, the new 53...
    Pre surgery curves C12,T70,L70
    ALIF/PLIF T2-Pelvis 01/29/08, 01/31/08 7" pelvic anchors BMP
    Dr Brett Menmuir St Marys Hospital Reno,Nevada

    Bending and twisting pics after full fusion
    http://www.scoliosis.org/forum/showt...on.&highlight=

    My x-rays
    http://www.scoliosis.org/forum/attac...2&d=1228779214

    http://www.scoliosis.org/forum/attac...3&d=1228779258

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