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Last May I fell from the roof and broke my humerus, ribs, scapula and wrist, among other injuries. My main concern now is my "frozen" shoulder, actual cause undetermined. I had ORIF surgery on humerus (and radIus); BIG foot-long scar from my clavIcle down my arm, the round part of my shoulder is about the size and shape of a large lightbulb, and there is no visible deltoid. I can feel a teeny tiny muscle there, so I know he didn't remove It, or at least all of it. He had to remove one end and re-attach it after he put in the16-hole plate. There are long screws pokIng Into the humeral head.
There's a nasty knob of metal under the skin; It sticks out on the inner front of my shoulder, just below the acromium (I think), about 3/8", and it almost feels like I could put my fingertips under it. My new surgeon says that shouldn't interfere with function. It felt like the muscle was catching on it for months, but that seems to have gone away for now.
The first shoulder surgeon gave me the heave-ho, (as far as he's concerned I am all better), so I found another; he gave me a cortisone shot (acromial joint?) that caused more pain, turned my arm red and did nothing positive. My hand surgeons sent me for cervical spine MRi (not shoulder) and arm nerve conduction study, which showed nothing acute; I have DDD with stenosis through neck, thorax and sacrum, with minimal nerve and spinal cord effacement, so theoretIcally nerves should not be a problem.
The new surgeon confirmed my opinion that the head isn't perfectly aligned, (lIke I couldn't tell by lookIng at my xrays!), but that the "slIght" mal-alignment should not limit ROM. On the xrays it looks like the knob is backwards, at least to me,, but I'm a novIce, and the surgeons won't discuss it much with me. (Can't be true or my elbow would not work).
I do have fair ROM, about 50% of normal, much of it compensatory. The pain isn't entirely crippling. I can't seem to regain deltoId muscle mass, and there is a limit to my ROM improvement. Grrr! Mostly it feels like the d---ed thing was put back together sloppily, and that my deltoid was either partially removed or sewn back in the wrong place. it feels like that there's a hose clamp around the biceps part of my arm. The arm feels like it weighs about 75 pounds, but that's a big improvement over the 175 pound arm I woke up with after surgery.
I'm going to see the my new ortho surgeon next week, but I'm sure answers will not come quickly.
I asked if there was a rotator cuff injury and was told we'd think about that later. Meanwhile, it's PT, PT, PT and more exercise, seemingly to little avail. I'm 59 and never had a semI-permanent problem with a joint before, but do have lots of minor arthritis.
it's been 9 months now. I was In a wrist cast for the fIrst 2.
Non weIght bearIng exercIse (pendulum swings) started a couple of days after surgery.
I had a VERY aggressIve physical therapIst initially, ( i literally screamed in agony) but left him when I started to develop CRPS, or Reflex SympathetIc dystrophy, which seems to have abated, hopefully. Now I only go to gentle PTs.
The general consensus seems to be:
1) I should be as good as new by now. (frIends and busIness assocIates)
2) I should not expect too much more Improvement. (PhysIcal therapIsts)
3) No predIctIons (doctors)
I'm very pro-actIve. Any suggestions are welcome. i sure wish one of these doctors would figure this out. If it's frozen shoulder I can work with that; if its a bad repair job I need to know. I'm interested in TrIgenIcs, (OAT procedure) but can't fInd an unbIased patIent to recommend it. Vf anyone has had that or a similar treatment, please let me know how it worked out for you.
[My computer has no i key, so please ignore all of my sloppy cut-and-paste i's.]
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