Protruding Suture Anchor

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Hello.   I am 8 weeks out from shoulder decompression surgery.   At 5 weeks post op I had a horrible pain when trying to wash my face.  I stood up and held my shoulder and in about 30 seconds I felt something move.  At my first follow up the Dr did a 2nd MRI.   The Dr office called, said "MRI was generic... no surgical fix or injection can help ...."  A few days later I picked up the MRI which reads I have a protruding suture anchor and a partially torn tendon above the protruding anchor.    I am concerned how I can rehab when moving my arm will push the anchor into my tendon and cause more damage.   I believe what I felt at 5 weeks post op  was the tendon releasing from the pinch of the protruding anchor.    it is 10 times more painful than before the surgery with 1/10th of the motion.

I picked up the films and attached the anchor.   

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  • Posted

    I had surgery on my left shoulder going on 15weeks ago, all I can get out of the Dr who done the surgery is (there is nothing I can do about it or nothing I can give you for the pain) I have told him several times that the pain is so bad it keeps me awake all night, he then told me to go to Walmart and buy me some Tylenol PM so I can sleep, it's been a miserable 15 weeks since I had surgery and at this point I wish I would have never had it done. I am in more pain after the surgery than before and am unable to get any help for it. I hope you have better luck than I have been having

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    • Posted

      I am sorry James.    My intuition told me not to have this surgery.   At some point I felt like I was being silly and went for it.   Do you have any luck with ice?    I can't ice the area where the anchor protrudes but I can ice around it which helps.  Try the "peas"  from the local drug store.  

      My biggest concern at this point is this anchor protruding into the soft tissue.   Did you see my image posted?    I don't know how I can possibly use my arm until this anchor dissolves and I think it takes almost a year for them to dissolve. 

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    • Posted

      mine will not.  PSS Great article Suture Anchors

      Suture Anchors are very useful fixation devices for fixing tendons and ligaments to bone. They are made up of:

      The Anchor - which is inserted into the bone. This may be a screw mechanism or an interference fit (like a rawlbolt used in DIY). They may be made of metal or biodegradable material (which dissolves inthe body over time).

      The Eyelet - is a hole or a loop in the anchor to through which the suture passes. This links the anchor to the suture.

      The Suture - is attached to the anchor by through the eyelet of the anchor. It also may be a non-absorbable material or absorbable material. For more on suture materials click here.  

      Click image for a larger view

      So the anchor inserts to the bone and the suture attaches to the tendon - thus fixing the tendon to the bone via the suture-anchor device (see below):


      1. Anchor (attached to inserter) being directed to the insertion point on the bone.

      2. Anchor screwed into the bone.

      3. Inserter removed, exposing the sutures (attached to the anchor)Guidelines for using suture anchors (Snyder):Follow the manufacturer’s guidelines and be familiar with the proper insertion technique for that implant. 

      Use drill guides for accurate placement of the implant on the glenoid rim or in the tuberosity. Alternatively, the anchor should be placed in bone under direct vision, with removal of enough soft tissue to verify the anchor position.

      The anchor should be inserted through an appropriately sized cannula so that the surrounding soft tissue is protected and does not impede the anchor’s insertion.

      The surgeon should be aware that the anterior-inferior glenoid has the least margin of error for the placement of stabilization anchors. Similarly, for rotator cuff repairs, the surgeon should know which areas of the humerus

      have the strongest and weakest bone. Some anchors and tacks perform well in hard but not soft bone.

      The type of suture anchor (eg, a screw-in versus a lodging-type anchor) used will not compensate for inadequate surgical technique (eg, an incorrectly positioned anchor)

      The surgeon should have a backup surgical plan should the device fail or not fulfill its function to oppose the tissue to the bone.

      Before beginning the procedure, the surgeon should have in place the following:

      A variety of implants for different applications and locations, such as devices that might provide better purchase in the glenoid or the tuberosities

      A plan to accommodate a loose implant or a broken insertion system

      A plan to retrieve the device should it migrate or be positioned incorrectly

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  • Posted

    OMG!  Karen, immediately postpone rehab and seek a second opinion.  Not only are you fooling around with your own health and recovery....but...if the anchor is pulling out or was not inserted properly during your surgery your surgeon is liable.  Keep copious notes...Good luck!
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  • Posted

    Thanks Henpen.,

    The Anchors appear to be the bio resorbable type.    I don't know what the anchor is doing there to begin with.   I had a decompression surgery, not rotator cuff repair.   When I got to the hospital my paperwork said "Rotator cuff repair"    My pre surgery MRI confirms I had no tear prior to surgery.   My Dr confirmed verbally that it was decompression only.    I am now wondering if the anchor was just used to fake a repair for more $.    Unfortunately I really trusted this Dr.  

    In any case I am not only concerned that it is protruding, but rather that my Dr. office got the results of this post surgery MRI and told me it was generic.   Therefore I started being more aggressive with the rehab in attempts to make progress.   I caused more damage after this MRI was done.    Rehab also taped me with KT tape which you can imagine how much damage and pain that was with the anchor protruding.    I just happened to drop by and pick up a copy of the MRI at the imaging center.  

    I have attached the MRI Impression.

    I have an appointment tomorrow with another Dr.      He may say it is OK to leave it like this.   Maybe he will say it is OK.    I will let you know.      I discussed the situation with PT and they advised the limited movements I can make without damage.   

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    • Posted

      Listen, you move slow and steady with this investigation and rehab.  I had to have one of my repairs redone...had my then PT not caused the sutures to rupture and the repair of the supraspinatus (complete and retracted full tear in a freak accident causing the original surgery) I would be singing the blues on key while hitting all the high notes.  My surgeon would not have gone back in and fixed the issues.  Because I needed revision surgery, he fixed everything that did not go well the first time.  I am a full range of motion, pain-free, working independently on strengthening.  I am 55 years old.  Never had issues before the freak accident.  Two surgeries without six months of each other....  The surgeons do not deliberately try to yank our chains...but it does happen.  Weird stuff happens, and recoveries cannot recover, but they will not fix it or revise it.  They just say it is what it is...  You have go slow...investigate, and fact find...then get it fixed properly and rehab.  My second PT was an angel.  She was masterful.  I never squirted a tear from pain.  The second PT got it.  She is excellent.  She was recommended to me for the first recovery but I ended up going with this other PT...who was a drill sergeant and forced everything.   I wept at times after PT with that one.  Sitting in my car swearing at the PT. Ugh

      .  15 weeks of his torture.   If you do not end up having revision surgery GO slow and document your recovery.  Stay focused.  Get an explanation.  I want to know what your second doctor suggests....  I hope it goes well for you!  Take care and post an update as possible.  GOOD LUCK

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    • Posted

      My surgeries were the end of Jan 2017, June I am only seven months out of revision.  Full ROM and pain-free are possible... GOOD LUCK!!!!  
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  • Posted

    OK.  I saw the shoulder surgeon for 2nd opinion today.  He had obviously reviewed my reports.  One of the first 3 sentences out of his mouth was "This Anchor has to come out".   I cant explain how relieved I was to hear that.   I know "be careful what you wish for"  but there's really no way to recover with this anchor protruding.   This guy is a shoulder expert here.  He had a cancellation tomorrow and I have taken that slot. 

    I love the PT I have right now.   I don't blame them for increasing rom.  We simply progressed when we were told that the MRI was negative.  

    HenPen, with God's blessing, I too will be stating that Full ROM and Pain-Free are possible!

    This will go well tomorrow. 

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    • Posted

      WONDERFUL NEWS!!!  YEA!!! Okay, now on the other hand...keep track of your bills and your rehab... in 6 months to a year, you may want to investigate personal injury/malpractice.  It's crazy that stuff like this happens and we are stuck on the hook for the bills, pain, and suffering.  I am sorry that you are at the beginning of a new insurance benefit cycle...ugh.  My surgeon and the surgery center NEVER sent me a bill for the second surgery.  They took my insurance payments but never any other nickel and diming.  My second PT had no copay.  It was supposed to, but someone picked up the copay, or the health care provider did not charge me.  I had a copay for PT the first time around which was maddening after the PT ripped one of the repairs off the anchors.  Blah blah blah... I did not sue anyone.  I looked into it but did not follow through.  Your case might be different with rogue anchor... geez that is weird.  AND with that... GET IT DONE AND HEAL UP!!  Post updates when you feel up to it!!! GOOD LUCK!!!

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    • Posted

      Hello HenPen1980!     I wanted to follow up with my status.    I am 90% ROM.     I am using 2 & 3 lb free weights and bands.     I am still weak and have tightness with pain.     But the pain is minimal compared to what it has been in the past.   I can finally say that I am in less pain now than I was before surgery.   I still think the surgery was a mistake but with Gods help I hope that I can recover. 

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