Too old for shoulder repair?

Posted , 5 users are following.

I am an active 62 year old male that have been experiencing pain in my left shoulder for about 5 months. Initially I thought it might be arthritis but did nothing about it other than put on ointments to try to help, which never did 

At a routine visit to my doctor I mentioned it to him and he gave me a steroid shot which helped for a couple of days only.  This was followed by an MRI that showed a torn labrum so I was sent to an orthopedic doctor.  He said I also has a spur on the shoulder and due to my age recommended therapy and an anti inflammatory med which I started this this. 

My question may be simplistic but how can therapy hope to repair a torn labrum and a bone spur?  Wouldn't it be better to just go ahead with the surgery to repair the problem?  I have a follow up appointment with the doctor in three weeks to see what progress may have been made but in the meantime I wondered if any of you have had the same advice from a doctor and whT results you had 

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  • Posted

    By getting more blood supply to the labrum, you can improve your chances of the injury healing without surgery. There are certain exercises for this which a good PT can assist you with. It is important to do this the right way - so that you exercise properly.

    Whether or not a labrum tear will heal on its own is tough to determine and is beyond my scope. In addition to injury, age and even posture are considerations. In healing without surgery, you may have normal shoulder function and no pain but may have to manage a weakness which many people over 50 do.

    Starting with conservative treatment sounds like a smart first move. See if it improves and assess progress after a few weeks. Getting a second opinion on the MRI is not a bad idea either.

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  • Posted

    I am 68 and had a full thickness tendon repair about 4 months ago, I was told I would need 6-9 months of physio after the sling was removed. That's a lot of time at my age but I went ahead on their advice. I am now happy that I did so. A labrum tear is a more serious operation, I would think and I don't know what the chances of a successful repair are. I would listen carefully to the recommendations of the surgeon. I got a second opinion from another surgeon as well.  All you can do is research the success rates on the internet and take advice from the surgeons. I don't think 62 is old these days.

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    • Posted

      I don't think if 62 as old either. I'm yo at 4:40 for two miles in the treadmill. Another two in the gym on the elliptical at lunch and at least two when I get home. Full time job and a part time job so I'm no couch potato.

      I've read so many things on the surgery that I'm prepared at least mentally for the challenge.

      I'm going at the PT with an open mind and hope that it is successful but am also ready to face the surgery if the doc will go for it and if I still need it.

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  • Posted

    I experienced shoulder pain for a good couple of years and went down the conservative route because I wanted to avoid surgery if at all possible.  The injections only gave temporary relief; even the one where they scan at the same time to more accurately hit the spot.  It was thought I had a bursitis and a bone spur and the surgeon suggested he use an open procedure rather than keyhole - which I found even more daunting, but was fed up with the pain and I couldn't see how PT was ever going to improve the bone spur issue.  However, I was found to have a torn rotator cuff - which did not show up on either x-ray or MRI scan.  The recovery was not quick and at times I wondered if I did the right thing, but 18 months on and I have full mobility back and because I have kept up with strengthening work in the gym, I am probably now stronger than before too. I still have aches and pains that occasionally wake me in shoulder and other joints too, which goes with the territory (I am 60) but on the whole have no regrets about the surgery. 62 is too young to just put up with this.

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