You're wanna do WHAT?

Never tell an orthopedic surgeon you want to look at alternatives to surgery. It bends them out of shape.

When I told my surgeon that I wanted to put off the rotator cuff surgery scheduled for June 9, he offered dire warnings that came up just short of my arm falling off.

Still, I'd like to look at other ways to deal with the problem: Some cortisone to break up the bone spur, physical therapy to help the muscles heal, more exercise to take off weight and maybe acupuncture.

Don't want to make an off the cuff decision...and the pun is fully intended.

Never tell an orthopedic surgeon you want to look at alternatives to surgery. It bends them out of shape.

When I told my surgeon that I wanted to put off the rotator cuff surgery scheduled for June 9, he offered dire warnings that came up just short of my arm falling off.

Still, I’d like to look at other ways to deal with the problem: Some cortisone to break up the bone spur, physical therapy to help the muscles heal, more exercise to take off weight and maybe acupuncture.

Don’t want to make an off the cuff decision…and the pun is fully intended.

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7 Responses

  1. So I agree, wait! I have a torn rotator cuff. A few years back, I couldn’t sleep through the night because after a while sleeping on my side, either side, my right shoulder would start throbbing and then it would get to feeling like someone was sticking an ice pick into the joint and worming around. Bad stuff!

    The ortho wanted to cut but I went to a pain management Doc (MD) who also practiced alternative modalities. He used acupuncture, intense physical therapy and diet supplements. After 12 weeks, I was sleeping through the night, my arm didn’t feel week and I didn’t have to completely lose the use of my right arm for about 6 weeks after a surgical fix!!

    Good decision, you can always get cut on but once cut, you can’t go back!

    See you around town Doug!

  2. A chiro is a good choice. Accupuncture can be fantastic. My dog had a spinal injury and was unable to move his hind legs. Due to age, surgery was not an option. I was dating a chiro at the time, and after much “discussion” (hahaha) he got out the needles. The dog proceeded to walk across the floor after the third needle. We just looked at each other in astonishment.
    I know zip about rotator cuffs, but a fine surgeon once told me no matter how good a surgeon is, he can never put things back the way God made it to begin with.
    Knowledge is power. Get more information about alternative treatments. You have nothing to lose.

  3. hahaha – telling an ortho that you want to look at non-surgical options is like telling a kid that he’s gotta skip Christmas… the very idea is so alien, so foreign that it just about makes their eyes pop out of their head. Plus, now he’s gotta figure out another way to make the boat payment next month.

    Good luck with everything, Doug – I think you are on the right path. It may well be that you will need that visit to the OR – but it’s only smart to investigate your options.

    BTW – talk to a chiropractor while you are at it. He (or she) might not be able to undo the wear and tear that’s already happened, but there may be a biomechanical/structural/postural component to your injury that IS treatable, and fixing that may well allow you to delay the surgery AND speed up your recovery afterwards – not to mention preventing a relapse down the road.

  4. Not being from Floyd County, I don’t know if there is more than one orthopedic surgeon (or more than one “group” of orthopedic surgeons) but here where I live there are 2 groups. One of them has its own Physical Therapy facility and it’s not unusual for a surgeon to look at the X-rays and MRI images and recommend PT as a first choice instead of surgery. They don’t insist that you use their facility, they will write you a prescription that you can take to the therapist of your choice.

    One thing to be on the watch for. When you have pain, the ortho types will often prescribe medications to help you with the pain. That’s one of the reasons Vioxx was so popular. I was sitting in the waiting room and watched the Merck rep come in pulling a little luggage cart loaded with boxes labeled as containing Vioxx sample packs. If you decide on surgery, even the arthroscopic variety will have some associated pain and they may push some serious narcotic type pain killers. Be very careful with those things. Your history makes you a good candidate for developing LDS (Limbaugh Dependency Syndrome).

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