So on Monday, I had my 10-day post-op appointment with my surgeon. He showed me the digital photos taken during my surgery and explained everything they found and how they repaired it. In addition to the calcium debridement, subacromial decompression, bursectomy, and rotator cuff repair made with 4 anchors in the bone, they also discovered that I had many small tears to the labrum, which is the rubbery cartilage rim in the ball and socket. The edge of it looked like the edge of a feather, all wispy-looking from the tears. So he ended up repairing that, as well, by shaving down the frayed edges and leaving a smooth surface. So in the end, I actually had 5 different surgical procedures done.
He told me that he was really glad I brought my case to his practice, because it made a great teaching case. He said he had 2 students observe during my surgery, and they were all shocked by the enormous size of my calcium deposit. He said at 2 cm, it was the largest deposit of calcific tendinitis his practice had seen this whole year!
I wanted to share the pictures from my surgery, but he still hasn’t sent them to me. When I get them, I’ll come back and revise this post by adding the photos.
I told him I never took any of the narcotic pain meds and that I was just taking Aleve twice a day. He prescribed a stronger anti-inflammatory medication for me to take twice a day for a month with one refill as needed thereafter. It’s called Diclofenac Sodium 50 mg. I can tell you that since I started taking it, I have really had no pain at all, and I feel great! I have not even had to ice during the day…only at bedtime. And I am sleeping better, too. That definitely helps with overall well-being.
The nurse removed the bandages and the stitches in my 5 port incisions. That really stung, because she swabbed each one with alcohol right before snipping and removing each stitch! Ugh! But the incisions have healed so nicely that you could hardly see them! Impressive…I don’t expect to even have any scars remaining in a couple of months!
The doctor told me I could start physical therapy this week, but I couldn’t get an appointment with the Thanksgiving holiday, so I ended up scheduling this coming Tuesday morning as my therapy evaluation appointment. I will be going back to the same rehab center where I had PT on my shoulder earlier this year. The doctor told me to do PT 1-2 times per week for 1-4 months, as determined by the therapist, so they’ll make that determination at my evaluation next week.
The surgeon told me I have to continue to wear the immobilizer sling for 4 weeks post-op, and then I can remove the immobilizer pad and just wear the sling portion for at least another 2 weeks after that. So I will end up in the sling for at least 6 weeks, as it turns out. I’ve had it for 2 weeks already, so 4 weeks to go. That will take me to after Christmas some time. I guess if I can get out of it by my birthday, that will be cool!
The timeline the doctor gave me shows the goal to return to normal activities in a range of 3-6 months out. I can’t wait!