Today I had a therapy appointment and an appointment with my surgeon. My therapist knew I would be seeing my doctor later in the day, and so he sent him my progress report. I asked Jason (my therapist) how I was doing. He said that I was not where I should be at this point. That’s all he would tell me.
Then, this afternoon, I talked with my surgeon. He told me that I was not where he would like me to be, and he suggested that we do a “Manipulation Under Anesthesia.” This link contains a video and explanation of the process (I couldn’t watch it). He said that I do not have sufficient range of motion for the amount of time I’ve been in therapy, and that he believed that we needed to “make it happen.”
He said there is no way to say why some patients end up like me. He said that it’s really very rare to have this problem. The only options are to accept the limited range of motion that I have or do the manipulation procedure. He said that they would put me under and then he would stretch and “rip” the scar tissue that was causing my shoulder to be restrained in movement. He said there was even a possibility of re-tearing the repaired rotator cuff. He said I would have to go back on the strong pain medication for a while and go to therapy for an extended period of time (EVERY day).
After talking it over, he suggested that we try to be very aggressive with the therapy for one more month, and if that did not result in substantial improvement, then we would have to do the procedure. Ordinarily, I would be almost done with my therapy at this point.
I have been off the pain medication for a whole week now, but if Jason is going to go for big gains in one month, I’m probably going to have to go back on it.
At this point, I really wish that I would have listened to a physical therapist that I talked with back in 2001. I was receiving therapy then for my shoulder in hopes that the therapy would cure my problem. The surgeon at that time was recommending that I have the surgery (they didn’t even have MRI’s back then).
I asked the therapist how one knew whether to go ahead with surgery. She told me that you go ahead with surgery when you can’t bear the pain any longer. I asked her whether she knew of any people who were worse off after surgery. At this point, she turned her head both ways, and then looked at me, and said, “Oh YES, honey.” And then she said, “and if you tell anybody I told you that, I’ll say you were lying.”