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Injuries Chronic & Acute

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Old 10-24-2011, 10:35 AM   #1
Michael Zoda
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Should I consider orthoscopic shoulder surgery?

I have been having shoulder issues dating back to January of 2010. They have come and gone throughout the time period, but ever since my shoulder has never been the same. It all started when I first tried teaching myself how to power clean. Anyways I developed an overuse injury and tendonitis in my shoulder. This was diagnosed by an orthopedic doctor. I battled chronic tendonitis for about six months following the initial injury in January 2010. I tried everything from physical therapy, to ART, to trigger point massage, to weeks upon weeks of rest. I think what made it so bad was that after the initial injury I refused to see a doctor and tried to continue to workout through it for the following 1-2 weeks. It wasn't until 2 weeks after the initial injury that I began resting it. Long story short, after a long time of no progress, I just fooled around with my own methods of massage and rehabilitation with eccentric exercises. Over time, doing this caused the pain to go away, and I was able to continue working out pain free. Took almost 7 months but I was pain free. I was able to include explosive movements into my routine again, and I ended up correctly teaching myself the power clean and power snatch pain free. I must note that after it was "healed" it never felt the same. I always had this weird feeling in my AC joint that never really went away. Didn't restrict motion or exercise, it just felt different.

Fast forward to June 2011. I go to a punk concert (I LOVE going to hardcore/punk shows) and re-injure my shoulder. I don't quite remember what caused the pain but by the end of the night I couldn't even lift my arm up to drive home. I wonder if it was due to direct impact (somebody stage diving and falling on my shoulder during the show) or from overuse (constantly pushing people around/holding up crowd surfers). I got my shoulder checked out again, which lead to an MRI and PT. The MRI read that I have a down sloping acromion; degenerative tissue damage in the AC joint; and tendinopathy. What this means is anatomically I have a boney shoulder where my acromion slopes downwards. I also have a mild degenerative tendons, saying that my last shoulder injury never really healed correctly. And finally that I have some inflammation. After a few months of rest/PT/massage The pain passed. I am again able to lift all of the compound lifts, but this time I cannot perform explosive lifts. I cannot clean/snatch to this date, and I have trouble with a lot of explosive crossfit metcons. It gets aggravated easily and takes a LOT of massage to normalize it. I still cannot fully sleep on my right side (injured side), and my AC joint is still sensitive to touch. Sometimes my AC joint hurts when my arm crosses my body. All of this being said, my shoulder is both flexible and strong. I have no problem doing front squats with the clean position, no problem with shoulder dislocates, I can bring my arm all the way behind my back and touch the opposite shoulder. I can bench press, shoulder press, do pushups all pain free. Explosive movements cause trouble. The pain is localized in the AC joint during very specific movements and only when aggravated. The orthopedic doctor said after he discharged me from PT that if the flare ups continue I can do cortisone shots, or orthoscopic surgery as a last resort.

Any input is greatly appreciated. I just don't know how to go about trying to fix this. Rest does nothing, and massage/exercise helps but doesn't fix the problem.

I know its a long read and I appoligize. Long story short: I hurt my shoulder a long time ago, re-aggravated it recently, it has never been the same since the original injury. I have tried everything to correct it but still have nagging issues. Should I consider surgery?
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Old 10-24-2011, 12:32 PM   #2
Kevin McCahill
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Re: Should I consider orthoscopic shoulder surgery?

Mike! Get it the surgery. You seem like a young guy and you love crossfit and fitness in general. Battle through the slow rehab and have it heel correctly. It obviously is not getting better and hopefully you are at a stage in your life where you can be in a sling for a few months. (I have friends who work construction and a sling for two months in unheard of!)

I have had my rotator cuff repaired twice in one year. Believe me it stinks but I would do it again if it happened again.

I am about 6 months out of my second and I feel very strong. Knowing I have another 6 months before 95-100% is annoying but I have my entire life after that. Right?

Good luck!
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Old 10-25-2011, 09:15 AM   #3
Matthew Sorenson
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Re: Should I consider orthoscopic shoulder surgery?

if it is giving you trouble with no end in sight id do it surgery its scary being out of the gym not being able to do what we love seems like torture and depression that said do the time (recovery time) and get back to the box you'll likely pass where you are now and be able to excel without injury holding you back otherwise you will have the worry and have to work around this injury forever and or finally really mess something up and your recovery wont be as complete or just take even longer... id just bite the bullet and do it you posted this for a reason based on that alone its giving you stress just take care of it my man you will thank yourself in the end!
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