T Nation

Surgery Worth It?

I’m not even sure surgery would help, nor if I can even afford the CAT scan (nor how much if any would be covered by my insurance) But…

I have some right shoulder problems. I can feel and hear ligaments sliding roughly over cartilage when doing lateral raises and some other movements. It’s definitely weaker through some movements related to this, including almost no strength for certain very specific angles.

Here’s the other side of the coin: It doesn’t stop or really even hinder any of my main lifts. Perhaps it weakens my deadlift a little. It usually just means that if I am digging a hole or sweeping my driveway with one of those big brooms, I have to use different muscles than most people might. And some of my non-main lifts are affected.

If I were ever to get into combat sports like wrestling, I would be screwed… It’s those kind of unpredictable needs that always bring out the problem. But I don’t really plan to do that, and if someone ever broke into my house, I would hopefully be either aiming a baseball bat or a gun at them. So that might not matter either.

I wouldn’t be writing this if it wasn’t annoying though. Does anyone have any experience with surgery to advise on whether this kind of thing is usually fixable? How much it would help? How long the recovery would be?

Thanks in advance.

No way to know if it’s worth it unless you know what the problem is. Best bet is an MRI. They are pricey but I would spend the money if I were you.

[quote]humanjhawkins wrote:
I’m not even sure surgery would help, nor if I can even afford the CAT scan (nor how much if any would be covered by my insurance) But…

I have some right shoulder problems. I can feel and hear ligaments sliding roughly over cartilage when doing lateral raises and some other movements. It’s definitely weaker through some movements related to this, including almost no strength for certain very specific angles.

Here’s the other side of the coin: It doesn’t stop or really even hinder any of my main lifts. Perhaps it weakens my deadlift a little. It usually just means that if I am digging a hole or sweeping my driveway with one of those big brooms, I have to use different muscles than most people might. And some of my non-main lifts are affected.

If I were ever to get into combat sports like wrestling, I would be screwed… It’s those kind of unpredictable needs that always bring out the problem. But I don’t really plan to do that, and if someone ever broke into my house, I would hopefully be either aiming a baseball bat or a gun at them. So that might not matter either.

I wouldn’t be writing this if it wasn’t annoying though. Does anyone have any experience with surgery to advise on whether this kind of thing is usually fixable? How much it would help? How long the recovery would be?

Thanks in advance.[/quote]

Shoulder surgery almost always doesn’t deliver what it’s supposed to: full quick recovery, I’m doing an internship with a physical therapist who specialises in shoulders, and the results with surgery almost always don’t deliver, and when they do deliver, we’re talking about months of recovery. Why don’t you make one appointment with a physical therapist, and have him check out if there’s:
-possibly a torn labrum
-rotator cuff pathology
-impingement
-serratus dysfunction

Let me know if you q’s. good luck!

I put off having shoulder surgery for years because of posts like the above one. I finally bit the bullet and got mine done 2 years ago and I sure as fuck wish I would not have waited. I was benching in 2 weeks and in 6 weeks good to go fully. Took probably about 12 weeks or so to get back to full speed weights, but well worth it. Get a good sports Ortho, I went to one that sees a lot of NFL guys.

You definitely need to get an MRI before surgery though.

Like everyone else said, you need a clear diagnosis before you can really decide if you need any surgery.

Might be some calcific tendonosis. An X-ray could help with the diagnosis.

Thanks all. I’ll definitely get proper diagnosis before letting the knives in… I hope to God that most doctors would insist on that (though when a doctor needs a new boat, you never can tell what he might be willing to do.)

My not seeing a doctor for a great length of time with my shoulder problem was due to an opinion that it would be difficult to find a doctor who is actually good at this kind of thing, unless having a really sound recommendation.

And it took a great deal of time before I finally got such a recommendation.

A chiropractor has helped me considerably recently, and he is very knowledgeable in this area: used to be a bodybuilder himself, and has extensive experience working with athletes.

I’m not saying the nearest doctor that might be able to help you without surgery must be a chiropractor – he might well not be – but there probably is someone who works with athletes and gets good results.

I wouldn’t expect that doctor to be a surgeon though.