I updated post with intra-operative pics. They are at the end. Squeemish beware!
At 8:15am this morning I still wasnt completely dressed and my follow up, post op Dr's appt was in 45 minutes. ADL's or Activities Of Daily Living were giving me a headache, early. I couldnt get a bra on or a sports bra and my ride (Lauren) and assistant (Lauren) were not here yet.
I struggled for a few more minutes and could not for the life of me get the flippen bra on. I finally got a wife beater on. Screw the bra. Whew! THAT was tough! lol I just threw a lightweight sweatshirt on the one good arm and tossed the other side over the lame shoulder. I was ready! Who needs an assistant??? But I did need a ride and Lauren showed up 5 minutes after I was done. lol
We get to the Doc with minutes to spare and are in an exam room real quick. Told you all I'm VIP at this joint! ;) Shay (docs assistant) comes in and takes off all the bandages. Finally I get to see it! 5 holes?? What the hell did he do?? Shay takes the staples out of the two small holes and she says she wants him to decide if the others come out of the bigger holes. (He did take all the staples out. He said there are a bunch on internal sutures that hold it shut. Ok.)
Within 5 minutes in strolls Dr. GeorgeousIWouldntSayNo and without a hello gets all up in my personal space shaking a finger at me while saying, "You, young lady NEED to make sure you listen to what I'm going to tell you, follow your rehab to a "T" and not mess around and try to move to fast. Your shoulder was an absolute mess and I fixed this and it was a lot of work, so don't make me have to refix it!" Damn, I was in trouble before I even got to say hello! He was joking but serious at the same time.
I then proceeded to tell him that he's lucky I didnt call his cell phone number on Monday OR Tuesday all night long and bitch him out for what had to have been a hellacious beating of my shoulder with with a two-by-four while I was under anesthesia in the OR.
OK, so we're even. I think....lol
The good news...I didnt blow out the Biceps tendon. VERY IMPORTANT tendon, very involved in the throwing motion. He said its just a little frayed and thats from tendonitis (throwing) and should heal up fine with all the rest its going to get. =)
The bad news....we knew already. I did blow out the supraspinatus and infraspinatus tendons. One of which was retracted pretty far with a large tear in the muscle.
He proceeded to show me cool intraoperative pics which I've put at the bottom. ;) And he drew pics of how he fixed it too. It was soooo cool.
I'll try to explain this, only because what these docs do is amazing to me. First let me explain how the tendons normally attach to the humerus. There is what he called a "footprint" at the top of the outside of the humerus where the two tendons come together and both attach. Its an area that looks like an indentation in the bone. So its a pretty large area and the tendon is attached to this whole area.
Heres how he did it. First he does a decompression. That just means he shaves off the bone where the tendons ripped off of, the "footprint" area. He makes it all smooth and pretty and ready to accept the re-attachment.
He put 4 screws at the top of the humerus "footprint" area and out of each screw there are two color coded strings. He then takes those strings up through the tendons and knots the tendon down. Now there is a bunch of string left after he knots it thats still to be used (more on that in a bit). Then he goes to the bottom area of the humerus where the bottom part "footprint" area of the tendon is to be attached and puts in two anchors. He takes the parts of the string that are still attached at the top and weaves them thru the tendon and finally ties them all down to the two anchors. So now the tendon is seated like it origionally was in the bed of the humerus where it once was (before I ripped them away).
Now it needs to heal. The tendon will re-attach to the bone, hopefully like new. 6-8 weeks in the sling and NO abduction. Abduction is the movement of your elbow away from your body outwards. Like holding your arm straight out to the side. I can move my lower arm all I want. Just dont move my elbow away from my side. FOR 6 - 8 WEEKS. Holy shit thats a long time!
PT starts next week. That will be all passive movement just to keep my shoulder from freezing. That if I recall from the last surgery was painful stuff. But I'll do it.
He gave me hope. He said I should be able to throw again. Even though the Rotator cuff is important in throwing, if all heals well I should be able to. Now he did throw in a pretty scary statistic. He said there is a 30% chance of re-tear. He said it happens typically within the first 9 - 12 months. It happens even in perfect/good repairs. He considers my repair a "very good" repair. Meaning the tendons were all like crabmeat when they tore, but cleaned up well and took the thread well. He was able to take the retracted tendon and stretch it down fine so no pig intestine was needed. I had NO labral tears and although the tear was large in the muscle, he fixed it up good. So fingers crossed that this bullshit spontaneous combustion doesnt happen.
So you know I took a pic!
5 holes. 2 little, 3 big. 2 tendons re-attached to the bone with 4 screws, 2 anchors and a decompression done. I'll be able to throw again if it all holds up. =)
And today was a much better day than yesterday thats for sure. I only used the regular tylenol all day and was fine. =) Its sore, and hurts a bit if I move the wrong way but its 10 x's better than even yesterday. I just want to sleep at night. Thats my biggest bitch now. Oh to sleep. But that will come in time too. I do plan on taking the Tylenol 3 tonight. If anything it'll help me sleep.
Im on my way to recovery. I figure March. I wanna play ball by March. 8 months. Thats my goal. =)
Bicep tendon...intact. =)
It should be all white and pretty in here...blood = acute tear.
Looking down from top of shoulder...should see only muscle, but seeing top of humerus. Tendon and muscle are gone. =(
"footprint" area of humerus where tendons were attached before being ripped off.
This is the screw. Its clear but you see the metal screwdriver inside of it that obviously backs out once screw is placed inside bone. The screw will eventually dissolve.
Screw showing color coded strings attached.
This is the anchor. It is metal and does not dissolve. These'll go to the grave with me.
Strings being woven into tendon.
Finished product with the crisscrossing of strings attaching the tendon to the "footprint" area of the humerus.