As I mentioned in yesterday’s post, my shoulder is pretty messed up right now. What I didn’t really get into is the fact that my shoulder has been messed up, more or less, for about ten years. It has been injured in the middle of races. It has been injured as I have come down the teeter (anyone want a teeter? Free?). It has been injured dozens of times in Moab and at Gooseberry Mesa. It has been injured when I lifted a very heavy book.
I’ve been thinking about getting it (my shoulder, not the book) fixed.
In fact, about seven months ago, I went in and had a doctor take a look at my shoulder. He pulled on it, pushed on it, and then turned it a certain way that made me collapse and beg him to stop, please, for the love of all that’s good in the world, please just stop, I’ll tell you where the submarine is hiding, just please stop twisting my arm that way.
And then he sent me to get an MRI.
After the MRI came back, the doctor told me that my shoulder’s all messed up, and that I should have it fixed, surgically.
“Well, that sounds super!” I said, my voice full of enthusiasm, for I knew that, after the surgery, I’d have to take extra double specially good care of my shoulder for a few months.
I told him that I’d wait ’til after the end of this riding / racing season, then do the surgery so I could recover during the Winter.
Back when I got this checkup, I had this fantasy going of me getting the surgery, coming home, and then lounging through Thanksgiving and Christmas, my wife taking care of me because I wasn’t supposed to lift anything heavier than an Xbox controller.
Of course, since then, things have changed. Susan’s gone and upstaged me, injury-wise, having the nerve to go and get fractured hips and ribs as a result of the tumors in her bones. Which has not only seriously disrupted her career as a power lifter, but has made it kind of difficult for her to get around, or to lift something as heavy as a jug of milk.
Imagine, if you can, the grand comedy of neither of us being able to lift anything heavy for a month or two. After a while, I suspect that even our really great neighbors and family might find that a little tiresome.
So I had planned to pass on the shoulder surgery for now.
But then I had this wreck last Friday, and now my shoulder hurts all the time. It grinds and pops. It aches. It restricts my range of motion to pretty much nothing.
So, I figure I’d put the question to my genius readers, among which I seem to have an expert on practically everything: Take a look at my MRI report, below. Then tell me:
- What does this mean? My doctor told me, but I’m pretty sure he was speaking Estonian.
- Is it serious, Doc?
- What should I do?
- Is there any particular urgency?
- How long will it take for me to recover?
- Suppose I do whatever you say, then go mountain biking again and take another fall. Will I bung the whole works up again, undoing all the fancy stitches, duct tape, rubber bands and whatnot?
- Do you really have any expertise, or are you just channeling Dr. Noah Drake? Not that I mind self-proclaimed expertise, but I like to know whether you know how much you (really) know.
My MRI Report
EXAMINATION: MR Arthrogram right shoulder
HISTORY: Recurrent shoulder subluxations. History of a remote injury and chronic shoulder pain
TECHNIQUE: Multiplanar T1 and T2-weighted MR imaging following a gadolinium arthrogram procedure of the right glenohumeral joint.
FINDINGS: There is a dominant superior-inferior tear of the anterior glenoid labrum. There appears to be inolvement of the anterior articular cartilage of the glenoid labrum (a defect which appears to be either grade 4 or severe grade 3 chondromalacia involving the anterior 6 mm of the articular surface of the glenoid). There is a heterogeneous appearance of the mid-anterior portion of the glenoid labrum with some periosteal stripping anteriorly.
The posterior glenoid labrum is unremarkable. The superior extent of the tear appears to be at the 12 o’clock level. The inferior extent is approximately 4-5 o’clock anterior-inferior. The middle glenohumeral ligament is intact. The biceps tendon is intact. There is a very small full-thickness perforation of the mid-lateral supraspinatus tendon with a tiny amount of fluid extending into the subacromial-subdeltoid bursa. Otherwise, rotator cuff tendons are intact. Normal lateral downslope of the acromion. Very small subacomial enthesophyte. Mild-moderate AC joint osteoarthritis, but no inferiorly projecting osteophytes. Not mentioned above, there appears to be a second articular-sided erosion of the mid-lateral supraspinatus tendon measuring approximately 7 mm medial-lateral x approximately 8 mm anterior-posterior. This lesion involves approximately 30-40% of the tendon thickness.
1. Type 5 SLAP tear with tear from the superior to inferior labrum, anteriorly. There is involvement of the anterior glenoid articular cartilage, and periosteal stripping anteriorly.
2. A small articular-sided supraspinatus tendon tear and a small far anterolateral supraspinatus full-thickness tendon perforation.
PS: Help a Friend of Fatty Out. Sans Auto, one of the frequent commenters in this blog as well as the guy who set me on the right path to eating right with the “Intuitive Eating” technique, is conducting a research project on transportation preferences to find why people use the form of transportation they do. I’d consider it a big favor if you’d participate in the survey. Click here to get started. Caveats: you’ve got to be 18 or older, and you’ve got to work outside the home.
And once you’re done, be sure to type “Friend of Fatty” in the comments section. You know, so when all of Sans Auto’s classmates compare where all the entries come from, they’ll be able to see we totally dominated.