Opinions Sought Pro & Con on Shoulder Surgery vs Rehab

And now for a very topical post, at least for me.

As you may or may not know I took a very bad fall at work just before thanksgiving and broke my shoulder. I have been out since that day healing.

After a CAT scan last week I’m informed that in addition to the base fracture a significant amount of the socket is also damaged. I’ve been referred to a 2nd specialist who I will be seeing after the new year to decide on what to do about it and if the best solution is a surgical or a non-surgical path.

While of course until I actually see the Doctor to get his assessment an intelligent decision or opinion can’t be reached it occurs to me that there may be plenty of readers who have had a similar situation who have made the choice I am going to have to face and have been living with the results of said choice.

Naturally both surgery and therapy have their own risk/reward factors on both a long term and a short term scale. A better grasp of said risks/rewards of either decision will be valuable in making the right choice for me & mine.

So I’m asking for your input. If you’ve faced this situation I’d be interested in the pros and cons you’ve experienced with the choice you’ve made. I would be most grateful to any reader willing to volunteer such information. Simply leave it in comments.

3 thoughts on “Opinions Sought Pro & Con on Shoulder Surgery vs Rehab

  1. I had such a choice regarding a leg fracture (fibula) and went the nonsurgical route. The leg gave me intermittent problems for years, and I found out eventually that it was because the fracture kept re-breaking. I had surgery to install a metal plate with bone grafted from my hip and have had no problems since. To what degree that would inform your choice I cannot say, but… For what it’s worth.

  2. Shoulder surgery is something to be avoided if possible.
    It could be different if it’s elective and arthroscopic, but my experience was miserable.
    It was about three months before I could even lay down with only tolerable discomfort.
    10 months out, I hurt every day, and have regained maybe 90% mobility and 75% strength, provided you ignore all the catches and the lack of coordination.

  3. It sounds like a problem similar to mine. My surgeon recommended against trying to repair the glenoid fossa by retrieving the broken off fragment and putting it back where it had been originally. Broken bone over-grows when it “knits” back together. This likely leaves a bump in the formerly smooth spherical surface where the humerus head twists and turns. I.e., the repair would be asking for a bone spur. In my case, there is enough of the outer rim of the socket intact that the joint is not likely to dislocate.

    Physical therapy slowly, slowly restored 90+% of the shoulder motion over eight months. Diligence pays off with P.T. I’m still doing some of the exercises every day.

    There’s pain every day, but “mind over matter”. It doesn’t force me to mind it most of the time. Then, it doesn’t matter.

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