So it turns out, my dear readers, that I will need surgery after all. I know! Who knew so much could go wrong with one shoulder! Luckily, my doctor is taking good care of me and I’ve done a lot of research to help calm myself down, so I thought I may as well share it with the rest of you, in case anybody else is having a similar problem or was interested. I’m not a doctor though (or I’d be driving a much nicer car).
My particular problem is a torn rotator cuff tendon (apparently it becomes more common when you’re over 60 – how rude). The way to fix it is a procedure called a shoulder arthroscopy, a relatively simple keyhole surgery where the doctors use a small tube with a camera to look at your shoulder joint and then actually perform the surgery without having to make a bigger incision! It’s incredible!
With my specific surgery, the expert rotator cuff repair surgeons near Melbourne tell me that they’ll go in with the arthroscope (the thing with the camera and tools on it) and remove or repair all the damaged tissue or bone spurs (yuck) that are getting in the way of the torn tendon. Then they find the tendon that’s come loose from the rotator cuff and attach it back onto the bone using what the surgeons call ‘suture anchors’ but are actually little rivets that they can attach surgical thread to so that your tendons stay where they need to be to heal!
After that, you just have to wear a sling for a while and follow their instructions on how to move your shoulder so that you don’t damage it while it’s healing. Then it takes a fair amount of physiotherapy to get you as close as possible to a full range of movement.
And that’s how they fix a torn rotator cuff tendon! Isn’t that interesting?