The Beginning

For some years I have been experiencing shoulder pain.  It started in my right shoulder many years ago when I was on the rowing machine in the gym and I “pulled it”.  To cut a long story short the pain came and went, I had physio and saw a chiropractor – both of which helped for a while.  About two years ago the pain started in my left shoulder, however unlike the pain in the other one which came and went, this was almost constant.  Day to day tasks became increasingly difficult and I had to stop knitting squares for charity – something which I miss immensely.

Many visits to the GP resulted in many changes in medication in an attempt to manage my pain.  Endless sleepless nights resulted in depression, extreme tiredness and yet more visits to the GP, who eventually referred me to the shoulder clinic where x-rays showed severe osteoarthritis in both shoulders.  At this point I discovered that physio and injections were not going to help my problem and that the only real solution would be surgery.  I was given an appointment to see the consultant and in the meantime I did some searching on the web (as you do) and discovered that there were in fact a number of things they could do.

One of these was a procedure called arthroscopic subacromial decompression.  This procedure removes the inflamed bursa and some bone from the irritated area around the rotator cuff tendons.  By removing this tissue, more space is created for the tendons and the inflammation often subsides.  Somehow I thought this would be the answer to my problem but was shocked when the consultant said that this procedure would not fix my problem and the best thing to do was a total joint replacement.  I was shocked to say the least, whilst I knew this was always a possibility I somehow thought they may be able to try something less drastic and invasive first!

So after a Q&A session with the consultant I decided to go ahead with the surgery.