Fracking Shoulder

My shoulder responded to two months of physical therapy by becoming more sore and more immobile.

PT people said "This ain't workin. Maybe you should talk to an orthopedist?" So I did.

Ortho doc said "Sounds like a tear. Get an MRI." So Monday I did.

Tuesday I got my MRI results from the hospital network's cool online info sharing network thing, and... holy crap!

"Distal supraspinatus tendinosis with partial-thickness interstitial tear/articular sided tear along the anterior margin of the distal supraspinatus at the insertional footprint traversing approximately 50% of the thickness of the cuff" And "posterior inferior labral tear" and "possible low-grade SLAP tear".


To my ears, and Google's pictures, that sure sounds like the kind of thing that leads to surgery. So that meant two days of "Oh great. Shoulder surgery. What will the next six months of recovery be like? Who will mow the lawn? Shit."

Today, Thursday, I talked with Ortho doc and he said surgery wasn't needed. Take an MRI of the shoulder of anyone who is active and over 50 and you'll find tears. If the tendon had completely torn in half, he'd operate (and I'd be screaming, not wondering about mowing the lawn). But he said I needed to get the adhesive capsulitis fixed. OK. How?

"High-volume fluid injection with steroids, followed by manipulation". They're going to inject a lot of mystery fluid into my shoulder joint and then grab my arm and crank on it until the joint loosens up. They're going to frack my shoulder joint. And I won't be sedated for this. Yipes.

I guess it beats surgery?

12 thoughts on “Fracking Shoulder

  1. Mike Mundy

    I had to postpone my impingement MD visit ’cause I ended up dealing with a kidney stone for two weeks. Thing wouldn’t pass, so . . . surgery. Won’t be describing what they did – too wince-inducing.

    Then, home with a catheter AND a stent. Won’t be describing what pulling out the stent was like.

  2. Girl from the North Country

    May the force (and anything else appropriate) be with you, cleek.

    And: aren’t you ever coming back to The Other Place? I miss you, and I bet I’m not the only one.

  3. Nooneithinkisinmytree

    I was going to talk in empathy about shoulders with cleek, but i’m curious about how either one of you are somehow under duress from the “other place” ….. is there another other place….. I mean I think of the two of you as … if we view the “ other place” as an architectural structure, you two are amazing supporting beams holding it up … so what’s up?

    If it had to with anything I’m up to over there, have at it.

    I can’t think of any comment either of you have submitted that I disagree with.

    Leaching. Yeah.

  4. cleek

    Man, not you. My issue is all me.

    I don’t have much patience anymore for what I was getting into over there: intramural skirmishes about who is the purest, who is up to date with the latest ways to split the hairs that distinguish new good from old bad? Fuck that. I’m not interested in being the best lefty in the room. The real problems aren’t there. They’re elsewhere.

    And I apparently can’t just let that petty stuff slide anymore. It grates on me. So.

    Basically, I don’t feel like I’d bring much to the conversation. And I don’t want to wreck that place for everyone else. So, I’m out. At least for now.

    I appreciate y’all stopping by to say hey, tho.

  5. Girl from the North Country

    “At least for now.”

    Grounds for hope, in a miserable world.

    “I appreciate y’all stopping by to say hey, tho.”

    Just try to keep us away!*

    *Don’t, obviously. But the sentiment’s the point.

  6. nooneithinkisinmytree

    Hey, cleek, I see the above commenter used his email address as his name, and I can confidently claim that was a mistake on the part of the commenter.

    Any chance of deleting that May 7 , 2022 8:49pm comment and the name altogether. Thanks.

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