I doubt I'll post next week, and there are unlikely to be any zoo visits for a week or two unless a hunk of time miraculously opens up by a move to a 36-hour-day.
On Friday I'm due to have a right shoulder replacement operation, so my right arm will be out of commission for weeks - no driving for 8 weeks. Help!
If there is muscle damage to the shoulder, such as the rotator cuff tear I had repaired a couple of years ago, it can aggravate or even cause arthritis, but a like-for-like shoulder replacement is not suitable. Instead they perform a reverse replacement to relieve pressure on the muscles that are used in moving the arm. Sadly the range of movement may continue to be limited. (At present I cannot raise either arm behind my back, so the left shoulder will probably be on the list soon. Good thing I had my boobs reduced, as I cannot reach behind to fasten a bra! But their prior weight did the shoulders no good at all.)
So what is a reverse shoulder replacement?
Hang on to your breakfast.
They swap the position of the ball and socket. Here's a little picture to illustrate before and after.
The surgeons are also keeping open the possibility of resurfacing the joint, but that won't improve the recovery period or constraints on movement.
After surgery I believe they will pretty much tether my arm across my chest. I have a horrible feeling I will be unable to reach behind me to undo it when necessary because of the poorly left shoulder. So the first thing I am likely to do when I get home is either cut it off (one-handed of course) or get the friend who's coming to look after the cats to remove it for me.
All this trouble for an operation that might not even make the pain go away or the movement improve. I'm so happy.
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