I’ve had issues with my shoulder for last 20 or so years ever since I first partially dislocated it. I’ve had x-rays, physical therapy and seen doctors about it, but everyone agreed that it wasn’t a big problem and just keep the muscles surrounding the area strong and you won’t have too many problems – but it might be something that we need to address in the future.
That time came in April.
While I was in Africa, I went on a 5 day safari and was able to take a surf lesson in Jeffrey’s Bay, which is one of the best surfing spots in the world. During the lesson I managed to reinjure my right shoulder. I knew it the instant it happened but it didn’t stop me from continuing on with my lesson. It bothered me but not enough to seek medical attention, just took some ibuprofen and tried to not do anything crazy. Since I’d had problems in the past with it, I thought it would go away in a few days as always.
A week later it was still bothering me. I had pain, decreased range of motion and decreased strength in my right arm. Of course, I’m right handed so normal every day life was being affected. I was able to make an appointment with an orthopedic surgeon for the following week and figured he’d say it was a major strain or something and rest and it’ll be fine. I was wrong. He took an x-ray in the office, which showed nothing, but also did a physical exam and told me that I needed to have an MRI. He thought I probably had torn my labrum and I might need surgery. I didn’t expect him to say that – I was just so unprepared for that information.
I had the MRI the following week and he called me with the results the next day. He was right – an extensive tear of my labrum – which is the cartilage ring that surrounds the shoulder joint – and I had torn it from 9:00 to 12:00, so 1/4 of it. Surgery was a definite…but could it wait? Nope, the pain and my other symptoms would not go away completely without surgery. Yay.
Surgery was scheduled for 6/8 and everything went very smoothly. I would be in a sling for almost 5 weeks and then would have about 3 months of physical therapy.