Conditions + Treatments
My husband and I have always been very physically active. We have a large yard and find it very enjoyable and rewarding to work in our yard together and keep it well-maintained.
Way back in the spring of 2013, I put out 86 bags of mulch during a two-week period. I distinctly remember the 86 bags because that particular project brought on years of pain and discomfort in my left shoulder, which negatively impacted my quality of life.
Initially, I thought I had simply “overdone it” and that I’d strained my shoulder, which also started grinding more and more. I took it very easy the next few days hoping my shoulder would start feeling better, but it didn't.
After living through the pain and discomfort for a couple of months, I finally visited my local doctor. He diagnosed me with arthritis in my shoulder and gave me a cortisone injection. The injection provided temporary relief. Unfortunately, the pain did not go away and the grinding got worse. I started to lose function in my left shoulder and then limited use of my left arm.
During a follow-up visit with my local doctor, he recommended I try some physical therapy at a local clinic. My physical therapist, Rick Sanders at Rehab 2000 in Oneonta, was great. I stayed dedicated to PT for 6 months, while periodically receiving cortisone injections. The PT and injections provided relief, but after a while I just wasn’t confident I was going to get back to full use of my left shoulder and arm. At that point, Rick recommended I visit a local orthopedist.
At my initial orthopedist visit, he confirmed the cartilage was gone in my left shoulder and that it was bone on bone. His recommendation was a cortisone injection for short-term relief and a total shoulder replacement as my only long-term option.
I decided I needed a second opinion. Some of our close friends have utilized Dr. Sam Goldstein over the years and they highly recommended we see him. When I reached out to Dr. Goldstein's office at Andrews Sports Medicine, I explained that I wanted a second opinion for a total shoulder replacement. I was notified that Dr. Wayne McGough performs the majority of the total shoulder replacements at Andrews, and I was referred to his appointment coordinator.
During my initial visit with Dr. McGough in February, 2017, he performed a physical exam, reviewed my records and stated that a total shoulder replacement was likely my only long-term solution. However, he wanted me to get an MRI so he could confirm his initial diagnosis.
At my next visit, Dr. McGough shared the results of my MRI. Instead of a total shoulder replacement, Dr. McGough recommended “reverse total shoulder replacement surgery." My severe osteoarthritis had caused my rotator cuff to become detached. Dr. McGough went on to explain, the socket and metal ball are switched in a reverse shoulder replacement. The metal ball is fixed to the socket and the plastic cup is fixed to the upper end of the humerus bone. The reverse method would work best for me and my detached rotator cuff because it relies on different muscles, my deltoid instead of the rotator cuff, to position and move my arm.
Upon hearing the news of a “reverse” surgery recommendation, I was hesitant and decided I wanted to put off the surgery until late summer or fall. Dr. McGough gave me a cortisone injection for short-term relief.
Unfortunately, my quality of life continued to worsen during the next few weeks, so I made the decision to move forward with the surgery sooner than later. At my next visit, I had many questions for Dr. McGough. He calmly and confidently answered all of my questions and thoroughly explained my situation, including the risks, benefits, and expected recovery time for my “reverse total shoulder replacement surgery.” Dr. McGough performed my reverse total shoulder replacement surgery in May of 2017.
At the time of my surgery, my motivation was to get back to a better quality of life, BUT more importantly, to enjoy playing with my twin great-granddaughters who were 10 months old and about to start crawling.
Fast forward four years and my granddaughters are now 5-years old, and I've had many years of a quality life enjoying them with no issues with my left shoulder. I am grateful to Dr. McGough for helping give me my quality of life back four years ago!