I'm so sorry to hear about
your latest injury. I used to be a senior national level competitive swimmer. In my ten years of racing, I essentially destroyed both shoulders. I've had multiple shoulder surgeries, including 2 surgeries to repair and stabilize stretched and torn ligaments (in both shoulders).
It's definitely worth trying the PT first. Unfortunately, when it comes to ligament and cartilage damage (both of which I've had), there is a pretty good chance that PT alone won't fix the problem (as was my case). But if you can avoid surgery, then that's fantastic. I don't want to scare you, but major shoulder surgeries are really tough & the recovery is long and slow. After each of my surgeries it took me about
a year & a half before I started feeling anywhere near back to normal (although I certainly had my share of setbacks along the way). That being said, now, 4 years after my last surgery, my shoulders are great. I still have limitations & restrictions, but in general they are rock solid and nonpainful.
You might think about
getting a second opinion from an orthopedic surgeon that specializes in shoulder surgery. Shoulders are tricky joints, so you really need someone with a lot of knowledge and experience. I don't know where you are in the US, but you can usually find such specialists at teaching hospitals, etc. Although I saw a regular orthopedist after my initial injury, I ended up having all my surgeries done by a well renowned shoulder surgeon in NYC. After 4 years and many surgeries with him, I can't even begin to imagine how long my journey would have been had I stuck with my original less experienced general orthopedist.
Sarah, if you do end up needing surgery, please feel free to email me, etc. I can give you a pretty good idea of what to expect & tips about
what you should having to help you along post-op. I'm no doctor, but I've had a lot of experience as a patient.
Good luck with your PT! You're in
my thoughts & prayers. Please do keep us up to date about
what is happening with your shoulder!
Post Edited (skeye) : 8/16/2010 9:40:57 PM (GMT-6)