Bonesmart Spotlight: Craig Raucher has rotator cuff surgery with a newly developed procedure: Sub Acromial Balloon
Upcoming Surgery for Left Shoulder Arthroscopy, Rotator Cuff Repair/ May 20., 2022
This will be four part article. The first part written today leads up to the surgery and parts two three and four will be written surgery day and and 3 and 6 weeks after surgery. .
Quick history: About 12 years ago at age 58 and then again at age 60 I had total knee replacements for both knees. My original articles can be found in BoneSmart . I had played competitive basketball since age 10 and over the years had done much damage to my knees resulting in multiple surgeries and unbearable pain and discomfort.
I wanted to continue playing basketball competitively but the pain was off the charts and I had limited range of motion. Although the surgeons told me that I would no be able to play at a high level of competition with 2 new knees I was determined to come back strong. And I did and continued to play right up to today at age 70.
Full court hard nosed highly competitive basketball with men 30 years younger.
Fast forward to today: About 3 years ago I began having pain in my rotator cuff muscle as I has sustained a large full thickness tear in the muscle and assorted allied smaller tears in the surrounding muscles. I had limited range of motion, throbbing pain and general discomfort as a result of the tear. Raising my arm above my head was painful and sleeping on my left side was a distant memory.
Although I shoot with my right hand every time I shot I would feel radiated pain in my left shoulder. Rebounding, passing or someone running in to me would make me see stars. The only remedy for this surgery. is usually arthroscopic outpatient.surgery.
As I did with my total knee replacement surgery I began to research this surgery through Google, reading about the surgery. looking at the surgery on You Tube, reviewing different procedures for this type of surgery, I reviewed what the rehab will look like and what I must do to get the shoulder strong and get back to playing.
Let me pause here and share with you the the following:
I cannot emphasize enough the importance and value of educating yourself on whatever orthopedic ( or any medical issue) problem you have. Most people will not review their medical issue because they are lazy, feel intimidated that they may not understand terminology, have someone else do it and explain it to them or rely on the orthopedic physician to explain it to you. But in many cases having it explained only lets you retain a portion of what is said. And always take notes so you can research when you are at home.
Many times when the surgeon explains it creates the “deer in the headlight syndrome” in that you cannot visualize the problem and therefore you cannot ask enough of the right questions. The days of just listening to a Doctor without questions are long gone and The BoneSmart Review is an excellent source to utilize initially for helpful information .
In this day and age with the internet and You Tube available to you researching the surgery is easy and the information is abundant. If medical terms are as unfamiliar to you as a foreign language then look them up. Look at what a rotator cuff looks like, look at the surrounding muscles, learn how they work together to help or hinder movement. If a Doctor says something you don’t understand then write it down and look it up.
For this surgery I researched the issues in my shoulder, viewed the muscles and tendon . I got a copy of my written MRI report and read it.
I viewed the procedure on You Tube-you can see actual operations performed or you can see an orthopedic physician explain the procedure using props.
I wanted to also understand the rehabilitation of my shoulder post-op and what I would have to do.
Through this research I saw an innovative new technique for Rotator Cuff repair arthroscopy which was invented in and used in Europe since 2012. Results have been very good interns if reduction length of time to rehab and a lowering of pain.
This procedure is called: Subacromial Balloon Spacer Implantation:
A small saline filled balloon is inserted into the space between the rotator cuff and the acromium (you are going to have to look this up. This aids in the healing process and helps to diminish pain. The balloon dissolves within 12 months.
I then found the orthopedic surgeon who has experience with this type of procedure and he is Dr. Gregory Montalbano located on Staten Island, New York with the surgery being done at New York University Langone Hospital in downtown New York City. Dr Montalbano has an excellent reputation and very easy to speak with.
More to come post-op next week.
Be informed read Bone Smart Forum.