Latarjet Shoulder Surgery
Shoulder Reconstruction with a bang
If you have been recommended by an Orthopedic surgeon you require a Latarjet repair and are now trolling the internet for information, you're in for a treat!
First of all a Congratulations is in order. Second strap yourself in because it is one hell of a ride. Here in this blog I will go through my personal experience from my symptoms, my surgeon for the surgery to all the years of rehabilitation.
Here we go;
In a current post on instagram I had exposed the huge scar to my left shoulder. Late 2015 Rugby started it, with a first shoulder dislocation out the back (posterior dislocation), second dislocation was from falling off a skateboard with an outreached arm, Third was playing another game of rugby placed the ball down for a try. Fourth was when I did a heave in CrossFit, Fourth was snowboarding no trauma it came out while turning and all the muscles seized from the cold. The 5th time was when I was sleeping. Between then and seeing anyone I had 5 more dislocations.
In late 2016, I was given a referral to an Orthopedic Surgeon named Dr Simon Tan from St Vincent's Sports Medicine in Darlinghurst Sydney NSW.
After my appointment with Dr Tan I was sent for MRI, CT and XRAY. The reports back were not good and no amount of physiotherapy would be able to fix the 20% bone loss and tears. I was recommended the latarjet and was booked for surgery Jan 2017. Surgery was fine it was the days after. I was recovering in a town called Robertson NSW with family. I was on extremely strong pain relief which on some days did not even hit the sides. I went to the fridge one time and something had fell, normal reflexes kicked in and my arm twitched. It was the most painful reaction ever.
I was in a sling for about 8 weeks all up and I would go for walks on the property in my crocs starting at 5 to then 10 mins. I would rest by the pond and just relax, read a book or lay on a blanket and stretch.The late Stanley Henderson (also known as STANLEY BOW WOW)
Recovery with a twist
I did not eat too much as the medication had suppressed my appetite and I had extreme fatigue. I found out later the cause of the fatigue was due to untreated haemochromatosis. Which is a blood condition and causes higher than normal iron levels. A rare blood condition for women to be effected but can cause similar symptoms to low iron. I can go more detail in another blog. Back onto the shoulder, the post operative review was deemed successful and I was fit to start rehabilitation with physiotherapy. I would say around March 2017, still in a sling during the day but out if I was at home or in safer zones. I had weaned off the stronger medications and was on lighter over the counter ones.
It was time to start rehabilitation with physiotherapy. It was a slow process, the sessions were short and were focused on muscle engagement and light strength work with therapy bands. This treatment plan plus massage went on for months, I progressively improved and started to get strength but minimal range in movement. This is when Yoga had been recommended and I fell in love with the concept of you can be broken but still can heal. I practised in Mosman with Kai Yoga and found the boutique style studio allowed my recovery to be monitored closely. I could feel and see mobility and calmness towards my recovery improve over time.
What you need to expect
Six month later I had not improved any more in mobility or built any strength. I had plateaued and had pain most nights. The pain was a constant ache and delayed muscle soreness from Physiotherapy. I started to become frustrated and upset as I was so active and strong before my injury. I was fragile, weak and insecure in my capabilities. That is when I knew I had to find myself again and left for Bali to do a Yoga teacher course. All details are in Blog "How to become a Yoga Teacher under 30 days".
After changing my entire life style, the way I move, think and react to this day I still am restricted. Five whole years and many rehabilitations session and yoga classes I will never be the same. Nor do I want to be, I am so happy that this injury has changed me as I needed to stop, slow down and be still. This injury was my saving grace. My permanent injury and limitations do not define me as my quality of life improved. I am more determined, able to focus and maintain healthy relationships. My recovery journey was more than just surgery and I do not wish this process upon anyone. Sometimes healing runs deeper than the scars you see.