“I Feeeel Good!” – James Brown

I do feel good….finally.  My right shoulder has been a pain in the ass (so to speak) for a long time.  It pretty much ached chronically most of the time, hurt acutely some of the time and woke me up way too often.  An MRI in November revealed a bone spur that was the source of most of of the problem, multiple small rotator cuff tears and a couple of arthritic spots that my orthopedic surgeon described as typical for our advanced age and history of use and abuse.  We agreed I could live with it until the hunting season closed at the end of January.

The first order of business was to see if a cortisone shot would help to resolve the problem and for a few days it did with seemingly no pain or further impingement.  I felt so frisky that I did some heavy lifting that unfortunately compounded my shoulder problems.  Somewhat awkwardly, I stretched and reached behind the seat of my truck to retrieve a pint bottle of drinking water.  The result was a burning sensation at the top of my bicep which I self-diagnosed as a complete tear of my biceps tendon.   A return trip to the surgeon’s  office confirmed my skill as a diagnostician.

For a variety of reasons surgery was delayed until last Thursday when he orthoscopically entered my shoulder to shave down the bone spur and do some scraping, snipping, and general clean-up around the labrum, scapula, biceps tendon and the two arthritic spots.

A few hours later I was on my way home and moving my arm pretty much normally without any sign of the impingement and mostly pain free.  I’d been warned by friends to “stay ahead” of the expected pain by taking Hydrocodone tablets every four hours.  By Saturday morning I decided that the prescribed medication was probably a lot worse than the brown acid at Woodstock and replaced it with Aleve for a day, and then nothing at all.

This past Monday was the first post-op meeting with my surgeon who told me the inside of my shoulder was “pretty ragged,” expressed satisfaction with the results of his handiwork and showed me a series of photos, all of which looked suspiciously like the dark side of the moon.  Physical therapy sessions begin next week with significant results expected in six weeks and almost complete recovery of strength and full motion in six months.

Like one of the men who shares my rather common name has been known to proclaim – “I feeeel good!”

Really good!


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