22 November 2006

What Do You Get For The Shoulder That Has Everything?

Yesterday marked the 10th anniversary of my shoulder reconstruction. The site was Blanchfield Army Community Hospital, Fort Campbell, Kentucky. My surgeon was the chief of Orthopedics, a full-bird Colonel whose name I don't recall, and I have to say he and his team did a great job putting my shoulder back together. 5 hours on the table to correct a number of problems from torn up ligaments to a fairly-well destroyed socket has so far been worth the six months of rehab, the first six weeks of which were pretty brutal what with all the stretching and breaking up of scar tissue.

It all started with a subluxation playing volleyball, then various other re-injuries of varying severity. The worst of those was a dumb move on my part - I was on an "alpine slide" in Germany and ripped my shoulder out of the socket trying to catch my balance coming around a corner at a pretty good clip. I've landed on it playing softball, popped it out playing basketball, rollerblade hockey , diving into a pool, lifting weights (don't ever do the military press on a bum shoulder, folks), and even pushing a tent flap aside. That last one was the last straw. I had an open Bankart reconstruction done on it in November 1996. It's been pretty stable ever since, and the only times it's felt uncomfortable is when I wasn't working out and the muscles around it got weaker.

So the shoulder has 3 nice little metal suture anchors. How do you accessorize that?