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slick's shoulder surgery blog

Why can't you just stay in your socket?!

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by , September 21st, 2012 at 05:51 PM (814 Views)
My first instability event occurred exactly one year later, in June of 2009. I was at my work gym using the weight machines, doing my usual routine, when I reached up to begin a wide lateral pull-down set at 50lbs. As soon as I started the pull, I felt a rip, crunch, and a pop in my shoulder. I immediately let go of the bar and thought to myself “what the hell was that?!” As soon as I asked myself that I knew what had happened. I was a bit shaken, but there wasn’t a lot of pain. When I got home I told my husband that I thought I had re-dislocated my shoulder.

The next day, my shoulder was pretty sore. The weakness, coldness, and pins and needles all came back. It was only at this point that I went on the internet and started researching shoulder instability. I learned that my shoulder had ‘subluxed’ (i.e., partially dislocated) and then reduced on its own. I also learned that this was fairly common for people who had experienced a traumatic dislocation previously. So I didn’t really feel the need to go in and see the doctor, as I felt like there wasn’t much to be done besides ibuprofen, rest, and to start up those tubing exercises again.

But of course, the following weekend I was at my pool, testing my shoulder out, lol. It felt much like after I had dislocated it the previous year, so I just took it easy. Again, not a lot of significant pain, just the soreness and nerve issues.

I won’t go into deal about all my subluxation events, but here’s a brief description. From June 2009 to June 2011, I think I experienced almost a dozen subluxations, occurring when:

-Putting on a shirt
-Reaching out to close my car door
-Reaching back to grab my seat belt
-Reaching out to stretch (You know, that big yawn/back arched/arms in the air stretch you do when you sit up in bed in the morning? This one happened a few times before I finally learned to only do this with my right arm in the air, lol.)
-Reaching up to change a light bulb, and then sneezing
-Leaning down to tie my shoe, and then pulling ‘too hard’ with the final tug of the laces

As you can see, every day activities could cause a rip/crunch/pop/subluxation situation for me. Eventually I learned to just try and keep my elbow close to my body. But, I just carried on. Over these years I continued to swim ~2500 yards, once a week. I knew that swimming itself wasn’t causing these events, so I just took it easy in the pool whenever I needed to. Every once in a while, I’d swim a 50 or 100 of backstroke to check on “the click” to see if it still existed (yep), and pretty much just lived with it.

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