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Shoulder replacement for osteoarthritis ?

I am a 50 year old male who has been suffering from osteoarthritis, starting in my knees, for about 25 years. I have bad arthritis in my left hip and actually through all through out my body, but the worst is in my right shoulder. My right shoulder is bone-on-bone and very unstable. If I do not do McConnell strapping on it my shoulder spontaneously dislocates once or twice a day, but it so loose it goes back in. I've been on glucosamine/chondrotin for 12 years and various anti-inflammatory drugs. Currently on celebrex. Was first told I needed a right shoulder replacement 3 years ago. I've had all the cortisone injections in my shoulder that my doctor will do and I've had a round of artificial joint fluid injections. I was on tramadol for 3 years, with little relief, and my family doctor put me on darvocet 3 months ago and sent me to a third ortho doctor for another opinion. He had me do physical therapy and showed my wife how to do McConnell strapping, but told my family doctor to not give me darvocet, that I could either live with the pain or get the shoulder replacement surgery. I can't get comfortable to sleep at night and can hardly move my arm when I first get up and it aches all day, with sharp pains, catches, pops, etc all day long. I feel like I'm being forced into a surgery that I'm not ready to have. Any suggestions??
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replied March 22nd, 2009
Tight Spot
It sounds like you are in a world of hurt right now and are running out of options. I'm so sorry for your pain and discomfort, it sounds like it has a huge impact on your daily life. Aside from doing your exercises exactly as they've been prescribed and taking your meds exactly as their prescribed, I can't really think of much else to offer you aside from other various holistic approaches such as accupuncture or maybe even reiki, which if you're open to, might be worth exploring. Several of my patients, myself included have fabulous outcomes from holistic medicine.

Not to pry,and you certainly don't have to answer, but have you expressed to your doctor your reasons for not wanting surgery? Most of my patients are in discomfort following their joint replacement, but feel like new people once they heal up and they can go about their daily lives again. Something I always encourage my patients to do is to think about what they want out of the experience and write ANY thoughts and questions down to ask the doctor. It also sounds like you haven't had a good experience with your othropedist to date. It may be worth shopping around to find someone who is more willing to listen and work with you rather than give you ultimatums. Hope this helps, sorry I can't offer you more. I'll be sure to post if I have any brilliant ideas.
-TheQueenRN
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