My shoulder problems started gradually and ended up limiting me to what I could do. It was keeping me from being able to kayak, swim, and do general housekeeping around our home and grounds.
I consulted with Dr. Martin Coleman, who took a very matter-of-fact attitude, suggesting a plan that started with physical therapy, but could lead to surgery, if that did not work. When we reached the point of surgery being the best option, he made it very clear that he could repair the shoulder, but for that to be a success, I would need to follow his instructions throughout a 6-9 month recovery process. Without my willingness to follow his instructions, I could damage the repair, negating the benefit of surgery. This had to be a partnership.
His initial instructions were to let my shoulder heal, but to maintain some motion that would make the recovery shorter and less painful. I kept my arm in a sling for a month and for two months lifted nothing heavier than a “cup of coffee”. He did not recommend physical therapy, but again, wanted to let the shoulder heal.
Now at the 3-month point, his instructions are to gradually increase my activities in 10% increments over the next several months, and to “listen” to my shoulder. I was surprised that Dr. Coleman still did not recommend physical therapy for me, as I know many people go through that. But I have no complaints. My shoulder is definitely improving to where I notice it less and less. I have just started to very gradually return to swimming, and my shoulder is feeling better and my range of motion is steadily improving each week. At this point, I must admit it was worth it, largely because he did his job, and I followed his instructions.