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Osteotomy(External Fixators) - Surgery next Friday

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Old 03-17-2010, 05:29 AM   #1
Join Date: Mar 2010
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david89 HB User
Exclamation Osteotomy(External Fixators) - Surgery next Friday

hi guys I'm very new to this message board and I can't find a channel for shoulder surgeries but I saw some posts on external fixators which is what I will be implementating on my left shoulder. I would just like to ask a few questions because I'm quite scared about the surgery to be honest and it's scheduled next week.

I'm 20 years old and when I was 10 I have broken my neck in a freak accident on a rollercoaster, which resulted spinal injuries and 2 major surgeries. And after a few years I've realized that my left arm is shorter than my right arm (4cm shorter). I Have seen general pracitioners and surgeons but there was no exact reason as to why I have an indifference in arm lengths, a few believed it was a defect from birth and a few doctors believed the neck and my arms were connected somehow and when I had the neck accident my left shoulder was affected by it. And I did not recall my arms have an indifference of lengths before the accident. But I was young so I wasn't really looking at myself physically like I do now as a young adult. Also I can't lift up my left shoulder up towards the air in 180 degrees unlike my right shoulder, and I assumed that this is because that my left arm is shorter.

Anyhow I did some research and found out there was the lengthening on bone procedure - Illizarov, a technique developed in Russia. I went to see specialist in Melbourne in Epworth Hospital (did not have this arm lengthening specialists in Sydney), and we discussed my problem and he said the surgey is no rocket science and fairly straight forward. The issue I found really strange was that the reason why my left arm can't reach up in its full capacity was a whole unrelated issue; not because of the shorter arm length. The surgeon said that they will tackle this 2 issues in 1 hit - each procedure will take approximately one hour and a half. But how did I have 2 issues on one shoulder? merely a coinsedence?

However I am still quiet scared about the surgery, especially when I had to sign the consent form with all the possible risks it might have, regardless I understand that every surgery does have risks, even in it's simpliest forms. Does anyone have any experience or any stories in this kind of surgery? According to my surgeon there were no cases of amputation or deaths with this surgery that he knows of, however I had to sign for it regardless which makes me a little edgy.

The surgeon has wrote that the procedure I am consenting is the left humerus proximal vagising osteotomy with orwithout tuberosity advancement with biceps tenodesis + lower humerus lengtheing osteotomy with external fixator device, and that the surgery has been offered for the left shoulder proximal humerus varus with shortening of the humerus.

I was wondering if anyone have any experience on the external fixator on an arm before, I have heard a few stories that the external device can hurt a lot during the rehab, but that doesn't bother me as the whole surgery itself, all I want is to get through the surgery and I can take care of the rest. As I said I had 2 major surgeries when I was little and I had very little chance to use my legs again, but I did survive that and ever since then I'm scared of injuring myself and go through the whole process of surgery, the whole idea of it, scares the hell out of me.

The surgery itself is not compulsory, because my life was not in danger in any shape or form, however I do feel a great barrier in my life where I do have a huge toll on me mentally where I feel different; it affects my life enormously as I can only wear certain things and it makes me depressed and I never quite understand why I have this kind of problem. Therefore for me to take this surgery, if everything suceeded I will be a completly different person, and I will look at life a whole different way and I will feel accepted, thus for me the surgery is compulsory to get my arm lengths back.

Can someone give me some tips or advice before the surgery? I'm sorry for all this blabbering but I just feel like I need to get it out my chest. I am having anxiety as surgery date is closer and closer and I can't sleep at night. Does anyone know any information about this form of surgery and what will I be expecting before and after surgery? I would really appreciate it for any comments or advices. And is there anything I should do besides excercise to help me improve my chance of surviving the surgery? Thanks a lot again!

Happy St Patricks day!


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external fixators, humerous, lengthening, osteotomy, surgery

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