An update on my shoulder and recovery progress

I am continuing to recover from my shoulder injury last month. Although the progress feels slow, both my physical therapist and orthopedic surgeon tell me that things are right on schedule and doing well. When I first posted about the accident I had just met with the surgeon and we had not yet completed all the diagnostic tests. Once the CAT scans were in, together with more detailed x-rays, it was clear that I had done significantly more damage than I initially thought. What I had was, in technical terms, “a closed, comminuted fracture of the right proximal humerus.” In more colloquial terms, what I had was a “head split,” where I had turned the ball of my shoulder into something resembling a jigsaw puzzle. Quite remarkable what you can do to yourself falling off a bike at 0 MPH.

I now have a spiffy new scar, which conceals a stainless steel plate, multiple screws, and other hardware used to return the ball of my shoulder to something that should have close to normal function once everything has healed. I have been doing physical therapy since shortly after the surgery to restore range of motion. Once the bone finishes knitting I will start additional physical therapy to restore strength. I am back at work, although I’m trying to work from home when possible, since that makes it easier to work in the physical therapy sessions and also easier to make effective use of the voice recognition software I have been using in place of my ability to touch type. The wonders of today’s computing and communications infrastructure make it practical to do nearly all of my work remotely.

One interesting thing during the diagnostic process was that I was given my own copies of the CAT scan results, including 3-D renderings of the information. I am amazed at what the technology allows you to visualize and I suspect that without it my prospects for full, or near full, recovery would be significantly lower. What follows are some snippets of the 3-D images both before and after to give you some sense for the power of the technology.

Before Surgery:

Front View Side View Rear View

Front View BeforeSide View BeforeRear  View Before

After Surgery:

Front View Side View Rear View

Front view afterSide View afterRear View after

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