I have separated my shoulder. Should I get surgery?
my shoulder on Sunday and need to decide whether or not to have surgery to repair it. I met with an orthopedic surgeon yesterday who said that the outcomes for surgery are not drastically better than those without surgery, and that many people regain full or very good use of their arm and shoulder with PT alone. He said that he personally would not have surgery, but that it was my call.
I am torn (hah!) between the two options. On the one hand, surgery is dangerous and the recovery would be painful and longer than just starting PT now. On the other hand, I am attracted to the idea of "fixing" the problem with my shoulder. I have torn ligaments that will not be growing back; if I don't have surgery my clavicle with be permanently detached, with a visible bump on my right shoulder. The aesthetics don't bother me, but I am a very active person and would really like to be able to have the full use of my right arm for as much of my life as possible. If surgery meant a longer recovery now, even for the next year or two, but better use of my arm in 15 or 30 years, I'd want the surgery.
So, my questions. I know that AskMe is not my doctor, but I would like to know if any of you have experience with this kind of thing. If you (or someone you know) have had this injury, did you have surgery or not? How is your use of your arm today? If you have faced this kind of dilemma before (with a knee or some other injury) how did you think about the tradeoffs between surgery and PT? What good questions can I ask the surgeon when I see him next (a week from tomorrow) to help me make this decision?
Again, I know that YANMD and will not treat any answers as binding medical advice.