What to do about my shoulder dysplasia?
October 12, 2007 9:18 AM   Subscribe

What to do about my shoulder dysplasia?

When one of my shoulders started popping in my early 20s I went to see an orthopedic about it. His x-rays of my shoulder revealed a dysplasia in both - where the head of your humerus (I see nothing funny here!) is somewhat like this @ mine is closer to this #

He prescribed some physical therapy for me and suggested I keep up with the exercises the PT would teach me, so as to prevent bursitis in the future. I've gone back and forth on how observant I am about the exercise over the years, but for the most part I'm without pain. However the popping is in both shoulders now - has been for a while - and while I don't have daily pain, I am more prone to soreness after heavy exertion. I somewhat overdid it recently and consequently wondered:

It's been more than ten years since I saw anyone about them, and I wonder - are there better or more common treatments now? Is it worth a visit to another ortho? Am I likely to simply get prescribed another round of physical therapy visits, or has surgery become a more common solution for a malformed ball-in-socket situation?
posted by phearlez to Health & Fitness (2 answers total)
I had shoulder dysplasia with a bone spur. Basically, they had to grind down the bone spur (I'll pause so we can wince together), but for the dysplasia, they performed a heat encapsulation through arthroscopic surgery. This can be likened to "shrink wrapping" --they tighten up everything around the socket.

For me, it has been a godsend. My shoulder after surgery is much better than it ever was before surgery, even before the bone spur. Within six months, I knew it was the best decision I'd ever made. It's never popped again, either, and it's now been several years.

You end up with just a few (I have three) pinprick or slightly larger (think "smaller than a vaccination scar") marks on your shoulder, if you are worried about the aesthetics.
posted by misha at 11:43 AM on October 12, 2007

I'm surprised that's a treatment for this - my humerus will still be malformed even if they tighten the tissues around it, which is what I presume caused the loosening. So wouldn't it just loosen again?

By which I mean, did your dysplasia not take the same form as mine, a humerus that isn't as smoothly rounded as it should be?
posted by phearlez at 11:50 AM on October 12, 2007

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