If you don’t hear much from me the next few days, it’s because I’m going in for shoulder surgery on my left shoulder tomorrow. The surgery is to stabilize the shoulder joint, which has always been unstable and has become painful as a result of my hypermobility. It’s an arthroscopic procedure where they remove the bursa, any adhesions and grind away parts of the bone to make sure the tendon behaves.

The success rate of the surgery itself is ok 80-90% get better within 1 year, and 40% get completely “cured”. But the result of the surgery can’t be assessed until after at least 6 months. The shoulder is a complicated joint. Besides the risk of straining muscles that haven’t been used in a while, many people experience pain around the acromion afterward as part of the attachment of the deltoid are removed, and the remaining parts get strained. This can be fixed by stretching more than training for a while.

About 5-10% of patients experience stiffness. A common cause for this is adhesions. There are good treatments for this, but fixing it takes time, up to 2 years. Some also get tendinitis in the bicep, which may have to be treated with cortisone injections.

As with any surgery, there’s a risk that something goes wrong, and a risk of infection. I’ve been told to not take any NSAID’s or vitamin E for three days before surgery. The rest of the “do not” list doesn’t apply to me. I’ve also been told to wash my entire body with HiBiSCUB (Chlorhexidine) and wash my hair before leaving home. I also have to remove my piercings and any other metal because they’re using an electric cauterization pen to stop bleeding. Apparently this doesn’t do well with metal.

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