Joan C's Story

Patients' Experiences

This section has been added to enable us to provide patients with a more complete overview of the surgical and rehabilitation experience. It comprises letters from patients regarding their overall surgical experience, and supplements the information provided by the medical team...a bit like talking to someone who has undergone a similar treatment to one that you may have been recommended. We hope the patients' viewpoint is useful to you and would appreciate any similar feedback, which may be put onto the website for the purpose of patient- assisted consent.

  • Copeland Surface replacement arthroplasty

    Copeland Surface Replacement Arthroplasty

    What caused my shoulder to deteriorate is something which, despite interrogation by various specialists of which the CID would have been proud...

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  • VERSO Reverse shoulder replacement

    VERSO Reverse Shoulder Replacement

    My right shoulder, which is my dominant arm, had troubled me for many years. I am now 74 year old and had visited my doctor on many occasions...

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  • Frozen Shoulder Manipulation

    Frozen Shoulder Manipulation

    I first noticed a problem with my left shoulder during a house move in June 2007. There was also a shooting pain when I made certain...

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  • Acute Calcific tendinitis

    Acute Calcific Tendinitis

    I had been experiencing discomfort in my right upper arm for several months, especially if I lifted my arm above my head...

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  • Rotator cuff repair

    Rotator Cuff Repair

    We both underwent arthroscopic day surgery in Reading for a rotator cuff shoulder repair having previously worked together...

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  •  Arthroscopic Subacromial Decompression

    Arthroscopic Subacromial Decompression

    Having just completed a course of treatment at the Reading Unit, I feel that it would be helpful for others if I were to explain...

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Verso TSA for cuff arthropathy

  • Verso TSA for cuff arthropathy

    Verso - Reversed Total Shoulder Replacement for Arthritis with Severe Rotator Cuff Tear

    My name is Michael Heffernan and, at the time, I was 41 years old with a wife who has Multiple Sclerosis and a baby daughter...

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  • Verso TSA for cuff arthropathy

    Verso TSA in Patient with Arthritis and Massive Rotator Cuff Tear with Progressive MS (Multiple Sclerosis)

    When I was first diagnosed with MS (Multiple Sclerosis) it was a relief to have a name to put to all the strange...

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Bad ShoulderBad Shoulder
Bad ShoulderGood Shoulder

Written Testimonials

  • Speciality: {speciality}

    About the Experience

    How was your
    overall experience?:

    Very Good

    Comments: I was happily standing beside an apple tree one day in early summer 2015 and as I turned I collapsed in a heap on the ground. Aged 82, and with a gammy knee, this was not a complete surprise except that I couldn't get up. I had unconsciously put down my hand to ease the fall and my entire weight had transmitted to my shoulder.

    I hit my head hard but when I tried to get up I couldn't because I was totally unable to use my arm. I phoned my husband and he rescued me and took me to outpatients. After an X-ray I was informed there was no fracture and suggested some physiotherapy. I was extremely conscientious with the exercises I was given but there were some I was totally unable to do. This led to no improvement at all in several important movements.

    I went to my doctor and my physio without getting much sympathy. Phrases like .."try some paracetamol", ......"we all have damaged shoulders when we get older''...."rest it for a week" or, ..."try some physio" were all trotted out. But it was VERY PAINFUL, AND IT EITHER STOPPED ME DOING THE THINGS I NEEDED TO DO AND WAS DETERMINED TO DO.

    Luckily some time later a friend told me about the Reading Shoulder Unit.
    In February we were with friends (both doctors) each of whom had had a rotator cuff injury; the wife had lengthy physio while he, with a worse injury and had an operation at the Reading Shoulder Unit with a remarkably quick recovery. His advice was to go there for treatment and we made arrangements immediately.
    In February I travelled over 100 miles to met Professor Levy. And how glad I am I did. Before my fall, we were still skiing and playing golf and just chatting with him I felt a wave of belief reaching me that somehow or other he was going to find a solution.

    What a difference I experienced there.
    His first comment was that the insertion of the tendon had separated from the humerus bone (no wonder the physio couldn't do the job!). Secondly, due to the time lapse the muscle had atrophied, wasted away and was very weak. There was now a hole greater than 4cm in the tendon. Professor Levy told me that keyhole surgery could repair it. Even better I was assured that I was not too old to have it fixed!!
    Despite being 82 and a tricky prognosis, he agreed to take me as a patient and he operated on the 2nd of March.
    He found that that the tear was massive with an undefined shape - even worse than he expected. Four hours later the job was done. Though the operation was tricky it was successful.

    Thanks to his clear protocol for recovery I started with complete rest with my arm immobilised in a sling; then I could start gentle physiotherapy. Fortunately this could be done locally as the progression was clearly defined. By April Prof. Levy strongly advised me to make use of our heated pool for exercise. Then The Miracle started. I now have complete recovery of my all my shoulder movements. It is an absolute joy. I am playing golf but we have decided sadly to give up skiing- just can't afford to take the risk and at 82 its good decision!! Croquet is a good alternative.

    By summer the pain had gone, and I was swimming in the pool to strengthen it. Moreover, I could swing a golf club again by September. My life had returned to normal.

    Almost exactly one year later, after a bad start, I am now able to do everything thanks to the marvellous treatment from the RSU and Professor Levy. THANK YOU for your belief in me, your unique skill, your fun and your kindness. May many more people realise soon that physio is not always the best treatment for rotator cuff injuries and can often cause unnecessary damage.

    I was so glad to have had the operation.

    Thank you,
    Joan C