“That’s not what I had hoped to see,” are not the words you want your orthopedic surgeon to utter as she scans the x-ray taken moments earlier. Apparently, she recalls reattaching a piece of my humerus which is now unattached. So that’s the bad news. The good news is that despite serious stiffness, I seem to have more muscle strength in the area of external rotation in my left arm than I did before the surgery. She explained that this likely means that 2 if not 3 of the rotator cuff muscles remain attached. This is hopeful because this musculature is tied to the ability to raise the arm in a forward direction which was severely limited before the operation and which is critical to a variety of things, including riding an upright bike.
So my rehabilitation protocol is to undertake passive range exercises with a physical therapist three times a week along with daily home exercises until the middle of March when I go back in for a follow-up exam. I've also been granted a reprieve from sling-wearing and have returned to the ranks of suburban automobile drivers. If there's one thing I've learned this year, it's patience. All told, I wore a sling for over 100 days this year and was restricted from driving for over 14 weeks. I have to wait on my bicycle riding privileges, though. No road riding until after mid-March when we’ll see how the recovery is going. So there's no more surgery for me at this point; it's onward and upward as the next stage of recovery begins.