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From Pain to Power: Rhonda's Shoulder Surgery Success Story

Meet Rhonda, a resilient individual who refused to let shoulder issues hold her back. In this inspiring journey, Rhonda shares her experience with Dr. Jamie L. Lynch at TruOrtho, detailing the challenges she faced, the decisions that led her to shoulder surgery, and the remarkable transformation she underwent post-procedure.


TruOrtho patient Rhonda competes post shoulder surgery
Which procedure did you undergo, and who was your attending physician?

The incredible Dr. Lynch was my doctor, we did a right shoulder generalized multi directional instability with secondary impingement syndrome, biceps tendinosis, scapular dyskinesis” if you want the specific terms, but for the rest of us she took a Bovine Achilles Tendon and used it to reinforce the part that was fraying. I believe it has since dissolved…she also corrected my labrum which was just hanging there, provided zero support, moved my bicep tendon, and cleaned up bone spurs.


What factors led to your decision to undergo surgery?

Since high school, I’d been told I have incredible weak shoulders, they said no muscle was there to hold them in place. So I navigated that through school, then many years later when I started trying to work out again I realized how loose my shoulders were. I could do the rower perfectly fine and often placed in the top 3 of my gym, however anything overhead, like snatches, butterflys, or weight bearing like burpees, I would have to be extremely cautious to not cause pain or the joint to slip.

TruOrtho patient Rhonda competes post shoulder surgery

I played softball on a rec team at work and swung the bat and felt my shoulder slip, which did happen from time to time, but I could always roll it back into place and carry on with a bit of pain. So as it continued to get worse, and I was working out more I went to a doctor in town who said the tear was so small there was nothing to be done. It has been explained that it was more like fraying/thinning of the labrum more than an actual tear. So we did a shot and he told me to keep doing what I’m doing.


Well, 6 months later the shot wore off and I went back and he said we could do another shot and PT (physical therapy) but still there was nothing to be done and suggested maybe it was time to stop working out…. I was 33-34 yrs old.


I thought that advice was ridiculous so I talked to my coach and she recommended Dr. Lynch. Dr Lynch listened to me and my concerns. We did about 9 months of PT with two different facilities, and then we agreed we weren’t seeing the process we’d hope for so the next step was surgery. 


Could you share your experience leading up to the procedure, including consultations and preparations?

Dr. Lynch was very clear that she would want to do everything possible first before turning to surgery, which as a mom of 2, I appreciated. I started first with a great PT, Hunter at Foundations. He was great also listened and was very attentive. After a while Dr. Lynch switched me to see Emily at Apex, said she is the best shoulder PT around, and she really was incredible. We did see great progress…but still not what we wanted. 


TruOrtho patient Rhonda competes post shoulder surgery

Leading up to the surgery, Dr. Lynch was clear on recovery and her plan. She said she had 4 potential options, and would decide when she got in there to see the damage what was best needed. She did all 4! I was so nervous she would get in there and still not see much if any damage, so the fact she was able to make so many adjustments meant so much to me! 



What was your pain level and mobility like before the surgery?

I wasn’t in constant pain, however sleeping was very rough, about once an hour I would wake up with my arms above my head unable to bring my right down, so my left hand would grab my right wrist to bring it down to my waist and on and on this went every night. I did many modified exercises at the gym as to not further injure it, but certain movements would give me a jolt of pain.


Can you describe your recovery journey, highlighting any challenges or significant milestones?

Recovery was rough, I can’t lie. The first 48 hours I wasn’t sure if the pain was worth it, but from then on it got better and better. Even though Dr. Lynch explained a 6 month recovery very clearly, around month 3 and 4, I came to her incredibly frustrated and pretty low. She would listen to me and tell me to trust the process. She modified some of the initial plans like the time of wearing the sling was cut down by about 3 weeks she was insistent that I move my arm. Because of my age, and hopes of getting back to the gym, we needed to loosen up my shoulder, so through lots of PT and time once I hit that 6 month mark I really did feel like a new person. She was right! 



How has your life improved since the surgery? Are there activities you can now enjoy that were once challenging due to pain or limited mobility?

I can do so much! Sometimes I get concerned I cannot do something, but it’s just a mindset and relearning. I was just used to be so cautious for so long, I’ve learned to trust my shoulder again. Next weekend I’m competing in a Hyrox competition in Houston! 


What advice or words of encouragement would you offer to others considering similar procedures?

Trust your body, and advocate for yourself. Talk to your doctor and make sure their goals are aligned with yours and realistic. When going through the recovery- it sucks. Just embrace the suck. Know that it WILL pass, and it WILL get better. You’ll be AMAZED at all you can do. 


Ronda and her teammate flexing after their Hyrox Competition
Rhonda with her friend and teammate, Veronica at the Hyrox competition.

Rhonda's story is a testament to the transformative power of orthopaedic surgery and the unwavering support of compassionate healthcare professionals like Dr. Lynch at TruOrtho. As Rhonda continues to thrive and pursue her passions, her journey inspires us to overcome obstacles and embrace the limitless potential within us.


If you're experiencing similar challenges or discomfort, don't hesitate to reach out to us at 210-878-4116. Our team is here to provide personalized care and support, guiding you towards a path of recovery and renewed vitality. Take the first step towards a pain-free -life today by contacting TruOrtho.

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