Yesterday, I endured a long day travelling by coach from London to Exeter and back to see an orthopaedic specialist about a shoulder complaint that has gone on for far too long. I believe it was a significant factor in the Overland Track aborted attempt. Whilst it does not stop me from carrying an 18kg rucksack, I am constantly compensating for the injury in many other daily activities, and it hampers my ability to train properly. For me, the OT was the final straw; after appointments with an Osteopath before the trip failed to ease the problem, it was time to seek other advice.
The consultant, Professor Timothy Bunker, is supposed to be the best in the country for shoulder injuries, so I was confident this problem would be diagnosed once and for all. Whereas the appointment did not solve the mystery, an ultrasound did allay any fears I may have had about how serious it could be. No frozen shoulder, no calcific tendonitis, no cuff tear, but the consultation did give an indication as to what the problem might be; a SLAP Lesion.
Suffice to say, I've had to look up what a SLAP is, as well as the ailments it wasn't; an article at http://www.shoulderdoc.co.uk/article.asp?section=15 seems to explain it well.
I was given a cortisone injection to see if it settles the problem down and it was decided we would give it a month to see if it worked. If the shoulder was still no better in four weeks, then the next step would be exploratory surgery under a general anaesthetic. If it was a tear, as suspected, he would repair it straightaway.
Here's hoping the cortisone does the trick, although I think surgery will eventually be the path, which could take some months given NHS waiting lists. Whatever the outcome, I am happy to know it isn't anything sinister, and I have put up with the pain for the best part of two years now, so I can put up with it for a little longer.