Because my right shoulder has been hurting now for more than two months I decided I needed to see a specialist and to do it faster use a private doctor who is in the Medismart Group I am a member of (Medical discounts!) The public medical system might have led me to the same results but at a much slower pace.
I chose Dr. Dario Lungo with Hospital Metropolitano in San Jose and rode the bus there after Spanish class this morning. I took with me the x-ray of my shoulder my local general practice doctor, Dr. Candy, had me get at a local radiology clinic. Candy also recommended that I see an orthopedic specialist and let me choose one in my discount plan.
Dr. Lungo looked at my x-ray and had me move my arm in various ways and said it is definitely a rotator cuff problem and then pointed out on the x-ray that the collar bone above the ball joint of my upper arm was touching or did not have the gap between them that they should have. “We need an ultrasound.” Ultrasonido Hombro Derecho Another 3 hours because radiology was backed up with jobs! But it paid off! Photo is UltraSound equipment.
US muestra ruptura completa del tendón supraespinoso derecho Leve bursitis secundaria y derrame alrededor del TLB.
US shows complete rupture of the right supraspinatus tendon, slight secondary bursitis and effusion around the TLB.
The full radiology report is much lengthier with lots of detail, but that is enough to share here with the big serious thing being a rupture of the main muscle/tendon in my shoulder, caused by my two falls in the past two months.
(1) I can do nothing (like our grandparents did) and in 2 to 3 years the pain might subside with a little natural healing, but never the same. (2) Surgery to repair/rebuild the ruptured tendon and other minor repairs that takes at most an hour and a half with local anesthesia as a hospital outpatient. Cost is $4,200 which is a hugh junk for me! This is called “Rotator Cuff Surgery” in the states and the USA National minimum price is $8,400 (twice our cost) and the maximum allowed is $56,200 with a national average of $21,800 (More than 5 times my cost here.) And of course I could get it for free if I waited for public health coverage but afraid to wait.
I will consult with Dr. Candy tomorrow and probably go ahead and schedule it in the next few weeks, if she thinks it best, meaning I may have to cancel my August trip, though Dr. Lungo said I could travel two weeks after the surgery.
AN ASIDE STORY: NICE PEOPLE HERE!
On the bus ride back to Atenas from San Jose our full bus broke down (only the 2nd time that has happened to me) in La Garita. The return bus from Alajuela stopped and all of us got on that also-full bus, standing room only from front to the back! As soon as I stepped into the bus a young man popped up out of his seat and made me take it ( I tried to refuse). The respect for the elderly here is simply amazing! But of course that means I look old! 🙂