The human body is a vastly complex machine. Scientists are constantly unravelling various mysteries of the human body every day. In a similar way to machines developing faults, the human body also develop faults. Healthcare professionals can diagnose many of these faults and can ‘cure’ them completely on many occasions. However, the human body ages with every heart beat and further changes or deterioration may occur after the intervention.
When your shoulder develops a ‘fault’, in well over 95% cases, we can diagnose the problem at presentation. However, as some conditions evolve over a period of time, it may not be possible to make a definite diagnosis at the time of initial presentation. With careful history taking, examination, and with further tests, one may be able to diagnose a condition by uncovering one square after other covering the diagnosis - very much like a game of ‘Catchphrase’.
One should have a realistic expectation of what can be done with the condition that has developed. We all need to remember and accept that human body is a vastly complex machine and it is impossible to guarantee 100% success with any treatment or indeed to state with confidence that further problems will not develop later due to ageing and degeneration.
With any intervention, one can expect the symptoms to get better; but nevertheless, some deterioration is expected with time when the body ages and further degeneration sets in. Also, any type of intervention and particularly surgery carries an element of risk. Thus, both patient and the treating clinician should have realistic expectation with the intervention proposed.
Each patient has a duty too and should be able to participate in the treatment and to disclose any condition like past medical history, medications taken, previous experiences with surgery, advice given to them by other clinicians or any other home or work circumstance that may be affect the proposed treatment. The system has not evolved to a stage where all medical records related to your care is forwarded to me and therefore, I rely on you in disclosing important information.
If you have any specific requests or expectation, then you should discuss this with the surgeon before the operation. This could be work or holiday related, arranging other personal matters like looking after elderly relatives. Your surgery may affect all these, One should also stick to the post-operative rehabilitation plan diligently to ensure the best outcome.