Personal Health Update

For those of you who don’t know, I had surgery Monday morning on the 28th. It was the third surgery that I had done on my shoulder in two years. Essentially, the first two surgeries done on my rotator cuff were badly done – some of the damage, like an inch excised from my clavicle, is irreparable. Since the last surgery, I have still been experiencing a fairly great amount of pain.  Dr. Simon finger decided that it would be best to do a shoulder scope and a procedure called a Tenodesis, which cuts the bicep tendon from its original place in the rotator cuff and reattaches it lower on the arm bone.  When he opened the shoulder, he discovered that my biceps tendon was almost completely shriveled.  The reason for this he ascribed to the last surgery – he said that it was nothing that I could have done to myself.   He also discovered some bone spurs and a great deal of scar tissue which he cleaned up. He went through with the operation described above and reattached the tendon.   Here is presentation of the procedure in case anyone is interested:

I was told that I will never have full use of that shoulder again; but hopefully it will be good enough to stay fit and active.   I will be in a sling for at least six weeks and need a good bit of physical therapy.   I am sincerely hoping that this surgery cleans up some of the mistakes of the former surgery and allows me to get back to serving God’s people and simply living a full life the way that God intended.

Many thanks to  my friend, Father Kyle Dave, who anointed me before the procedure and to Patrycja Black who organized a prayer calendar for me; Bob Alton who came to visit me in the hospital, Father Frank Lipps for covering for me at the parish while I’m gone, and my parents for putting up with my sorry self while I recover the next couple of weeks.  Thank you everyone who supported me  (and continue to support me) with prayers and words of encouragement – I can never really  thank you enough.   May God bless you all.  

While recovering, I am learning how to use this new Dragon dictation program for my computer since I cannot type yet.   I am using it right now as a matter of fact!   I am also attempting to plan a future lecture series which should begin on the Wednesday night following Ash Wednesday.   I will cover various topics, and intend for it to be a fairly regular practice of mine at the parish. 

 Thank you again for your time your patience and your prayers.

Fr. Basil



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13 responses to “Personal Health Update

  1. Allison

    Fr. Basil,
    I have prayed for you often this week and so glad to hear you are recovering well. Looking forward to your lecture series.

  2. Gina Juneau

    Fr. Basil, I am very happy to hear that everything went well with your surgery and that now hopefully you can recover. You are still in my prayers. Oh by the way, the video was very interesting; I just didn’t like to think about you going through it though. Rest and get well soon Fr. Basil.

  3. Patrick Smith

    It is a good sign that we hear from you, notwithstanding the new software. I am considering the jump to Mac and trying some of its good features. You are in my prayeers; you are prayed for at RCIA; at our daily Masses too. The video is interesting and I will watch it again later when I can view it in its; entirety. God bless you with fast healing, great therapist and patience for you to get through it all. Do let me know if I can help you in any way.

  4. Joeann Perschall

    I was not aware of the extensive surgery you had on your shoulder.  I pray for you every day and hope your recovery will be quick and complete.  You are in my prayers.  God Bless You.  Joeann Perschall

  5. Cindy Strecker

    Bless your heart! You are inspirational. The prayers are echoing all over heaven for you!

  6. David McKee

    I’m adding you to my prayer list Fr. Basil. I will pray for a speedy recovery! I saw the video. Wow! Amazing what they can do these days.

  7. Joan Loman

    I’m just thinking that you need to relax and rest a lot!!
    Listen to your doctor.
    Praying for an amazing recovery


  8. Melissa

    Glad to hear the surgery went well and we are continuing to pray for your complete healing, Melissa & Shrella.

  9. Melissa

    Glad to hear your surgery went well, and we are still praying for your complete healing, Melissa and Shrella.

  10. Hi Father Basil,
    I am glad all went well and you are recovering! Below is an article about aquatic exercises and the shoulder that you may or may not?! find helpful! in use of rehab. Warning! It is long! But, I suspect you have some time to read now!

    Thank you for your brilliant homilies! I’ve already shared the January 27 homily with a lot of people! 🙂

    We look forward to your return.

    God bless you,
    Cece Dugas

    Aquatic Exercises and the Shoulder
    The Influence of Hand Positions
    By Marty Biondi, PT
    Shoulder motions require the combined action of four joints, affording an
    extraordinary amount of versatility for both functional and sports-related
    movements.1 While it is this biomechanical complexity that accounts for the
    amazing potential to combine incredible speed with accuracy and range of
    motion, it is equally responsible for debilitating conditions.2 Add to the mix the
    buoyant properties of water, and a unique set of capabilities exist that can
    enhance good shoulder mechanics as well as help to generate common shoulder
    pathologies. Thus, it becomes essential that exercise address the combined
    efforts of both the muscles required to effect movement at the shoulder and
    appropriate movement sequences throughout the related joints.
    Anatomically, the most obvious shoulder joint is the ball-and-socket structure
    comprised of the glenoid fossa of the scapula and the head of the humerus and
    is located at the most lateral aspect of the upper axial skeleton.4.5 Known as the
    glenohumeral joint (GHJ), this structure has as its primary assignment, the task
    of placing the hand in appropriate position to perform its functions, and is where
    the majority of movement occurs.4 The shallowness of the glenoid fossa
    coupled with the disproportionate size of the head of the humerus are
    responsible for its inherent instability.5 Next, the acromioclavicular joint (ACJ)
    provides both the anterior/posterior bony connection of the axial skeleton and
    allows for the movement of the scapula, which helps to manage shoulder motion.
    The sternoclavicular joint (SCJ), comprised of the medial aspect of the clavicle
    and the lateral aspect of the sternum, acts to provide both stability and end range
    flexion mobility for the shoulder complex. Lastly, the scapulothoracic joint (STJ),
    considered a functional joint since there are no bony articulations, provides for
    scapular orientation, which drives the motions of the GHJ.4,5
    Shoulder motion is dependent on synchronous coordination of all four joints;
    dysfunction at any one of these joints impacts the integrity, stability and range of
    the shoulder complex.3,4,5 Additionally, abnormal cervical or thoracic spine
    posture alters the position of the scapula, leading to decreased range of motion,
    dysfunction and/or weakness of the upper extremity.5 Lastly, restricted muscle
    extensibility drastically impacts shoulder mechanics, as can be noted with tight
    pectoralis complex, altering the orientation of the shoulder.
    Whether the scapular position is altered due to poor posture, or muscle
    imbalances that create biomechanical deviations, specific muscles and/or their
    tendons can become impacted between the humeral head and the
    coracoarcromial arch. Situated beneath this arch are the rotator cuff tendons,
    long head of the biceps and the GHJ capsule plus a bursa, positioned there to
    protect the tendon structures. As the arm is raised forward or abducted, the
    scapulothoracic articulation positions the glenoid fossa to provide a stable base
    from which the humeral head can then move.6 This coordinated effort by the
    four joints of the shoulder to produce a smooth movement pattern is known as
    scapulohumeral rhythm.6 This pattern serves to maintain the glenoid fossa in an
    optimal position to support the humeral head, and to allow muscles acting on the
    humerus to optimize their length-tension relationships.6 Thus, shoulder
    impingement, one of the most frequently occurring pathologies, is related to
    movements that involve raising the arm at or above shoulder height and trapping
    the structure(s) lying beneath the arch.2,3 When muscle imbalances occur, if
    posture is altered, if the coordinated effort of the joints is insufficient,
    impingement can occur.
    Specific muscle activity and muscle extensibility are critical to normal, pain-free
    motion. While discussion of all muscles that impact shoulder motion is beyond
    the scope of this article, the rotator cuff muscles do provide active stabilization
    throughout the glenohumeral joint. Comprised of four muscles that have specific
    tasks for which the shoulder depends (internal and external rotation) and
    collectively provide dynamic stability to the glenohumeral joint, the rotator cuff is
    involved in a force vector to hold the humeral head in the socket. Since the
    socket of this joint is so shallow, dislocation would occur with shoulder flexion;
    without the rotator cuff plus ligamentous attachments and the labrum, the
    humeral head would slide inferiorly out of the socket. Contraction of both the
    rotator cuff and the deltoid muscles acting as a force couple, compress the
    shoulder joint surfaces minimizing joint dislocation.7 Additionally, the
    subscapularis counterbalanced by the teres minor/infraspinatus (all muscle of the
    rotator cuff) provide dynamic stability in the transverse plane. Thus, the cocontraction
    of these force couples provide dynamic stability of the glenohumeral
    joint in any arm position.7
    Regarding muscle tightness, consider that the anterior muscles of the upper
    quadrant provide a counterbalance to the contraction of the posterior muscles.
    When the scapula is maintained in an elevated position due to constant upper
    trapezius contraction/shortening, there is a disruption of the synchronous motion
    throughout the shoulder complex. Not only is range of motion at the
    glenohumeral joint decreased, but the scapula is also placed in an anterior
    orientation, which decreases the space through the subacromial arch.
    Impingement of the supraspinatus tendon occurs with subsequent tendonous
    pathology. Relaxing the upper trapezius and providing for normal
    scapulohumeral rhythm to occur restores healthy shoulder mobility.
    Additionally, when one can replace the humeral head in a position that minimizes
    impingement, such as neutral or a slightly externally rotated position, the damage
    to those structures beneath the arch is minimized. Water exercises that position
    the hand with thumbs up tend to assist in acquiring a more neutral humeral head
    position. However, because such a hand position usually is accompanied with
    increased resistance, when the hand is placed palm down, motions at the
    surface of the water can equally maintain proper humeral head positions.
    Water exercises that require hand/upper extremity motion in front of the body
    must also be cued appropriately to maintain accurate scapular positions.
    Because scapular motion is intimately tied to the motions of the upper extremity,
    care must be taken to maintain the integrity of scapular positioning. When the
    scapula is elevated or abducted greater than is required with normal
    scapulohumeral rhythm, the risk for impingement is increased. Over time, with
    multiple exercises emphasizing this position, one can create supraspinatus
    tendonitis. Oftentimes, in an attempt to work harder, clients “grab” for additional
    water to move; this may be at the expense of increased scapular
    elevation/protraction. Thus, appropriate cueing and hand position can do much
    to maintain the integrity of movement, while at the same time minimize the risk of
    soft tissue injury and/or muscle imbalances.
    In closing, the beauty of the water is that for every action, one can likewise work
    the reactive motion. Thus, anterior and posterior structures of the upper
    quadrant can function in their respective capacities, without the risk of overemphasis
    of one to the demise of its opposing muscle group. This, however,
    occurs with accurate cueing as pulling from front to back is oftentimes easier
    than reversing that action going back to front. While hand position definitely
    impacts the intensity of the motion, appropriate scapular position, good muscle
    extensibility, movement through one’s full range of motion and postural
    awareness are the components of good shoulder “health”.
    1. Simoneau GG, Wilk KE. The shoulder: embracing the clinical challenges of
    tis complexity. JOSPT.2009; 39(2):37.
    2. Ludwig PM, Reynolds JF. The association of scapular kinematics and
    glenohumeral joint pathologies. JOSPT. 2009; 39(2):90-104.
    3. Lewis JS, Wright C, Green A. Subacromial impingement syndrome: the
    effect of changing posture on shoulder range of motion. JOSPT.2005; 5:72-87.
    4. Newman D. Kinesiology of the Musculoskeletal System Foundations for
    Physical Rehabilitation. St. Louis, MO: Mosby, Inc. 2002:91-125.
    5. Culham E, Peat M. Functional anatomy of the shoulder. JOSPT.1993;
    6. Kamkar A, Irrgang JJ, Whitney SL. Nonoperative management of secondary
    shoulder impingement. JOSPT. 1993; 17(5):212-224.
    7. Wilk KE, Arrigo C. Current concepts in the rehabilitation of the athletic
    shoulder. JOSPT.1993; 18(1):365-373.
    Marty Biondi, PT, ATRIC, has been involved in various aspects of aquatics for
    over 30 years. She teaches programs on orthopedics, neurological conditions
    and sports specific aquatic rehab and is a coauthor of various resources
    pertaining to aquatic therapy. Currently she is the Partner/Director of Physical
    Therapy for Therapeutic & Wellness Specialists, LLC in Highland Park, Illinois
    and she is actively involved in the US Army’s Wounded Warrior Program. Marty
    is a popular presenter for ATRI, AEA and the World Aquatic Health Conferences.
    She has received numerous awards including the 2008 Aquatic Therapy
    Professional of the Year presented by ATRI.

  11. Ellen Laborde, Bunkie, LA

    Keeping you in my prayers for a quick recovery. God bless you.

  12. Danette Dobbins

    The thoughts and prayers of the Dobbins’ family are with you while you progress through your recovery! Stay strong, you know that all the parishoners of OLL are praying for you and will help you with anything you need — “sorry self” indeed! We are so blessed to have you at OLL and look forward to having you back to serving Mass. I hope I can work your lecture series into our crazy family schedule — I really want to attend, but naturally I have to miss the first one because of a PTC meeting! God Bless you and we wil continue to keep you in our prayers. Matt, Danette, Katie and Sarah (Sarah, of course, sends a big hug!!)

  13. Normand and I offered out adoration for you! We love and miss you!

    Sent from my iPhone

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