Melbourne shoulder surgeon refs

Beej1

Senior Member
Anyone got any good stories of shoulder surgery in Melbourne - to the point they'd recommend a particular surgeon?

I mean good as in:
- will explain clearly what's wrong and how they'll fix it
- did a great job with the knife
- provided adequate rehab advice
- recovery was as planned, shoulder was repaired
- overall just genuinely happy with the whole experience (despite the inconvenience?)

I've got one name from the sports doc, but this being the first time in 42yrs of life that someone will actually cut into me (other than lump the dermo cut out of my back), I'm likely to get a 2nd opinion. I've got 5 other names, but they're all "I've heard this one's good" type references. It may sound strange, but even a mountain biker I don't know on here saying "I saw this surgeon and they were awesome" could sway me somewhat. Especially if it's one of the other 5 names.

Thanks.
 

Beej1

Senior Member
John Salmon, did both my wife's shoulders. ( one wife, two shoulders...) - fantastic.
Thx. He appears to be part of the same group as the guy my doc mentioned. Do you mind me asking - how did you choose?

I'm just reading the website bio's on all the names I've been given. They all sound ridiculously qualified and expereinced. Nobody stands out above the others.
 

casnell

Likes Bikes and Dirt
Thx. He appears to be part of the same group as the guy my doc mentioned. Do you mind me asking - how did you choose?

I'm just reading the website bio's on all the names I've been given. They all sound ridiculously qualified and expereinced. Nobody stands out above the others.
Recommended by a number of medico friends
 

Mywifesirrational

I however am very normal. Trust me.
I don't have any shoulder specialist recommendations as I now days only work with the hip and knee surgeons, but, if you are getting '"I've heard this one's good" type references' off medical peeps, that in its self is a pretty solid recommendation. GP's and specialists generally won't bad mouth any other professional, so your not likely to hear she or he is a butcher. But if the recommended name pops up more than once, that's a pretty solid endorsement.

Also if possible its worth asking physio's (if you know of any) as they see the immediate aftermath from surgery, as yes, some Dr's patients do seem to take longer to recover, but maybe these Dr's take on more complex cases, so it's not always as simple as that.

Otherwise, my only advice, which is kind of obvious, is only see a surgeon who specialises in shoulders.

I'm in to see our surgeon this Friday, unless he's unexpectedly in theatre, I'll see if I can pry a name or two from him.
 

Beej1

Senior Member
I...its worth asking physio's (if you know of any) as they see the immediate aftermath from surgery...

I'm in to see our surgeon this Friday, unless he's unexpectedly in theatre, I'll see if I can pry a name or two from him.
Much appreciated. 2 of my 4 names are from the physio. It was the physio who, after deciding I wasn't improving well enough, sent me to a sports doc, who ordered an MRI, and then gave me cortisone jab and the name of a surgeon. In his words "I'd recommend maybe a surgeon in the game a minimum of 15 yrs, who's on the other side of the learning curve when it comes to shoulders." and said his guy (Richard Dallalana) was such a person.

Extensive labral tears superiorly, anteriorly and especially posteriorly where there's evidence of previous dislocation (which I don't remember happening, but which can sometimes pop out and back in during a FOOSH). Plus supraspinatus tendinosis and subacromial bursitis. From my point of view: it's painful to take a top off, sleep on, push anything and lift above shoulder height, it's weak as piss overall, and its basically fucked.

Apparently the Regenexx stem cell treatment can work for these injuries. Costs a bomb though and I'm curious, if it works so well, why more AFL players (who's teams can afford it) don't do it more regularly than surgery.
 

findbuddha

Likes Bikes
Apparently the Regenexx stem cell treatment can work for these injuries. Costs a bomb though and I'm curious, if it works so well, why more AFL players (who's teams can afford it) don't do it more regularly than surgery.
http://www.regenexx.com/stem-cell-research/

The evidence isn't adequate (?yet). Current studies are mainly safety / feasibility studies, and the studies demonstrating benefit do not compare the stem cell treatment to traditional treatment. None of the studies mention labral tears either. You could be getting a very expensive placebo.
 

Beej1

Senior Member
http://www.regenexx.com/stem-cell-research/

The evidence isn't adequate (?yet). Current studies are mainly safety / feasibility studies, and the studies demonstrating benefit do not compare the stem cell treatment to traditional treatment. None of the studies mention labral tears either. You could be getting a very expensive placebo.
Oh I doubt I'd be going that route anyway - the cost factor.

But the futurist in me has no doubt this technology will become more common, and effective, in the future. Either that or nanobots sent into our bloodstream to find and fix problems.

But for now I'll go with a cutter.
 

MRO

Likes Dirt
What is wrong with your shoulder? I am not in Melbourne but have had AC tears on both of mine and had surgery on both. They were fixed using different techniques and one is far better than the other - that was my experience. Looks like you are asking the right questions so should get a good fix. I made the mistake of walking in blind and just accepting the first thing they said on my first shoulder op.

Good luck with it.
 

Beej1

Senior Member
What is wrong with your shoulder?
Mentioned above.

Sorry to hear one of your fixes wasn't great. I've read a few similar stories in random places on the interwebs ... it's the main reason I'm trying to choose as wisely as possible.

In all honesty, I wouldn't be surprised if more and more surgeries are robot assisted in the near future (like a lot of gall & prostate surgeries currently are). Eventually humans will be the weak link and a robot will do a better job. Until then, I totally get that the human surgeons of the future need to practice and make mistakes today. But at 42, and still having to lift and carry children, I'm gonna make the exec decision that I want an absolute fkn pro fixing my problem.
 

Binaural

Eats Squid
In all honesty, I wouldn't be surprised if more and more surgeries are robot assisted in the near future (like a lot of gall & prostate surgeries currently are). Eventually humans will be the weak link and a robot will do a better job.
I got mine done by a guy called John Trantalis, who does a lot of AFL injuries. The outcome was far better than expected for a complete tear of everything, which I suffered after getting flattened by a car. Given your description of the injury, you may get a hooked plate or similar to retain the collar bone while the reattached ligaments heal onto the bone. It is not pleasant and you need two surgeries (plate has to be removed), but I have 100% mobility and normal strength in the shoulder now. Be diligent with your rehab!

Back when I worked in robotics, I saw quite a few research papers on assisted brain surgery. No doubt for some things that robots are already far superior to humans, but getting that kind of technology approved for sales is pretty diabolical (I manage a biomedical R&D team), so most are "assistive" and don't give too much discretion to the robot.
 

\m/ Moshboy \m/

Likes Bikes
Sorry, no first hand experience, but Shane Barwood from Melbourne Orthopaedic Group was highly recommended to me by a number of people (sports doc & pyhsio's), when it was looking like I might need to go under the blade. While surgery is the only way to fix my issues (tearing of superior & anterior labrum causing ganglion cyst, moderate hyperintensity & fraying of the insertional fibres of subscapularis & mild scarring of the anterior capsule & axillary pouch, along with a few other things), fortunately I was able to rehabilitate it to the point of not requiring surgery.
 

rowanb

Likes Dirt
I had a shoulder reconstruction (and remplissage) by Greg Hoy of Melbourne Orthopedic Group. Shane Barwood was also highly recommended. I'd also recommend a physio who is accustomed to working with the surgeon. I was seeing Simon Balster (at Lifecare Prahran, but he gets around), and I still go to him when I need specialist advice. Lynn Watson (same clinic) is also a shoulder specialist. I'd definitely suggest seeing shoulder specialists rather than general physios or ortho surgeons. The people I've mentioned do a fair bit of training for others in the field - so they really know their stuff.

Good luck!
 

Markee

Likes Dirt
I have shattered both collarbones into five pieces both times! Dr Stewart Proper from Melbourne Upper Limb Clinic performed both "repairs" most excellently that I now have 100mm long 6mm thick titanium screws down the middle of each collarbone with the surgery scars so minimal it's hard to actually see either of them now.
He came recommended from one of my best mates who'd had a shoulder reconstruction and got the name from his Uncle who was a GP.
I can't recommend him enough so much so that I would go back to him for any upper limb issues I may ever have in the future.
 

Beej1

Senior Member
Wowsers ... y'all have suffered some pretty serious shoulder injuries. More serious than mine, that's for sure.

Thanks all for your stories and referrals. Hoy and Barwood are the physios two referrals. Got an appointment with Dallalana in a few weeks, will decide on 2nd opinion following this.

Good idea on shoulder-specific physios as well. I like the two I see at my local clinic, one of which worked at Whistler for a few years. But it may be worth trying someone who's really focused on that joint for sure. I dare say if I go with Hoy or Barwood, they'll possibly recommend your two physios for rehab rowanb, since they seem to do surgery at a clinic affiliated with the physio practice (The Avenue, Windsor).

Guessing my winter is going to involve some time in a sling, some time in a heated pool, and some time on a stationary bike.
 

cameron_15

Eats Squid
While not a shoulder, I had my Collar bone repaired by Richard Dallalana about 8 years ago now. After going through the public system and being told I'd be ok without surgery my collar bone had 'healed' all wrong. There was a big bump, it was painful and my right shoulder was a few centimetres narrower than my left... Not good for a 16 year old... but I didn't meet the criteria for surgery under the public system and so after 2 months decided to start looking for a private surgeon.

We asked for recommendations from Dr Julian Feller, a knee surgeon who does most of the AFL knee Reco's, and he gave a strong recommendation to Dr Dallalana, who agreed to fix my shoulder. He was incredibly professional, answered all of my questions (I was very worried I'd be left with lifelong strength loss, pain and disfigurement without surgery), explained all the risks and side-effects (I now have a small patch of numb skin below my collar bone, which I was told about) and did an excellent job. Rehab was quick, the scar is small, my collar bones are normal and symmetrical, I don't have pain and it's withstood 3 seasons playing rugby as a prop without incident.
 

Beej1

Senior Member
While not a shoulder, I had my Collar bone repaired by Richard Dallalana about 8 years ago now.
Thanks, good to hear. Got an appointment with him in a few weeks.

Based on number of refs so far (from here and physios & friends), prob going to see how long it'll take to see Greg Hoy or Shane Barwood for 2nd opinion after that. Will aim for surgery in early winter.

I'm lucky there seems to be quite a few great orthopaedic surgeons here in Melb.

Thanks again to everyone for your stories.
 

rowanb

Likes Dirt
Expect it to take quite a while to get an appointment with Greg Hoy - a couple of months wait is possible. And as an aside, my out of pocket expenses were about $5k after private health insurance and medicare.
 
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