Opinions on Physical Therapy for Severe Osteoarthritis

To give you a quick overview...

I have severe osteoarthritis in both of my shoulders. Basically both shoulders have been permanently dislocated for years (not exactly sure for how long). I have spurs on the end of each humorous, both humeri are flattened, the cartilage is torn, the tendons have torn and the level of arthritis is "more severe than I have ever seen in someone younger than 60" according to my ortho.

I had arthroscopic surgery on my left 3 years ago with pretty decent results as far as getting range of motion back and relieving some of the pain. I started to do physical therapy afterward, but it brought back a lot of pain and I stopped going. 3 years later, it's still pretty decent (relatively speaking) and much better than my right.

I just had arthroscopic surgery on my right shoulder almost two weeks ago. So far, the results are fantastic...I have much more range of motion (I can now lift to about "heil hitler" level and expect a little bit more when the tenderness goes away). The pain level has also gone down and I can even sleep on it, which I haven't been able to do without very sever pain for years.

My question is:

Is physical therapy an absolute necessity? My ortho said it was entirely up to me if I wanted to go. He basically said that given my history with it, the level of degradation in the joint, and how well I did last time without it, it probably wasn't necessary.

The way I look at it, my shoulder joints are both living on borrowed time, and the more I move them, the faster they will deteriorate. Given the fact they are permanently separated, I believe that any and all movements will cause the arthritis to grow faster and speed up the time to full replacement which I really don't want being 38 years old.

Soooo...am I an idiot for not going to PT?

Right now I'm just doing ice several times a day (especially following activity) and taking lots of ibuprofen.

Any orthos or patients with similar symptoms have any thoughts? or alternative treatments?

Bueller? Bueller? Anyone?

An exercise program is good. Is physical therapy complete with a therapist billing hours necessary? I don't know. It is for some timid folks. Most MXers work out anyway, so the therapist is usually unnecessary.

Go to PT & get a home exercise program. Your muscles are getting weaker every day.

Maybe time for a shoulder replacement...

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