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Old 04-26-2013, 19:03   #1
wrenrj1
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Shoulder Surgery Next Week

Going in for shoulder surgery on my RT shoulder (I'm a lefty) next week. The list of to do's looks like an auto repair estimate that includes a rotator cuff repair, getting rid of some arthritis, remove a bone spur and an Acromian Clavicular reduction (I believe what it's called, i.e. shaving off the bone).

So, my main question is what to expect when I get home, what have those who have had shoulder surgery have found that are good home do's and dont's as far as preparing the house, shower, clothes, etc. for having a wing in a sling? I'm mowing the lawn for the last time this weekend and that will be tasked to the wife, and new mower (Husqvarna AWD pusher). I'll miss most of the spring early summer yard activities.

Comments appreciated, also, I'll probably have the other shoulder done by the end of summer! I've found that the warranty runs out at 50 on this body...Thanks.
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Old 04-26-2013, 19:18   #2
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Good luck Wren. Prayers sent. tom.
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Old 04-26-2013, 19:27   #3
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My wife is an orthopedic nurse. She says rotator cuff repairs are pretty painful. Have a good recliner to sleep in. She says it's very painful to lay down to sleep. Good luck.

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Old 04-26-2013, 19:32   #4
wrenrj1
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bubba803 View Post
My wife is an orthopedic nurse. She says rotator cuff repairs are pretty painful. Have a good recliner to sleep in. She says it's very painful to lay down to sleep. Good luck.

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That's the task this weekend to carry a recliner downstairs to a guest room we've built in the basement. Funny how you can still do certain things till you reach that angle of pain. Got my cable, blue ray box, etc. installed. A true invalid man cave.
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Old 04-26-2013, 19:42   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by wrenrj1 View Post
That's the task this weekend to carry a recliner downstairs to a guest room we've built in the basement. Funny how you can still do certain things till you reach that angle of pain. Got my cable, blue ray box, etc. installed. A true invalid man cave.
pm dinky, he had a total shoulder replacement..
good luck buddy..
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Old 04-26-2013, 19:43   #6
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I've had rotator cuff surgery on both of my shoulders...about 5 years apart. I had two different surgeons who had two totally different methods of surgery and rehab.

My first surgery was on my right shoulder and I'm right-handed. I struggled to learn how to do EVERYTHING left-handed, which was tough! I have an approximately 3" scar along with 2 small ones. I had to keep it in a sling for 5 full weeks.

My second surgery was totally arthroscopic and I only have 3 small scars, and I only had to wear my sling for a week.

In both cases, I had to sleep in my recliner for several weeks afterwards because there was no way to lay down comfortably. The worst part though was the physical therapy. It can be brutal!

The good news though, is that I'm now pain-free and have full use of my arms again!

Hope I didn't scare you too badly. Good luck!
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Old 04-26-2013, 19:54   #7
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I had arthroscopic surgery about 18 years ago on my right shoulder, torn labrum.

Now I'm having an mri on my left wrist Thursday to see if I have a torn ligament in it.

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Old 04-26-2013, 19:59   #8
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I first tore my left shoulder in 1995. Took about two years to fully recover. Good bit of pain.

Last year I tore both my shoulders two days apart. Lot of pain but it was several months before I got an MRI. Both shoulders were in bad shape.

Nov 10 I had the left shoulder operated on. The Surgeon wanted to do the right shoulder first but I told him,
"My left arm is almost usless. If you operate on my right arm I won't have any arms working".

Jan 3 the right shoulder was operated on when I had about 30% use of my left arm.

Now things really sucked.


Here's what to expect,
A good bit of pain. Not terrible pain but enough to keep you on pain pills for a couple months.
I would only take them when it got bad and to help me get a little sleep

The first couple weeks, arm in a sling and DO NOT move the arm in any direction that the Doctor tells you not to move it.
Trying to sleep in a sling sucks. A recliner might help you.

In 1995 my Wife was here to help me get dressed, etc.
I'm on my own now and everything was difficult to do. Your wife will have to help you do everything.

You will have to have therapy for at least a couple months.
Just last week I finished mine. I have about 80% movement and about 20-25% strength in both arms. I'll have to still keep working for months to build up strength and movement in both shoulders.
But now most of the pain is gone except when pushing my shoulders/ arms as far as I can.


The first few weeks really suck until you can stop wearing the sling. Then every week it will get a little better.

Do exactly what you are told and don't push it. I hurt myself several times by overdoing the exercises. (I'm a hard head)
Stay within the limits the Doctor and therapist sets for you.

If your shoulder is right bad you are looking at a couple bad months but it does get better. Hang in there.

Good luck.


The cool thing is I have two 3 inch matching scars on both shoulders.
The downer is I have no lady to show them off to.


.

Last edited by M2 Carbine; 04-26-2013 at 20:17..
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Old 04-26-2013, 20:52   #9
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Used to be called an acrimonioplasty if I'm not mistaken. I had mine done in '93. It wasn't painful when I woke up but that was because the surgeon bathed his work in anesthetic before he closed it up. It wore off quick enough.

They have to remove the deltoid from the bone and then reattach it when they are done. Shaving the bone is done with a hammer and chisel.

Ask for lots of narcotic painkillers as the first three days are going to be hell.

After that things get better but you will have a long road to recovery. Hang in there and do what the PT folks tell you.

The good news is that mine was successful and my shoulder is much better now. I wish I had the other one done back then but at my age I'm not going through that again.

Regards,
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Old 04-26-2013, 21:05   #10
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I am not disputing others experiences.

But, my wife of 70 years (at that time) had it done on one shoulder. She is 5'2" and 150 (now). She had it done and told the Dr. that she has no pain and excellent motion afterward. She didn't use her pain meds. I can attest to this and say that I am amazed at her experience. Strange things can happen. (He told her he should have charged more)
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Old 04-26-2013, 21:09   #11
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Slip-on shoes are convenient while your arm is in a sling.
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Old 04-26-2013, 21:32   #12
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You're looking at two weeks in a sling and around 5 months with a PT moving your arm around asking you:"On a scale of 1-10 how much pain do you feel".

Bonus, if you get a female PT with big () ().
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Old 04-26-2013, 22:03   #13
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Interesting thing.

When my left shoulder was operated on in November a friend stayed with me for five days.
I remember very little of that time, although at the time I functioned normally. Later I told my friend I thought he only stayed with me a couple days and I don't remember even one meal we ate.


I do remember most of the four days my friend stayed with me when my right shoulder was operated on in Janurary.
There was one strange occurance one night, when I looked out the bathroom window I saw a flock of wild Turkeys in the back yard.
I called my friend to look and he saw nothing.
I still continued to see the Turkeys for a few minutes even though I KNEW they weren't there.

Now I can understand how people can swear and really believe they saw something, that isn't actually there.


Last year a neighbor lady had her shoulder operated on.
She doesn't remember the first four days home.
Her husband said one time he stopped her from heading to the barn in just her night gown.


So, it's not a bad idea to have your Wife keep an eye on you for a few days, even though you seem to know what you are doing.
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Old 04-26-2013, 23:48   #14
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I've had both shoulders done... labrum and bony bankart repair, two years apart.

In '04 they sent me home with what looked like a igloo ice chest w/hoses to circulate icewater over my left shoulder. Even with Vicodin I was miserable for a couple days; on second day I went to the ER (it was a holiday, surgeon out of town) for some stronger drugs. Pain level and swelling so bad they xrayed to see if he left something in there he wasn't supposed to. After maybe a week the stitches and drain came out and I was MUCH more comfortable.

In '06 I gave the same surgeon another shot, this time my right shoulder. The anesthetist killed me, but surgeon got me back somehow. Oddly, barring some O2 saturation issues, the recovery from that one was a breeze... no cooler needed, took my meds and read GT all day, rough life.

I wound up at 20% permanent disability, mainly from loss of range of motion and lifting/pulling/pushing capacity. Not so bad.

If they find arthritis, don't let 'em give you Celebrex... that $#!* almost killed me again!
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Old 04-26-2013, 23:57   #15
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When I came home from surgery I had a morphine pump in my shoulder for several days. The bad part was trying to sleep. I would fall asleep sitting up and would move in my sleep waking the pain up. Once you can sleep a few hours straight it was not bad. Never did finish my pt. 6 weeks in I had an appendectomy.

I have one knee surgery, one lower back fusion, one neck fusion, one double bypass, one appendectomy, one thumb ligament reattached, and the rotator cuff repair was the toughest to recover from. But I was a couple years not being able to sit straight without pain before the surgery so it was worth it overall.

Good luck.

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Old 04-27-2013, 00:18   #16
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I had a total shoulder replacement in 06. Had it done on Tues, out of the hospital on Wed, started rehab on Fri (very, very small movements)

Slept in a Lazy Boy for about a month. I kept my shoulder iced 24/7 for the first couple of weeks. Take your pain meds per Dr recommendations. Don't chase the pain, don't let the pain get started. I'm told the pain and the energy to fight it only delays your recovery.

I have a lot of movement , bench press (bar and dumb bells) and in general feel very good. Overhead lifting is a small problem.


Good luck,

Dean
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Old 04-27-2013, 00:29   #17
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I had a total shoulder replacement in 06. Had it done on Tues, out of the hospital on Wed, started rehab on Fri (very, very small movements)

Slept in a Lazy Boy for about a month. I kept my shoulder iced 24/7 for the first couple of weeks. Take your pain meds per Dr recommendations. Don't chase the pain, don't let the pain get started. I'm told the pain and the energy to fight it only delays your recovery.

I have a lot of movement , bench press (bar and dumb bells) and in general feel very good. Overhead lifting is a small problem.


Good luck,

Dean
Ditto. Use the pain meds as prescribed. Don't try to be a tough guy about it and don't wait until it starts hurting.

I had minor surgery compared to what you're getting (just shaved some bone out of the AC joint), but was still in a sling. I found I could sleep in my bed if I was propped up in a semi-sitting position and had a pillow under the elbow.

Mine was almost one year ago exactly and I'm pretty much good as new. In the gym 5x a week with full use.

Good luck!

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Old 04-27-2013, 06:52   #18
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Ask for a nerve block,they are great,i literally had no pain what so ever after my rotator cuff surgery a few years ago.I rode my harley to physical therapy 2 days later freaking out everyone there lol.BTW mine was done arthroscopically (spelling?).I think I was off work for 3 or 4 weeks.
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Old 04-27-2013, 07:51   #19
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I think it is fair to say that everyone is different. I had right shoulder done several years ago. They did it on a Thursday and had to drive somewhere on the next Monday. Car was a five speed. Did not take pain pills and only used a sling when the wife was around. No PT required did it on my own. Have full motion with no problems.

Message is, do not go in with preconceived ideas about how good/bad it will be. Follow your Dr.'s directions and let your body do it's thing.
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Old 04-27-2013, 08:32   #20
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I had the same surgery about 1.5 months ago. I am very fit/athletic and chose to rehab myself at home/work because the routine I was shown at PT I knew I could duplicate at home/work and save myself the trips to PT. It will be a PITA but you will see your range of motion return gradually. I have not yet resumed weight training and there are still some motions that I can feel a slight pain- putting a belt through my rear pants loops, scratching between my shoulder blades.

My surgeon has also done both elbows and his advise is always to let the pain be your guide as to what you can and cannot do. Good luck!
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Old 04-27-2013, 08:33   #21
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I had my left shoulder worked on in November, 6 months ago. Rotator cuff repair, bicep tenodesis, some bone shaving and cartilage cleanup.

Discuss anxiety, pain and sleep medications before the surgery. I met one woman in physical therapy whose doctor cut her off pain meds 2 weeks after surgery. Fortunately my doctor was not stingy with the meds.

I was anxious the night before the surgery and took a Xanax to help me sleep. The doctor gave me Norco (hydrocodone/Tylenol) for the pain. I didn't have a whole lot of pain and stopped taking Norco entirely after about 3 months. I found it difficult to sleep with my arm in a sling and my doctor gave me Ambien to help me sleep.

Do everything your doctor and physical therapist tell you to do. Be religious about doing your exercises. Keep doing them after your supervised physical therapy is over.

If you don't like your arm sling, get another one. My first sling was super big and bulky. My second sling was much better.

I will second the need for slip on shoes. If you want to use your favorite lace up shoes you can get some Lock-Laces elastic laces for them. I found Lock-Laces at Dicks. If they don't have them order them online now. I love elastic laces now. I also got an extended shoe horn at CVS or Right Aid to help putting them on.

I needed a double oversize shirt the day of the surgery to go over the sling. After the surgery I learned to slip my shirts over my bad arm. Just get one double oversize shirt to start and get more if needed.

Be very patient. It takes months to recover. Do not overcompensate and hurt your good shoulder.

Best wishes on a speedy recovery.
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Old 04-27-2013, 08:40   #22
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Quote:
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I had the same surgery about 1.5 months ago. I am very fit/athletic and chose to rehab myself at home/work because the routine I was shown at PT I knew I could duplicate at home/work and save myself the trips to PT. It will be a PITA but you will see your range of motion return gradually. I have not yet resumed weight training and there are still some motions that I can feel a slight pain- putting a belt through my rear pants loops, scratching between my shoulder blades.

My surgeon has also done both elbows and his advise is always to let the pain be your guide as to what you can and cannot do. Good luck!
You reminded me, for about 3 months when pulling up my shorts and pants I'd get this annoying catch in my shoulder. I'm sure glad that is gone!
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Old 04-27-2013, 11:11   #23
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Good luck to you my friend, I hope every thing goes good
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Old 04-27-2013, 13:28   #24
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Total shoulder joint replacement, 7/13/12.

First 12 hours was rough, even with really good drugs.

Went in with about 20% ROM, now have about 85% ROM.

You will need someone to help with clothing, on and off.

Do what your PT and Dr. say

Mine was bone on bone, hurt just sitting still.

Like someone else said, stay ahead of the pain, don't play Chuck Norris.

Good luck..
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Old 04-27-2013, 18:45   #25
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Thanks everyone for your responses. I figured that this was a common surgery to be exact on what I'm getting done:
-Diagnostic and operative arthroscopy right shoulder, distal clavicle resection, subacromial decompression, rotator cuff repair, with possible open repair.

So once I get home, some does and dont's? I'm looking at trying to go back to work 12-days later, in front of a PC and not moving boxes that may be due to pandemic influenza.
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