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Shoulder surgery update

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Shoulder surgery update

Old 11-01-19, 04:35 PM
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Shoulder surgery update

Thought I would post an update on my shoulder repair. The good news is Iíve been cleared to drive and return to work. The bad news? I will need shoulder replacement if this isnít successful. My orthopedist says weíll know in three months. PT starts on the 19th.

At the moment I am limited to passive movement of the arm, basically swaying my hips to produce pendular motion. One direction (counter clockwise) doesnít hurt. The other does, so Iíll concentrate on clockwise, but very carefully. Hopefully it will relieve some of the tension. Iím allowed use of the forearm, as long as I imitate a T-Rex, and avoid weight bearing.

Iíll avoid the gory (and boring) details, but my doctor said ďthereís people who have had rotator cuff repairs, and then thereís you.Ē My shoulder was the worst non-traumatic case heís seen.

Iím icing the shoulder as often as I can and taking ibuprofen now only as needed, typically before bedtime. Pain is no worse than a three on a scale of 1-10, 10 being the worst. Sleeping is difficult. Iím still trying to sort out the best position.

I didnít bother to ask him when I would be clear to ride again, after he commented on the three month assessment. It will obviously depend on how well the PT goes. Needless to say Iím motivated to succeed. Hopefully Iíll be healed well enough by then to follow standard rehab protocols.

Since he cleared me to drive, I figure I can ride my recumbent trike on the weekends. I did a trial ride of 45 minutes today with no problems. It was great to get outdoors and work my legs. Iím planning to ride again on Sunday. For now I donít need to go fast, I just need to go!



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Old 11-01-19, 05:22 PM
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Wishing you continued healing and the best possible outcome!
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Old 11-01-19, 07:40 PM
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Hoping everything goes well for you. Follow all PT instructions and DON'T PUSH IT.

Originally Posted by horatio View Post
....................... The bad news? I will need shoulder replacement if this isn’t successful.......................
Had my shoulder replacement 2016 after decades of pain, restricted movement, cracking, blah-blah-blah. Easy-peasy Shoulder installed Monday, PT removed sling on Tuesday, checked stitches, moved arm and permitted easy lowered movements, given OK to ride bike on Wednesday but I waited until Thursday.
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Old 11-02-19, 07:40 AM
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Best wishes. Been there, busted shoulder and injured neck. Takes awhile to recover.

In my case I couldn't have the planned surgery. The anesthesiologist discovered a thyroid tumor was constricting my airway, so the priority shifted to surgery for thyroid cancer. By the time I recovered from that it was too late for shoulder surgery. It healed, sorta, but still aches pretty much constantly. I'm sure I'll need joint replacement surgery eventually but I'm putting it off awhile.

I've done my PT at home and in the clinic faithfully because it really does help. At a minimum I use a double-headed percussion massager and range of motion and stretching every day. On alternate days I do pushups -- on good days I can do 20-40 full floor pushups; on bad days I do 50 or more push-offs using the kitchen counter, sofa, etc. I don't have any exercise gear at home but use jugs filled with 10-20 lbs of water for rowing, lifts, etc. At the PT clinic this summer I was able to work my way up to 7 pullups, with fewer each set. I doubt I'll be able to do 20 or more like I did in my teens and 20s, but any progress is good.

And I saw the consequences of not doing PT. My mom and granddad were not good patients and didn't do their PT for their first knee surgeries. My granddad lost muscle tone and his titanium joint would often pop loose. But he was so grouchy and even verbally abusive that no physical therapist or visiting aide would stay with him for more than one session.

My mom wasn't quite that bad, but she was no picnic. Her first knee surgery was in her 20s, in the 1960s when the procedure was primitive, and she didn't do the PT. That knee "healed" permanently swollen to double the normal size with almost no flexibility, and it hindered her the rest of her life. The re-worked surgery on that knee about 15 years ago didn't help much. In my opinion it contributed to her frequent falls and consequent other injuries. She had terrible balance from that first knee surgery and often fell just doing normal stuff like walking or standing. As she got older the falls contributed to concussions, cumulative brain damage and eventual dementia.

On the plus side, after her third knee surgery on the other leg in 2006, she fared much better. That's because I stayed with her full time to ensure she did her danged PT. She cussed and fussed a lot but she did it and regained much of her strength and flexibility in that leg. Same with her shoulder replacement surgery in 2010. She said it ached occasionally but otherwise we both tended to forget which shoulder had the surgery -- the scar was practically invisible and she had the same range of motion and strength in both arms.

So, nowadays, I'd have confidence in a good surgeon doing joint replacements.
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Old 11-02-19, 06:34 PM
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Oh geez. I hope your shoulder recovers better than my wife’s has. She fell hiking in January and broke and dislocated her left shoulder. It has healed but her range of motion is awful. Shoulder replacement is an option but the surgeon says her motion range will still be pretty limited. Something you might ask your surgeon at your next visit.
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Old 11-03-19, 01:13 AM
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I hope things go great and you stay on the road to recovery with the shoulder you've got.
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Old 11-03-19, 05:56 AM
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Don't know how you injured your shoulder but when my back went out I couldn't move my arm. It eventually atrophied and looked like a noodle. The pain was certainly more than a 3 (don't ever tell your doctor that BTW), as it was so excruciatingly painful I would have taken a lethal injection just to stop the pain.

Thing is, its not always the intensity of the pain but the continuity of it. My pain was nerve induced which does not subside. It goes to 10 and stays there until you are on the verge of losing your mind.

I didn't let them operate because I had so many doctors all telling me different things according to their perspective profession.

In any event, this is about your recovery so great to hear you're doing better and on the verge of getting better. I wish you well with your PT.
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Old 11-03-19, 12:41 PM
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Originally Posted by KraneXL View Post
The pain was certainly more than a 3 (don't ever tell your doctor that BTW)
Why not tell your doctor?
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Old 11-03-19, 02:32 PM
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Originally Posted by rseeker View Post
I hope things go great and you stay on the road to recovery with the shoulder you've got.
Me Too!
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Old 11-03-19, 05:40 PM
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Originally Posted by rseeker View Post
Why not tell your doctor?
A level 3 doesn't register on his list of concern. At that level its more a typical daily discomfort than pain associate with a serious illness, and not much a doctor would see fit to concern himself with. When your pain is defined at that level you really don't even need to see a doctor. At least that would be his posture.

If you want to go to the doctor to report that, that's your business (you know what's best for you). But in my experience its a waste of time. He'll just be going through the motions for the sake of appearances. And charging you in the process.
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Old 11-19-19, 06:25 PM
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PT began today, about 1.5 hours of stretching and passive movement. I’ll have two sessions per week and daily exercises for home/work. The only uncomfortable parts were when the therapist was manipulating the arm and checking range of motion. No road bike riding for 10 weeks, but I should be able to do some wrenching by Christmas.
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Old 11-19-19, 07:01 PM
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Originally Posted by KraneXL View Post
A level 3 doesn't register on his list of concern. At that level its more a typical daily discomfort than pain associate with a serious illness, and not much a doctor would see fit to concern himself with. When your pain is defined at that level you really don't even need to see a doctor. At least that would be his posture.

If you want to go to the doctor to report that, that's your business (you know what's best for you). But in my experience its a waste of time. He'll just be going through the motions for the sake of appearances. And charging you in the process.
If I attach "excruciating" my pain, it's generally much higher than a three.
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Old 11-19-19, 09:11 PM
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Originally Posted by horatio View Post
PT began today, about 1.5 hours of stretching and passive movement. Iíll have two sessions per week and daily exercises for home/work. The only uncomfortable parts were when the therapist was manipulating the arm and checking range of motion. No road bike riding for 10 weeks, but I should be able to do some wrenching by Christmas.
I couldn't work on my bikes without wanting to ride even more. Wishing you a speedy recovery.
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Old 11-20-19, 02:17 AM
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Originally Posted by bobwysiwyg View Post
If I attach "excruciating" my pain, it's generally much higher than a three.
If its excruciating, then its not a 3. You don't go to the doctor for a 3 or 4 or 5. Though if you already have a doctor's appointment, he should ask you how you feel and may recommend some mild OTC for your pain. However, a level 3 rating is certainly not something that going to get his attention since most of us experience level 3 pain daily.
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Old 11-25-19, 07:08 PM
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Second PT session today. The therapist says I'm much improved over last week. My home exercises take about an hour to complete, and I've been diligent to do them twice a day. Physical manipulation of the arm was more extensive today, and not bad at first, but she found my discomfort zone by the end! I'm doing more "normal" things now, like (gingerly) opening doors and buttoning shirts, but it still aches quite a bit. Each day seems a little better. Nine weeks until I can ride again, if all goes well. I'll get X-rays on the 10th to see how well things have healed.
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Old 11-25-19, 07:20 PM
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patience.

scar tissue is a big pain.keep at it no matter the pain if you can,recovery will be sooner.been through 2 labrum repairs.hope your healing is a success.
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Old 11-26-19, 11:17 AM
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My mom had shoulder replacement surgery back in 2016.. 3 months of PT afterwards and it is like a new shoulder. And she is pushing 80.
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Old 11-26-19, 11:33 AM
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Originally Posted by Hondo Gravel View Post
My mom had shoulder replacement surgery back in 2016.. 3 months of PT afterwards and it is like a new shoulder. And she is pushing 80.
That's great to hear. My ortho says we'll know three months post-op whether a replacement will be needed. I'm hoping not.

Originally Posted by '02 nrs View Post
scar tissue is a big pain.keep at it no matter the pain if you can,recovery will be sooner.been through 2 labrum repairs.hope your healing is a success.
I'm working on the patience... It's great just to be able to move it again.
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Old 12-05-19, 04:48 PM
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Seven weeks post-op now, and beginning week three of physical therapy. Home from work now and icing the shoulder. As of today, I’ve been promoted to the red theraband and two-pound dumbell for exercises. I’m still feeding myself with the left arm and hand. I must say those fine motor skills have come a long way! I’m able to do much more with the arm now, including getting dressed. I’ve been cleared to play a little violin, but I can only manage a few minutes at a time. (My wife commented about how nice it was to hear me playing. Lol) Driving is easier and I can reach the fan control buttons, but not the radio. Wiper controls are just out of reach. I can’t believe how weak the arm is, but the strength is slowly returning. Not yet cleared to ride a regular bike, but I’m hoping to be doing some wrenching by Christmas. My present awaits assembly, but that’s for another thread. I’m seeing the orthopedist next week for xrays. Hopefully he will have good news to report.
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Old 12-11-19, 05:53 PM
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Brief update, eight weeks post-op. Otrhopedist says I'm on target for recovery. He said I could discontinue PT whenever I'm ready, but I'll continue through the end of the year, if not a little longer. No lifting restrictions anymore, but the arm is too weak to lift much anyway. I figure the PT will help with that. He said to stretch as much as possible as often as possible. lol I can reach the windshield wiper stalk and the radio controls now, as well as feed myself. Got two new exercises today(!) and promotion to the green theraband. The arm manipulations were only uncomfortable today. I got good news from the PT as well: I can resume riding at Christmas. I thought that was a fine gift.
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Old 12-11-19, 07:49 PM
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Originally Posted by horatio View Post
Brief update, eight weeks post-op. Otrhopedist says I'm on target for recovery. He said I could discontinue PT whenever I'm ready, but I'll continue through the end of the year, if not a little longer. No lifting restrictions anymore, but the arm is too weak to lift much anyway. I figure the PT will help with that. He said to stretch as much as possible as often as possible. lol I can reach the windshield wiper stalk and the radio controls now, as well as feed myself. Got two new exercises today(!) and promotion to the green theraband. The arm manipulations were only uncomfortable today. I got good news from the PT as well: I can resume riding at Christmas. I thought that was a fine gift.
x ∞ YUP, a good gift for sure
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Old 12-22-19, 06:29 PM
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Originally Posted by horatio View Post
Brief update, eight weeks post-op. Otrhopedist says I'm on target for recovery. He said I could discontinue PT whenever I'm ready, but I'll continue through the end of the year, if not a little longer. No lifting restrictions anymore, but the arm is too weak to lift much anyway. I figure the PT will help with that. He said to stretch as much as possible as often as possible. lol I can reach the windshield wiper stalk and the radio controls now, as well as feed myself. Got two new exercises today(!) and promotion to the green theraband. The arm manipulations were only uncomfortable today. I got good news from the PT as well: I can resume riding at Christmas. I thought that was a fine gift.
Great progress!
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Old 12-28-19, 05:03 AM
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Ten weeks post-op now. Other than general weakness and difficulty sleeping, the arm is much more functional, especially for eating, bathing and getting dressed. I can also adjust the car rear view mirror without trouble. I have one more PT session next week. If everything looks good I will be discharged with home exercises. The therapist says my range is great, I just need to regain strength. The Christmas Day bike ride was pain-free and long overdue. I’ll see the orthopedist in February for follow up. His last advice was to aggressively stretch the arm. I’ll check with the PT for specifics. Wonder if they have any tips for training on the bike? Lol
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Old 01-03-20, 04:47 AM
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Eleven weeks post-op and I’m essentially at the pre-op level of function, i.e. I can lift lighter weights to shoulder level or higher, i.e. putting dishes away in the cabinets, etc. Sleeping is still awkward, but improving slowly. PT assessment has been rescheduled for next week due to work. Still in the tunnel, so to speak, but the light is getting closer. And, yes, I’ve resumed playing violin. My wife has suggested I learn a new piece.
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Old 01-03-20, 07:06 PM
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Originally Posted by horatio View Post
Eleven weeks post-op and Iím essentially at the pre-op level of function, i.e. I can lift lighter weights to shoulder level or higher, i.e. putting dishes away in the cabinets, etc. Sleeping is still awkward, but improving slowly. PT assessment has been rescheduled for next week due to work. Still in the tunnel, so to speak, but the light is getting closer. And, yes, Iíve resumed playing violin. My wife has suggested I learn a new piece.

So, progress. That's cool, you're doing the right things then.
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