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Just scheduled total shoulder replacement

Discussion in 'TUG Lounge' started by artringwald, Dec 5, 2018.

  1. artringwald

    artringwald TUG Member

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    The MRI showed that the cartilage in my shoulder is worn out and I'll need total shoulder replacement. I'm scheduled for next March. Anyone gone through this? I've had both knees replaced, so I know it won't be fun, but any advice would be appreciated.
     
    mpumilia likes this.
  2. rapmarks

    rapmarks TUG Review Crew: Elite TUG Member

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    Good luck to you
     
  3. moonstone

    moonstone TUG Member

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    I haven't had it done, but am probably looking at needing it within the next few years. I screwed both shoulders up from my work in a nursing home for many years. When I first started we didn't have the mechanical lifts for people so 2 of us would "transfer" people from wheelchairs to beds or toilets and back many dozens of times per day. Some of those people weighed upwards of 200 pounds. I have stretched (they didn't tear) my rotator cuffs to the point that my shoulder joints don't sit in the right spot and that is now causing the bones to wear out. Most of the cartilage is already gone.

    My neighbour had his left shoulder replaced last winter right after he retired. He did the follow up physio for a few months until he got tired of driving 30 mins each way several times a week for it. He said he'd do the exercises at home. Well you know how that goes. He can't extend his arm straight up above his head and has to watch how he puts on & takes off sweaters or other over the head tops. He isn't pleased at the result and is stalling at having the other one done.

    So my advice is; do the physio, as much, as long and as they recommend. Good luck!


    ~Diane
     
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  4. Chrisky

    Chrisky TUG Member

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    I do not have experience with a shoulder replacement, but I have a friend who has had both shoulders replaced, one just this past summer. Both replacements went very well. As Moonstone has mentioned, your replacement will only be successful if you do the physiotherapy not only just what you are told to do, but probably for much longer. As with all replacement surgeries, strengthening and stretching is extremely important. Good luck.
     
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  5. Phydeaux

    Phydeaux TUG Member

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    Advice: Listen to and follow your PHYSICIANS instructions. Listen to and follow your follow up, post-op instructions. Listen to and follow your physical therapists instructions. Addendum: When you don't understand something, or have a question, SPEAK UP, and ask. Far too many patients are along for the ride, and don't ask enough questions. This is your health.

    Every single patient is different. Every single surgery is different. Every single recuperation is different. Every single outcome is different. Please, please. Keep this in mind as you read the subsequent replies from people with their experiences. Their experiences were THEIR experiences.

    Best wishes.
     
    Last edited: Dec 6, 2018
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  6. BJRSanDiego

    BJRSanDiego TUG Member

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    Hi Art, Sorry to read that you need this surgery. From what I know, it is a well established type of surgery and in six months your will be able to do fairly vigorous movements.

    I had rotator cuff tendon re-attachment surgery about 5 years ago. The doctor was an expert on shoulder surgery, having done at least a couple of thousand. So I had a lot of confidence in the procedure. It was a more involved/complicated surgery than he usually did. But he did well and after tons of PT, I'm basically at the 100% point.

    I am a strong believer in PT. I duplicated all of the PT apparatus so that on the days that I did not have PT, I did my exercises at home.

    Good luck on your surgery. I hope that everything goes well and your recovery is swift.
     
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  7. slip

    slip TUG Review Crew: Veteran TUG Member

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    Good luck with the surgery Art!
     
  8. artringwald

    artringwald TUG Member

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    From my knee replacements I know how important PT can be, both before and after. Several weeks of pain and discomfort can prevent a life time of limited range of motion. It's been a year since my last knee replacement, and both knees are working well. :) I've talked to several people whose knee replacements didn't go well, and some of it was due to lack of conscientious PT. I'll due my best to do whatever they tell me.
     
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  9. artringwald

    artringwald TUG Member

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    My SIL was an RN on a geriatric psych ward, and the transfers led to a bad back and a hip replacement. Now she works on a juvenile psych ward, which is less demanding physically, as long as she is quick enough to duck when they throw chairs. :)
     
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  10. mpumilia

    mpumilia TUG Review Crew: Veteran TUG Member

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    I have not, but I wish you lots of luck and a speedy recovery. I suddenly have an issue with my leg the past 2 months and have an appt with an orthopedist tomorrow.

    This decreased mobility is no fun. I’m not used to it and have no clue how it even happened.

    Again, good luck and hopefully you will be good as new.
     
  11. Sea Six

    Sea Six TUG Member

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    IMG_2223.JPG My wife had a total shoulder done last fall. Very painful, and the therapy is a bitch, but if you let them push you, you will get most of your mobility back. Not all of it. The laws for dispensing pain meds changed here in FL, so it was a pain to get the refills done so frequently because you can only get so many pills at a time. She's doing fine now, but has limited reach and has trouble lifting things above her shoulder height. Her shoulder was broken to pieces during an accident, so she had no choice.
     
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  12. Sea Six

    Sea Six TUG Member

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    Carl iPhone 6S 11-14-2018 414.JPG This summer was the total knee.
     
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  13. JohnPaul

    JohnPaul TUG Review Crew: Expert TUG Member

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    My husband had a reverse shoulder replacement about two years ago. The reverse part comes from moving the ball and socket to the opposite sides. This allows someone without rotator cuff muscles to lift their arm.

    I'm not sure how that compares to "total shoulder replacement". However, his experience was excellent. Only overnight in the hospital and a few hours in surgery (vs 8 hours for his spinal surgery). Obviously time in a sling and PT to get back to action.

    Good luck with your surgery. Surgery is always hard but fixing the underlying problem is usually a great thing.
     
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  14. geist1223

    geist1223 Guest

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    Not being a doctor but having dealt with many surgeons of many different specialties during my last 13 years of work before retirement. Having many long conversations with them in the privacy of their offices. Also having more and more of my friends grow older. I came to realize the error many people make when dealing with surgeons, especially orthopedic surgeons. Seldom if ever can an orthopedic surgeon cure you or restore your body parts to the condition they were in 10 years ago. The honest ones will tell you the goal is to restore some mobility/usefulness to the joint and to reduce the pain. I had many of them tell me that they would not undergo some of the orthopedic surgeries they regularly performed unless the joint was basically totally incapacitated. I knew one orthopedic surgeon that used an unloader brace rather than have major knee surgery.
     
  15. artringwald

    artringwald TUG Member

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    How long was she in a sling? How long was it before she could start PT?
     
  16. artringwald

    artringwald TUG Member

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    After having both my knees replaced, I'm really happy with the results. They aren't as good as they were 10 years ago, but now I can walk without pain, and I can even play racquetball. As others have said, PT is really important. My shoulder has been hurting for almost two years, and the past 2 months the pain has become more intense. As I see it, I want to get it over with while I'm still young enough to be motivated to do the PT.
     
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  17. moonstone

    moonstone TUG Member

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    Also I was told that when the shoulder is so painful you stop or severely restrict the use of it, the muscles will atrophy and then you will have problems regaining a lot of strength after the surgery. My orthopedic surgeon told me it will be better to have the surgery before I get to that point. I will follow your progress.


    ~Diane
     
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  18. Sea Six

    Sea Six TUG Member

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    My wife suffered a terrible trip and fall on Labor Day 9/4/2017.
    We didn't think it was so bad, so decided to wait until Dr was open the next day - no emergency room.
    9/5/17 - went to see Dr - sent her for X-Rays. X-Ray reveals shoulder is shattered - schedules orthopedic surgeon visit next day.
    9/6/17- Surgeon schedules surgery for 9/14 - a week after the visit and learning how bad it was.
    Since hurricane Irma hit us on 9/10, we were evacuated and the surgery was cancelled. Everything was closed due to no power and boil water notices. Don't bother calling 911.
    9/22/17 - the hospital opened and she finally had the surgery. She was the ONLY PATIENT in the hospital.
    9/27/17 - she had her staples out, a bandage change, and an initial therapy (not much to speak of, still healing)
    10/2/17 - she begins her second of 25 scheduled therapy sessions.
    Therapy is GRUELING for this procedure. She goes 2 or 3 times a week, and it is painful as they stretch her arm out.
    10/31/17 - this is just therapy session 10 of 25.
    11/30/17 - therapy session 19 of 25
    12/21/17 - therapy session 25 of 25. She has recovered much more mobility than they expected. She can almost lift her arm straight up in the air. They say she should expect the pain to last for up to a YEAR! And they were right. Total shoulder replacement is supposedly one of the worst things you can get. I think she was just on tylenol after about 4 or 5 months, but she still has pain.

    Now she has her knee to take care of.

    The knee was a piece of cake compared to the shoulder.
     
    Last edited: Dec 7, 2018
  19. artringwald

    artringwald TUG Member

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    Fortunately, I can still move my arm around as long as I don't put any pressure on the joint. I wasn't able to use it to try and get out of a chair or get out of bed, but it's been less painful since an x-ray guided cortisone shot 3 weeks ago. The first 2 shots I got last year didn't help at all, so I can't depend on those helping in the future.
     
  20. BJRSanDiego

    BJRSanDiego TUG Member

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    When I've been in the hospital with a painful situation, they ask me what my pain level was on a 1 to 10 scale. So I replied. At one time, I reported that it was a 6 to 8. It was the case of some sort of broken something. Then I had kidney stones. It was much worse. So, I adjusted my reference. What I had previously said was a 6-8 was now only a 4 or 5. So, with the kidney stone, I was now experiencing an 8. Then I had major shoulder surgery. As I came out of surgery the doctor gave me post-op directions and recommended that I apply ice for the first 24 hours. But I was so dopey that I didn't remember that. So, then, perhaps 12 to 18 hours later (without ice) that nerve block wore off and my pain was out of control. I was experiencing a 10 on the scale. So, my previous pain level of an eight was down graded to perhaps a six. It took me a couple of days to get my pain under control. Narcotics plus transcendental mediation. I found that if I did TM that I could momentarily make the pain go away. But any surprising noise or distraction broke that concentration. And the pain returned. So, now - - after having experienced the worst pain in my life - - I have re-adjusted and admit that my worst pain level was "only" an eight. When I was at an eight, I was still - - barely - - conscious. The pain was horrible but I figure that there is likely a higher pain level that I not yet reached. Thank goodness.

    So, bottom line - - shoulder surgery can be painful. It helps to start early on pain meds so that it doesn't go out of control. TM also helps. Best of luck, Art and "God speed".
     
  21. Sea Six

    Sea Six TUG Member

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    Thanks BJR - my wife agrees her shoulder surgery has been the MOST painful of her life, and she's had them all. She's just feeling better after a year, and now has two other major issues to focus on. Feel better , Poohie!
     
  22. artringwald

    artringwald TUG Member

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    DW agrees with having to readjust her pain scale after a kidney stone. Hers got stuck and they had to do Shock Wave Lithotripsy to break it up. Ouch!

    With my knee replacements, oxycodone didn't get rid of the pain, but it made me care less about it. There was only once in the hospital when I maxed out on it and they would have given me something stronger, but I got through it. I didn't have any trouble giving up oxycodone after the pain went away because it would keep me awake at night. The pain seemed to be worse when I didn't have anything else to do except think about the pain. What helped me get through it was noise cancelling headphones with a long play list. I paid much more attention to the lyrics and noticed things I hadn't noticed before in songs I had listened to many times. I hope I never have to discover a level 10 pain.
     
  23. Sea Six

    Sea Six TUG Member

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    PS I know the leg sutures look so random, but the first thing they do is draw lines across your leg so they know to sew the opening back together where it came from. Her leg looks NORMAL now all the skin is back where it belongs! Both her knee and her shoulder look almost back to normal! It takes a long time, but she's still my little Poohie!
    \
    The knee looks worse than the shoulder, but NO NO NO that is not the case! The shoulder is so much worse. Good luck with that!
     
    Last edited: Dec 7, 2018
  24. BJRSanDiego

    BJRSanDiego TUG Member

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    From what I've read, shoulder replacement surgery and the associated recovery is both fairly quick and the pain level isn't extreme. I hope that your surgery and recovery goes well, old friend.
     
  25. geist1223

    geist1223 Guest

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    Many people do not understand the 1 to 10 Pain Scale. When reviewing Medical Reports I would frequently see people report 8 to 10 Pain. I remember asking a Doctor what was true level 10 pain. She explained that it meant that the pain was so bad that you had rather kill yourself than endure the pain. So the two times I have had Kidney Stones while painful was not Level 10. At one point the pain knocked me out of the chair at dinner and I ended up on the floor. Several years later when I had a second occurrence it was like my body/brain knew what was coming and shut down the pain receptors. I remember talking to a friend that experienced both child birth and kidney stones. She told me kidney stones was worse.
     

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