Reverse Shoulder Replacement Able to lift weights after shoulder replacement?

Wrangler89

new member
Joined
Oct 8, 2022
Messages
2
Age
55
Gender
Male
Country
United States United States
I've struggled with shoulder issues for decades after being active in sports and 30 years of Army (Special Forces) life (dislocations, heavy loads etc.). Two surgeries over the years seem to have stabilized one shoulder and I have semi-normal function and little to no pain. The other shoulder, however is my problem. There is now bone-on-bone and heavy arthritis has set in (no surgery on this one). Doc says routine surgery really isn't an option at this point so we opted for cortisone injections which worked to some degree for a couple of years (injections every 8-12 weeks). Now seeing diminishing returns so elected to try a series of 3 PET injections last month. So far, no relief, but Doc said it could be a couple of months and shoulders don't seem to benefit the same as knees.

Sleep has become a real issue while the shoulder is not mobile. It seems to tighten up and feels almost brittle when I start to get it mobile first thing in the morning. I'm certainly not medically inclined, but assume it's the arthritis doing its thing. I've tried over-the-counter NSAIDS with limited relief. I stay active and still lift moderate weights in the gym every other day or two, but always pay the price the next day. My biggest fear with shoulder replacement is that after recovering, I will be severely limited in my ability to lift weights (even moderately). My Doc is telling me if PET doesn't offer relief, replacement might be my only option other than living with the pain. I've heard some in here express being limited to 11 pounds after replacement! I hate the pain, but I just turned 55 and can still endure it for a while longer if that's what I'm looking at.

I would really appreciate any advice/feedback from anyone who has been in my situation or has knowledge of what reverse shoulder replacement limitations likely look like. Thanks.
 

djklaugh

Staff member since December 30, 2020
BoneSmart Staff
Joined
Sep 5, 2011
Messages
3,745
Age
75
Location
Oregon
Gender
Female
Country
United States United States
@Wrangler89 Welcome to BoneSmart! :welome: It is hard to say whether or not you would be able to return to lifting after having a shoulder replacement. There are too many variables involved to know for sure. Much depends on what kind of replacement you need - a standard replacement vs a reverse replacement. The reverse kind is often used when there is soft tissue damage (rotator cuff tear, or other) plus arthritis and has more restrictions as to range of motion and how much weight can be lifted. The standard kind is used when the problems are mostly arthritis without muscle or tendon damage. The thing about arthritis is that it does NOT get better! Cortisone shots have limited benefit when you are already bone-on-bone. And it will continue to get worse

With any shoulder replacement surgery you would need to take recovery slow -- heal completely before doing any training. And recuperation can take up to 9+ months. Everyone's journey through joint replacement is different - yours may be easier as you are in good physical shape. Me, I was (and still am) a LOL (little old lady) when I had my shoulder joints replaced and have never done any weight lifting. But I can heft loads up to about 25-30 lbs with no problems. Plus, for me, being able to sleep and live my life without pain is a blessing.

Do read through some of the threads here to see how others have managed. And do let us know how you are getting on and what you decide to do.
 

Jaycey

ADMINISTRATOR Staff member since February 2011
Administrator
Joined
Jan 27, 2010
Messages
39,492
Location
Yorkshire
Gender
Female
Country
United Kingdom United Kingdom
@Wrangler89 Welcome to BoneSmart! I think you should have a good discussion with your surgeon about expectations post reverse shoulder replacement. Most surgeons impose weight restrictions after this procedure. Your surgeon will know your own medical situation and can advise.

Be warned, if you do decide to proceed with surgery you will need to abide by any limitations. If you can't stay within limits RTSR may not be right for you.

Have you thought about getting a second opinion?
 
OP
OP
W

Wrangler89

new member
Joined
Oct 8, 2022
Messages
2
Age
55
Gender
Male
Country
United States United States
Thank you djklaugh and Jaycey for your feedback. I think my situation falls into the standard replacement category. I've only consulted with my Sports Med. doc, so I need to meet with an actual surgeon to get his advice. djklaugh, it's great that you can sleep and no longer experience pain. That is certainly my goal, but I guess I have to decide at what price, but it sounds like you're getting along quite well. Regardless of what the surgeon says Jaycey, I think I'll seek a second opinion regardless, just to make sure they agree. This is a great forum and I look forward to reading the other postings.
 

dapplega

member
Joined
Sep 4, 2017
Messages
183
Age
57
Location
WA
Gender
Male
Country
United States United States
Suggest you look into the Ream and Run. Not sure where you are located. Dr. Matsen is the pioneer of this procedure out of the UW Medical Center in Seattle. Dr. Carofino comes highly recommended on the East coast and studied under Dr. Matsen. Either one will look at your xray if you can email it to them. Dr. Matsen has an excellent blog on arthritis and shoulders with a wealth of information. I'd post the link but they won't allow it here. I was told to tell people to Google it :(. Good luck with your decision. PM direct with any questions.
 

Jamie

OneStep AMBASSADOR ..Staff member since Feb, 2009
Senior Administrator
Joined
Mar 24, 2008
Messages
69,938
Age
74
Location
Kansas
Gender
Female
Country
United States United States
OneStep Ambassador Icon
@Wrangler89 ... the key to whether or not you can have a standard shoulder replacement will be the condition of your rotator cuff muscles. The reverse replacement is primarily for those patients who have significant rotator cuff damage.

It is true there are more restrictions with a reverse replacement, so hopefully you'll be able to get a standard shoulder done. Talk with several surgeons in your area and opt to go with the one you are most comfortable with. There are differences in their expertise and approach to helping patients get back to as normal a life as possible. Let us know how things go.

Just as a reference, I had a standard replacement in 2018 and even with a torn bicep tendon that has healed over and was not repaired, I'm able to lift things. For a while I was packing and loading boxes to travel to my lake house. I've sold it now but do lots of things around the house like hauling bags of mulch and dirt or moving furniture around the house. I am not a weight lifter by any means, but use weights in some of my exercise routines with my trainer. Your surgeon is going to be the best person to advise you, so be sure and have this discussion with all the doctors you consult with.
 

beachy

supremo
Joined
May 27, 2018
Messages
2,059
Age
69
Location
Maryland
Gender
Female
Country
United States United States
@Wrangler89
I just saw your post. Haven't been in this forum for a while.
First, thank you for your service. My son was a recon Marine. 2 visits to Iraq (second assault on Fallujah) He's out now. We have a special place in our hearts for special forces!
I had my left shoulder replaced 4/2022. I can lift light weights. And I'm sure I could work up to heavier ones. I just haven't bothered. And I'm 69 yrs young LOL
I was bone on bone with a "significant" bone spur. Pain woke me up and was bad. Sleeping on my left side became almost impossible. So I get it. I had no idea I needed a replacement. Was expecting cortisone.
I would highly recommend a shoulder replacement. It was an easy recovery with minimal pain. You will have to be patient with PT and working up to bigger weights. But, its worth not having the pain..
Good luck and wishing you a blessed Veterans Day.
 

BoneSmart #1 Best Blog

Staff online

  • Jaycey
    ADMINISTRATOR Staff member since February 2011
  • Layla
    Staff member since November 20, 2017

Forum statistics

Threads
61,703
Messages
1,537,310
BoneSmarties
37,567
Latest member
Catmommy
Recent bookmarks
0
Top Bottom