Standard Shoulder Replacement Is stiffness 4 months after surgery normal

Shpco

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17 yrs. Ago I suffered a stroke that effected my left side and left me with a great deal of spasticity in my left arm. I am 6 weeks into my recovery and still have quite a bit of stiffness. I have trouble doing some of the exercises because my arm doesn't straighten and my PT has trouble stretching my shoulder due the muscles not relaxing. I started taking baclofen a muscle relaxer. But it hasn't seem to help.Just wondering if anyone else has had this problem. And is it normal to have tightness 6 weeks in?
 

Jaycey

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@Shpco :welome:to BoneSmart!

Can you tell us what surgery you had and which shoulder? The information will help us to advise you.

In any case, stiffness just 6 weeks post op is totally normal. Are you icing your shoulder? Ice will help reduce any swelling that is causing the stiffness.
 
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Shpco

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Sorry I had total replacement on my left shoulder the same one that suffer the damage. The reason I'm concerned is several years earlier I had the MPC joint in my right hand fused (The hand I thought I had no spasticity in ) and the surgeon used staples to hold the fusion together instead of plate and screws. And according to the surgeon I popped both staples due to the spasticity. Luckily the joint was together long enough that it fused. And I didn't have to have another surgery. Sorry for being so long winded
 

Jaycey

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What date was your surgery? I'm going to tag my colleague @djklaugh who has had both shoulders replaced. Maybe she can comment on the stiffness you are experiencing and the exercises she was doing post op.
 

djklaugh

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@Shpco You are not being long winded at all! Yes it is normal for the new shoulder and arm to be stiff even 6 weeks after surgery. Both of mine felt stiff and tight for over 3 months. And given the problems you have with spasticity on that side it will probably take you that long or longer to get the maximum functionality with this shoulder. You might check with your surgeon to see if there is a different muscle relaxant you could try.

With each of my shoulders my out patient physical therapy did not even start until 6 weeks after the surgery!

Also have you ever tried getting a massage? Perhaps your PT could do some massage before doing exercises or movements with the new shoulder. Also if your PT person does not have experience working with patients who have had a stroke you might ask if there is anyone at that facility who does have such experience.

My mother in law had a stroke and partial paralysis on her left side and when she went for PT following the stroke she was assigned to someone who had extensive training and experience -- and it did help her quite a bit.

I hope your recuperation will progress smoothly!
 
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Shpco

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Thank you so much I'm so happy I found this site to hear it from someone who has gone through it makes me feel so much better.
 
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Shpco

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Here is something that just happen. About two months prior to surgery while at my annual ENT appointment I told him about a hacking cough I had,so he prescribed Singular and told me he would see me back in 3 months. After TSR my surgeon had me take a full dose aspirin twice a day. Now I have been on a low dose aspirin since my stroke 17 years ago which I stopped. After being told to take the 325mg. Well this past Wednesday I coughed up some phlegm and immediately got the taste of copper so I spit it into a napkin and to my shock there was blood. So I called called my ENT who order a chest X-Ray and told me stop the aspirin saw his PA who scoped my airway and informed me there was some slight irritation in my airway . And with aspirin thinning my blood it possibly caused the blood. Everything was normal on my X-Ray. Haven't had any blood since Thursday. So be careful of over the counter medication I was also taking ibuprofen as a pain and anti inflammatory after my rehab sessions.
 

Jaycey

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Yikes - sounds like you had a lucky break there @Shpco . Both aspirin and ibuprofen are NSAIDs (Non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs) and both can be very rough on the stomach. The increase in aspirin plus taking ibuprofen sound downright dangerous. Glad you got this sorted quickly!
 
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Shpco

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I'm at my 4 month mark and still have quite a bit of stiffness. I feel my range of motion is coming along able reach into a cabinet, shampoo my hair and with a little difficulty wash under the opposite armpit . The pain is very minor except if I try to rotate out (like I was throwing a pitch) Had TSR on arm that suffers spasticity due to stroke can't straighten my arm out completely so I realize I'm not going to be without some stiffness.
 

SaraK

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I had rotator cuff surgery instead of TSR but I would assume it's similar in this regard. I had good range of motion at 4 months but not full and there was a bit of discomfort with some movements. I lift weights and, while I was able to start lifting (building up very slowly) at 4 months, it was probably another couple of months before I could use a straight bar instead of a safety bar because I couldn't move that shoulder back enough. So don't think where you are now is where you'll end up. You will continue to improve as time goes on.

Reaching cross body and pulling something back from there were 2 of the harder movements for me. It took me a long time to be able to comfortably reach over and scratch the outside of the opposite shoulder, but it did finally happen.
 

Pumpkin

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@Shpco
You will notice your most recent thread has been merged with your original recovery thread. Having your recovery in one thread gives you a diary of your recovery and allows staff to better advise you having your history in one place.
Thanks,
Chris
 
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Shpco

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Checking back in 7 months in from TSR still having pain when I move it a certain way & stiff later in the day and day after doing my band exercises that were given to me to do after finishing rehab 3 weeks ago . Is this something I should be concerned about?
 

SaraK

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What has your surgeon or PT had to say? It does take time to fully get back to where you were. While I was released to (gradually). Increase activities at 4 months after rotator cuff surgery, it still took a few more months to be able to hold a barbell on my shoulders and about a year to get close to lifting the same weights I did pre-injury. It is difficult for me to say whether you're having more trouble than normal or should be concerned - especially since you have pre-existing issues to complicate things.

Have you had any improvement in last 3 months?
 
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Shpco

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Since my last post I've seen improvement in both range of motion and pain. I've been doing a lot of chores around the house just simple stuff sweeping the deck,vacuuming the pool etc that I feel helps me.regain some of movement back.
 

SaraK

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That's so good to hear! Sometimes it seems like doing normal activities provide for quicker progression - maybe it's just feeling like you're getting back to normal and maybe muscle memory. In any event, a good development!
 

Dan1959

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Good evening Shpco

Glad to hear you are doing normal activities again.
As sarah indicated this truly is a marathon not a sprint

I have had:
Revision of Right TSR sept 2021
Right subscap repair april 2020
Right subscap repair dec 2019
Right subscap repair oct 2018
Right subscap repair aug 2016
Right TSR june 2015
Right Bicep tendinosis feb 2011
subscap repair feb 2011
SLAP repair feb 2011

please dont try to fight your way through pain. Listen to your body. What i have found most helpful is to break up chores into manageable pieces, not everything has to be done in the same day.

I hope you continue to improve with your ROM etc on a daily basis
 

Jamie

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Remember that it can take up to a year (sometimes even more) for complete recovery from this surgery. With my shoulder, I was still working on improving some of my movements for several years. Now I'm pretty much normal with the exception of reaching behind my back. So, definitely give yourself more time. You've been through a lot.
 

Hopeful Manch

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Remember that it can take up to a year (sometimes even more) for complete recovery from this surgery. With my shoulder, I was still working on improving some of my movements for several years. Now I'm pretty much normal with the exception of reaching behind my back. So, definitely give yourself more time. You've been through a lot.
Hi I’ve just read your post hoping to try and find something that might help my situation, you may have read some of my posts Hopeful Manch , now 8 weeks after my reverse shoulder replacement I Still have a lot of pain , my mental state is not great at times ( I think why did I have it done ) I haven’t had a full nights sleep since the op my movement is getting better all the time but the pain is getting me down , When does it end !! . I do things around the house after I’ve taken my painkillers ( I cannot just sit on my backside until I’m 100% ) then like clockwork after 4 to 6 hours Pain , I have a phisio tomorrow for more exercises and more pain , should I just man up , How Long does the Pain go on for . Do many people get this mild depression over pain , I am aware of taking Too many painkillers which kind of scares me I’ve read so much about addiction, and it sort of happened to me with “ibuprofen” too many which gave to some problems I ended up in hospital and was told No more . So with my shoulder with oxy 4 hour instant and 12 hour which doesn’t last 12 hour I’m really wary of taking to much . Sorry for going on , am I being impatient, thank you for this chance to vent on this forum .
Stephen
 

Jamie

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Stephen, it is a fairly common reaction to pain to feel somewhat depressed. In reality you are still newly out of this surgery at just 8 weeks.

What exercises are you doing? And tell me what other things you're attempting with your shoulder. Your therapy should not give you serious pain, so I'm wondering if you're attempting too much at this point in your recovery. Your exercises should be more for movement and fairly gentle, rather than any type of strength building.
 

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