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Standard Shoulder Replacement NamVet's TSR Recovery

NamVet

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Greetings everyone-I'm a newby to this forum. Went to the 'other side' in Kalamazoo Michigan on August 10th. A special hello to 'Schpooko'! I'll just give a little info on me to help encourage: Nearly 74. Male. Retired general contractor, martial artists, strength coach. Surgery on dominant hand. 5 weeks out. Still sling use, exercising 3 times a day. Go for 2nd post Dr. appt on the 24th of Sept. No post surgery pain after 1st day! Took pain-killers only 3 days (cause wife made me). Difficulties: Getting dressed with one hand (especially zipping up pants). Wore pj bottoms for 1st two weeks mostly. Showering was an experience. Being an independent person, the TSR has really re-arranged my thinking. This experience will provide you with a good measurement as to how solid your marriage (relationship) is in a few areas. Would I do this again? Can't say yes quite yet...but perhaps after another month or so, I'll have a different perspective. In summary, this has been quite the experience, but pales in comparison to what some of you have experienced, and for that I am grateful. Blessings on all of you on both sides of this surgery!
 

Celle

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Hello @NamVet - and :welome:

I've moved your post from schpooko's thread and started a recovery thread for you.

This is where you should write about your recovery, ask questions, and receive advice, if you need it.

It sounds as if you're doing very well in your recovery. Best wishes for continuing smooth progress.
 

Lexus05

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Welcome to this forum, NamVet. It looks like you're doing good especially with the pain. I had my left standard shoulder replacement 7/21/2020 and I am doing physical therapy twice a week plus at home exercise. I've had several knee replacements and the pain is totally different, but this still hurts. Especially when you don't have any pain medication to take before physical therapy sessions. I'm not to take Tylenol and ANSAIDS don't work for me. And my orthopedic surgeon found osteoporosis in my shoulder while doing the replacement. There is no guarantee my new shoulder will hold. There's my status.
 
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NamVet

NamVet

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Thank you Lexus for your reply and encouragement!
This is a wonderful site, and I feel so thankful that I found it. There was a time right after surgery that I felt like I was on an island with no hope of being rescued. But after finding this site, I realize I am not alone-in fact as you said I am making progress. Sometimes it takes someone else to tell you that everything is as it should be...and you are that person. Be careful with that shoulder!!!!
 
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NamVet

NamVet

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For anyone interested in my progress with recovery, I looked at some notes I took about my post surgery condition a week after surgery. "Why did I do this?" "'Helpless' is the only word that I can think of to describe myself!" "Why no appetite?" "What did the anesthesia do to me?" "Sleeping in a recliner every night is nuts!".
Now a few notes I recently wrote down just before I joined this wonderful forum (nearly 5 weeks post surgery): "Yes! I wonder if the doc will tell me to abandon this sling (with caution) on my next visit on the 24th of Sept." I wonder when I can sleep on my side again?" "Never had any 'pain', mostly just an occasional ache-seems to be at the top of my arm bone. Maybe where that stem was inserted? Tolerable for sure." "Good to use both hands to wash my hair."

Hope this helps someone just on the other side.
 

Lexus05

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I slept in the recliner for about 2 weeks with the ice machine going. Then I fixed the sofa so my upper body was elevated, but I could sleep on my unaffected side that way and the back of the sofa supported my back so I couldn't turn on my affected shoulder. My orthopedist let me out of the shoulder immobilizer at 5 1/2 weeks and I didn't have to wear a sling unless I thought I was going to pick up something heavier than 10 lbs. I went back to my bed that night, but there are times it's uncomfortable because my shoulder moves towards my ear if my head isn't elevated and in that position I am very uncomfortable. I'll get used to it eventually! I'm having nerve pain where the nerves are rejuvenating, and boy will that wake you out of a dead sleep. Hope you get out of your sling soon!! Take care of that shoulder.
 
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NamVet

NamVet

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Another short progress update: Was supposed to have my 45 day checkup but on way to Dr., our car had a flat. Missed appointment-rescheduled for next Tuesday (29 September 2020). In the meantime, I went several days without the sling while I was home. The first night, I had a little ache in my new shoulder joint and couldn't seem to get comfortable. The next night was pretty much pain free. PS: To those who are on the most recent post surgical side of this operation: I did lots of sleeping in a recliner, then slowly migrated to my bed. It took me a couple weeks in the recliner then to the bed. All sleeping for me was on my back because I slept with the sling. A suggestion: I used a folded bath towel for my pillow to keep from bending my neck so much while sleeping. I also used a small folded hand towel set underneath the top of my recovering shoulder to keep the shoulder ball from pulling on the newly repaired rotator cuff. I'll keep posting my progress and suggestions as I remember them. It DOES get better!
 

Jaycey

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@NamVet Bad luck with the flat tire! Sounds like you are doing well. Recliners are the way to go if you must back sleep.

Let us know how it goes on Tuesday.
 

Lexus05

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Sorry you missed your appointment. You would probably be starting physical therapy very soon.
I continue to have nerve pain in my arm, but I don't let it interfere with my daily activities. I continue to have issues with sleeping as I can't sleep on my back, I can't get comfortable enough to sleep without waking up to change positions. Woke up this morning with my upper arm in a spasm and my husband had to massage it to get it to stop. My next appt. with doctor isn't until October 8.
Keep up the good work! Best of luck at your next appt. with the doctor.
 

Pumpkln

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Assuming your elbow is on the bed.
Try a folded hand towel under your elbow to keep your shoulder in alignment, you will have to try how many layers are just right for you. Usually one or 2 folds is enough to bring the elbow in comfortable line with the shoulder.
 
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NamVet

NamVet

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Update: Greetings to those contemplating TSR and those of us 'on the other side'. Just got back from the Dr.'s office (45 day check up) and I now have the all clear: I can drive, not wear sling, sleep on my surgery side, mow lawn, etc-of course all done with caution. I also have a new list of home exercises I will be doing as he is pleased with my progress (I was once upon a time a strength coach for several local high schools which helps me understand physiology and muscle movement). I did suggest that his office could do a better job of explaining (during a pre-surgery office visit) the problems a patient might have the first 2-3 weeks if the dominant arm (mine was) was the one operated on. This included but not limited to: tooth brushing without bloodying your lip, combing a straight line in your hair, showering and what tools to use to clean any crevices, accurately handling toilet paper, managing a fork without dropping the food, puncturing your cheek, or accidentally inserting spaghetti up your nose. Anyhow...the Dr.'s office provided me with a suggestion sheet and said they would welcome suggestions. Hope this helps some of you considering TSR and those on the mend. It does get better!
 
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NamVet

NamVet

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For those that are interested in my progress: I'm now 53 days past my surgery. I've gone through the first period which I shall call 'post surgery shock' (1-week), then the second period named 'adjustments and acceptance' (two weeks), and next 'hope and anticipation' (two more weeks). Finally, the countdown to the final week (total six weeks) of 'leaving the sling thing'. The first six weeks of 'PT' was passive movements and now I am into more intense therapy. Trust me new TSR candidates...this will be difficult. I am approaching this period with enthusiasm because those that I communicate with that have gone before me indicate that this is one of the most critical times in your journey to healing. It is your future range of motion-created by slowing stretching and strengthening your weakened muscles. It is indeed challenging, but do the best you can. Slow and consistent seems to be the secret! Good luck fellow bionics.
 

Celle

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I'm still waiting for my shoulder replacement, but my surgeon has already warned me that complete recovery will take a long time - as long as a year for complete recovery. He said that I should plan for slow and steady improvement, and not set dates for when I expect to be able to do things.
 
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NamVet

NamVet

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Hi Celle-From everything I have read and watched before and after my surgery, your doctor is 100% correct (spoken by my physician also)! My wife's uncle is 84 and had this surgery done 1 year ago by the same doctor I had on the his right (dominant) shoulder. I have observed his progress and that helped determine my decision(s). He (and his wife) are very active in their church, yard work, helping others, fishing, gardening, etc.. After about 6 months, he was back to doing everything as before...although he uses his left hand now more than his right. Thank you for this site and your interest in all of us who have new joints!
 
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NamVet

NamVet

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Update: 63 days after shoulder replacement surgery. Things are returning to normal...a little bit at a time. Sleeping is interesting as I do wake up occasionally with a little numbness and ache in the shoulder. I can sleep on the new shoulder side at an angle. PT at home 3 times a day and I seem to be getting stronger but any exercises behind the back are still a struggle. I don't lift much with the right arm when I am doing things around the house (it is fall here in Michigan). I am glad I have young nephews in my family who help with the heavier tasks. Today's mood: Helpless? Yes-some. Hopeful? Yes!
 

Jaycey

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@NamVet Hot helpless - all this is temporary. Sounds like you are making great progress. Lifting will come later.
 

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