Rotator Cuff Repair Rotator Cuff Repair & Biceps Release

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marieltha

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More on the challenge of sleeping during Recovery:

I get my best night’s sleep if I do not use the iphone/ipad/go online/ watch tv right before bed—and never ever during the night.

Mea culpa, I did that last night—and went to bed later than usual. Two mea culpas.
I find a routine during recovery is essential, and going to bed earlier than my normal is better for overall stamina.

I ice for 20 minutes when I first go to bed, and I do not want to fall asleep with the ice cuffs on. So I do read from a Kindle paperwhite which does not (supposedly) interfere with your brain’s normal sleep stages. The quality of my sleep seems better if I do this.

Anyone else have sleeping tips that work?
 
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marieltha

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Wednesdayy,July 10, 2019

SEVEN WEEKS Since RCR SHOULDER SURGERY

Seven week’s today since my right RCR & biceps release shoulder surgery!


Noticeable improvement in the last two weeks:


Less pain;


More normal feel to the shoulder especially when prone/flat to do overhead stretches; able to reduce the incline of head when sleeping (can now use the weightless/Zero Gravity setting);


Much less need for the sling—only use if the arm is exhausted (I will have it on me whenever I go out into crowded places, though, as a deterrent to being bumped into);


Reduced need for pain meds: No norco for 2 nights( had still been using a half a pill 2x at night), no tramadol for several days, fewer tylenol (6 per 24 hours, which I need more for the sprained knee ligament than the RCR), and changed the second celebrex from with dinner to with a snack at 8pm (less inflammation in the night);


Improved quality of sleep—due, I think, to gradually getting narcotics out of my system and adding the adjustable bed;


Slow but gradual increase in # of sets of stretches assigned for weeks 7-10;


Improved walking, especially my balance;


Continuation of icing w cryocuff 3x during the day, at bedtime, and once in the night; occasional use of tens machine (had OS show me where to place the electrode pads); (Note: Thanks, Josephine, for mentioning using the tens machine—I had one, but had not been using it—it helps!)


Improved stamina ( rest, 8+ hours’ sleep, routine, nutrition).
 

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That's a great report for 7 weeks. It sounds like you're on a roll.
 
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marieltha

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Thanks, Jamie!
Honestly, to me, the rotator cuff tear shoulder surgery recovery has been much more challenging than the knees (although my PKR’s were easier than I expected).
There are far fewer shoulder threads here than knees. Of course, having the use of only one arm and hand for so long cuts down on the online input.
 
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marieltha

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I had an outing today, a routine doctor’s annual appointment not related to the shoulder or knee surgeries. Big medical bldg next to a very busy hospital. Parking is complicated. I felt strong enough to walk in on my own—a first in weeks. My husband dropped me off at the entrance and waited to make sure I could do this (married 47 years and I’m still head over heels in love with my sensible man).

No walker. No cane. Real clothes (sort of—an oversized sleeveless skinny strap dress w deep armholes that the shoulder tolerates). I did wear the sling (even though I do not need it)
as a visual deterrent, I hope, to being bumped into. Nurses saw it and held doors and elevators.

Others were having personal small screen experiences, and didn’t seem to see me or the sling. I’m tall, have a braid that is about 3+ feet long, the dress is bright pink, and the sling is black, so I wasn’t exactly invisible. LOL. I stayed clear of them.

I did fine. And I didn’t have to lie down when I got home, as I would have, even a week or 2 ago.

Very pleased.

Progress.
 
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Jamie

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There are far fewer shoulder threads here than knees.
We are just getting momentum on our Shoulder Forum, so yes it's unfortunate that right now we don't have as many threads available. Stay tuned, though, because there are ever-growing numbers of shoulder surgeries taking place these days.

Your outing sounds like a positive step forward. Everything I read and hear points to rotator cuff repair surgery being the Big Kahuna of procedures. I think you are really correct on that one.
 
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marieltha

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My stamina has shown noticeable improvement the last few days. Better sleep now that I am off the prescription pain meds.

Pain is noticeably less also. The sprained “good leg” ligament (June)hurts the most, the shoulderRCR (May22)is second. The recent left leg lateral (outside)PKR (Mar27) rarely if ever hurts, but it gets stiff and resents having to slow its recovery because of the right leg ligament sprain—-hahaha, if you believe your joints communicate with each other. My hips and feet seem to, constantly!

I do not take vitamins except for D3 ordinarily.

I always tested normal for vitamin D and never took a supplement, until my OS saw my labs and noticed the normal range for a woman my age is 30-90, and I had tested 30 for years. He had me take 5000 for awhile, then 2000, and now 3000. Now I test around 75! Vitamin D3 is the only supplement, until recently, that I have ever taken that I can say I felt better (energy, skin, calmness) after adding it.

My OS recently recommended I add Biotin 10000mcg a day for tendon health. I had a hair skin and nails combo with 5000 in it, so until I could get plain biotin, I took that.

Might be covariant with improved sleep after stopping tramadol and norco, but I thought I felt better right away. So perhaps all my surgeries have depleted my stores of some of the other vitamins included in that combo (top care brand).
Now I am taking the combo to get 5000 and a biotin only 5000 to get the 10,000.
 
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marieltha

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I’m beginning to do a few things two-handed!

I tied my Brooks Addiction walking sneaker laces this weekend!
Have been living in velcro closure (one wide strap) Propet mesh shoes since May. They are very comfortable, btw, and not as old lady looking as the athletic shoes w the two straps. Deep, for orthotics. I cannot wear slippers or slaps, or walk barefoot.

And I even managed a bit of mascara! I could do eyebrows, moisturizer, sunscreen, and foundation with the left hand, but not mascara.

And I can now put my contact lens in and get it out w the right hand. I lower my head some to meet the hand. I practiced doing this w my left hand before the surgery, but couldn’t do it after. I only wear one and it is for distance, not reading. I did get new prescription glasses (distance) prior to the surgery as I knew I wouldn’t feel like using the contact even after the knee surgery, but especially the shoulder repair.

I do not have normal strength in the right hand yet, of course. Every day, it feels a bit more normal, though.
 

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Slow steps forward but it sounds like you're doing just fine. In a few months you should be noticeably different than today. I tell you, these recoveries are NOT for sissies! Hang in there.
 
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I replied as follows to @brs0660 in her thread about her hand discomfort, and decided to add my thoughts here as well:

The affected hand is another unanticipated side
effect of my RCR shoulder surgery. :

@winemama described using her fingers/hand a lot at first (humorous account actually—read her thread if you haven’t already). I had no desire to use mine. Numb, painful, tingly, crampy, swollen, stiff. All gradually wore off, but I am 8 weeks tomorrow and it still isn’t normal. Not wearing rings yet. Still have to avoid clenching.

I very cautiously did the gentle hand/finger wikihow.com exercises after the first couple of weeks. Tried the Chinese bao bao balls, which are still too much, even the small ones. Left hand is getting pretty good with them, though.

LOL, I saw lavender-scented therapy clay advertised on thegrommet.com, and thought that might help the hand, but it was pricey. So I got out my play dough. I actually like the smell of it (Proustian childhood memory?), but it would be easy to add lavender oil to it. The left hand loves squeezing it as a stress reliever as well as ROM aid. I think it is helping the right hand, too; I use a small ball and just gently squeeze it. Something for you later on.

My OS reminds me at every visit of the extent of the tendon involved: From the neck, to the shoulder, down the arm, and all the way to the fingertips.
 
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In the mid-week posting of this newsletter brainpickings.org

The Science of Sleep: Dreaming, Depression, and How REM Sleep Regulates Negative Emotions
 
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marieltha

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B778565B-2C31-469C-8B0F-781BB5D0E53F.jpeg Cats do not like change.

My husband faithfully spent quality time w ours during my 4 surgeries in 16 mos.

Ours was terrified of the walker, in particular.

When I was finally able to sit out on our screened in patio with her after dinner, which is her favorite activity, I was afraid she might not have missed me.

Cats love attention, though, and she quickly responded. I have to rest my feet against her orthopedic patio bed/cushion. Wasn’t sure if she would tolerate that. To my surprise, she curled up facing me and placed her paws on my shoe!

Hope springs eternal.
 
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I was truly excited to go to Lowes yesterday! LOL.
We extended my euphoria by driving to the local state park beach and enjoying the views of the water.

Shoulder (RCR may22) is feeling more normal. More stable. I am sleeping more comfortably. Still being very careful as this repair (polymer anchor reattachment of repaired full thickness tear of the supraspinatus) is slow to heal and easy to re-damage.

My hips feel tight as I am not able yet to do the hips and glutes stretches and exercises I normally do. Getting by with those I can do lying on my back as opposed to my side.

Even a week ago, I could think ONLY of the shoulder and arm (and recovering left pkr and recovering right sprained medial ligament). So I consider this awareness of my hips progress.
 
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I added this to my Left PKR thread, but it pertains to shoulder recovery as well:
All the soft tissue in the knee (and the shoulder and arm) has been traumatized, I was told, so go very slow, be patient, and do not overdo. Tendons and ligaments in particular take months to recover from traumas, I have been told. Also, from my experience as a water-lover, it is very, very easy to overdo in water because it feels so easy. I must do stretches right as I get in, and right as I get out.

Definitions of “overdo” vary. When I last saw my OS, for a followup on my March left PKR, my May shoulder RCR, and my June right knee medial ligament sprain, we discussed definitions. Very helpful. He suggested I stop counting steps. He thought I was doing around 800 a day in perhaps four sessions? I was doing about four times that in four sessions. Plus all the walking just in daily living.

Instead, while the ligament is still aching, he suggested I should walk for 5 minutes once a day (!) and increase by a half a minute a week! He did say I could do a bit more if I walked in the pool (cannot do other yet because of the shoulder) and could carefully practice stairs in the pool, but I must listen to the sprained ligament.

I was shocked by what seemed to me to be such a small amount of walking, but I have done that for the couple of weeks since and am very pleased that the ligament sprain finally feels like it is healing. Keep in mind that just during the course of living, I still end up walking about 2000 steps a day. But I think I was walking about 5000+ before!

And I thought I was taking it easy after the shoulder surgery.
 

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How good that you've realized that you were overdoing the exercise and have cut back to a better level for you recovery. I know it seems like recovery goes painfully slow sometimes, but the rewards of letting your body progress gently at its own pace will be worth it. The pain and/or swelling of trying to push yourself can be counterproductive.
 
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marieltha

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Friday,July26,2019

Nine weeks since my May 22 RCR SURGERY

Thanks,Jamie. You are right!

I am feeling better and stronger every day.

Taking only Celebrex and Tylenol for pain. Plus icing.

Have begun to cautiously sleep for short periods on my left side, using the No Snore bed position on our adjustable bed (slight head elevation with flat legs). The right recovering shoulder is surprisingly okay with this, using either a very small sherpa blanket folded under the arm or a small Bucky seed-filled, curved neck pillow under the arm. The new left PKR (March27) is okay, also a surprise. The time restriction is the slowly healing sprained ligament on the inside of the right leg, which is okay for awhile with a pillow between the legs, but then aches. So back on my back with usually the weightless zero gravity bed position setting (slightly raised head and legs, calculated by NASA for the astronauts LOL). Last night, I stayed in the No Snore position, which surprised me.

This is big progress, though.

The shoulder feels more stable and normal. Big improvement.

I am still very sensitive to any weight on that shoulder, so I wear strapless clothes or very, very light racerback tank tops with thin shoulder straps and deep armholes (prAna organic cotton ones and foundation stretchy modal ones are my favorites—I even sleep in these (prAna.com). I have a Solumbra (sun protection) shirt that is very light and thin that I can now tolerate for short periods when I venture out (Solumbra.com).

I can do the stretching exercises assigned now, even the very difficult one behind the back. I go slowly and gently with all, but especially this one. I do them on the other arm as well, as it is tired of doing all the work.

Still icing four times a day. Still resting, staying hydrated, eating well, and making sure I get at least 8 hours of sleep. I always get up once during the night to use the bathroom and my legs enjoy the walk (44 steps roundtrip plus any extra if I feel very stiff).

Still working on improving stamina after 4 surgeries in 16 months). And avoiding injury. These two pose my biggest challenges now frankly. I feel like I have made headway with regaining my stamina these past two weeks. Insert a big sigh of relief here.

I see the OS next week for the 10-week followup.
 
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marieltha

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In another person’s thread, @ tink (new member no thread yet) asked about energy and high protein diets.
Here’s my reply to her. (Thanks, @Jamie for moving this to my thread).
It took at least 8 weeks for my stamina to improve. Even then, incremental. At 10 weeks now. Only just feeling some distance from the effects of the heavy meds. Only just beginning to sleep better. Sleep and stamina and energy are inextricably linked for me.

Still icing. Also using tens machine.

I like the Zone diet balanced 40-40-30 approach rather than high protein. A high protein dinner, even eaten early, keeps me awake too late. (Cranky and constipated also). I am pescatarian and eat lots of salads, fruits, vegetables, oatmeal, and reasonable portions of whole grain pastas, brown rice, and/ or sweet potatoes. Avoid all nightshade vegs (especially white potatoes) and root vegs, as they aggravate my osteoarthritis.

Still learning the same lesson over and over about pain and sleep. I felt so good, I even cut my daily Tylenol to a total of 4. Returned again to 8, sometimes 6. I also take Celebrex 200, one after breakfast and the other in the evening after a serotonin inducing snack (8am/8pm generally). Noticeable improvement in sleep after moving the second Celebrex from after dinner to later.
 
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marieltha

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Stiffness! @CrazyTom used the TinMan analogy and I think it is very accurate!
There is a simple yoga pose to stretch the spine that I use every day when I get up, and frequently, during the day. It uses gravity to stretch your upper and lower spine and limbs. Right now, I can only do it with the left arm, because of the right rotator cuff repair, but even doing it partially feels good. The first link is to the book by Vanda Scaravelli who remained flexible right up to her passing in her 90’s. She is the pioneer authority on yoga for the spine and stiffness. Do not be put off by the cover pose. Advanced.
The second link is to a youtube video that shows someone in the simple gravity stretching pose (cannot speak to this person or video; I was just trying to find a picture showing the stretch. Arms up (10-11 and 1-2 on a clock) w straight but relaxed legs. Gravity stretching the lower spine. Remarkably simple, and I feel less like TinMan when I do it.
https://www.thriftbooks.com/w/awake...itality-and-energy_vanda-scaravelli/13428750/

PS Would love to hear what others think of yoga. The standing poses for the spine I feel very good doing. I love its sense of inner balance and its healthy breathing, but I do not think it is good for knees—at least not my knees. When my shoulder and leg ligament sprain are healed, I will resume Chi gong and Tai Chi. That is if I ever get out of the pool. I really really really miss being in the water.
Practicing patience.
 
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marieltha

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10 Weeks Followup Right Shoulder Rotator Cuff Repair

Very good improvement.

Very good ROM progress, especially ability to lift arm straight ahead(perpendicular to body), to go over the head, and to go behind the back.

Next:
Continue assigned stretches w gradual increase in number of sets(5reps per set).

Can ever so carefully begin to do more with the arm, as tolerated.

Can ever so carefully begin to lift a bit more than the 1lb, as tolerated.

Increase walking as this will improve stamina.

Take pain meds as needed, especially to ensure improvement of sleep, improvement of activity, and improvement of stamina.

HAPPY HAPPY HAPPY :yellowcat:

 

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