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Standard Shoulder Replacement Ten days post op LTSR

Wardiva

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I am 72 and thought I’d only spend a couple of days with my daughter. She has to help me pull my pants up because the right shoulder is also painful. Couldn’t sleep on an inclined bed, so I’m sleeping sitting up. Pain is under control with oxy and Tylenol 650 mg and my ice machine. Today I changed my own dressing. I’ll see the doctor next week.
Was everyone able to function independently right after surgery?
 

Jaycey

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@Wardiva Welcome to BoneSmart! Can you tell us the exact date of your surgery? We will put the information in a signature for you.

Everyone reacts to joint replacement differently. If your non-op shoulder is painful that will certainly be a challenge.

I'm going to tag my colleague @Jamie and see if she has any tips for you. She had her shoulder replaced last year and was alone through her recovery.
 
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Wardiva

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Thank you, Jaycey. My surgery was on August 3, 2020.
Looking forward to hearing from @Jamie.
 

Jamie

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Hi, @Wardiva....welcome to BoneSmart and congratulations on your new shoulder. It doesn't sound like your surgeon gave you much information about what your recovery was going to be like. This is major surgery and it takes a while to regain movement and strength. Your situation will be somewhat more difficult if you have a lot of pain in your other shoulder.

Normally, you'll have 6 weeks in a sling with only passive exercises meant to keep the joint fluid and moving. It's very gentle movement. Were you given a pulley to do passive exercises? You will not be able to use this arm to dress yourself during this time as that engages the muscles and puts strain on healing tissues in the joint. People get quite creative as a "one-armed bandit" during this time.

I lived by myself and did just fine. During the first couple of weeks, I had home health who assisted me with showers and washing my hair. I only wore t-shirts 2 sizes too big and elastic waist shorts that could easily be pulled on and off with my good arm and hand.

Probably my wisest purchase was a battery powered can opener. I still use it because I like it. You can do some light "holding and steadying" with your operated arm and hand, but only with your arm and hand held at waist height and right up against your body.

My surgeon wanted me to sleep upright for several weeks, so it's fine for you to do that. I was not comfortable in a recliner, so I used a foam wedge on the couch. It worked great and I even managed turning on my unoperated side to sleep at times. You need to wear your sling when you're sleeping to ensure that your new should doesn't accidentally move in ways that it shouldn't.

Do you have pets? Caring for them sometimes can be a problem. Tell me what concerns you about going home and I'll try to offer some suggestions.
 
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Wardiva

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Hi @Jamie ,
Thank you so much for responding.
No, my surgeon didn’t give me much information about my recovery. I wasn’t told a front button shirt was best for wearing home until 2 days before surgery. I bought some large tees.
My daughter has helped me with my pants. I bought a long handled toilet aid. It’s really helpful. I even got a mesh sling for showering.
No pets at home.
I have a comfortable chair at home so that will be fine, I hope/think. I don’t think a recliner can come through my doorway.
I’ve been doing my passive exercises.
Do you change your own dressing? I just want to be able to dress myself, and change the dressing when I get home.
At what point was your dressing removed? I didn’t know my sling would be on so long.
Thank you so much great information.
 
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Jamie

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Your home health nurse will change the dressing once you get home. It probably won't be on all that long. Once the wound closes, it's best left exposed to the open air to heal. Just be sure you are able to get some home health assistance at least for a week or two when you get home. Your surgeon can order that for you. If he declines, talk with your GP. You'll feel more comfortable if you have this assistance to settle in being at home by yourself. The key words to getting it are to tell the doctor you live alone, you don't have any family or friends available to help you, and you are fearful for your safety in those first weeks when you go back home.

I believe my dressing was on for a week or two after coming home. I had to wear the sling for 6 weeks.
 

Jaycey

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Congratulations on your one month anniversary! Freedom day! Good luck with your PT. Do let us know how it goes.
 

NamVet

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Hi Wardiva. I have been following your postings as I stepped on the 'other side' the 10th of August 2020. I'm 74 now and it was a very interesting experience to say the least. I have my second post surgery appointment with my doctor the 23rd of Sept. He might allow me to drive then and I believe I start PT next week. Keep us posted on your progress...I'm really interested in how you are doing. Thanks for sharing!
 

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