Reverse Shoulder Replacement The first day post op

Hackney

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After reading many of these stories, I could see how people might get a bit apprehensive about having shoulder replacement. Adding stress to what is inevitably a difficult time doesn’t help.
In the spirit of capturing the positive energy & excitement that this great new chapter holds, I’d like to assure anyone heading into surgery that IT CAN BE BASICALLY PAIN FREE. I had a reverse total shoulder replacement yesterday. I was back home hooked up to an ice machine in my recliner with supportive pillows to keep my arm in position by 4 PM. Had a light supper & LOTS to drink ( sooo thirsty) watched some TV with hubby & slept fine. Woke up a bit achy but nothing to speak of. Ice machine is key. So far so good. Take heart & good luck.
 
This is a great start and am glad to read that you are icing and resting. You probably had a nerve block which helps to ease the first day or so--which is great because it helps to get organized at home, etc. But don't be alarmed if the discomfort increases a bit, it's normal.

Congratulations on your new shoulder!
 
You’re right about the nerve block wearing off. They told me it would. Still, not too bad so far.
 
@Hackney Welcome to the other side! Keep that ice going. Many of our shoulder forum members had great pain management using ice.

I look forward to following your recovery!
 
At 2:30 AM pain barged into my consciousness like a major chord being struck on a pipe organ in an old horror movie. BOOM!
The nerve block wore off & reality set in. Hubby got up around 5:30 & got me fresh ice & pain meds. Back on track now. It was tolerably rough for a while.
I felt quite accomplished in switching out socks, undies, pants and putting on a fresh new shirt only to discover I cannot button it. The first person that walks in the door today is in for a surprise LOL
 
I'm only 3 weeks post TSR. Things improve fast at first. Stay positive. Glad you have help. My wife has been fantastic, although doesn't have to to much for me except drive at this point.
 
I had a reverse total shoulder replacement yesterday. I was back home hooked up to an ice machine in my recliner with supportive pillows to keep my arm in position by 4 PM. Had a light supper & LOTS to drink ( sooo thirsty) watched some TV with hubby & slept fine. Woke up a bit achy but nothing to speak of. Ice machine is key. So far so good. Take heart & good luck.
Hello Hackney,

Congrats on your new shoulder. I am so glad that you are posting. You are a lttle over a week ahead of me. I will be having reverse total shoulder surgery on Friday. I am assuming that you slept in the recliner? I am trying to decide whether I want to sleep in one of our two recliners or on the sofa where I often fall asleep sitting up or in the bed with lots of pillows. I lookd forward to reading your posts and following your recovery. Prayers for your recovery.
 
Hi there! You are in the final countdown to a BIG IMPROVEMENT to your life & future. I’m sure you were doing everything you can think of to get ready in advance. Based on what I have read and my own experience, an absolutely vital part to organize is your ice machine. Have it easily accessible to your primary resting spot. In my case it is on a chair against the wall centered between two different recliners. Put it on a stable raised surface so it does not have to pump uphill too far. I find it very helpful to be able to switch from one chair to the next. You’ll be surprised how tedious it is for your body to be stuck in just one place. Switching locations helps a lot. My old Donjoy Iceman (ebay $150 + new shoulder pad) has a long enough hose to allow moving from one chair to the other without disconnecting. On that topic, I found it easier to simply leave the pad attached to the hose, take it off and pull the little plug on the front when I need to head to another room. At first I tried leaving the pad velcro’ed in position & detaching it from the hose, but pushing the couplers back together takes more strength than I wanted to exert with my operative arm. If I want to sit in the kitchen for a while or try being on a wedge pillow in the bedroom , I wrap a blue gel ice pack in a kitchen towel & take it with me. I quickly discovered what an annoying hassle ice packs are compared to the iceman pad! I have used it around the clock at a moderate setting so as not to cause skin damage. I have only minimal swelling or bruising directly at the incision site, nowhere else. Surgery was on Wed & by Fri pain was controlled by Tylenol until bed time. I credit this to the ice machine. Good luck!
 
Tomorrow will be 1 week.
Today I forgot to take Tylenol then opted not to when I did remember. Will probably want it to get through the night but totally unnecessary for now. I only mention this by way of encouragement to others. I still use & LOVE the Iceman.
Interestingly, the actual incision site & joint don’t really bother me. It’s the bicep area demanding all the attention. Surgical notes say the bicep was cut & transferred to the Pectoralis major /tendon. I won’t see my doctor for another week to ask: Is this what feels tight & limiting midway above the elbow? I am afraid to push ROM for fear of tearing what feels very tight. I am following suggested steps for TSR exercises but worry this biceps thing might mitigate things
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@Hackney Yes it is most probably the healing tissues that are causing the feelings you report. And 1 week post total shoulder replacement is much too soon to be concerned about range of motion! Heal first!! Then think about getting ROM and strength back to normal. It takes a lot of time and energy to heal from major surgery ... so even if patience has not been in your wheel house, now is the time to cultivate it :) And yes pushing ROM now could indeed cause more trauma to those already traumatized muscles.
 
Once I understood the biceps transfer to pec part of my surgery, it became clear that this is the source of the occasional sharp pang of pain & limiting factor in the passive ROM exercises I was given. I have one of those computer generated post surgical check-in programs That basically asks your pain level and tells you to call 911 if you think you are in trouble. I am concerned that the generic recommendations it generates for me are based on just the TSR, not the bicep transfer which feels much more fragile & reactive than the shoulder joint itself. I will continue to baby it if & until told to do otherwise by the surgeon (PA?) at my 10day postop visit on Monday
 
Today I learned that the bicep transfer is such a part of the RTSR that the recommended exercises take this into account. My concerns about 2 distinct protocols were unfounded.
I had my first post surgical check up today, 12 days out.
I am astonished and surprised to be told:

-I don’t have to wear the sling any more except when around other people and when sleeping

- begin physical therapy TOMORROW

- I CAN DRIVE keeping the operative arm at the 6 o’clock position and releasing the wheel on turns

So! I can’t get too carried away with even common household chores but this degree of freedom is such a relief after the muscle cramps from being bound up 24/7 lately. I am really thrilled at how well it’s coming along. Incredulous, actually.
 
@Hackney Wonderful to hear you have been mostly freed from the sling! And can drive and start PT specific to your situation!! :yes!:
 
They found something wrong with my biceps tendon, too. They cut and reattached it to another area of humerus. It was extremely inflamed and had tendonitis (I think). I suspect this was the tendon that got impinged quite often for years and REALLY hurt. Anyway, seems this kind of thing is kind of normal. My bicepts hurt lifting pretty much anything at first. Slightly better now but still can't lift much with my operative arm. I start active movement in a week, so hoping to build back some strength. Good luck. Things improved pretty fast for me in the beginning...hope it does with you.
 
I’ll be 3 weeks post op in 2 days. Hoping it might be useful to other Total Reverse SR folks just getting started to know how it’s going for my straightforward case.
Everyday life offers frequent opportunities for gentle stretching & strengthening keeping in mind strict limits not allowing the elbow or wrist to pass around the back of the body. My elbow has been practically attached to my waist guarding the shoulder for the past 2 years anyway, so this isn’t such a challenge.
It feels like quite an accomplishment to undress, shower, apply body lotion & deodorant & get dressed (including earrings!) with minimal trouble. It is surprisingly tiring, though.
I have been washing & putting away dishes by hand with the operative arm assisting gently. Haven’t needed to take or do anything for pain in the past 10 days. Been walking trails around the property, weather permitting. Went over a mile up our country road yesterday, visited with neighbors and then walked back. It was all I could do to fight off their offer to drive me home-lol. I don’t know other people’s expectations, but I am very pleased with how it’s going.
 
@Hackney Wonderful update! It is terrific to hear that you are doing so well.
 
I’ll be 3 weeks post op in 2 days. Hoping it might be useful to other Total Reverse SR folks just getting started to know how it’s going for my straightforward case.
Everyday life offers frequent opportunities for gentle stretching & strengthening keeping in mind strict limits not allowing the elbow or wrist to pass around the back of the body. My elbow has been practically attached to my waist guarding the shoulder for the past 2 years anyway, so this isn’t such a challenge.
It feels like quite an accomplishment to undress, shower, apply body lotion & deodorant & get dressed (including earrings!) with minimal trouble. It is surprisingly tiring, though.
I have been washing & putting away dishes by hand with the operative arm assisting gently. Haven’t needed to take or do anything for pain in the past 10 days. Been walking trails around the property, weather permitting. Went over a mile up our country road yesterday, visited with neighbors and then walked back. It was all I could do to fight off their offer to drive me home-lol. I don’t know other people’s expectations, but I am very pleased with how it’s going.
Thankyou so much for your post,Im soon to have reverse shoulder replacement,and you have calmed me down. xx
 
Hello. Thank you as well! I am scheduled for TRSR in less than 3 weeks, I appreciate your comments and this forum. It is very helpful.
 
Thank you so much for this Post Forum and your post as I get my TRSR on May 10th and have so many questions and preparation and these really help me with the stress.
I will be following yours's and other posts to stay on top.

Regards,

Mark
 
I’ll be 3 weeks post op in 2 days. Hoping it might be useful to other Total Reverse SR folks just getting started to know how it’s going for my straightforward case.
It feels like quite an accomplishment to undress, shower, apply body lotion & deodorant & get dressed (including earrings!) with minimal trouble. It is surprisingly tiring, though.
I have been washing & putting away dishes by hand with the operative arm assisting gently. Haven’t needed to take or do anything for pain in the past 10 days. Been walking trails around the property, weather permitting. Went over a mile up our country road yesterday, visited with neighbors and then walked back. It was all I could do to fight off their offer to drive me home-lol. I don’t know other people’s expectations, but I am very pleased with how it’s going.
Oh my goodness. I have not been at my computer to read because I had to use my left hand and that did not work very well. You are awsome!!!!!! and have put me to shame. I am now at six weeks and have not done much. Perhaps I could use the age card and say that at 78 things are harder?? Not sure. One issue has been that my left shoulder is in worse shape than the operated one, so getting dressed alone was not an option until I got out of the sling a couple days ago at 6 weeks. The pain has been manageable, but I am still taking one or two pain pills a day plus Tylenol. My RA seems to have reacted to the surgery so that may be some of my pain. Even so, I have been delighted at my recovery and pain level==but your recovery is so much more remarkable. Congrats!!!!!
 

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