Reverse Shoulder Replacement Work following TSR

hlei7

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Husband was recently seen by orthopedic surgeon who is very well respected in our area. He was told that he needs total shoulder replacement due to full thickness tear and severe arthritis. He (husband) is 60 and been in the painting occupation for 40 years. Doctor informed him that he will never work again after this procedure, due to heavy lifting and constant up/down motion with arms. How are we supposed to live?? He is too young to retire, and I myself highly doubt that he would be approved for disability. What are older people supposed to do?? He is in constant pain, and I hate seeing him like this.
 

Jaycey

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@hlei7 Welcome to BoneSmart! So sorry your hubby needs TSR. I changed your thread title so that our members can come and share their experience with working after TSR.

I know that lifting is restricted post surgery. Let's see what our shoulder forum members think.
 

djklaugh

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@hlei7 Shoulder pain sucks! I am so sorry your husband is faced with having a shoulder replacement. Each person's journey through joint replacement is different and with care and careful rehabilitation your husband MIGHT be able to return to his career with some modifications in how he does things. When I had my first shoulder replacement (right = dominant side) my surgeon told me I had a 20 lb weight restriction on how much I could lift. But a couple of year later when I saw him about the other shoulder he said "no, you don't need to keep to that restriction". I'm a LOL (little old lady) so I don't regularly lift heavy things ... but I can if I need to.

Are both of your husband's shoulders paining him? If only one is being problematic presumably he can still do heavy lifting with the "good" shoulder. As for up and down motions for painting ... replacing the shoulder joint might shorten his reach a bit but would not (IMO) negate his ability to do that. Recuperation from shoulder replacement can take 4-6+ months and should be done slowly and allow healing first before doing any reconditioning and strengthening.

It might be in your husband's best interest to get a 2nd opinion from another shoulder surgeon - one who is not in practice with or associated with the first surgeon.

Best of luck to him and do ask any other questions you and he have. We do like to help.
 

Jaycey

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My colleague @Jamie had her shoulder replaced and just recently did some major heavy lifting to get her garden in order. I've tagged so she can come and chat here.
 

Jamie

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I agree with djklaugh’s comments. With a full tear in the rotator cuff, your husband will most likely receive a reverse shoulder replacement which does come with some additional restrictions on weight that a regular replacement (which I had) does not. There can also be some lesser range of motion with the reverse replacement. But it is good surgery which will allow him to function with his renewed shoulder.

Some additional opinions might help you find a surgeon with a more positive outlook on life after surgery. I’d see at least two other doctors if you can so you can have a wide range of information available for making a decision. We’ll be here to help as well.
 

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