Second shoulder surgery looming

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Having had shoulder surgery four years ago, initially for a SAD procedure, but also necessitating a rotator cuff repair, which although completely successful, culminated in a horrendous full year of recovery. You can imagine however, due to my own stupidity when I managed last year to injure my other shoulder I was pretty distraught at the thought of going through it all again. After a couple of cortisone injections, with limited relief, phsyio and rest, it was clear that this was only going to be resolved with surgery.

This time I am scheduled for arthroscopic SAD surgery, and keeping my fingers crossed that this is all it is. I still have pretty good strength in my arm and movement is only impinged and painful in certain directions. I am trying to be pro active with regard to post op pain relief, as I struggled last time with the meds on offer - i.e. codeine (makes me sick) and tramadol (sends me away with the fairies but does little for the pain). Ice packs were my best friends. I have been looking at the shoulder pain relief cold wraps and wondered if anyone had tried them and found them useful? As the previous surgery was open, I understand that recovery is longer so I might be making mountains out of molehills and it won't be anywhere near as bad. Hasn't helped that I have a cough and sore throat and panicking like crazy that they will cancel the surgery next week if I haven't recovered. I have been counting the days.

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  • Posted

    I am so sorry you are going through this! i understand as I am sitting here now post my THIRD shoulder sgy in 14 months...all extensive and this most recent with an allograft for the rotator that failed to heal properly first go round. First 2 used arthroscopic (rotator cuff, debridement and arthroplasty)and open (bicep tenodesis). This most recent only arthroscopic. All 3 surgeries have been different but I do think that the arthroscopic is slightly less painful. That said - none are a walk in the park.

    Cold therapy is your best friend! I found using a combo of that, pain meds intermixed with Tylenol/Ibuprofen as prescribed allowed it to be bearable. I used a Cossur ice machine with 3-4 frozen water bottles+water to the line when I was in a stationary spot...or large gel ice packs if I was wanting to be somewhere else than my set up spot in the house. I always keep a second set of gel packs and water bottles in freezer so I would have a set to swap out. the combo of meds and Ice keeps infammation down and can aid in healing. I did have to take the narcotic with food and also used zofran to ease nausea. make sure you know if your Rx narcotic has tylenol in it or not as you don't want to take too much of that - bad for your liver 😃. I had oxycodone - so was good. took tylenol and ibuprofen together every 8 hours and took oxy every 4-6 in the beginning...but that is just me. started to wean at about day 4-6 but am still using Ibuprofen at week 4.

    I was able to be completely off the narcotic pain relief by day 13...but know everyone is different. I will say they didnt ever completely take the pain away...just dulled the sharp edge. i also used colace (stool softener) lots of water and mirilax if needed to keep the GI tract moving. Wishing you all the best!

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    • Posted

      Hi Ed.  Hope you are continuing to progress and feeling a little more comfortable.  Although my surgery apparently went well, and I agree, the arthroscopy was definitely easier than the open from a surgical viewpoint, the ice as you say, is a godsend.  Now three weeks post surgery and I thought I was doing well, until the first physio appointment.  She said I was doing very well with range of movement and gave me some additional exercises.  That was two days ago and now I am in more pain than a week ago.  Maybe I shouldn't have tried so hard, but I am keen to get back to a good place.  Obviously a bad decision and a lesson learned to take it a little slower!
      
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    • Posted

      Hi Ed. Not sure why my post didn't appear. Hope you are progressing well and feeling a bit better. I had a minor set back with physio whereby I did a little more than I should have done as she thought I had done really well since surgery and I guess I have learned my lesson. I agree with you re: Ibuprofen - it really does not agree with me so have relied mainly on ice packs and they do help a bit. I tend to use Magnesium Malate to keep things moving as it's one of my daily supplements anyway. Looking forward to the day when pain-free or pain reduced nights are the norm.

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  • Posted

    PS: If you decide on the shoulder wrap - just make sure you can apply it one handed and by yourself if you dont have help 24/7. for me - I found a large rectangular shape was easier than fighting velcro straps that were not friendly to one handed people.

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  • Posted

    You just described my biggest nightmare. My OTHER shoulder has been giving me pain lately. (My right shoulder surgery was 1 year ago January). I have completely healed from that but with this left one now stressing me out, I am in complete denial that I will have it done.

    I basically refuse to.

    Good luck with it all, I hope its not as bad as the other one.

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    • Posted

      I was hoping that this second one would sort itself out but when I had the last cortisone jab the radiographer confirmed what I had suspected that there were bone spurs on the clavicle and likened it to a knife rubbing along a rope so in a nutshell it was never going to improve without surgery. I therefore bit the bullet and pushed to get it done as I am hoping the sooner it happens the less damage will be done. I totally get why you are in denial. This is not on my list of fun things to do! I can't remember a night when I wasn't woken up by shoulder pain - at least ten months ago prior to the injury (lesson to self - do not climb on chairs that have a tendency to slide in the garden). Hope your second one settles down, but if it doesn't you may have to consider getting it sorted. Best of luck.

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  • Posted

    I'm so sorry. 15 months after left shoulder surgery, my doctor said that it was ok for me to do planks. Like an idiot, I did them while at the same time moving furniture around so that my apartment could be painted. Again, like an idiot, I was too proud to ask my kids for enough help. Now my other shoulder hurts. I went immediately back into physical therapy and sit out any downward dogs or planks in pilates class.

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    • Posted

      Little update on the second surgery: Today I am going to my first physio appointment.

      I was expecting the worst with this surgery and it turned out to be nowhere near as bad as I imagined. Granted there was no tear, and this time it was arthroscopic and it is still fairly uncomfortable to move and quite painful at times, especially during the night. I was told by the consultant after the procedure that at some point I will need a shoulder replacement (eek!) as there was a fair bit of wear and tear, but as someone said to me, I could well have had a couple of hip replacements by then! I guess none of us know how bad our joints are until they are investigated.

      I did have a slight mishap yesterday when I tripped over a doorstep, and although I didn't land on my repaired arm, I did jolt it, which obviously worried me a bit. I'm a bit surprised that you are avoiding downward dogs in yoga as I would have thought that to be an excellent stretch once fully recovered. I am hoping to get back to Pilates and yoga at some point as my theory was to strengthen the muscles around the joints but I might need to take some advice on that then. I was also anticipating being spaced out on strong meds for a while but I have managed to stay off these and after a few days just relied on ice - which is still my best friend at night. Have to say this week has been worse than last week but I am hoping that this is due to increasing exercise and movement. Fingers crossed for today's appointment.

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    • Posted

      As to the rest of your post, I am avoiding downward dog and planks because of my left shoulder. My right shoulder loves the exercise but my left shoulder thinks that it might need to have rotator cuff surgery.

      You will find that you will be in more pain after physical therapy and people will advise you to do it anyway. I'm sure that this is right for most people but I found taking a break from exercise worked for me because I tended to overdue it and had some severe cervical pain because I could not lift my arm above my shoulder without using my neck. Everyone is different.

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    • Posted

      Ugh, there is no edit button. Switch the left shoulder where I had the surgery for the right shoulder in the above post.

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    • Posted

      Yes, an edit button would be good! I have a partial post above that I can't do anything with as it didn't print the whole text! I agree with you re: giving exercise a miss. I have for the past two days as I was in so much pain after the physio. I will aim to build up slowly again. I also found a pot of CBD oil I bought a few months ago and have been trying this along with ice to see if it calms down a bit. Like you, my neck has become a bit of an issue in the last couple of days but I'm pretty sure that is also down to the physio, It's so good to be able to pop onto this forum and pick up some reassurance.

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  • Posted

    Oh my goodness. I fell about a week after my surgery and managed to land so that I didn't fall on my shoulder but boy did I jar it. Thank goodness I was wearing a sling. The worst part was the fact that nobody could know for months. The odds are good that you are fine. Those anchors are pretty strong.

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