Surgery May 1st

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Very nervous about this. Shaving A/C, repairing Labral tear and cutting bicep muscle...

Anyone else willing to share simular surgery and how it went?

I live by myself so I guess I'll be becoming left handed real soon lol.

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  • Posted

    I'm 14 weeks post op and finally feel like I'm going to be ok and surgery was worth it. It isn't easy and using left hand when I'm right handed was a challenge but after 6 weeks in immobilizer you figure it out!

    You will need help for the first few weeks. The first few weeks are the worst- pain, tired etc. I highly suggest you get an ice machine- I used it all day ever day for weeks! Sleep in a recliner or get lots of pillows and sleep on sofa. I didn't sleep in bed for a month and even then slept with tons of pillows sitting up for at least 2 months.

    Everyone reacts differently, I was very emotional post surgery and cried a lot for a month or so but it got better. I couldn't take pain meds- gave me migraines and messed up my system. If you are prone to conatipation make sure you get collase, dulcolax or whatever your doctor recommends and eat lots of high fiber foods.

    Make sure you have button up shirts and pants with elastic band it is difficult to get dressed.

    Take things one week at a time and when you feel like the pain will never end and you will never get use of your arm back you will! It's a long and slow recovery but it does get better! Physical therapy is very hard and painful and you must be committed but if you are you will get there and when you do it feels awesome! I cried last week when I lifted a 2 lb weight for the first time and didn't have pain- that made it all worth it!

    Good luck you will do great just know it is hard or it was for me but 14 weeks out I am amazed at how far I've come considering it's 12 months to full recovery but I feel so much better don't have much pain anymore and have more use of my arm than I did before the surgery!

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    • Posted

      Wow thank you for such a great reply! I'm afraid I can't afford a cold therapy machine so ice pack it is lol...

      At least I know there is a solver lining. I'm in constant pain but I know it's gonna be a lot worse after Monday!

      Thank you for the advice on the button down shirt. Probably hit goodwill tomorrow since I'll just be wearing mostly around my place... Lol

      I think another difficult thing is I hate asking for help or depending on anyone. Guess the first week or so I'm gonna have to suck it up... Don't be surprised if I reach out to you... Lol kidding

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    • Posted

      You are very welcome! I know I didn't like asking for help either but I had someone with me for the first 2 weeks- I'm telling you will have no choice so let someone help you! i also had to have help getting dressed and taking a shower until the stitches came out then I could shower by myself- not easy but you can manage.

      Please don't hesitate to reach out with any questions that's what we are here for!

      I was in constant pain for 2 years and then post surgery I thought this will never end but it does! I still have pain on and off and sleeping still isn't comfortable but at least it is so much better and Ita only been 14 weeks so I'm very happy with my progress!

      Patience, sleep, determination and commitment and you will get there!

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  • Posted

    I am 13 weeks post rotator cuff, bicep tenodesis, labrum repair and subacromial decompression. I also live alone (I'm 57)  but my Mom came to stay for 3 weeks. I would have been ok after 2 weeks...but i really did need help for at least 2 weeks. I only slept in the recliner for 4 nights and then in the bed with a wedge for a few more days. then I played around with propping the arm on a pillow.

    in addition to what mzb suggested, get some of those one handed dental floss picks cause you can't used two hands to floss. you will figure out how to do things with your other hand. put pots and pans where you can easily reach them. Put your laundry and dish detergent in smaller containers that are easier to manipulate. have an electric can opener. Think of whatever will make things easier with one hand.

    I think the first 3 weeks was the hardest. The cold machine was nice for the first week but it definitely requires help of someone else to put it on, so cold packs will work...I found that it was much easier than putting the machine cuff on and off every time I got up. 

    Getting the range of motion back is a bit slow going at first and can be painful but it does get better as time goes along. I still have some pain...mostly in the biceps repair area...but everyone is different. 

    Wish you the best results!

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    • Posted

      Thank you for your reply. I'm doing the ice pack route. My Dad said he would get me the machine but being on my own figured fusing with it would be added stress I don't need.

      I did cleaning today and shopping hoping I'm all set.

      Will try to sleep although between the pin and anxiety I'm sure that won't happen lol.

      Hope you continue with good success! Do you recall how long it was for you before you felt like venturing out?

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    • Posted

      I am  usually very active. I am a physical therapist. I started with walks around the block the first week to 10 days. by 2 weeks I could walk 2.5 miles and gradually increased. At a month (still with the immobilizer on) I did a 5 mile moderate/easy hike. I was very sore for a couple days after that. At first I had to push myself to walk but I knew that it would make me feel better and heal faster to get my circulation going. I think you just need to listen to your body and find a balance between rest and activity. Rest is part of the healing process. Keep us posted on how you are doing. 
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  • Posted

    oh, I forgot to mention...put a plastic chair in your shower and maybe have a hand held attachment for shower head if you can. It will make you feel more secure in the shower. I know I used the outdoor plastic chair for almost 6 weeks in my shower. It isn't neccessity but sure made showering more comfortable for me. 

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  • Posted

    Good luck and best wishes. Maybe too late response for you but the recliner was my friend the first few weeks. Have a table beside you with your necessities. Phone and charger, water mug with ice, books, tv remote etc. Listen to docs orders and therapy when time comes. I also used pain pills for a while, and then only before my therapy. Life is so much better now. I'm a year out from my surgery. SO Glad I Had It done. Keep us posted!

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  • Posted

    Set up some help beforehand. I cannot be more emphatic about this and I am usually very able and self reliant. It is tough and I'm still in the healing phase (starting week 5) without pt, but all the suggestions beforehand are spot on.

    Pain meds cause constipation and if you have reflux, be sure to take your meds and avoid foods that cause the heartburn (pain meds can impact stomach lining and trust me, acute gastritis at the end of week 2 is horrible). Stay on top of the pain, accept help, use text to speech, and enlist others to help around the house ( I found some high school students who got beta club hours for helping me and helping with some of the housekeeping). Also, it's a good idea to remember things like tying your shoes are nearly an impossibility especially in the first few weeks

    Unfortunately, I have not yet been able to go back to work because my job is extremely physically demanding, but be aware of your limitations and don't overdo it the first few weeks. Simply showering and dressing can be exhausting, but hopefully your no -surgery arm is strong and you'll get better each week.

    Hoping for the best and remember to stay positive! Good luck & hopeful healing!

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    • Posted

      Kristen- week 5, congrats you are getting there! I remember how excited I was at week 6 to get the immobilizer off and begin PT but I was also still so tired and in pain. Once you begin PT you will be amazed at how quickly your body begins to heal! I found it very painful and tiring but made progress very quickly but I was very diligent about doing PT at home as well and lots of ice and rest! I didn't go back to work until week 10 and the first few weeks were tough I wished I would have stayed home 2 more weeks! Good luck you are almost to what I call the love/hate part of recovery which is the PT!

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  • Posted

    May 2nd day after surgery. I did the nerve block about 2 hrs prior to surgery. Was told it would help greatly with post op pain and last till today. Wrong! The 2nd I woke up I was in tears with pain. They spent 5+ hrs trying to get my level below 8.5

    I had16+ IV pushes of Narcotics, was wide awake.. Which amazed them lol. My body metabolizes pain meds quickly so I wasn't to surprised that the nerve block had mostly worn out. The Surgeon said my bicep muscle was twisted in a way he's never seen which is surprising since he was the Dr. for a couple of NFL teams. He said recovery would be long and painful. Explains why my bicep was hurting so badly.

    Thank you for the reply. I really have no one to talk to about this.

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    • Posted

      Hang in there the first week is the worst! You can do this and when you are several months post opp you will be amazed at how good you feel even though right now it feels like you never will! We've been there and get it! Hope the pain gets more manageable for you quickly

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    • Posted

      Glad you have made it to the other side. I was going to mention that the nerve block does  not help with the bicep pain (but I didn't want to scare you)  because it only affects ulnar/radial distribution and not the median distribution which is what supplies the biceps. I woke up with extreme pain in front of shoulder and the nurse asked, "what number from 1-10?"  I said "10" and she said, "it can't be a 10 or you'd be in the emergency room crying,"  I thought, "really?! I already in the hospital wanting to cry...then I said, "'ok, it's a 9"  and I stayed till the pain got down to a 5...which took another hour and 2 more rounds of narcotis. The block also wore off by the time I got home. I didn't know I was having bicep repair until I woke up and they told me. 

      The bicep is the part that still continue to have lingering pain. It's not constant and I can use cold, tylenol and positioning to control it. I understand that it's common for the bicep to take longer than the rotator cuff surgery to heal. 

      But now the healing begins. I think the first 4-5 days was the worse and then each day gets better from there. rest, use cold, and walk a little. You survived!  Keep telling yourself that. Before you know it, you will be flossing your teeth two handed and pulling your t shirts over your head again.

      I was trying on dresses yesterday and was so proud of myself that I was trying on clothes again. But this one dress, once over my head, was quite snug. I struggled for a few minutes to get it off over my head and finally conceded, in embarrassment, to go ask the dressing room girl to help me pull it off. (Ugh....I felt bad for her) and then i realized that I possibly could have gotten it off by lowering over my hips. But I survived the horrors of the dressing room and so will you smile

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  • Posted

    You will find with each new activity that you will have pain "anew". However, it's just reviving the tendons and muscles that have been laying relatively dormant because of your surgery and prior to surgery issues. I remember how hard it was to wash my hair! wink don't give up on your therapy, whatever you do. And, I was able to do pain killers before my therapy sessions so I believe that helped me a lot, even though I got to where I didn't have to use them otherwise. I was fortunate that the pain block worked for me and at the first "ache" I took my pain pills as prescribed, the first 3-4 days. It did the trick. God bless...and wishing you a complete recovery.

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