Hey Maroon! Actually was able to be off 4 weeks & then went back 3 days first week cuz I was getting stir crazy at home. At a desk all day also & it was a LOT tougher than I expected. Take a towel or pillow to rest your arm on which helps. I was absoluteluy beat at the end of the days (which was good since I finally got into some kind of routine again and sleep improved) and the arm would really ache. Try to get out of your sling some and do your pendulums. Have had a knee too - no comparison what so ever! Good luck and don't try to hurry the healing process.
Just remember everything takes twice as long for a while when it comes to showering, dressing, etc.
I laughed when my surgeon gave me my return to work paperwork and it showed that I would be totally off work for 3 months, but I wish I had done it instead of trying to keep up. I was lucky I could work from home for the most part, because I could not have functioned going back to the office too soon. I was in great shape and have a high pain tolerance, but the recovery was tough on me. Also, I am 49 and female, two "risk factors" for complications. I have a long commute (~an hour each way if I'm lucky) with lots of traffic, but the main things were coping with the PT, the pain, and the lack of sleep - there were days that I would come home from PT and just wrap up in a blanket and not want to move. My PT has only daytime hours, maybe if I could have gone in the evenings I could have handled it better.
I had a lot of damage, and as I mentioned, some complications -I know another lady who went back after a couple of days and so far is doing ok. I guess the point is to listen to your doctor, your PT, and your body, and do what is best for you. Be sure to talk to your HR dept, though - FMLA is a pain!
Good luck, hang in there! I'm 14 months post-op now and finally back in training mode instead of rehab mode
Thank you so much for this topic thread! I have surgery in two weeks (10/19/2010) and I am really nervous. I will be out for three months which I am going to look at as a blessing. I know that the workplace doesn't care if your better they just want you back. So I want to be sure and take care of myself because I don't want to go through this again.
I found this thread extremely useful before my SLAP surgery so here are my thoughts for anyone who is interested.
Clothing - I took advice from this thread and bought some XL cotton t-shirts, easy to get on and off due to the oversize and the natural stretch. The weather hasn't been too bad so I've been able to get away with sports shorts (elasticated waist makes it easier to pill them up and down).
Sling - the sling gets pretty annoying very quickly but keep on for as long as your OS advises. I found my under arm and the inside of my elbow got hot and sore so I got a couple of cotton hankies to separate the skin.
Showering - I couldn't wait to shower when I got home from the hospital. My partner cut up a rubble sack (a thick bin/trash bag would do) and taped that over my shoulder to cover the bandages. BEWARE If you have a nerve block injection take extra care with your arm, I managed to drop my arm as I was taking it out of the sling - no pain but it scared me that I may have caused damage.
Shampoo, soap etc in pump action bottles is a great help and a large robe to help dry the places you can't reach with one arm.
Sleeping - I invested in a bed wedge which has been really useful, I tried sleeping flat on my back and its still too painful 2 weeks out. I'm also in the spare room so as not to disturb my partner.
Pain pills - when I left the hospital they told me to take pain pills before the nerve block wore off and to take them before the pain gets too bad. I left it too long on day 3 and the pain pills didn't clear the pain as much as I needed. A lot of the pills can interfere with your bowel so have plenty of water and eat lots of fruit - constipation and shoulder pain are not a good mix!
Work - my OS signed me off for 4 weeks and said we would review at that stage. My work is desk based so I was quite surprised but he said he doesn't want me going back too soon because working on a computer means very little shoulder movement which will increase stiffness........ I may look to work from home after week 4, I have an hour commute in to central London and the trains are even busier than usual with everyone arriving for the Olympics.
PT - I'm only 2 days into my PT but can feel more movement in my shoulder already. Be prepared for increased pain when you start PT. I'm taking advice from people on this forum who have been there before me, listen to the Dr and Physio, don't do too much and give your body time to recover.
ITB surgical release May 2012
SLAP repair and SAD July 2012