I just discovered this site and feel much better about my progress after reading several of the other posts. I am 8 week post op today. I had SLAP repair (I don't know what type, all I know is my OS said it was the worst he had ever seen) and a bicep tenodesis on my right shoulder. I do have a few question if anyone can answer them.
1. I had to wear the sling for six week and ever since I stopped using the sling my right hand has been swollen and hurts almost as much as my shoulder, especially early in the am. Is this a common with others who have had a similar surgery and if so how long does this hand swelling last.
2. Since the nerve block wore off 4 days post op I haven't been able to sleep on my back. I have pretty much had to sleep in a recliner for the past 8 weeks. I during the last week and half I have tried to sleep on the couch on my good shoulder, but it is extreme hard to find a comfortable position for my right arm and I can only stay there for a couple hour before I have to move back to the recliner. My MO at night is to take a tylenol PM around 9 pm, then between 1 - 2 am I wakeup in pain take a hydrocodone which ususally tides me over til morning. For most people who are further along at what point were you able to sleep through the night in bed?
3. My wife would like to know how long will it be before I can lift a 20 lbs baby with two hands? My OS doesn't want my using my right for anything but PT until week ten. So right now I can only lift the baby if she's crawling I can scoop her up with my good arm.
Wow your having it rough bro, my surgery was very light compared to yours and at 10 weeks I will not risk picking up a child. Until you can successfully work with a 20 pound bag of flour or sugar I wouldn't try a squirming writhing child.
Because you had a tenodesis along with the standard SLAP sutures you must be careful that the repair to the biceps is solid before attempting to lift. You will progress in PT with light bicep curls and eventually get to lifting #10. However lifting a baby safely and putting her down in front of you will require sufficient strength and this takes time after not using it for 10 weeks. I would say 4 months, but maybe sooner.
The swollen hand issue is a little of concern and I believe has to do with the arm in a dependent position and possibility tugging on a nerve. Ball squeezing done at night and AM usually helps to get the swelling out. Also the reason you cannot lie on a couch or bed has to do with the position of the shoulder. A bed wedge is the next step after a recliner or lots of pillows to keep your upper body higher than the rest. A small pillow under the arm at night may also be helpful to try. Tylenol PM worked very well in helping me to get to sleep initially also.
Thanks for the info. I will be seeing the Doc again in a week and a half, so if the hand is still bothering me I'll bring it up.
I was able to sleep on the couch last night for good three hours with my shoulder leaning against the back of it. I also reached a milestone with my external rotation today and can now rotate my arm until my thumb touches the floor. So things get a little better every day.
I had SLAP repair 5-12-09 and also experiencing swollen hand. Fingers extremeley stiff and sore. Two nights ago it felt like my thumb was about to explode from the swelling. Dr gave me anti-inflammatory Rx yesterday. He doesn't think it has anything to do with the repair but I had no problem with my hand prior to.
Has your hand improved any? What did you do to halleviate? Tried sleeping in recliner with hand in sling attached to recliner to keep above my head but fingers started tingling in less than thirt minutes
I've had the swollen hand/arm syndrome as well. It started out on my right side (slap II repair feb 12) about about 6 weeks after surgery. Mine was a combination of things, bad habits, when I was beginning to lift my shoulder to a height of shoulder or higher, I unconciously was hiking my shoulder up because weak rotator cuff muscles. The arm and hand started to get inflamed/swollen so I would use it less and use my good arm even more, so it started to do the same thing. Anyway, it is much better since I started the strength work and firing the muscles correctly but I still have a little tingling on both arms, and I am working on that but that is because of poor posture I believe. Through this shoulder surgery I and am sure many others spend a lot of time at the computer looking at slaptear.com and other sites, BAD BAD posture, neck slumped forwards, arms extended on the mouse, etc.
There is a nerve that runs through the shoulder/chest cavity to the arm and hand, it is more than likely getting impinged in your case. Some of the experts can chime in but that's what's been happening with me and possibly you too.