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      Poll: For those at least 6 months postop!
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      TOPIC: Poll: For those at least 6 months postop!

      Re: Poll: For those at least 6 months postop! 3 years, 10 months ago #28471

      I have been waiting to post in this thread. I reached 6 months post-op yesterday from a SLAP II (2 anchors) and I can say that it has been the most highly involved I've been into something in my entire life. The gym used to lay claim to that, but I was only dedicated 3-4 times a week. This has been every day for 6 months and will go far beyond that I imagine.

      I don't know if I can say I'm happy or content with the progress up to this point or if even I'm happy I got the surgery. Although the original torn labrum pain is gone, the tightness, somewhat limited range of motion and discomfort after stretching and strengthening is just as annoying and restrictive. I can't throw a ball, can't lift heavy weight and always have my shoulder in the back of my mind when performing the simplest of activities. I'm sure it will continue to improve and I'll reach a point to where I'm not thinking about the shoulder as much. I just know that I never want to go through this again and will always be guarding both shoulders from potential harm. I will never do any heavy shoulder or chest workouts again. No need for that. I look at some of the guys in the gym doing the exercises I used to do and just cringe at some of their motions. I talk to a lot of the guys about my injury and they're surprised at what can happen. Sure enough, one of the guys who is a serious lifter there came in yesterday wearing a sling. He had just undergone a torn labrum procedure.

      If only someone had told me to take care of my shoulders way back when. All we can do is help others who have no idea.

      Re: Poll: For those at least 6 months postop! 3 years, 10 months ago #28472

      • riderk
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      All we can do is help others who have no idea.

      Too often people don't want to hear it. I tried to explain this to a 77 yr old woman having rotator cuff surgery that it might not be in her best interest because she was only complaining of loss of motion, not even much pain. she would not listen, said her doc knew best, and now she is suffering with pain, stiffness and even less rom.

      You will probably improve with time, and will probably be happier you had the surgery in the long run.

      I finally got approved for long term disability - talk about a life changer.

      Re: Poll: For those at least 6 months postop! 3 years, 4 months ago #29520

      It's not about getting the surgery. It is the logical choice. It is about custom-selecting the right doctor, who has the best odds of doing this correctly. I'm extremely happy with my surgery, in matter of fact, it seems strong and more stable than my non-operated hand! It's all in the doctor, don't just pick any guy.

      I'm just going to copypaste from a status update on a thread I made after like half a year without any updates.


      Hello people,

      The injured shoulder

      I thought I would come here with a status update.

      My injured shoulder is now completely fine. I originally tore my tendon during weightlifting (avid lifter).

      The rehabilitation went much better than I expected. Considering each surgeon will give different instructions, I listened to mine. He seemed very confident his repair was solid and only had me in a sling for a short period of time.

      As for physical therapy, although my shoulder is good now, I would not suggest lifting heavy things for about a month. With heavy I mean RELATIVELY heavy. A full water bottle is too heavy. I recommend lifting that up after 1 month. I would also suggest making range of motion back operational as fast as possible. I personally believe the worst things happen in rehabilitation are: lifting your hand above 90 degrees too soon, and not being focused on regaining full range of motion.

      Part of my showering routine, for example, which fit the rehab, is to take the injured hand and clean my back on the other side going sideways through the chest. I have found that this hurt a lot in the beginning, and after discussing this with my surgeon I decided to keep going at it. Everytime I showered I pushed a little further. I have seen many complains about speed. I can now throw a quick strong punch again with my good hand and I am able to

      Life is funny though. Even though I haven't lifted in a while, I'm starting to get some serious long term pains in my other hand. But that's a whole different story. If I think it might be another SLAP, I'll do an MRI soon. At least this time it would be simple debridement instead of 4 anchors in the bone.

      Thing that might provoke a slap tear

      I have noticed, through my other non operated hand worsening with time, that there are everyday lifestyle things that might aggrevate your shoulder, or at least alot of its stability. Even though I havent done any real physical excercise, things that I used to do with my left (operated) shoulder are now being done with the right. It could be for this reason that it is also hurting. I am not so much concerned about the other hand, in the worst case its not as bad as the first. It will be fine. Surgery or no surgery, doesn't matter. Can't let these things bring you down.

      - My favorite sleeping position is very unhealthy for the shoulder. This position is arms bent open, raised above your head, kind of like superman but with one hand, resting the head on the pillow, and the pillow on the head. I believe this position might be highly unheahtly for the shoulder.

      - I had a broken door which for YEARS I had to excell huge force upwards (lift entire door basically and turn the angle). After the injury and before fixing the door, I would lift with my non-injured hand. I believe this may also be part of what caused the pain.

      - I'm a web developper. I'm into making websites. My heart is in it. I work a lot. I also use the computer alot of simple browsing, entertainment, videogames.. I believe this chronic computer use, and constantly leaning on the siderests is also not healthy for your shoulderS. According to the doctor, there is no way of knowing without an MRI how my new shoulder is, if theres a slap or not, but the doctor seemed very confident that lifestyle changes forcing me to lean more weight on the non operated hand caused the pain. We discussed weakened rotator cuffs, perhaps you should look into strenghtening them. You don't need much.

      Only the best of wishes to you all!
      -JOHNNYAPPLESEED
      Last Edit: 3 years, 4 months ago by JOHNNYAPPLESEED.

      Re: Poll: For those at least 6 months postop! 2 years, 9 months ago #30583

      • ezellmer
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      Hello folks:

      I waited until my 6-month anniversary to post my answer to this poll, good or bad. I dislocated my left shoulder 10 years ago at the gym, then 3 years ago skiing, then last year in a fall. Although I did not have any ongoing pain, I did have a stability issue (obviously). So the doctor decided the surgery would have the best results. He said he was going to “fix” it and then it will just be “fixed”. Okay, sure. I’m an athlete so I need all of my bits to work. “Fixed” sounds good to me! Go for it.

      My number one issue is that I was not told upfront what a major surgery this would be. I was told recovery was 4-6 weeks in my pre-op. We all know THAT’S not true. I was also told I could return to work in one week. In the doctor’s defense, my pre-op was NOT with him, it was one of his staff. I could have cancelled the surgery up until 3 days prior. So ONE day prior this weird chair thingy shows up at my door and it is explained to me that I have to sit in it for 6 hours a day, every day for 6 weeks so that it could move my arm because I won’t be able to. (Wait, I can’t even MOVE it for 6 weeks? Why was I not told this in the pre-op? How am I even supposed to drive?) So then began the stress and terror and, yeah, too late to cancel.

      Also in the doctor’s defense, he did not know the mess he was going to find when he went in there. The shoulder was nearly ripped completely off – not even in the joint. He had to call for emergency help to have someone push it back in so he could even begin repair it. “You made me WORK!” he said. What he described seemed like a ¾ tear and major repair job with bicep tenodesis. Yikes. When I asked HIM about recovery time (not just the staff) HE told me about 3 months, which was closer to the truth although not entirely. And I still think they could have been more up-front about the challenges I would face. Looking back, I don’t think I should have been back to work as soon as I was and I definitely should not have been driving.

      Then there were the other challenges. Women, you can relate. How do you handle your hair? You can’t do it and you can’t even put it up. Shaving? Going to the bathroom? Wearing a bra, or even GETTING IN ONE? All huge challenges for women. I mean I found myself holding it forever or not even wanting to drink WATER just because going was such a challenge. (Sorry but it’s true!) Men may not have to deal with those things but everyone needs to shower, get dressed and put on deodorant. Nearly impossible to do alone! Luckily I had help but, seriously, a maddening experience!

      PT was lovely, as we all know. They started me one week post-surgery. You know how sore the shoulder is after surgery but, hey, let’s just twist it around a bit too. Yaaaaah! I get that it was necessary but that was sheer agony as well as time consuming and exhausting. And I was not aware of how LOOOONG I would have to go. Actually, they didn’t tell me about PT at all. Again, the doctor simply said he was going to “fix” it and then it will just be “fixed”. When he wrote the PT order I’m thinking a few weeks, maybe six. NOT 4½ MONTHS! They could have been upfront about that too but, NOOO! No PT was ever mentioned at all until the day I got the order and went! On top of that, due to the extent of the repair, they did not even allow me move it actively for 8 weeks!

      Back to driving, I was completely unstable behind the wheel. Putting on a seatbelt was hard enough. Looking over my shoulder to change lanes? Hell, I can’t even MOVE! “Oh and here are some drugs to take too.” (What tha?!) But I had to doctors appointments and PT appointments and my husband could not take off HIS new job to take me to all of these. Plus I was back at WORK because they said I could!

      Back to the drugs, I resisted taking them at first – for the first two months I was virtually drug-free. But man I sure got over that in the third and fourth month! Serious, serious back pain was my problem. That was worse than any of the shoulder pain ever was! When I finally addressed it with the doctor he explained that 95 percent of the work should be handled by my shoulder and about 5 percent by the back. However, due to the shoulder weakness, the back is having to pitch in and it’s not used to that. He said I should see a dramatic shift between months 3 and 4, which will reduce the back pain. He was exactly right.

      The last and final issue I was having is that, while I bounced right back with the shoulder strength and went right back to lifting at the gym in month 4 (even went rock climbing), the return of strength to the shoulder seemed to bring with it a LOT of pain! While I was happy that the strength had returned and the back pain was gone, I had some serious concerns about the shoulder pain now! Luckily it was time for my next doctors appointment. “We encourage our patients to be active but not everyone is like you.” The nurse said, “You might be over-doing it just a little.” (Is there such a thing?) So then the doctor came in and further explained to me that I should not be expecting my left shoulder to be like my right one because my left one is “repaired”. The medical term he used for my body type is “super stretchy”. He showed me by twisting my right arm and shoulder around. “Do you see all of this movement in the right shoulder? That is not normal. The left shoulder has normal movement now.”

      That was probably the single most important piece of information that I could have been given. This whole time I was trying to get my left shoulder to be back to the way it was, which was never normal! That visit I got a Cortisone injection to reduce the inflammation that I had caused by trying to over-rehab it (and I must say that shot felt absolutely lovely in an already extremely sore shoulder – not!) With that and me easing up on the torture, a few weeks later it is nearly pain-free.

      As for the ROM, everything seems to be “normal” now except rotating out to the side. And the strength is almost all the way back at 6 months. No problems at all with lifting or climbing and it feels pretty solid and stable. So I would say the 6 month time period is fairly accurate. Now I’m only experiencing a little soreness from working on that last little bit of ROM but easy does it now. I will get there.

      If asked would I do it all over again, I would have to say yes because, in my case, it was seriously “jacked up”. (And that was the doctor’s term, not mine.) What choice did I really have anyway? My husband would agree as he does not like to see me suffering every time it dislocates. He has been there all three times. It’s in there now, for good.

      My final tip is: CHOOSE YOUR DOCTOR WISELY. My doctor obviously knows his stuff and the guidance he gave me during recovery was spot on. Just would have liked to have known all the gory details upfront, is all.
      Last Edit: 2 years, 9 months ago by ezellmer. Reason: Left things out

      Re: Poll: For those at least 6 months postop! 2 years, 9 months ago #30584

      • riderk
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      Very good story. One thing. Well two comments. First, it is NEVER too late. Two, the doc NEVER knows what your problem is until he or she takes a look.
      No matter what any doc says, it is never the most complicated case they have seen. Every case is different and complex to the individual!
      Best wishes and good luck!

      Re: Poll: For those at least 6 months postop! 2 years, 9 months ago #30585

      • blackpup
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      Been almost two years since my surgery. I say I have about 85% motion back. I cannot lift my arm all the way back like my right arm, but as long as I'm not a professional dancer, who cares. All I know is I get some aches and pains every now and again but nothing ever major. I"m glad I had the surgery, because boy my my shoulder hurt before it.
      8/27/2012

      Rotator cuff repair
      Debridement of synovium
      subachrominal decompression
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