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Ugh,I have to have shoulder surgery...

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  • Ugh,I have to have shoulder surgery...

    I just found out that the lingering pain in my shoulder is a torn rotator cuff.How long til I'll be back in the saddle???I know what the doc says ,but how about you tough horseman....how long?I"m also worried about the post op pain.He gave me a script for vicodan....that's like candy for me.I've had two back operations and vicodan and percocet are always with me in case of suprise pain.

  • #2
    Maybe me too, so I share your worry. See the thread by Zu-Zu about just this issue. Lots of good info there.


    • Original Poster

      I'll check it out...good luck to both of us,right??


      • #4
        not that bad

        I've had it and it was not that bad. Yes, you will lose some time in the saddle. But you will also lose that pain that probably is now disturbing your sleep. The rehab exercises are boring, but you must do them. I was surprised at how much function I had lost at the outset (after the surgery), but I got it all back eventually. Now I just have to watch it about carrying full water buckets.....


        • #5
          Originally posted by shalomypony View Post
          I'll check it out...good luck to both of us,right??
          Thanks Farmette, for the good news!
          On the plus side, I don't have anything to ride now, anyway, so I'm not losing saddle time, and I'm sure my filly doesn't mind if I start her a few months later than I'd planned.


          • Original Poster

            I 'll lose at least two months of work(show barn manager)and my horse is going to be soooo bored!He lives at home and we trail ride about five days a week.


            • #7
              Oh dear. 2 months is the minimum, I'd say, for being off your horse following surgery. The PT is an absolute necessity, and, I'm afraid to say, quite ouchy.

              Shoulder surgery is difficult, and while I didn't have rotator cuff issues, I watched many folks rehab from it while I rehabbed my broken shoulder. Good luck, and make arrangements now to have someone handle or ride your beasties--you won't be able to for a while.
              Proud member of the "Don't rush to kill wildlife" clique!


              • #8
                You Can Do THIS = I DID ~

                I am 11 weeks one day post surgery but who's counting !!

                Major ideas ~ no bumping for 8 weeks = horses on far side of fence.

                I will be back in saddle at 13 weeks can now if I had a quiet horse but waiting two extra weeks to be safe as I DO NOT WANT TO DO THIS AGAIN !

                Sleep in a recliner with large ice packs ...
                Press and Seal (grocery store) to cover incision and bandage when showering...

                Sweatpants for easy dressing...
                I did not read or feel like doing much for two weeks just in a "blur"

                Teach your other arm to work now...

                elastic hairbands, big shirts =slit shirts up the surgery side for easy on and off and "top" with a vest that snaps if possible...

                prepare house... table and lamp on uninvloved side of recliner..

                iphone = smartphone kept me sane for first weeks.

                don't rush anything = I spent a long time getting dressed to go no-where and do nothing ! just the nature of this "repair"

                no driving for me for 5 weeks while immobilizer then PT but this was due to the severity of my injury... I had open surgery...

                You can do this ~ ask any specific ?'s you have ~ glad to help... not fun but do-able.
                Zu Zu Bailey " IT'S A WONDERFUL LIFE ! "


                • Original Poster

                  ZuZu,you're the best.I feel better already ,knowing that I have a sympathetic and wise horseperson to advise me with this,thanks so much!


                  • #10
                    I am due for rotary cuff repair and scraping some spurs, maybe repair bicep main tendon and who knows what else in March.

                    Surgeon won't say what he will do or how or how long the recovery will be, said "he can't tell until he gets in there".

                    He did say to line someone to do chores for me for at least two weeks at minimum and no handling any horses for even longer, until he tells me, depending on what he has to do.

                    Yours may not be as serious.
                    I had a big wreck with a colt I was starting 40 years ago and we hit a tree, my head and shoulder mostly.

                    The new rotary cuff tear was two years ago, but just now getting around to fixing it.

                    I think riding will be fine, once the shoulder is working again, whenever that may be.


                    • #11
                      If your post op for rotator cuff is similar to severe labral tear repair be prepared week one to have a catheter in your neck with a pain pump for easy admin of localized drugs not the kind that make you loopy. I was only able to move my fingers because my whole arm and shoulder were numb. I needed someone to stay with me to help care for the 4 legged critters.

                      A chair is easier to sleep in then bed.

                      Good luck!!
                      \"You have two choices when a defining moment comes along - you can either define the moment, or let the moment define you.\" Tin Cup


                      • #12
                        My PT thinks I may have a SLAP injury as well as the rotator cuff injury. Just had x-rays and ultrasound, and am waiting to hear from the orhtopaedic surgeon to whom I've been referred for an appointment date. My Dr. who had to give me the referral thinks that surgery is highly likely, even just exploratory. My original injury occurred June 8, 2010, but went away 3 weeks later, only to reappear with a vengeance late November. I can sleep no problem, and do stalls and throw hay bales (only hurts the next morning ), but something's definitely not right in the shoulder. Figures, it's my right one, too...


                        • #13
                          Another sleeping tip ~

                          Fitted sheet on recliner ~

                          Yes, I had that catheter in my neck for a week ~ two pain pumps ~ first one ran DRY very FAST
                          Zu Zu Bailey " IT'S A WONDERFUL LIFE ! "


                          • #14
                            I had a bankart procedure about 2 years ago, with 4 screws put in to hold shoulder in place. I was very naughty, back in the tack within two weeks, back at desk job after 3 weeks. Healed up perfect within 6 weeks and I have never looked back. Full range of motion and better than ever. Hurt like a mofo those first few days post op, that part sucked
                            "Anti-intellect and marketing, pretty, pretty, who needs talent
                            Crying eyes, we're so outnumbered, fight for the right to remain silent" Buck 65


                            • #15
                              Not sure what procedure they used on husband, but he got two rotator cuff surgeries on two different occasions. I have to say that no other person I know or heard of, recovered like he did. Not sure if it was the method Dr. did to fix his tears or if he just is really tough, healing fast.

                              She had him walking his fingers up the wall as he sat in the recovery room. He doesn't remember that part! He had several exercises do do daily, arm was secured in place for only a few days.

                              We do have an ice jacket, which he used a LOT the first few days. He lends it out to other friends getting shoulder surgery. It is a purpose made tool, no slippery, drippy bags you can't keep in place. Works on both shoulders, just FREEZES them numb. As his personal nurse/attendant, I get to keep raising and lowering the ice cooler, to keep the shoulder water cold.

                              Husband got pain meds, but hates the dopey feeling, so starts reducing them as quick as possible.

                              He was off work (Farrier) for about 2 weeks, with light work starting the third week, and back in full work by the end of about 4 weeks. All other shoulder surgeries I have known had arms immobilized for WEEKS, with the arm then needing to be stretched back into use. All a long and painful process. Again, I believe his surgeon does something special in there, to allow faster healing, short restrictions.

                              We used her for my son's shoulder surgery as well, though he needed a pain pump, which he had for about 4 days, meds after. Not quite as quickly fixed as his dad, but son also was doing the finger walking and exercises in short order. Also used the ice jacket for a while, he hated the cold, but enjoyed not feeling the pain! Son also was back to light work in about 3weeks, full, physical work after about 6 weeks, though not Farrier work. Everyone is shocked to hear how fast they recovered. Both men have said how much better the shoulders feel and work now, after the surgery.

                              Both men have three scars on the shoulder top, not too big, but had quite a lot of drainage for about 10-12 days. They needed help with dressings, wound treatment, could not do that themselves. So OP will need help too. People who faint at blood are not good choices for help. I used the Telfa pads, with sports tape to hold in place. You will need gauze pads on the outside of Telfa pads to absorb drainage. Telfa doesn't stick to wound to pull off any scabbing. May need to change twice the first couple days, then once a day, then once every couple days unless they shower and need new bandaging. Actually easier than doing horse legs!!

                              Suggestions given on clothing, hair care, getting help in place ahead for the animals, are very good ideas. For folks alone, you REALLY need someone to stay with you for a while. Maybe a Home Healthcare person to come aid with wound care and bathing if your "babysitter" person is not up to that. Amazing how squeamish some people are with wounds! Just won't help or TOUCH IT, even to make things better for their partner or friend!! You should not be alone if possible for a couple days, strong meds and pain are going to be hard on you. Best to have things in place before you get home.

                              Good luck to the OP, hope it all goes very smoothly, heals fast.


                              • #16
                                Soryy ti drag this from the depths, and I'm not the OP, but I thought I'd give a quick update:
                                After X-rays and an ultrasound, there appears to be no SLAP or rotator cuff injury. However, there is a little degeneration of the end of the collarbone (arthritis), so it appears I may have "clavicular )
                                Still waiting to hear about an appt. form the orthopaedic surgeon to see if he disagrees and wishes to do an exploratory surgery, but, for now, it appears as if nothing can be done except a daily ibuprofen or Aleve to dull the ache.


                                • #17
                                  Not much fun. My husband has to go in next month for surgery - so it looks like I am going to have to get down to some real work for a change. Shoulders are so complex, so hope he gets lucky.
                                  Proud member of People Who Hate to Kill Wildlife clique


                                  • #18
                                    is it muscle or bone? I had impingement surgery on my shoulder, they just shaved bone and the best thing I did was get it moving quickly and tolerate the pain (started with a vicoden and hot shower and lifting my arm to shampoo my hair), I had full motion back within 10 days (still sore, but had it back) I took a month off from riding but it was january and I was only taking lessons at the time.

                                    do your research, the PT wouldn't see me until I had healed a month, if I waited that long to start stretching/working area it would have been much worse pain and time wise. Muscle is going to take longer because it actually has to heal before you can use it without re-damaging. good luck


                                    • #19
                                      I had a major repair done in 2009 - it took a full year of PT for me to get to about 80% and that's the best I'm going to get.

                                      It was supposed to be orthoscopic, but when he got in it was so bad it turned into open surgery.

                                      My biggest regret is allowing them to do a nerve block. If I knew the problems it would cause, I'd never allow it.

                                      Originally Posted by JSwan
                                      I love feral children. They taste like chicken.


                                      • #20
                                        Jingles started for shalompony ~~

                                        JINGLES STARTED FOR shalompony ~

                                        May your surgery on Thursday be completed uneventfully but SUCCESSFULLY

                                        May you find yourself in your recliner in front of ice packs with your meds "on board" quickly

                                        *** Calm your nerves ~ focus on the fact that this repair will get you back in the saddle without pain

                                        Thinking of you ~ Wishing GOOD LUCK ~ JINGLE JINGLE JINGLE & AO ~ ALWAYS OPTIMISTIC `
                                        Zu Zu Bailey " IT'S A WONDERFUL LIFE ! "