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Shoulder surgery

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  • #81
    i just booked my labral repair surgery for next month, the surgeon said with my history and the positive arm twisting pretzel tests it's just about guaranteed there's one. Physio didn't help, cortisone didn't help, so here we are. He's also concerned about one of my rotator cuff tendons that is messed up on the MRI so I may be getting a 2-for-1 deal, oh goody...

    So I have a few questions, like how long until you could wear a bra again? I usually wear the over the head style sports ones, is that going to be a problem? I already have one of the ice machines from knee surgery so I'm good on that but what about sleeping in bed? Will I be ok with a few extra pillows or should I plan on doing the couch thing for a while? Did you have to wear the sling in bed? Any other wish I had of known type tips?

    Thanks in advance!

    CB
    Freedom is the ability not to care what the other person thinks...

    Got air?! Member of the Asthmatic Riders Clique

    Comment


    • #82
      Go out and get a front closing bra or two because it will be a long time before you can put your arm over your head. I ended up having only a subacromial decompression, which is minor. But there was a possibility the surgeon would have to repair my RC, so I was prepared. I was lucky--ten days in the immobilizer vs. 6 weeks.

      Anyway, besides the cold therapy machine, I bought a bed wedge at the medical supply store. It was a lifesaver. It meant I could sleep in bed. I used tons of pillows to support my arms, my books, etc. I did try to buy a used cold therapy unit, but every one seemed to be broken, so check yours out if you haven't used it in a while.

      The other lifesaver was those floss pick thingies. I couldn't live without flossing my teeth! I know that's minor, but quality of life, you know?

      Good luck and you will be thankful you did it. Supershorty had a surgery more like yours, so ask her too.
      Last edited by Bristol Bay; Apr. 26, 2013, 11:53 PM.
      A helmet saved my life.

      2017 goal: learn to ride like TheHorseProblem, er, a barn rat!

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      • #83
        Don't expect to get much sleep.
        “Reality is merely an illusion, albeit a very persistent one.”
        ? Albert Einstein

        Comment


        • #84
          No sports bras for month/two months. I slept on the couch, propped up, but a recliner is good too. Flat on your back or in bed is probably a no. Use the pain meds and do the PT religiously. You simply cannot put your arm up for a long time, so doing hair, getting dressed and um...at least for me...attending to "girly issues" proved to be a problem for a while. God bless Mr. CC.
          Proud member of the "Don't rush to kill wildlife" clique!

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          • #85
            Originally posted by horsefaerie View Post
            Don't expect to get much sleep.
            Yes, the post surgical insomnia was weird. I took Rx sleeping meds for a few nights after surgery.

            You can't use your shoulder for a while, but can use your hand. I baked banana bread wearing the immobilizer.
            A helmet saved my life.

            2017 goal: learn to ride like TheHorseProblem, er, a barn rat!

            Comment


            • #86
              Originally posted by canadianbacon View Post
              i just booked my labral repair surgery for next month, the surgeon said with my history and the positive arm twisting pretzel tests it's just about guaranteed there's one. Physio didn't help, cortisone didn't help, so here we are. He's also concerned about one of my rotator cuff tendons that is messed up on the MRI so I may be getting a 2-for-1 deal, oh goody...

              So I have a few questions, like how long until you could wear a bra again? I usually wear the over the head style sports ones, is that going to be a problem? I already have one of the ice machines from knee surgery so I'm good on that but what about sleeping in bed? Will I be ok with a few extra pillows or should I plan on doing the couch thing for a while? Did you have to wear the sling in bed? Any other wish I had of known type tips?

              Thanks in advance!

              CB
              I don't wear sports bras aside from when I'm working out, so can't really answer that, but it took me a while before I could even get a shirt over my head (as opposed to wearing button-downs) so I don't think you'd be able to wear a sports bra. I was wearing a bra the day after my surgery, but it took some creative maneuvers to get it fastened.

              Sleeping-wise, I had a very hard time for about a week after my surgery. I sleep on the side that was operated on, so I had to retrain myself - and had a few nights where I woke up because I rolled over onto that side - but I did always manage in bed. I got one of those bed wedges and it was a life saver! I graduated to sleeping on my back after about a week and a half, but I wedged things on either side of me so I couldn't turn over or anything like that.

              I had to wear the sling in bed for a month after my surgery, after which I only had to wear the sling when I went out of my apartment.

              Do your PT religiously - shoulder rehab is the WORST, but if you do it well, you should have pretty good results. I don't have the full range of motion that I had before my surgery, but it's worth it for the overall result.

              Be sure that you don't push it too hard when you're getting back into doing normal activities! I know that I pushed too hard too fast when I started riding again (9 1/2 weeks after my surgery) and while I didn't set myself back in terms of my recovery, I had some wonderfully painful moments. Don't try to get leg ups for a while!!
              http://www.youtube.com/user/supershorty628
              Proudly blogging for The Chronicle of the Horse!

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              • #87
                front closing bras and recliners are your friend.

                Really. As are Mr Percocet, Mr. Vicoden, and Ms. flexeril

                Comment


                • #88
                  I didn't have shoulder surgery (well, I did, but it was before I started riding again), but I did have surgery to put in a plate to stabilize my badly broken collarbone, and the recovery process was similar.

                  I agree with everyone who says do your PT no matter how much it hurts, and really, painkillers are necessary at whatever level you need. I was able to taper off within a few weeks and switch over to Ibuprofen.

                  For bras, front-close didn't work for me, so I wore bras with detachable straps for a while. When I went back to wearing regular bras, my husband had to fasten and unfasten them for me (he preferred unfastening ) I went to Target for the bras and for a few very large womens' tops that were easy to put on and take off. (I wear a size 10 petite, and these tops were size 24... literally big enough for two of me!)
                  You have to have experiences to gain experience.

                  1998 Morgan mare Mythic Feronia "More Valley Girl Than Girl Scout!"

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                  • #89
                    Hmm. I had surgery back in March (just cleaning up the bursa and shaving off a spur), and while not completely recovered now (two steps forward, one back - I get impatient), bras have not been an issue. I'm a 34 DD, but have found that if I fasten the bra around my waist (fasteners in front), then rotate so the front is in front, I can pull it up, put my bad arm in the strap on the way, and then settle my girls just fine.

                    That said, I spend as much time as possible bra-less - the front incision is just about under the strap, and the dissolving sutures didn't dissolve, so it still gets inflamed.

                    Anyway, good luck! Rehab is a b*tch - there are just *so* many muscles in the area that it takes a while to get them all working together again.

                    Comment


                    • #90
                      I'm resurrecting this thread!

                      I'm scheduled for (right) shoulder surgery next Tuesday. I have multi-directional instability, some labrum deterioration, and damage to both my RC and biceps tendons. Based on posts on this old thread, I just ordered a most-heat pad and a wedge pillow.

                      Those of you who posted a year ago or more, how have things healed? I'm tentatively planning on 8 weeks till I can ride again, but know it may be more (I'm keeping my fingers crossed for 6...) I board, so stall cleaning and barn work isn't an issue for me, though losing my dominant hand will be tough in my office job....
                      Any other words of wisdom or hope to pass along?
                      A good man can make you feel sexy, strong, and able to take on the world.... oh, sorry.... that's wine...wine does that...

                      http://elementfarm.blogspot.com/

                      Comment


                      • #91
                        Doing very well now, thank you. Sorry but you really should rest it the 8 weeks, I know it's hard....Physical therapy is BORING but you have to do it. Think of it as an investment. You may be surprised at how much function you lose at first but you will get it back in time.....

                        Comment


                        • #92
                          Element, I had my rotator cuff repaired last May, I'd say it's about 95% normal now and I'm very very glad I had the surgery. My surgeon warned me I was going to hate him for the first 3 months, and he was right! I thought it was the stupidest thing I'd ever done. I was in a sling for 6 weeks and then it took a lot of work to get my mobility and strength back, my doc didn't clear me to ride or start jogging until 6 months post-op... Hopefully you won't have as extensive a repair as I did, but be prepared that you may be out of the saddle for 6 months or longer.

                          Other tidbits I wish I had known before surgery...

                          -If you are in a sling for 6 weeks, you will be mostly useless until you learn how to adapt to doing things with one hand. The biggest challenges were dressing and personal hygiene. My husband got very good at putting my hair in a ponytail and putting on my bra for me. I suggest a front closing bra or at minimum one with straps you can fully undo so you don't have to snake your arm through to put it on and lots of yoga pants or other loose pull up type pants for after surgery, buttons and zippers were too difficult for the first few months.

                          - ICE. Ice is your friend immediately after surgery, get one of those continuous cold machines like a polarcare and live in it after surgery. You will need help with the ice, I think I went through about 20 pounds a day when I was wearing it 24/7.

                          - Listen to your doc and therapist, do not rush things and do all your physio homework. Shoulders are one of the most intensive rehabs you can do and believe me, you want to do it right the first time!


                          Good luck, it's going to suck for a while, but it'll be worth it in the end!
                          Freedom is the ability not to care what the other person thinks...

                          Got air?! Member of the Asthmatic Riders Clique

                          Comment


                          • #93
                            thanks, both of you!

                            I do have a cold/ice machine so I do plan to use that (although I hate to be cold).
                            I know I will lose general fitness during the recovery period. I'm sure jogging would put too much stress and concussion on the healing shoulder, but did anyone do any kind of walking (distance or incline) to stay fit? Or any kind of weight program that didnt' involve the shoulder? Or will the PT be painful and exhausting enough that it's enough?
                            I'm an, er, "easy keeper" and I don't want to expand during my months of no riding/limited activity.

                            I do plan to listen to the docs and PT experts. I will also have to get my hair cut short since Mr Element will not be capable of doing my work-required bun. That sucks. I'm also not keen on being stuck in glasses for who-knows-how-long until I get get my contacts in again.
                            I'm whining here, these are all first-world problems. I'm just bummed to not be able to do all my spring/summer riding and showing--the baby green hunter has been coming along so well.
                            A good man can make you feel sexy, strong, and able to take on the world.... oh, sorry.... that's wine...wine does that...

                            http://elementfarm.blogspot.com/

                            Comment


                            • #94
                              I too am an easy keeper, walking was out for the first few months because I had a lot of muscle issues in my back from compensating for the bad shoulder for 10 years and it took a long time to get those sorted out. My physiotherapy clinic did offer water therapy which helped a lot without the impact of running and I probably could have done the recumbent bike at the gym if I could have driven myself over there... Physio will be exhausting, I scheduled mine for the afternoons so I could get things done in the morning if I needed to because I was ready for a nap when I was finished. I was there for about 3 hours, 3 times a week for about 9 months and then I had homework for the days off which took almost as long.

                              I would suggest stocking up on lots of healthy snacks that are easy to prepare so you don't get tempted by the junk food. I was a big fan of frozen fruit since i could just dump it in a bowl.

                              Best of luck!
                              Freedom is the ability not to care what the other person thinks...

                              Got air?! Member of the Asthmatic Riders Clique

                              Comment


                              • #95
                                I had a shoulder that subluxed for decades until it finally wouldn't go back in of its own accord. I had a Bankart repair that was supposed to be arthroscopic until they got me under anesthesia and decided it was so loose they had to go with an open procedure. The procedure basically ties the bones together, I guess, and my surgeon told me it won't dislocate again. He also told me that it would feel 100% in 6 months, and he was right. One reason a shoulder needs such extensive therapy is to keep the joint from freezing. I know someone who developed a frozen shoulder and endured a 6 month process to unfreeze it and get it working again.

                                One suggestion I received was to look at gadgets designed for people with disabilities. So I got an electric can opener, a good bottle opener, a good bagel cutter, and one of those reacher-type things that grasp objects that are just out of reach of the non-dominant hand. I live alone, and found all of these extremely useful. Before mom left to go home, she got a lot of boneless chicken breasts, sliced them and flattened them with a "hammer" and threw them in the freezer. Not only were they easy to cook, but they didn't require a lot of effort to cut with a knife. So I ate a lot of chicken for a while and hamburger too.

                                Comment


                                • #96
                                  Ask your PT, but you can probably ride a stationary bike with no problems since it's no impact as far as the shoulder goes.

                                  Also, I have a hearing pad with a "warm" setting. Anytime I was icing, I was on that heating pad. The cheaper ones don't have that setting, but your moist heat pad probably does.
                                  A helmet saved my life.

                                  2017 goal: learn to ride like TheHorseProblem, er, a barn rat!

                                  Comment


                                  • #97
                                    Surgery went well. The biceps tenodesis was the most significant part of the procedure. I'm wearing the sling only when I'm out of the house or moving a lot. I go back to work on Monday. Thanks for all the advice and support! I know it'll be month or more before I can ride again, but I'm coping okay at home. I know that the ice machine and wedge pillow suggestions made the first two weeks post-op much easier than they would have been. Thanks!
                                    A good man can make you feel sexy, strong, and able to take on the world.... oh, sorry.... that's wine...wine does that...

                                    http://elementfarm.blogspot.com/

                                    Comment


                                    • #98
                                      Hi, I had damaged my shoulder and they had to relocate the long head biceps tendon out of the shoulder and re-attach it to the humerus bone. Yeah... 6 months of no impact activities including riding. BUT it was very successful. Anyway, a moist heating pad and this http://www.simplytherapy.ca/products...system-13-x-16 were my two best friends.
                                      Originally posted by Calamber
                                      So much stupidity, so little time.
                                      Confessions of a Dressageaholic - www.dressageaholic.com

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