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shoulder replacement surgery (Page 2)

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June 27th, 2010
I'm not sure what a block is. The anesthesiologist mentioned some type of pain blocker in my neck that helps with pain, but she said it sometimes affects the diaphram - and could feel like I am having trouble breathing. Or, I could have the pain pump - a little button to push when I feel pain. That's the route I went. I'm glad I did it that way. As I said, my pain level on a scale of 1 to 10, 10 being really bad - I am usually a 2 or 3 - and sometimes no pain at all. I have also had knee replacement surgery and they gave me a spinal block before the surgery and I felt my legs getting numb - and then they put me to sleep. Is that what you mean by a block?
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replied June 28th, 2010
Scooter01,

I had the block and after surgery, when the feeling started coming back in my arm it is very painful. Be sure your Dr. has orders for extra pain medication if needed, my Dr. did not give orders and I honestly wanted to cut my arm off it was so painful. I have a very high tolerance for pain, but this whole experience has been the most painful thing I have experienced in my life. I am 55 yrs. old and once a very active person. I'm on the 10th month after my shoulder replacement and still experiencing much pain especially in the evening. I have frozen shoulder and can't lift my arm any higher than mid chest. Not sure if AJNana had an accident or replacement due to arthritis. My shoulder was fractured in 3 places from a fall, and I only wish things were going as smooth as AJNana. I was not allowed to start PT until after 6 weeks, only pullies at home was in a sling for 3 months. Don't mean to sound like a "downer" but it's been HELL!
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Users who thank danielle14 for this post: onceagain 

replied September 4th, 2011
I know exactly what you mean and what you have experienced! First the RTC surgery in 2009. Then the total clean up in 2010, then the TRS in March, 2011. The TRC has been horrific, I wish I had NEVER had it done! I can only move my arm a matter of inches straight out or to the side, then the most sharply intense pain which feels like a knife is being inserted into my shoulder occurs.
But thats not all folks, add the constant pain that I feel in my forearm which is the type of "nails on a chockboard" type of pain, always and constant, and intense, it is like being tortured! I have tried, for over 4 months to explain the pains to my Dr. during office visits, but his response was to move the arm with his support, hold the shoulder area, and exclaim "I just don't feel it"... I tried all the harder during PT, thinking that if the doctor and PT did not feel anything wrong, it must be that I need to just keep at it.
FINALLY, on August 1, 2011, the X ray shows that one of the pieces of the support system is incorrect. I am being refered to a specialist who is part of the USC faculty. I hope so badly that he just END THIS PAIN!
I have said many times before and say again, if it were up to me, I would have chosen to have had the shoulder and arm cut off a long time ago.
The pain meds have not helped one bit,unless I take more than I want to, I sleep around 3 hours a night on average. I can not remember anything since being on pain killers.
I feel like I am losing my mind, heart, will to live, and fear that I will lose my family.... I loved to fish and swim, now I can do nothing remotely related.
I know there are great recoveries out there, I saw one next to me while at PT, he could get to shoulder level after 3 weeks. But, I would say, if you can avoid this surgery, by all means, avoid it!
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replied May 1st, 2012
I so agree with everything you have said. I cant get any Dr. to fully understand the pain i am in. I had my operation 18 mths ago and the pain im still having is so depressing, theres many days that i just sit and cry.Im still having Physio which I keep helping will help but no sign of that happening yet. I have a high tolerance to pain and have had many operation in my 62 yrs this was by far the worse operation ive ever had to go through.
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replied June 28th, 2010
Danielle14 - I am so sorry you are having such a hard time. My replacement is due to arthritis and not any type of accident. I did fall about 6 years ago, and that's when my shoulder started bothering me - but there were no fractures - just a rotator cuff injury (it was not torn) - and I had PT to help it out. Maybe your shoulder problems are due to the fact that you actually had fractures - that could make a difference. I also think the doctor makes a difference. My doctor specializes in shoulders and elbows only and he came highly recommended by a doctor friend of mine. I myself am surprised at how well I'm doing! I have heard so many people, like you, talk about how hard the recovery is and how painful. I really consider myself extremely lucky.
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replied June 29th, 2010
AJNana,

Thank you for your kind and encouraging words.My doctor specialized in shoulders as well, but if I had to do it over again I would have gotten a second opinion before surgery.

Scooter01,

I fell on Aug 8th and it wasn't until Aug 18 that I saw the shoulder specialist. It took 10 painful days wrapped up like a mummy around my shoulders to hold in place before I saw the surgeon. Before you choose a Dr. may I suggest on getting a second opinion? After the fact I found a Dr. that treats pro sports players in town and I have been told he is the best.

I have a co-worker who's husband had shoulder replacement in July and was in terrible pain for months after surgery. In Jan. he had his 2nd "redo" shoulder replacement done by the Dr. who treats the pros. I can't even imagine going through this surgery twice within 6 months. The second time around went well and he's healing just fine. I can't get in to see this Dr. until 1 yr. post op. I have 2 more months to go! Something just isn't right in my arm.
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replied July 7th, 2010
Hi everyone! I went to the doctor yesterday to have the staples taken out. He said I am healing nicely and to start doing some exercises he gave me to do at home like bending over and dangling my arm down and doing circular and swinging motions - 3 times a day. I don't have to go to physical therapy, at least not yet. I haven't had to take a pain pill for 3 days and I take my sling off and use my arm for some things - but nothing strenuous. So far so good. This has been a lot easier and less painful than my knee replacement surgery. I will keep you all in my prayers and hope that you all get the relief from pain that you need. God bless.
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replied August 13th, 2011
looking for some update on your surgery. i seem to be follwing a very similar path for my first 3 weeks. i has a TSR primarily due to arthritis compounded by a fall 4.5 years ago. i am an active marathoner and trail runner and itching to get back into running. the trails will wait as there are many trip hazards. i am curious to hear from others who have gone through a year and how much activity you have returned to.
Art
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replied August 13th, 2011
looking for some update on your surgery. i seem to be follwing a very similar path for my first 3 weeks. i has a TSR primarily due to arthritis compounded by a fall 4.5 years ago. i am an active marathoner and trail runner and itching to get back into running. the trails will wait as there are many trip hazards. i am curious to hear from others who have gone through a year and how much activity you have returned to.
Art
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replied July 24th, 2010
Hi everyone.

I'm so happy to have found this website and to read your comments.

My orthopaedist says that only a TSR can repair my torn rotator cuff tendon and advanced osteoarthitis. I am very fit and active: I normally play tennis 3 x week, go to gym 4 x week,ski in Winter and swim daily in Summer. I am terrified of this operation and of the changes it could bring to my life. I live alone so would depend heavily on paid home help for months, and I won't be able to earn an income for several months.

After reading your comments, I've decided to cut my activities and change to a lighter gym regime in order to delay the inevitable as long as possible.

AJNana's comments are the only ones so far that give me hope of going back to the active lifestyle that I enjoy. Is there anyone out there who has fully recovered from their TSR and who is active again in sport?

Rob (spam unapproved)
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replied July 25th, 2010
Rob, I know that shoulder replacement is very unusual - it's usually knees and hips. I was also very afraid to have the surgery, but I was in terrible pain and couldn't even lift my arm to fix my hair and also had trouble getting dressed by myself. I am really surprised at how well I'm doing. My surgery was on June 18th, and today is July 24th - I haven't had any significant pain and am completely off of pain meds. I do my exercises 3 times a day and can gradually see improvement each day. I haven't had a sling on for a week now. I am doing my usual routine at home, folding laundry and vacuuming, etc. with no problem. I'm ready to go back to work - as an administrative assistant. Even if I don't get back the normal range of motion, at least I'm not in pain anymore!

If you find the right doctor - one who specializes in shoulders - I think you will be fine. Most people go on the internet when they have had a bad experience and need some advice and comfort. I'm sure there are just as many people who have had TSR and have done great - and didn't feel the need to reach out to anyone on the internet.
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replied July 25th, 2010
Many thanks AJNana. I appreciated your comments.

My orthopaedist is a hip, knee & shoulder specialist, but I've located a 100% shoulder specialist in another city from whom I'm going to get a second opinion.

Fortunately, I have hardly any pain and my mobility isn't too bad. But I do have a full thickness tear in a rotator cuff tendon and my bicep is slipping at the joint, so I don't want this to worsen.

You're probably right though that successful TSR patients may not have the need to seek advice from these websites. Hopefully, they far outnumber those who do, so I'll try to seek some out!
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replied August 8th, 2010
I had a motorcycle accident on April 4 and partial replacement surgery on April 13. I started intensive physical therapy 7 weeks after the surgery, but only passive therapy those first weeks. I can raise my arm about chest high to the front but only waist high to the side. I can't believe how painful all these exercises are. Ice and heat don't work too well. I have learned several pain relief techniques that help. It's that muscle or ligament in the upper front of my arm that really pains me. I'm glad I'm not the only one that still has pain. This recovery is too slow for me.
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replied October 10th, 2010
Any suggestions on which to do first
this entire sight has been helpful-I am heading into either a cleanup of the shoulder of spurs,capsules,tears, etc or a replacement because I am bone on bone. Dr says its my choice. I am going to go for another opinion but my insurance limits me to whom I see. I may wait until after the new year and see if I stay on the same policy-I am tired of the pain, and having to ask hubby to hook my bra and reach for items. My other shoulder has had 3 rotator cuff failed surgeries and I need a reverse on that side. At this point I would like to go to sleep and have the wave a wand over me and say all better. I am on pain management and am scared about what will happen after surgery.
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replied October 10th, 2010
Community Volunteer
Hi nanala and welcome to ehealth: I, too, wish I could go to sleep and have them wave the wand over my knee...I am bone on bone and fear a knee replacement..Now about the shoulder...My husband has had multiple shoulder surgeries...Two on the rotator cuff one and two on the other...From what I have observed I think I would think twice before I had the replacement that you speak about...That is a touchy one...Talk to a few people that have had this and if you can get a second opinion go for it...We are going back to the Orthopedist next month as the one shoulder is really bothering him...I see another clean up in the future...Either way they all hurt after the surgery...

Good luck and keep us advised what happens...Of all the surgeries my husband has had I find that his shoulders were the most painful and still are...This covers hip and two knee replacements...Take care...

Caroline
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replied October 11th, 2010
Left replacement before right replacement
Hi-My left shoulder, the first one I will work with is just degenerative and then 2 auto accidents 2 years apart which did some jiggling around, whip lash style. I have had shots for bursitis, etc since I was in my late teens now 64. I have been getting shots which do calm it down for awhile-its now 2 weeks-until I turn and fall asleep on it which wakes me up and cant get back to sleep. THe right shoulder was started in a fall in my home, broke the humerous in the top into 3 pieces , waited for 7-8 months then surgery which would have been fine until I fell over a student a year later-had another RC repair and the PT overdid it and there was another full tear-the Dr was suppose to graft it but I came out and he said he got it together-now its torn again with nothing to connect it to and you can hear and feel the bone rubbing against itself-so I need to fix both but will start on the other one first. This is crazy since I also need the knee done and am dealing with 5 herniations in the neck and lower back which are causing my back to yell at me. I will get another opinion=meanwhile I have to go to T uscon to see my sick son, who has Gaucher disease along with dementia and Parkinsons. So I feel, I have it almost easier. See u all again.
Nan
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replied October 31st, 2010
july7462
my total shoulder reversal surgery done january 2010 Im miserable still in intense pain and the surgeon tells me every three months Im getting better gee whos wearing the blinders
I call his office get the assistant she tells me to hang in and keep the shoulder moving, My deltoid is sore constantly lost use of my entire right hand and now have drop wrist in my right hand my thumb and pointing finger is all that works i wear a brace 24 7 tired of this as well, getting no answers except told surgeon has no crystal ball to answer my questions and that time is what it takes I went down a flight a stairs at work and 4 surgeries later im still hurting and unable to live life, when will this change, surgeon gave me a 2-4 year turn around for my shoulder really i thought i would be pain free after the surgery least that is what i was told prior to the surgery wondering am i going to face a full replacement of the shoulder which this was the route surgeon told me and fiancee he was doing but after the surgery day the surgeon informed that he did a reversal and did the humeral head the pain is not in my head or in anyone elses head
i just wish this pain would go away im now on morphine twice daily to rid the pain and pain management is working hand in hand with me. workers comp just reinstated the physical therapy for they said 48 visits were enough and i should be able to progress into a home program wrong they are, they sent me to their doctor for exam and their doctor was in favor for me to have more therapy as well anything else to get my arm wrist and pain under control amazing how wrong the system is for the injured workers miserable and tired of pain
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replied December 6th, 2010
I had a partial done on Sept.22nd 2010. Doctor and PT say I'm doing fine. There is still pain and sometimes it feels like someone jabs a knife into the joint. My ROM is up to 140 but it's quite a struggle to get it there. I have a clicking noise that seems to be located in the shoulder blade area. Strange?
My scar looks really good according to the wound specialist at the PT Office. I use a lotion bar that was made for Stretch marks. Scar is 2 1/2 months old and she says it looks like its 6-8 months old. I guess thats good.
Go back to Doctor in 3 days and will update after.
C-ya
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replied December 31st, 2010
Partial shoulder replacement
I had a partial replacement November 23, 2010. This was the 5th surgery on my right shoulder. I've had a torn labrum repair, a capsular release, a torn rotator cuff repair, a bicepts tendonesis and now the partial replacement - all within the past 6 years. I am only 44 years old, so the doctor wouldn't do the full replacement yet. I had fairly good range of motion(I worked hard to keep it) before the surgery, just extreme pain, so the doctor thought I would get along real well after the surgery.

It's now been 5 1/2 Weeks and the pain is alot worse than before the surgery. The pain meds. don't even touch it. My doctor doesn't have any idea why the pain is this bad. I am wishing I wouldn't have gone ahead with this surgery, but it's a little late now. I had to back off physical therapy because it literally brings me to tears. I haven't been able to sleep for so long because of the pain.
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replied January 14th, 2011
Caroline...Knees are nothing to fear if you are healthy and STRONG. You need to do strength exercises before you have replacements. I am four months out from both knees total replacement. There are lots of us out there. If you want to read the stories of success google Bilateral total knee replacement forum. You will find over 1000 comments.99% positive. I am sure positive. I can hike mountain trails that have been hard for me for 15 years. Now I am headed for total shoulder replacement. I am looking for positive remarks about that. Any happy folks out there???
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replied January 17th, 2011
wow after reading all of these stories now i'm freaking out. I have to have TSR Jan.25th probably not good reading about bad results beforehand. I had fallen on my right shoulder about 6yrs ago and in July 2010 had surgery done on it to clean it up the cartiledge is gone and it is bone on bone they tried to create scar tissue by drilling a bunch of holes but, after doing well with PT they had me throwing weighted balls at a trampoline and catching them it started to go badly and i was in intense pain. I was referred to a specialist in sports medicine at OSU. I am 47 and was told if i wanted to inhance my quality of life and be able to get back to work i would have to have it replaced of course being so young she really doesn't want to replace the socket side but, won't know if it has to be replaced until she gets in there to see how bad it is. I guess if something happens to the socket side its a very extensive procedure if something would happen to the socket so i really don't know. I had been really fit from my job as a machine op. but, having been off work since July and not being able to raise my arm up the way i need to be able to or lift heavy objects the muscle in my arm isn't what it used to be. I even had gone as far as trying the synvisc1 shot before coming to the end result of knowing it has to be replaced. I need to get back to work and i guess i'm trying to be optomistic by thinking i'll be there hopefully by the 4th month. I live by myself so i know it is going to be challanging but, i'm stubborn and determined i just hope that it will be a positive experience because i don't know what else to do i do know that i am scared to death.
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replied January 17th, 2011
Community Volunteer
Hi chaos1963....You sound like you have already been through a lot of pain...Take it easy...Do what your doctor says...Don't overdo as in the end you could hamper your healing...I would suggest that you get some help as these surgeries can not only be sore, but in many ways you are helpless....

Good luck and my thoughts and prayers are with you....When you are able, drop us a note...Take care...

Caroline
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replied February 10th, 2011
I’ll just add one more patient’s TSR experience. I’m 74 years old and live alone. Seven years ago I starting having shoulder pain from osteoarthritis. An orthopedic surgeon recommended I have a TSR (TSA – Total Shoulder Arthroplasty in Dr. speak) but I opted for physical therapy. The PT was minimally helpful and the pain continued to worsen over the years.
This year I decided to have the surgery done. My X-rays showed bone on bone. I researched Dr’s until I found one who averaged one TSA a week. The surgery was performed Jan. 20th. I came out of the surgery and was given a self administered pain pump which took care of the pain. The Dr. said I could go home the next day but I needed to wait until the second day when my son could stay with me a few days. The Dr. said I did not need to wear a sling, which I never have. This was apparently because my rotator cuff was in good shape.
I was given exercises to do as soon as I got home. When I got home I also rented a CPM chair for $20/day for 21 days. Medicare won’t pay for a CPM chair for shoulders. My limits on the chair are 140 degrees up and 40 degrees to the side. I sit and watch TV and try and use the chair 1 or 2 hours a day. The first three reps are one of the reasons they invented pain pills. I started off at three pain pills a day and now I’m down to one.
The Dr. said I could drive myself back (150 mile round trip), for the first post-op appointment. This was 11 days after surgery. I started formal physical therapy on my 12th day after surgery. My ROM has been poor for years. Right now, 21 days after surgery, I’m at 100 degrees up. The therapists said I can probably get to 145 Degrees.
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replied March 7th, 2011
TSR and neck pain
This is a great forum. I had TSR in September 2010 after falling on my patio. My biggest problem is when I exercise the arm or use it frequently, I seem to be lifting with my neck muscles, leaving me with a very sore neck. Anyone else experience this? Any solutions?
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