← Return to Concerns after Reverse Total Shoulder Replacement

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Good evening @fredaardvarks and @ddsack ......my goodness you have almost written a book. I have read through your responses twice and hope I can remember which one of you had which issues. As you may know, reverse shoulder replacement surgery has only been available in the US for somewhere around 18 years. It was developed in France and then brought to the Univ of Washington. My cognitive abilities are aging as I just turned 82 yesterday. I will try to share some of my experiences accurately and hope they are helpful.

When I had my reverse TSR at 70 years of age. there was no "Blueprint" 3D planning. Therefore, I was warned that the replacement might not fit perfectly. Post-surgery PT was not yet developed. My surgeon and local PT got together and worked out the program before introducing it to me post-surgery. My injury was the result of a tragic fall during which I severely dislocated my right shoulder and suffered three breaks in my right elbow. I too wore the minimizer.

It might be helpful for you to know that I had two Pre-surgeries. The first was an attempt at traditional rotator cuff repair. My surgeon told me that when he got in there it was like the "Grand Canyon" of holes. Then...because my insurance company was not very willing to cover the "reverse" my surgeon attempted a cadaver replacement. That was also a failure. One day I was in his office and watched as he slid down the wall onto the floor while talking to the insurance company. They thought I was too young and would require additional repair work as I aged.

He did win the battle and as I was wheeled into the surgical room, I noticed that there appeared to be an audience, including one of the manufacturer's engineers. My surgeon chose to stay in or near my room the first night. Even the anesthesist dropped in to make sure everything was o.k.

My post-surgery recovery was not excruciating.....just cumbersome. Because my dominant arm was the site of the injury, I had to train my left arm to do many life activities including handwriting. I probably qualified as ambidextrous. It was always hard to zip my clothes and use my keyboard.

Just now, I tried the movements that you have described and pictured. I have no problems and have a full range of motion. So somewhere along the way in the last few years, my shoulder has learned to perform exactly what it was designed to do. I recall that eating an ice cream cone was always a bit unbalanced with the elbow locked up higher than necessary.

So.....when did I regain full use of my shoulder? I think it was in the last few years. There was no recognition of the moment. I just know that when I eat an ice cream cone, my elbow stays against my body like it should and when the sheets come out of the dryer, I can fold them without giving in to total frustration. Be patient......you cannot change what has occurred. You can look forward to significant improvement.

May you both be safe, protected, and free of inner and outer harm.

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Replies to "Good evening @fredaardvarks and @ddsack ......my goodness you have almost written a book. I have read..."

Hello Chris. Happy Birthday!!

What an absolutely wonderful comment you gave. Thank you. That does give me some insight about the recovery process. Your mention of your elbow being locked up while eating an ice cream cone, gives me some hope that this issue might eventually improve.
I will still shoot my Surgeon's office a message, about my concern (after I receive the operative report). It's always good to have a "paper trail" of email messages, for the record.

thanks again for the time you took to reply.

All the best!