Left total shoulder replacement: Why can't I drive for 6 weeks?

Posted by car54 @car54, Feb 14 10:13am

It looks like you aren’t suppose to drive for 6 weeks. I can with that agree if you are on pain meds but once off them I don’t understand why you can’t drive a short distance for therapy. It is a left shoulder, I don’t see any problem with driving one handed with a auto transmission.

Any thoughts? thank you.

Good morning and a big welcome to Connect, @car54. Happy Valentines Day. Thank you for joining our active and informative community of patients, caregivers, family, and providers. We are not medically trained, just medically involved and anxious to learn. I have had 4 shoulder surgeries. Two required that big hunky sling. I, like you, asked the question…why can't I drive?

Unlike you, I did drive off the mountain and down to the gas station. Everything was going well until I went to leave and turned the corner too tight because of only one hand…..smashed the gas pump barrier and short of smashed my bumper as well.

That was enough….now I understand. You may want to read the driver's manual to find out what the fine is for being observed driving with a sling.

When was your replacement? How is rehab going? Are you left-handed? May you have peace and ease today. Chris

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@artscaping

Good morning and a big welcome to Connect, @car54. Happy Valentines Day. Thank you for joining our active and informative community of patients, caregivers, family, and providers. We are not medically trained, just medically involved and anxious to learn. I have had 4 shoulder surgeries. Two required that big hunky sling. I, like you, asked the question…why can't I drive?

Unlike you, I did drive off the mountain and down to the gas station. Everything was going well until I went to leave and turned the corner too tight because of only one hand…..smashed the gas pump barrier and short of smashed my bumper as well.

That was enough….now I understand. You may want to read the driver's manual to find out what the fine is for being observed driving with a sling.

When was your replacement? How is rehab going? Are you left-handed? May you have peace and ease today. Chris

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I haven't had it yet. It suppose to be on May 20th. A couple of weeks after that date my grandson might be working a year in Mexico which is a 1500 mile trip. If I can't drive I'll at least be a passenger, he is only 24 years old. I am on a cancellation waiting list and hopefully they can move it up. I'll check driving with a sling laws. How was your shoulder after the accident? I am left handed so that would make it easier. Thanks for your reply.

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I have had 2 rotator cuff surgeries on my right shoulder. And I was able to drive within 3 weeks.
I am having a reverse total shoulder procedure done this summer and my ortho surgeon claimed recovery was much easier!
Best of luck to you and let us know how you are!

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@car54

I haven't had it yet. It suppose to be on May 20th. A couple of weeks after that date my grandson might be working a year in Mexico which is a 1500 mile trip. If I can't drive I'll at least be a passenger, he is only 24 years old. I am on a cancellation waiting list and hopefully they can move it up. I'll check driving with a sling laws. How was your shoulder after the accident? I am left handed so that would make it easier. Thanks for your reply.

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Hi there @car54. So…you have a surgery coming up May 20 and need to get back on the road again. That time, mine surgery was a reverse replacement on the right shoulder. Because of the immobilizer, I think the pain was quantifiably less than the series of rotator cuffs and cadaver grafts. Shoulder didn't suffer, my bumper did.

A good followup to check the driving with sling laws. Will you be in CA?
Be healthy and at ease today. Chris

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@artscaping

Hi there @car54. So…you have a surgery coming up May 20 and need to get back on the road again. That time, mine surgery was a reverse replacement on the right shoulder. Because of the immobilizer, I think the pain was quantifiably less than the series of rotator cuffs and cadaver grafts. Shoulder didn't suffer, my bumper did.

A good followup to check the driving with sling laws. Will you be in CA?
Be healthy and at ease today. Chris

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No I wont be in CA. It would be a trip from Auburn, Alabama to Aguascalientes, Mexico. As much as I would not want to delay the surgery it might be best to put it off for a couple of weeks. Its a long trip and it would definitely be safer with 2 arms.

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@car54

No I wont be in CA. It would be a trip from Auburn, Alabama to Aguascalientes, Mexico. As much as I would not want to delay the surgery it might be best to put it off for a couple of weeks. Its a long trip and it would definitely be safer with 2 arms.

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I rescheduled the surgery for June 17th. That's a 4 month wait, not what I wanted. I just want to make sure my grandson gets there safe. He has a tendency to push himself to hard when it comes to driving. If I am with him I can share the driving and because I am older I'll make sure he gets walking breaks because for my sake I will need them.

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Because the ortho knows best! After my first shoulder replacement, I made a mistake shortly after driving was allowed. I parked, and something fell off the passenger seat onto the floor. I reached across the mid-section to retrieve it from the floor because I COULD and because IT DIDNT HURT TO DO SO. BIG MISTAKE. Eventually I developed a click in the shoulder (crepitus) which eventually turned into a crunch after a few months. Then I had an “earthquake” when the ball came out of joint. Complete redo of surgery. Be patient! You never know how you could have an innocent issue turn into a major one.

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Bassslakebabe19, That had to be real disappointing but it is good for me to know that because generally I do push it.
I got a call from the surgeons office. They had a cancellation and the surgery was moved up to March 18. That will give me 2 1/2 months of healing before I help my grandson out with his driving. I will report the outcome of the surgery later. Praise God!

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@car54

Bassslakebabe19, That had to be real disappointing but it is good for me to know that because generally I do push it.
I got a call from the surgeons office. They had a cancellation and the surgery was moved up to March 18. That will give me 2 1/2 months of healing before I help my grandson out with his driving. I will report the outcome of the surgery later. Praise God!

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@car54 I haven't had shoulder syrgery, but numerous knee, hand, wrist and thumb procedures and total hip replacements. I reluctantly followed the surgeon's advice after the therapist asked me "How would you feel if you were unable to react quickly enough to an emergency and injured someone else?" I decided that I didn't want to take that risk, and haven't driven against medical advice since. Sue

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@roewes07

I have had 2 rotator cuff surgeries on my right shoulder. And I was able to drive within 3 weeks.
I am having a reverse total shoulder procedure done this summer and my ortho surgeon claimed recovery was much easier!
Best of luck to you and let us know how you are!

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Reverse is easier but takes much longer to heal, reaching your potential in strength and range of motion. My surgeon says it’s about 3 years.

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@basslakebabe19, @roewes07 Good afternoon. Well, you got me to thinking. I have had 2 attempted and unsuccessful rotator cuff repairs on the right shoulder and one successful rotator cuff repair on the left shoulder. They finally resorted to a reverse total shoulder replacement on the right shoulder. Yes, it was an easier recovery, perhaps because there are new parts doing the job, not a continually damaged rotator cuff. The best news for me…..I have absolutely zero pain on the reverse replacement side. I owned a business at the time and do not think I was incapacitated for 3 years. In fact, I was able to rejoin my walking group to spend 7 days discovering the ring of Kerry in Ireland. My surgeon and I worked out the timing so that I could participate if I promised to bring him pictures.

I wish you the very best. I simply encourage you to take it very slow and treasurer your new and functioning shoulder. When is your surgery scheduled? Do you have a friend who can come help with showers and dressing? Is this the same surgeon who performed your rotator cuff surgeries? Do you have a good relationship at this point? That makes everything better. Be safe and protected.
Chris

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@roewes07

I have had 2 rotator cuff surgeries on my right shoulder. And I was able to drive within 3 weeks.
I am having a reverse total shoulder procedure done this summer and my ortho surgeon claimed recovery was much easier!
Best of luck to you and let us know how you are!

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Easier surgery but much longer recovery. I’ve had both.

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@roewes07

I have had 2 rotator cuff surgeries on my right shoulder. And I was able to drive within 3 weeks.
I am having a reverse total shoulder procedure done this summer and my ortho surgeon claimed recovery was much easier!
Best of luck to you and let us know how you are!

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Easier surgery by far but much longer for full range of motion and strength recovery.

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