Reverse Shoulder Replacement: Post-surgery mobility

Posted by kc12858 @kc12858, Dec 3, 2019

Has anybody had difficulty getting their hand and arm behind their backs?

@kc12858, Welcome to Connect. Those of us who serve as mentors are not medically trained and yet are willing to share any of our experiences which might help others. So, let me see if I can help. In reading your request, I am noting that you are probably talking about the standard exam for rotator cuff injury. Let me check. Hmmmm, my left arm, the one with rotator repair moves more easily up my back on its own and without pain. The arm with the reverse is more challenged by the task and needs help from the repaired arm. The rotator cuff for that arm was so shredded that it just disintegrated. There is very little discomfort. How did your injury occur? Have you had the reverse already? What are your experiences? May you have a restful sleep. Chris

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I had a reverse shoulder replacement in mid-July. I was told not to attempt to put the arm behind my back by a PT. Doing so was not on the list/pictures of what my post surgical rehab entailed. I would also advise NOT to stretch too far once rehab is done. Once I could drive. I pulled into a lot and realized something had fallen on the floor. I stretched over the console to pick up what had been on the passenger seat. After that, I developed a clicking in the shoulder (no pain). Eventually the clicks progressed to crunches. Still no pain. Then I had the "earthquake" when the ball came totally our of place. Big pain! Had to have a complete redo of the surgery with all new hardware. Be careful……

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@artscaping

@kc12858, Welcome to Connect. Those of us who serve as mentors are not medically trained and yet are willing to share any of our experiences which might help others. So, let me see if I can help. In reading your request, I am noting that you are probably talking about the standard exam for rotator cuff injury. Let me check. Hmmmm, my left arm, the one with rotator repair moves more easily up my back on its own and without pain. The arm with the reverse is more challenged by the task and needs help from the repaired arm. The rotator cuff for that arm was so shredded that it just disintegrated. There is very little discomfort. How did your injury occur? Have you had the reverse already? What are your experiences? May you have a restful sleep. Chris

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I have now had five surgeries on my right shoulder. The 4th one was a reverse shoulder replacement. The last one was to open it up again to remove more bone. I get all of the movements of my shoulder that one would expect except any movements to the back and left. This of course makes a necessary bodily function impossible to perform. My surgeon says that he has never seen this situation before. The whole reasoning behind the operation was to allow me to perform that function and I still cannot. 200 sessions of physical therapy have not improved it. I'm looking to see if there is a light at the end of all of this. Any resources would be greatly appreciated.

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@kc12858 Oh my goodness. I just don't know what to say. That doesn't sound like anything I have experienced. If your surgeon hasn't encountered this situation, what does he recommend that you do now? As I read your story, I am pretty astounded. There is only one issue since the reverse that keeps cropping up.

My right arm is now 2 inches longer than my left. So…yoga planks or push-ups just aren't easy. And I only use my left hand for eating. It's not that the right shoulder hurts, it is that those 2 inches get in the way and my elbow sticks out when I use it to eat. Sort of ugly.

I am quite comfortable using my left arm for eating. Why was more bone removed? Are you pain-free now? I just wish there was some way to shed some light on your issue. May you be free of pain and suffering. Chris

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Yes, and I was told this might happen. I had the surgery in June 2019 and while I continue to have some difficulty, my reach behind my back has improved! It is reaching up that is painful.

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Yes, I am 4 months post op and I am unable to go behind my back.

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I'm going in for reverse shoulder replacement and wonder if anyone has had it and continued to play tennis? I've read mixed reviews on this but would like to talk to someone who has done it. Thanks.

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Don’t rush it….I can now do it after several months since surgery.

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Thanks…. Do you play doubles, USTA, leagues, or social. I'm a mid 3.5 USTA and only play doubles. 67 years old and anxious to get back on the court. Don't rush it is good advice. Sally

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