Shoulder Replacement Surgery: Range of motion?

Posted by Leonard @jakedduck1, Jun 21, 2018

Curious if anyone’s had a shoulder replacement. I’m in need of a couple replacements. After the doctor I wanted decided he wanted a Neurological evaluation because of my Seizures he was reluctant to do my surgeries fearing I’d continue to have seizures and damage the replacements so I decided to wait. I’m interested in knowing if anyone with a replacement had increased or decreased range of motion and substantially reduced pain and how long did the complete recovery period take. I’ve heard the recovery time was one year. Any information would be greatly appreciated.

@ltsally…..oh my, you are just few years younger than I am at 77. Chris

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I've been getting injections in my shoulder for over 3 years. Now they are not lasting and I'm meeting with my doctor next week to discuss shoulder replacement surgery. I'm 76 and live by myself and am concerned how I'm going to take care of myself during recovery which sounds like a long time after reading these notes.

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@gail922

I've been getting injections in my shoulder for over 3 years. Now they are not lasting and I'm meeting with my doctor next week to discuss shoulder replacement surgery. I'm 76 and live by myself and am concerned how I'm going to take care of myself during recovery which sounds like a long time after reading these notes.

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@gail922 I had a marvelous surgeon at Mayo who did total replacements on both of my shoulders. The left side was done when I was 74, and as it was my non-dominant hand, recovery was easy. A friend set up a rota and friends stopped by to do do things I couldn't manage with one hand, like making my bed and doing some of the exercises. My dominant side was done when I was 78, and that was a whole different story. I'd moved to another state, so I didn't have that group of friends, and flew to Arkansas to stay with my daughter. She has a very demanding job, so I was pretty much on my own. I was really clumsy, but I made it work. I do tend to heal well and quickly, and I have full use of both shoulders with no pain. My wonderful surgeon kids me, saying that I have better range of motion than he has. He's taken photos of videos of me demonstrating my range of motion. Keep a positive attitude, and keep exercising your shoulder right up until the day of surgery, which will help greatly with your recovery. So, prepare gail922. Would it be your dominant or non-dominant shoulder? Do you have friends or neighbors who could help you? Or a visiting health care service? Wishing you the best!

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It's my dominant shoulder. I'm not worried about dressing and I can bring in frozen dinners. Bathroom issues are what worry me. How long is it before you were able to drive yourself. I have friends who will stop by but they don't live close enough that I would expect them to drop by every day. I'm sure they would help with shopping. How long is it before I can take care of myself? Use my my arm to brush my teeth, etc.

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@gail922

It's my dominant shoulder. I'm not worried about dressing and I can bring in frozen dinners. Bathroom issues are what worry me. How long is it before you were able to drive yourself. I have friends who will stop by but they don't live close enough that I would expect them to drop by every day. I'm sure they would help with shopping. How long is it before I can take care of myself? Use my my arm to brush my teeth, etc.

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@gail922 I prepared ahead of time by making myself use my non-dominant hand for toothbrushing, toileting, and anything else I could–reaching for things, carrying small items, etc, You will have some LIMITED use of your hand that's in the abduction sling. If I remember correctly, driving was out for the 6 weeks I was in the sling. It's manageable..,,YOU CAN DO IT!!

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I had a total shoulder replacement of my right shoulder in July 2019. My shoulder was hurting quite a bit though the pain often felt as if it were down my right arm as far, at times, as my elbow. I learned that was normal and related to the nerves being impacted by the damage in my shoulder. My shoulder had significant damage directly related to arthritis. Years ago I broke my right arm just below my shoulder. I did not receive physical therapy at that time. My range of motion was impacted from that injury. Not severely but noticeably. I was convinced a shoulder replacement was going to be a difficult surgery with a painful recovery. My experience was almost startlingly different. The surgery went well. Recovery went well. Physical therapy went well. Range of motion is good with a bit of pain when reaching behind. I believe, for me, the success I had was directly related to me following all the suggestions for resting, taking meds, using shoulder sling all the time required, etc. I used YouTube to show me how to position my arm while sitting and sleeping and changing clothes. The warnings about being slack in these areas got my attention. I also stayed with friends for several weeks so I was safe and free to recover. Of course physical therapy was critical also. Yes, it was painful. Yes, recovery seems to take forever. Was the surgery successful and worth it? A thousand times yes!!

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@gail922

It's my dominant shoulder. I'm not worried about dressing and I can bring in frozen dinners. Bathroom issues are what worry me. How long is it before you were able to drive yourself. I have friends who will stop by but they don't live close enough that I would expect them to drop by every day. I'm sure they would help with shopping. How long is it before I can take care of myself? Use my my arm to brush my teeth, etc.

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I did not entertain the idea of being home alone. I stayed with friends. Pain medication, etc. makes me totally goofy. Loose clothing will make everything simpler. I cut the seam on old shirts to accomodate my surgery shoulder. YouTube gives great videos showing how to bend forward allowing the shoulder to drop forward gently so you can change. Educate yourself on techniques, details on sleeping, etc. Again, loose clothing is a big clue. You will do great!

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@gail922

I've been getting injections in my shoulder for over 3 years. Now they are not lasting and I'm meeting with my doctor next week to discuss shoulder replacement surgery. I'm 76 and live by myself and am concerned how I'm going to take care of myself during recovery which sounds like a long time after reading these notes.

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I encourage you to put time and effort in planning for your recovery time. I am fiercely independent but not for recovery. There are a ton of valuable resources for planning and being realistic. Recovery is long but healing begins immediately so each week of recovery brings new freedoms and relief. Don’t try to do this alone, friend.

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@anncgrl

I encourage you to put time and effort in planning for your recovery time. I am fiercely independent but not for recovery. There are a ton of valuable resources for planning and being realistic. Recovery is long but healing begins immediately so each week of recovery brings new freedoms and relief. Don’t try to do this alone, friend.

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I had my surgery over 10 days ago. I need help.

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@wildebjef

I had my surgery over 10 days ago. I need help.

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@wildebjef You will notice that I removed your email address from your post to protect your privacy and prevent email spamming. We urge members to use the private message (PM) function of Connect to share contact information if they want to connect privately with each other. I think your post was intended for @anncgrl since it was a reply to her post to you.

How to Send a Private Message – https://connect.mayoclinic.org/get-started-on-connect/#send-private-message
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@anncgrl

I had a total shoulder replacement of my right shoulder in July 2019. My shoulder was hurting quite a bit though the pain often felt as if it were down my right arm as far, at times, as my elbow. I learned that was normal and related to the nerves being impacted by the damage in my shoulder. My shoulder had significant damage directly related to arthritis. Years ago I broke my right arm just below my shoulder. I did not receive physical therapy at that time. My range of motion was impacted from that injury. Not severely but noticeably. I was convinced a shoulder replacement was going to be a difficult surgery with a painful recovery. My experience was almost startlingly different. The surgery went well. Recovery went well. Physical therapy went well. Range of motion is good with a bit of pain when reaching behind. I believe, for me, the success I had was directly related to me following all the suggestions for resting, taking meds, using shoulder sling all the time required, etc. I used YouTube to show me how to position my arm while sitting and sleeping and changing clothes. The warnings about being slack in these areas got my attention. I also stayed with friends for several weeks so I was safe and free to recover. Of course physical therapy was critical also. Yes, it was painful. Yes, recovery seems to take forever. Was the surgery successful and worth it? A thousand times yes!!

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hi – i had total shoulder replacement in March 2021. And whilst doing physical therapy my shoulder hikes up a bit (sometimes more than a bit) and my scapula is doing some weird things as well – did you experience any issues like this in your rehab?

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@anncgrl

I had a total shoulder replacement of my right shoulder in July 2019. My shoulder was hurting quite a bit though the pain often felt as if it were down my right arm as far, at times, as my elbow. I learned that was normal and related to the nerves being impacted by the damage in my shoulder. My shoulder had significant damage directly related to arthritis. Years ago I broke my right arm just below my shoulder. I did not receive physical therapy at that time. My range of motion was impacted from that injury. Not severely but noticeably. I was convinced a shoulder replacement was going to be a difficult surgery with a painful recovery. My experience was almost startlingly different. The surgery went well. Recovery went well. Physical therapy went well. Range of motion is good with a bit of pain when reaching behind. I believe, for me, the success I had was directly related to me following all the suggestions for resting, taking meds, using shoulder sling all the time required, etc. I used YouTube to show me how to position my arm while sitting and sleeping and changing clothes. The warnings about being slack in these areas got my attention. I also stayed with friends for several weeks so I was safe and free to recover. Of course physical therapy was critical also. Yes, it was painful. Yes, recovery seems to take forever. Was the surgery successful and worth it? A thousand times yes!!

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What a wonderful post @anncgrl. I am happy for you. You made everything work as it is supposed to. I think your most important statement is the idea that you will handle recuperation better if you follow the suggestions from your medical team. Yeah to the team! Together you have done it.

May you be content and at ease.
Chris

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