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.

@moorewilford

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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Thanks for your post. I have been told that I will have no arthritic pain and full range of motion perhaps even golf again after reverse shoulder replacement surgery. These posts tell a different story, range of motion is quite limited with no sporting activity possible. Other posts re. Range of motion after total shoulder replacement?

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@gene924

Thanks for your post. I have been told that I will have no arthritic pain and full range of motion perhaps even golf again after reverse shoulder replacement surgery. These posts tell a different story, range of motion is quite limited with no sporting activity possible. Other posts re. Range of motion after total shoulder replacement?

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Good morning @gene924, and a great big welcome to Connect. We are glad you are here and we are here for you. Our mission as mentors is to improve the quality of life for every member. Without a medical background, we cannot diagnose or prescribe medication/treatment. What we can do is share experiences because we have been there.

I do know one member who has returned to tennis adequately. Don't know about golf. If you are a right-handed golfer and it is your left shoulder…it might work. I received my reverse shoulder on my right side, my dominant side. I am very fortunate to have no pain and a good range of motion. I think my right arm is an inch or two longer now than my left arm. That alone can put a stop to your golf game. I no longer have the joy of acing my male challengers. Awwww!

May you be mentally and physically healthy.
Chris

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@artscaping

Good morning @gene924, and a great big welcome to Connect. We are glad you are here and we are here for you. Our mission as mentors is to improve the quality of life for every member. Without a medical background, we cannot diagnose or prescribe medication/treatment. What we can do is share experiences because we have been there.

I do know one member who has returned to tennis adequately. Don't know about golf. If you are a right-handed golfer and it is your left shoulder…it might work. I received my reverse shoulder on my right side, my dominant side. I am very fortunate to have no pain and a good range of motion. I think my right arm is an inch or two longer now than my left arm. That alone can put a stop to your golf game. I no longer have the joy of acing my male challengers. Awwww!

May you be mentally and physically healthy.
Chris

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Hey thanks for the prompt reply. I'm a left handed golfer and it is my left shoulder. Several members posted limited motion in raising arm and movement toward the back. Motions necessary for a left handed golfer. Golf is probably out, but arthritic pain relief seems assured.
Also, advice is not to lift more than five pounds!? I like to cook, some if my pots and pans are more than five pounds. Shoulder replacement will be a major life changing event…can I put up with the pain?…not for thecrest of my life.

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@gene924

Hey thanks for the prompt reply. I'm a left handed golfer and it is my left shoulder. Several members posted limited motion in raising arm and movement toward the back. Motions necessary for a left handed golfer. Golf is probably out, but arthritic pain relief seems assured.
Also, advice is not to lift more than five pounds!? I like to cook, some if my pots and pans are more than five pounds. Shoulder replacement will be a major life changing event…can I put up with the pain?…not for thecrest of my life.

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Back at you already @gene924. Unfortunately, I think golf will be limited to maybe miniature golf?????? I made it easier by taking my golf "stuff" to a sports reseller. Same thing with my bowling ball and shoes.

What did I replace that activity with……….walking with a group of ladies on week-long inn to inn walks around the world. The first one was the Ring of Kerry in Ireland. We usually walked 10 to 14 or15 miles a day. We walked in pastures, along 40 miles of sandy beach…..sand takes extra energy…..through forests and along country roads. We shared walks with sheep, cows, horses, and occasionally another group from somewhere interesting.

Still have time…..try yoga, mindfulness, and meditation…..brain and body exercises.

May you find some joy in every day.
Chris

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@artscaping

Back at you already @gene924. Unfortunately, I think golf will be limited to maybe miniature golf?????? I made it easier by taking my golf "stuff" to a sports reseller. Same thing with my bowling ball and shoes.

What did I replace that activity with……….walking with a group of ladies on week-long inn to inn walks around the world. The first one was the Ring of Kerry in Ireland. We usually walked 10 to 14 or15 miles a day. We walked in pastures, along 40 miles of sandy beach…..sand takes extra energy…..through forests and along country roads. We shared walks with sheep, cows, horses, and occasionally another group from somewhere interesting.

Still have time…..try yoga, mindfulness, and meditation…..brain and body exercises.

May you find some joy in every day.
Chris

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'walking with a group of ladies' is that what is left after shoulder replacement?! Sounds ripe with possibilities when combined with Bushmill Irish wiskey. Afterall, it was said that golf is a 'good walk spoiled.'
Lower extremities in great condition, played soccer for many years.
Best,
Gene

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@gene924

'walking with a group of ladies' is that what is left after shoulder replacement?! Sounds ripe with possibilities when combined with Bushmill Irish wiskey. Afterall, it was said that golf is a 'good walk spoiled.'
Lower extremities in great condition, played soccer for many years.
Best,
Gene

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Oh, let's see. You can do yoga (carefully,) ride horses, pull weeds, feed chipmunks, arrange flowers, and become a mentor because you care and have just a touch of humor. Happy 4th.
Chris

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@gene924 I have not yet scheduled my TSR, though will see my surgeon in about 3 weeks for a decision. I tend to be optimistic about recovery and eventual range of motion, since both my knee replacements went well. I know the shoulder joint is different, and for some a reverse procedure more limiting. But I do believe that strong motivation to get back your mobility and above all getting a good physical therapist and not skimping on faithfully doing all the additional home exercises required even beyond the weeks of PT, gives you the best chances of returning to a near normal. I think reading about other people's problems here before surgery is important in getting a well rounded view of all possibilities. However, I suspect that postings are skewed towards the problems, because most of the people with successful surgeries go on with their lives and never post the good results anywhere.
In doing a brief search, I found this 2019 British journal article you may want to read in full, entitled "ACTIVITY LIMITATIONS AFTER SHOULDER ARTHROPLASTY: BE ALL YOU CAN BE" https://online.boneandjoint.org.uk/doi/abs/10.1302/1358-992X.2019.8.022 that states that "As expected, the return to these sports is less for reverse shoulder arthroplasty patients vs. anatomic shoulder arthroplasty patients. In a systematic review, more than 90% of anatomic shoulder replacement patients returned to sport, while 75% of reverse shoulder arthroplasty patients returned to some sporting activity."
I realize not everyone gets good results, but I have to remain optimistic!

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@ddsack

@gene924 I have not yet scheduled my TSR, though will see my surgeon in about 3 weeks for a decision. I tend to be optimistic about recovery and eventual range of motion, since both my knee replacements went well. I know the shoulder joint is different, and for some a reverse procedure more limiting. But I do believe that strong motivation to get back your mobility and above all getting a good physical therapist and not skimping on faithfully doing all the additional home exercises required even beyond the weeks of PT, gives you the best chances of returning to a near normal. I think reading about other people's problems here before surgery is important in getting a well rounded view of all possibilities. However, I suspect that postings are skewed towards the problems, because most of the people with successful surgeries go on with their lives and never post the good results anywhere.
In doing a brief search, I found this 2019 British journal article you may want to read in full, entitled "ACTIVITY LIMITATIONS AFTER SHOULDER ARTHROPLASTY: BE ALL YOU CAN BE" https://online.boneandjoint.org.uk/doi/abs/10.1302/1358-992X.2019.8.022 that states that "As expected, the return to these sports is less for reverse shoulder arthroplasty patients vs. anatomic shoulder arthroplasty patients. In a systematic review, more than 90% of anatomic shoulder replacement patients returned to sport, while 75% of reverse shoulder arthroplasty patients returned to some sporting activity."
I realize not everyone gets good results, but I have to remain optimistic!

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I have not had a shoulder replacement, but my body has a patchwork of scars from other orthopedic surgeries. Being "of a certain age" MANY friends and family members also sport these battle scars.
In my experience, the primary differences in recovery, barring any unforeseen surgical complication, are POSITIVE ATTITUDE and willingness to really do the PT as much and as long as is necessary to achieve your desired result.
From reading your posts, you have this covered! You should do great (PS That said, I wasn't abled to play hard court volleyball after hip replacement due to the jumping. But I do everything else!)
Good luck.
Sue

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@ddsack

@gene924 I have not yet scheduled my TSR, though will see my surgeon in about 3 weeks for a decision. I tend to be optimistic about recovery and eventual range of motion, since both my knee replacements went well. I know the shoulder joint is different, and for some a reverse procedure more limiting. But I do believe that strong motivation to get back your mobility and above all getting a good physical therapist and not skimping on faithfully doing all the additional home exercises required even beyond the weeks of PT, gives you the best chances of returning to a near normal. I think reading about other people's problems here before surgery is important in getting a well rounded view of all possibilities. However, I suspect that postings are skewed towards the problems, because most of the people with successful surgeries go on with their lives and never post the good results anywhere.
In doing a brief search, I found this 2019 British journal article you may want to read in full, entitled "ACTIVITY LIMITATIONS AFTER SHOULDER ARTHROPLASTY: BE ALL YOU CAN BE" https://online.boneandjoint.org.uk/doi/abs/10.1302/1358-992X.2019.8.022 that states that "As expected, the return to these sports is less for reverse shoulder arthroplasty patients vs. anatomic shoulder arthroplasty patients. In a systematic review, more than 90% of anatomic shoulder replacement patients returned to sport, while 75% of reverse shoulder arthroplasty patients returned to some sporting activity."
I realize not everyone gets good results, but I have to remain optimistic!

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I had total reverse shoulder replacement after an unsuccessful lower trapezius tendon transfer last fall. I was hoping to get back on the tennis court. Today I'm pretty much pain free, have played some tennis, have done PT faithfully, and lift 45 pound suitcases around airports and hotels. I will get back to tennis, having a right hand a couple of inches longer will make it easier to cover the alley 🙂 . My surgeon's approach was if you can do it before the surgery you hopefully will be able to do it after the surgery. The downside was lack of strength in my right arm after almost a year of non use. As a result, I'm working with a trainer, twice a week, on balance and strength training. It is really helping. I have almost full range of motion….except in the small of my back….but even that is better. If you have the surgery, the only advice I'd give is make SURE you get a nerve block catheter for the pain. It made my recovery much easier and I only took one or two heavy pain killers in my whole recovery. I'm 68, walk daily, and lead an active life….. you can too :-)…..

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@ltsally

I had total reverse shoulder replacement after an unsuccessful lower trapezius tendon transfer last fall. I was hoping to get back on the tennis court. Today I'm pretty much pain free, have played some tennis, have done PT faithfully, and lift 45 pound suitcases around airports and hotels. I will get back to tennis, having a right hand a couple of inches longer will make it easier to cover the alley 🙂 . My surgeon's approach was if you can do it before the surgery you hopefully will be able to do it after the surgery. The downside was lack of strength in my right arm after almost a year of non use. As a result, I'm working with a trainer, twice a week, on balance and strength training. It is really helping. I have almost full range of motion….except in the small of my back….but even that is better. If you have the surgery, the only advice I'd give is make SURE you get a nerve block catheter for the pain. It made my recovery much easier and I only took one or two heavy pain killers in my whole recovery. I'm 68, walk daily, and lead an active life….. you can too :-)…..

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Hi there @ltsally, Wonderful to see your post and learn how you are doing. I think about you often and how determined you are to return to the tennis court and your pre-shoulder surgery life. Would you please explain a nerve block catheter to me? I am getting ready for another TKR and the surgeon mentioned a nerve block so that I can have less pain and go home the same day. Have you heard of that?

Enjoy the 4th.
Chris

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Not sure Chris how they'd do a nerve block for knee replacement, but for shoulder surgery…they insert a needle attached to a small IV into your nerves around your shoulder. My needle and IV was inserted about 6 inches into my neck and shoulder until it connected with a nerve. Then I wore a plastic ball kinda thing around my neck that I could adjust how much of the block went into my nerves. If I was in a lot of pain, I could up the dose… I dialed down the dose and made the block last for 6 days post surgery. Taking it out you just have someone slowly pull it out. Because of this literally maybe 2 pain pills for the entire recovery. My only caveat is to make sure the anesthetist uses lots of pain killer when they insert the catheter. Make sense????

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Also… with both the lower trapezius tendon transfer and the total reverse shoulder replacement… I went home the same day.

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