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

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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Oh my goodness…..thank you. I think that is what the surgeon was talking about. We'll see how much more I can learn. I should have known you would dial it down and make it last. Actually, I am kind of chuckling. That is what I have been told. Home the same day and running around like crazy in three days. Of course, Jay was clap happy when they said I could drive in three weeks. He has been driving me everywhere for some time now. I always insist on a personal chat with the anesthesiologist. When I had my reverse shoulder, the anesthesia gentleman came and sat with me after the surgery to make sure he was going to get a good grade.

I will let you know. Thanks so much for staying with Connect and helping others, including me.

May you find joy today.
Chris

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@ltsally – so you were sent home with the nerve block iv in place? I'm a little leery of having to take care of that myself. I'll have to discuss this with my surgeon when I see him next. I had my total knee replacements done one each in the September's of the last two years. I don't know what kind of pain mitigation technique he used (will ask) but I went home the next day with each surgery. I did not have any overwhelming pains, just a feeling of a large dull ache. I was sent home with Oxycodone and Tramadol, but after taking a couple at home after the first surgery, did not use them because they made me nauseous and spaced out, and I didn't think they helped with what type of dull pain I did have. I just used nsaids, some were prescription, some over the counter for the ache and swelling , and lots of icing and elevation. My PT guy said most people don't elevate high enough, the ideal is to get the knee at or above heart level, so if you are on a recliner, you need to put several extra cushions under your foot to get high enough. With a shoulder of course, this should not be a problem. I am hoping my surgeon can use the same pain control techniques as worked on my knees, but maybe muscles and nerves do not always respond the same in another area of the body.

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Talk to your surgeon, but you just wear it around your neck on a cord, twist the dial to up or lower meds…when it is near empty, you would need help just pulling it out. No worries and so worth it.

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Had a reverse total shoulder in 2019 was given nerve block just before being put to sleep.. used very few narcotics post op my saving device was the ice machine I was sent home with (cryocuff machine) I had a great surgeon and a great physical therapist it’s a long journey but def with it as I’m not in pain all day every day anymore. Therapist used a muscle stimulator and eventually dry needling. He told me to keep up the exercises for ever. It took about 1yr and half to get to some normalcy. Usually see him once every 4-6 weeks for dry needling if I overdue it.
So here we are in 2021 and had aTKR IN May by the same surgeon and have my same therapist. Hoping this turns out as well. Good luck

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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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Thank you so much for sharing your recovery from total reverse shoulder replacement…the procedure recommended by my surgeon. I'm feeling better about the surgery and am more optimistic. Thanks again.

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