Sleeping after reverse shoulder replacement
Can anyone recommend sleeping suggestions? In April I had my right shoulder replaced (reverse) and tomorrow will get my left one done. This, hopefully, will end a six-joint saga. I did purchase toddler pillows today.
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Hello @warrior6, Welcome to Connect. I haven't had the shoulder replacement but have had a knee replacement that was bad enough for sleeping so know how you feel. Sounds like you had might have had problems sleeping after your first shoulder replacement and want to be prepared. While we wait for others with experience to share their tips I thought you might find the following video helpful. There is also a discussion you might find helpful here:
— Shoulder replacement: Post-surgery suggestions:
Did you have problems sleeping after your first shoulder replacement?
Thank you, John. I had very little pain after the block wore off from my first shoulder replacement. I took opioids for about a day then switched to 2 extra strength Tylenol with 2 ibuprofen every 4 hours. The worst part was the block temporarily paralyzed a wee bit of my lung (they warned me in advance) and I became more anxious- not breathing right and having to try to sleep on my back with a humongous sling. Lorazepam came in very handy for a few days.
@warrior6 – I can understand you are worried about the breathing, but there is a good chance that this time it may go better. I had my reverse right TSR over a year ago. I had a scratchy throat for a few days from the breathing tube they had down my throat during surgery, but no lung issues. I do remember they had me start using that plastic device that you inhale into to make the little ball go up measurable levels to check lung function. I went home the next day, and they said to keep working at it the next few days, maybe 10 times 3-4 times a day. No one mentioned temporary lung paralysis, but I suppose that must have been the reason for the recovery breathing exercises, but I had no breathing problems. Let's hope yours was just a one time thing. I know when you worry about something it's easy to think yourself into feeling symptoms which feel very real.
I'm not a back sleeper, and I normally like a flat pillow, so getting a comfortable sleeping position was not easy for me. I slept on a bed wedge and had various pillows on the sides to prop my arm on. I spent more time on my left side than on my back, or at least a quarter turn to the left so my cheek could be on the pillow. Many people do fine in the recommended recliner chair, but that felt too confined to me, and too upright for other than day use. I had very little pain, other than a dull overall ache in the shoulder, so extra strength Tylenol and Naproxen were all I took. I am a quiet sleeper without much moving around, so after about a week I would disconnect the wrist velcro at night from the waist band, which was possible with the type of immobilizer/sling I had. The elbow band keeps the shoulder rigid which is what is important, but I could sleep better with my arm resting straight on my thigh. If you are a sleep thrasher, you may not want to do that, or maybe your type of sling won't allow for it.
I just had a reverse shoulder replacement 6 weeks ago. I am still sleeping in a recliner – not too bad. I put down comforters on it. One on the back and seat and another one on the seat and footrest. They cover the armrests as well and it feels very comfortable and soft. I am since Monday allowed to sleep in a bed. I tried, but it is more painful and not as comfortable as the recliner.
My experience is: I hardly had any pain. I got a nerve block for 3 days and the first day some extra meds. After the nerve block was finished I only took once in a while 2 tylenol. The PT gives me now some soreness, but nothing compared to the pain before the surgery. I am a happy patient….