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?
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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....
You don’t know how happy I am to hear about your experience. I am hoping to be in my bed after surgery as I have an adjustable bed. I am schedule for this surgery on Sept 27 and my husband is a little concerned about how much he can do for me. He has fibromyalgia and Stage 4/5 kidney failure. So he is fatigued a lot.
We have to be prepared but not sure what to prepare since we don’t know how much help I might need or how he will feel.
I am 11 weeks post op for reverse shoulder replacement and sleeping seems to be the most concerning problem for me. I started out in a recliner for about 9 weeks and am trying to adjust to a bed. I can’t sleep on my back in the bed,mattress is too firm and I have arthritis in my lower spine. Sleeping on my good side with a pillow behind me and one under my operated arm ,with the sling on,is very uncomfortable. Any suggestions?
Good evening @nonnahelen. Welcome to Connect. Thanks for your first post. I am feeling good that your reverse shoulder replacement is over and your recovery is progressing. Sleeping.........is a challenge. I was not able to use a recliner for a couple of reasons. First.....we didn't have one and second, my sweet Roxie (Cavalier) liked to sleep right alongside me at my knees. And then we had Jazzie, my little Maine Coon kitty who slept at the head of the bed. I know.....how did that happen?
So what I did was put a T-shirt on without putting my arms in the holes at the shoulder. That made my shoulder rest rather tightly to my body and prevented exposure. I was able to sleep on my back after a while or move onto my non-surgery side. I did try Ambien for sleeping and it helped. Just taper off of it easily.
Did you have an injury to your shoulder that required the reverse? How long will you be wearing the immobilizer? Don't forget that you may not be able to drive with the immobilizer on. It was illegal in my state.
When do you begin PT? Is this your dominant arm?
May you be safe, protected, and free from inner and outer harm.
Chris,thanks for relating your sleep solution. I started pt about 7 weeks ago and am wearing the sling just at night. The surgeons office said I could sleep on my operated side if there was no pain,but the therapist said he wouldn’t advise that.
I fell and fractured my shoulder in 3 places so that was the reason for the reverse replacement.
How long ago was your surgery and are you still rehabbing?
I think I will sleep on a very cushy blanket tonite on my back,so my arthritis will not bother me. In the beginning,I was able to sleep on my back on the sofa because it was not as firm as my mattress,so it didn’t bother my arthritis.
Can I ask if anyone had their reverse shoulder replacement done at the Mayo Clinic in Phoenix and if so, who was your surgeon? Did you like the surgeon and what was your overall experience? I have been recommended to have reverse shoulder replacement on my dominant side. Any hints would be appreciated. Thank you.
Good evening @nonnahelen, Hi there....it sounds like we both need to stop falling. In the winter at the American Legion where I used to live, they removed the fence at the end of the parking area so that the snow plow could have more room. One day in July, I was attending a dinner. Actually, I was a guest of honor that year because I won the Essence of Idyllwild award.
When I went to leave and waved goodbye to everyone, I was walking backward to my car. And wouldn't you know....they had still not replaced the fence. Down the mountain, I went. Three fractures in my elbow and a major dislocation to my dominant shoulder. I remember that they tied my arm to the interior light in the ceiling of the ambulance to keep it steady on my way down the mountain to the hospital.
Anyway.....long story short......it was a tough year. The first two surgeries were not successful and so I had to have the reverse procedure. My post-op experience was not terrible, just inconvenient. I owned an art gallery then and did some home design work.
I was happy with my PT efforts and the help I received from family, friends, and customers. And today, I have no problems or carryovers. So....it all worked out.
I noticed that now you can have a custom mechanism created that fits perfectly and that robotic surgery is available. My shoulder is not painful...just a little tilted to one side which makes eating an ice cream cone a little bit of a challenge and not so nice to watch.
Anyway.....I would love to hear about your recovery and return to normal living.
May you have happiness and the causes of happiness.
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