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Shoulder Surgery

dilaurodilauro ConnecticutPosts: 122

There are two basic types of  shoulder replacement surgeries.  Below are links to both types.

Total Shoulder Replacement
Reverse Shoulder Replacement

These links may also be of value to you.  All about Osteoarthritis

Shoulder surgery is a big undertaking.  In terms of all joint replacement surgeries, shoulders is probably the most difficult overall.   You never realize how much you depend on your shoulders until you have one of them  immobilized.   The little things you used to be able to do, dress yourself, shower, use the bathroom, eating, etc are now things that you need assistance  with.

I had osteoarthritis on both shoulders starting in 2004.  By 2006, my right shoulder became very painful, that I would stay away from even shaking someone's hand.   I had a steroid injection which calmed things down for about 2 years.  Then in 2008, the pain started in again.  I went through a series of about 7 steroid injections over the next two years with little success.   At that point, steroid injections was no longer an option and only a complete shoulder replacement surgery was a solution.

I had the first of my shoulders operated on in April of 2010.   The second one was done in October of 2010.

Both of my actual shoulder surgeries were fine.  No complications, everything went as planned.  The hardest part was in the recovery.
I think I spent about a total of 18 months in/out formal physical therapy for my shoulders along with aqua therapy.   But the hardest part of recovery, was the home exercise I had to do. Every night for about 1/2 hour, I had to left my shoulder up from the table to its highest point.  My wife had to do these exercises for me, because there was no way I could do it myself, nor stop from the intense pain.

For the second shoulder surgery, I purchase a home pulley unit, so that I could do the same exercises without needing my wife.  Still, these were very painful.

The most important message I can relay is that the recovery for shoulder surgery is painful, but it is a must.  The more you put into all the required exercises and stretches, the better long term positive results will be.  If you do not put in all the work that is required, you will only have shoulder discomfort and lack of range of motion for a very long time.

Sleeping was very difficult during the recovery phase.  I spent about 99% of my time in a recliner.  It was only after the 6 month period after the surgery that I was able to sleep in a bed again.

As far as pain medications, since I had both surgeries done in the same year,  I was on opioids for almost that entire year.   But after complete recovery, I no longer needed any type of pain medications for my shoulders.

Today, I do not have any problems with either of my shoulders.

Ron DiLauro Veritas-Health Forums Manager
 I am not a medical professional. I comment on personal experiences 
You can email me at: rdilauro@veritashealth.com  
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