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pbr549xxx
07-31-2014, 09:59
I'm looking for advice from the medical professionals that post here, in addition to what I get from my providers, as well as some "been there, done that" advice from people who have had a similar injury.

Back in April, I dislocated my right shoulder. Results from the MRI show that I tore the labrum, the rotator cuff, and some other ligaments and tendons. On Monday I will have the surgery to repair the damage.

My question for the medical professionals is, what can I do to recover as quickly as possible and get back in the "fight". I'm currently in a non-deployable unit, however, I am due to PCS to FT Polk in January and I will be back on Jump Status.

For those that have had a similar injury, what did you do that enambled you to get off profile and back to work, especially if that work involved jumping out of airplanes.

This is pretty important to me, this assignment will probably be my last one before retirement and I would really like to retire on Jump Status.

The Reaper
07-31-2014, 14:22
Not a medical professional, but I had a very similar injury to yours.

My shoulder would pop out of the socket while I was sleeping on it or under certain loads. Needless to say, this instability was disconcerting, as well as uncomfortable.

I had the same sort of repairs you are contemplating.

The recovery will typically take 10-12 months, although you should be out of the sling in six weeks or so. You will be given a list of exercises to practice for physical therapy. Each month, new exercises should be added.

I would not expect to be jumping for at least six months. You may not be able to get your arm extended over your head for that long. Even after eleven months, I still find myself using my left arm to pick up heavy objects and raise them over my head. Regardless, you do not want to reinjure the shoulder, or worse, not be able to perform emergency procedures because you RTD too soon.

Most of the pain is gone, but it still flares up from time to time. It has not subluxated on me since the surgery though.

Best of luck!

TR

Joker
07-31-2014, 18:01
I did sports therapy for 1-month, the surgery with a "Game Pack" on it for 72-hours, prescribed pain meds for 72-hours till I called the doc and told him I'm stopping them (I hate opiates). After the staples were removed 1-month of sports therapy with heat, deep tissue massage, and then the Game Pack. I was back up to 75% in three months and 100% in 9 months. Good surgeon and sports therapist, and better PA.

Your mileage may vary. Good luck.

mark46th
07-31-2014, 22:09
My right shoulder is is pretty much mush. I tore my rotator cuff in 1964 throwing a baseball. In 1971 at Ft Bragg, I separated it playing for the 5th SFG football team a week before I was supposed to go to SCUBA School. But I got orders for SE Asia 2 days later so SCUBA School was irrelevant. In 1991 I had a 10 foot ladder collapse when I was working on a roll up garage door. My right arm went down, pushing my shoulder out of place. It took the effing ER 2 hours before they determined that I could pay the bill. A P/A popped it back into place and I went back to work. Now, the shoulder is junk and hurts most of the time but I can still hit a golf ball 240-250 yards. Life is good.

cetheridge
08-01-2014, 01:28
Like TR, I'm not a medical professional. I have not jumped from a plane in 44 years, so I cannot advise on when you might be ready to RTD.

However, 9 weeks ago I had right shoulder surgery to repair/attach bicep tendon, remove 2 bone spurs, re-attach another tendon, and debride worn and shredded cartilage (not much left). My shoulder started hurting in January and got progressively worse. In March I went to my GP who referred me to a surgeon in April. I had the surgery May 28th.

Your arm WILL be in a sling for at least 6 weeks, even sleeping. If surgery is on your dominate arm you will learn to do everything with the other arm. (Wiping your ass with the non-dominate arm will be a new experience). Therapy will most likely begin the next day.

Your attitude and tolerance for pain will play a big part in your recovery progress in physical therapy. While in the sling, all activity with the affected arm will be passive....you will do no lifting with it. Your unaffected arm will assist lifting the affected arm. You don't want to lift anything heavier than your hand at this stage of recovery.

Taking pain meds an hour before PT will help some. Get off the narcotic crap as soon as possible (within 2 days) and use OTC meds. My surgeon advised me to "push thru the pain" when doing PT and flexibility will return quicker. Be careful....don't try to be superman.

While in the sling, all PT exercises will be passive. Out of the sling, you will start exercises with resistance bands, light weights, and some real fun stretching.

You will be given exercise instructions to perform at home on days when not at the therapist. If the instructions say do an exercise once a day, do it twice a day. Go that "extra mile" (my surgeon's advice). Follow your surgeon's advice.
Do the home exercises religiously every day to keep the shoulder flexible.

For the first several months, don't do anything stupid, like using post hole diggers, using a hammer, or lifting heavy objects, unless you really liked that post surgery pain and want to start all over again. In the past month, I know 2 people (one at 7 weeks into therapy and the other at 8 weeks) who used a hammer and post hole diggers because they felt better, and now they both have
just had surgery again.

9 weeks ago, I had the surgery. I have regained 85%-90% range of motion in the right arm. Thursday, July 31, I visited my surgeon and was released from official PT. I had a great surgeon, PA, and therapist (she is about 5'-10" tall, slender, short blonde hair, very attractive....damn I'm going to miss her....but I digress).

As TR said, total recovery will be about 10-12 months. It's a slow healing process.

I still have some tightness and some occasional discomfort (not really pain).

If I can help you through the recovery, feel free to PM me.

Carl

Red Flag 1
08-01-2014, 10:02
While I have not had shoulder surgery, I do have a labrum tear and have had a few C-arm guided dye & steroid injections. I have also been the anesthesia guy that gets you safely through surgery. Shoulder injuries are painful, as is the post-op recovery. I found that I was never able to find a position of comfort with my shoulder pain, short of immobilizing the joint. Patients who have had only general anesthesia for shoulder procedures, are among the most difficult to get comfortable in the PACU, recovery room. That said, I always offered/ encouraged a block pre-op with long acting agents to cover that difficult time in the PACU. The block is actually all you might need for the surgery, with a little sedation. Most folks liked the block followed up with general anesthesia, it is a great option. Right after surgery, and as the block begins to resolve, start the pain meds to get ahead of the pain-v-chasing the pain. Physical therapy after surgery is key, and as cetheridge noted, pain meds before PT, is a great help.

So, best of luck in your surgery, and long recovery. If you are offered a block for your shoulder, take advantage of it. The block will be of tremendous value right after surgery.

pbr549xxx
08-01-2014, 10:20
While I have not had shoulder surgery, I do have a labrum tear and have had a few C-arm guided dye & steroid injections. I have also been the anesthesia guy that gets you safely through surgery. Shoulder injuries are painful, as is the post-op recovery. I found that I was never able to find a position of comfort with my shoulder pain, short of immobilizing the joint. Patients who have had only general anesthesia for shoulder procedures, are among the most difficult to get comfortable in the PACU, recovery room. That said, I always offered/ encouraged a block pre-op with long acting agents to cover that difficult time in the PACU. The block is actually all you might need for the surgery, with a little sedation. Most folks liked the block followed up with general anesthesia, it is a great option. Right after surgery, and as the block begins to resolve, start the pain meds to get ahead of the pain-v-chasing the pain. Physical therapy after surgery is key, and as cetheridge noted, pain meds before PT, is a great help.

So, best of luck in your surgery, and long recovery. If you are offered a block for your shoulder, take advantage of it. The block will be of tremendous value right after surgery.

I spoke with the nurse anesthetist that will be working my surgery. He said they are going to give me some type of coctail that will make me not really care what they do, then thgey are going to put something in my neck that will block the pain from my shoulder to my figertips. Following that I guess they will knock me out to perform the surgery. He said that painwise, I should go a good 18 to 20 hours after the surgery before it starts to hurt.

Red Flag 1
08-01-2014, 13:59
I spoke with the nurse anesthetist that will be working my surgery. He said they are going to give me some type of coctail that will make me not really care what they do, then thgey are going to put something in my neck that will block the pain from my shoulder to my figertips. Following that I guess they will knock me out to perform the surgery. He said that painwise, I should go a good 18 to 20 hours after the surgery before it starts to hurt.

Perfect! The "cocktail" will make the block a not issue.. The block in your neck, just lateral or to the side of your Adams Apple, is where we can inject numbing medicines right were the nerves going to the arm and shoulder, come off the spinal cord. It is called a Scalene Nerve Block. Not particularly painfull to have done, but the idea of having needles in one's neck can be an unpleasent thought. The only other place that we can get this kind of access, above the shoulder, is near the collar bone; called a Supra Clavicular Block. I found that the Scalene Nerve block, neck block, to be better tolerated, and the most effective for shoulder procedures.

Again, best of luck in your surgery and recoery. Your block puts you in a very good position for minimal post-operative pain.

cetheridge
08-01-2014, 13:59
I spoke with the nurse anesthetist that will be working my surgery. He said they are going to give me some type of coctail that will make me not really care what they do, then thgey are going to put something in my neck that will block the pain from my shoulder to my figertips. Following that I guess they will knock me out to perform the surgery. He said that painwise, I should go a good 18 to 20 hours after the surgery before it starts to hurt.

Yep....they will start you on an IV combo of antibiotics and some "I don't care juice". I recall talking with the anesthesiologist about him administering the nerve block. He said the block would last 12 - 24 hours. Next thing I remember is waking up in recovery 2 hours later (1 PM).

As RF1 stated, it is better to get ahead of the pain v. chasing the pain.

Be aware that the nerve block time frame is only a general guide. My plan of action was to pop a Dilaudid tab at about the 10 hour mark (figuring minimum 12-hour effective block time). 6 hours after surgery (about 7 PM) the nerve block wore off ....what a surprise!....45 minutes of intense pain before the pain med tab became effective.

Hopefully, your experience will be smooth. So far, my physical therapy has been smooth. Remember....mind set.

Carl

Red Flag 1
08-01-2014, 14:33
Yep....they will start you on an IV combo of antibiotics and some "I don't care juice". I recall talking with the anesthesiologist about him administering the nerve block. He said the block would last 12 - 24 hours. Next thing I remember is waking up in recovery 2 hours later (1 PM).

As RF1 stated, it is better to get ahead of the pain v. chasing the pain.

Be aware that the nerve block time frame is only a general guide. My plan of action was to pop a Dilaudid tab at about the 10 hour mark (figuring minimum 12-hour effective block time). 6 hours after surgery (about 7 PM) the nerve block wore off ....what a surprise!....45 minutes of intense pain before the pain med tab became effective.

Hopefully, your experience will be smooth. So far, my physical therapy has been smooth. Remember....mind set.

Carl

Concur! Get the pain meds onboard at the first hint of discomfort. Do not wait until the pain is severe! Pain medicines are 80% more effective if they are onboard and working ahead of the pain. Pain meds taken orally have some lag time before they are effective. Depending on what meds are perscribed, it will take some five minutes or so before any pain relief is noticed. Another five ro ten minutes before the full effect is felt. The question of becoming addicted to the pain meds will come up. Yes you can become addicted, anyone can. It depends on the effects you are looking for, and just how long you are taking narcotic pain meds.

Generally speaking, if you are taking the meds as perscribed, and for pain; addiction should be a non issue. You will notice a euphoric effect, as everyone does. If you take the pain meds, looking for a repeat of the "euphoric high", you are on the wrong road. Follow your doctors directions when taking the narcotic pain meds. If they are not working for the pain, tell your doc. Do not double up on your pain meds on your own. That is to say/think," if one is good, then two are better, just think how three will feel, and so on" . That is the road to troubles you don't need.

Let us hear from you after surgery. Information as to how soon you get back on jump status is information others could use.

pbr549xxx
08-02-2014, 23:04
For a while there my PCM had me taking up to 3ea 5mg percocets during the day and a 10mg before bed. I would take a 5mg at 0900, a 5mg around noon, and a 5mg around 1500. I'd take the 10mg between 2000-2130 before hitting the rack. I didn't get any type of high or feel good sensations from the Percocet, it just made my shoulder not hurt. The Ortho Doc said to stop and suck up the pain during the day and take the 10mg at night. My shoulder hurts all day, but I suck it up. Hopefully that's a sign of things to come and I'll be able to suck up the pain and not have to take a bunch of pain meds.

pbr549xxx
08-04-2014, 19:16
Surgery is complete. The one thing I was hoping didn't need repair was the bicep tendon, so of course that was torn and had to be moved which I am told will complicate the recovery a bit more. The nerve block worked amazingly, the tips on my fingers are still a bit numb over 12 hours later. I started taking the pain meds so I'm staying ahead of the pain.

Thanks for the advice, I really appreciate it.

AATW!!

cetheridge
08-05-2014, 00:01
Great! Good to hear you came thru surgery okay.

You're more than welcome for the advice...it's free.

Let me know if I can assist with advice for the therapy....I also had the bicep tear that was not expected until the doc got inside. Now the upper bicep looks like they took a spoon and scooped part of it out. Trying to rebuild it with light dumbbell weights and resistance bands.

Pecking on the keyboard with one hand is a bitch, ain't it?

Remember while going thru the therapy and the long recovery period that "slow is smooth and smooth is fast".

Keep us apprised of your therapy progress. We're here to help if we can.

Carl

pbr549xxx
08-05-2014, 09:09
Typing one handed does suck lol, not so bad on the iPad though.

pbr549xxx
08-08-2014, 16:46
Day 5 Update: The pain isn't totally unbearable, I'm guessing that has to do with a 10mg Percocet every 4 hours as opposed to me being any kind of bad ass LOL. By far the worst things are having my arm immobilized, and the itching that is caused by the Percocets and the incisions starting to heal. I also get some bad headaches and feel nauseous from time to time.

The Reaper
08-08-2014, 17:23
Yeah, that "feeling no pain" tends to go away as the meds wear off, doesn't it?

It will get better. It will just take a while.

Ask for something for the the nausea, like Zofran. I don't think the dry heaves are going to be conducive to your shoulder healing.

But WTF do I know, I was a grunt. :D

TR

cetheridge
08-09-2014, 00:38
Day 5 Update: The pain isn't totally unbearable, I'm guessing that has to do with a 10mg Percocet every 4 hours as opposed to me being any kind of bad ass LOL. By far the worst things are having my arm immobilized, and the itching that is caused by the Percocets and the incisions starting to heal. I also get some bad headaches and feel nauseous from time to time.

You might want to think about weaning yourself off the narco stuff and try something OTC like naproxen sodium (generic for Aleve). I'm 10 weeks out of surgery and still take 2 tablets in the morning to get me thru the day.

Get use to the immobilized feeling for about another 5 weeks. Continue to use that foam block to keep your arm away from your body....it's there for a purpose, designed to elevate the arm out to allow for better blood flow to the shoulder for healing. Keep that arm in the sling, except when taking a shower or exercising, until the doctor tells you that it is no longer needed. It will keep tension off all the repaired tendons and muscles.

As DocIllinois said, "Sounds like the normal course of things from your description. Just don't let the happy pills lead you into overdoing things too soon".

How's the therapy going? I bet that hurts like hell, doesn't it? :D

Do you have a pulley rig at home for pulling your arm up straight out from the front and side, and for pulling it behind your back? If not, PM me and I'll send you one....it will help doing therapy at home. No charge.

pbr549xxx
08-09-2014, 10:16
I have started physical therapy yet. My first appointment is on the 12th. I'll start weaning myself off the percocets today. I took on at 8 this morning, I wont take on at 12, I'll take a mobic or something like that.

cetheridge
08-09-2014, 13:01
Good to hear you are trying to get off the percocet. If the OTC stuff works, you should be able to think clearer and not feel so loopy (OTOH, you may like that spaced-out feeling:D), especially if you are going to try to drive.

Hoping the best for you on that first therapy session. The number of weeks (months) you spend in structured therapy will depend on your efforts and desire to regain flexibility in that shoulder joint. It's the beginning of a long journey.

You are Airborne....I believe you'll do well!

Red Flag 1
08-09-2014, 17:37
I have started physical therapy yet. My first appointment is on the 12th. I'll start weaning myself off the percocets today. I took on at 8 this morning, I wont take on at 12, I'll take a mobic or something like that.

Thanks for keeping us posted. Concur with Doc I. It sounds like you are having a pretty good post-op course. Keep in touch with your doc regarding the meds you are taking, more or less pain will tell him things. Physical therapy can be painful, and your need for pain relief can increase. Your surgeon is the expert managing your care start to finish. That said, some otc Benadryl can help with itching from the pain meds, if it becomes an issue. I wish you continued good luck in your recovery.

pbr549xxx
08-09-2014, 18:38
Today worked out pretty well. My shoulder ached after the 0800 dose of Percocet wore off and I was able to suck it up. I just took my evening dose so I'll see how that goes.

pbr549xxx
08-11-2014, 00:32
I hope you guys don't Monday if I put an update on here everyday/every couple of days. It gives me a chance to think about the day and give me a way to record the recovery with the added benefit of getting advice from you guys. I am so grateful for the advice I've gotten so far. Thank you all very much.

Today was a little rough, I think I over did it a bit and was in a lot of pain, so I ended up taking meds and sleeping most of the late afternoon away. After I woke up I felt much better.

I've got my first pysical therapy appt on Tuesday, we'll see how that goes LOL.

cetheridge
08-11-2014, 00:52
Okay...tell us what it was you did today to make you think that you "over did it a bit" to cause you a lot of pain.

pbr549xxx
08-11-2014, 07:09
LOL, I was conducting vigorous exercise with my wife.

Red Flag 1
08-11-2014, 16:34
I hope you guys don't Monday if I put an update on here everyday/every couple of days. It gives me a chance to think about the day and give me a way to record the recovery with the added benefit of getting advice from you guys. I am so grateful for the advice I've gotten so far. Thank you all very much.

Today was a little rough, I think I over did it a bit and was in a lot of pain, so I ended up taking meds and sleeping most of the late afternoon away. After I woke up I felt much better.

I've got my first pysical therapy appt on Tuesday, we'll see how that goes LOL.

No worries, glad to help in anyway. Prolly good to keep in mind just what kind of recovery you are up against. Your injury, and surgery are one of the ones that mean long tem work for 100% return to normalcy. This is not a sprint, as you are finding out. Work the joint hard, be it in PT, or "normal" use, and it will exact a price. Each day will,be just a tad better than the day before. Each week will be better than the last one. Play your cards right, and given the PT you will have, you may just come out the other side, stronger than when you went in. It may be hard to see just now, but there is a positive side to all his.

pbr549xxx
08-11-2014, 18:36
Today has been pretty decent. I had to go on post for an appointment today so I took a half a 10mg Percocet around 0900, but that was only good until about noon. When I got home I took the other half of the 10mg, a baclofen, and a Valium and went to sleep for a few hours.

I'm looking forward to tomorrow's physical therapy appointment mainly to find out how soon it will be until I can at least get started on the stationary bike (I feel like I'm getting fatter and fatter not doing any PT LOL).

As far as pre-medication before physical therapy, what do you guys suggest I go with?

cetheridge
08-11-2014, 22:53
LOL, I was conducting vigorous exercise with my wife.

"Holy shit, Batman!" Are you trying to tear loose the repairs to the shoulder joint?

I concur with RF1. Total recovery is long term, measured in MONTHS... not weeks.

If the Percocet is working for you, you might try one about an hour before therapy.....don't expect it to totally take away all pain. Once you start working that arm with light exercises, and especially when the therapist gets to stretching downward, sideways, and towards you head, there WILL BE PAIN! On a positive note, the ice pack will feel good.

If you have not been applying an ice pack at home, try it. It will help reduce inflammation.

Looking forward to your report of your first physical therapy session!

pbr549xxx
08-13-2014, 21:20
Per the phys. therapists I went to my appointment today without taking any pain meds. Therapy consisted of passive stretches and pendulum swings followed by 10 mins of cold compression. The appointment was at 0900 and lasted maybe 30-45 mins. It wasn't bad pain-wise, but I knew that wouldn't last. I took a 10mg Percocet around noon and it did what it was supposed to do. The dull ache started around 1700, but it wasn't unbearable. I will add that this damn sling is a total pain in the ass!

Tomorrow is a free day with no appointments so I will continue the stretches they showed me to do on my own, but after that I gotta get after it and start on some body weight lower body/leg exercises with squats and lunges, and whatever else I can find through researching body weight exercises. I have got to find a way to keep my legs and core from losing anymore strength, I have worked too hard prior to my injury to be the "old assed Master Sergeant" who could out PT most of my unit.

After this I think I'm regretfully going to drop my retirement paperwork, but my goal is to be JROTC instructor and I'll be damned if I'm a fat assed one.

AATW!!

pbr549xxx
08-16-2014, 07:27
Whew, I woke up hurting yesterday and physical therapy actually helped with the pain, it was more passive stretching followed by 10mins of ice. I would say I went in with my pain level at a 5 spiking to a 7 from time to time, by the time I left, it was at a 0. That didn't last long. The pain starting coming back in waves, later that day as I was walking out of a door, it slammed into my shoulder and that was all she wrote, I was at a pain level of 8 until I got back to my house. Lesson learned: Carry Percocet with me at all times LOL.

On the upside, the Physical Therapist wants to see me sooner than later next week, so I got an appointment for Monday.

The damn sling is still a pain in the ass though, especially since I'm right handed.

Red Flag 1
08-16-2014, 14:51
Ice is your friend.

cetheridge
08-16-2014, 22:31
Ice is your friend.

AMEN!

Whew, I woke up hurting yesterday and physical therapy actually helped with the pain, it was more passive stretching followed by 10mins of ice. I would say I went in with my pain level at a 5 spiking to a 7 from time to time, by the time I left, it was at a 0. That didn't last long. The pain starting coming back in waves, later that day as (1) I was walking out of a door, it slammed into my shoulder and that was all she wrote, I was at a pain level of 8 until I got back to my house. (2) Lesson learned: Carry Percocet with me at all times LOL.
On the upside, the Physical Therapist wants to see me sooner than later next week, so I got an appointment for Monday.

(3) The damn sling is still a pain in the ass though, especially since I'm right handed.

(1) Hopefully, you've gained some SA and by being aware of your surroundings and what you are doing, you will protect the shoulder.

(2) IMHO, popping those "Momma's Little Helpers" like M&M's is a slippery slope.
A friend of mine is now in week 2 after having a second repair surgery. He was in week 6 after his first surgery, decided he did not need to wear the sling as directed by his doctor, thought he felt good enough to pound in tomato stakes with a hammer and re-injured his shoulder. He said he was going to have the word "idiot" tattooed on his forehead to remind himself every time he looks into a mirror to not do anything stupid (he has a PhD in Botany). He continues to pop Percocet every day because he "likes the feeling".

(3) Yes, the sling is "a pain in the ass", but the minimum 6 weeks has an important purpose. The whole recovery/therapy process is a real bitch. Each week you will notice progress (if you work at it) and it will get easier.

Keep at it (like you really have a choice), and keep us updated.

pbr549xxx
08-17-2014, 21:29
I'm trying to stick to on following physical therapy and one right before he'd, sometimes, a third 10mg prercocet in between. Tomorrow after physical therapy I'm going to hit the gym and knock out some stationary leg machines

The PT OIC said I'm showing pretty remarkable ROM as well as strength and pain tolerance as compared to previous patients.

cetheridge
08-17-2014, 23:41
I'm trying to stick to on following physical therapy and one right before he'd, sometimes, a third 10mg prercocet in between. Tomorrow after physical therapy I'm going to hit the gym and knock out some stationary leg machines

The PT OIC said I'm showing pretty remarkable ROM as well as strength and pain tolerance as compared to previous patients.

Sounds encouraging.....keep at it and "you will do well, Grasshopper".

pbr549xxx
08-18-2014, 22:22
Today's physical therapy session was some different passive stretches, I was able to use the hand bike and that was pretty good, not painful like I thought it would be. I also did the finger ladder, it was really good, I was able to reach up pretty high and get a good stretch. The best part was being told I didn't have to wear the sling as much anymore. He said I could go without until I start feeling pain and if I could get 6 hours of uninterrupted sleep at night without wearing it, then in I longer have to wear it to sleep either :D

cetheridge
08-18-2014, 23:26
Fantastic! :lifter
You seem to be making good progress!

pbr549xxx
08-19-2014, 20:03
I had an appointment with my ortho surgeon today. He felt that I was doing too much too soon. He wants me to continue wearing the sling most of the time and especially when I sleep (ugh!!). I have another appointment with phys therapy tomorrow, so we'll see how that goes.

The Reaper
08-19-2014, 20:06
I had an appointment with my ortho surgeon today. He felt that I was doing too much too soon. He wants me to continue wearing the sling most of the time and especially when I sleep (ugh!!). I have another appointment with phys therapy tomorrow, so we'll see how that goes.

This can take a year to heal, under good conditions and following instructions.

Screw it up, and you'll really be sorry.

Listen to the Orthopedic Surgeon.

TR

Red Flag 1
08-19-2014, 21:28
I had an appointment with my ortho surgeon today. He felt that I was doing too much too soon. He wants me to continue wearing the sling most of the time and especially when I sleep (ugh!!). I have another appointment with phys therapy tomorrow, so we'll see how that goes.


Your best advice is from your doc. If you have questions/concerns give him a call. Your pain level is a a measure of what is going on in your freshly rebuilt shoulder. Glad you checked in with him. Like TR said, this is long term rehab, it is not a sprint.

cetheridge
08-19-2014, 23:01
Originally Posted by pbr549xxx View Post
I had an appointment with my ortho surgeon today. He felt that I was doing too much too soon. He wants me to continue wearing the sling most of the time and especially when I sleep (ugh!!). I have another appointment with phys therapy tomorrow, so we'll see how that goes.

As TR, RF1, and I have said in earlier posts, recovery and healing of the shoulder is measured in many, many MONTHS (up to and sometimes more than a year).....not weeks. You asked for advice from those who had BTDT.

I was somewhat surprised that the physical therapist put you on the hand cycle and has you doing finger ladder only 2 weeks after surgery. Both of these are active exercises putting tremendous stress on the shoulder repairs. I did not do these exercises until out of the sling at week 6. Yes it's a pain in the ass to sleep in, but it relieves shoulder stress and keeps you from subconsciously moving the arm while asleep.

Yesterday, my arm felt good and I used it a little too much...it felt "pulled" and it ached....last night I iced it. This morning when I got out of bed, it was stiff....used a heat pad and loosening exercises before coffee. Tonight it feels okay. It has been 3 months since my surgery and on those days that the arm feels good, I have to remind myself to not over use it.

If you push too hard, you will be back in surgery and starting rehab all over again. :eek:

The surgeon is the one who repaired your arm and put it in the sling....not the Physical Therapist. The PT doesn't give a shit if you tear the shoulder (well, maybe he/she does), but the more visits you make, the more money they make.

Take it easy, do the exercises slow and smooth, healing and recovery will be faster. As Clint Eastwood said, "A man has got to know his limitations".

pbr549xxx
08-20-2014, 14:46
I was going by what the physical therapist told me to do. I guess they have a weekly protocol they follow stating what a patient should be doing to rehab week by week. Everything they had me doing was was pretty passive in that I didn't do anything with my right shoulder and just let my left arm do all the work.

I assumed that there was some kind of interaction between the ortho surgeon and the physical therapist since they are both part of the hospital here at FT Knox. I told the physical therapist today what the ortho surgeon said so they backed off on what they had me doing.

Red Flag 1
08-20-2014, 16:17
I was going by what the physical therapist told me to do. I guess they have a weekly protocol they follow stating what a patient should be doing to rehab week by week. Everything they had me doing was was pretty passive in that I didn't do anything with my right shoulder and just let my left arm do all the work.

I assumed that there was some kind of interaction between the ortho surgeon and the physical therapist since they are both part of the hospital here at FT Knox. I told the physical therapist today what the ortho surgeon said so they backed off on what they had me doing.

I can easily see your point, and would think the same way you did; not your fault at all. The way the PT consult works, big nod to Doc I, is much like a script for medicine, in this case for a particular treatment regime, by experts in physical rehab. No bad words for the PT folks either, a course correction from the surgeon, and on we go. Keep up the good work:)!

Lighthouse
08-20-2014, 16:21
Been using this recently myself

http://www.govx.com/p/12716/hyperice-shoulder-compression-wrap

pbr549xxx
08-20-2014, 20:07
Lighthouse, thanks, I've been checking that product out.

Well, I've got Thursday through Sunday with no PT appts, I,m just going to do the pendulum swings and relax until my next PT appt on Monday.

cetheridge
08-21-2014, 00:34
pbr549xxx,

I will assume that you got one of those spongy shoulder thingies with 2 removable ice packs or something similar that requires two people to strap it on you with velcro.

A simpler and cheap method that works fantastic for me (YMMV) is to use the 2 ice packs side-by-side in the bottom of a pillow case. Fold the excess material on one side of the packs and place it in the freezer. Get it out when you need it, and when you're finished put it back in the freezer....pillow case and all. The packs will lay on top and around the shoulder joint and you will feel the cold better. :)

If the PT gave you some exercises in addition to the pendulums to do at home...do them everyday. Don't let the joint get stiff and lock down. Onward and Upward.

spherojon
08-21-2014, 02:25
Right shoulder, had surgery in 2010, 70% in 6 months 100% in about a year.

1. Listen to your Ortho.
2. Learn to love your sling. (Sleeping like a vampire blows, learn to love it.)
3. Listen to the Physical Therapist.
4. Electrotherapy with Ice. This was a life saver.
5. It is a long path to recovery. Do it right the first time. Don't re-injure yourself!
6. Did I mention the sling? Pay the money, get a comfortable sling with neck pads.
7. Don't get too crazy with the pain meds.

I hope you don't drive a stick shift like I did at the time...That was a fun experience.

pbr549xxx
08-22-2014, 22:02
Today was a good relaxing day. I did some pendulums every couple of hours and bent my elbow a few time to keep it loose. All in all, a relaxing day. I didn't take anything more serious for pain than a Valium, bacolofen, and a mobic , and that held me pain free for the most part all day. Some minor aches here and there, but nothing that couldn't be sucked up.

Red Flag 1
08-23-2014, 19:15
@pbr549, and all who have contributed to this thread: I think this has been done very nicely. The follow-up posts by pbr549 have really kept this thread on track. The follow-up posts by other members who have had similar surgery, have really helped. It shows just about everything from pre-op prep and discussion, right through the early rehab. The discussion has reinforced the fact that recovery from shoulder surgery is a serious undertaking, requiring up to a year of work. Maybe a few more folks can add their experiences.

Thanks to all who have joined the discussion, yup even pbr549 for donating a shoulder:D:lifter.

pbr549xxx
08-25-2014, 21:47
Today the Phys Therapist, after reading the Ortho Docs note said "Well, looks like we are going to cancel all you appointments until 4 September. You got nothing but pendulum swings and some minor stretches. "

Well, convalescent leave is over and go back to work sitting at a desk tomorrow. Woohoo!!!

Red Flag 1
08-26-2014, 17:26
Good thing you didn't push too hard, too early.

pbr549xxx
08-27-2014, 20:57
Honestly, I haven't felt as much pain until I was told to slow down on the rehab. Yesterday, I had to take 5mg Percocet and had to go straight into 350-1 training, now normally 5mg of Percocet doesn't phase me; however, Percocet and 350-1 training added together turned me into a doped up zombie. LOL, today I told the commander I wouldn't even be at the training, in fact I was so tired and in so much pain I just popped smoke and went back to the house. I don't know what tomorrow holds, but I think another week of cov leave should have been requested LOL.

pbr549xxx
09-03-2014, 16:08
Tomorrow marks 1 month after shoulder surgery. Ive been taking it easy as far as the post-op physical therapy goes and just doing the pendulum swings and other light stretches that the Ortho DR approved of. I have been able to make it through most days without taking any pain medication until its time to go to bed. The pain is a little sharp when I wake up, but it quickly becomes a dull ache. By around 1800/1900 the pain is a little stronger and I will take the medication between 1930/2030.

Tomorrow I go back to the physical therapy clinic. I'm not sure what I'm in for LOL, but I'm looking forward to it. I'll post a follow up tomorrow.

pbr549xxx
09-05-2014, 05:07
Well, that was much ado about nothing. I was told that I could do the exercises at home, so I left. I go back on the 8th to see the actual Physical Therapist and hopefully can get started back up after that.

cetheridge
09-05-2014, 13:21
Well, that was much ado about nothing. I was told that I could do the exercises at home, so I left. I go back on the 8th to see the actual Physical Therapist and hopefully can get started back up after that.

Well, one month out and you apparently have not started any real structured therapy. I can only surmise that your repairs were quite extensive, more than the norm and the Ortho Surgeon has deemed it necessary to delay therapy, other than the pendulums and other minor home exercises to keep the joint loose. It just seems strange to me that you have not had a therapist stretching the arm (is this correct?).

On the other hand, this is beginning to sound like a case of "Take 2 aspirins and call me next week". Not being familiar with the type of medical system you're dealing with, (military docs, Government civil service, or contract), I'll defer further comment.
However, and this is JMO, it appears that you are dealing with a "troubled" VA hospital/clinic or an Indian Reservation Indian Health Services hospital run by the BIA.

Keep the arm loose, use the ice packs, and keep us informed.

I'm 14 weeks out, still have some occasional aching and minor twinges of pain.....especially when I use hedge clippers, :D, (Tuesday). Yes, when the arm feels good, it is easy to slip into the "dumbass" mode. I used the ice treatment and today the arm is good.

Wishing you a speedy recovery!:) It takes time.

pbr549xxx
09-05-2014, 20:54
Well, one month out and you apparently have not started any real structured therapy. I can only surmise that your repairs were quite extensive, more than the norm and the Ortho Surgeon has deemed it necessary to delay therapy, other than the pendulums and other minor home exercises to keep the joint loose. It just seems strange to me that you have not had a therapist stretching the arm (is this correct?).

On the other hand, this is beginning to sound like a case of "Take 2 aspirins and call me next week". Not being familiar with the type of medical system you're dealing with, (military docs, Government civil service, or contract), I'll defer further comment.
However, and this is JMO, it appears that you are dealing with a "troubled" VA hospital/clinic or an Indian Reservation Indian Health Services hospital run by the BIA.

Keep the arm loose, use the ice packs, and keep us informed.

I'm 14 weeks out, still have some occasional aching and minor twinges of pain.....especially when I use hedge clippers, :D, (Tuesday). Yes, when the arm feels good, it is easy to slip into the "dumbass" mode. I used the ice treatment and today the arm is good.

Wishing you a speedy recovery!:) It takes time.


I'm active duty so I'm receiving medical care from the hospital on post. From what the Ortho DR said, my injury was pretty extensive and he didn't want me doing anything more than the what I mentioned previously. I should start ramping things up next week.

cetheridge
09-05-2014, 23:38
I'm active duty so I'm receiving medical care from the hospital on post. From what the Ortho DR said, my injury was pretty extensive and he didn't want me doing anything more than the what I mentioned previously. I should start ramping things up next week.

That's what I was thinking. Follow the Doctor's orders...he is the one who was inside your arm and repaired the damage.

I meant no disrespect for the medical care you are receiving....just feeling out whether or not you had been lost in the shuffle or being f#&ked with. Quite frankly, it's probably none of my business....just trying to help you through this experience.

I definitely did not mean any disrespect to any of the doctor types on this board because they all seem to be top notch. In my personal experience, I've found that most doctors care, but some don't.

When ramping up, just remember while in this recovery period that you have to "crawl before you can walk and walk before you can run".
When doing the exercises, do them smoothly. In other words, if you're instructed to do 30 reps, do them smoothly regardless of how long it takes.
If you have to do an exercise for 3 minutes, concentrate on doing each rep smoothly, not with how fast or how many reps you can pump out in the time frame.

pbr549xxx
09-06-2014, 19:59
Roger that. Slow is smooth, and smooth is fast applies for more than CQB.

Red Flag 1
09-07-2014, 12:26
Well, that was much ado about nothing. I was told that I could do the exercises at home, so I left. I go back on the 8th to see the actual Physical Therapist and hopefully can get started back up after that.


Do you think that there may be a disconnect between your Doc, and the PT folks? If you nave any doubts about what is going on, give your Doc a call. You do not have to wait for your next doctors appointment to get/keep things on track.

pbr549xxx
09-07-2014, 17:34
Do you think that there may be a disconnect between your Doc, and the PT folks? If you nave any doubts about what is going on, give your Doc a call. You do not have to wait for your next doctors appointment to get/keep things on track.

I think the PT clinic was following a standard rehab protocol, and the Ortho DR didn't put it in his notes in Alta stating the extent of my injury or the repairs until after I had been going to physical therapy for almost two weeks.

Peregrino
09-07-2014, 18:34
I've been following your adventure from the beginning but didn't feel a need to contribute until now. I had a Bankart repair performed 02 APR. The physician REFUSED to allow PT until mid-AUG. Bottom line - things were bad enough (a lot more damage than expected compounded by previous untreated injuries) when he went in that he didn't want an overzealous PT tech undoing his "masterpiece". I'm progressing well; he cleared me "not to return" on my last visit 03 SEP, instructing me to cautiously continue with the prescribed course of PT.

The data point for you is that there is no such thing as a routine repair. Your Ortho knows what he did and what can be expected over the course of recovery. Keep him in the loop until you have a clean bill of health and recovery has progressed as far as can be expected. Do not expect 100% restoration of function. My physician informed me that I can only expect about 70% after 12 months. As consolation he also told me "that's more than most people need/use anyway". As if that made me feel any better. :rolleyes:

The current/projected course of PT is focused on assisted stretching to prevent "frozen shoulder" and gradual increase of exercises designed to build stabilizing muscle. I've also been given a (common sense) list of activities to avoid. I have been repeatedly cautioned to avoid anything causing "pain". Apparently it really isn't "weakness leaving the body" as we've been told all these years. Who'da thunk?

Thankfully, I continue to improve. I have recovered sufficiently that I can once again manipulate a 9mm (haven't tried the .40, .44, or .45 yet); unfortunately I can't get my support elbow under my long gun, I've no idea yet what it means for archery season this year, and I'll be "throwing like a girl" probably for the rest of my life. And it still aches almost continuously though I was able/eager to quit narcotic pain meds W/I 2 weeks of the surgery. I've been assured everything is normal and progressing as expected - not to push it like we've all done while in uniform to "get back in the game faster".

Do as you've been told by your med care team, don't re-injure yourself by pushing too hard/fast, and be accepting of "the new normal". Screwing any of that up will most likely result in additional surgery (guys in my office facing 3rd and 4th surgeries on the same injury for FTFSI!). I don't know about you but avoidable pain (unnecessary surgeries fall in that category) isn't one of my fetishes. Good luck with your recovery; it's a long road, one I'm not that far down myself.

pbr549xxx
09-09-2014, 07:54
Today I tried a very slow run/walk. 3 miles at an 11 minute miles average pace. That was the first time I ran since I injured my shoulder back in April. I kept my arm held across my chest so I would jar my shoulder. It felt really good to gert bacl out there and break a sweat. Its been 2 hours since I finished the run and my shoulder doesnt hurt anymore than it usually does. Im going to try it again on Thursday except I'm going to wear a sling that will immobilize my arm and shoulder more.

The Reaper
09-09-2014, 10:25
Today I tried a very slow run/walk. 3 miles at an 11 minute miles average pace. That was the first time I ran since I injured my shoulder back in April. I kept my arm held across my chest so I would jar my shoulder. It felt really good to gert bacl out there and break a sweat. Its been 2 hours since I finished the run and my shoulder doesnt hurt anymore than it usually does. Im going to try it again on Thursday except I'm going to wear a sling that will immobilize my arm and shoulder more.

Did you ask your ortho about this?

TR

pbr549xxx
09-09-2014, 13:09
No, but I will speak to him tomorrow.

pbr549xxx
09-10-2014, 13:46
The Ortho Dr cleared me for light running. Thank God, I hate not doing PT and feeling like a slug.

Red Flag 1
09-10-2014, 18:32
The Ortho Dr cleared me for light running. Thank God, I hate not doing PT and feeling like a slug.

Good move, I think you now may have an idea how close you need to stay with your surgeon. Anyting that stresses your shoulder joint, needs to be checked against your surgeons advice. Most surgical procedures fix a problem, and get you back to "normal" life in a month or so; not the case with shoulder procedures. It truely is a longterm recovery.

I think you have an undertsanding of how PT programs work. "X" surgery gets "y" for two weeks, then "Z" for another two and GTG. So yes they were following their post op treatments. How ever you were handled at your PT provider, needs to be reflected back to your surgeon. He can then get together with the PT folks to better treat his patients in the future. In the extreme, the surgeon may go so far as to stop sending his patients back there for shoulder rehab. Again, keeping in close touch your doc can not be stressed enough.

I think you now are in a better position to have a good recovery. Peregrino has given you a pretty good example of what should be going on. Take your time, and check in with your surgeon, until you are both on the same page. I think you are a step closer now.

pbr549xxx
09-11-2014, 15:17
I got back after it today in physical therapy. They started me off with two warm-ups. The first was using the pulley and using my good arm/shoulder to raise my injured arm/shoulder I did 3 sets of 30 to the front, to the side and inbetween. Next I was on the hand bike, but I used my uninjured arm/shoulder to do all the work and my injured arm/shoulder just went though the motions. After that it was a series of isometric exercises to get the muscles to start "firing" again. I went into therapy a little sore and I had some soreness throughout the session, but after it was over I was straped into the GameReady machine for ice and everything felt much better. That was almost 6hours ago, I'm just now starting to feel a little bit a pain in my shoulder. All in all, it wasnt bad and the pain wasn't unbearable.

cetheridge
09-12-2014, 00:04
I've been following your adventure from the beginning but didn't feel a need to contribute until now. I had a Bankart repair performed 02 APR. The physician REFUSED to allow PT until mid-AUG. Bottom line - things were bad enough (a lot more damage than expected compounded by previous untreated injuries) when he went in that he didn't want an overzealous PT tech undoing his "masterpiece". I'm progressing well; he cleared me "not to return" on my last visit 03 SEP, instructing me to cautiously continue with the prescribed course of PT.

The data point for you is that there is no such thing as a routine repair. Your Ortho knows what he did and what can be expected over the course of recovery. Keep him in the loop until you have a clean bill of health and recovery has progressed as far as can be expected. Do not expect 100% restoration of function. My physician informed me that I can only expect about 70% after 12 months. As consolation he also told me "that's more than most people need/use anyway". As if that made me feel any better. :rolleyes:

The current/projected course of PT is focused on assisted stretching to prevent "frozen shoulder" and gradual increase of exercises designed to build stabilizing muscle. I've also been given a (common sense) list of activities to avoid. I have been repeatedly cautioned to avoid anything causing "pain". Apparently it really isn't "weakness leaving the body" as we've been told all these years. Who'da thunk?

Thankfully, I continue to improve. I have recovered sufficiently that I can once again manipulate a 9mm (haven't tried the .40, .44, or .45 yet); unfortunately I can't get my support elbow under my long gun, I've no idea yet what it means for archery season this year, and I'll be "throwing like a girl" probably for the rest of my life. And it still aches almost continuously though I was able/eager to quit narcotic pain meds W/I 2 weeks of the surgery. I've been assured everything is normal and progressing as expected - not to push it like we've all done while in uniform to "get back in the game faster".

Do as you've been told by your med care team, don't re-injure yourself by pushing too hard/fast, and be accepting of "the new normal". Screwing any of that up will most likely result in additional surgery (guys in my office facing 3rd and 4th surgeries on the same injury for FTFSI!). I don't know about you but avoidable pain (unnecessary surgeries fall in that category) isn't one of my fetishes. Good luck with your recovery; it's a long road, one I'm not that far down myself.

Peregrino....thanks for jumping in with another perspective on degree of repair. There is no "cookie cutter" one-size-fits-all PT regimen for rotator cuff repairs.
As previously posted by me, I had surgery on May 28 and was at PT on May 29, three days a week for 4 weeks, then twice a week for another 5 weeks.

As for that archery season....probably not. I shoot a 40-45# Hickory self-bow, in addition to using an atlatl. I've been using the thera-bands and surgical tubing as a pulling exercise simulating pulling a bow, and can only get about 25# pull before the shoulder starts saying "stop". I started last week doing a little overhand atlatl spear throwing having the appearance of what I call the "sissy throw", trying to reduce stress on the shoulder. A few weeks ago, I was asked by the Director of the Museum of the Cherokee in NC to instruct a class on making and using the atlatl and dart. I told him due to the shoulder situation it would most likely be Spring of 2015 before I could do it.

I'm still doing the thera-band, pulley, and dumbbell exercises several times each week.

It's a long journey to recovery.

Carl

Golf1echo
09-13-2014, 23:33
Maybe I missed it but what happened with your bicep?

I didn't see how you were injured so your injury might be isolated to your shoulder. In my case they did a great job repairing the ball and reducing the dislocation but we missed a few other issues that over the long run would have been better dealt with at the time.
Best and be kind to your other shoulder...

pbr549xxx
09-17-2014, 08:49
Maybe I missed it but what happened with your bicep?


They had to move my bicept tendon and reattach it to a more secure place due to all the tissue damage in my shoulder.

pbr549xxx
09-17-2014, 15:14
Update: Nothing significant to report.
I saw my Ortho Dr yesterday, all we did was discuss my pain levels, if I feel any instability in the shoulder, and what I was doing in physical therapy. He was fine with everything. I'll see him again at the end of October.

I had another physical therapy appointment today. I did the same routine I did the past Monday. It was painful. The pain seemed more like a muscle burn you feel while working out hard. Afterwards, I spent 10 minutes on the GameReady ice machine and felt great. That lasted all of about 5 minutes LOL. All in all though, the pain hasnt been anything more than a dull ache until the end of the day when the pain level starts to rise.

The light run/walks Ive been doing have felt good. The runs haven't agitated my shoulder.

pbr549xxx
09-29-2014, 18:22
Update:
I had ACAP trainign last week, so I did most of the exercises and stretches on my own.

Today I was back at the PT clinic to start things back up. First I had my every 3 week eval from the Physical Therapist. He is a little disgruntled because he feels that with the range of motion I have displayed so far and how well I get through each session, that I am ready to start ramping things up. I go see my Ortho Dr on the 3rd, so I'll see what he has to say. I'm not going to push it more than he thinks.

Personally, I hate how slow things are going. Its pretty damn hard to do things and keep up with my 4 year old daughter and I hate not being to ta.ke her to the park and do as much as I used to.

cetheridge
09-29-2014, 23:48
I'm not going to push it more than he thinks.

Personally, I hate how slow things are going. Its pretty damn hard to do things and keep up with my 4 year old daughter and I hate not being to ta.ke her to the park and do as much as I used to.

Welcome back!....was wondering if you re-injured the shoulder and didn't want to tell us. LOL.

The key here is "not pushing it more than what the Doc tells you". As several here have said, "it is a long road to recovery". I'm 18 weeks post-op, and have some good days with no discomfort. Went 4 days feeling good and then yesterday....Bam!, certain positions of the arm would let me know healing is not complete.

By now you should have adapted to doing most daily things with the good arm. Doing anything with the repaired arm is going to be slow going for quite some time. Keep up the at-home exercises to stretch and strengthen the shoulder.


Carl

pbr549xxx
10-15-2014, 07:57
Nothing significant to report.

Still maintaining the same stretches ans exercises; however, I did add a 1lb weight to two of the exercises.

I am looking forward to 30 Oct when I see my Ortho Dr again and hopefully can start to ramp things up.

pbr549xxx
11-02-2014, 21:55
I saw my Ortho Dr on the 30th. He gave me the green light to start the strength building part of physical therapy. I'm pretty happy about that.

cetheridge
11-02-2014, 23:09
Three months out from surgery.....sounds like you are progressing nicely.

pbr549xxx
11-03-2014, 09:28
Ive got my first Physical Therapy appointment after getting the green light to start the strength building. I'll let ya'll know how it goes.

Red Flag 1
11-03-2014, 12:25
Nice to hear the good news. Shoulder injuries are pretty painful events. The level of pain, in particular, is pretty impressive. Shoulder rebuilds, that had general anesthesia only, were just miserable in the PACU. Many were admitted overnight just to get control of the pain. When I had my own injury with a big Labrium tear, it really hit home. There was no position of comfort, even lying in bed just hurt. Trying to pull my wallet out of my back trouser pocket was nearly a no go. I remember the pain of just having an MRI, and not being able to move during the study. Glad to know things are moving along for you, BTDT. Thanks for keeping us posted here; you see, this and another shoulder thread generate a pretty realistic picture for others facing recovery from shoulder injuries.

Thanks again for keeping us posted.

pbr549xxx
11-05-2014, 08:13
Today was the first day of physical therapy following getting the green light from the Ortho DR to begin strengthening exercises. This amoounted to a lot of pulling rubber bands of different resistance levels in different directions i.e. with my arm out at 90 degrees, elbow bend and "punching" straight ahread, rotating my forearm away from my body, rotating my forearm towards my body, and pulling the bands and different angles away from my body, and ending with exercises in which layed on my stomach and lifted a 5lb dumbbell from my arm extended down towards the floor and lifting it up, almost like a tricep kickback, but with my arm straight. The last exercise laying on my back and holding a 5lb weight straight up, pulling my shoulder in tight and basically rotating my arm clockwise and counter-clockwise 2 sets of 30 each. I wasnt sore at all following the exercises and I opted to skip the ice afterwards. I think next time I will need to increase the resistance.

pbr549xxx
11-05-2014, 21:22
Ok, the pain kinda crept up on me and by the time I got home I could tell I had done something. Nothing unbearable though.

pbr549xxx
11-10-2014, 21:46
2nd day of the strengthening exercises and those exercises are breaking me off. Didn't think a 5lb kettle bell and some rubber bands could do that LOL

cetheridge
11-10-2014, 22:59
Ok, the pain kinda crept up on me and by the time I got home I could tell I had done something. Nothing unbearable though.

You might want to re-think eliminating the ice treatment at the end of your PT session. The ice helps reduce the inflammation created by the exercises.
The pain is the shoulder's way of telling you "Hey! I ain't healed yet...take it easy".

I'm 5 months post surgery and have regained about 98% ROM, however, the shoulder joint is still not to full strength and I experience minor discomfort. I have to "baby" it and be cognizant that lifting anything heavy could screw it up again. I've been building a storage shed.... lifting lumber, raising roof trusses, etc., but mostly using the left arm and leverage.

Pace yourself through the exercises, don't try to rush the recovery process, give the shoulder a chance to heal. Use the ice. I still alternate between ice and heat.

Thanks for keeping us updated on your progress.

Carl

pbr549xxx
11-11-2014, 14:32
I definately didnt skip the ice after the last physical therapy appt, and I wont anymore.

Red Flag 1
11-11-2014, 15:31
Good to see you progressing along so nicely, and that your relationship with ice is understandable:D.

Thanks for keeping us posted as well as you have.

Joker
11-11-2014, 20:34
My sports therapist used a Game Ready ice machine after work-outs and deep-tissue massages for cryotherapy. My surgeon prescribed one for post-surgery also. Wonderful machine and now I understand why the process sports teams use them.
Ice is your friend post workouts.

pbr549xxx
11-19-2014, 09:22
It looks like my physical therapy journey with the Army is coming to an abrupt end. Due to the severity of the injury, the Ortho Dr said I wouldnt be able to jump anymore, so I requested to retire in lieu of PCS. I had requested a retirement date of 1 August which the Army denied and told me that since I had opted for retirement in lieu of PCS that I had to retire on 1 April. I'll start my transistion leave on 5 January. I'll see the Physical Therapist one more time between now and 5 Jan and then thats it.

The Reaper
11-19-2014, 09:47
It looks like my physical therapy journey with the Army is coming to an abrupt end. Due to the severity of the injury, the Ortho Dr said I wouldnt be able to jump anymore, so I requested to retire in lieu of PCS. I had requested a retirement date of 1 August which the Army denied and told me that since I had opted for retirement in lieu of PCS that I had to retire on 1 April. I'll start my transistion leave on 5 January. I'll see the Physical Therapist one more time between now and 5 Jan and then thats it.

I am sorry to hear that.

Time to open the book and write a new page in your life. You may find there are great things ahead.

Make sure you get your documentation and get with the VA service rep there to get started on your disability packet as soon as you can.

Thank you for your service and best of luck!

TR

cetheridge
11-19-2014, 13:28
It looks like my physical therapy journey with the Army is coming to an abrupt end. Due to the severity of the injury, the Ortho Dr said I wouldnt be able to jump anymore, so I requested to retire in lieu of PCS. I had requested a retirement date of 1 August which the Army denied and told me that since I had opted for retirement in lieu of PCS that I had to retire on 1 April. I'll start my transistion leave on 5 January. I'll see the Physical Therapist one more time between now and 5 Jan and then thats it.

Dammit, Man! If that ain't a kick in the nuts!

How is your physical therapy coming along? What is your ROM at this time?

You can still do therapy on your own with the exercises you know....keep doing them...it will get better!

While one chapter in life is coming to an end, another is just beginning. Think positive! Never give up!!!

Keep in touch and let us know periodically how the recovery is progressing. As RF1 has said before, your journey here in this thread will benefit someone else who will be undergoing the same type of surgery.

Thank you for your service, and best wishes for success in your next career.

Carl

Red Flag 1
11-19-2014, 18:07
It looks like my physical therapy journey with the Army is coming to an abrupt end. Due to the severity of the injury, the Ortho Dr said I wouldnt be able to jump anymore, so I requested to retire in lieu of PCS. I had requested a retirement date of 1 August which the Army denied and told me that since I had opted for retirement in lieu of PCS that I had to retire on 1 April. I'll start my transistion leave on 5 January. I'll see the Physical Therapist one more time between now and 5 Jan and then thats it.

I am so very saddened to hear this news. AS TR has already said, the documentation for transfer to VA is important. I'm not sure if you saw this coming or not, or have had any time to look about for employment once you retire. It will be interesting to see how much disability you will be seeing from the VA.

Thanks for your service, and the sacrifice you have made. May you find "retired" life rewarding. The key will be to stay busy with something, it was for me. You have to keep in mind, that we are not allowing you to retire from ps.com. We will still look foreword to posts from you. Not only about your shoulder, but to check in from time to time.

I wish you the very best.

pbr549xxx
01-02-2015, 22:06
Well once I got word I had to be retired by 1 Apr as opposed to 1Aug, my life sped up to what seemed to me as Mach 4 LOL. With having to clear, take leave, yada, yada, yada, I couldn't make anymore physical therapy appts and I've had to do a lot more picking up and lugging things so needless to say my shoulder has been pretty damn sore lately. I final out on Monday and plan on kicking back and just trying to ease back in to a cardio routine.
Anyway, my main reason on this post was to ask for some opinions. For Christmas I got a full size 12 gauge pump shotgun and a little pocket sized 9mm. I'd love to take the 12 gauge to the range and shoot it, but do you guys think it's too soon? I've got a little .22 rifle and the 9mm pistol that I can shoot, but I'm not too sure with the shot gun.

Peregrino
01-02-2015, 22:21
At this point you should be far enough along that you will be the best judge of your limits. Good form will mitigate many recoil issues. Get some low recoil loads (the "girlie" ones! :p) and try it. You will figure out very quickly whether or not you pushed too fast. Or learn to shoot off the other shoulder - a good thing to know anyway. FWIW - My surgery was left shoulder and I shoot rifle right handed. I'm still not shooting with a sling and my offhand form suffers because I can't get my elbow underneath where it belongs. I'm doing fine with all calibers of pistol (I'm left handed) though.

Make damn sure you get everything you need for the VA. They're not great but they do owe you and they're free. If they're delaying too long they also have to help you get a referral elsewhere - they'll send you a wallet card that outlines the program. Get educated and stay up with the changes; be prepared to fight for your rights.

Red Flag 1
01-03-2015, 15:16
Well once I got word I had to be retired by 1 Apr as opposed to 1Aug, my life sped up to what seemed to me as Mach 4 LOL. With having to clear, take leave, yada, yada, yada, I couldn't make anymore physical therapy appts and I've had to do a lot more picking up and lugging things so needless to say my shoulder has been pretty damn sore lately. I final out on Monday and plan on kicking back and just trying to ease back in to a cardio routine.
Anyway, my main reason on this post was to ask for some opinions. For Christmas I got a full size 12 gauge pump shotgun and a little pocket sized 9mm. I'd love to take the 12 gauge to the range and shoot it, but do you guys think it's too soon? I've got a little .22 rifle and the 9mm pistol that I can shoot, but I'm not too sure with the shot gun.


A 12ga; I had not thought about that yet. If you shoulder troubles are on your shooting side, you could have some issues. I would let the shoulder rest up some, from your moving challenges. Try the .22cal first. Not much recoil there, but there is some. If you have trouble with that, the 12 ga will be a problem. I have a 30-30, and a 30-06, and would cycle through those on my way to the 12 ga. Maybe sub three inch shells with light bird shot for starters. Standard recoil pads help, but you may need more than that. I've seen some guys use thick lambs wool pads around the recoil pad too, to help mitigate the recoil of their shotguns. I've toyed with the lambs wool pad myself. What ever you go with, hold your 12 ga as tight as you can.

Enjoy your retirement, and let us know how you make out with your 12 ga. I would really like to know how it works out for you.

pbr549xxx
01-06-2015, 19:28
Thanks for the information. I should get to go to the range in 2 or 3 weeks. U