Shoulder Surgery Recovery

Reward: $10.00
Ideas posted: 8
Posted by: breese27

I am about to have shoulder surgery to repair a torn posterior labrum as well as to repair some AC joint damage.

What are they best ways to recover from something like this?  How can I maintain my current fitness level while my arm is in a sling?

Any and all ideas will be considered (what to eat, drink, sleep ideas, etc)

Category: Health
Do exactly as your physical therapist recommends. Dont push the recovery process.
Oct 16, 2009
As someone who has suffered from a permanently separated shoulder for all of my adult life, my feedback is to build strength in it as soon as possible. Work diligently at the therapy you are given and push to add strength and dexterity.
Oct 29, 2009
By the way, you got me hooked on this whole ideaoffer deal. Good call man. It's pretty cool.
Oct 21, 2009
Dude, 10 bucks for telling you stuff that I do everyday? Sounds like a steal man! I'll do it for free. It's been awhile man, how you been... besides the whole surgery thing? And how'd you manage to bust up your labrum? Wait, let me guess... hockey?
My best advice is to adhere to the precautions that you're surgeon gave you (I'm assuming that he gave you restrictions). Don't push it in the acute phase. That bad boy takes some time to fully heal. Once you get the go ahead, then you can have at it. Labrums re-injure easily so take it easy at first.
You'll start in the sling with some gentle range of motion exercises. Then you'll start active-assisted ROM. Then you'll do active ROM. Then you start strenthening the rotator cuff to help provide stability and make that thing functional again. It's a long process so easy does it.
Get a good PT and listen.
So... as far as food goes, there is no steadfast answer to that. However, I would stress fruits, vegetables and protein. They encourage healing while things like salt and sugar inhibit it. Lots of water, vitamins, and nutrients. Moral of the story... eat healthy.
When you sleep, always make sure you have that arm supported. If you move and roll a lot in your sleep, then I recommend making a barricade. Use pillows and such to kind of trap you and keep you from inadvertantly rolling onto that shoulder... won't feel good.
Scar mobility is an often overlooked factor. Once the incisions have healed up and closed, start massaging them. I've seen what a simple scar can do so don't forget that part.
Listen to your surgeon and listen to your PT. They know best and will guide you right through. I know a lot of this will be covered by both of them, but I figured I would give you my two cents as well. Sorry for the length of this, but I get excited about this stuff. I'm actually seeing a patient tomorrow that has had both done in the last year. He's doing well so keep that head up man... you'll make it yet! Take care buddy and keep me posted on everything. Ciao.
Oct 21, 2009
Yeah do not aggravate the injury. Think of everything else that you can do to keep the same physical condition. First look at your nutrition. If you're not eating 6 times a day then start. That alone will make up for some of the slowdown in metabolism. In you're case if you normally have a high protein diet then shift it. Try and get more high class fat and unrefined carbs. If your body gets mostly protein, then it will preferentially burn protein, and that means muscle. Sad fact but true. Nuts become really good, almonds being almost perfect. As for the exorcise well say hello to core and leg routines. Your arms will belong to your therapist but this other stuff is yours. Try not to overdo it though as too much physical stress puts a strain on your immune system. And that is what will be doing all of the repair. Boost that with Vitamin-C 2g and l-Lysine 1g twice a day. Read about that, though suffice it to say most of the more invasive stuff will heal quickly. Scarring and chance of infection will be much less. Glucosamine and chondroiton I don't hear alot of good stuff about and would just not take. Your body can make the rest of what it needs but it cant make Vit-C. Don't be depressed about any loss in arm strength. Keep in mind your muscles remember how strong they are supposed to be. As soon as you are able to get back to your real regimen they should be back where they were in no time. I happen to know what it's like to go from a 300lb bench to a 100lb. Your PT will fill in the rest and remind you to watch your form. If they don't then get another one.
Oct 19, 2009
oh to give you a time table about a recovery I had mine on march 17 and got married in June and was able to do everything on my honeymoon including carrying my wife over the threshold.
Oct 16, 2009
follow the instructions from the doc and physical therapist to the max

walk on the treadmill with the shoulder in a very secure sling and do the recumbent bike.

nutrition is key. fewer carbs since you will not be as active.

sleeping can be difficult right after, prop arm up on pillows to support shoulder. sleep in recliner for first few days if you need to
Oct 15, 2009
I had this same surgery in March of 2008, for both things. For the first few weeks you'll do nothing with that arm. The only activity I did was walk after a few days and got used to the pain and the way the meds affected me. After physcial therapy started I did the pully every day so that I could get movement back in my arm. Every excersize they taught me I did at home as well. Make sure to buy a big ice bag so the pain is not as bad when you do these work outs. Also make sure you get massages if your insurance is good to help pay for it, mine did. It cost me 8 bucks for an hour two times a week for the massage, it helped with the pain a ton. Once you get full range of motion with the pulley and are doing the excersizes you get at PT start doing pushups on the wall (make sure u tell them about it). That gave me a big boost in strength and mobility. The biggest piece of advice I can give is early on don't over do it. Listen to them at PT and do what they say.
Oct 15, 2009
Your lower body will be fine, and your cardiovascular system will be fine, so I'd suggest focusing on those. If you keep your legs, lungs and heart healthy you'll have no problem getting the upper body strength back.

Walking, obviously. Jog if you can.

To help with heart strength something intense would be good, but it will be hard to run fast with an arm tied down. Tie a loop around your waist and attach it to something heavy like a 45lb plate or a tire, then try to run while dragging it. Working out sans gym equipment will be better for your overall fitness (and soul) than just doing leg presses.

You'll also be able to work your core. Leg lifts and situps will be no problem.

Make sure you sweat for a half hour 3 times a week.

Make sure to stretch regularly too, more often than you exercise if you don't exercise regularly. Getting tight because you don't move around enough makes staying fit a real chore. Stay limber and you'll enjoy the activities more.

Start playing soccer. You aren't allowed to use your hands anyway, and the fun and competitive nature of the game will make you forget you're working out. Who knows, maybe you'll come out of your recovery with some cool ball work to show off.
Oct 15, 2009