I had a total shoulder replacement in September 2008. The first week or so after the surgery were definitely the worst pain wise. I also noticed a difference to the good with the pain level after my staples were removed. The actual staple removal process was quite uncomfortable, but once they were out, it helped things a little.
Be very diligent about doing what and ONLY what your surgeon tells you you are allowed. Especially when it comes to wearing your immobilizer and moving or not moving the affected shoulder. Once you are permitted to start PT, it's also very important to be diligent about your exercises - it's going to be painful and stiff at first, but the more diligent you are with the PT, the more movement and freedom from pain you'll be in the long run.
I did quite well with my surgery for a while, but unfortunately, I've been having quite a bit of trouble with that shoulder again for the past several months. In teh next couple of weeks I'll be undergoing a CT scan, MRI atherogram (sp?) (it's where they inject a dye into your joint to see about any leakages, tears, etc.) and an EMG. When they do the MRI test, they'll also be removing some joint fluid to culture it to make sure I don't have an infection in the prosthesis. My surgeon thinks I may have possibly (somehow) torn my rotator cuff now, so there very well could be further surgery in my near future for the same shoulder. If they find that I do have an infection, that also could mean surgery to either remove and replace the prosthesis or perhaps even do a fusion at that point.
Did you have any specific questions for someone who has gone through the same surgery? If so, please don't hesitate to ask me.
I wish you the best of luck and yes, each day will get a little better with the pain level. It may not seem that way right now, but it does.
i am sorry to hear about your new troubles. hopefully it can be resolved without too much trouble. thank you for your thorough reply. how was your range of motion and pain level before the recent problem?
Prior to starting to have problems the past few months, my pain level after recovering from the surgery was so much better than before surgery. Of course, you have to give it time for healing, so don't be to impatient with it.
Range of motion with the artificial joint will never be what a "normal" joint will give you, but it also was much improved after surgery and healing time. Before surgery, I could barely lift my arm much more than like waist height (from a hanging down position).
The shoulder replacement definitely does require some lifestyle adjustments, even after healing time - such as not lifting heavy objects with that arm, nothing that will jar the shoulder drastically (my surgeon laughingly told me no using a jack hammer!) But I think you'll find that it's much more comfortable than before surgery. In my case, my bad shoulder is my right shoulder, and of course, I'm right handed, so I've gotten quite used to doing some things with my left hand/arm that I used to do with the right. It actually was amazing to me how, even after I was out of the immobilizer and able to use that arm, how I still tended to depend on my left arm more than before. I guess they really can teach an old dog new tricks!
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