Tuesday, June 18, 2013

Shoulder Recovery Progress

I had outpatient arthroscopic surgery on my shoulder on June 5th to fix a bone spur and tear in some tissue. Now, only two weeks later, I have almost full range of motion with my shoulder. Some of the motions aren’t completely pain-free yet, but at worst it feels similar to a sore muscle. I’m thrilled with the results and my recovery so far. My orthopedic surgeon says the quick recovery is due to me doing exactly what he told me to do. I’ll happily give him credit for that.

The instructions I received and followed were:

  1. Take one of the pain pills he prescribed right after getting home from surgery, one at bedtime that night, and one the next morning, regardless of how it feels. That was to manage pain as the nerve block wore off.
  2. Remove the sling I went home in the morning after surgery and begin to move the arm a little.
  3. Begin doing small circle motions with the arm hanging down toward the floor a couple of times each day
  4. Keep ice on it as much as possible – the more the better. (I took the two days after surgery off work, which led right into a weekend, so I was able to sit with an ice pack on it almost constantly for 5 days straight before going back to work.)
  5. Take the anti-inflammatory drug he prescribed twice each day.

I'm still being a good patient, using the ice pack while winding down for the night and taking the anti-inflammatory drug. 

When I went for my follow up appointment ten days post-surgery, the surgeon told me I was well ahead of schedule for recovery and gave me the ok to begin strengthening the shoulder with band exercises.  I also found this helpful document in a google search about strategies and safety for training the shoulder after surgery.

Every single day, my shoulder feels better and stronger. I'm constantly impressed with and thankful for the ability of the body to heal itself. I plan on continuing with the band strengthening program my surgeon suggested for this week and next. After that I'll move into more of the traditional weight training exercises using caution. I'm looking forward to experiencing continued quick progress toward 100% mobility and strength. 

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