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Old 03-15-2012, 07:23 AM   #1
Todd Moore
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Question Shoulder Decompression Surgery

I had left shoulder decompression surgery on March 6th, which included removing a large bone spur, taking a piece of my shoulder bone, and cleaning adhesions around the capsule and frayed areas of the rotator cuff. Started on home therapy 2nd day post op and they added the pulley system yesterday for home. I am down to taking 2 pain pills a day, but still a lot of pain at bedtime and when I wake up in the morning, not sure how long to expect that type of severe pain? I am able to return back to work next week, which is great! Just not sure what to expect from here as I have never had this type of surgery before, any insight would be appreciated. For some reason they did not put me into a formal PT program, so home exercises is my rehab, not sure if this the general rule for this type if surgery?
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Old 03-17-2012, 01:00 PM   #2
Sean Rockett
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Re: Shoulder Decompression Surgery

Some docs doand some don't. If you want exercises go to mywebsite orthopedicsne.com for PT protocols
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Old 03-17-2012, 07:01 PM   #3
Todd Moore
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Smile Re: Shoulder Decompression Surgery

Sean,

Thank you I will go in and look at your website. They have started me on simple wall exercises with my affected arm and the pulley system. I just do not want this thing to freeze up again. I used to triathlons and still active with swimming and running! Thanks again!
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Old 03-21-2012, 09:04 AM   #4
Kurt Kendall
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Re: Shoulder Decompression Surgery

I have had the same surgery. You shouldn't really have much pain at this point when you are in a rested position. If the Dr. says everything is fine structurally this should go away soon, but if you haven't already you should discuss the pain with the Dr.

I would insist on going to a PT, but the hard part is finding one that knows what they are doing.

This surgery usually goes pretty well. Unfortunately I was the exception, and although I am better than I was pre-surgery, I still have mobility issues several years later.
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Old 03-22-2012, 05:08 PM   #5
Todd Moore
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Re: Shoulder Decompression Surgery

Kurt,

At rest very little pain, but at the end of the day different story! What I am having now is muscle spasms that run at the top of my shoulder down my bicep and tricep muscle. I am going to call my doctor tomorrow to see if he can prescribe a muscle relaxer versus the Lortab. I am down to only 1 Lortab a day at or close to bedtime with Tylenol Extra Strength!

I guess I want this shoulder to heal quickly so I can get back into water sports and etc....

Thank you for the advice.

Todd
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Old 03-22-2012, 07:38 PM   #6
Brent Sallee
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Re: Shoulder Decompression Surgery

Todd, I'd definitely request formal PT. Although you may able to get stronger and improve your ROM at home, you can't mobilize specific immobilities that facilitate the problem in the first place. Many times, that includes inferior glide of the humerus, which allows the shoulder to avoid impinging and thus causing bone spurs. Post-surgically, PT is a great option for mobility and for improving your own personal knowledge. Your PT should be a knowledge base and should help your recovery be much quicker. In addition, they can help manage your pain with pain inhibition techniques and modalities (electric stim, ice).
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Old 03-23-2012, 05:15 PM   #7
Matt A. Windsor
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Re: Shoulder Decompression Surgery

I had a decompression (also referred to as an 'acromioplasty w/decompression', if you are having part of the acromion process removed) in 2007 on my left shoulder, and in 2008 on my right shoulder.

If it was anything like mine, then it's going to take a while to heal. My left shoulder probably took a good 6 weeks to get to the point where I could maneuver my arm and shoulder through the full range of motion, even though it still hurt a bit; and it probably took another 6 before I would consider it 'fully healed' (e.g., could do deadlifts and that sort of thing). My right shoulder took a bit longer than my left.

In both cases, I actually didn't have or need any formal PT. I was told that I could do formal PT, and that I would be approved for such; but when I got to the PT's office, he essentially told me that lighter weights on the standard shoulder workouts (assisted pullups, lat pulldowns, dumbbell side/front lifts, bent-over rows, etc.) would be more than enough to rehab it.

It's now about 4 years later, and aside from some residual pain in my left shoulder (which, frankly, started about 2 days ago, 3 to 4 weeks into CrossFit), I'm totally healed. My shoulders are not quite as flexible as they can be, and there's some scar tissue in there; but both of those can and will be alleviated with more CrossFit.

Also - I'd like to point out that (and this is just my opinion, though it is backed up by what the doc says) the pain you are feeling is a mix of the bone spurs/etc. that were removed from your shoulder, as WELL as any scar tissue that was removed. In my case, the actual impingements weren't that bad, but I've got a high pain threshhold, and I had a *TON* of scar tissue, especially on my right shoulder, so whereas some people heal in a few weeks, I had significant pain for upwards of an entire month.

My point is that I'm thinking that, so long as you are following the doctor's orders, what you're feeling is perfectly normal for someone who has had the work you've had done. However, I'd agree with Brent - formal PT is worth requesting.
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Old 03-23-2012, 06:32 PM   #8
Todd Moore
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Exclamation Re: Shoulder Decompression Surgery

Matt and Brent,

Thank you for the encouragement and advice. I think I am going to call and request that I get into PT. This week I have had a lot of muscle spasms they run on top of the clavicle down the bicep and tricep muscles and down in my left arm, not sure if that is normal? It is a different pain, the mobility is
getting a little better, but I am only 17 days post op. Thanks again for the advice!
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Old 03-23-2012, 06:37 PM   #9
Todd Moore
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Exclamation Re: Shoulder Decompression Surgery

Matt and Brent,

Thank you for the encouragement and advice. I think I am going to call and request that I get into PT. This week I have had a lot of muscle spasms they run on top of the clavicle down the bicep and tricep muscles and down in my left arm, not sure if that is normal? It is a different pain, the mobility is
getting a little better, but I am only 17 days post op. Thanks again for the advice!
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Old 03-23-2012, 06:37 PM   #10
Todd Moore
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Exclamation Re: Shoulder Decompression Surgery

Matt and Brent,

Thank you for the encouragement and advice. I think I am going to call and request that I get into PT. This week I have had a lot of muscle spasms they run on top of the clavicle down the bicep and tricep muscles and down in my left arm, not sure if that is normal? It is a different pain, the mobility is
getting a little better, but I am only 17 days post op. Thanks again for the advice!
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