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Old 01-08-08, 03:48 PM   #1
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Shoulder Surgery

I am going to have shoulder surgery (AC joint) on Thursday and was hoping to hear from other cyclists who have been through it. I posted over on the General forum and so far haven't gotten any feedback. It occurred that someone here was more likely to have some experience with this.

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Shoulder Surgery
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Old 01-08-08, 04:02 PM   #2
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Been there done that. Listen to what your doctors have to say about taking it easy and doing your exercises. I tried to come back to soon and paid the price. If they say 8 weeks, stay off the bike 8 weeks.
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Old 01-08-08, 04:46 PM   #3
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Been there done that. Listen to what your doctors have to say about taking it easy and doing your exercises. I tried to come back to soon and paid the price. If they say 8 weeks, stay off the bike 8 weeks.
Doctors are always conservative so if they say 8 weeks- they really mean 6+2.

But it is only the shoulder that has to be taken care off. Don't forget you have legs and lungs to keep into condition so plenty of walks at a fast pace- Neck exercises to keep it moblile and the good arm can be used for polishing the bike while you are off it.

Good luck.
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Old 01-10-08, 10:36 AM   #4
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Originally Posted by staehpj1 View Post
I am going to have shoulder surgery (AC joint) on Thursday and was hoping to hear from other cyclists who have been through it. I posted over on the General forum and so far haven't gotten any feedback. It occurred that someone here was more likely to have some experience with this.

See details at:
Shoulder Surgery
I've had surgery on both shoulders: the first for rotator cuff about 15 yr ago and last year to correct shoulder impingement syndrome. Both were very successful and I have a full range of motion and no pain now. The painful part is the rehab which is started soon after the surgery to prevent the shoulder joint freezing due to inactivity, but you must stick with it. I was going three times per week to PT for six weeks plus doing exercises at home. The shoulder is one of the most painful rehabs because it's a complex joint relative to others. Good luck and take something to bite on during rehab By the way, I was able to ride my bike after about 4 weeks with little discomfort.
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Old 01-10-08, 07:57 PM   #5
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Granted my issue was different than what you face but, I had very little pain issues during my therapy after my rotator cuff surgery. The recovery was long and I do suggest keeping with their program during your recovery. Due to the extreme nature of the tear, I went through quite a bit of therapy and doing anything that might stress or pull on the shoulder was a no-no.

Best of luck and hope for a speedy recovery

Keith
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Old 01-11-08, 10:44 AM   #6
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I'm interested in this subject as well. I have an appointment 1/24 to probably get the ball rolling toward a surgery for persistent bursitis. The surgery is called subacromial decompression. the grind off some of the underside of the bone across the top of the shoulder, making room for the tenons to move freely. I have had the shots 3 times in the last couple years. This is an arthroscopic surgery. I will probably need it on both sides. Riding the bike doesn't bother my shoulders much now, as long as I don't switch to ape hanger bars I'm fine!
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Old 01-11-08, 11:52 AM   #7
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Originally Posted by airbrake View Post
I'm interested in this subject as well. I have an appointment 1/24 to probably get the ball rolling toward a surgery for persistent bursitis. The surgery is called subacromial decompression. the grind off some of the underside of the bone across the top of the shoulder, making room for the tenons to move freely. I have had the shots 3 times in the last couple years. This is an arthroscopic surgery. I will probably need it on both sides. Riding the bike doesn't bother my shoulders much now, as long as I don't switch to ape hanger bars I'm fine!
Email me when you are closer to ready for surgery and i can fill you in on my experiences so far.
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Old 01-11-08, 12:32 PM   #8
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Just want to add about the down time... I always assumed the time given was just a rough estimates as well and would always get back on the bike as soon as I could tolerate the pain.

Here's the deal, had surgery in July 2003 and was told to stay off the bke until late September or October. I felt good and in fact did a century the first week in September. Fast forward 2 years. I continued to have pain and discomfort. Long story short, the surgery didn't heal properly (because I was impatient and didn't wait) and in 2005 I had to go back in and to it again (but this time it was more extensive). This second time I did exactly as the doctor asked and now I am pain free and have full motion back.
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Old 01-11-08, 06:00 PM   #9
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I'm interested in this subject as well. I have an appointment 1/24 to probably get the ball rolling toward a surgery for persistent bursitis. The surgery is called subacromial decompression. the grind off some of the underside of the bone across the top of the shoulder, making room for the tenons to move freely. I have had the shots 3 times in the last couple years. This is an arthroscopic surgery. I will probably need it on both sides. Riding the bike doesn't bother my shoulders much now, as long as I don't switch to ape hanger bars I'm fine!
I had exactly that surgery last May and didn't have too much pain after it. I think my surgeon had me wait too long (4 weeks) before starting PT as my shoulder began to freeze up, but 6 weeks of 3X /wk treatment and exercises at home got it back to normal and no more pain. I was off the bike for a very short time. Good luck and and make sure you stick to the rehab program.
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Old 01-11-08, 06:59 PM   #10
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Have you tried a course of NSAIDs, e.g., Ibuprophen (Motrin) or naproxen, which are non-steroidal anti-noninflammatory drugs?

A dose of 800 mg of Motrin, 4x /day for about 3 weeks totally took care of my painful shoulder impingement problems, which came on seemingly out of nowhere and thankfully have not reappeared.

I lived in fear of burnng a hole in my belly with so much Motrin; however, I was informed that although 200mg is will be found on a Motrin label, 800 mg is the therapeutic dose.

I always had some food, like cheese, when taking the OTC regimen and had no intestinal problems that were caused by the Motrin. While trying taking an inflammatory, web-based advise says to to avoid any activity that causes shoulder pain--if it hurts, don't do it.



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Old 01-11-08, 07:22 PM   #11
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I had surgery years ago to repair my shoulder. It popped out in an accident and was never the same again. I decided to have it repaired.

Having a shoulder out of commission is an adjustment. I learned to do a lot of things with my arm in a sling. The pain really was no big deal. I think I only wore the sling for a month or too. I agree that doctors are usually conservative, and that you may well progress faster than they tell you to expect. Definitely follow the instructions you are given.

My strongest memory of my shoulder experience was leaving my key in the room and having to enter my second story room one handed. The hard part was launching myself from the window to my bed. I landed on it in a heap and immediately went to sleep. Quite exciting, living with one arm.

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Old 01-11-08, 10:07 PM   #12
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Email me when you are closer to ready for surgery and i can fill you in on my experiences so far.
Thanks, it could be a while as these guys are pretty busy. I hope to get both sides wrapped up asap.
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Old 01-11-08, 10:22 PM   #13
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One of my friends just had this surgery, and she was eating in a perkins afterwards and there were 2 guys sitting next to her with their arms in slings, too. Both of them had the surgery, but each of them had screwed it up because they had fallen afterwards. I don't remember if they were on their second surgeries or not. During the conversation one of them mentioned that the biggest obstacle to rehab is people trying to do too much too soon. We're not used to having only one arm, and apparently we use it more to balance with than I thought.
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Old 02-03-08, 10:18 AM   #14
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staehpi1, how did your surgery go? I go in the 11th for the cuttin n grindin. I had a mri and arthrogram last week. It was funny, you know how your mind starts working, believing maybe it's not that bad, etc etc. Well when he got me on that table and started reefing my shoulder around I became a believer again
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Old 02-03-08, 12:31 PM   #15
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staehpi1, how did your surgery go? I go in the 11th for the cuttin n grindin. I had a mri and arthrogram last week. It was funny, you know how your mind starts working, believing maybe it's not that bad, etc etc. Well when he got me on that table and started reefing my shoulder around I became a believer again
It went great. I was doing very easy range of motion stuff a couple days after surgery and slowly added to the routine as time went on. I am now 3 -1/2 weeks post op and feel great. I have good range of motion back and the strength is pretty good too at least for the amount of time it has been. I still get an ache at night (toward morning) from laying down too long. If I get up and moving it goes away.

I have been back on the bike for two days now. I did 13 miles yesterday to see how I felt. I had no pain during or after, and felt better this morning than I have been, so I rode again today, 25 miles this time. I am still avoiding standing to climb as it seems like it stresses the shoulder more than I think it is ready for.
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Old 02-03-08, 01:00 PM   #16
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It's funny I should stumble across this thread today. My coworker/ ridding buddy is having rotar cuff repair tomorow morning! He hit a dog last summer on a steep decent and was thrown off the bike. The shoulder was dammaged and just wasn't getting better so the MRI told the tale! Wish him luck and God speed for recovery, as I do all o you!
Did/have any of you ridden a stationary recumbent durring your recovery period? He is really worried about the time off the bike!
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Old 02-03-08, 05:48 PM   #17
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I have a stationary recumbent and that should be no problem. Not much chance of falling off unless you doze off.
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