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Old 10-02-2016, 04:52   #16
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Re: Upcoming surgery will cramp my style

I had my torn cuff repaired December 12 and just now starting to do afew things can only raise the arm out to the side about 10 inches and was advised not to by the doctor six more weeks of physical therapy before returning to work if that is any help on how long the recovery time is and yes it still hurts my biggest problem has been the lake of sleep from the pain, sleeping in a recliner helps. It's driving me crazy having time but unable to work on the boat and forget sailing I will not take the chance heard to many bad re-injury story's. Be prepared I was told but did not understand what not being able to use my primary arm for so long was going to be like
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Old 10-02-2016, 04:57   #17
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Re: Upcoming surgery will cramp my style

I have had three torn meniscus and one rotator cuff surgeries. The shoulder was the hardest to deal with.

What I found was using the pain meds helped for the first week or so. Also do the PT, better "attack" the PT! Ask your therapist what is the MAX number of repetitions you can do of each exercise and then do them as often as they allow. Even after I was released from PT I was doing the exercises to continue to strengthen the shoulder.

While having someone to help dress you is nice, I went to button down shirts. Not having to raise my arms made dressing easier.

Finally, this surgery made my shoulder sensitive to cold. So have a few tee shirts and a sweater handy.

Being active and getting older is not for the weak of heart!! All the best for a fast recovery.



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Old 10-02-2016, 10:35   #18
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Re: Upcoming surgery will cramp my style

I guess this is pretty common! Thanks again for the comments and suggestions. I know the PT is absolutely critical. I was in a leg cast for several months (in the Army so much younger) and not using the muscles took forever to correct and I lost some range of motion permanently. I know that is a danger especially as I am older.

The suggestion to start PT before the surgery is an excellent idea. I am doing that now by tackling some delayed physical projects. It hurts some but better now than later (so long as I don't do more damage).

I'm expecting it to be pretty sore. I'll take the strong meds only as long as I have to. I hate all the strong stuff - opiates, codeine, others. I'll never be an addict to that stuff for sure. So the suggestion to do only short term is the right one for me. Advil/ibupropen will be my friend (so long as my stomach holds out - with food and water).

I think the essential thing is the PT - as much as I can without overdoing it. I think I'll be told to go to a pro for PT to start and learn the exercises.

BTW - I'm right handed and it is my left arm. And I wipe my bum with my right so all good on that. Just have to learn to wash my hand with only one hand! Shirts-wise - I've already figured out I won't be able to put on pull-over shirts, and I live in tee shirts. So only button shirts and I'll have to have help to put those on. I have trouble right now putting on jackets and shirts - the shrug of the shoulder with the arm behind the back is the hard part. That is one reason I had to have the surgery since that was making me wince everytime I get dressed.

Interesting about sleeping in a recliner. One other reason to get the surgery is that the pain is waking me up at night. I haven't been able to sleep on that shoulder for over a year now because it hurts too much. I'm sure I won't for a while after. I do have a recliner but it takes both arms to push up out of it so not sure if they will be in the cards for a bit. Thanks for the heads up though. We'll see.

I won't be able to step up on to the boat from the dock and that will be very hard to not do. Spring and summer are coming and we didn't get out much last year so this was to be the first time to really start using the boat. Oh well, there'll be more times later. We have an annual YC winter cruise/race later this month and we used to always go. Pretty chilly but a lot of fun to the San Juan Islands - Friday Harbor this time. It used to be Fisherman's Bay on Lopez but we all got to rowdy for the one pub there and they banned us. I saw the deputies physically throw some out the doors. Always late starts to go back the next morning.
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Old 10-02-2016, 14:47   #19
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Re: Upcoming surgery will cramp my style

Ex-maggiedrum,

I know you didn't ask for advice, but listen up a moment, please. Pay, if necessary, to consult with a good sports medicine physical therapist now! Find out which isometric exercises you will be able to do now, to tone the muscles. You'll be doing them for a long time, just suck it up. This will give you the best chance at total recovery. Just doing physical work with the injury will not help nearly as much as exercises to help the substrata there. Once the surgery is completed, and it has had a chance to recover, then do the exercises faithfully.

I have really had too many surgeries (ten major in the last 20 yrs.), but including total knee replacement (bilateral) and total knee revision. The importance of the physical therapy beforehand is something I could not recommend more strongly. It makes a huge difference, and it seems as if health insurances haven't got up to date with it, so you have to be pro-active. This is really important.

Good luck with the surgery and wishing you a speedy recovery,

Ann & Jim

PS, There's some evidence that feeling pain speeds recovery, so the least amount of pain meds you can tolerate, your discomfort will speed you on your way, unless it is exhausting you. You have to decide. Talk positively to your body, and let it know you expect speedy recovery and are proud of it for doing well. There is also evidence that that positive self talk helps.

Ann
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Old 10-02-2016, 14:52   #20
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Re: Upcoming surgery will cramp my style

Quote:
Originally Posted by Ann T. Cate View Post
Ex-maggiedrum,

I know you didn't ask for advice, but listen up a moment, please. Pay, if necessary, to consult with a good sports medicine physical therapist now! Find out which isometric exercises you will be able to do now, to tone the muscles. You'll be doing them for a long time, just suck it up. This will give you the best chance at total recovery. Just doing physical work with the injury will not help nearly as much as exercises to help the substrata there. Once the surgery is completed, and it has had a chance to recover, then do the exercises faithfully.

I have really had too many surgeries (ten major in the last 20 yrs.), but including total knee replacement (bilateral) and total knee revision. The importance of the physical therapy beforehand is something I could not recommend more strongly. It makes a huge difference, and it seems as if health insurances haven't got up to date with it, so you have to be pro-active. This is really important.

Good luck with the surgery and wishing you a speedy recovery,

Ann & Jim

PS, There's some evidence that feeling pain speeds recovery, so the least amount of pain meds you can tolerate, your discomfort will speed you on your way, unless it is exhausting you. You have to decide. Talk positively to your body, and let it know you expect speedy recovery and are proud of it for doing well. There is also evidence that that positive self talk helps.

Ann


I'm sure this is why my knee is still trashed. I've never done any of the PT, straight back to work in ten days on RC surgeries. Never bothered me on shoulders, work is more demanding than any PT there. Knees apparently just don't work like that though. PT not an option for me, no time...
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Old 10-02-2016, 14:55   #21
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Re: Upcoming surgery will cramp my style

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Originally Posted by exMaggieDrum View Post
I just found out yesterday that I need surgery to fix a torn rotator cuff in my shoulder. I'm not freaked out by the surgery as I have had a few to fix things broken in accidents. But I am freaked by not being able to even get on my boat for a few weeks and then for a few months I can't do much work on it let alone sail. So I am rushing to get a few projects done so I can at least get some of the boat put back together. It's actually a bigger problem than that though as I won't even be able to dress my self for a while. I'm trying to imagine what that will be like.

But no way could I do any sailing with the torn cuff as any sudden strenuous yank on the arm could tear it completely. Yikes! Don't want to go there. It makes you realize how important health and physical capability is to sailing.
Hello from George-who has a Brewer12.8. I had "total reverse shoulder replacement surgery" last November 16. Very painful first 6weeks-then will get stronger and much less pain day by day. Im now in PT for last month and not quite ready to get back aboard. It really takes 1 year for it to get as strong as it will. So do it and
stick it out as there is no other choice.
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Old 10-02-2016, 15:36   #22
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Re: Upcoming surgery will cramp my style

Could be worse...
A friend of mine fell off of a roof and broke both arms. Went to hospital and came home with both arms in casts. Didn't realize the extent of the problem until he had a BM and realized that he was unable to complete the necessary paperwork unassisted.
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Old 10-02-2016, 21:01   #23
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Re: Upcoming surgery will cramp my style

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Originally Posted by minaret View Post
I'm sure this is why my knee is still trashed. I've never done any of the PT, straight back to work in ten days on RC surgeries. Never bothered me on shoulders, work is more demanding than any PT there. Knees apparently just don't work like that though. PT not an option for me, no time...
Ooooh, minaret,

First, condolences. Second, try and make time, chat up a sports physical therapist, if necessary on your own nickle. It may not be too late. And you're talking about quality of life for the rest of your time here. I know you're a treasure, therefore, you can be allowed time for maintenance. Period. The physical therapist can give you a progressive set of exercises you can do on your own time, or at least tell you you have to live with it. I hope not. Cruising is more fun when your knees work normally. Extends your swim time, too, once they let you in the pool.

Good luck with it. You sure as heck didn't need that!

Ann
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Old 11-02-2016, 01:52   #24
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Re: Upcoming surgery will cramp my style

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Originally Posted by minaret View Post
I'm sure this is why my knee is still trashed. I've never done any of the PT, straight back to work in ten days on RC surgeries. Never bothered me on shoulders, work is more demanding than any PT there. Knees apparently just don't work like that though. PT not an option for me, no time...
At my age I may never get my shoulders back to the original but they will get better with work and some exercise.
I also have 2 trashed knees and are beginning to be an issue. The last time I had knee surgery was due to blowing one out coming off a 18k foot peak. the doc at John Hopkins that did the surgery told me he had good news and bad news - good news I could quit my nonsense stuff like hi altitude climbing, rock climbing, skiing ect and he would give me a new knee in in 6-7 years, bad news continue and he would give me a new knee in 3-5 years. I continued and did a ton of exercise for another climb and after coming off Mt Ranier I knew my climbing days were over as I just could not get the leg and knee in the kind of condition need for such climbing. And I was in my late 40s. I continued to exercise a bit and continued to rock climb and ski and yea had some twinges along the way but nothing a non metal brace would not handle. And that was over 25 years ago - still the original knees - but it is getting harder and exercise out here is a bit harder for knees than for shoulders.
so we walk and I mean walk a lot - not to exercise but when we go to the store, looking for something or what ever we rarely take a taxi - just take our backpacks and walk -
exercise on the front of the recovery yields great dividends on the back side and for the long term
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Old 11-02-2016, 08:13   #25
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Re: Upcoming surgery will cramp my style

Quote:
Originally Posted by Ann T. Cate View Post
Ex-maggiedrum,

I know you didn't ask for advice, but listen up a moment, please. Pay, if necessary, to consult with a good sports medicine physical therapist now! Find out which isometric exercises you will be able to do now, to tone the muscles. You'll be doing them for a long time, just suck it up. This will give you the best chance at total recovery. Just doing physical work with the injury will not help nearly as much as exercises to help the substrata there. Once the surgery is completed, and it has had a chance to recover, then do the exercises faithfully.

I have really had too many surgeries (ten major in the last 20 yrs.), but including total knee replacement (bilateral) and total knee revision. The importance of the physical therapy beforehand is something I could not recommend more strongly. It makes a huge difference, and it seems as if health insurances haven't got up to date with it, so you have to be pro-active. This is really important.

Good luck with the surgery and wishing you a speedy recovery,

Ann & Jim

PS, There's some evidence that feeling pain speeds recovery, so the least amount of pain meds you can tolerate, your discomfort will speed you on your way, unless it is exhausting you. You have to decide. Talk positively to your body, and let it know you expect speedy recovery and are proud of it for doing well. There is also evidence that that positive self talk helps.

Ann
Ann - thanks for the good advice. I wish I could do the PT before the surgery but given the situation I'm in I won't be able to do it. You are completely right in this. Regarding the pain - I don't like pain meds so I'm sure I will bite my lip and groan through the PT after and the pain.
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Old 11-02-2016, 08:16   #26
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Re: Upcoming surgery will cramp my style

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Originally Posted by chuckr View Post
At my age I may never get my shoulders back to the original but they will get better with work and some exercise.
I also have 2 trashed knees and are beginning to be an issue. The last time I had knee surgery was due to blowing one out coming off a 18k foot peak. the doc at John Hopkins that did the surgery told me he had good news and bad news - good news I could quit my nonsense stuff like hi altitude climbing, rock climbing, skiing ect and he would give me a new knee in in 6-7 years, bad news continue and he would give me a new knee in 3-5 years. I continued and did a ton of exercise for another climb and after coming off Mt Ranier I knew my climbing days were over as I just could not get the leg and knee in the kind of condition need for such climbing. And I was in my late 40s. I continued to exercise a bit and continued to rock climb and ski and yea had some twinges along the way but nothing a non metal brace would not handle. And that was over 25 years ago - still the original knees - but it is getting harder and exercise out here is a bit harder for knees than for shoulders.
so we walk and I mean walk a lot - not to exercise but when we go to the store, looking for something or what ever we rarely take a taxi - just take our backpacks and walk -
exercise on the front of the recovery yields great dividends on the back side and for the long term
Chuck, I gave up skiing when I turned 50. I continually pushed myself to do better and better on steeper and steeper moguled slopes. I suspect that has a lot to do with my shoulder problem now. It definitely screwed up my cuff on the other shoulder, and broke my collar bone, and broke my tib/fib. Sorry to hear you gave up climbing. I did many of the 14ers in Colorado - but can't blame that on the shoulder.
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Old 11-02-2016, 08:25   #27
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Re: Upcoming surgery will cramp my style

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Originally Posted by Ann T. Cate View Post
Ooooh, minaret,

First, condolences. Second, try and make time, chat up a sports physical therapist, if necessary on your own nickle. It may not be too late. And you're talking about quality of life for the rest of your time here. I know you're a treasure, therefore, you can be allowed time for maintenance. Period. The physical therapist can give you a progressive set of exercises you can do on your own time, or at least tell you you have to live with it. I hope not. Cruising is more fun when your knees work normally. Extends your swim time, too, once they let you in the pool.

Good luck with it. You sure as heck didn't need that!

Ann



I wish. Recently started my own company, twin eight year olds, own a big boat, etc. etc. etc. Zero time. My own body is just not a priority right now. Now I know why when my grandfather died they discovered he had three broken bones that had never been set, amongst a host of other injuries. Some things are just more important.
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Old 11-02-2016, 09:06   #28
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Re: Upcoming surgery will cramp my style

Quote:
Originally Posted by exMaggieDrum View Post
I just found out yesterday that I need surgery to fix a torn rotator cuff in my shoulder. I'm not freaked out by the surgery as I have had a few to fix things broken in accidents. But I am freaked by not being able to even get on my boat for a few weeks and then for a few months I can't do much work on it let alone sail. So I am rushing to get a few projects done so I can at least get some of the boat put back together. It's actually a bigger problem than that though as I won't even be able to dress my self for a while. I'm trying to imagine what that will be like.

But no way could I do any sailing with the torn cuff as any sudden strenuous yank on the arm could tear it completely. Yikes! Don't want to go there. It makes you realize how important health and physical capability is to sailing.
In 2004 I was injured in a home accident that nearly cost me my left arm. At one point I was told that it couldn't be saved and I needed to consider having it amputated. Despite my injuries, my fingers still worked--kind of--so I declined and found different physicians. Months later I underwent a pretty elaborate surgery to "reconstruct" my arm with the understanding that "things might not turn out well" and that I might not regain the use of the arm and loose what little use I had in my fingers. Fortunately, the reconstruction was fairly successful and within a few weeks I had some use of my arm that I hadn't had for 8 months. Post surgery, I went through a rigorous, and often time painful, physical therapy regime that I observed, religiously, that allowed me to regain much, but not all, of the use of my left arm and hand. By now I am back up to 85% or perhaps a bit more, use of the arm. (It never doesn't hurt but my brain has evidently adapted such that I don't notice the discomfort until someone/thing brings it to my attention, much as one's brain learns to block out the heavy "tick-tock" of an old Grandfather clock in the background.)

Because of the injury I was told I should give up sailing. "Not going to happen" I responded. To deal with heavy loads on the boat, I replaced our Simpson Lawrence manual windlass with a Maxwell Vertical windlass (and joined this forum to get advice on the electrics needed for that). I also looked into converting at least some of our winches to electrics but found that cost prohibitive. Instead I purchased a battery powered 18v Milwaukee Right Angle drill and Winch Bit through the internet for a few hundred dollars and use that to hoist the sails, trim and furl the jib. (The drill and bit were then being sold together as a "Winch Buddy" kit by a vendor for nearly 3 times what I spent although, admittedly, I did not get the neat little fabric cover.) These simple changes/additions allowed us to keep sailing our boat with only minor difficulty and one does learn to adapt. I suspect the same will/can hold true for you with a little determination and a willingness to "bite the bullet" when necessary. (FWIW our home-grown "electric winch handle" continues to work well with only batteries having needed replacement from time-to-time over the years.)

In re: pain, that is the body's way of telling you that you are doing something that's damaging the "equipment" and, usually, makes you stop doing so. By all means use pain meds when the discomfort becomes unendurable, particularly immediately after the surgery, but you have to keep working through the pain/discomfort, which does seem to promote healing/recovery for some reason, or you will find yourself permanently disabled. You don't have to settle for that....

FWIW...
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Old 11-02-2016, 14:40   #29
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Re: Upcoming surgery will cramp my style

^^^^ svHyLyte,

Thank you for sharing. I think i have a little idea how d--n hard you've worked for your recovery. Good on ya.

Ann
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Old 11-02-2016, 15:05   #30
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Re: Upcoming surgery will cramp my style

Don't mean to hijack this thread, but am facing a hip replacement in two weeks. You know, the kind where they cut off the top of the leg and insert a ball joint with hose-barb-like ends to anchor it, and implant a socket in the hip. Not out patient stuff, but almost--surgery Monday AM, go home Tuesday.

No real option. Pain such that sleeping is tough and putting the boat to bed for the winter was a challenge. Got to hope that their rosy prognosis of being able to do anything but returning to running or similar high impact stuff is correct.

As one fellow said earlier, get going now. Get sailing now. You wait a bit and things catch up.
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