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Shoulder Replacement


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#1 GTTinkerer OFFLINE  

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Posted August 06, 2014 - 01:30 PM

Just wondering if anyone here has had a shoulder replaced? and if so how much it has changed your ability to continue to do mechanical work?

 

About 61 years ago i was unlucky enough to get my arm caught in the wringer on a washing machine which pulled off much of the upper part of the upper right arm.  For about the last six years it has really been acting up and in December 2010 had surgery to repair a torn rotator cuff and scrape out a bunch of arthritis which was a result of the initial injury.  The surgeon told me then that I would need a complete shoulder replacement in the next 3 to 5 years.

 

About a year ago it started hurting again and through VA I had eight weeks of physical therapy with no good result.  I have been getting steroid injections in the shoulder for the last eight months but they only last for about six or seven weeks and the pain returns and they will only do the injections every three months.  The percoset pain pills are not doing the job anymore.

 

Yesterday I drove the 220 miles to the Detroit VA hospital only to be told by the PA that the two Orthopedic Surgeons only worked every other Friday.  So had to rescheduled for September 12th.  He told me that I may as well sell my tools because the recovery from the shoulder surgery will be at least eight months and maybe double that long and even then I would probably never be able to do mechanical work again.

 

Thanks,


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#2 TomLGT195 OFFLINE  

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Posted August 06, 2014 - 02:28 PM

well lets hope he's not right on that assessment . good luck with it . I'll keep you in my prayers . Tom


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#3 olcowhand OFFLINE  

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Posted August 06, 2014 - 02:28 PM

Man do I hate to hear this Bill.  Hoping/praying for you that they are wrong on the outcome and you are able to continue to work like you want/need to.


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#4 MH81 ONLINE  

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Posted August 06, 2014 - 02:41 PM

I wouldn't start listing stuff yet. You don't strike me as a person to give in easily.
I will pray for you and hope for a far more positive outcome than that.
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#5 LilysDad ONLINE  

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Posted August 06, 2014 - 03:07 PM

Like was said, I wouldn't give in just yet. Give it your best shot. Even if you can't do what you did before, maybe you can just collect small engines or such. There are a world full of things to be involved in!!! Keep us informed.


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#6 farmer john OFFLINE  

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Posted August 06, 2014 - 03:39 PM

sorry to hear about your luck, i am in the same boat as you and need a replacement, mine has been bothering me for over 10 years, i was told i need a replacement about 3 years ago, but when i told them great i can get back to doing some of the stuff i usually do they said " hold on , you cant do any of that once i fix it", well my response was why dont you fix it right then the first time, if i cant use it why would i let you touch it? i can do all sorts of stuff on the farm as it is, i just end up in a lot of pain ( and i have hydromorphone for that, good stuff) im 58 yrs old, retired, and busy as heck. i guess i'll have to wait till i want to retire from life before my shoulder gets fixed, so unless you cant take the pain be careful, not every repair is a fix , sometimes they make things worse than what you started with


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#7 HDWildBill OFFLINE  

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Posted August 06, 2014 - 04:10 PM

I have a friend of mine who had his shoulder replaced, To much heavy lifting weights when he was younger.  He isn't much into mechanical things, but I do remember him telling me that there were a lot of restrictions on the shoulder replacement and it was going to take him a long time to recover.  I haven't talked to him in quite a while so I don't know how he is currently doing.  I wish I had better news to tell ya Bill.


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#8 JDBrian OFFLINE  

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Posted August 06, 2014 - 04:29 PM

Bill, my father has had both shoulders replaced due to osteoarthritis. He has good mobility in them, maybe not 100%, but quite good and far superior to his condition before the replacements. The recovery is long, longer than a hip replacement which he has also had. He is now 77 and had the shoulders done about 3 years ago, getting both done within a 1 year period. He is pain free but he does not do any more wrenching. He was a refrigeration tech with his own business and had to retire when his shoulders got bad. Being in his early 70s he had slowed down a bit anyway but had no choice when both shoulders were shot. He now works part time with my brother and his company helping to install Split type heat pumps. He never has trouble with his shoulders, but he is not doing any heavy lifting. If you could get in touch with others who were your age when they had replacements done that would be a good indicator of capability after the recovery. I wouldn't sell my tools if I was you. You still have 1 good arm and your determination to fall back on! You can probably find a way to adapt to the new reality. Being pain free will be a huge positive change for you! 


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#9 oldedeeres OFFLINE  

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Posted August 06, 2014 - 05:32 PM

Taking twice as long to do half as much becomes a reality for many of us as we age, don't sell your tools yet. As has been said, you'll still have one arm that isn't changed and lots of "I want to do it" and ingenuity to work with. And there's the chance that the surgery will be all that you hope it will be and you'll be pretty pain free. We all know our own pain tolerance and capabilities. Good luck.
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#10 trowel OFFLINE  

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Posted August 06, 2014 - 05:50 PM

As everyone is saying, don't give in just yet, people that should of been paralyzed are walking again.


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#11 GTTinkerer OFFLINE  

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Posted August 06, 2014 - 06:32 PM

No I am not selling the tools and tractors but my sons and son-in-law will be using them a lot more than I will for awhile though.

 

I started lifting weights when I was playing high school football at 13 and then did more weight training while on a pistol team at Ft Knox.  The pumping up to 1500 rounds a week out of the M1911 45 caliber pistol for a couple of years didn't either.didn't help much either.

 

I am going to check and see if there is a Yahoo or Facebook group out there whose members are in the same boat.

 

But stuff happens and I would do it again in a minute.


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#12 Sawdust OFFLINE  

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Posted August 06, 2014 - 09:41 PM

I have had both of mine replaced. I have gooooood news for you. Pm me.
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#13 Bill56 OFFLINE  

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Posted August 06, 2014 - 10:59 PM

Wishing you the best Bill. I've never had the surgery, but may be in the same boat someday. Pain, to one degree or another, seems to be a way of life. I know of some who've had shoulder treatments/surgery and it has been good results for most. 


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#14 GTTinkerer OFFLINE  

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Posted September 12, 2014 - 06:40 PM

Went to the VA hospital in Detroit again today and got to talk to a real orthopedic surgeon (I think).  The mid to late 30 year old guy came in wearing jeans, a tee shirt (with holes in it and lettering on it) and a unbuttoned long sleeve flannel looking shirt; announced that he was so and so without the word Doctor in front of it.  Not exactly the "normal" VA doctor attire.  He was wearing an official looking VA ID card that said he was an MD though.

 

He spends a few minutes on the computer, asks me if I was ready to spend the rest of my life not being able to lift more than 10 pounds with my right hand and when I say no he tells me that until I can answer that question with a yes I am not ready for shoulder replacement surgery.  We discussed his reasoning behind his comment for about 10 minutes and he said he was changing one of my pain medications and to come back to see him when the pain got to the point I was ready to say answer to his question.

 

Right now I am able to do most of the things that I could do at 40 but it just takes a little longer and a few more trips back and forth (which would make my Grandmother smile since she always told me that a lazy man tried to carry too much of a load at once to save a second trip)..

 

My wife says she will call the Doctor who did the surgery in 2010 to set up an appointment to get a second opinion on Monday.


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#15 HDWildBill OFFLINE  

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Posted September 12, 2014 - 07:49 PM

As much as VA has been in the news lately I would think a second opinion would be in order.  I do know my buddy who had his shoulder replaced has a weight restriction on his, don't remember how much though.

 

Bill have you ever tried a product called LaKOTA?  My MIL has some really bad joint problems to where she is confined to a wheel chair (motorized of course).  She is a lot of pain with her problems and she started using this product about a month ago and has been singing praises about it.  She sent a bottle home and I tried it on my Knee that had been giving me a problem (Knee cap)  Although it still bothered me for a few day I do believe it helped with the pain.  The little 'a' has an upside down triangle over it.






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