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The Road to Recovery

by Barry Shulman |  Published: Sep 12, '18

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Six days later and it still aches a bit. The doctor explained that may be because he:
  • Did a 4-inch incision in the skin
  • Cut the tendon
  • Split the muscle
  • Cut the bone 
  • Dislocated the shoulder and worked on it outside the body
  • Replaced ball at top of arm bone with metal ball
  • Covered the socket with a new plastic surface.
Enough, you get the point.
All the surgeon can do is physically get the shoulder back in shape so that pain can stop completely and range of motion returns as close to optimal as possible.
The success and time of each is directly proportionate to the rigorous exercise program prescribed. 
In the week between the surgery and the follow up visit there are several very specific dos and don’ts.
Every waking hour ice is mandatory for swelling reduction.
Squeezing the ball 10 times each hour is required and easy.
The breathing machine also is 10 times hourly. It is tougher than it looks. Major lung filling is required for minimizing pneumonia and other breathing complications. It has an amazing calming effect and 3 major inhales would definitely reduce stress when tempers are escalating. Allyn has permission to invoke the breathing down the road when I might get a bit testy.
The sling only comes off three times daily, for exercise, bathing, and getting dressed. That is tough duty. The exercise is comprised of 1 set each of 10 curls (no weight), wrist curls, reverse wrist curls, arm hanging circles, and shoulder shrugs.
The purpose of the sling is to stop inadvertent shoulder movement. Many minor movements still hurt.
The sling stays on for six weeks, with serious physical therapy (the torture) starting in a week. 
The doc said that in four to six months I will be back on the golf course. That remains to be seen as I have been off for 20 years.
 
 
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