Contributors to this thread:
Shoulder,my turn in the barrel
Retired from the Marine Corps in 04. Among other things I was awarded 10% disability for each shoulder and had surgery on the left one before I retired.
Fast forward to this past July, I was having shoulder pain so I slowed down lifting weights to almost nothing. Was playing frisbee with my daughter and when I jumped and reach up to catch one, Had terrible pain in my right shoulder. Pain increased so I stopped working out, month later tearing down barn I had similar incident and felt like my shoulder was ripped out. no doctor because I knew something was wrong and was not going to screw up bow season.
Bear season was right around the corner. I didn't practice at all with the bow and shot my bear with a rifle, I did however kill a doe 5 days later with my bow. Hurt like hell, but got it done. more hunting stories but fast forward to today.
I'm scheduled for surgery March 8th to repair partial torn rotator cuff, full tear in labrum. He will also repair bicep tendon and take out a bone spur, There are also some cysts in the labrum. may have some more issues, but should have a full recovery.
I have first season turkey (April 21st), don't know what I'll use, but should be good for bow season.
Been reading for years how everybody else has had to cope with it, and now it's my turn. Have had several different surgeries and know the importance of PT. Can't wait for those torture experts get a hold of me.
Any ideas in prepping the house before surgery? I'm going to change the shower head out with one that has a hose. Right handed and that's the shoulder getting done.
Sometimes surgeons will turn loose of part of the bicep without telling the patient. It will give you a "popeye", be sure to ask before surgery. It will reduce your strength about 10% from what I am told. I have had 2 surgeries on EACH shoulder (rotator cuffs). Open surgeries not arthroscopic, both Drs. said they could see better and recovery was about similar time. Still shooting a recurve, never missed a season, had 2 done in '94 then had both done again in '12. Skreeding mud (concrete), sheetrock, concrete forms, underground mining, shooting very heavy recurves all my life took their toll, now dealing with arthritis. Life is good anyway!! Wouldn't change a minute. Good luck! ...Mike
Must be a Marine thing. Sounds exactly like the damage I had repaired in ‘13. Take it slow and do the PT, don’t over do it. Wiping your butt with left hand takes some practice. Good luck brother.
Can't help you but thank you for your service.
Surgeon told me he was going to release the bicep tendon and reattach somewhere else to avoid the popeye. Says it will heal faster that way also. Told me he will also do minimal damage to my tattoo. Can't wait to shoot pain free.
They’ll probably do a nerve block to send you home. When that wears off, you’ll discover the meaning of pain. Removing that spur, messing with bone, is painful.
I would also like to thank you for your service. I can't completely sympathize with you as I "only" had rotator cuff repair. My RN wife kept me on schedule with range of motion exercises. Followed PT instructions. It all sucked, but surgery in March and shooting my bow by August made it worthwhile. Sounds like you have been living in pain so recovery might not be so bad. Best of luck to you.
Based on what you said is the damage you have no other choice than surgery so you'll have to embrace the suck.
One at home recommendation is to make sure you have an Iceman* (cooler that you fill with ice/water that circulates the ice water to a pad that wraps your shoulder). The little machine is worth it's weight in gold. Thank me later.
You may want to go back and and talk to your VFW or DAV rep about those service-connected shoulders. Sooner rather than later. I would think a quality recliner or electric bed would be handy to help you find a comfortable resting position as you go thru the recovery. You could have some long nights if you can't find a comfortable position to lay down. You can find an inexpensive electric hospital bed on Craigslist to use and then re-sell it when your recovery is done. Good luck on the surgeries. They don't sound fun.
Reclining chair to sleep in, ice machine wrap for shoulder, PT, then bought 50 lb. bow...all good now!
I got out in '71. I had rotator surgery in 2017. Had to shoot left handed for one season (either that or not hunt) but I was successful. PT may kick you ass, but it's still not as bad as Parris Island! Semper Fi.
Never had shoulder surgery but separated my strong side shoulder pretty badly once. While you are doing the plumbing work on the new shower head, install a bidet.
Bidet's are great but he still has his other hand to wipe with?
"Bidet's are great but he still has his other hand to wipe with?"
How many times have you wiped your @$$ with your off hand? Based on your response, I have to guess never.
X2 on the left hand wiping LOL also had same side done - bought a new comfy recliner with an electric up and down switch. since I slept in it for a month it was nice to have. Get done asap - should be ok for fall. Good luck
IceMan*, new recliner. Two good ideas. I was just thinking about a new one. I have a big man recliner and think I will shop for a new one as this one has about seen its better days.
Good advice above. After the nerve block wore off the pain was brutal for a few days then for three weeks the only short sleep I got was in a recliner with ice on my shoulder. It’s a step back but you will move forward. Good luck.
PS: A year after the rotator repair I had a hip replaced which was easy peasy compared to the shoulder.
My wife, Lady Bowhunter, had a similar shoulder ailment in her right (draw arm) and had surgery to repair/reattach the bicep tendon, repair a torn rotator and remove a bunch of calcium deposits (similar to your cysts). The initial surgery was in late 2016, therapy had her shooting her bow in 90 days. She bear and turkey hunted 2017.
The calcium came back and the pins used in tendon had come loose and required a second surgery in summer of 17. The Ortho removed the calcium as well as the pins. Followed the PT regimen and was good-to-go.
She has noticed "popping" sensation that's actually audible when she first draws her bow (50# Prime). It happens once per session, and always the first arrow, so she's now drawing her bow at the start of each hunt.
The Dr said the calcium and shoulder injury were not related to her bow or plinking with her .308, and we don't know what the cause was, we're glad, however, that its behind her.
I had my right shoulder repaired (rebuilt) twice back in the early and mid 70's while on active duty.
Hardest things for me post-surgery was shaving, buttoning shirts and going to the bathroom. You'll figure that all out pretty quick..
You'll be shooting sooner than you think. Start at a low poundage and work your way up.
Hope you have a spendy recovery.
I had a surgery on my left shoulder a year before I retired from active duty. I was back to work in a sling two days later. Obviously on light duty. They removed a ridge of bone spurs, released a tendon, and cleaned out frayed tissues. During PT I developed "Froze Shoulder" and had to go back under to get it all broke loose ( that hurt worse than the surgery).
I asked how long I should take off work, thinking a couple of days, and they said about two-three weeks! I now work from a desk, so do I really need two weeks off? Also working from home. 2-3 weeks!?
I had a scapulara muscle reattached and that was no movement for 8 weeks and that was far worse than the surgery.I could send you my bent rod that you fasten a corn cob on so you don't have to use your left hand.Do your PT and you won't have issues shooting after.Usually a rotator cuff surgery is these little biddy cuts but don't know about yours.My surgery was a 8 inch slice and my daughter had the labrum repair from softball when she was 18.She won't ever throw a softball again but she can shoot a bow no problem.It sometime limits the over hand function
Surgeon told me it will be four separate incisions. The fourth is because of the bicep tendon repair.
Bent rod? I may have to engineer something like that. Was thinking about rigging up an old bench grinder with a paint roller.
Give yourself 2 weeks off, even if you work from a desk. Your first inclination will be to use a keyboard while you're in your sling- I made that mistake years ago thinking I could use a typewriter and experienced a bunch of discomfort from continued tendon flexing.
Millie made the same basic mistake thinking she could text and use her iPad with her right hand - flexing hurt the shoulder tendons. She quickly adapted and started using the left hand.
Follow PT directions...
Had my surgery Monday morning. First night was rough, took one oxycodone when the block started wearing off that night. woke up at 4:30 to take another. Tuesday was better and only took a couple ibuprofens. Last night took girlfriend to birthday dinner and had one ibuprofen right before bed. No meds so far today.
Five total incisions. First follow-up doctor's appointment is on the 16th. Can't wait to start using it.
I also work from home. I took one week off but, I was back to work three days later. I don't really have to type, just mouse work. Took a while to get used to using my left hand on the mouse. Much more of a learning curve than off-hand wiping...
Sounds promising so far, gunny. Hopefully the healing process goes well for you!
Put an "X" on your right shoulder so he doesn't do the wrong one. Best of luck! It's in my future as well.
12 yards, had surgery on the 8th. He did the correct one.
Doctor recommended to me to rent an electric recliner and even slept in it! I was lucky because I had zero pain throughout the entire process. Doctor made take pain pills so the muscle would relax and heal better. He also told me that it would take a year to recover completely and it did strength wise. I am probably going to have to get the other one done within the next year.
Recovery sucks, but it will get better. Just follow PT and Docs orders to the tee. You don't want to go threw it again.
I was prescribed muscle relaxers but not informed on why to use them.
Very pleased with the surgical hospital the surgeon used and how professional they were. The sent me home with an “Iceman” which I used the first night for a bit, and assume will be useful when PT starts.
Things you will need to learn how to do.
1. Learn how to wipe your butt with opposite hand/arm
2. Learn how to put tooth paste on a tooth brush
3. Learn how to eat pasta with the opposite hand.
4. Learn to let people cut your food for you
5. Learn to like gym shorts and sweat pants because you won’t be able to zip your zipper.
6. Learn to accept help when drying off from a shower
7. Learn to take orders from your PT and don’t violate the orders
8. Learn not to go to buffets- can’t carry a tray alone with one hand/arm.
9. Dump pain meds after 3 days and learn ice is your “new best friend.”
10. Learn how to operate with one hand on computer/cellphone.
Best of luck with your surgery.
I am recovering from the exact same surgery I had Feb. 16th. Torn labrum and partial tear of rotator cuff. Finishing up with week 3 of physical therapy tomorrow and pretty happy with everything so far. The inconveniences people have mentioned are spot on. A little embarrassing when you have to ask your daughter to buckle your pants and zip you up. My physical therapist said I should be able to start shooting my bow at the 11-12 week period depending on PT success. Good luck!
I had my right shoulder rebuilt a couple years ago. I recovered pretty quickly. I had 3 complete tears in my ligaments that held everything together and my supraspinatis was so ripped that they had to use a bovine tendon to repair it. It took a while to mend, but i got back shooting within 3 1/2 months. Good luck and God bless.
PT's = Physical Terrorists disguised as attractive, always-happy, ex-cheerleaders who enjoy human suffering. But it works.
I haven't had your surgery , but I broke the proximal head of my right humerous diagonally across the ball, basically in half, in a tree stand fall. I have a plate, 6-9 screws, and an 8 inch scar. Shoulder recovery and rehab is tough, and you can never ever give up on yourself. Here's what I learned that may help you:
1. Ice is your new best friend no matter how you apply it. Stay away from the pain meds, they will f--- you up, and you don't really need them. Pain is only a temporary condition. 2. Doctors and PTs will try to impose "realistic" goals. I was told not to expect to do many things and to expect only 95% recovery. I refused to accept that and overcame them all. 3. You sound like a gym rat like me. Use your PT to help you learn what to do then use your gym experience and discipline to get it done. My PT was only 3x a week, and insurance only paid for a limited amount of PT sessions. So your recovery is pretty much on you. My gym time was and still is 6x a week. My self-imposed sessions were much worse than my PT could ever dish out. Enjoy the suck, don't complain, and just get it done. Dr. Google can be your friend. I read a lot on shoulder anatomy and learned a lot of stretches and exercises that helped me. 4. Wiping your butt, eating, and doing anything else left handed is interesting, but it beats having someone else do it for you. It'll pass-eventually. 5. I got hurt in November and was out of the hospitals early March. I bow hunted in September. Low poundage and some issues, but I was back in the game. I began by shooting 2 arrows. I didn't care where they hit the target. And, that was all I could do in the beginning. You will be back in the game too. 6. Be patient with yourself and refuse to get frustrated or discouraged. Healing takes time and no amount of hard work will shorten that time. 7. Injuries like these are only temporary.
Thanks for all the info guys. Started this thread for information from guys who have been there done that, to share with others who may have it happen. Surgery was Monday and I'm two days meds free as of today.
I want to start doing some exercises but have been told not to push it, especially with the repaired bicep tendon. I've been told in the past to use my pain as a gauge, and that is the wrong thing to tell me. I will go past the pain threshold for gains. (Marine Corps runs deep). When my left shoulder was done, I did everything they told me plus, and still developed a froze shoulder and had to go back in under to loosen it up. That one was only spurs and torn tissues from the impingement. This one was much worse.
Thanks again for any information and any/all advice.
I had my turn. Good luck it’s well worth it
The biceps tendon was the most painful and took the longest to heal & rehab for me. Follow your PT and don't do anything extra for at least 6 weeks.
Gunny I had my left shoulder done last Friday. Same repairs as yours w/o the cysts. I kept to the ice for 6 days to minimize the swelling. One quarter of my chest looks a yellow/gold/green rainbow.
I am hoping that by 5 weeks I am casting a fishing rod, even if it needs to be side arm. lol I have my post surgery appointment with the surgeon on Monday to determine when/what PT is going to be like. Good Luck
You'll know the pain that you just have to work through and deal with vs. the pain that is causing injury. I was non-weight bearing for 3 full months while things healed up. During that time PT and OT were daily and non-weight bearing as well. The sole goal then was to keep me moving so that when the time came I could do the real rehab work. You'll need time to heal up as well.
I was told three months to heal, not more than 5lb lift for a couple of months, but a full 12 months to be assured everything is right. I jumped the gun, and now only have about 60% use of my right arm. I can draw 50 lbs, and not a pound more. Don't get in a hurry.
GregS, we're only 2-3 days a part. Can't believe how common this injury is. Now that I had it, seems like everyone I talk to has had it. Good to know there are a lot of positive results from it. Lots of good advice from this site.
8point I will heed your advice on not pushing it.
Turkey season on April 21st. Not sure what I'll use, but I will be hunting.
I go for MRI next Wed. This will be second surgery on same shoulder if it shows tears which Dr. said more than likely is
Had similar surgery at the end of October. About 90% now and shooting daily, lower poundage for now. Do as instructed by doc and pt and have patience, it will come back. That was my bow arm not draw arm.
Well said have patience, it will come back
Was making an omelette for breakfast this morning and almost dropped an egg. I instinctively started to reach for it with my right arm. I almost went to my knees from the pain! Good thing I’m all strapped into this sling or I may have reached further. Sat down for ten minutes until the pain subsided. Ok now, so I don’t think I hurt anything.
Unfortunately those "reactions" are tough to avoid. Hope you didn't strain anything! Therapy may feel like you are straining it at times, but you will make it thru this.
Keep at it Gunny TP, but pace it like they tell you to. I had done a complete tare on my left long-head bicep tendon resulting in the Popeye arm, and the MRI's showed I have slight tares in both shoulders of the front/back rotater cups and a very slight tare on right long-head bicep tendon in same place as the left. No surgery for any of it, but after PT I'm able to pull my bow's with very little issue at all, just took a while to get there. Best of luck!!
Great to hear it’s going well. Really focus on your form during rehab. I’ve had 3 shoulder surgeries and trying to avoid a 4th via preventative rehab. Looks like everyone else gave solid tips. Posting on Bowsite definitely takes longer...but what else are your gonna do now? Just had my scaphoid bolted back together and am in a holding pattern and getting the Youtube algorithm adjusted to hunting shows.
Thanks Tradi and Good luck YZF.
New twist in the recovery. Towards the end of the day, my sciatic nerve in my right side flares up. So bad I can't hardly sleep. Nothing works to relieve the pain. I start my PT today and will see if they have any ideas.
Pretty sure it's happening because I am favoring my right side in everything I do. Any ideas?
Yesterday was my 6 week mark since the surgery. Doctor let me get rid of the sling last Tuesday. Been doing PT for over a month now and got to use two pound weight yesterday. It's coming along just fine, getting better everyday. Hard to believe I'll be able to bow hunt by September, but the Doc is confident I will. My turkey season starts tomorrow and I'll be shooting a shotgun left handed.
Can almost sleep thorough the night, but not just yet. Wake up couple of times each night to readjust. Just starts aching when in one position too long.
Glad it’s going well gunny. I too had rotator cuff (6 tears almost in half in 2 other spots) and full labrum tear. I should have been more proactive with therapy and listening but I was 18 and knew everything. 10 years later it’s still not 100% and I definitely need surgery again. Can feel it.
I had the exact same surgery in April 2019. Torn Labrum, Torn Rotator Cuff, bone Spurs and so on. Like someone mentioned pain was bad after the nerve block wore off and I hated that nerve block at first because felt like my arm was paralyzed, but I was rethinking that later the next day.
I was back lifting by August and hunted hard that November. Have been pain free ever since.
Hope you heal quickly.
I had total replacement shoulder surgery 2 years ago, everything went well. I am due for my second total replacement on April 30th. I hope this one goes as well, my surgeon actually told me people heal quicker with a total shoulder replacement than they do from other shoulder surgeries. If your surgery involves repairing rotator cuff and such than you many be 5-6 months. I am planning on shooting 60#s within 12 weeks after my replacement and my surgeon who is an avid bowhunter tells me I will be good to go and shooting by August 1st. Best of luck with your recovery! Shawn
Shawn he’s right. I was out couldn’t even think of pulling a bow for 6 months. Did 30 pounds for a while to just get to shoot again. Then slowly worked up. Almost took a full year to get to my typical weight
Well I am 6.5 weeks out of surgery, I got rid of the sling last Thursday. It amazes me how quickly range of motion returns. Last Friday I was forced to wash my underarm with the tip of soap bar while barely holding onto the other end. I am now able to get my entire hand into my under arm.
My Surgeon has told me no weight past should height until 12 weeks, so for now, I am listening to her. I can get a glass of water to my lips, but not a beer mug. lol
Try a lite beer, lol. Glad it's going well for you and good luck on the turks. My wife was a little upset when I walked out with the 06 in November but it wasn't a problem as I didn't use it. Did kill with the shotgun in December though. Sounds like your well on your way to that complete recovery we all hope for. Keep at it !
I shot a tom yesterday with my 12 gauge. I did it left handed from a blind. Awkward, but I got it done!
Shoulder still aches at night and sleeping is still not good. But, it's getting better everyday. He still seems to think I will be able to bow hunt in September.
^^Good one, BIGERN!!
Good to hear, Gunny! Congrats on the turkey, as well, although it’s not that impressive to do it left handed. I’ve killed a bunch of them that way ;-)
Yeah, I know it's not that impressive, :) Just threw that in to make myself feel good.
Buffalo1 gave great advice. I had right shoulder total replacement 3 years ago this past December. It was my draw arm and I was able to pull 70 pounds in 5 months. I had left shoulder total replacement done this past November (my bow arm). Bone on bone on both shoulders. I have the same draw strength as my right arm but I don't have the extended weight holding strength yet.
I have had four shoulder surgeries. My advice is to follow PT to the tee and not rush the recovery. I rushed it on my first one and was the reason or having the right redone later.
My brother wrecked his today. Tried pulling my bow back to shoot when we were shooting and his shoulder completely let go and gave out. Hopefully he can heal up before bow season but not turkey season is with a gun for him. He’s got. A bad shoulder amd pulls 50 he was trying to shoot my bow pulling 70 plus or minus a pound or two
My best day was when I could hang my arm down and do circles.do the sling and hope for a nice big chested therapist to ease the pain.
I tore a rotator cuff packing a deer out last December. Pack apparently was too heavy on one side when I went over a fence. Didn't notice anything was wrong for days, then it was pain for 4 months. Seems to be almost healed now. Not uncommon for some rotator cuff injuries to take over 6 months to heal, if they're going to.
I had the same thing done last June. Rotator cuff repair. Cleaned up torn labrum, bicep tenodesis, and removal of bone spurs. I was able to draw and shoot late September, early October.
I'm glad I did it, but I dont think shoulder will ever be the same. Just missing too much cartilage.
Best of luck to you.
Rotator cuff tears definitely take longer than a total shoulder replacement to heal if no tear in the rotator muscle of which there are several parts too. I have no cartiledge left in my right shoulder and tomorrow 545 am I get a total replacement. Again 11 weeks I have been told I will be shooting 60#s. Left one I was shooting 60#s in a 11 weeks. Now both my hips are next, a pituatary tumor has wreaked havoc on my joints. Best of luck and continue to get better! Shawn
Ok, Monday will be 8 weeks. I've been following the PT as instructed. I've had a couple instinctive reactions where I reached out but the sling saved me from hurting myself.
Strength is coming back.
My question....When the hell will I get a full night's sleep?!! Not to whine, but comeon! I can get about three straight hours then the wake up and repositioning stuff starts until I just get up. Dealing with the pain is the least of my worries. I just want one damn night of sleep!
Ok that's it with the complaining. It has been getting better everyday. I knew it would be slow recovery.
Gunny, I found that I had to sleep in a recliner for a while just to get a full nights sleep. The sitting up kept me from putting pressure on the injured side. Sounds like your improving well, just keep at it and don't listen to the mind, we're not teenagers anymore, and the body let's us know it!!
You guys that are getting these shoulder surgeries.....how old were you?
I'm 56. Had my left shoulder addressed about 19 yrs ago before I retired from the Marines, but that was not as extensive as this one.
tradi- yes I started with the recliner, now I'm in my bed propped up with pillows. It works, just want to know when this sh*t stops so I have an end state to look forward to.
Cant wait to do push-ups again. I have DD boobies right now. (I waited a long time before surgery with too much pain to work out).
JL - I was 46 with my first one. 57 for the other shoulder earlier this month. Like Gunny said, getting a good night's sleep is tough.
Nothing to do for it but grin and bear it. It sucks, I know. I broke my right shoulder at the joint, shattered the left side of my pelvis, broke my tail bone and several vertebrae. Hurt no matter what I did. I used a lot of pillows, ice, and an air bed. It does get better eventually. Every day is one more closer to recovery. Hanging in there probably hurts. So, keep standing in there.
A good recliner and lots of ice. my surgery went very well and no where near the swelling as my first one. I save up my pain pills for at night, I take double and than my wife gets me positioned just right with the ice machne and several bags of frozen peas. I slept well last night. Gunny, it will come, just need a little more time!! Best of luck! Shawn
Following this closely as I'm up for surgery June 16th. Pushed back surgery until after the Porkapalooza. Doc said blood pressure and A1C were both too high to do the surgery earlier. Thanks for all the great info.
I guess I'm lucky...so far. All the bone parts, joints, tendons, etc are in ok shape.
47 when I had my shoulder done. It really wasn't an option, it hurt all the time. Now it just hurts once in a while. Gunny try sleeping in a recliner.
Today marks 8 weeks since my surgery. Getting along pretty well. Can almost make it through the night without waking up. Following the PT as best I can, but know I'm over doing it at home. Too much stuff to get done! I hate sitting around. Just a note on my pain level. I am my own worst enemy because I have a strong aversion to pain meds. Always have. I usually just bear through the pain in almost everything I do. The first night home I took one of the oxycodone pills as soon as I felt the block wearing off, and one early the next morning. Didn't feel much improvement in pain, so I haven't taken anymore. Have taken a few ibuprofen but they didn't help much either. I'm sure some will tell me, "Well there's your problem! Take the meds!"
It's been a long recovery. They advised me it would be but I thought I would bounce back quicker as I usually do in any other injury. So if you do have this surgery be prepared for a long recovery. I'm also told it will be worth it once I get to the other side. Can't wait til then. Lots of great advice and input on here. had no idea this was such a common surgery.