Thursday, October 28, 2010

11 weeks post op today!! Bicep Tenodesis, SAD and DCE

Today marks 11 weeks since my bicep tenodesis surgery.

Since this past Monday (and I don't know whether it was the new stretches I got assigned from the physical therapist, or whether it was the magic "10.5 weeks since surgery") I have seen a tremendous improvement. It was like a light switch just flipped on. I have such an amazing amount of range of motion (passive), and am slowly regaining the strength.

Except for one thing. Last night I tweaked my arm while I was sleeping. I was laying on my back with my arm around a pillow near the side of the bed, and it fell off (my arm -- not off my body, but off the pillow) and overextended as it fell toward the floor, jarring me awake with a cry.

I am going to assume I just tweaked some muscles and that in a day or two it will be all better.

The time it takes (approximately) for the bicep tenodesis to heal, is 12 weeks. Then, the next 12 weeks after that is focusing on strengthening and completely getting my range of motion and strength back. I understand I won't be able to be as strong as I was in my heyday (in my bicep muscle) but no worries on that.

One more week until I hit that magical 12 week mark!

I am so excited. I am still having trouble sleeping, it is very painful, but I am off all my painkillers, and only take Aleve or Advil when necessary (about 1x every two days it seems now).

My range of motion is about the same as it was before surgery now, so that is something. The pain may also be about the same, but of course it is a different kind of pain -- soreness vs. pain with movements. And it gets better every day!

I am still pretty cautious about what I do, but I am slowly doing more. Starting to lift things with both hands vs. only using my right hand, starting to maybe lift a pot or pan in the kitchen with only my left hand. Things like that.

And, I am very serious about my physical therapy. I do stretches every morning, and evening, and I do strengthening like I am supposed to do, every other day. It does seem like a long time, and patience is an issue with me, but I have to keep on keeping on, and focus on the long term effects, vs. what I want NOW.

My right shoulder is now 6 weeks post op on the subacromial decompression (SAD) and Distal Clavicle Excision (DCE). I have full range of motion and am doing weights up to 3lbs on my strengthening (not the rotator cuff muscles, that is set at 2 lbs, no need to ever go more than that -- but the arm curls I am at 3lbs now, and hope to move up to 5 lbs within a week). I have a lot of tenderness on the top of the shoulder, where the acromium and clavicle meet. But as I mentioned before in previous posts, that was to be expected and it may take a few months more to have that fully be gone. And, other than that, the pain is completely gone in my right shoulder, which is great.

My fears? Yes, I still have them. I fear still that I will get a frozen shoulder. I know that is a silly thing to fear, as I am very active and consistently do my stretching and physical therapy. But I still worry.

I also worry that the numbness in my left arm near one of the incisions will never go away, and it will stay like that forever.

My left elbow hurts, too, as a result of all the stretching that I am doing, it is carrying the brunt of the weight from over compensating for my shoulder. So the tendons around my elbow are very sore and right now, it hurts more than my shoulders!! But I have been told that once I regain my strength in my shoulder and the elbow stops overcompensating, then it will go away. Let's hope! It would be sad to fix one problem only to cause another.

So, my goal of being at full range of motion by the end of the month... I actually still may be able to achieve it, I am almost there now! (Passively, which means when I use the wand for range of motion exercises, I guide the stretch with my other hand). I cannot do the stretches actively yet, at least most of them. But who knows, at the rate I have progressed these past 3 days, I just might! I can put my arm straight over my head perfectly now, but not hold it there long because it is still weak... with the wand I can hold it there forever! And I can now get it behind my back, but not up to my shoulder blades yet, unless I use a door handle or something to help. So that is cool.

My ultimate goal is to have everything "back to normal" by Thanksgiving. I have a lot of cooking to do! This includes strength and range of motion. I understand it will take months to achieve my max strength, what I mean is so that I can perform my daily tasks with ease.

I can do it!!

I also understand it will probably take 6 months to a year before I can sleep without pain. Of course I would like it to be closer to 6 months, so I will pray for that!

Posted via email from rhauptman's posterous

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