Rehabilitation and Recovery
It is said that recovery from shoulder surgery is one of the toughest but does that have to be so? I think recovery from any surgery can be challenging depending on the region and complexity of the procedure.
Below are some of the top tips I received in order to ensure a full, speedy and complete recovery from a double dislocation and surgery.
1. Slow and Steady
The shoulder is a very complex joint, with myriad muscles, bones, ligaments and nerves running through it. Take it slow. Your post-op physio consult should have given you a list of limited exercises to do daily. Do them, do them, do them! And remember follow the instruction of your specialist. 3 x 5mins a day is far better than cramming it all into one session at the end of the day.
2. Supplements and Vitamins
There are lots of great supplements and vitamins on the market, make a trip to your local pharmacist and ask for his/her advice. I used the following supplements;
- Chonodro-Aid FORT (www.arkopharma.fr)
- Solal 'Bone Health Calcium Plus' (www.solal.co.za)
- Wheat Grass (www.therealthing.co.za)
These should all be taken with a balanced diet. Drink lots of water, your body will be dealing with various pain-killers and possibly anti-biotics as well as recovering from a local or general aneasthetic. It will need cleansing. People react differently after aneasthesia so if your struggling with head-aches or any other unusual symptoms contact your GP and get a professional opinion.
This will form a key part of your rehabilitation and recovery. Speak to friends and family and find a good physio who has experience dealing with shoulder injuries. Find out who your local sports team use or have used. Ask your orthopedic surgeon for a referral and ensure you brief your physio fully on the incident that caused the injury, the injury itself and how you were operated on. Have all your scans, X-rays and MRI data with you as well as your report from the surgeon to hand to the physio so she/he can examine it prior to commencing treatment. Discuss the tretment protocol, time frames, physio session intervals and fees with your chosen physio at your first consultation. Make sure you get a detailed list of exercises to do at home and that your are doing them correctly before leaving. Do your exercises!
Also see orthoinfo.aaos.org
4. Wear your brace/sling/harness
I know they're about as comfortable as bare-back camel racing but they are a very necessary component for your recovery. Once you have your time-frame from your surgeon, stick to it! Shoulders recover slowly and this device will enable the bones and other essential fibres to repair. Get used to it, you're going to be wearing it for some time. Try and get a 2nd one so you can wash them. Dressing yourself might be challenging, get somebody to help you as small movements beyond the guided parametres can set you back weeks.
5. Bemer 3000
This is a revolutionary piece of equipment! Look at www.bemergroup.com It is an expensive item but your physio may have one or you may be able to hire one. Of all my advice this is the point I recommend most. Speak to your GP prior to use.
Wishing you a speedy and full recovery. These are suggestions from a fellow recoverer. If you are unsure about anything consult your GP.