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Hugh2, TheJoe notwithstanding my experience is that more people show up at the ER for pain control post shoulder surgery than any other procedure. To toot my own horn a bit, I introduced a thing called the pain pump in our facility -essentially a three day nerve block- and the number of post surgical pain related ER visits dropped by 80 percent. I know that doesn't help you but given that shoulder injuries seem to be pretty common among us anybody getting their shoulder rebuilt should ask about them. This does not apply to laproscopic procedures.
Ice is your friend. You need to be careful not to give yourself frostbite but an ice-bag up to the side of your neck will help with the ache. The nerves that transmit pain from your shoulder are closest to the surface about half way up your neck. As a rough guide equal time off and on. for example 15 minutes on, 15 off works for me but everyone is different. Again be careful about frostbite.
Take your pain meds regularly even if things don't hurt. If there is absolutely no pain at all, cut back the dose but don't stop cold turkey. It takes roughly 10 times as much medicine to make pain go away as it does to keep it away. If you can't sleep in a bed because of the pain, it has not gone away.
Finally milk the inactivity thing for as long as it is needed and don't let PT push you too hard. For some reason PT always seem to be 33 year old retired Olympic athletes who have no pain receptors. You don't want to scar down from immobility but you really don't want to re-injure.
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- Hugh2 (Thu Oct 15, 2020 8:33 am)
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Thanks again Grizwald, you are a fount of information and I hope this thread helps others avoid or deal with similar injuries. This whole business sucks big time.
I had heard of the pain pumps and asked for one, but my hospital says they only allow them for inpatients. Having experienced this pain, which is close to the level of a kidney stone, which I rate as 10 and has put me in the ER three times in the past 30 years, I'm not surprised folk resort to the ER. I came close.
I'm not using ice nearly that much, will use it more. I've weaned slowly off the painkillers, so now just an annoying ache when in wrong position. I'll have post-op visit today.
The PT does concern me, but since I am a pain wimp I will not allow them to push me too hard. I've already lost our fall season, and cannot get to Panama to sail or South Africa to kite anyway, so this is a relatively good time to rehab.
I really should have taken it all more seriously this summer, but with the backup of surgeries from the Covid shutdowns, I probably could not have done much better. I had my first consult August 2.
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