Posts Tagged ‘Shoulder Replacement’

Me and My Bionic Shoulder at Two Months

August 24, 2011

I last weighed in on my new, titanium-and-polyethylene left shoulder on July 2, just 10 days post-op. A lot has changed since then. For anyone interested, following is a rough diary of my post-op progress:

2 Weeks Post-Op

On July 6, I start 3 months of twice-a-week physical therapy (PT) at a facility at the Hospital for Special Surgery, where I had the surgery. It’s an easy bus ride from my apartment, and the physical therapist follows my surgeon’s protocol. Most of the other patients are in my demographic or older, but there are some young people too. Everyone is serious, focusing on their therapist’s directions; there’s little banter. (Sports-related injuries are handled at a different facility, across the street; here it’s all post-op.)

I don’t do my home PT exercises daily, but since I’m allowed not to wear my sling at home (apparently not everyone gets this privilege), I’m using the left arm as much as it can handle (e.g., no heavy lifting, but I can do laundry [goody], make the bed and pick up a plate or mug ). Serious apartment-cleaning is beyond me; a friend has kindly given me a session with her cleaning lady so my apartment doesn’t become totally rancid.

I do wear the sling whenever I go out, to support my arm and, hopefully, warn people to steer clear of my shoulder. Seems to work. It also generates a certain amount of sympathy: I’ve had total strangers stop and say, “I hope you recover soon.” Read more

What’s What with a Bionic Shoulder?

August 24, 2011

Some friends I saw a couple of weeks after my shoulder replacement wanted to know what part of my shoulder was “me.” I realized that we’re all pretty hazy about anatomy. For instance, who knew that the shoulder joint is part of the shoulder blade (scapula), not the collarbone (clavicle), which is the bone from which we hang our tote bags, briefcases and pocketbooks?

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Report from the Surgical Trenches: Total Shoulder Replacement in NYC

August 5, 2011

July 2, 2011; 10 Days Post-Op

Having had my initial follow-up visit with the surgeon and seen the x-rays, I can now say that I underwent successful surgery on Wednesday, June 22 and am the proud possessor (bearer? wearer?) of a titanium and polyethylene left-shoulder joint, plus a plastic ID card to show TSA screeners should I set off their security alarms. Read on