What it really like to have anterior shoulder stabilisation surgery: Post-operative care and recovery to date

I said in my previous post on my recent shoulder surgery that I will write a final piece in the area concerning my immediate post-operative and continued recovery to date.  Well here it is.  We left the story line as I had woken up from the anaetshetic in the recovery room.  I had just been taken back to the ward after feeling like I had slept for a lifetime.  I had some post-operative pain for which I had been given some medication and a further nerve block to my shoulder.  The pain had been relieved sufficiently and I had awoken to my craving for a cup of coffee.  I was thirsty, very thirsty as it had been over twelve hours since I had drank anything last.  The ward nurse came into the recovery room to take a handover from the recovery nurse, apparently the is important as it ensures that all important information from the surgery and anaesthetic teams are passed over to he ward so they could look after me properly.  I was given a drink of water as soon as this had finished as I was so thirsty (they did not have tea and coffee in the recovery room, how unfortunate).  I remember the water being so cold, almost chilling to my brain as I had been under warm blankets for such a long time.  I really was a shock to the system, and further caused me to wake up suddenly.

My wound dressing with the bruising starting to appear. (Taken five hours post-op).
My wound dressing with the bruising starting to appear. (Taken five hours post-op).

Once I had arrived back on the ward, I had my vital signs measured and was left to recover further.  It is difficult to know what happened after this point, I think I fell asleep.  I was so sleepy from all the medication I was surprised  that I had lasted so long. Once I had woken up it was nearly mealtime, around four o’clock in the afternoon. I looked at my shoulder, I was suprised how small the surgeon had made the incision.  The outcome was much better at first sight than what I had expected.  My thoughts turned to food, I had a beef casserole for my dinner, and after having nothing to eat for such a long time, it felt good to have something in my system at last.  This made me feel a lot brighter as well as improving my mood, which for some reason afterwards, had taken a downward trend.  I slept well that night, which was strange as I do not normally sleep well in those places.

I woke up the next morning to the surgeon telling me that the operation had been a complete success, and to a blazing pain in my arm in which the consultant told me was something to do with the nerve block completely wearing off. Goodness me it hurt, it was sort of a dull ache which would remain constant at all costs.  Even the painkiller (Oxynorm) could not make much of a difference to it.  I was anxious to leave as soon as possible.  The consultant agreed that I could go and I was discharged.

 

The wound has now healed quite well after surgery.
The wound has now healed quite well after surgery.

My medium term recovery began, and I received an appointment to see my physiotherapist.  The pain remained about the same for the first week or so after surgery.  I went to the hospital at this time to see the consultant.  I was there for most of the morning as I had to have an x-ray on my arrival at the clinic.  I was then called through for my dressings to be removed and to have the wound checked.  I was reassured that everything was fine and healing as expected.  I was then called through to speak with the consultant, who too was pleased with my progress.  He has arranged to see me again in six weeks.  I am currently undergoing extensive physiotherapy to help my rehabilitation and I look forward to having full use of my arm soon.

My initial trepidation at having such a major operation on my shoulder was quickly replaced afterwards by a feeling of relief.  In retrospect, I am glad of having the surgery as it has insured my shoulder for the forseeable future against further dislocations (which would have been regular due to my epilepsy).  I am glad to report that since having the surgery, my shoulder has not dislocated once.  I have been told that my recovery will continue for up to another four months and I will keep everyone posted on how it goes.

I am planning a number of posts in the coming weeks, including the year in review 2014, in which I will pull together the main events that have shaped our past year.  Once again, please keep your comments coming and feel free to share your view.  If you have an idea for a post, please let me know.

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What it really like to have anterior shoulder stabilisation surgery: Post-operative care and recovery to date

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