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Thread: Shoulder Surgery and hunting

  1. #1
    Member tlingitwarrior's Avatar
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    Default Shoulder Surgery and hunting

    Curious how many of you have had shoulder work done, and what was your recover time for hunting, etc? Looks like I'll be going under the knife in early march to repair torn lambrum and grind some bone that's causing impingement. Doc says three months of no fun rehab. Happens to be the left shoulder, and I'm left handed. First hunt on the books is Sheep in August, seems to be plenty of time to get healed up.
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    Member FISHFACE's Avatar
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    I had the same injury as you, butI also had pins put in the humerus. the rehab isn't fun at all. You are looking at 4-6 months for "full" recovery.
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    Moderator kingfisherktn's Avatar
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    I had a rotator cuff on right shoulder, Doc said it would take about a full year for complete heal. Took only 11 months.

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    I had all kinds of bones "ground down" in my left shoulder because of impingement. It is not a pleasant experience. Rehad consisted of using a pully system to get the shoulder movinig up and bands to strenghten it. Do not push it or you'll not make the huntinig season. Do rehab religioiusly and you should be ready. I would consider using least recoiling rifle that is most suitable for the game since it'll be on the left shoulder.

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    Member 0321Tony's Avatar
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    I am going in for shoulder surgery for tore rotator cuf plus a lot more problems in there. I go in March 21st for surgery, I would have done it sooner but I wanted to get some spring snow goose hunting in early March. I am luckier than you are I am right handed shooter and its my left shoulder that needs repair.
    I am hoping that I will be able to shoot by the time its spring bear time.

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    I had surgery on my right shoulder in Aug 2008 because of 5 dislocations in the previous year...have two 1.5" titanium screws holding it together now along with a couple anchors that pulled the ligaments tight. Went through 6 months of rehab which was a lot of bands and stretching. Took about 12months to be "100%"
    The kicker is that I went to S. Africa in late October for a hunt and wasn't allowed to shoot right handed. So I practiced lefty and took 4 critters with 4 shots.

    I will stress that the rehab and stretches are critical. They suck, but are totally worth it for a full recovery. Listen to your doc!

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    Member Ken R's Avatar
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    I am in the middle of it now. 6 weeks in the sling and 1.5 weeks of PT (going in about half hour) down and it is now feeling/range of motion about the same as before the surgery (had surgery on 11/30). Pretty much the same thing you are getting--labrum reattached and some cleanup. Worst part was the 6 weeks in the sling--watched my arm shrink--plus learning how to do stuff with my left hand. Sounds like you are looking at 5 months to recover--I think for rifle hunt that would be OK--based on my experience. I suppose it depends on lots of things, but I think doable. I can definitely see the benefits of getting it done--I wasn't seeing it a few weeks ago. Good Luck and stick with your exercises!

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    Member gutpile's Avatar
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    I had 2 of the 4 reworked, the bicep tendon screwed to the bone to avoid the Popeye arm, and some heavy grinding. You'll need the narcotics...even with those the first night was not pretty. This is a slow, painful recovery. 3 months of rehab. The 300 WBY sits, I bought a 30-06...didn't want to risk going thru that again. That year I mailed my DM446 moose tag back with "0" days hunted.

    You might be OK with 5 months recovery, but consider a low recoil rifle & a Limbsaver pad.

  9. #9

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    I had my right shoulder rebuilt with rotator cuff repair, bicep tendon repair, grinding out the space where the bicep nerve goes through the shoulder and 3 smaller repairs of muscles in by sholder. I work EMS and was out for 5 months. That was 2008, I was up in Homer in Jan of 2011 for a week on a snowmachine and did fine.Came home and the next mornig fell off of the pourch and tore my left rotator cuff in too. Surgury on Feb the 15 and was moose hunting in Spet. Good luck and I feel you PAIN. I wil hurt. Go to rehab stoned on pain meds. I you have any questions,PM me.

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    Left shoulder was 18 months for full recovery and the right one was only 4 months. Best advise, 'follow doctors orders'!!!!!!!!

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    Member scott_rn's Avatar
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    A friend of mine is an orthopedic surgeon and avid hunter. When I tore my labrum he (along with three other orthopedic surgeons I spoke with) told me to rest it and let it heal. Surgery on a labrum mostly just alleviates pain while it heals. Impingement is whole other issue. Good luck, hopefully you get to go sheep hunting.
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    I had torn rotator cuff, bone spurs,and torn & stretched muscles in left shoulder / operated on / I was 50 yrs old at the time, had operation in April, and did everything doctor and rehab people said to do, I tried so hard in therapy and at home, I had tears in my eyes. I was ready for a Delta Controlled Use Sheep Hunt and I was successful. Go into rehab with a positive mind, and work hard at it, you'll be ok

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    Member iusckeeper's Avatar
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    I had a very similar surgery last spring. Torn labrum, and separated bone at a growth plate. Went under the knife March 18. I was hoping to be recovered for May bears... but I wasn't 100%. I still got to hunt, but I left the heavy lifting to my buddies. The most important part is taking it easy and not pushing it. You don't want to mess that thing up to where it takes longer to heal... but even worse, you don't want to mess it up to wear it never fully heals. Be extra cautious. PT with a labrum tear is too aggressive sometimes too, make sure they REALLY know what a labrum tear is and that PT is super slow. I was easily good to hunt by fall, but would not have been able to get in sheep shape.

    BTW, Labrum repairs and rotator cuffs are two different ball games. Although both "shoulder", as you will see from talking to people, rotator cuffs have a wide variety of severity, recovery time, and opnions.

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    I have had that exact surgery, my tear was severe and there where some other complications that went along with it. I can't echo enough on taking time with therapy. I have had a total of three times under and now have 2 shoulders that will never be right again, my last surgery was to relocate the biceps tendon to my arm pit( which is weird for awhile). Definately do some major research on packs, and becareful shooting. You should be good as long as you don't push it to hard and do the exercises they tell you to do. The hardest thing for me was stopping when I felt pain insted of trying to push through it, I would imagine they will tell you this alot. I know they make some small devices that look like a cooler that have hoses which circulate hot or cold water through a harness which goes around the shoulder, get one if you can it will aid in the muscles recovering nad help prevent loss of motion. Good luck and I hope it works out for you.

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    Went thru shoulder surgery last year. Listen to docs & therapists. Don't overdo it is prob hardest part especially first 6 weeks & as it feels better. I pretty much wore the shoulder cooler pal referred to above & think it made a huge difference in recovery. Also get a good reclining couch or chair you can sleep in it was a month before I could sleep in my bed & then it took a while before I made they the nite without going back to the couch. Be ready to be out with limited use for 4 months at least. Took me 5 months to get released for work duties. After a year I'm still sore & not nearly as strong but better than I was before. If you need the ice cooler circulation pal you can use mine. Good luck

  16. #16
    Member Antleridge's Avatar
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    I've had both shoulders repaired (rotator cuffs +) and agree with others here that being faithful with rehab and not overdoing rehab are key. I had my shooting shoulder done fall of '10 and worked hard to be ready for a safari summer '11. I was shooting a large caliber six months after surgery (built up to it) and the last six weeks prior to heading to Africa, I was shooting every day.

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    Member Alaska Gray's Avatar
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    Its been nearly two years since I did any real hunting.
    2 surgeries and my shoulder has never been the same. I had my shoulder destroyed, it took allot to rebuild it.
    I have been cleared to by doctors. but the pain still there. I'm going to fight through the pain this year and go on my goat hunt.
    After surgery you need to take it slow and do as they say. Depending on what they do will set your time table for recovery.
    Work hard at PT and possibly ice attitude helps. Good luck.
    21 surgeries and I won't lie. Shoulder was far by the worst one.

  18. #18
    Member 0321Tony's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Alaska Gray View Post
    Its been nearly two years since I did any real hunting.
    2 surgeries and my shoulder has never been the same. I had my shoulder destroyed, it took allot to rebuild it.
    I have been cleared to by doctors. but the pain still there. I'm going to fight through the pain this year and go on my goat hunt.
    After surgery you need to take it slow and do as they say. Depending on what they do will set your time table for recovery.
    Work hard at PT and possibly ice attitude helps. Good luck.
    21 surgeries and I won't lie. Shoulder was far by the worst one.
    Wow!! After that many surgeries you would think they would install a zipper.
    I have only had two and they were no fun at all. I am scheduled to go under the knife again on the 21st of March for shoulder surgery so I have been following this thread. Thanks to all for the advice you have given the op. I think I am going to be hunting with my pistol this spring for bear, it's my off shoulder so that helps but not sure if it could take the jar from my ultra cannon after only a month or so.

    Sent from my GT-I9100 using Tapatalk 2

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    I see this scenario played out quite a bit, I am a PT. Shoulder rehab is variable, so the real answer is "it depends". Don't judge your outcome based on the first two months post op. You should know if you are on track after about 3 months and can start to make some decisions then for go/no go. There is a good chance you will be healed up enough to go. Prudent caution, you will not be 100%, so try to mitigate your expected losses in range, stamina, strength and lifting tolerances with planning and "prehab" if you can. You can stay in shape, even with a bum shoulder. If you have a gun with a break, maybe use it. At least pick a "gentle" caliber if you can. Try to not "plan" a hero trip. If there is a way to make it easier, this might be the year to give in and buy some ability. Echo what others say, don't push it. Rehab often is a bit painful and you get better. You don't have to make rehab painful to get better, big difference. Best of luck.

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