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rid891

Rotator Cuff Surgery and Cruising

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Week 9 Update:

 

My Wife is doing great. PT is down to 2X s per week and She started back to work yesterday. The computer mouse was Day 1's major problem. She can now lift her injured arm to almost 90 %, which is a huge improvement from even 2 weeks ago. The "discomfort" is still there but she still is pushing on. Cruise is still a go and ice bags and sling will be packed. I will tell Her about the fish oil too. Thanks

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My Wife is having surgery on Tuesday and they are telling her up to 12 weeks to recover. She has been trying to tough it out until after our cruise in late January but it has become just tooo painful, Well as (un)luck would have it the 12th week is exactly the same week as our cruise... I am just wondering if anyone out there has dealt with this type of surgery and what was your recovery time experience? Do you think she can go on this trip?

 

 

I had rotator cuff surgery in July. Dr's said 12 weeks to 6 months. It may be healed at 12 weeks, but you will not have full motion and they will tell you to be careful in anything you do. At 12 weeks, we went to FL. and I wanted to ride a bike, my physical therapist and Ortho. told me not to, because if I fell, I would probably have to start all over again. Even at thanksgiving and Christmas, I wasn't allowed to lift anything up over my head. I get cleared in three weeks. YAY!!

 

I think a cruise would be the best place to recover, as long as she keeps doing her exercises, and doesn't lift luggage. In fact, lifting a DOD would be great exercise. :) Good luck. I hope it goes well with a quick recovery.

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I'm looking for a report on rid891's cruise.

How did it go for the wife? Especially with luggage, clothes maintenance, sleeping, and carrying a plate in the buffet.

 

Rotator cuff surgery was again, 3 weeks ago. Now on the dominate side for 2nd time due to spurs and tears.

 

I'm taking the fish oil 1000 mgs 3x a day per JackDiamond's advice.

 

Using the computer is hard work. There's much to catch up on the msg board.

 

My calendar is wide open for a cruise.

Something out of Florida on a fast deal sounds great. But, how will I manage.

Advice please.

 

-Marisa

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I cant believe I found this thread!

My husband is getting booked to have the surgery (arthroscopically?) on his shoulder soon. We have a cruise booked for the end of November. He has a torn rotator cuff and has a severed tendon which needs to be reattached. As of now, he has extremely limited movement in his arm.

 

Its great to hear everyone's accounts of PT and their individual healing process. I just started asking for feedback on whether or not we could go on Catamarans or Speed boats.

 

Now I realize, unless its after the 12 weeks, probably a no go.

 

Thank you for the information!

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I cant believe I found this thread!

My husband is getting booked to have the surgery (arthroscopically?) on his shoulder soon. We have a cruise booked for the end of November. He has a torn rotator cuff and has a severed tendon which needs to be reattached. As of now, he has extremely limited movement in his arm.

 

Its great to hear everyone's accounts of PT and their individual healing process. I just started asking for feedback on whether or not we could go on Catamarans or Speed boats.

 

Now I realize, unless its after the 12 weeks, probably a no go.

 

Thank you for the information!

 

The two things you should take away from this thread are these. Every person/surgery is different with different recovery times and different outcomes. The most important take away is don't make plans based upon what you read here, talk to your doctor about what/when/how your recovery will be.

 

I was lucky and had a great surgeon. My cuff was no big deal. I was off the pain pills two days after surgery and fully recovered after a month. Others were not so fortunate.

 

Right now, I'm back on the injured/reserve list after surgery to repair ruptured tendons in my wrist. (as my orthopedic says, I lead an active life.) It's been six weeks since the injury and I only have a month of therapy (and a cast) to go.

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It really does vary from person to person, or as I've found, surgery to surgery.

 

I had my R. rotator cuff repaired 15 years ago. My left tore last year & I had a repair done in late february. Same surgeon, no worse of an injury, but gosh this recovery has been tough and painful. Maybe age has made a difference.

 

I have pretty good range of motion, fair strength but sleeping is tough - laying down & if I have been down sleeping for more than a few hours I wake up constantly from the discomfort. Painful also when driving, even though I use my surgical side very little. Painful from neck to my hand, I am wondering if the interscalene block is what is causing pain all the way down.

Edited by CanWeGoYet?

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The two things you should take away from this thread are these. Every person/surgery is different with different recovery times and different outcomes. The most important take away is don't make plans based upon what you read here, talk to your doctor about what/when/how your recovery will be.

 

I was lucky and had a great surgeon. My cuff was no big deal. I was off the pain pills two days after surgery and fully recovered after a month. Others were not so fortunate.

 

Right now, I'm back on the injured/reserve list after surgery to repair ruptured tendons in my wrist. (as my orthopedic says, I lead an active life.) It's been six weeks since the injury and I only have a month of therapy (and a cast) to go.

 

 

Yes I do know how very different each individual is. But, I was not at the initial appointments with my husband and had no idea what the recovery time would be or what his limitations would be. Its not to say he will be 12 weeks, or even 2, but now I know not to do any planning till we are sure.

Take care and good luck with your wrist. That must be quite painful.

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Read this thread and learn. Usually it's 3-6 months post op to regain strength.

You booked Nov 29, 2014, on Summit. There's plenty of time to cancel cruise and/or water tours. You have months ahead to ask questions of the orthopedic, ptherapist, and posters on this board. Check Ports of Call forums.

 

In my case: a gallon of milk (read as "luggage") is impossible; putting food on a plate and using knife/fork, the computer, and not driving are challenges.

 

The surgery varies as does recovery. In our case, DH knows looking ahead w/possibilities of trips and/or another cruise keeps me upbeat.

 

St. Thomas snorkeling is incredible. Even if your mate must stay aboard the catamaran, as mine does.

 

We have a pool. I've been cautioned not to get in until further notice.

I'll let you know when swimming is allowed for me.

 

Get the surgery done. Keep planning. A Celebrity cruise in the near future is the upside and reward for sleepless nights and exercises to strengthen the arm again. Best wishes for a speedy recovery to your DH.

 

-Marisa

Edited by USVI-4-me

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Read this thread and learn. Usually it's 3-6 months post op to regain strength.

You booked Nov 29, 2014, on Summit. There's plenty of time to cancel cruise and/or water tours. You have months ahead to ask questions of the orthopedic, ptherapist, and posters on this board. Check Ports of Call forums.

 

In my case: a gallon of milk (read as "luggage") is impossible; putting food on a plate and using knife/fork, the computer, and not driving are challenges.

 

The surgery varies as does recovery. In our case, DH knows looking ahead w/possibilities of trips and/or another cruise keeps me upbeat.

 

St. Thomas snorkeling is incredible. Even if your mate must stay aboard the catamaran, as mine does.

 

We have a pool. I've been cautioned not to get in until further notice.

I'll let you know when swimming is allowed for me.

 

Get the surgery done. Keep planning. A Celebrity cruise in the near future is the upside and reward for sleepless nights and exercises to strengthen the arm again. Best wishes for a speedy recovery to your DH.

 

-Marisa

 

Thank you Marisa. Good luck to you as well!

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I’m wondering how the cruise went. I have a cruise scheduled for next week and will be at 9 weeks post op for right rotator cuff/bicep repair. I’m really worried about our two week cruise as I’m still unable to sleep for more than two hours in the bed. I spend most of the night in a recliner. I still wear the sling when outside the house as it is an “uncontrolled environment”. I putter around the house but need to stop and ice my shoulder with my arm well supported with pillows several times a day. I’m actually dreading the cruise. I have expressed my concerns about the difficulty of being without a recliner to my husband but he really wants to go on the cruise. I hate to disappoint him. We are both around 70 years old. If there was a recliner in our cabin, I would be much less hesitant to go. 

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Posted (edited)
23 minutes ago, Imamom said:

I’m wondering how the cruise went. I have a cruise scheduled for next week and will be at 9 weeks post op for right rotator cuff/bicep repair. I’m really worried about our two week cruise as I’m still unable to sleep for more than two hours in the bed. I spend most of the night in a recliner. I still wear the sling when outside the house as it is an “uncontrolled environment”. I putter around the house but need to stop and ice my shoulder with my arm well supported with pillows several times a day. I’m actually dreading the cruise. I have expressed my concerns about the difficulty of being without a recliner to my husband but he really wants to go on the cruise. I hate to disappoint him. We are both around 70 years old. If there was a recliner in our cabin, I would be much less hesitant to go. 

 

You have resurrected a thread that has been inactive for five years.   (It also has nothing to do with Celebrity, but you did not start the thread.)  However, as someone who had rotator cuff surgery when I was a good bit younger than you are, your post so concerns me that I would like to respond.  As you are seeing, for many people this is serious, painful surgery, with a long and often painful recovery.  You don't snap back to normal quickly; you can't sleep the way you would like to (I remember all those nights in a recliner), etc.  PT is critical -- are you still doing physical therapy now? Would you be able to do it on a ship?

 

In any event, and I'm sorry for commenting on your husband, but in light of your circumstances, he seems very inconsiderate.   I have no idea what kind of cabin you have booked, but a two-week cruise is a long time to not be able to address your genuine physical concerns in the way that you are doing at home.  But never mind what I or anyone here on Cruise Critic might think -- what do your doctor and physical therapist think?   Do you have trip insurance that would cover a cancellation if your surgeon says that you cannot go on this cruise now?

 

I wish you all of the very best in your recovery.

Edited by Turtles06

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Posted (edited)

I had rotator cuff surgery a couple of years ago, 2 torn tendons plus a torn bicep --- fell in my kitchen trying to turn off a leaking dishwasher! Anyway, I had a wedding in Florida I really wanted to go to, 6 weeks after the surgery. Don't know if you have tried a wedge pillow but it really helped me.

 

https://www.amazon.com/s?k=wedge+pillow&ref=nb_sb_noss_1

 

I was using one successfully at home, so bought another to take on the trip . Mine came in a package where it was condensed (for lack of a better word), then expanded when it was released from its packaging. It packed easily in the original package inside my suitcase, then I just left it at the hotel at the end of my trip. Well worth the expense, I wasn't ready to sleep yet on regular pillows. Of course, everyone is different, but it did work for me. Sorry, I don't remember which one I bought, but I think most are packed in a similar way.

 

By the way, my arm did eventually get back to 100%, so don't give up!

Edited by cynbar

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I had both shoulders done exactly one year  apart from the other.  I can't imagine going without PT while on a cruise.  My PT recovery took several months.   

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Imamom...

 

As others have said, you need to check with your surgeon and physiotherapist first and foremost about your physical fitness to cruise. You also need to check through your travel insurance that you are covered.

 

A couple of years ago I cruised post surgery (not the same as yours) and the bonus of being waited on hand and foot far outweighed the fact our room may not have had my home recliner chair. Both you and your husband may benefit at this stage from a little TLC...Just not having to cook/clean/launder for a short while can be such a release...

 

Also as others have said look at pillow types etc before cruising they can make a big difference. Also complete the ‘special needs’ form so your room attendant will get a ‘heads up’ that you may need extra cushions/pillows/ice...Remember, wheelchair assistance boarding isn’t just for those with walking difficulties, request if you are likely to find the journey from check in to room strenuous...

 

I also suggest you have your room set up as two singles then you are less likely to disturb each other. There are no recliner chairs in any cabin on Celebrity (including PH) but your room attendant will be able to round up additional pillows and a ‘topper’ mattress if you find it helpful.

 

On board wear your sling even if you don’t feel it is always necessary, it will alert others to be sensitive to your needs. Also don’t be afraid to ask for help. I really benefited from being lowered into the solarium pool via the ‘ducking stool’ post op! The staff could not have been more helpful and the gentle exercise in the pool really helped my recovery.

 

What you and your husband need to do is sit down and really weigh up the positives and challenges of cruising with you in your present physical state.

 

Sincere best wishes that you are well enough to cruise and that you thoroughly enjoy...

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On 11/3/2013 at 10:30 AM, retafcruiser said:

Physical therapy is EXTREMELY important after surgery. No one can tell how any individual will respond - so as suggested the doctor and therapist will have to help with the decision to cruise. However, if therapy is still needed after 12 weeks, then that should be the priority. If stopped too soon, the shoulder can (probably will) freeze. You certainly do not want that. Ask me how I know.:eek:

Frozen shoulder. It's a real (and painful and debilitating) thing. 

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I don’t know how to respond to each comment on here. So, I just want to say thank you for your suggestions. I do have a small wedge to bring. I will check into the special needs and Wheelchair forms. Thank you!

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4 minutes ago, Imamom said:

I don’t know how to respond to each comment on here. So, I just want to say thank you for your suggestions. I do have a small wedge to bring. I will check into the special needs and Wheelchair forms. Thank you!

 

Sincere best wishes for a safe and happy cruise...

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7 hours ago, chemmo said:

 

A couple of years ago I cruised post surgery (not the same as yours) and the bonus of being waited on hand and foot far outweighed the fact our room may not have had my home recliner chair. Both you and your husband may benefit at this stage from a little TLC...Just not having to cook/clean/launder for a short while can be such a release...

 

 

 

 

 

On board wear your sling even if you don’t feel it is always necessary, it will alert others to be sensitive to your needs. Also don’t be afraid to ask for help. I really benefited from being lowered into the solarium pool via the ‘ducking stool’ post op! The staff could not have been more helpful and the gentle exercise in the pool really helped my recovery.

 

 

This is excellent advice.  I remember after my first rotator cuff surgery, the challenges of being single Mom with one working arm.  I needed my son to help hold the pan in the sink while I scrubbed.  Or the night I spent at my Mom's house fresh post op, not wanting to disturb anyone but struggling to get the ice cubes out of the tray in the middle of the night.  Ended up wacking up the plastic tray against the sink trying to get them out.  

 

That surgery had an excellent recovery though.  Then I needed the other side done.  Same surgery & same surgeon 15 years later - I nearly got a frozen shoulder.  Despite lots of PT.   He said every surgery is different & even young patients with both shoulders done at the same time can have one turn out with a more difficult recovery than the other.  I  tend to think age made the difference.    I don't know if you are still attempting to cook & clean during your recovery, but if you are then maybe a break from all of that will be helpful on the cruise.   Ask your surgeon if massage therapy on board the ship will be acceptable, of course the masseuse will need to know your  recent surgical history & be cautious of the shoulder & arm.  

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On 11/3/2013 at 7:16 AM, rid891 said:

My Wife is having surgery on Tuesday and they are telling her up to 12 weeks to recover. She has been trying to tough it out until after our cruise in late January but it has become just tooo painful, Well as (un)luck would have it the 12th week is exactly the same week as our cruise... I am just wondering if anyone out there has dealt with this type of surgery and what was your recovery time experience? Do you think she can go on this trip?

 

I haven't read all the replies but here's my experience...

In 2018 I destroyed my shoulder while ski racing March 3.  Had surgery that night to repair rotator cuff, and fix multible bone breaks.  Ended up with a plate, a bunch of screws and a bone graft.  Went on a cruise 3 weeks later and I was fine.  My arm was in a sling, and I kept the surgery incision bandaged and obviously didn't get in the pool or hot tub, but I was absolutely fine.

And I just realized the OP is from 2013 but maybe this info is helpful to someone else.

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Just saw this post. I guess I forgot to follow up. Even though it was a few years now my Wife did awesome on the cruise. We did not let her touch any luggage,lifting or anything like that to protect Her new shoulder. Also, she did stay out of hot tubs and the pool. She has not had any issues since the surgery....and has been on a few more cruises since late 2013. So all is good here and good luck to all

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On 5/27/2019 at 5:03 AM, bermadu22 said:

Frozen shoulder. It's a real (and painful and debilitating) thing. 

Tell me about it.  Both of them.  I coped with the left one not being operated on, but somehow a teacher needs to be able to use the arm that they write with to use the board.  My students thought it was terribly funny watching me trying to write while having to stand on chairs and move it along. Having the operation to release it was totally necessary.

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