Pec and Labrum Repair Saga: part 2

After getting my right pec reattached and my right labrum repaired I got to spend some quality time in a shoulder sling with a bolster on. For the first four days I wasn’t allowed to bath or take the brace off at all. This was not a party, but a necessary evil for the healing process.

Following days

Each day I was a bit less sore and slept a bit better. I really didn’t do much at all other than sit around with my arm propped up. I did get to play some old school RPGs which was fun along with working on a few other hobbies of mine. Slowly I started to walk a bit more and more, but the goal was to limit this severely since if I slipped and fell that would really undo all of the work they did. Not to mention any time I just slightly tripped the rapid shifting of my body would send a righteous amount of pain through my shoulder.

Bandages off

On day four I finally got to have my bandages off and take a shower. To say that it took a while and was uncomfortable to have the weight of my arm hanging there is a slight understatement. The hot water beating down on my shoulder felt great though. The stapled parts of my chest and shoulder were a bit gnarly to see, but that was expected. From there I would take a shower about once every other day initially but then things kept getting better and back to my once a day routine which is nice to come back to.

Bowel movements        

Should have put this in the first post of this series, but turns out the pain killers and the drugs they use to knock you out cause you to be constipated. This was not a party, but thankfully after my “movement” on the day after surgery things were back to normal. Be warned though that you do get backed up when on those drugs. Also squatty pottys are a game changer and I could still use mine while in the brace. Other good news is that I could still wipe on my own which was great news for me, my wife, and my graduate assistant.

Supplementation

So in order to make the recovery go as fast as possible I have been using a number of over the counter supplements to expedite healing. This is what I came up with after speaking with friends, colleagues, and researching. Since I’m taking everything at once I can’t really parse what is making the greatest magnitude of effect, I just want this to be over with as soon as possible. So without further ado here is the list along with the amount that I’m taking each day. If you aren’t sure what different things are just let me know and I will explain it more.

Name Dosage Reason
Fish Oil 8 grams or more Anti-inflammation and perhaps speed tendon repair
Magnesium 500mg Helps with muscle relaxation, and I didn’t want any cramping going on after surgery
Zinc 30mg General health, from hormonal production to immune function
Biosil 5-8 drops Helps lay down collagen which is a big part of the tendon repair I’m trying to accomplish
Pantothenic acid 200mg Possible link to tendon strength and recovery
Fenugreek 1g Potentially increasing testosterone to enhance recovery and healing
Protein Powder 50+ grams Building block for tendons and muscle.
Curcumin 1.5 grams Anti-inflammatory

 

Itching

My wounds were closed with staple (and lots of them), after day three they started to itch some. To be fair the staples never really hurt which is nice. Man, that itching though. Turns out that is normal, but I’m not a fan. I was told not to wash it directly or itch it, so it is a bit annoying to say the least.

Staples out

Two weeks and two days after my surgery, we went in for my follow up. They took x-rays of my shoulder and took out all of my staples. Turns out there was a large number of staples in there (over twenty), but the good news is it really didn’t hurt at all to get them out even the ones that had to be dug in to get after and remove. From there I was told it would be time to start the next phase of my recovery. The funny part is my pec tear wound was so puckered up with skin that they actually missed one staple and it wasn’t for a week or two afterwards when the inflammation had come down that you could tell that I still had a staple left that I had to get removed before my skin fully started to grow back over it.

Rehab

Cue the rocky training montage music. Day one was hardcore; checking my range of motion and then having me roll a ball with my hand on top of it. From there some different movement patterns working on getting my scapulas to move correctly. It was obviously very low key, but that was day one. By day there I was doing towel slides in the vein of the karate kid paint the fence. This did allow me to start singing “You’re the best around” while rehabbing which made the folks in the athletic training room either laugh or give me strange looks.

Soreness

Each time after the training I would be sore and my pec tendon would ache. Makes sense since we are making something move that has been essentially immobile for the past few weeks with major incisions being made in my deltoid in order for the scopes to go in there and do the work.

Summary

So things are moving along with rehab and constantly (though slowly) getting better. In the next post I’ll start writing about what I’m doing as far as training goes (still have three other good limbs). Along with anything else that comes up on this rehabilitation journey. I hope this is useful for anyone that might go through something along the same lines as I have and as always thanks for taking the time to read this.

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