Shoulder Replacement/Resurfacing?

-- Last Updated: Jan-15-13 3:29 PM EST --

Hello everyone, new here and looking for knowledge. I've had a long history of shoulder problems, but kayaked for 5 years with no issues. Last year this changed when I had surgery on the right shoulder to repair my labrum and capsule. Couldn't kayak all year. Still can't. Still having pain and weakness and loss of range of motion. Driving me nuts that I can't kayak. Went to new doctors. One says there is still a labrum tear and he can repair it, but arthritis in the joint may limit me. The other doc says the arthritis is the real problem and wants to do a re-surfacing, placing a steel HemiCAP in to replace damaged cartilage.

Does anyone have any experience with a re-surfacing? Did it get you back in your boat? How was the recovery and are you limited at all now?

How about full shoulder replacements? Anyone? Can you kayak after that?

I know there have been discussions of shoulder arthritis before, but they looked a few years old. Wondering if people could talk about their experiences after having different procedures?

Thank you so much

Sorry to hear it
I don’t have any medical advice to share, but could you use a single blade on one side and get a boat with a rudder?

Could you take up rowing? How about using a Frontrower rig in a canoe or the Hobie pedal rig?

I’d do anything to get on the water.

Hope you are feeling better soon.

I had a tear repaired along with rotator a few years ago. After PT it’s pretty much working normally, though I do feel it sometimes.

Took up paddling afterwards - yes, a strange hobby with a prior shoulder injury. But I didn’t go to a Euro paddle, I made my own Aleut paddle, mostly because it was designed to go long distances and still be easier on the arms and shoulders. It certainly is that. I have zero shoulder pain from paddling because of that, though I paddle hard.

If you still have a tear of size, you may be in for surgery anyway. Don’t know about resurfacing, as I never had that problem.

I do know that the shoulder is one joint in the body held together by dynamic tension of the muscles around it, not by fitting into the socket itself. The socket isn’t all surrounding the ball. So building up the musculature after surgery will be important, but I don’t believe you can build it up despite the underlying need for surgical intervention. If you need the surgery, trying to bull your way past it with exercise is likely to worsen your condition instead.

You’ll have to put some faith in at least some medical practitioners helping you make that judgement.

Free Stylin Wife just had tear repair
and spurs removed and docs say 4-6 mos before low angle easy paddling and maybe a year before arm above shoulder. Must also do PTherapy very religiously and by the book. Friend’s paddlin’ wife had same couple of yrs ago and PT’d by the book & pain, and no problems now. Wife will be using a little Hobie peddle yak w/rudder for March FL trip to get on the water. Would do it strictly by the docs and physical therapists. R

This will be my 3rd shoulder surgery (one capsule, one capsule & labrum), so if I do the tear repair, I know what I’m in for. I actually picked up paddling six years after the capsule repair, never had any problems and I use a regular paddle.

Not sure about rowing or other options. Really hoping I don’t have to make that kind of accomodation. I’ve ‘pedaled’ a hobie once, right now I couldn’t lift one of those beasts. And I think you still need a paddle to steer.

Fingers crossed I make a good decision.

Good luck whichever way you go
but I second the recommendation re Greenland or other skinny stick. Also, I find that careful attention to good paddling technique, elbows in and good body rotation etc., help tremendously. Stick to the PT plan. I’ve had two procedures on my right side and I have moderate pain on left from impingement syndrome but I am still able to paddle and enjoy it a great deal. Even long trips.

Her little H mirage sport 9’9" only
weighs about 53# and has a nice left hand rudder dial. Her surgery was on the right. The wheel set that goes in the scuppers makes it easy to roll the boat around. She also uses (even before the surgery) a GP in her little Blackhawk for touring with yak friends and will again when docs ok it. R

I had severe shoulder pain for several years. X-rays showed I needed replacement due to osteoarthritis. The stage was described as severe. I didn’t get the surgery done because I couldn’t afford it.

To be able to kayak I got a lighter kayak and a very light paddle—Werner Athena full carbon. The paddle helped a lot. Still, no stroke was painfree.

The bizarre thing is that after almost 10 years of pain I started to feel better. I’m thinking that part of my pain was due to inflammation. Maybe we can’t tell the difference between bone-on-bone pain and pain caused by inflammation. I stopped eating sugar entirely and lost some weight, which may have reduced the inflammation.

Steroid injections helped also.

I guess my point is just that sometimes these things get better without surgery. Sorry, I know that’s not very scientific. To be even less scientific, I found that my thinking and attitudes had a pretty big impact as well. I decided to adapt to my arthritis rather than resisting it.

I never regained my range of motion but you know what? You can live just fine without being able to rotate your arm 360 degrees or put your hand on your lower back.

I was mad at my doctor because he said I was too young for surgery. Now I’m very glad I didn’t have it (yet).

There is a tendancy to think/hope

– Last Updated: Jan-27-13 9:07 AM EST –

that all your problems will be solved if you just have this surgery the doctor is suggesting. My personal experience is that surgery sometimes is not all you hope it will be and it is difficult to know for sure in advance. Personally, I will not have orthopedic type surgery again unless my symptoms have progressed to the point that I am not able to function and persisted for a long period of time. I understand that they used to do back surgery all the time but when they did some peer reviewed studies in recent years they came to the conclusion that patients who elected to have surgery and patients who elected NOT to have surgery ended up at about the same place symptom wise 7 or 8 years out.