24 Hours after Bicep Tendon Surgery

Structure of the Shoulder 2

Yesterday I finally had my bicep tendon surgery. After 18 months of on and off physical therapy and 4 cortisone shots, this was the next step. As I wrote in a previous post, I see this procedure as regular maintenance–just as I would do for a car. As long as I take care of my body, I hope that it will last me a long time.

Over the next few weeks, I’ll talk to you about my progress so it might be of some use to others who may be in need of similar surgery.

On Wednesday, I got a phone call to arrive at the surgery center at 11 AM. I would estimate that surgery actually began around 12:30. Once the anesthesiologist got involved, there isn’t a whole lot that I remember. The last thing I can recall is getting some Versed, after which the doctor began to do an ultrasound of my neck to figure out the right spot in which to do the nerve block. I remember eating some graham crackers in recovery; I remember getting into a wheelchair to be wheeled out to the car; I have zero recollection of the ride home or how I changed into my pajamas or how I got into my bed… Which is, frankly, how I prefer it.

I will admit that I am not exactly sure what the procedure entailed. It is called bicep tenodesis. I tried to watch a video on YouTube, but after about 20 seconds, I decided it was probably a better idea to just let the doctor do his thing. What I do know is that my rotator cuff was in good condition and required no attention.

And now, the recovery. I have a sling that I have to wear for 2 weeks; on top of that sling is an ice pack that I will need to use for the next 24 hours or so. I have to wear compression hose for 2 weeks to prevent blood clots; let me assure you, it is quite a look. No shower until Sunday morning (ugh!). On Monday afternoon, I have physical therapy with my favorite therapist, Megan, at the Cleveland Clinic. Originally I thought I would be missing one week of work, although now it appears it could be 2 weeks. I won’t be able to do any lifting with that arm with anything heavier than a coffee cup for the next 6 weeks.

The real challenge is learning to do the things that are necessary for daily living with my left hand when I am righty. Believe it or not, I found a way to dictate text on my laptop and that is how I wrote this blog post.

Of course, this is not the best way to spend my summer, but I am confident that in the long run, the pain will be worth the gain. I would rather have this taken care of now so that I can continue to enjoy an active lifestyle and be the best personal trainer that I can be.

In the mean time, wishing everybody Shabbat Shalom, and a good weekend! I will keep you posted on my progress.

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