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Shoulder Replacement......?


Original Post
Traveler · · Unknown Hometown · Joined Nov 2008 · Points: 0

Greetings fellow climbers,  I'm curious how many older climbers out there have or are considering shoulder replacement. I'm an aging life long climber.  My shoulders are kinda hammered and if anyone has any incite on the recovery limitation after recovery, etc. or other  experiences. 

Cheers JN

Ken Duncan · · Ft Collins, CO · Joined Jul 2004 · Points: 3,154

As a long time climber/orthopedist I’d be really hesitant to climb anything remotely hard after a total shoulder. The big problem with shoulder replacements is loosening of the socket and unfortunately climbing type forces will definitely tend to speed that up. 

FrankPS · · Atascadero, CA · Joined Nov 2009 · Points: 275
Ken Duncan wrote:

As a long time climber/orthopedist I’d be really hesitant to climb anything remotely hard after a total shoulder. The big problem with shoulder replacements is loosening of the socket and unfortunately climbing type forces will definitely tend to speed that up. 

Thanks, Ken. I have a partially-frozen shoulder from osteoarthritis (DJD) and was told a shoulder replacement was my best option. I was also told (this was 15 years ago) that I shouldn't climb after a replacement because I could.do damage to the replacement. That's why I haven't done it. 

Good to hear that still holds true.

Mobes Mobesely · · Granite island · Joined Mar 2006 · Points: 865

Paging George Bracksieck! cant climb? nonsense.

Ken Duncan · · Ft Collins, CO · Joined Jul 2004 · Points: 3,154
T Roper wrote:

Paging George Bracksieck! cant climb? nonsense.

Could climb but if you push it the chance of loosening certainly goes up and revision total shoulders don’t do nearly as well as the primaries. 

Scott M. McNamara · · Tucson, Arizona · Joined Aug 2006 · Points: 55

A retired physician, that I occasionally work out with in our gym, had a shoulder replacement and seems to be doing fine.  

If I bump into him, I will mention this thread and see if I can get him to post.

JerryN · · Unknown Hometown · Joined Jan 2008 · Points: 0

I had a partial replacement on my shoulder eight years ago and have no problems with it.  My surgeon only replaced the head of my humorous and not the socket.  He said that I would wear out a new socket in just a couple of years.  Apparently, the socket replacement isn't titanium like he put on my humorous.  My socket was pretty worn down but it is OK with just the head of my humorous being replaced.  My surgeon is a rock climber too so he knew what kind of stress gets put on things.

I was out of commission from climbing or lifting weights for only three months (45 years old at the time).  The biggest problem I have is that I waited too long for the surgery and slowly loss my range of motion in that shoulder.  I never noticed it happening though.  Now, I am having similar problems with my other shoulder.  The pain gets pretty bad so I don't move it like I should and I see that I am starting to lose the range of motion in that shoulder.  I am paying more attention to it now than I did on my first shoulder though and will have to get it replaced soon before I screw up that joint and lose too much range of motion.

Based on my experience, I would recommend getting it replaced if you can get away with only a partial replacement.

George Bracksieck · · Unknown Hometown · Joined Oct 2008 · Points: 1,446

Have I been lurking here that long? Yes, I've had two totals and one revision. I wouldn't be climbing today if I hadn't. Finding the right surgeon is important.  

I don't climb as hard as I did 20 years ago, but that's because of unrelated shoulder injuries, other injuries, and old age.  I'm weaker and three and a half inches shorter than I was. And yet I just climbed four days in a row. 

Kathy B. Thomas · · Sampson Street Broomfield · Joined Jan 2018 · Points: 0

My Father both shoulders replaced and one replaced two times. I think of all his joint replacements (bilaterally replaced up and down), the shoulders were quite honestly the hardest.  He said me, I find that once replaced, the pain is nothing compared to what it was prior. That being said, rehab is critical on how much range of motion you get. I definitely ended up with limitations.




Guideline #1: Don't be a jerk.

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