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JJFN
12-24-2016, 03:57 AM
To make a long story short, I am undergoing rotator cuff surgery on my right shoulder (my strumming and picking hand) on the 29th of December. My question is, has anyone had this surgery and played their ukulele during the recovery period?

I have tried strumming and I can feel that even now before the surgery, so that's out. But, when I tried picking it didn't seem to cause a problem.
I will consult with my surgeon about this but I was wondering if any UU members had this experience.

Booli
12-24-2016, 04:25 AM
Never had the surgery myself, however...

Some purists and pundits will tell you to lock your shoulder and elbow and ONLY ever strum by rotating your wrist...

...while I disagree with this for my own technique (I am not going unlearn ALL of my classical and flamenco training LOL), I am no expert to tell others, but maybe in your case here, adopting this method of strumming can help?

I saw a video in which Jake Shimabukuro talks about how drummers using the 'western grip' when playing snare drum have great agility and speed with that hand, so he decided to try it himself and apply and adapt the technique to strumming, and found that it helped a lot...so if good enough for Jake, maybe it's worth trying it out?

and BTW - 'break a leg' - I'd be really bummed if I could not play due to injury for an extended period... :(

Doxuke
12-24-2016, 04:54 AM
I'm sorry to hear about your surgery. I had rotator cuff/frozen shoulder surgery a few years ago and had a long recovery period, but my surgery was pretty involved. It depends on how much is done once they're in your shoulder joint. Will there be anchors? You don't want to do anything to pull them out. You will probably start PT right away, and will wear a sling for a few weeks. The physical therapist will let you know what movements you can/can't do in the first couple of weeks.I hope you have a speedy recovery and get back to playing your uke in a couple of weeks.

JJFN
12-24-2016, 05:04 AM
Never had the surgery myself, however...

Some purists and pundits will tell you to lock your shoulder and elbow and ONLY ever strum by rotating your wrist...

...while I disagree with this for my own technique (I am not going unlearn ALL of my classical and flamenco training LOL), I am no expert to tell others, but maybe in your case here, adopting this method of strumming can help?

I saw a video in which Jake Shimabukuro talks about how drummers using the 'western grip' when playing snare drum have great agility and speed with that hand, so he decided to try it himself and apply and adapt the technique to strumming, and found that it helped a lot...so if good enough for Jake, maybe it's worth trying it out?

and BTW - 'break a leg' - I'd be really bummed if I could not play due to injury for an extended period... :(

Thanx Booli, I do strum that way, just using the wrist, but I can still feel this in my shoulder. Maybe I am feeling the striking of the strings.

JJFN
12-24-2016, 05:08 AM
Thank you Doxuke, my surgery will also be fairly complicated and there will be anchors. Figuring I won't be too interested in ukulele playing for the first couple of weeks but I'll consult my physical therapist.

Piecomics
12-24-2016, 05:14 AM
Usually:
Sling for 4-6 wks. passive motion for same in limited range of motion. Slow progression to full ROM by 3 months, gradual increase in strength as tolerated. Return depends on size of tear, number of muscles involved, mechanism of injury, surgical technique (arthro, open, mini open), your overall health (smoker, DM et al).

I've rehabbed musicians before with light playing at 8-16 wks. Better your right than left, at least for uke!

(I take no responsibility blah blah ask your doctor blah, just some thoughts-feel free to pm)

Ben

Piecomics
12-24-2016, 05:16 AM
Strengthening usually/often @ 12 wk mark...

Gary52
12-24-2016, 06:12 AM
I started playing the ukulele while recovering from a dislocated right shoulder, then from surgery to repair the rotator cuff. Once I was out of the sling and able to do limited motion with my arm I was able to strum.

This year I'm having surgery on my left hand on Dec. 29th. Looks like I'll be working on right hand technique for a few months.

JJFN
12-24-2016, 06:21 AM
I started playing the ukulele while recovering from a dislocated right shoulder, then from surgery to repair the rotator cuff. Once I was out of the sling and able to do limited motion with my arm I was able to strum.

This year I'm having surgery on my left hand on Dec. 29th. Looks like I'll be working on right hand technique for a few months.

Good Luck.....

igorthebarbarian
12-24-2016, 07:19 AM
Good luck. My dad just had this surgery earlier this year and said it has been a long, long PT recovery.

besley
12-24-2016, 04:03 PM
Great advice here about basically following the advice of your physical therapist as to what you can do and when. I've been through rotator cuff surgery, back when I was a young pup of just 52, and the recovery was a LOT of work. So my number one suggestion to anyone going through it is don't even think about doing anything that could jeopardize your recovery. Having to have it redone would just be unthinkable. Whatever you want to do can wait six weeks or so, including playing the ukulele.

bearly_enough
12-24-2016, 10:25 PM
Had rotator surgery (completely detached and repaired with 3 anchors) in Aug. Per my Dr. & physical therapist (PT), no uke playing for 1st month. Most folks are in the sling for the 1st month and it is a bit awkward to try and play the uke anyway. After I got out of the sling, was good to go on uke playing. Although, I did have to bring my uke to my PT to let them see the weight and how it was held, etc. before I got the go ahead.

Good Luck on the surgery.

JJFN
12-25-2016, 06:19 AM
Had rotator surgery (completely detached and repaired with 3 anchors) in Aug. Per my Dr. & physical therapist (PT), no uke playing for 1st month. Most folks are in the sling for the 1st month and it is a bit awkward to try and play the uke anyway. After I got out of the sling, was good to go on uke playing. Although, I did have to bring my uke to my PT to let them see the weight and how it was held, etc. before I got the go ahead.

Good Luck on the surgery.

Thanx bearly-enough my surgery sounds pretty much the same. Probably won't be doing much playing the first few weeks.

wconley
12-27-2016, 08:49 AM
I had rotator cuff surgery several years ago on my left shoulder and I couldn't articulate my arm out to the neck so I was out of luck. As others have said, it depends on the surgery and subsequent recovery. I was in a sling 24/7 for eight weeks before I even started PT. I would think the right arm will be easier to play with if your PT and doctor okay it. However, you will be easily fatigued s take it easy.

Best wishes for a successful surgery and recovery.

JJFN
12-27-2016, 01:48 PM
I would like to thank everyone for their kindness and good advice. I am going to take it very slow and do what my doc's and pt's tell me. If I don't play a ukulele for six to eight weeks, it's not the end of the world. Thank you and Happy New Year to all of the UUer's out there.

arpie
12-27-2016, 08:13 PM
Good Luck with your surgery ....... I had it done 3 years back and it was complicated with some Frozen Shoulder & damaged Bicep tendon as well ...... I was surprised at how quickly I was able to get back to uke, leading my group - but I do use a Thinline Kala Travel Uke (Concert) and as it is thinner, easier to hold. Before the surgery, I had tried my neighbour's guitar & just couldn't even hold it as the body was just too 'fat' for my shoulder to accept - and even the 'regular' body ukes were uncomfortable ..... the thinner travel uke definitely helped me get back to it quicker, I think.

Just take it easy following the surgery - don't force your recovery. You will know when you can 'do it'.

Go with that the experts advise you to do .... initially, the exercises can be painful but they must be endured to get your full range of movement back!

cheers

Roberta

besley
12-27-2016, 08:15 PM
By the way, you might consider having someone write "Wrong Shoulder" on the good arm with a Sharpie before you report for surgery. I mean, it couldn't hurt.

JJFN
12-28-2016, 10:21 AM
By the way, you might consider having someone write "Wrong Shoulder" on the good arm with a Sharpie before you report for surgery. I mean, it couldn't hurt.

Not a bad idea, I've heard all kinds of horror stories about mistaken surgeries.

Booli
12-28-2016, 10:40 AM
By the way, you might consider having someone write "Wrong Shoulder" on the good arm with a Sharpie before you report for surgery. I mean, it couldn't hurt.


Not a bad idea, I've heard all kinds of horror stories about mistaken surgeries.

More than anything else, these malpractice-worthy mistakes terrify me about the idea of surgery.

Not to scare your nor add to your own existing worries (and pun intended), just remember that 'to be forewarned is to be forearmed'.

If it were me, I'd label them right on the shoulder/bicep area.
(and shave the area AT HOME if needed, since they will likely shave it anyway with a DRY disposable razor OUCH, which they bill to insurance for $10 instead of the $0.18 it actually cost)

Maybe have your spouse or S/O write: 'GOOD ARM-DO NOT CUT', and 'BAD ARM-CUT HERE' in the correct place just before leaving for the hospital.

JJFN
12-28-2016, 01:57 PM
More than anything else, these malpractice-worthy mistakes terrify me about the idea of surgery.

Not to scare your nor add to your own existing worries (and pun intended), just remember that 'to be forewarned is to be forearmed'.

If it were me, I'd label them right on the shoulder/bicep area.
(and shave the area AT HOME if needed, since they will likely shave it anyway with a DRY disposable razor OUCH, which they bill to insurance for $10 instead of the $0.18 it actually cost)

Maybe have your spouse or S/O write: 'GOOD ARM-DO NOT CUT', and 'BAD ARM-CUT HERE' in the correct place just before leaving for the hospital.

I'm taking your advice, my right shoulder needs the repairs, I am writing "The other one stupid!" on my left shoulder. I just hope the medical staff can read! Again I would like to thank everyone for their kind words.