I went through two shoulder replacements, and honestly, they were probably the most painful surgery and recovery that I’ve had to deal with. I mean, I’ve had my lumbar [surgery], I had cervical [spine surgery], I’ve had other surgeries. And everybody talks about the pain you go through. I mean, I’ve had long recoveries, six months before I could do this, back brace, cervical collar, which I always thought was a very difficult thing to go through.
The actual surgery was a piece of cake. It only took a day; I was out of surgery. But then the physical therapy and recovery was almost 19 months of daily painful recovery exercises.
I had to use pulley systems to get the mobility back into the shoulder, and a lot of other exercises that were necessary. Physical therapy was about 12 months, and then the rest of the time it was home therapy with different devices—basically the pulley system.
But I tell anyone who has any shoulder problems: It’s something you have to dedicated to, the recovery portion, because if you don’t do it, you’re going to wind up having worse problems or limitations in your shoulder.
Before surgery, I could not lift my arm probably about this high, and after the surgery was completed, because of my age and because of the prior spinal surgeries, they thought that maybe I would have—if lucky—75 percent range of motion with my shoulders. After all the recovery and everything was through, I had 95 percent. I mean, I could do this—which the doctors were amazed at. And that was the result of the recovery and the exercises.
It was a tough road. It was a painful road. But I’m glad I went through it.