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How to keep gains post shoulder surgery….

Archer

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Dec 17, 2013
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So long story short, fell on the ice last month and am scheduled for surgery in 2 weeks.

Two rotator cuff muscles are completely detached, plus the bicep tendon needs to be cut off and reattached lower on the bone due to scar tissue. Also MRI showed osteoarthritis in the AC joint.

I’ll be in a sling for 3 months or so, then 5 pound weight restriction til 6 months post surgery.

I’m 47, on TRT, and was doing really well with mass gains and joint aches doing high rep, lower weight, slow negatives.

So….Ill be staying in TRT obviously, and planning on walking and keeping the protein high, but any other advice? Any hopes of getting everything back after? I’ve been a recreational lifter pretty steady for 15 years or so have a good base to work with.

TIA for any advice/ promising stories lol
 
Just let your body heal bro. Steroids will slow the healing process down a lot You’re going to lose muscle Iv had two shoulder surgeries. Iv had all the rotators re attached. I didn’t touch a weight for 6 months and by 9 months I was training full boar with a 100% successful recovery with both shoulders. B
 
What @Alzadosghost said… just TRT, low dose GH, follow the PT for proper recovery. Once you’re healed 100% you’ll gain the muscle back no problem.

It sucks I know… Hang in there, fix your injuries and then get back at it!

Cage
 
When i had my 2 rotator muscle reattached an a ruptured biceps repaired i was back in the gym 6 days later training my torso and 3 appendages the best i could and lost nothing that i could tell. But i was still natural. 12 years later i had the other shoulder replaced and was back in the gym doing what i could in a week. Was on TRT and 2-3 i.u.'s of GH. I did loose some muscle on that surgery but a few weeks later people were asking me if i was getting ready for a show as i was getting leaner. Working a muscle causes nerve stimulus to the other side as well even though muscles are not contracting and so there is less atrophy. All my orthos have agreed with what i did.
 
Anabolics were developed for rapidness of healing, growth, repair, and restructure of wounds for impaired immune systems, and/or daily trauma (ie, weight training, vigorous training)… they promote the healing process. As does Growth Hormone.

Workout all the other muscles that you still have function over. Nobody says you have to go crazy with it, but motion is life. If you have a busted limb, you still have 3 other healthy limbs. If you have 2 busted limbs, you still have 2 other healthy limbs. You have abdominals, spinal erectors, numerous leg muscles…. Active lifestyle promotes a healing environment. Stimulation of systemic blood flow, nerve ending synapses, central nervous and peripheral nervous system activity, and good nourishing foods, proteins and fats, all make way for speedy and strong recovery. I don’t believe in the “rest and let your body turn into mush belief” spurned on by major medical views.
 
December 2020, I was your age. While benching, my arm popped twice on the concentric. Pop, pop, weight slammed on my chest and I had to do the roll of shame in a gym full of absolute retards. MRI 2 days later….supraspinatus and infraspinatus torn off(as I suspect yours are, type 2 SLAP 2, “massive” rotator tear, medial deltoid strain(can’t remember the grade, I think 2) also needed tenodesis. Surgery within 2 weeks. Took 2 weeks off, wrapped my sling to my body and did one arm work and legs 2x/week. If I have laundry list of post op drugs if you’d like to see it. My surgeon said there was a shocking lack of atrophy when it came out of the sling. BTW, steroids, especially those that promote collagen synthesis, are quite helpful. USC is currently running a study with anavar in post op rotstor cuff recovery. Use this as an opportunity to smash your legs…I did, it worked.
 
December 2020, I was your age. While benching, my arm popped twice on the concentric. Pop, pop, weight slammed on my chest and I had to do the roll of shame in a gym full of absolute retards. MRI 2 days later….supraspinatus and infraspinatus torn off(as I suspect yours are, type 2 SLAP 2, “massive” rotator tear, medial deltoid strain(can’t remember the grade, I think 2) also needed tenodesis. Surgery within 2 weeks. Took 2 weeks off, wrapped my sling to my body and did one arm work and legs 2x/week. If I have laundry list of post op drugs if you’d like to see it. My surgeon said there was a shocking lack of atrophy when it came out of the sling. BTW, steroids, especially those that promote collagen synthesis, are quite helpful. USC is currently running a study with anavar in post op rotstor cuff recovery. Use this as an opportunity to smash your legs…I did, it worked.
Yup 👍🏾 I don’t promote using deca, but post-op, post-injury, post trauma, it’s a pretty good idea (2:1 test:deca)… hgh is no slouch either in this type of scenario. But the key is to keep working out whatever isn’t injured.
 
Been there. Had both shoulders repaired back in 2018 about 9 months apart. Both surgeries required bicep tenodesis as well.
Your surgeon will do a nerve block just prior to surgery which will wear off in about 24 hours. Expect PAIN when it wears off. If you don't already own one or have access to a recliner, get one now! Getting quality sleep in those first 3-5 days post op isn't going to happen. Naps (2-3 hours) in a recliner for the win. Buy a couple small pillows to wedge under your elbow to get in a comfortable position. Elastic waist band shorts, tank tops and/or button down shirts. Typically your prescribed oxycodone PRN and a stool softener. If you take the oxy, take the softener. Constipation on top of everything else is not something your going to want to deal with, trust me. Walk frequently to keep your gut moving. There are some really nice and some really crappy immobilizer slings out there. Find out which one your surgeon intends to have you use. I bought a much nicer one on Amazon for my second shoulder and it made a huge difference in comfort and stability.

Agree with Buck. Get back into the gym as soon as you're comfortable in your sling. Stick to your routine (one sided of course). Be careful, go slow. Good idea to have a training partner initially until you figure out your new routine.
I was back to about 90% at 9 months post surgery. Continue your TRT. Low dose GH as well. Listen to your PT and make it a point to go to every session your insurance offers you.
 
Get some gel packs that you can throw in your freezer to ice your shoulder PRN.
Buy some mobility bands to continue doing your own PT as home. Have about a 4' dowel on hand to "active assist" ranging your arm/shoulder.
 
Dont worry about your "gains" as said. Run a normal dose of TRT, normal being within reference range, GH and take your recovery serious. TB500 and BPC can help a ton. Sure you will temporarily lose muscle, but when your 100% healthy and start again, it will come back FAST and than some as you gave your body a rest from everything. I used to love "shrinking" in my offseasons because I knew when I got back on id explode.
 
I’ve had 1 left rotator cuff surgery and three rotator cuff surgery’s on the right..also had my collarbone on the right side rebuilt.

Forget heavy shit forever..you can do it, but you don’t recover from it fast enough to be worth it..what I’ve found to work best is seated barbell press with bands..the constant tension feels really good..machines and straight barbell press kills me for weeks..meadows side laterals and band side laterals are good too.

Also, doing single arm band presses between sets of any type of chest movement has been a game changer
 
You won't keep your gains but all that hard work you put in all those years wasn't for nothing. A month into working out again you'll be back better than before.
 
You won't keep your gains but all that hard work you put in all those years wasn't for nothing. A month into working out again you'll be back better than before.
Indeed..but the approach is totally different..you can push through but you will end up back in the same place
 
My experience is that over head presses are very hard on the shoulders. And really aren't needed especially for maintaining size. I took them out of my rotation as a main movement at least 25 years ago and don't regret it. When i start to do them again aches start coming back.
 
My experience is that over head presses are very hard on the shoulders. And really aren't needed especially for maintaining size. I took them out of my rotation as a main movement at least 25 years ago and don't regret it. When i start to do them again aches start coming back.
Me too..unless I use bands..then it’s awesome
 
Just went through this a few months ago and going through it again. I didn’t touch weights for 2 months and even then it was light. I didn’t get back 100% into the swing of things til about the 3 month mark. I lost very little muscle mass and it came back quick.

You’ve already mentioned these things but my key piece of advice is to stay on your nutrition. Don’t use this time to go crazy on your diet. Follow a sensible a high protein diet and set yourself up for a great rebound.
 
Me too..unless I use bands..then it’s awesome
I started using bands during Covid and like them but can't say they added anything for me.
All told i lost about 12 pounds when i had my shoulder replaced. But 3 months after that surgery i had my spine surgery. Laminectomy, fusion, couple rods bolted in so i was down for for a while before lifting anything big again. Figured if i was going to have a down year may as get as much done as i could.
 

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