any fellow bassist here have shoulder surgery before?

Discussion in 'Off Topic [BG]' started by Rycebag, Dec 19, 2014.

  1. Rycebag


    Feb 22, 2008
    just wondering because as of right now I might be considering it. Ive had 5 dislocations of my right shoulder in the past 4-5 years and I had spoken to someone who recommended the ligaments be repaired! im really bummed at the moment because I know its a long recovery process but I know its for the better! but have any of you had trouble getting back to playing after the procedure? as far as stuff like techniques? pick playing,slapping etc. music is actually how im making a living at the moment!
  2. placedesjardins


    May 7, 2012
    I had a torn labrum. Repaired it twice. I tore the same spot again two years later, FYI. Not because the doctor did something wrong, I played ice hockey and reinjured myself.
    So, the surgery is pretty tame. I was out the same day with a sling and taking pain medication. Recovery, and then rehab and stretching for months. Since it wasn't bass related, I had no trouble playing bass before or after. If you have trouble playing bass now, it will probably get worse without surgery.
  3. zontar


    Feb 19, 2014
    I haven't had surgery, but I have had shoulder injuries that either hindered or prevented me from playing--sometimes it was simply holding the bass or putting my right arm over the body.

    Don't rush your could be worse in the long term.
    Different situations may call for different measures, but patiences is common to them all.
  4. blastoff99

    blastoff99 Moderators Local A440 Staff Member Gold Supporting Member Supporting Member

    Dec 17, 2011
    Under the flight path
    Left shoulder surgery a few years ago.

    I play with my bass high because of wrist problems, which means a much more significant external rotation is required in the left shoulder. I was playing again (very short periods, bass a little lower) in two weeks, but you must know that this was *extremely* unusual given what was repaired inside my shoulder. My doctor told me that he would have expected me to be playing again in two months.

    My surgery was arthroscopic. I don't know what the options are in your situation, but an open surgery will have a much longer recovery period.
  5. Gaolee

    Gaolee Official leathers tester and crash dummy

    No shoulder surgery, although my left shoulder probably needs it to avoid future arthritis. I have had similar knee surgery, and I walked out of the recovery room the same day as the surgery. The surgeon did a spectacularly good job, that's all I can say. Point being, if the surgeon knows what he or she is doing, the recovery can be pretty short if it is arthroscopic.
  6. Pilgrim

    Pilgrim Supporting Member

    I have a couple of friends who have had shoulder surgery (and knee surgery). The surgery isn't bad, but the rehab is no fun. Do the rehab right and do what the therapist tells you and you'll come out of it just fine. Just remember, the rehab people aren't there to help you feel good and comfy while you're doing therapy, they're there to get your full functionality back. Parts of that are gonna hurt....but DO IT.

    A couple of months of down time playing bass is nothing. You have a whole life to live, and you need your body to function. Get it done.
    Last edited: Dec 22, 2014
    zontar likes this.
  7. Polfuste


    Sep 10, 2010
    South France
    I've had a dislocation problem at left shoulder, following a sport accident. I tried rehab but it never worked. So i came to surgery. My surgeon recommended me a special stop, screwed in my bone, to replace my defective upfront ligament; over a ligament repair because of risk about limited mobility after recovery. My recovery was very quick, no mobility problem and i never had a problem since.
    That said, it was in 1992 so surgery has certainly improved a lot since.
  8. GeneralElectric


    Dec 26, 2007
    NY, NY
    I've had two minor surgeries on my left shoulder. The first was after I flipped my car and the seat belt damaged my shoulder. They stuck in a little vacuum tube to suck out bone fragments front the joint that was irritating the bursa.

    The second time was a few years later when I developed bone spurs in the same shoulder. They grinded them down and sucked out the itty bitty pieces of bone yet again.

    Trust me, you'll probably be better off with surgery than without.
  9. FA108208usat2

    FA108208usat2 Guest

    Mar 24, 2014
    Well I have Injured my ligaments but It wasn't my shoulder It was my ankle, I didn't have any surgery only physiotherapy about a month, I was already running the next day after my last physiotherapy. My doctor told me about a medicine that you inject that will help you recover faster I don't know much about that though because I said no.
  10. Datsgor

    Datsgor Supporting Member

    Jul 29, 2000
    I had the Supraspinatus tendon reattached. Four weeks and I was out playing again.....carefully though. I had just joined a band and they moved all my equipment for about 3 months. Nice bunch of guys. 6 months and I was back to weightlifting.
  11. bass_case

    bass_case Maintain low tones. Supporting Member

    Oct 23, 2013
    Miami, FL
    My wife had rotator cuff surgery 2-3 years ago. The surgery wasn't that bad but the therapy was brutal. She also developed frozen shoulder after the surgery (not uncommon) so they had to put her under in order to "break it loose" non-surgically. She's fine now, but is mindful of over-extending it.

    In her case, it mainly affected her ability to raise her arm above her head, which is not a common bass-playing technique. Sounds like you have something different, though.
  12. Rycebag


    Feb 22, 2008
    thanks for all the input guys! still haven't seen the ortho yet because of issues with my medical (I have san Francisco health plan) but it should be soon! I'm a really active person so I think that's maybe prevented me from having frozen shoulder! my range of motion in my arm is really good considering it being dislocated 2 weeks ago but I still would rather get things repaired once I speak to ortho.
  13. groooooove

    groooooove Supporting Member

    Dec 17, 2008
    Long Island, NY
    a good friend of mine who's primarily a woodwind guy, had shoulder surgery for the same reasons about a year ago.

    he plays professionally, and teaches full time. he's also a pretty good bass player, and was able to play shortly after surgery. nowadays he's 100%.
  14. Rycebag


    Feb 22, 2008
    that's awesome to hear! Thank you all for sharing info! It's a pretty trippy thing to go through! I'm really more about the holistic approach to healing and all that but I think in this situation it is beyond that already. ill take a few months out and fix it rather than have it become a bigger issue over time
  15. GKon

    GKon Supporting Member, Boom-Chicka-Boom

    Feb 17, 2013
    Albuquerque, NM
    Glad to see this post, as I'm going in for shoulder surgery (left side/my fretting arm) on January 7th. I tore the ligaments during a
    martial arts seminar. I was to go in Dec 17th, but I postponed it because 2 gigs came up that I didn't want to cancel.

    I teach martial arts (Japanese sword and staff/spear) and play bass, both to make a living. I've been worried
    about recovery time and if I'll have any motion and/or pain problems after I'm fully recovered.
  16. placedesjardins


    May 7, 2012
    You will want to follow stretching routines advised to you by the doctor and/or physical therapist. Don't over do it, and don't under do it. You'll be fine.
    Keep your arm in the sling as long as the doctor recommends. You might be at 80% recovered and feel you can go about without the sling, but the last thing you want is for someone to unknowingly grab your left arm and pull it in a bad angle. Usually, most people will not grab your arm if they see it in a sling.
  17. GKon

    GKon Supporting Member, Boom-Chicka-Boom

    Feb 17, 2013
    Albuquerque, NM
    Thanks for the advice. I appreciate it. I realize, as the day gets closer, I'm not looking forward to it. Part of it is just hoping that all goes well.
    Another part is the downtime from playing. My band is on a good roll right now, and I don't want to loose momentum. I've been playing and singing
    regularly, so my skills have gotten much better than they've been in years. I don't want to lose any of that.

    Also, I'm not learning to play upright bass, as well. I don't want to lose momentum with that, either. In the long run, it will be ok, I know.
  18. Rycebag


    Feb 22, 2008
    let me know how things go for you and good luck with the surgery! I finally got a appointment to see the orthopedic surgeon on Monday. I know there is no doubt that i will be going through surgery with this being the 5th dislocation and i just hope everything in the shoulder isn't as trashed as i think it is haha.
  19. GKon

    GKon Supporting Member, Boom-Chicka-Boom

    Feb 17, 2013
    Albuquerque, NM
    I had the surgery yesterday afternoon. Spent 1 night in the hospital. I've been back home today as of noon.
    All went well. The doc was very happy with the results. He told me that it was a mess in there. All my connective
    tissue was shredded. The only thing holding my arm in place was my skin and thankfully that I'm in good physical shape.

    However, he said healing time would be relatively quick. By Tuesday I'll be starting exercises for strength and flexibility.
    Within 2 weeks, 3 at the most, I'll be playing bass again. And, once I'm healed, I should be as good as new,
    aside that I have an artificial piece in my shoulder. :)

    And the only pain meds are panadol and something else for swelling. It hurts, but nothing major.
  20. placedesjardins


    May 7, 2012
    All your ligaments were torn?
    What is the artificial piece for? Osteoarthritis?