Had Shoulder Surgery

This is a discussion on Had Shoulder Surgery within the Concealed Carry Issues & Discussions forums, part of the Defensive Carry Discussions category; Some time ago a member wrote about having shoulder surgery and the trouble with changing to weak side fire. Since I had an upcoming rotor ...

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Thread: Had Shoulder Surgery

  1. #1
    Member Array xrmeav8r's Avatar
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    Had Shoulder Surgery

    Some time ago a member wrote about having shoulder surgery and the trouble with changing to weak side fire. Since I had an upcoming rotor cuff surgery I thought that I should spend some time practicing and carrying weak-hand.
    I had an old sling that I would put on to immobilize my arm and to use as a sort of quasi holster using my Para-Ord and Glock. It seemed to work fairly well and my weak hand skills were improving.
    Since we have plenty of room on the property the wife and I go out at least monthly to practice our ‘couples drill’. I was going out more often to shoot and occasionally she would join me in my practice sessions since this would also affect our positioning when walking or riding in a vehicle.
    After a few sessions she asked why I was using my weak hand so much and I told her. She mentioned that I should also practice more mundane skills like opening doors and learning bathroom paperwork. I then replied that was what she was for!
    So, anyway, after polishing my paperwork skills and dressing one-handed I went back to the firearms practice.
    All went well until after the operation when the sling the Doctor gave me was nothing like the old bandana type of wide tie-up.
    There was not enough room for my Para and the Glock wasn’t balanced correctly for where it had to sit. I ended up going with my S&W 642 in the front pocket.
    Cargo shorts turned out to be the best option because everything had to be on the weak side; keys, glasses, cell phone, sunglasses and flashlight. I was able to tuck my wallet in the sling so I had easy access to everything else. Since I wasn’t out alone or driving I could do without the keys and most of the time the sunglasses. Reading glasses, flashlight and cell phone, along with firearm, always went along.
    There are a lot of things to think about and practice if this configuration occurs to you.
    With everything on the weak side my shorts tended to sag dramatically no matter how tight my belt. This is not a condition for fast presentation. If we were in a questionable area, the definition of which has expanded greatly, I would have the flashlight already in my sling hand and my other in my pocket on the grip. Getting in and out of a vehicle involved the two of us being focused on my maneuvering so we made doubly sure to clear the area first. Luckily we live in area that is not infested but it takes only once, plus it gives us practice. I’m only two weeks into recovery and have been out about 4 times and things should improve after I get more mobility in my bad arm.
    I hope this gives others some insight into changes that surgery could cause. I would imagine problems with a knee or hip would have their unique problems also.
    Sorry for so long a post but I hope it could help others.

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  3. #2
    Member Array Kaymen's Avatar
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    I'm looking at the same situation, I go Monday for the first appointment with the surgeon. My wife and I had about the same conversation reference the bathroom paperwork and with the same results. I have had to use the sling as a holster in the past, but never thought about the doctor giving me a different type sling. I guess we have to be flexible.
    What part of "shall not be infringed" do you not understand.
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  4. #3
    Member Array CRags99's Avatar
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    Thanks for sharing. It helped me realize some weak points in my training. Keep us updated on your recovery.

  5. #4
    Member Array Glock40Texan's Avatar
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    Thanks for the information! I agree with you about the cargo shorts as well as switching to the S&W. Since my knee injury I have resorted to cargo shorts when I can with my S&W 638 in the front pocket. I was stuck with athletic shorts for a while due to the ease of getting them on post surgery (but that time is past -- whew!).

    I just got my staples out today and it looks like I am stuck in the leg brace in the locked position for another couple of weeks. Turns out one of my leg muscles got weak over the past recovery time (and due to parts of the leg feeling numb, it was hard to tell if I was flexing it or not for the exercises). So it is back to cargo shorts and the good ol S&W 638.

    In regards to your note about knee surgery having some unique hurdles to work through, I would list these as my main ones:
    1) Dealing with athletic shorts immediate post surgery (pockets print, so that carry option is out).
    2) Crutches riding the shirt up (so say bye bye to your beloved IWB for a while -- I think I hear my Glock crying in the safe).
    3) Finding a comfortable shooting stance/position due to putting limited weight on the recovering leg & dealing with the crutches.

    /sigh -- I can't wait to be back to my old self. I miss the outdoor range lol

    Anyone else recovering from injuries/surgery as well?
    "No freeman shall ever be debarred the use of arms."
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  6. #5
    Member Array Cajun's Avatar
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    I had my right shoulder totally rebuilt on 6/6/06. My left shoulder was repaired this past Haloween. I am right hand dominant. You will learn that parts of your body are not located in the same place when you attempt to use your off hand. My right arm was in a sling, unmovable for 8 weeks. That was rough. Now, life is good. I can finally throw a baseball exactly where I want it to go, work out 2 days a week on weights, 2 days a week self defense (martial arts) training. Ain't it wonderful what a good Surgeon can do???
    D

  7. #6
    Member Array pops004's Avatar
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    Good and bad

    I am looking at a rotator cuff repair op next month. That's the bad news.... The good news is it's my weak (left) side. I'm not looking forward to it but it doesn't bother me to much. I've had much worse done. I carry a Glock for edc and am practicing racking the slide with my belt. I think most everything else will be close to normal (I Hope) Anyways, have a safe and swift recovery to you gentlemen.
    In God we trust all others pay cash

  8. #7
    Member Array Kaymen's Avatar
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    Glock Mods

    Quote Originally Posted by pops004 View Post
    I am looking at a rotator cuff repair op next month. That's the bad news.... The good news is it's my weak (left) side. I'm not looking forward to it but it doesn't bother me to much. I've had much worse done. I carry a Glock for edc and am practicing racking the slide with my belt. I think most everything else will be close to normal (I Hope) Anyways, have a safe and swift recovery to you gentlemen.
    If you haven't already done it, can I suggest putting an extended slide release on your glock, it makes it much easier to release the side. There are three mods for a glock that I feel are worth it, the extended slide release, a plug for the butt end, and a laser site.
    What part of "shall not be infringed" do you not understand.
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  9. #8
    Member Array CRags99's Avatar
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    I like the extended mag realease too...

  10. #9
    Senior Member Array Zsnake's Avatar
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    What a bunch of Old Farts we are. LOL

    I go for the rotator cuff surgery on the 1st of June.

    What is wrong with all of us??? Is it because we shoot regularly???

    Thanks all for the information.

  11. #10
    Member Array darkstar11's Avatar
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    Old Fart nothing...I had to have my left shoulder repaired( 3 pins holding it to the rest of my body) cause of an accident at work...LOL Thankfully that was on my weak hand side as well...except for the fact that I shoot a rifle lefty. I hated being one handed. Have a grade 3 AC seperation in my right shoulder with no intention of having it repaired until it bothers me constantly.
    Libertas Vel Mors

  12. #11
    Member Array gglockster's Avatar
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    I had my rotator cuff surgery a few years ago. I don't have quite the strength that I used to have, but I have much better range of motion. The key is in the physical therapy. I was lucky and met with my physical therapist before I even had the surgery.

    For me the toughest thing, is trying to change a magazine one handed with the "wrong" hand. Everything from the magazine release being on the wrong side, securing the pistol while I reach for a spare magazine, and where I holster, were issues that I needed to work through. Even a Tap-Rack-Bang drill is a little more convoluted.

    I "pushed" my recovery a bit and was using my operated on side about six weeks after surgery. The experience did make me really rethink carrying a larger pistol and a semi-automatic and got me thinking much more about carrying a smaller revolver "weak side" as my backup.

  13. #12
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    I always try to shoot about 10% - 15% of the time at the range shooting with non dominant hand. Maybe it's not enough.

    Ayoob goes so far as to shoot in competitions with non dominant hand only on occasion and also shoot in competitions with out his prescription glasses just to add a certain amount of stress and realism to it.

    I think we should also consider practice to carry your main rig and gear as well.

    Very good post and thanks for bringing that up. Hope you recover from surgery well and are back to 100% or as close to it soon.
    -Bark'n
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    "The gun is the great equalizer... For it is the gun, that allows the meek to repel the monsters; Whom are bigger, stronger and without conscience, prey on those who without one, would surely perish."

  14. #13
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    Heal fast good luck

  15. #14
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    "Old Fart"? Hey! I resemble that remark!

    I went through the rotator cuff surgery deal a while back and shooting left handed was the least of my left handed worries!

    But my next range trip will include a lot of "off hand" drawing and shooting as I too have neglected this skill a little too much!

    Get well soon!
    ALWAYS carry! - NEVER tell!

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  16. #15
    Member Array Beretta96's Avatar
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    Good information. I've been having issues with my dominant hand for the last few months so I can relate. I haven't been able to carry on my dominant side because my right hand/arm are tingly and numb. I need to practice more with my left hand. Get to see the specialist soon though. Thanks again.
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