What am I still doing in Cancun?

The adventures of an American single mommy working and playing in paradise.

Arm/Shoulder Update


Aren’t my posts exciting? Especially the titles? I will be a famous blogger in no time flat! LOL

But seriously, when I dislocated my shoulder and fractured my arm I was constantly searching for information on the internet posted by real people, including x-rays, etc., so I hope my posts will help other people who have had a similar injury. (My injury posts even have their own category on my blog now.) The phrase I searched most was “dislocated shoulder can’t lift arm” because I was very worried about this and wanted to know if others had a similar experience. I never found much info about if it was normal that I couldn’t lift my arm at all and it was frustrating. So if someone has just searched the same thing and found this post…yes it’s normal and don’t worry, you will be able to lift your arm again someday soon!

During my vacation I tried (and failed lol) to do my exercises everyday. I did however manage to do some of the exercises almost everyday. Now that I am home again I do all of them everyday and I can definitely see an improvement.


Always a dancer...lol


I had done my exercises shortly before this picture was taken, so my shoulder was warm and it was easy to get my arm up this high. When my shoulder is cold it is more difficult. This is after 5 full sessions of physical therapy, 1 (what I would call) partial session, and about 6 weeks of doing the exercises the therapist showed me by myself at home without any formal equipment.

I think I will return to doctor #2 in a few weeks to get his opinion about a couple of movements that are still very difficult for me. This is one of them…


I swear I am not exaggerating this at all!


As you can see, my shoulder moves up on the injured side when I move my arm this way. I would like to know if I can resolve this even though it’s not a movement we use on a daily basis. I mean, at some point I might have to do the robot dance or pop and lock!

Anyway, I do believe I might be done with therapy sessions. It was very helpful but I can’t really afford it and I think I can do the rest on my own.



  1. Great improvement ..

  2. Hi, I fractured my humerus 4 weeks ago.
    I had it in a sling for 3 weeks, very painful. Now started physiotherapy. I’ve been 2 times. They try to stretch my arm, but its hurts so bad.

    I can’t lift my right arm at all. i can use it and can lift bent at the elbow to my mouth. I can’t lift it straight out or sideways, only maybe 5 inches. Will this get better, will I ever be able to lift my arm? Can’t blow dry my hair or use a flat iron. Help!

    • I’m so sorry to hear about your arm. YES you will be able to lift your arm, I promise. I was so scared too, but it will get better little by little. I had to wear a headband for like 8 weeks. haha Now my arm is close to normal. I will post an update with pictures soon. Take care!

  3. Glad to see someone who’s actually talked about this injury! I’m a 22y/o male with the same injury–dislocated shoulder and fractured upper humerus. I was ski racing and got injured during the last practice of the season.

    How long did it take you to fully recover?

    It’s been about 5 weeks since the injury for me and it’s still only about 70%–can’t really lift my arm straight over my head yet.

    • Hi Ryan,

      If you are at about 70% after 5 weeks you are doing great! Did you have surgery? I was in a immobilizer for 6 weeks after my accident and couldn’t lift my arm more than about 25% when I took it off. I would say I was close to 100% after about 4-5 months. I still have one issue with one particular movement (10 months later) but I believe it may improve with some strength training. However, I have almost all of my flexibility back and I can lift it straight up over my head exactly like I can with my healthy arm. I still have a little pain and crackling here and there, but all in all I am very happy with how everything turned out considering I did most of the therapy on my own and didn’t have surgery.

      Age might have something to do with recovery time? You are a young guy and I am over 40! 🙂

  4. Hi, I was doing just like you, searching the net looking for people that had similar injury and wondering if not being able to m9ore my arm was normal.
    I broke the top of my arm (snapped the ball off in the socket) just over 3 weeks ago, still pains like hell but I can move it around with help. But its like its welded to my body, I cant move it away at all, cant life it in front or to the side.
    I wanted to know how long this lasted because its frustrating that i can’t drive (over here in englanf we all drive stick shift ) just cant get it to move to the gearstick .. physio and consultant on monday, see what they have to say…
    Thanks for your info on your progress, its is a great help to know that my arm will move again one day

    • Wow David…snapped the ball off??? OUCH, that’s worse than mine…will you need surgery?

      I forgot all about not being able to drive! That sucked!

      Rest assured, you will be able to move your arm, glad I could help give you some hope. Hang in there, the road to recovery is long, but you will get there!

      • Consuitant said I still may need surgery, doing all I can to avoid that tho.

        This is number 18 broken bone for me (led a very foolish childhood) consultant said this is by far the worse I have done.

        Now the initail pain has gone, I can move it a little, started physio classes also so hope to get something moving, reading your posts I know its a long slow process, but I jusy wish it would hurry and fix.

        Oh and I do apologize for the appalling spelling and mistakes in my last post, only having one hand makes so many things impossible, even typing.

        • 18 broken bones, oh my! Well you should be an old pro at this by now! I feel ya, typing with one hand was a nightmare. I had to do it at work for 6 weeks!

          Good luck, you will get there, but yes the process is sloooow.

          • finally found some decent info: I have broken my humerus. Have had a pin put in and they put me in a sling. It has been 5 weeks since I did it and I have pain in my shoulder and the arm muscle. My wife thinks I am pushing myself to hard trying to raise my arm up and down as she thinks I should wait for my follow up xray next week.But from day 1 in the hospital the doctor said I should try to lift it up and down but not outwards and it hurts more when put it back in the sling: what do you think? thanks a lot

          • Hi John, sorry about your arm. A pin? That’s tough! I’m sorry you have pain. My ordeal was very difficult but it didn’t really hurt much.

            I would say listen to the doctor, not your wife (although I’m sure she means well, she’s just worried about you). The next step is going to be physical therapy. Make sure you follow through and complete all of it! Good luck! Keep me posted.

          • I don’t know if this blog is still active but I also found it useful to fine real people. I wanted to share another consideration for healing. 10 days ago I took a nose dive on a hardwood floor practicing my art, Capoeira, and dislocated my right shoulder. Luckily, no fractures that I know of yet, I go back to orth today. However, due to my lifestyle I already keep a pretty fresh and green diet. My healing has been really fast, I am already out of a sling and have some mobility back, still freaked out by the mobility I don’t have yet…but that’s normal I guess. But, I started researching food as a component of healing. I have been drinking at least one or two raw smoothies or juices a day and have had very little pain or inflammation. I would love to share this in case it helps others heal faster too. Research naturally anti-inflammatory foods and also those that are inflammatory, those that build strong muscles etc. Try eating those things for just a few days and see if it works for you. My fridge is packed with greens, pineapple, blueberries, sweet potatoes and whatever else I can find. I will try ANYTHING to get back to my art and heal. I plan to listen to my PT as well, we will see what he says today. Anyways, I hope this helps someone!

          • Hi Jenny, yes the blog is still active! Thanks for commenting. Great advice, I hope you heal quickly!

  5. I cried when i read your blog, 11/27/2013 i fractured my humerus bone after a fall. i can grip, move my fingers but i can’t lift my arm, i have the arm brace, my doc, looks shocked that i can’t lift my arm i’m 57, he’s expecting a miracle in 2wks. , elbow, bicep and triceps area are sore, swelling is minimized. 7dys till next appt. The LORD knows I have been tripping in regards to my healing expectations; Patience is my prayer

    • It’s the worst feeling when you can’t move your arm Sherry, but you will get there! You must complete your physical therapy. That will make a huge difference.

  6. Hi …..I’m being admitted tomorrow for hip replacement surgery in Arlington VA. On the 1st I’m going to Cancun for two weeks. Do you know of a physical therapist that can work with me for two weeks? Jim Brantley – jab2fly@aol.com

  7. I broke the head of my humerous dec 21 2013 and i guess i am 11 weeks out. By 3 weeks started pt, but i was doing pendulums from getco and taking it out of sling trying to move it . I canup about 3/4 up with my arm . I am switching therapist to get someone more agressive. Client of mine said i should be firther along, she is a pt. has me worried

  8. hi, was seriously thinking of doing a similar blog as I fractured and dislocated my shoulder 6 months ago today and still have a few related problems. Ended up with a frozen shoulder that was released under a general. Now have bicep tendinitis as a result of keeping my arm strapped up for the required time. Discovered I had also broken a rib that was leading to other difficulties. BUT besides all that been able to do exercises regularly and happily back at work as a masseuse – not the best job to break a shoulder!
    I really think it does take a good six months to get most of the movement back. I did it skiing at it was out of the socket by a long way for over three hours so no wonder everything went a big haywire.

    • Funny, I think I broke a rib too and didn’t figure it out until much later. I have almost full movement now with just slight pain and discomfort. I wish you luck with your recovery!

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