rotator cuff tear surgery

  • Posted by a hidden member.
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    May 28, 2013 8:08 AM GMT
    Anyone have rotator cuff repair surgery? let me know how it went, how long recovery?how difficult was it dealing not having use of your arm?
  • real_diver2

    Posts: 88

    May 28, 2013 11:55 AM GMT
    Yes, I had it 2 years ago. Partial detach and a tear. Your doctor will give you specific guidelines. But about 4 to 6 weeks in a sling. About 2 weeks after the surgery you will start passive physical therapy.

    When your physical therapist gives you homework exercises - DO THEM! It shortens the recovery period. After physical therapy, take it slow. Continue to do warm up exercises daily.

    Plan on 6 to 8 months before restarting exercises with LIGHT weights. Go from there.

    Not too hard to get by with one arm. Practice a bit before surgery. You can still use your hand and wrist a bit (writing and such).
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    May 28, 2013 12:55 PM GMT
    At some point in your recovery, read this
    http://www.irongarmx.net/Articles/7_minute_rotator_cuff_solution.pdf
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    May 28, 2013 2:12 PM GMT
    I've had both shoulders done, and I'll share with you the good, the bad, and the ugly.

    If you have your shoulder done arthroscopically, post-op pain is minimal. I had to have one shoulder done fully open, due to the extent of the damage, and I have to tell you: That was rough. I've got a high pain tolerance, and it was still bad.

    In most cases, rotator surgery is now done outpatient, but your first few days, you'll need some help, including possibly getting dressed, so if you have a friend or family member who can stay with you, that can be really helpful. The pain meds and lingering effects of anesthesia also can leave you pretty out of it, so don't plan on doing a lot for the next few days.

    You'll be in sling for several weeks, but your surgeon may have you start passive PT very soon. It's extremely important that you do this, as the more stretching you do, the better your ultimate range of motion. If you do everything by the book, you will only lose 1-2 inches range of motion.

    Two other very important things: Full healing can take as long as three years due to limited blood supply in the tendons themselves. It is vital that you not overdo things or have a second tear, as there may not be enough tissue to repair things a second time, which can result in a situation like John McCain's, where he has limited use of his arms, or worse. I know that not being able to lift or have a serious workout just sucks, but if you want to get better, do recovery right.

    Also, wear your sling if you are in a situation where you could re-injure your shoulder. For instance, if you have to be outside on icy surfaces, better to roll if you falls, versus instinctively putting your arm out to break the fall.

    The good news is you will eventually be able to resume sports and working out, and the pain relief is worth it.

    One final bit of advice: Vet your surgeon carefully. This is fairly complex surgery, and you want someone who will do things right. Even better if your surgeon also does sports medicine, as she or he can help you map out a plan to safely resume sports, etc.

    I hope this doesn't discourage you--I've just tried to give you the best, most accurate information I can, with the goal of helping you get better and having realistic expectations.
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    May 28, 2013 10:30 PM GMT
    thank you guys all your info, is greatly appreciated. everything you all said i have already heard so i feel more comfortable. already tried driving one handed, that seems doable. nobody has talked about food. I'm thinking i will not be cooking, and i have to get things i can un-open with one hand. I'm thinking soups with easy to open lids, canned drinks with tabs instead of jars or bottles that need twisting. I do not have anyone to stay with me first few days. I have tried putting my pants on already, i have not problem, one handed. shirts i'm thinking, button down shirts instead of pullovers like polos. Shoes? i have to get loafers or walking shoes with velcro closures, cant ties shoelaces.

    And yes my doc said it will be arthroscopic, Greenwich Hospital one of best joint hospitals and sports medicine doctors around. It will be outpatient surgery.
    I have had 5 surgeries in my life this one rivals my knee surgery where i was on crutches for 6 weeks(FUN). at least i will be able to go out walking and get exercise. my concern is i'm going to lose a lot of muscle mass.

    The reason i screwed my shoulder up again is i'm a chronic over trainer. I injured it in 2005, so its' been 8 yrs, but this one is far worse. When i start training again i'm definitely not overtraining, i'm going to get a plan from my
    PT, who is excellent by the way.
  • real_diver2

    Posts: 88

    May 28, 2013 11:17 PM GMT
    [quote][cite]stamfordguy63 said[/cite]thank you guys all your info, is greatly appreciated. everything you all said i have already heard so i feel more comfortable. already tried driving one handed, that seems doable. nobody has talked about food. I'm thinking i will not be cooking, and i have to get things i can un-open with one hand. I'm thinking soups with easy to open lids, canned drinks with tabs instead of jars or bottles that need twisting. I do not have anyone to stay with me first few days. I have tried putting my pants on already, i have not problem, one handed. shirts i'm thinking, button down shirts instead of pullovers like polos. Shoes? i have to get loafers or walking shoes with velcro closures, cant ties shoelaces.



    I got a pair of sneakers with velcro closures and a white short sleeved shirt or two. I wore those to the gym to do cardio during the interim. I have a couple pairs of "loafer sty;e" dress shoes, so I was covered there.

    Cooking: I fixed about two weeks of main course meals ahead of time and put them in oven safe containers in the freezer. Pull it out, shove it in the oven and eat. You do not have to eat crap - make yourself some good stuff and freeze it.

    Button down shirts only. You won't easily get pull-overs off and on for a while. Practice one handed dressing, undressing and showering. It is not THAT hard and gets easier with practice.
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    May 31, 2013 2:38 PM GMT
    Keep in mind, too, that arthroscopic changes to fully open surgery if, once they get in there, they can't fully reach the area that needs repair. That's what happened with my right shoulder, so I got quite the unpleasant surprise when I came to. Open shoulder surgery sucks, for sure!
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    Jun 05, 2013 8:29 AM GMT
    so i been doing PT, and it seems to be liveable, meaning i can do PT take maybe one or two aleve with no major pain. However im not lifting any weight. Just bands and stretches and some rows with half the weight. im not sure i will ever get back to lifting. what would you guys do? i have lost 7 lbs in one month of no lifting weights, ugh!
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    Jun 05, 2013 6:15 PM GMT
    I have suffered with mine for nearly 20 years. My doc says, oh live with it.
    I ice, and do light weights on that side. It is getting worse as I age.. icon_cry.gif
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    Jun 05, 2013 7:09 PM GMT
    Get the book by Johnson and try that first. Worked for me.

    http://www.amazon.com/Treat-Your-Own-Rotator-Cuff/dp/1598582062/ref=sr_1_1?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1370459436&sr=1-1&keywords=rotator+cuff