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View Full Version : Who's had rotator cuff surgery?



Rich Jones
12-01-2010, 04:42 PM
My orthopedic surgeon just gave me the bad news today that I have torn rotator cuff tendons in my right arm. This is the only limb that he hasn't cut into. Three years ago, it was the rotator cuff in the left arm (massive damage from a fall and two surgeries only partially fixed it). Two years ago, I had both knees replaced.
This time, though, the pain isn't that bad and I haven't lost too much strenght in the arm. The tear isn't bad, but he says it'll only get worse.
My question is: Are there any of you out there with rotator cuff damage and just live with it and what are your experiences. Thanks.

Phillip Allen
12-01-2010, 04:49 PM
My orthopedic surgeon just gave me the bad news today that I have torn rotator cuff tendons in my right arm. This is the only limb that he hasn't cut into. Three years ago, it was the rotator cuff in the left arm (massive damage from a fall and two surgeries only partially fixed it). Two years ago, I had both knees replaced.
This time, though, the pain isn't that bad and I haven't lost too much strenght in the arm. The tear isn't bad, but he says it'll only get worse.
My question is: Are there any of you out there with rotator cuff damage and just live with it and what are your experiences. Thanks.

my damage goes back to 1971...25 years ago I began competitave volley ball...that finished it off...still haven't had surgery

Peerie Maa
12-01-2010, 04:54 PM
Came off the push bike on ice last year, damaged the rotator cuff on my right arm. Work with the companies Physio and exercises under her instruction gave me back full mobility and cured the pain. However at 60 YO I am aware that I could be prone to developing arthritis in damaged joints, and I now believe that that may be happening a year on. I still have full mobility, but some activities are sore.
I would consult a physio if you can find one. Surgeons are trained to cut, and may not think about other non invasive solutions.

Phillip Allen
12-01-2010, 04:56 PM
Came off the push bike on ice last year, damaged the rotator cuff on my right arm. Work with the companies Physio and exercises under her instruction gave me back full mobility and cured the pain. However at 60 YO I am aware that I could be prone to developing arthritis in damaged joints, and I now believe that that may be happening a year on. I still have full mobility, but some activities are sore.
I would consult a physio if you can find one. Surgeons are trained to cut, and may not think about other non invasive solutions.

a very good point

Canoeyawl
12-01-2010, 05:31 PM
Surgeons don't get paid until they cut.
Would you ask your barber if you need a haircut?

I have had the therapy treatment for the "rotator cuff" injury and it worked. Like it never happened. I would talk physical therapy long before surgery.

When you go in for surgery you sign your life away. One of the many risks is bleeding...or death. They don't come right out and tell you that bleeding can cause death.
My doctors advice has always been "Don't go into the hospital unless they carry you in".

John of Phoenix
12-01-2010, 05:45 PM
I have had the therapy treatment for the "rotator cuff" injury and it worked. Like it never happened. I would talk physical therapy long before surgery.
Ditto and would add "Aleve is you friend." (or the NSAID of your choice)


My doctors advice has always been "Don't go into the hospital unless they carry you in". Funny. Sad, but still funny.

Rich Jones
12-01-2010, 06:05 PM
Surgeons don't get paid until they cut.
Would you ask your barber if you need a haircut?

I have had the therapy treatment for the "rotator cuff" injury and it worked. Like it never happened. I would talk physical therapy long before surgery.

When you go in for surgery you sign your life away. One of the many risks is bleeding...or death. They don't come right out and tell you that bleeding can cause death.
My doctors advice has always been "Don't go into the hospital unless they carry you in".

I'm going to talk to my physical therapy guy tomorrow. He's got his doctorate in the field and I have a lot of faith in him. My surgeon was very upfront with the risks of nerve damage, bleeding, etc, etc., but in all the cutting he's done on me, there's been no problems.

Chris Coose
12-01-2010, 06:11 PM
I'm hitting the slab in January as most all therapy has not helped a condition very much like you describe.
I have an older friend that got a "tripple crown" last year and he is very pleased.

My surgeon looked at me and said you are much too young to be disabled, which I am. And I have a strong feeling it is only going to get worse in time if I don't get cut.

switters
12-01-2010, 06:22 PM
each one is different. I tore mine on a skateboard when I was 39, actually immediately after I had left the skateboard to be precise. Very sore for a year but the only time I feel it now is during some prolonged canoe paddling, like over 5 miles a day. Sadly a good canoe trip typically requires about 8-10 miles a day to feel like I'm seeing new country, so I take lots of asprin and schnapps with me. As these trips happen at the most once a year I dont bother getting it cut on. I also use a rowing machine sporadically, and 20-30 min a day has no effect, but I have never pushed it longer than that.

Phillip Allen
12-01-2010, 07:44 PM
so is this you that gw is slapping?


http://bigeastsux.files.wordpress.com/2008/08/bush-smack-ass.jpg?w=307&h=358

no, it is not...though I did play with some of them (volley ball, that is) and they may be nice to look at but they are a rough lot and can jerk a knot in y our tail before you can yell scat!

Phillip Allen
12-01-2010, 07:52 PM
I dont have a tail ..... well not really :)

many never discover that they have a tail until someone jerks a knot in it

Rich Jones
12-01-2010, 08:00 PM
So, what's this? Playing volleyball with hot chicks cures rotator cuff problems? GREAT!

MW Jones
12-01-2010, 08:03 PM
Just had my Arthroscopic Repair a couple of weeks ago, I was at the surgery center less than 4 hours. I'm 59, boat carpenter, no previous problems. While hand rolling my boat out of the shop my back foot slipped, in the process of not falling felt something give. Three months of non-surgical therapy, and not sleeping through the night, I went for the surgery. I wasn't willing to live with limited mobility and pain pills of any kind on a regular basis. My surgeon was the one that recommended trying non-invasive methods first. Most orthopedic surgeons are not so short of work as to recommend unnecessary surgery. My brother let his go so long that it became a major surgery, with more to go. Each case is different, and faith in your surgeon is important, mine works on major league athletes, so I had a lot of confidence that he is good at his job. I'm doing the recovery therapy now and it's a lot better than before the surgery.

Rich Jones
12-01-2010, 08:06 PM
I'm hitting the slab in January as most all therapy has not helped a condition very much like you describe.
I have an older friend that got a "tripple crown" last year and he is very pleased.

My surgeon looked at me and said you are much too young to be disabled, which I am. And I have a strong feeling it is only going to get worse in time if I don't get cut.

When all is said and done, I'll probably go under the knife in January as well. The damage to my left side(bad fall) was so severe, those two surgeries I had returned mobiltiy but not strenght. I've got to have at least one good arm. As it is, I now row in circles!!

FSS172
12-01-2010, 10:38 PM
I took a bad fall, dislocated my right shoulder, and did substantial damage to the rotator cuff. Initial advice from an orthopedist was to hold off on surgery and try PT for awhile. After several months without improvement got a second opinion at a larger hospital with a sports medicine division. Immediate surgery was recommended but I was advised that during the time that had passed some of the torn muscles had contracted/pulled back and might not be able to be reattached. Surgeon made a great repair but, as predicted, was unable to reattach everything. This resulted in a substantially limited function for a prolonged time. Though I've eventually regained most/all practical function of the joint if I'd had the repair done sooner I'd very likely have had an easier, quicker, and more complete outcome. Interestingly the best PT turned out to be longboarding the hull of my boat.

Paul Girouard
12-01-2010, 10:59 PM
When you go in for surgery you sign your life away. One of the many risks is bleeding...or death. They don't come right out and tell you that bleeding can cause death.





One of the Doctor's we just remodeled for said dead panned "All bleeding stops!" I said "When you bleed out?" , he said "Ya, but the bleeding stopped!"

A group of us where chatting at break time.

Anthony Zucker
12-02-2010, 08:13 AM
Thanks, FS172.

I'm having the operation Jan 6.

I cant get a decent night's sleep and I dont have faith in the physical therapy people. This thing isnt getting any better so lets go thru the agrivation of surgery and get back to normal.

I'm told that PT after surgery is very important.

Any pearls of wisdom on PT from you veterans?

Concordia 33
12-02-2010, 10:55 AM
I had both shoulders repaired one year apart. Full tears on both. Day surgery. First week very uncomfortable, second week mildly uncomfortable. 90% return of strength and mobility after 4 months and 99% after 1 year. I'm glad I had them done as they are now nearly as strong as before the tear, and the frequent pain from extended use no longer occurs.

Chris Coose
12-02-2010, 01:00 PM
Any pearls of wisdom on PT from you veterans?
I attended three sessions of PTand in the third I realized the therapist was moving me through shoulder exercises I knew from a long time in the gym.
I says (cause getting to PT sessions was a bit of a pain in the ass), "these exercises are very much like what I know from the gym. Whatya say I get some light weights and do a bunch of reps?"
"Yep, you are correct light weight lots of reps." She replies.
"What shoulder exercises should I avoid?"
"Anything that looks like a military press (Black-Jack is gonna go apesh*t) and no lat pull downs".
"Cool".

Post surgery I shall comply and adapt with the PT recommendations.

Phillip Allen
12-02-2010, 03:42 PM
Alright folks! I started reading this last night and now I got up this morning with the crik-in-the-neck from HELL...I can't even move...somehow, it's all your fault!

David W Pratt
12-02-2010, 04:30 PM
Haven't had the surgery, but you might try contacting the local pro sports teams to get to their orthopods. Those guys treat serious injuries to people unwilling to stop their sport, and they can afford the best. Also, NY Philharmonic and Ballet, same reasons.
Good luck.

Rich Jones
12-02-2010, 04:48 PM
Thanks, FS172.

I'm having the operation Jan 6.

I cant get a decent night's sleep and I dont have faith in the physical therapy people. This thing isnt getting any better so lets go thru the agrivation of surgery and get back to normal.

I'm told that PT after surgery is very important.

Any pearls of wisdom on PT from you veterans?

Make sure your physical therapist is qualified. Some of the bigger places start you off with the good people and then shuffle you off to some lesser qualified person in the office to do your therapy.
Do everything they say. Don't not do the excercises and don't overdo them.
When you wake up after surgery, you'll be wearing a sling and cushion. DON'T take that off for ANY reason until the doc says you can. DON'T try to use that arm or hand for ANYTHING. Just pretend that they don't exist for a few weeks. Any use or strain can re-tear the tendon. Somehow, mine re-tore and I had to go through the whole thing ten months later, but by then the muscle had pulled away so far that it couldn't be re-attached. That arm is now permanently disabled. I think that the injury was so bad, that nothing was going to work, anyway.

Peerie Maa
12-02-2010, 05:10 PM
When all is said and done, I'll probably go under the knife in January as well. The damage to my left side(bad fall) was so severe, those two surgeries I had returned mobiltiy but not strenght. I've got to have at least one good arm. As it is, I now row in circles!!

What d'ya mean, row in circles?
http://farm3.static.flickr.com/2066/2372319520_f3a6aff25a.jpg