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Old 04-17-2010, 11:11 AM   #1
pbahlin
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Rotator Cuff Surgery Feedback....Please

I know I read previously here that someone had Rotator Cuff Surgery and would like information on the recovery process. I am about to have this surgery on Tuesday for "Reconstruction of the Rotator Cuff" and have been advised I would be out of work for 6-8 weeks and it would probably be 3 mos for total recovery, I was wondering if this is what I should expect or has someone had a shorter or longer recovery period? I know I will be back to Physical Therapy again as well.

Sometimes the voice of experience is a real confidence booster and I could surely use some of that! I am right handed and it is my right shoulder that will be done....so I have to train my left hand and it was never very good at much, so there's a challenge.

Just got my hair cut really short so I can deal with it with my left, no more blow dryer/curling iron for me....wash and wear is the way to go! And I am fortunate in that my DH will be home for the week so that will be a blessing.....told him I was shining up my 'Service Bell"!!! But I told him he doesn't need to wear the uniform.

Betty

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Old 04-17-2010, 11:31 AM   #2
bob n pam
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Oh, Betty, make him wear the uniform! Betsy McNair (labmom) is recovering from rotator cuff surgery and I'm sure, if she can type, she can give you all kinds of information. I'm going to see her tomorrow night and will mention your post if she doesn't see it beforehand. Good luck!
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Old 04-17-2010, 11:41 AM   #3
Exnavydiver
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Betty, my wife Betsy just had a rotator cuff surgery done on January 11th. It only took about 2 hours form start to finish but she had a full thickness tear in the cuff so it was part arthroscopic and part good sized incision. She had a sling and large "bump" pillow under the sling. She is still in the sling and just got rid of the "bump" pillow week before last. Her therapy has been long and it will hurt for awhile. We are still in Hardeeville, SC and will be here for at least another month before we can get away from the therapist and head for home in Wisconsin. Do as the Dr and therapist say and nothing more. Don't try to push the envelope or you might be back at square one again. Tell your husband to sleep in the recliner next to yours as the bed will most likely be way too uncomfortable for you for several weeks or longer. Do your exercises and ice the site as the therapist tells you. If they do the nerve block pump you will not feel any pain for at least four days, and when ever you even feel a tiny twinge in the shoulder hit the pump button. You want to stay ahead of the pain, not play catch up with it. Wear loose fitting clothes or sleeveless t-shirts as these are the least painful to get on and take off. If you are Rt handed then practice eating with your left hand, it isn't as easy at it looks. Also don't plan on much computer time during recovery, it HURTS. Good Luck and work hard at recovering. Betsy had me write this.... Dave Ha Ha Ha, Pam you beat me to it....
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Old 04-17-2010, 11:41 AM   #4
swanny
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A buddy of mine had a really bad RC injury from a fall. He is at the 4 month mark. he just went back to work. good luck

kevin
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Old 04-17-2010, 12:34 PM   #5
alandaudrey
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Like Betsy, my son-in-law had the surgery in January. He is out of the sling and back to work on "light duty". I am waiting to see how he comes out of the therapy before I go to the surgeon and get mine looked at. He has been doing his exercises but he is still tender.

Keep us advised of how you make out on your surgery.
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Old 04-17-2010, 12:40 PM   #6
pbahlin
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Well thank you all for your words of wisdom...Pam, I am working on the nurse's cap to go with Paul's uniform....you're right he'll look great in uniform!!!!!

My rotator cuff injury is also from a fall, last October, insurance wouldn't let me have an MRI....had to go through PT for 5 months and cortisone injections, no relief. Finally had an MRI 3 wks ago...and lo and behold major tear and reconstruction required. So, I will heed all your feedback, listen to my doctor and do as I'm told, my DH would probably say that's not the norm!

I am having a nerve block..they never said anything about a pump, but did say it would last 18-24 hrs. They also advised about pain management, and not to let it get bad before taking meds.

Hope I'll be good enough to go the Mid Atlantic Rally in August....it'll be our first and we are so looking forward to it.

Also hoping to put the S&B on market so we can get serious about our dream of retirement and full-timing, so much going on......and more to look forward to!

Betsy hope you are at the end of your ordeal and hope I get to meet you so we can share our war stories!

Thanks again,

Betty
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Old 04-17-2010, 01:44 PM   #7
exav8tr
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Betty, Make sure you get Paul the Nurses uniform and NOT the French Maid uniform, (unless, of course, he wants one)! Just my attempt at levity. Never had the surgery, but been a medic for 26 years, do everything your doctor says and really give your therapist 100%. Take pain meds before therapy if you have to, will help alot. Good luck and you should come through it fine.....Phil
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Old 04-17-2010, 01:50 PM   #8
Tfthorp
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I have had my right one repaired twice. Tore 3 of 4 and one didn't take on the first surg. Had the left on done once. Different MD's and the second one put me in a CPM (constant passive motion) machine the day after surg this made the rehab time much less and no where near as painful since the joint had been kept in motion the entire time. Insurance picked up the rental of the machine for 21 days. Neither shoulder works the way it used to but when your thrown lemons make lemon aide.
Good luck.
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Old 04-17-2010, 05:25 PM   #9
Waynem
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Betty,
I had my left one done in May 2007. You will have the shoulder harness/sling and pillow that fits on your hip for at least 1 week. On my two week check up I asked if I could drive. Doctor made a few rotations with his hand and arms and said yes, as it was good therapy. My doctor is Dr. O'Neil, Houston (Clear Lake) Texas and he is the orthopedic surgeon who takes care of all the athletes in this area. There are pictures galore on his walls of autographed pictures of atheletes he has treated. So to say that I have to say that he is an agressive therapy type doctor. Four to 5 weeks after surgery I was back on my motorcycle, but that's another story for another day.

Every individual is different. Some recover faster than others. Some need more pain killers than others. My pain threshold is such that I do not take novacain or any type anesthesia when I have to have a tooth filled. So my use of the hydrocodone was minimal. I will say this, if you take a pain killer, take it about 1 hour before you go to therapy. Therapy is going to hurt, but the end results are well worth it. I am glad that I had the surgery. I do not have any pain in the left shoulder anymore. The right one? Well, it needs surgery also. I have also had my right knee replaced, and I need the left one done. I can't wait to go through airport security sometime in the future.

Yes! Rotator Cuff surgery is an invasive process. It will be painful but you will be happy with the end results. Do whatever the doctors and therapists tell you to do. Do it as many times as they tell you to do. Don't do it less, and don't do it more. Whatever they have you do at the therapy sessions, do at home, or what ever they suggest that you do at home. Continuing the therapy at home is one of the most challenging and difficult things to do. After all, who wants to do something that hurts.

As each day goes by, you will get a little better, and hurt a little less. The biggest milestone for me was being able to reach up and wash my head and the little hair I have. Today, I can easily reach back and interlace my fingers behind my head with no pain whatsoever in my left shoulder.

Good luck. It will be worth it.

Prayers don't hurt either. So I'll send some.
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Old 04-18-2010, 01:01 AM   #10
pbahlin
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Enough with the nurse's and maid's uniforms, already!

My soon to be patient is suffering already. We ran out of milk this A.M. so I've been instructed to add pain killer (Bailey's Irish Creme) to her coffee. Is that the nerve block?

I want a nerve block placed on her attitude. Otherwise, I'll be on my Bush Mills to numb her pain.

Has any of this rotator cuff surgery ever lead to spousal drug abuse?

I don't want to play nurse. I want to continue playing doctor!

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Old 04-18-2010, 01:18 AM   #11
pbahlin
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Sigh!!!!

Now I've been instructed to go get donuts. The pain begins early, eh?



She wants to know if I want tool under my skirt. Thought I already had that. Oh well, gotta learn lots of new stuff I guess.
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Old 04-18-2010, 01:40 AM   #12
pbahlin
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DH Paul:

Regarding your uniform....you're the one who indicated a preference for the French Maid uniform and I was only informing you that the fluffy little skirt requires 'tulle' not TOOL!!!

As for the donuts that was your idea so don't blame me!

Think I may have to revise my plan and use a gong instead of a bell based on your attitude this morning.....

The Long suffering DW, Betty
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Old 04-18-2010, 02:06 AM   #13
ols1932
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Quote:
quote:Originally posted by pbahlin

I know I read previously here that someone had Rotator Cuff Surgery and would like information on the recovery process. I am about to have this surgery on Tuesday for "Reconstruction of the Rotator Cuff" and have been advised I would be out of work for 6-8 weeks and it would probably be 3 mos for total recovery, I was wondering if this is what I should expect or has someone had a shorter or longer recovery period? I know I will be back to Physical Therapy again as well.

Betty
That's about the time period I went through back in '91 with my repair. A lot depends on how much damage is done that has to be repaired. Good luck.

Orv
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Old 04-18-2010, 02:27 AM   #14
nunya
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I had both shoulders done and both are fine. LOTS of therapy and pain killers will get ya there. I had both of them torn up bad so I had the invasive type surgery with real nice scares to remember it! New procedures will make it much nicer than the 1st one I had done 18yrs. ago for sure, good luck and cute uniform!
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Old 04-18-2010, 03:40 AM   #15
SlickWillie
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Had the left shoulder done last July. I also had a bad spur that tore the muscle up after the cuff tore loose. Think Doc said he put a bolt in the bone to reattach the cuff. Stayed in surgery longer than expected due to extent of damage.

I found the results of the surgery painful. I cannot sleep on my back in the dang recliner, so I cat napped on the sofa. I didn't have any sort of pillow, just the sling and I got tired of that sucker real quick. I probably didn't wear it over a week. My arm felt much better just hanging by my side. Therapy wasn't bad for me. Therapist said this was due to not getting dependent on the sling. That shoulder is better than the other one now, but I feel it is still gaining strength.

One thing for sure, slip/fall and advanced age doesn't go good together. Good luck with the surgery.

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Old 04-18-2010, 06:48 AM   #16
mtheo
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I had the surgery couple of years ago after retiring. Had three tears, and a bone spur that had to be grounddown. And yes it is pain full. Out of sling in two weeks and in therapy in four weeks.
I noticed nobody has mention a ice pack/pump. I luck out and didn't have to buy($200.00+), friend loaned to me, worked great since it don't like pain killers. Worked great. Ask your doc about it.
One bit of advice I got from three differnt freinds. Don't take it easy on the rehab. Two took it easy and never pushed it, they also never got back complete use of the shoulder. Another freind went to a big time sports doctor in th SF bay area and was told to push it as much as you can take. I did and have no limitatons or pain now.
Good luck.
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Old 04-19-2010, 03:28 AM   #17
WaltandLynne
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Hi Betty,
You can add my name to the long list of those who have had the surgery. Keep this in mind. You are in a lot of pain right now and you are scared. After the surgery, the fear will be gone and you will not feel the pain (with the help of the meds). Yes, there will be an adjustment to your lifestyle for a little while but that will get better. Each morning when you wake, you can expect it to be a bit less sore and that isn't happening right now is it. It is unbelievably important for you to follow the doctor's directions. Don't do exercises until he tells you to begin and then do them faithfully! My shoulder was so painful before surgery and now it is great!
We wish you an easy sugery and a speedy recovery. Godd luck and keep us posted.
Lynne
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Old 04-19-2010, 01:10 PM   #18
pbahlin
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Thank you all for the wonderful information, I really appreciate all your insight, experience and good wishes. I know this is probably going to be my last time typing for awhile but hopefully I will still be able to read all your wonderful postings...and I am so looking forward to the day I get to meet you folks when we are finally on the road......

So, thanks again......

Betty
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Old 04-19-2010, 01:44 PM   #19
Wayne and Carolyn Mathews
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I've had rotator cuff surgery twice, the kind where you get a nice incision because of fairly extensive damage that couldn't be repaired with a laparoscopic procedure. The first time, I started rehab the day after the surgery and continued daily rehab for about 6 weeks. I did go back to work the week after the surgery, but I was teaching, not lifting or having to raise my arm in my job. The worst part was having to wear that sling with the wrap that went around my chest; I wore it about 3 months, taking it off only to bathe and do physical therapy. Once the doctor released me, I was as good as new--never knew I'd had surgery--and that was after a major injury followed by extensive surgery.

Now for the not-so-good part: I had to have the surgery redone less than a year after having it performed the first time and after a perfect recovery. An irate Texas cheerleader mother grabbed me by the arm that had been operated on and proceeded to try to throw me to the floor of the gym because her daughter wasn't in the front line of cheerleaders at a pep rally. (Yes, it's true, you know I couldn't make that stuff up--Texas cheerleading, like Texas football, is a life or death deal, and one of the hazards of coaching it is dealing with some, not all, but some of the helicopter mothers.) Anyway, the mother pulled my arm up and out behind me as hard and far as she could, tearing that same rotator cuff again. The second surgery went well, but because of scarring from the first injury and surgery, I didn't get the same excellent results.

Don't let that scare you unless you're a cheerleader coach and have to deal with an an irate mother who outweighs you by 50 pounds or so. That first surgery couldn't have been smoother, and the recovery couldn't have been more perfect. I didn't even have any pain after either surgery. Just follow the doctor's orders, do the physical therapy faithfully, and you'll never know you had that injury or the surgery. Good luck!

Carolyn, the EX-cheerleader coach
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Old 04-20-2010, 12:12 AM   #20
Tom S.
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Betty, as one who has seemingly spent his life trying to maim and destroy numerous body parts, I will offer this piece of advice: physical therapy may hurt, but in the grand scheme of things, it is your body's best friend. Stick with it and after the insurance stops paying for it, continue to do it at home or join a gym. Good luck with the surgery and keep us posted on your recovery.
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