Have you had rotator cuff surgery?

Discussion in 'Random Ramblings' started by cheeps, Aug 8, 2010.

  1. cheeps

    cheeps Songster

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    Hi all...so, on my vacay last month, I spazzed and fell, breaking my arm and tearing my rotator cuff in two spots. One tear is 90% and one is 25%. I'm having surgery Thursday. I've heard lots of horror stories, I mean I know it's not going to be a walk in the park or anything, but what should I expect? I've never had surgery before, I'm a little scared. I'd just like to hear from folks that have been through the surgery and the recovery.

    Hopefully after all this, I will finally have learned to walk!!
     
  2. La Mike

    La Mike (Always Slightly Off)

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    I have had this surgery
    They did mine through a scope and it took about 6 weeks to heal up
    Its really not that bad although it does hurt quite a bit
    But my shoulder is as good as it ever was now
    Hope this helps [​IMG]
     
  3. cheeps

    cheeps Songster

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    Awesome...thanks. I've been hearing a lot of "your shoulder will never be the same", so I take comfort in that!

    My surgery is supposed to be the scope too, he said though there's always a chance they might have to open it up, but hopefully not.
     
  4. crtrlovr

    crtrlovr Still chillin' with my peeps

    I'm not going to try to scare you, but I'm going to be honest, as I would want someone to be with me. I had rotator cuff repair surgery April 1st. I had a much larger tear than the surgeon expected, so after having made the smaller incisions for the arthroscopic procedure, once he got in and saw the damage, he had to open up the shoulder from the top. I also had a lot of osteoarthritis so they ended up shaving off the end of the clavicle bone to remove all the arthritic grit & debris. Your tear may be easier to get to and repair, so hopefully you won't have to have the full length incision. As for recovery, I won't kid you -- the first week is horrendous. I hope you have a recliner -- I couldn't sleep lying down for at least a week, and then I had to use extra pillows for propping up the surgery side (and as a safety buffer so I didn't get bumped by DH or walked on by DCs (dear cats!). Ice will become your new best friend. [​IMG] I had my surgery on a Thursday morning and was back home by 1:00 p.m. My first physical therapy session was scheduled for the following Monday. I thought the doctor was crazy! I got there for the phys. therapy appt. Monday and they were SO caring and considerate, and I felt better after the very first session. Do what they tell you to do, and listen when they say "don't push it". I have a tendency to try to overdo (like if 10 stretches is good, 20 must be better, right? NO!!!). You'll have some days that are better than others, but it will get better slowly and steadily. My PT people say I've already done better 4 mos. post-op than some people do in a full year, and I'm still in the healing process. If the tear is not on your dominant side, it may be somewhat easier. I am R-handed, and the tear was in the R shoulder, which did make it more of an issue. For a while you'll have to adapt the way you do everyday things like even putting on your clothes or personal hygiene issues. I can finally put my bra on & off by myself again. There for a while, when I'd get to a certain stage of dress or undress, I'd have to call my DH for help. [​IMG] Be careful when reaching for things -- use slow, gentle movements that you can control, even if you use your other hand as a helper, and don't let your arm drop from a table or counter top to your side. Be encouraged -- It will be rough for a little while and then you will start seeing the light at the end of the tunnel. [​IMG] If the surgery is on the dominant side, You'll find yourself celebrating small milestones like brushing your teeth with the correct hand again, combing your hair, and even automatic motions like putting both hands on your hips -- that one was a surprise the first time I tried that without thinking. [​IMG] best wishes for a speedy and complete recovery. [​IMG]
     
  5. EweSheep

    EweSheep Flock Mistress

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    I had it last year and they scope it out too! My mother had it a few months later after I did LOL!

    Surgery went well, less than an hour but recovery took a little longer, about six weeks before I can head into physical therapy. I am not going to sugar coat it, but it was painful for me, like a sore muscle. Once you work on it for eight weeks, it gets better but you will be sore. Not everyone pain threshold is the same but mine was very LOW. It is NOT 100 percent back like the way it used to be and not all surgeries can be fool proof. You have to take the comments as a percentage of people, not all surgeons are created equal. When my mom had her other surgery a few years back for her rotator cuff, she was back 100 percent and now with this one a different doctor, she is back 90-95% well which she accept it and not getting any younger LOL! I am 45 and Mom is 66 so older people like us do not bounce back as fast. The younger you are, the better your chances are. Problems are MOSt likely when you get older, you can get artritis in that area and maybe not.

    After the second visit to the doctor, I still had problems reaching behind my back like if I am unfasting my bras, painful still in one muscle to joint in a certain area. other than that, i am good to go! I now can wash my hair, reach for stuff off the high shelves, pull things in and out of shelves, pushing a mop around, lifting heavy pans but still can not reach far enough to unfasten my bra like i used to.

    it is a year now and I am glad I had it done on my right shoulder. I am not back to being 100 percent but more like 90 percent so I consider it acceptable. I had to make adjustments that it would do the least minimal effort on my reaching behind in the middle of my back bra line, by fastening bras to the front and twist it around (I hate this!), that is the only time i saw being useful.

    You CAN do it! [​IMG]
     
  6. EweSheep

    EweSheep Flock Mistress

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    Quote:DITTO, Exactly!
     
  7. crtrlovr

    crtrlovr Still chillin' with my peeps

    We could start an entire "BTDT Rotator Cuff Repair Surgery Club".... [​IMG]
     
  8. EweSheep

    EweSheep Flock Mistress

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    [​IMG] [​IMG]
     
  9. cheeps

    cheeps Songster

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    LOL! Well I guess I did forget some other important factoids, haha. I'm 25, so I'm hoping that will work in my favor, because like y'all said the younger you are the better you should heal. And unfortunatly it is my right arm and I'm right handed! VERY right handed I might add...but that's about to change I bet! [​IMG] I fell July 7th on some stairs at a waterfall in the mountains, and held on to the rail like an idiot which snapped my arm up above my head. Uggh...the sound my arm made was GROSS lol. And I also broke my humerous bone up where it meets the shoulder, so I've had to let the fracture heal for a month before they'd operate. I'm hoping maybe that means the muscle has healed some too, wishful thinking! So anyway, I've been dealing with some pretty serious pain now for a month, and I know it's about to get worse! Just gotta be brave and pray!

    I really appreciate everyone's honesty...that's what I need is honesty not people being so dramatic about how horrible it is! My DH, who has never cooked or cleaned a day in his life, is being the perfect maid, I'm so proud of him. That helps!

    ETA: I also have who is supposed to be a pretty great doc too, he replaced my grandpa's knee a few years ago and had him back on the golf course in no time!
     
    Last edited: Aug 8, 2010
  10. sgtmom52

    sgtmom52 Birds & Bees

    I also had Rotator cuff surgery on my left (non dominate) shoulder a few years ago. I had a 100% tear on top where the tendon rolled up like a window blind and a smaller 2nd tear. I was unable to lift my arm or move it to the left prior to the surgery. I also had outpatient surgery on a Thursday morning and was home by the afternoon. This was a very painful surgery ~ I was in a lot more pain after the surgery than right after the injury (I fell down a hill and put my arm out straight to break my fall ~ should have let my ample bottom take the beating instead).

    I agree that sleeping in a recliner for the first week or two is very helpful and ice is your best friend ~ although the Vicodin was a close second at the beginning! My surgery involved unrolling the tendon and tying it to the bone through 2 holes he drilled to hold it in place. I also had an impingement requiring shaving of the bone. I had no external stitches, the surgeon preferred glue and a large clear adhesive patch ~ you can barely see the scar.

    My Doctor was a "progressive" doctor and had me in therapy the next Monday morning. The beginning therapy was mainly small motions to keep the blood flowing and maintaining mobility. I really think that the early therapy helped a lot as my shoulder is about 98% back to normal mobility with zero pain now. It does take months to recover from a serious tear so don't get discouraged and make sure that you do all the therapy fully (without cheating) no matter how much it hurts as it will make a lot of difference in how well you recover. My Doctor also recommended only using a sling for the first several weeks unless out in a crowded area (is a visual cue to help to keep people from bumping you) as he felt the gentle motions of walking and moving helped the blood flow and mobility.

    Good luck with your surgery and make sure you get a lot of pampering from your family! [​IMG]
     

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