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Rotator Cuff Surgery?

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Old 11-29-2002, 10:57 PM
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Default Rotator Cuff Surgery?

Has anyone out there had rotator cuff surgery?
I am in to my fourth week after surgery and am having more discomfort than before surgery. I am told it is a long healing process but it seems that I was better off before the operation.
My range of motion is much less than before. I am going to physical therapy and doing the exercises at home.
Looking for some feedback and thanks for any replies.
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Old 11-30-2002, 07:40 AM
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Any burning pain? What kind of pain?

My husband suffered nerve damage from a "capsular tightening" operation in his shoulder (not the same operation as yours-but they do operate at the same spot). Nerve pain is burning pain - and he is actually disabled from the pain, can't work, can't play, can't boat. The surgery was in May 1999.

I hear it can take up to 6 months to recover from rotator cuff surgery. Hopefully you don't have burning pain. If its other than burning pain, I would consider that a good thing!
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Old 11-30-2002, 08:06 AM
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Hey Badgirl, thanks for responding and welcome to the board.
In actuality, I can get some pain relief if I don't aggravate the area. This means, don't do anything. Kind of a "Catch 22". Gotta do the exercises but it seems that I'm up against a wall and not moving forward for the last 3 weeks.
My concern is that the surgeon did something he shouldn't have.
It takes two hands to put the key in the ignition. I can't even think about throttling the boat. Can't get my arm up there. Can't shake hands with anyone. This stuff concerns me as I could do all of these things pre-operation.
This thing with your husband is sad and unfortunate. I hope you have the opportunity to get on the water.
Thanks again.
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Old 11-30-2002, 08:45 AM
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Best advice I can give is to get a second opinion from a doctor that is COMPLETELY independent and unassociated with the doctor or hospital that performed the surgery. The doctors stick together and if they are all associated with the same hospital, they will support each other. Our doctor just kept saying "give it time" and that was nothing but BS.

Had to go to a competing hospital to get the real scoop. And it turned out that "waiting" was the worse thing to do given the situation.

Hope its just normal recovery. But only way to know is to get the second opinion and maybe even a third.

Best of luck to you!
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Old 11-30-2002, 08:52 AM
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RLW,
That's how your supposed to feel. A fellow firefighter of mine had the surgery around a year ago and said it sucks...he said make sure you stick to your rehab and therapy. That's the only way you will get better.

You can give Ray a call at the fire house today if you want, he said he'd be more than happy to talk to you about it 913-631-2999 or here is his email.
[email protected]

good luck bud.
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Old 11-30-2002, 10:00 AM
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My Wife had that done for both shoulders after an auto accident several years ago. Ended up having to go back for both shoulders. (four surgeries all together-and insurance did not cover; but that is another story).

It should hurt for a while, but you should be able to do things like drive. I'll PM my number if you want to talk.

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Old 11-30-2002, 11:05 AM
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RWL. I've had mine done 2x. (and this was a total cut from a skiing (snow) accident where a 25cent piece of bone cut the cuff....also got 6pins out of the deal).

No doubt for me, the 2nd time I had it done was because the 1st time i didnt let it heal properly. Also, the 2nd time (about 6years ago), I went weekly to the therapy where each time the range in motion got much better. In fact the 2nd time I have full range in motion much better than before. Only problem seems to be the strength is not there.

In summary, I'd say that the motion came with the weekly visits (which were not fun). Like you know the session is over, because the 6pm news crew is on the way to film you with your hands around the neck of the therapy person


Good luck with it...........takes time to get better. (3months+).
Bob
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Old 11-30-2002, 11:43 AM
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I had to have my right shoulder done 4 times over a 4-5 year period. I used to powerlift/bodybuild (I've heard over compensating for lack of something.......like a bigger boat) when I was "a kid." Therapy is key....stick with it, don't skip it, and learn what is an acceptable level of pain while doing your rehab. The rehab and healing process is painful at best but if you don't get the mobility back it in the earliy stages, it won't heal correctly.

Good luck!! In 4 months you'll be good as new!
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Old 11-30-2002, 11:46 AM
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My mom was 62 when she got it done. She had been injured (shoulder) for a little over a month when she broke her wrist. The wrist doctor also looked at the rotator cuff and said it was so bad that he would never recommend surgery due to the potential for making it worse. After the wrist ordeal was over, I got her in to see my favorite "Frankenstein" orthopedic doctor (he has put many parts from dead people into me over the years)... He's an ex-olympic team orthopedic, ex-Lakers team doc, and current Tn Titans pro ball team orthopedic.

He looked at her shoulder and said that if it were any regular 62 yr old woman, that he would never attempt the surgery but he knew how active and healthy mom was so he agreed to do it.

Surgery lasted 2 hrs longer than expected cause there was less material there to work with and he had to do gradual mechanical stretching to get the tissue long enough to work. He also said after surgery that it went well but that this was the only shot, if it came loose during rehab that there was not enough there to consider a re-do.

Mom had a foam block strapped to her side for a couple of months. It immobilized the arm and shoulder. She did as told and also did well in rehab. By 5 months, she had full range of motion, and good arm strength. The doctor said it was as much due to her determination and good direction-following as anything else.

All I can tell you is that you need to be sure that you trust the doctor and his instructions. Then do exactly as he recommends. Be sure to ask what type of pain is okay to work through and what type is an indicator to back off.. I worked through post-surg knee pain that snapped the graft and had to be redone - make sure the doc is specific about what pain to respect..

Good luck.
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Old 11-30-2002, 11:52 AM
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Had the surgery 5 years ago. I am a firefighter and wasn't cleared for duty until 6 months afterward. Couldn't start therapy for 30 days after the surgery. Therapy three times a week after that and every day at home. VERY painful and progress was slow, but range of motion improved to 90%. It was only 75% prior to surgery. In reality it probably took a year to fully recover. Hang in there and while it will be hard remember the therapist is only doing his/her job. that person is not the Sadomasochistic so-and-so you believe.
 
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