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Shoulder surgury recovery

jdtripjjdtrip Posts: 37
Hi I have been around for a while but don't post much but now I have a question that someone may have some thoughts on I have had 3 rotator cuff surguries in the past year. 1 on the left and 2 on the right. The one on the left was smaller tear 3 cm but also needed the labrum worked on. The right on is the bad one, I had the 1st surgury last nov 2009 The cuff had a full thickness tear of 6 cm and 5 cm retraction as well as the bicep tendon severed. They repaired the cuff and bicep and sent me to PT My 1st few PT sessions were quite conservative but then they started more aggressive therapy and from that point on I started having problems. Had the left surgury in April this year and after complaining about the right my doc ordered another MRI and this showed the a massive re-tear of the cuff. My surgeon explained he could try to repair this again but no promises. So he goes in and does what he can and he says post op that he had a lot of trouble getting it back together and could only get 3 anchors in (6 on the 1st go round) and that we would be ultra conservative with the rehab. So its been 4 months my PT therapist is working with me 3 times a week but I donnot have a good feeling about this. My question after this long post is has anyone had something similar to this and how did it turn out. Partof the issue for me is I am very concerned about re-tearing the darn thing and then I am screwed. How much did you push it? How long did your recovery take, andhow much use do you have now. Like I said part of me is just waiting for the thing to go again and it is effecting my rehab. Any help on this would be much appreciated.


  • Since no one else replied I will give it a go.

    Rotator cuffs can be very troublesome things. With your history it is probably best to move, very, very slowly along the path to recovery. I had a partial shoulder replacement in January of 08. It was without a doubt the most painful thing I have ever gone through. So I understand, your pain and your fear that it may not hold up. Without an age I can't even give you an idea of whether this is a lifelong take it easy thing or maybe it will get completely better thing.

    My dad is 80 and had an attempt to repair his torn rotator cuff, The results with muscles that old and an old tear were about as bad as it gets, he has complete separation of the cuff now. All the muscles would do is tear. He was out of pain for about 3 months and now it hurts as bad as before again. So, I advise caution! Don't overdo it.

    Dad's doctor wants to do a replacement, but does not answer when asked how that will help the torn rotator cuff pain? So, he has refused the surgery for now.

    I wish I could give you a better answer, but really all anyone can do when the repairs fail is to be extra careful the next time around.

    Hope you get a good outcome from all this!
  • dilaurodilauro ConnecticutPosts: 9,832
    Part of my total shoulder replacement surgery called to cut away all of my rotator cuff as well as some muscles and tendons. After the implants were done, the surgeon had to re-attach all the above.

    During Physical therapy I was doing rather well. I can handle almost all actions/treatments they did.
    But when it came to any exercise/stretching/ strengthening of my rotator cuff, that was problematic.

    That is taking much longer to heal. I have to be patient and careful what I do with my shoulder that can impact the rotator cuff (which is almost anything)

    The total recovery time is well over 12 months for a complete repair of the rotator cuff.

    But this has been my experience and what my doctors have told me.

    Everyone recoveries differently, so just continue to work with the Physical Therapists and your doctor to make sure things are progressing and that you are not over doing anything that could impact your rotator cuff recovery.
    Ron DiLauro Spine-Health System Administrator
    I am not a medical professional. I comment on personal experiences
    You can email me at: rdilauro@veritashealth.com
  • Thanks for your replies Wrambler and Ron. Wrambler I am a 54 year old male and up until 5-7 years ago was very active. I have worked construction my entire working life and the last 5-7 years have been quite frustrating. I do have what I think is a positive outlook and I think a realistic expectation for the shoulders and what function I may have for the rest of my life but the other piece is the lumbar issues I have had and I have been treated for at my pain clinic for the past 3-4 years. Not much more can be done with the back for now other than PT meds and injections due to the nature of the disc's I do feel forunate that I do not have to pound nails at least as I supervise jobs now but it does seem to be getting tougher to get going everyday with the back and now the shoulders but I do know that their are many many more that do not have things as good as I do so I need to count my blessing's Thanks again for your comment's and support
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