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Behind 2 months on Rotator Cuff surgery

Long story short. I had my rotator cuff torn and a torn labrum repaired on 6/9/2014 and I am still doing physical therapy. But the problem is my pain has gotten worse. Before surgery I never experienced pain or numbness in my wrist and hand. My inner elbow also has this piercing/tearing sensation on the side surgery was done. I did a cortisone shot last week, but if anything, I have back pain and neck pain. Originally, all I had felt was the shoulder pain in the right shoulder before surgery.

Fast forward to now. Doctor and I have another appointment in two or so weeks. I've given up on doing my part of the PT here at home and only go in to the office for those visits. Keep in mind, I did my part of everything required from June-late August.

I now have pain in my left shoulder, which is new. I'm not sure it's related, but should I do an MRI on that side?

I am at a complete loss as to what I should do. I want to get back to working, but I was wondering if I should file for disability. It hurts to drive, take a shower, brush teeth, and open doors. Even typing hurts sometimes.

I explained to him that I thought it was nerve damage, but he seems very hesitant in agreeing with me. Someone else that reviewed the same doctor had the same problems. But everyone else was positive. He is a professional sports surgeon, teaches all across the United States and Europe, and is also the sports surgeon for my state's capitol Minor League Baseball Team.

What can I do? I'm suffering a ton of depression because of all this pain. I don't want to do surgery again, mainly because we can't afford it right now.



  • dilaurodilauro ConnecticutPosts: 9,832
    Start with your shoulder rotator cuff surgery.

    Many people dont realize the impact of shoulder surgery on the day to day activities and how long and painful the recovery is.
    I had both of my shoulders totally replaced w/implants, and all the tendons , muscle and rotator cuff sewn back together.
    These were done 9 months apart. I was in physical therapy for 18 months for each shoulder, plus daily use of a pulley system to regain range of motion. This recovery was the most painful and longest I've had and that including my 7 other spinal surgeries.

    But the good news! Once repaired,I have regained almost 99.9% of my functions. I have two limitations: 1) I should not chop any wood and 2) I can not operate a jack hammer! Not bad considering the limitations I have with my spinal surgeries

    My biggest advice is not to stop PT, not matter how it is hurts. As long as your therapist knows what they are doing, you just need to do it.

    As for the numbness, that is pretty typical for shoulder surgery, especially massive ones. It takes a while for the nerves to get reacquainted with the muscles/tendons. It took me almost 9 months before I could get my index finger to touch my thumb.

    As for as the other surgery, the only thing that comes to mind was what caused mine, severe Osteoarthritis.

    I would go back to the surgeon who did the operation explain your symptoms and ask him what you should be doing.
    Depending on the doctor and his review of your situation, he might schedule an X-Ray, a MRI or EMG.

    In terms of disability, if anything I would see if your company has Short Term Disability, so that you can be out of work while you recovery. For Long term or Permanent disability, thats another story. A lot depends on what state you live in.
    In know that if its CT or NY,your situation would not even be considered. It take a whole lot more. But then in some states, which I will not mention, disability is about as easy as a couple of applications.

    Concentrate on getting your shoulder better and finding out what could be wrong with your other shoulder.
    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
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