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Rotator Cuff Repair Had surgery on 4/12

Ghost Rider

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I should have thought to post here sooner. I know about this forum I was planning to do TKR and ended up doing my shoulder first.

I had a LTKR scheduled for 4/12 and about 2 weeks prior I saw the doctor and asked if it makes sense to do my shoulder first. Without getting into the back story here I am close to 7 weeks post PO. I see the doctor today for the 2nd time PO. I think everything is going well. I'm experiencing more pain and discomfort now than before. The PT I am told is normal from the time my PTist started moving my arm it hurt I mean it hurt a lot to get it moving. She does deep message at the start of a session and there are basically the same muscles that remain all knotted up and hurt. The muscle in the upper arm connecting to the top of the shoulder. If I were to try to hold my arm out in front of myself like a crossing guard this muscle hurts like hell.

The doctor spent some time showing me on the MRI what was wrong but I really don't recall exactly what was done. There were multiple issues. I believe a labrum tear, small rotatory cuff tear a bone spur and an old 3rd degree A/C clean up.

He told me at the 1st post op appointment that the way they fix the tear in older patients is completely remove and reattach at a new location.

I have been as careful as possible luckily my wife is willing to do most of the heavy work around the house. Just before the surgery the PA told me if I pick up anything more than a cup of coffee for 2 months I would tear the stitches out. While I have lifted nothing significant I have had a few scares and had some pain afterwards for awhile.

I just don't know what is the normal recovery process. I think I am have a normal recovery but how would I know if I haven't already messed up the surgery?
 

Jaycey

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@Ghost Rider did you have TSR and which shoulder? I'll put the information in your signature for you.

Several of my colleagues have had shoulder replacement. I'm sure they will be along soon to offer you advice.

Meanwhile keep reminding yourself this recovery is a slow process. I think your physio would know if you "messed up" the surgery. But please do be careful and obey doctor's orders.
 
OP
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Ghost Rider

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@Ghost Rider did you have TSR and which shoulder? I'll put the information in your signature for you.

Several of my colleagues have had shoulder replacement. I'm sure they will be along soon to offer you advice.

Meanwhile keep reminding yourself this recovery is a slow process. I think your physio would know if you "messed up" the surgery. But please do be careful and obey doctor's orders.
No just repairs.
 

Celle

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Hi @Ghost Rider , since some parts of your rotator cuff have been re-positioned, you'll need to treat that shoulder gently, until the new attachments have taken hold securely.

I expect your arm was in a sling for about 6 weeks and you were told to only do passive shoulder movements at first.

if you've now been told to do active movements, make sure they are gentle. PT is necessary to rehab a shoulder, but don't overdo those exercises.

Please let us know how your appointment with the surgeon goes, won't you?

PS: Which shoulder is it?
 

SaraK

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I had "the works" last year. I had a major rotator cuff tear, a torn bicep tendon (which they just released and did not reattach), labral tears, a bursectomy and subacromial decompression. I was in a sling with the 2 lb limit for 6 weeks. Continued 2 lb limit for a couple of weeks out of sling and progressed up from there. I was told by surgeon and my PT that I was lucky because I had little pain after the first few days (but also seem to have a high pain tolerance). It seems like it's common for pain to persist 6 months or longer but hopefully getting better as you go.

PT also told me that it's more difficult to rehab rotator cuff or bicep repair than a shoulder replacement, but I can't say for sure. PT is important in your recovery for this. You don't want to do or let anyone do anything that causes sharp pain or pain that doesn't resolve with rest, but the PT can help with passive stretching that can help you get your range of motion back sooner.

It will take time but you can get back to your normal activities. I'm 14 months post op and have been lifting weights since the 4 month point. I'm working my way back slowly and am not at my pre-surgery levels yet but getting closer.

You're past the most dangerous spot for undoing the work but you do still need to be careful and not push too far too fast. Listen to your surgeon, your PT and, most of all, your body. At this point, my PT had me use heat before a session and ice after. Other than after a session or a workout, I lived with my heating pad for quite awhile.
 
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Ghost Rider

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I saw the doctor Tuesday and he is happy. He started me on active PT . I'm doing very well the single active PT session really made a difference. I needed to work the muscles a bit. I'm not wearing my sling unless I have to get very active, some unforeseen situation.

I asked if I could ride asphalt, he said I was ready but be careful I can not afford a crash. I got a couple rides in and I feel much better. The spots on my shoulder that were sore are feeling much better just from using my arm a little bit. Mostly simple stuff like I'm right handed so using my mouse and brushing my teeth and eating. Most things down low and nothing heavy.
 
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Ghost Rider

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Friday PT I used a little more gusto doing my new routine. The same exercises but I was able to move my shoulder easier and it was a little sore last night. I guess it's part of the game.
 

mmits42

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Friday PT I used a little more gusto doing my new routine. The same exercises but I was able to move my shoulder easier and it was a little sore last night. I guess it's part of the game.
Things sound like they moving well for you. With shoulders, easy does it should be your mantra. Cuff repairs will take time to strengthen...but don't stop doing your exercises and flexibility. Im scheduling my 6th surgery...so far all repairs. 3 on each side. I have had experience with all sorts of injuries to these bad boys. Best advice I can give is listen to your recovery team. if they say no overhead lifting...listen to them. Even if you can.
 

SaraK

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@Ghost Rider - how are things going? I remember the frustration of the first weeks of PT - it always seemed like it was going so slowly and I'm not a very patient patient. I took my time and and did my PT exercises religiously. I even joked with my PT that a weekend with my mom and sister playing cards every waking minute was a marathon PT session). Some movements come earlier than others so PT will usually focus on those first. Improvements in strength and mobility will still be continuing and be significant even after the 6 month mark. I'm about 15 months out now and am pretty much back to normal and rarely think about the shoulder except when I'm lifting weights (and then it's because I'm gauging where I am now compared to pre-surgery).
 

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