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Rotator Cuff Repair Momweb starts recovery

SaraK

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I may still walk on the treadmill (with mask) at the regular gym but will most likely just go to my training gym for awhile and use the bars and machines there.
 

SaraK

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Happy Wednesday, Sue!

I hadn't seen anything from you in the last couple of weeks, so I wanted to check in and see how you're doing! Did you decide on going back to the gym? I've decided to put my regular gym on hold for now and see how the infection rate changes from reopening of various businesses. I'll still go to my training gym because it's a very different environment. I need to get the room in my basement cleaned out so that I can pick up a treadmill and elliptical from my sister's house (4 hours away) and set up at least the cardio section of my new home gym.

How is the shoulder doing now that they're increasing the strength/power training? I've had a bit more soreness as mine has ramped up but not too bad. Now that we're doing more weight, I've also dropped back so that I'm doing stretching every day but only doing the strength work 3 days a week.

Have you started the MOB dress shopping? Where are you going to find something suitable? My future DIL hasn't decided on colors yet and I'm not sure what length of dresses they're going with so I'm still waiting. Plus, if I buy it now, it won't fit in December given my luck. Buying it now I might jinx whether they'll even be able to have the full wedding in December (this COVID thing did happen when I bought tickets for several venues with live plays/musicals and a season pass for tickets to various concerts this summer).

Hope you're having a great day!

Sara
 
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momweb

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@SaraK I responded to your site last Thursday. See, I was good!!

If I read correctly you are almost done with PT? Last week, my PT said I was halfway! UGH!! I know the tear was large and it because of that healing would take longer. But, I have to admit, I'm tired of going. She has me draw the alphabet in the air with my air outstretched straight up (I'm on my back). I still can't manage it with more than one pound weight. The external movements are still difficult and painful. Most everything else is good and I'm developing strength. Walking a 47 pound dog who sometimes pulls is strength training in itself.

I'm not allowed to do any kind of push ups yet. I'm just not strong enough. I tried to do the ones against the wall but boy does it pull. She said to hold off. So, I keep plodding along. I see the surgeon in 2 weeks so we'll see what he says.

The Save the Dates are almost ready to go out (at least some are. Still waiting for in laws to give some addresses). We'll contact the vendors this week with a simple, hey, the wedding is still on as of now, but what is your protocol in the event we have to postpone? My daughter said they will still get married on that date no matter what. If we have to we'll postpone the reception.

Katie and I are going shopping on Friday for MOB dress. Her colors are burgundy and dark teal. I want either black or navy. All dresses will be long. The guys won't have tux's but suspenders. Should be interesting!!

Just got back from PT about 1/2 hour ago. Time to take the dog out, talk to you again soon.
Sue
 

SaraK

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Sue, I just wanted to hear how you were thinking doing! I forgot to check my thread and saw you hadn't posted in 2 weeks.

I do that same alphabet - using 2-1/2 lbs now and he's making me right bigger. We also started doing the alphabet with me having a straight arm with fist pressed into a large ball against the wall. That's tiring! I usually need a break between the 2nd and 3rd go round! He also started today with me doing small bounces of large ball against Wall overhead (essentially, keeping hand overhead with arms stretched up and small motion for "instability". He had me do 60 bounces and when I said that wasn't difficult, he set a timer. I made the mistake of saying 20 seconds wasn't much different than what I'd already done, so he set it for a minute. He told me afterwards that he didn't expect me to make it all the way through but maybe he'll set it for 2 minutes next week or put on the wrist weights.

My surgeon gave me the choice of continuing or not when I saw him 2 weeks ago. I decided to continue. I'll see the surgeon in another 4 weeks and will then need to decided again, probably. I may drop down to one a week or every 2 weeks at that point just to have a touchstone.

Good luck with the dress shopping!
 
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momweb

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Hey, @SaraK looks like you're probably a week or 2 ahead of me. I tried the alphabet with 2 pounds and I couldn't do it. I usually do capital letters then lower case. Today I couldn't continue with the one-pound weight for the lower case letters so I just used my arm. I haven't bounced any balls yet. I do a bunch with the stretchy straps. Those that hold my arm out to the side are the worst. She also started me on the arm bike which I don't have too much trouble with, other than getting tired toward the end of the 6 minutes.

We're going to start shopping at the bridal shop when Katie bought her gown. We'll go from there. Since I haven't been able to exercise the way I did before Christmas, my body shape is not where I want it. I'm still hoping to lose those 10 pounds before the alterations. We'll see.

Meeting my new primary care tomorrow and then off to pain management for my spine. I need to do the thermal ablation again for my lower back. I currently take at least 1 Vicodin a night. I'd like to get that down to zero after the ablation.

Sue
 

SaraK

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Ugh - back problems are the worst! You can't get comfortable sitting standing or laying down. My mom had the radiofrequency ablation and it helps for a couple of years and is then repeated. She also sleeps with a lidocaine patch (not sure whether hers are stronger than the once you can now get OTC).

I'm probably ahead on some of the strength items because we started at different spots (don't forget, I hurt myself doing 1 too many reps benchpress 80 lb). I decided on one of the exercises with the stretchy straps that I'm glad I'm not taller. I have to stand on the middle of the strap and then stretch to a V overhead (think the Y in the YMCA song) and then lift arms back off wall. That and the ball against the wall are the 2 most tiring (so far) for me.

I'd love to lose some weight before the wedding in December but don't even want to bet on not gaining any!
 

SaraK

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Sue,

How did your visit with the surgeon go? I won't see mine again until July 22. My PT says I won't need to continue with him after that but should contain the stretching and strengthening on my own. The hardest movements are behind the back and across the opposite shoulder. He also gave me some stretches to do to get the shoulder blade further back (he said his don't go as far back as I want mine to but understands I need mine to extend more for holding weightlifting bar).

Sara
 
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momweb

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Just an update, especially for @SaraK. I saw the surgeon last Tuesday. I'm still having difficulties with external rotation and my ROM is not where it should be in that area. He laid out his plan:
  1. Taken the anti-inflammatory Relefan for 10 days
  2. If no improvement call him, he'll give me a cortisone injection.
  3. If after the injection there is still pain and ROM has not improved - he'll order an MRI and we'll go from there.
  4. In the meantime, continue with PT.
I love my therapist, but I'm really getting tired of going. I work on the same stretches at home, but I can't seem to get rid of this deep-seated pain. It's most prevalent when I do the window washing moves. I can lift my arm to the side but when I hit that arc, the pain is real. If it weren't for this, I'm fine. I walk the dog, I do my aerobic videos. The surgeon said to live my life. If I do something that causes pain, then back off. Most time what I do doesn't cause pain until a day or two later. Whenever a new exercise is introduced at PT, it's the same way. I think I just need more time. Fun!!
 

SaraK

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Sue,

Hey, you've got a great excuse to not wash any windows! Seriously, the most important thing here is that you and your surgeon are both on top of this. You've got a plan of action. I had problems after one of my hip replacements and it took a long time (and a different surgeon) to get someone to agree there was a problem and give me the diagnosis Dr. Google and I had reached months before. Since we dealt with the problem, all has been right with the world (if you don't count injuring this shoulder and COVID).

External rotation seems to be one of the last things I'm working on, too. I got a few new stretches for that this week myself.

Hang in there! I hope the new medication works.
You'll get this all sorted out.

Sara
 

SaraK

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How's it going @momweb . I hope the Relefan worked! Remember - you don't do windows!
 
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momweb

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Hi there @SaraK !
You know, I get a message that says someone replied to my Bonesmart forum. But I can't access it on my phone which is strange. So, I have to wait until I get to my computer to reply, so I'm sorry if there's sometimes a delay.

I don't know if the Relafen worked or not. I'm still working on strength and ROM especially external rotation. I've pretty much decided not to request a cortisone injection. I talked with my therapist today and we've decided to start next week to come only one day a week. Between visits, I'll continue to work on the strength and ROM. I'm hoping the pain I continue to have will dissipate in time. I don't have pain all the time, but when I do, ouch! Today I had my husband's car and his cup holders are a little behind me so I had to reach back for my ice tea. So to the side and back ----oh my! The pain was excruciating! It didn't last but it shows I still have a way to go. I'm hoping I'm not making a mistake not seeing the surgeon. I guess only time will tell.

How's the isolation going?
 

SaraK

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In many ways, isolation isn't much different than the weeks/months that have preceded it - just working from home and occasionally seeing the son that lives here (until Friday). Not going anywhere or doing anything. Didn't see the surgeon and no PT (but I'd been released from it anyway). The biggest differences were probably cancelling the couple than cleans for me and my training session. Just part of current normal.

Take care!
 
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momweb

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I haven't posted in awhile because I thought things were going slow but progressing. My surgery was March 12th so it will be 5 months on Wednesday. Today I was at the OS office to discuss progress and possibly get a cortisone injection. I seem to be stuck with the external rotation and pain in that same area. I'm still in PT twice a week.

Well, they took an X-ray and it showed a bone spur impinging on the joint and that's what's causing the pain. I was given the anti-inflammatory, Relafen, again, and a cortisone injection. I must admit my shoulder feels better. I'm being scheduled for an MRI to be sure this is the problem. But, it looks like I might need a subacromial decompression surgery to fix this. I'm not happy. I'm also wondering why the bone spur wasn't removed when he did the rotator cuff. I'm heading for a vacation in New Hampshire this week. Was told to stop PT as it was just aggravating the joint. So much for getting better. @SaraK this is crazy!!
 

SaraK

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Yeah, it's crazy but at least you know that you've got an answer (and I agree I'm surprised they didn't see it and do something at time of surgery - could it have grown that quickly?). If they decide another surgery is needed, I understand the subacromial decompression, when done on its own, is a quicker and easier recovery than rotator cuff. In my case, because of fraying of supraspinatus, they did the subacromial decompression at the same time as rotator cuff repair (in the words of my surgeon last week "there was a whole lot of damage in there").

Enjoy your trip and take it easy!
 

SaraK

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Sue,

Can you believe it's been 6 months!?! I hope things have settled down for you. I just want you to be out of pain and able to do everything you want to do!

Take care and let me know how you're doing!

Sara
 
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momweb

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Hi @SaraK,
Good to hear from you. I got the results of the MRI I had and saw the surgeon. Most likely there is some impingement. But, we (or at least I did) decided to wait for now. Let's see if further healing is in my future. Let's see if the pain gets worse or better with time. Most days I don't feel much discomfort. There are times when I move a certain way, I know something's not quite right. Yesterday I had a breast ultrasound to reaffirm all's well, and it was, but I had to hold my arm over my head. Not an easy feat so she made a roll to rest my arm. That helped. Still have issues with moving my arm behind my back and crossing in front. Other than that I'm doing ok. I do all the heavy lifting of a gardener. Work out and attend my swim aerobics class twice a week. So, all in all doing well.

How's your weight lifting going? Those 6 months seem a lifetime ago. And the strangest part of it, is that it all coincides with Covid. Still not sure about my daughter's wedding. UGH!! But at least we have a second date on hold in April. Hope all's well by then.

Please stay in touch!
Sue
 

SaraK

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Sue,

I'm just glad that the pain isn't so bad on a day to day basis that a decision on further surgery is truly a decision! Those cross the body and behind the back motions continue to be some of the hardest for me as well. It's gotten a bit easier but still not the same. I can live with that, though!

Posting more on my thread in a few.

Take care,

Sara
 

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