Perry01's Shoulder Recovery Thread

Perry01

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Well, surgery was 10 days ago. I opted for the repair over a reverse replacement. As I mentioned earlier in this thread, the repair was not a typical rotator cuff repair. It’s a relatively new procedure called arthroscope-assisted lower trapezius transfer. It is for patients who have inoperable rotator cuff damage and are under 60 years of age.

A cadaver patch (achilles tendon) is used to bridge the lower trapezius muscle to the humeral head. Two of my existing rotator cuff tendons (subscapularis and teres minor) were re-used after minor repair and cleaning up. My supra and infraspinatus tendons were fully torn and retracted.

My orthopedic surgeon came highly recommended. He specializes in shoulder repair. This new procedure has the potential for great results. So far, after 10 days, results are very promising. PT starts next week and I’m in a sling a total of 6 weeks post surgery.

If anyone reading this is under 60 years old and are quite active who are looking for another option besides reverse replacement. Look up this procedure.
 
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SaraK

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I'm glad to hear that things are going so well at this point! My rotator cuff repair was very successful and (luckily) I didn't need this level of complexity but it's good to know it's there.

We will need to keep an eye on this surgery because it sounds so promising to enable a patient to retain what may be a higher level of function. Please do continue letting us know how you're doing. I would also be interested to hear whether your surgeon has different recovery protocols for this surgery compared to a standard rotator cuff repair. Protocols differ from 1 surgeon to another anyway, but I wasn't able to start PT until 6 weeks out.
 
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Perry01

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I'm glad to hear that things are going so well at this point! My rotator cuff repair was very successful and (luckily) I didn't need this level of complexity but it's good to know it's there.

We will need to keep an eye on this surgery because it sounds so promising to enable a patient to retain what may be a higher level of function. Please do continue letting us know how you're doing. I would also be interested to hear whether your surgeon has different recovery protocols for this surgery compared to a standard rotator cuff repair. Protocols differ from 1 surgeon to another anyway, but I wasn't able to start PT until 6 weeks out.

So, tomorrow marks three weeks post surgery. My surgeon‘s PT protocol for the procedure is the same as his rotator cuff repair and it started last week. My physical therapist hadn’t heard of this new procedure but said, “anatomically speaking, it makes sense.”

Anyway, I’m pleased with the results so far. I took a weeks worth of percocet for pain followed by a week of Advil but no pain medication is needed now. The first three nights, I slept on a recliner but have been sleeping comfortably in bed since then using a foam wedge and pillow. My surgeon wants me in a sling for a total of six weeks. He said if I’m relaxing at home, it isn’t needed.

I know I should be more careful because I catch myself washing my opposite arm pit in the shower or using my repaired arm to put on my socks. I‘m right hand dominant and just find it easier to use my right (repaired) arm to eat and brush my teeth etc. I will continue to post updates as I continue to heel.
 
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tommyg

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I'm going to be watching this so keep us updated. I don't think you remember but I had posted on your pre surgery post about having the Stryker Orthospace balloon implanted in my shoulder. At the time I posted I had deemed it a failure as the pain started to return, but a few weeks later now and it feels great. My procedure got rid of 95% of the pain.

My doctor I "think" mentioned this procedure to me after my surgery at a 6 month checkup. I don't remember the name but by the description you give, it sounds like the same procedure. Although my balloon procedure did wonders for my pain, it did nothing to help regain the mobility loss (hard to paint overhead, problems washing my hair, etc). Is this procedure of yours suppose to bring back your range of motion? I don't see my doc again till September. Hopefully you'll post updates on how its going.
Good luck.
Tommy G.
 
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Perry01

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Tommy, I remember reading your post regarding the balloon your surgeon implanted to relieve shoulder pain. I’m glad it’s feeling better. I also had constant shoulder pain, notably worse at night. Because my supraspinatus and infraspinatus were fully torn and retracted, my humorous head was situated high in the shoulder joint causing friction and pain.

There were surgical options available to just relieve the pain but I chose this repair to give me back strength and range of motion as well as to relieve the pain. Today marks 4 weeks post surgery and I am experiencing zero pain. I’ve been going to PT for 2 weeks and it is feeling really good. I’ve had four previous rotator cuff surgeries (2 on each shoulder) and my newly repaired shoulder is feeling as good, if not better than any of the four previous surgeries at the 4 week mark.

Below is a short, animated video of the procedure:


I will continue to post updates so you and others can decide if this new procedure is something to consider in the future.
 
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SaraK

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Thanks for the update - it's great to see new possibilities for rotator cuff issues!
 

tommyg

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Yeah , thanks for the update.
I'm real interested in how your range of motion ends up and if your doc takes follow up xrays if this procedure puts the humorous back into the correct position or atleast better than it was.
 

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