Rotator Cuff Repair Rotator Cuff Repair & Biceps Release

That's what we love to hear! :yay:
Yesterday, August 4th, was my 68th birthday.

First extended outing. We drove to the Museum of Fine Arts in St Petersburg, Florida, about 45 minutes each way.
And we walked around the galleries for about 2 hours.

I felt like shouting,
“Look,ma, no walker, no cane, no shoulder sling!”

I carried a pocketbook with tylenol, tramadol, lidocaine, ankle/foot straps, and a knee brace. Hahaha. Had to wear two tops because I cannot tolerate a bra of any kind yet. And of course, wore very supportive shoes. I was able to tolerate a very, very light blouse (open slits from shoulder to wrist, so my RCR was untouched), and a light, long skirt (to conceal the knee brace, which I did add to the leg w the ligament sprain for the second hour).

Very stiff legs, hips, and knees at first. Got better. Went slowly.

Happily, though, I walked throughout the museum and really enjoyed being out.

I feel renewed.

PS My legs were tired when we got home, but I was not exhausted.
I did one set of the shoulder stretches and some leg stretches before bed. Put ice on the knees and shoulder and moist heat under the calves and hamstrings last night, and first thing this am.
Today, I feel like I do most days. The distance and # of steps I walked in the Museum was about what I have been doing, but yesterday I did them in a compressed timeframe.
That's a great report. Glad you were able to withstand the outing. It sounds like you planned really well for all the "what if's."
Thanks, Jamie. Can you please change my thread title or tell me how to change it?
Suggested new: Rotator Cuff Repair & Biceps Release
I’ve asked a moderator to change your title.
Bottomshollow changed it for you, so you're good to go now.

My cat is black, so I am in luck. I will give her extra hugs (with her permission, of course) for all the BoneSmarties who do not have a black Nurse Cat

Update: My shoulder continues to improve. Much less pain. Much more ROM. Icing 2x a day, compared to previous 4+. Walking in saltwater pool most days with either gentle or no arm movement. The shoulder lets me know which and when.

Can tolerate light clothing on it. No bras yet; not even a very high, thin lace racerback. Have come to enjoy the lack of one, though, so that may be psychological. I wear an ultra thin tank top with large armholes as a camisole under thin clothes when I go out.

Still sleeping on my back, but using the NoSnore (slightly elevated head) setting on the adjustable bed. It is the recovering sprained ligament more than the shoulder (or knees) that keeps me on my back, although I try it for short periods occasionally.

I have a 4-month followup next week with the OS. Will update again after that.
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Hooray! Progress. This is great to hear.
Wednesday, Sept.19, 2019
Followup with OS for May RCR Surgery (4 months)

Great ROM! Ahead of schedule for ROM! :catdance:
He is very proud of me, and I am “dancing cat” delighted.

Next stage of recovery:

-Maintain schedule of ROM stretches.

-Begin rebuilding stamina of repaired RC tendon and right arm:

-Do resistance band exercises and/or use light hand weights. Start with easy 10 minutes per day. Increase very gradually, perhaps 30 seconds or 1 minute more per week.

It is okay if the arm and shoulder are tired or ache a bit after exercising, but IF THERE IS BURNING PAIN, STOP, YOU HAVE OVERDONE.

-Keep walking in the pool. I can do some resistance arm/shoulder work in the pool, but do not overdo.

We discussed using the time in the pool for walking to address my foot and leg issues. (See my knee and other/foot threads for those updates) Also, spreading the exercises out during the day, rather than doing everything in the pool in the afternoon might be better, especially for stamina.

-Ice, as needed. At present, I ice the shoulder after dinner and at bedtime.

-Take pain meds as needed. At present, I am taking only the Celebrex 2x a day and occasionally, 2 Tylenol, and the latter is for the knee ligament pain, not the shoulder. I use topical roll-on aspercreme lidocaine on the shoulder. He gave me a prescription for 5% lidocaine gel.

-Too soon to get down on a mat to do other exercises. (I asked because the more I walk, the more I need to do hip flexor stretches). Too risky with the present degree of strength/stamina in the shoulder/arm. Instead, do them on a firm mattress: Our sleep number bed is ideal because it can be made very firm for this.

>Return in 2 months (sooner, if needed).


Today’s Mindful Meditation (app) seems quite appropriate.
My weekend Epiphanies:
1) Hip Flexors (Walking is part of the shoulder recovery regimen):
I refer to my husband’s side (85min) of our sleep number bed as the Plateau and mine (45max) as the Cloud. Yesterday I visited the Plateau to do hip flexor stretches—better than a mat on the floor , which I cannot use yet per the OS because the shoulder RCR is still recovering. Yes, I could have set my side to be a firm surface, but it was easier to just stretch out on his Plateau. (I fill to 100% when we change the sheets, at least 1x per week, and reset the sides. Supposedly good for the mattress).
WHAT AN IMPROVEMENT IN MY GAIT after the hip stretches. First time since June I could do this stretch. I couldn’t do this on the right side while the then-sprained, now healed right knee ligament was healing. It was agony.

2) Resistance band and light hand weights
Started doing the resistance and light hand weights exercises assigned by the OS.
So far, so good.
Tired, a bit achy, but no burning.
Can’t find my red band. Started with the green, but it is old, so it is probably in between a red and a green.
If you zoom in, you can see my right RCR scar on the upper right arm. And yes, I could hold both arms out straight up in front
[ “C’est moi” post edited because my first version was too heavy on frivolity—fyi, giant cat mask available at cvs]
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I’m pool walking everyday. Heavenly. Really helping the knee and shoulder.

Doing what seems like (but isn’t), a thousand shoulder stretches and ever-so-careful strengthening and resistance exercises.

Can now cut a zucchini (yippee), but not a sweet potato—-something to strive for, LOL. Squeezing bigger balls of play dough to strengthen that hand.
LOL. The future is now. I had to use a bigger knife for improved leverage, but later today, I cut a sweet potato. And ate it tonight.

I think it is @Denny39 who called such milestones (in Knee Recovery) “little victories” . He, @luvcats and @Izabel are very good about recording theirs.
All the little victories are so important. They help us stay focused on the journey over the destination.
Big victory this am (remember my threshold is very modest) :

For the first time since the RCR surgery in late May, I picked up the coffee pot (2 cups left in it), walked to the table with it, and (drumroll) POURED MYSELF A BIT MORE WITH MY RIGHT HAND!
I recently aggravated my right knee and had fluid removed for the first time ever, which I describe in my Knee thread. Happily, the knee pain stopped and I went from 8 tylenol a day to none.

LOL, I think the knees are just fine now without any Tylenol, but the shoulder (5 months since RCR surgery) seemed to speak up last night and say, “Hello, no one asked me about stopping the tylenol. I think I’d like some tonight if we plan to sleep.” So I took 2 at bedtime and slept without shoulder pain.

The shoulder started aching a bit the last couple of days, but I had done some of the resistance training in the pool, and I think it is too easy to overdo do that without realizing it in the water.

I also wore a bra for the first time in the five months (for modesty rather than either two tops or a camisole/tank underneath) since the surgery, and I don’t think the shoulder liked that. It was a front-closure, racer back, which I thought would be better. The rotator tendon goes from the neck, though. May have been covariant. I will try one with regular staps the next time. When I wear a bathing suit with straps, I often just don’t use the right strap, and will try that with a regular bra, if needed.
At 5 1/2 months checkup 11-7-19:

ROM is still great. I can now raise my arm straight up next to my ear and can reach behind my neck to do my hair.

My OS said I should use only front close bras, only use the right strap if loose and tolerated, avoid the racerback style that rests near the neck, and don’t try to reach behind my waist/braline/back. He even cautioned me to back off the stretch that goes behind (low and out parade rest).

Continuing all the same stretches daily and resistance exercises 2 to 3 times a week. And I can ever ever so gradually introduce up to 2 lbs for lifting. Only exercises, though, that do not hurt at all with this weight. He’d rather I do more sets with less weight.

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