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Rotator Cuff Repair SaraK's At It Again!

Layla

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Hello Sara,
It’s sounds like you’re doing really well, it’s wonderful to read.
A December wedding to look forward to and a new family member, very exciting.
I hope you have a great week. Take care and stay well! :)
@SaraK
 

momweb

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Hi @SaraK
Why are you requesting the operating report? I never thought about doing that.
Sue
 
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SaraK

SaraK

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I generally just like to have all of that in my records so that it's available when needed. Especially where something is being implanted into the body - then I have info if there's ever a recall. In addition, I'd like to see what it says about what was done since I haven't talked to the doctor since before surgery when they still weren't sure what they'd find (and I'd like to know why they went for partial open surgery since it wasn't what I was expecting).
 
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SaraK

SaraK

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Shhhhh! Don't tell anyone, but I drove to the store today. The surgeon had said he wouldn't require me to wait the full 6 weeks but that I should start out with some short trips. That was when I thought I might be returning to the office during those 6 weeks, but he did say he wouldn't tell me I couldn't.

I was going stir crazy and we needed crickets for the bearded dragon. My son was busy so I grabbed the car keys (and my mask) and told him I'd go. Driving wasn't a problem at all. That is, unless you count the fact that I couldn't put the seatbelt on or take it off if I had to. So scofflaw/wild child that I am, I laughed in the face of danger as I drove (less than 1 mile) to the pet store at breakneck speed (ok, 25 mph) dodging other cars (yeah, there were virtually no other cars on the road). Woo, baby, do I know how to live dangerously or what?!?
 
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SaraK

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I got the op report today - apparently there was a bit of a mess. Debrided extensive fraying of labrum, biceps tenotomy (release), repair or at least 3/4 tear and some fraying of supraspinatus, debrided small partial tear of infraspinatus, bursectomy (good thing I proofread that - spellcheck changed it to vasectomy!) and subacromial decompression (acromioplasty). Apparently the incision was extended for the bursectomy and subacromial decompression.
 

Layla

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Sounds gnarly! :heehee: Not funny, but “infraspinatus” umm...ok.:shrug:

Had a good laugh at this though -

So scofflaw/wild child that I am, I laughed in the face of danger as I drove (less than 1 mile) to the pet store at breakneck speed (ok, 25 mph) dodging other cars (yeah, there were virtually no other cars on the road)
Wishing you a wonderful Easter weekend, Sara.
Be SAFE and stay well!
 
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SaraK

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@Layla - I definitely thought of you and @Mojo333 as I typed that sentence!

The infraspinatus is one of the 4 rotator cuff tendons. I believe the supraspinatus is the one most often torn but, when you do a really good job on it, you might tear on or more of the others. Overachiever that I am . . .

Forgot to mention, "Woah, I'm half way there! woah, livin' on a prayer.". Yesterday was 3 weeks - halfway thru the purgatory of living in a sling. It could be a matter of being careful what you wish for, though - I'm sure more pain and discomfort coming when I take this sling off and start to use it. I did get my shoulder pulley today and looking forward to when I can use it.
 

Layla

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Shoulder pulley, sounds dangerous for you, lol. I feel relieved having, Jamie, watching over you. :skep: :heehee: Just kidding...She‘s not actually watching over you, I know you understand what I mean. She takes an interest in everyone, but in recently going through shoulder surgery herself she has the experience to be effectively supportive on the shoulder forum.
Me...I don’t want the experience, nun uh! :nah:
Have a good evening, Sara.
 
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SaraK

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A shoulder pulley is actually a good thing. You hang it over the door and then it allows you to use the good arm to raise the injured one - a way to do some passive stretching on your own. I'll use one in PT and my PT guru advised that I get one because it helps to work out pain and stiffness in between sessions. I won't use it until after my first PT session (promise, mom) but ordered it to be ready. Getting things like this now help me see the light at the end of the tunnel!
 

Mojo333

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Hi @SaraK
It does sound like quite the injury and he had to do alot of fixing up in there!
I'm glad things are progressing well and you are Halfway there...
Hope you have a peaceful Easter, friend.
 

Jamie

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You're right about the shoulder pulley. It's a great passive exercise. I was allowed to use mine immediately after surgery, but given the state of your shoulder, it sounds like your surgeon wanted you to wait for some healing to take place. But I think you'll like it. The passive exercise never hurt and it kept my shoulder loose plus improved my range of motion gradually.
 
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SaraK

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Thanks for the info Jamie. My surgeon's protocol didn't permit the shoulder pulley for any rotator cuff surgery patient. I was given the restrictions before surgery - I haven't even talked to him since surgery.
 
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SaraK

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4 week follow-up visit today (has it really been that long?). We talked about what was done in the surgery - when op report said at least 3/4 tear, he really did mean full tear of at least 75%. Acromioplasty was due to fraying of tendon - give it a bit more room so that the tendon isn't weakened.

I start PT on 4/27. Until then, I'm to continue what I'm doing (he likes the typing because it's helping with some of the range of motion but still protecting the repair). I'm also to start pendulum swings 3 times a day - not the passive ones where you move the body to move the arms but activating the muscles to do increasingly large circles - 30 each direction.

It's still a long and winding road in front of me but continuing to move forward!

Happy (not this year) tax day everyone!
 

Layla

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:wave:Hello Sara and Happy Thursday to you.
I’ve been a bit lax about posting on the forum as there’s not much action with canceled surgeries. It sounds like you had an informative four week post-op visit. Full tear, ugh!

I hope you’ve had a good week so far. I’ll bet you’re looking forward to PT on Monday.
Is it in home PT? No matter where, be safe, stay well and let us know how it goes.:)
@SaraK
 
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SaraK

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Good morning, Layla! The site may start getting busier. I'm hearing from a Facebook group I'm in that electives are starting back up in TX and a couple of other states.

I'm looking forward to PT and not looking forward to PT, if you know what I mean. It will mean moving forward and upsetting the status quo.

The PT site I go to is near my office but not my house but I trust my guy and the hygiene they practice. It's a small site with one to two therapists working at any time (only one at a time now) and were always very good about cleaning tables and equipment and replacing linens before and have stepped it up further (yes I asked). Masks also required to be used by all, including patients.

I mentioned on @momweb thread that one angst about PT is what to do with my hair. Coloring it on my own with one hand might be tricky but I don't really have the sink facility (esp with the arm in a sling) to have someone help that way - and I'm certainly not going to have someone get into the shower with me! But, it's been 6 weeks and it's definitely looking like quarantine hair!

how are you handling this lockdown? I hope you and all of yours are staying safe!
 

Layla

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Busier would be good as it will help those living with pain and anxiety to get their surgeries re-scheduled and move toward obtaining relief.

I‘m doing well, Sara, thanks for asking. Bored and tired of it ALL, but who isn’t?!

The solution for Corona hair below. Kill two birds with one stone. Hide the hair and keep people away, lol.

03EE77ED-6A0A-4D82-A49B-BC28ADD7F9E9.jpeg
 

Hip4life

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I think we all are wondering what to do with our quarantine hair. Just think, our grandchildren will be dressing up like the 2020s and their hair will be a crazy mess! :heehee: Sounds like you are doing well, Sara. So glad to hear. Caught up with your posts. They made me smile. As for PT, when my shoulder froze up and I got injections (this has been like 10-15 years back. Hmmm. Really, that long ago? Wow) I was then able to start PT. I know it’s not anywhere near the same pain as surgery but I really looked forward to it. It sounds like the rehab exercises have not changed much in the interim. I still have that same equipment around. I loved the warm packs and gentle massage before we started. They were really good about not pushing too far or causing pain. It took some weeks but I was very appreciative of their help. I hope all goes as well for you, my friend. Stay safe and well. Oh, and congrats on your son’s upcoming wedding! ❤❤❤
 

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How about
"Feed 2 birds with one scone"
Instead of ...

So glad you are doing so well.
Cute hat!
 
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SaraK

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Yay - I have now graduated to PT!!! After deftly (not) coloring my hair one-handed last night, I was ready to face the world. I did figure out last week that, if I unbuckled the waist strap on the sling, I could raise the arm enough to get the seat belt on and then buckle the sling. It's not something I could have done from the start but works now.

Definitely a new era - upon entering, my temperature was taken and I was asked the magic Covid screening questions. I was then required to either use hand sanitizer or wash my hands before they would even give me the paperwork to fill out. Everyone with masks but small shop so it was me, PT and receptionist. One patient left as I was coming in and another came in as I was leaving.

After some basic info and status of injury questions, PT did some ROM measurements on good side and a couple on surgical. Then did a number of passive stretches before we moved on to some stretches I can do on my own. Homework for today/tomorrow:
3 sessions per day of "active" pendulum circles
1-2 sessions per day of:
-foam roller extensions (arms on foam roller on table) and move it forward (2 sets of 15)
-side stretch of neck (away from surgical) (1 set of 4 reps with 10 second hold)
-stretch neck with head down and to side away from surgical side) (same)
-scapula stretches - squeeze shoulder blades (2 sets of 15)
On all, need to make concerted effort to keep good posture and not let the surgical shoulder ride up. He was glad to see I could lay flat on solid surface without significant pain. It takes some patients a few more weeks to do that. I did also try putting my hand on my head and was able to do that. I can also lift my arm at the side about 75% of the way to shoulder height.

Other than a slight over stretch sensation, no pain at the time. I just did the second session for the day. I was a little sore before but not much and about same after. We'll see how it feels in am.

So glad to feel like I'm moving forward. I'll be able to ditch the sling Thursday (although I'll probably still use it at night for awhile). I do understand, though, that this wouldn't have been possible earlier. Every day of being in the sling was a day of healing and improvement in strength and range of motion that made today the way it was. Different surgeon's use different rules on the sling but, one way or another, you can't skip the steps!
 
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SaraK

SaraK

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Good morning! I'm maybe a little bit stiffer today than yesterday but not much (and could be attributed to 10 hours working at the computer). PT exercises done for the morning and no pain other than a slight twinge here or there. I am finding that I have to make a very concerted effort to not let the shoulder rise when I stretch it (my PT and I likened it to developing a limp when a hip or knee is damaged). I do find the twinge is more likely when I keep it down (which means I need to back off on the depth of the stretch to prevent it - the depth will come).

We discussed in PT session that, in addition to all of the work that was done on the shoulder, the tendon heals in a somewhat shortened state because the arm has been held in an abducted position for so long. We need to stretch the tendon but have to do it slowly and gradually to not damage the repair. We also discussed that "slowly and gradually" is not in my nature so I really need to exercise my patience muscle.
 

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