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 ARCHIVED TOPIC: Rotator Cuff (rt. shoulder) full tear. Surgery?

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rupickin5 - Posted - 12/19/2022:  19:54:41

Anyone on here able to share their experiences & recovery pros & cons. Being 74…I have concerns.
Thanks, Brian

NotABanjoYoda - Posted - 12/19/2022:  20:04:21

As an ex motocrosser, I have seen many torn rotator cuffs and it has become my understanding that it requires surgery and lots of rehab. At 74, it will heal slowly. Closest example I can give is a riding buddy tore his when he was 56. Took 4 years post surgury for it all to go away but he was at 90% in 9 months.

Knee tears are far worse! Unless you walk on your hands. Im sure an ortho phone call and mri will get you better info.

Edited by - NotABanjoYoda on 12/19/2022 20:05:08

Tractor1 - Posted - 12/19/2022:  21:54:03

this is my view on the 2 i have had

hurts like tarnation-but fixes it---they tie it back together short and you get the joy of stretching it back out in a couple dozen not fun sessions

Edited by - Tractor1 on 12/19/2022 21:56:00

overhere - Posted - 12/20/2022:  03:41:04

My rotator was pulled out of its bone place and it got torn in half. Dr said it was the worst he had ever saw. He had to make a trench in a bone and staple it back in. Rehab 4 months. Exercises 8 months of weight training.....that was 1998....never did get my strength or coordination not stand anywhere near me when I am hammering overhead.....I can’t control where that hammer will land......”painful” ? better believe happened when I was operating a trenching machine. The machine hit a large landscape plastic bucket in the threw the front end up and I was holding on to the handle bars...when it came back down it yanked my arms out of their one was around...I laid on the ground in pain for over an hour.( I thought I seriously was going to die)....then everything warmed up hot and I ended up numb....I had to slide across the ground and into my truck drive left handed and go back wife called doctor and away I went.......5 hour operation by the dr who does the NY Jets fixes, really good doc. Couldn’t play banjo for almost a year......

slammer - Posted - 12/20/2022:  04:57:52

It’s no fun !!! I’ve had my left one done twice and my right done this last March.

After surgery it’s 6 weeks in a sling and then 6 of therapy. Each surgeon has their own theory on when to start therapy. The therapy is very important, don’t skip it.
It’s a long recovery but a necessary evil. Get it done!!! My range of motion is pretty good, but I have no strength doing overhead work, but I also tore both biceps and the infraspinatus and supraspinatus muscles.
Make sure you have a recliner to sleep in for a few days / weeks. I couldn’t lay flat.

fluxie - Posted - 12/20/2022:  05:53:23

My Rotator cuff injury just started "out of the blue" some 20 years ago in my early 50's
Woke up one morning and thought I had a frozen shoulder... Since then, nothing but severe pain.
I see a specialist and had several scans a short time after it happened. I was told that it had gone too far as a Rotator Cuff tear and that the only surgery available to me was to do a "Reverse Arthroplasty"... This is where the "cup and ball" are reversed.
But once I told the doctor I have to be able to carry on with my building trade work, he strongly advised me in no uncertain terms, not to have this operation.
My movements in my left shoulder are very limited now and due to pain over the years, I have been back to see the doctors several times, but they all advise not having it done. They all tell me that having the operation will ease the pain, but the arm will be useless to work with by continually coming out of joint.

wizofos - Posted - 12/20/2022:  06:02:43

Have had both sides replaced but rotators were good so only replaced bones. One done when I was in late 60's, last one when I was 70. I agree about therapy do as doc says. Mine did not trust PT"s said he did not want them screwing up his work so he gave me some exercises to do at home and now have full range of motion but still have some occasional pain. I agree that a recliner is good, impossible to sleep flat in a bed. Your arm is going to be immobilized for a few weeks so all you do has to be done with one hand. Hard to tie shoes. You can shower if you take the sling off carefully and cover the wound with plastic wrap and tape.
Get elastic waist pull up pants since you are not going to be able to button your jeans without help. Slip on shoes/slippers with good soles.
You can order large 4x8 bandages/bandaids/dressings online and suggest you use triple anti-biotic cream to use on the wound.
My wife says you need a good partner to help you. I agree. Tie your arm back and try doing a few things one handed before surgury and you will get the idea.
Good Luck

STUD - Posted - 12/20/2022:  06:23:16

A good partner...

One can not state that..enuff....

I probly would have not made it through medical stuff..

If it were not for Liz...


Owen - Posted - 12/20/2022:  06:27:07

... partial tear repaired with open surgery +/-30 years ago.* Surgeon didn't refer me to physio; rather "movement/use as tolerated," and Bob's my uncle.   And, fwiw, I've had some other orthopedic surgeries and he's at, or near, the top of the pile.  The worst thing he did was move from Yorkton, SK to Nanaimo, BC.  sad

* = I was still trying to farm, so I very likely didn't err on the side of caution .... to coin a phrase.

mike gregory - Posted - 12/20/2022:  06:33:22

Torn at age 70.
Right arm, and I am right-handed.
Surgery was painless, since I was gassed out.
Pain meds prescribed, and that kept the ouchies at an acceptable level in the following weeks.
Had to turn down an offer for a paid gig at a popular downtown bar, for St. Patrick's Day.

Recovery involved, among other things, sitting in a chair which had an electrically driven arm which raised and lowered my arm slowly, a set distance, and a set number of repetitions.

Am now just as able to lift things, play the banjo, etc, as ever I was at 70.

My guess: If you DON'T get it treated, it will never get better.

STUD - Posted - 12/20/2022:  06:36:25

As fer rotator cuffs...

I got badly ingered getting out of one of me big trucks..

Hung up by me arm...
Dislocated it n i guess tore me rotator cuff...

I saw me shoulder..when i did it..freaked out..n jammed back in place meself..

Never had surgery...
Becose workin fer meself ..
I had no one to fall back on at that make a living fr meself.

Long slow self rehabilitation...
Looked things up n got good advise from a few friends in the medical world..

The use..mistly all came back in that arm..but it took apx 9 months...

All this was later comfirmed..
After i had the ..LVAD.. SURGERY..done...
Buy one of the xray techs...

That is another whole story..

His shocked comments..opon lookin at me xrays
Was something like.. My Lord..!
What have you done all your life.. !?

I told him just good livin..n a little excitement.. :0/

STUD - Posted - 12/20/2022:  06:42:26

The pic of Liz in me privyous post was her preparing to change ..internal bandages..

She had to be taught how to do it at i could not do it meself...

Her reward...

She got to poke me with a..stick..

For real... :0/

But She never hurt me...once...

She did a ..FANTASTIC..job..

Very lucky i am... :0)

Edited by - STUD on 12/20/2022 06:43:29

paco0909 - Posted - 12/20/2022:  07:30:31

Back in the early 90’s I fell on my right shoulder. Did some rehab, but it eventually became a “frozen “ shoulder and it became difficult to even put on a jacket! I couldn’t play guitar, carry a briefcase, or shovel snow. Turned out to be a labrum tear and was surgically repaired. After a painful 6 months of rehab with a good physical therapist, I had a pain free and fairly strong, flexible shoulder and could lift weights, play guitar again, and sleep on my right side. A good surgeon can evaluate the options and as mentioned above, it won’t get better by itself! Good luck.

G Mac - Posted - 12/20/2022:  16:58:21

I second comments regarding slippers, elastic waist pants, the recliner and needing someone to help you for a while.

My Diagnosis: Complete left shoulder supraspinatus tear, SLAP tear and an 8mm bone spur.

My Experience: Surgery at age 61 to repair the supraspinatus and remove the bone spur. The surgeon was unable to repair my labrum and the SLAP tear remains. I developed frozen shoulder after surgery and 90 days later went in for a manipulation under anesthesia (MUA). Not fun but necessary.

Besides my wife, who took really good care of me, the next best thing early on was a machine that circulated ice water around my shoulder. I used it for two or three weeks and man was it nice to have.

I did all of my exercises and went to 52 physical therapy visits over seven months, followed by six more months of stretching and light weights at home. I still stretch daily.

Pros: 14 months post-surgery and my shoulder is way better than before. Far from perfect but way better. Am I glad I had it fixed? You bet.

Cons: Other than still being stiff, weak and a little sore, in my case, there are no major cons. I was aware from the get-go that recovery from shoulder surgery is a journey and not a race and that its gonna take a while.

fluxie - Posted - 12/22/2022:  11:11:17

When I read what you guys in the USA can get from your doctors, I am very envious.
It may be down to you paying for private medical insurance, but over here in the UK we have our NHS and we get what we are given, which is very good but with no frills.
If you want the frills you go private. Lots of folk in the UK can't afford additional medical insurance.
Most of the comments above regarding your medical experiences are really good reading and after experiencing severe pain all day yesterday in my shoulder... Great to read the positive posts.

paulac7 - Posted - 12/22/2022:  13:44:18

Never had it done, but a goid friend did, and sx and recovery wasn't too bad from what she said.

AL- YIKES on your story of getting hung up and fixing it yourself, but sometimes ya gotta do what ya gotta do.

slammer - Posted - 12/22/2022:  15:42:03

Yeah, Al is kinda funny that way and stubborn!!! This one time at band camp!!!!!!

Buddur - Posted - 12/22/2022:  17:42:12

You on blood thinners? My Dad had to go off his thinners when he had his surgery done. After he was released he wasn't home for like 15 minutes before a blood clot took him from us. If he was only still in the hospital.

He had just retired and all he wanted to do was to be able to swing his golf clubs without pain. I know this is a worst-case scenario...but just saying.

RonR - Posted - 12/23/2022:  08:57:29

Both rotator cuffs are damaged from 49 years of roofing work. I can do a little overhead work. Never in enough pain to go under the knife. Golfing is definitely out of the question.

Edited by - RonR on 12/23/2022 08:58:25

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