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goldminer1945 (@goldminer1945)

Rotator cuff surgery

Bones, Joints & Muscles | Last Active: Dec 6, 2023 | Replies (51)

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Finally glad to see someone get an answer about rotator cuff surgery. I am having rotator cuff surgery on October 10. I have completely torn my rotator cuff, have torn and dislocated a bicep, and have another torn tendon. How much help am I going to need after surgery? I live with and take care of my elderly parents who want to help but aren't able to provide the support I need. I just had a total knee replacement in May and I had to make sure the meals were ready etc. They were able to get my ice ready and occasionally drive me to PT. I heavily relied on my friends. I have held off the surgery to prepare frozen meals and do as much as I can to get my parents set up. My problem is I will pretty much be caring for myself this time. How much help did you need afterwards? I also hear this is more painful than a TKR. I felt a lot stronger going into surgery in May. I feel like my body is about to get a big hit before it has fully recovered from the TKR in May. I am feeling stressed, I am getting 2 anchors as well. I am not sure what to expect after the surgery.

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Replies to "Finally glad to see someone get an answer about rotator cuff surgery. I am having rotator..."

@ssbionicknee, if I may ask, are all of those injuries you listed to the same arm or are they spread across both of your arms? That would greatly determine how much help you are going to need. Picture doing everything you currently do, but with one arm, because the arm you have repaired will be of no use for multiple weeks. Lifting heavy or bulky things will be difficult because you can't use your one arm. However, I was able to cook, clean, and bath myself as well as my toddler, everything just took a bit longer. Although recovery from knee surgery is no picnic, I do believe you should have an easier time getting around and getting things done after your rotator repair, it is just imperative (according to my surgeon) that you do not actively engage the muscles of your shoulder and you will likely be in a immobilizer sling for a few weeks anyways.

This is only my experience, but I found the pain for the TKR to be worse. The pain for shoulder started to subside considerable over the course of a few weeks. There is still pain now that I am 14 weeks post-op, but that is because I am in full-blown PT mode and I am sure it is just the soreness from trying to stretch it out and regain strength. I have sled hockey season fast approaching, so I am pushing myself hard. I think pre-making meals is an awesome idea to help yourself out. Anything you can get done beforehand that will make things easier when you are one-handed will be a great help. You could try preparing yourself by going through a day using only your arm that will not be having surgery. Anything you can't do with just that arm you will likely need help with after the surgery. Also, buy a really long loofa for showering!

I had extensive rotator cuff repair surgery 2 years ago after getting bucked off of an electric bike. I did no PT or exercises for 6 weeks of being in a sling. I could remove the sling for showers and do a gentle stretching with gravity. My shoulder was really normal after physical therapy and I did not think about it for a year and a half. Really no limitations. This year, I was vacuuming and scooted some furniture around and felt a pop and instant pain. X-ray showed possible cuff tear. Now the surgeons say it can only fixed with a reverse shoulder replacement.
A month after that I was carrying a bag on my other shoulder and a gallon water jug. I went to transfer the jug to my right hand and felt a Big Crunch and could not move or lift my arm. X-ray shows a rotator cuff and biceps tear on that side also. Surgeon at Mayo Clinic says he can repair that side. I am 74 years old next week, but don’t have diabetes or any major health problems.
This surgeon says I will be in a sling for 6 weeks but won’t need physical therapy as I can do all the exercises myself at home.