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Rotator cuff surgery

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

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I find the difference in the approach to therapy between your surgeon and mine to be interesting. I was told prior to surgery that I would need therapy for 3-4 months, and it would take 6 months for complete healing. I don't mean to imply that either surgeon is wrong, they just have a different approach. My surgeon is the team physician for the minor league LaCrosse team where I live and when you mentioned that pain could mean that I was doing more than my body is ready for, I wondered if he was putting me at the pace of the LaCrosse players. I know he was worried about the time between the injury and the surgery and losing ROM, that could also be why he is wanting an aggressive approach. The water therapy has been helping. It is much easier to move the shoulder in the water. Tomorrow I go to land therapy and will see how I do afterwards. I have been able to control the pain with 600 mg of ibuprofen and 2 arthritis strength tylenol, however my stomach is taking a beating. I am going to try and find something homeopathic that will work. I know they suggested tumeric for my knee. I will see how tomorrow goes and call and discuss toning down the pace of PT if I need to. Thank you for mentioning that.

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Replies to "I find the difference in the approach to therapy between your surgeon and mine to be..."

The pool was, and still is, my favorite! Everything just feels so much better in the pool, and it feels like the arm moves so much more in water.

I actually had to advocate for a more intense PT routine. I ended up getting referred to sports medicine and worked with a shoulder specialist who helps rehab athletes. Once I got to that 10 week mark, my PT and I really kicked it in to high gear. The advantage of working with the sports medicine therapist, was that we came up with an individualized plan that really focused on strengthening the small fiber muscles first. I am still nowhere near to recovered, but I finally feel like I am progressing.

It's difficult because we are all so different and heal so differently. My surgeon and PT both mentioned that pain is definitely part of it. They both said that there will be pain likely for a minimum of a year, but that it will slowly get better as the joint strengthens. What they did mention was that intense, sharp pain that is higher than a level 8 or so means I am pushing it too hard and too far. Basically, listen to your own body. But they did tell me I would have to push through some pain. A few weeks ago I had actually requested an appointment again because my shoulder blade area kept having weird pains that were mild but it made my whole arm feel weak when they happened. Again, they said it was all normal and part of the process and to really just watch out for that high level pain.

Definitely advocate for yourself when it comes to PT. I have finally learned that you have to stay aggressive, but do so in a way that is smart. I was told there is standard protocol for most shoulder surgeries, but I had to advocate for myself to get it customized in a way that worked for me. In my case, I needed it to be a bit more aggressive, whereas you may have been put in the opposite situation. Let us know what you find out and how your land PT goes.