Rotator cuff surgery

Posted by goldminer1945 @goldminer1945, Jul 5, 2018

I had 2 surgeries on my left shoulder last Sept and Dec. The anchor pulled out during the therapy. They put it back on Dec.8. Since then I cannot raise my left arm all the way up. I believe he cut a ligament or muscle. Any recommendations on what I should do next?

@ssbionicknee

I had the surgery on Oct. 10. I was in a sling for 6 weeks. It was the one with the wedge. I was told that I could not move my upper arm away from my body. I went back on Oct. 19 and was told to go to PT and that I could sleep without the sling, but I could not move my arm away from my body. I was allowed to move it some from the elbow down. I began PT on Monday and he moved my arm. The PT worked on range of motion, which was excruciating, but I was told that I could not move it at all. I was in a lot of pain and unable to sleep, I called to refill the pain meds at 4 weeks and was told that I should not be in that much pain and normally pain meds were stopped at 2 weeks. I have a high threshold for pain and really felt like I was doing something wrong. I was given 600 mg of ibuprofen and took that with Tylenol. At my 6 weeks check which was Nov.16, I was having severe pain all down my arm. They took an x-ray, the surgeon looked at it and said it was healing fine. Then he moved it around, told me I was resisting, which I was not. That is when he came to the conclusion that I had frozen shoulder. He gave me a cortisone shot, told me to take the ibuprofen and tylenol, and to ice it. He also told me that I had to move it as much as I could. I have been moving it a lot, using biofreeze, icing it and taking the 2 meds. The surgeon also said he wanted me to have aggressive therapy. I am doing both water and land therapy. It is painful, but I am trying to get the ROM back. I can only lift 5 pounds in my hand. I feel like I am being rushed. They repaired 3 tendons, reattached my bicep, which was torn from the shoulder, shaved arthritis off the clavicle and shaved off a bone spur. What all did you have done. I was also told no more sling after 6 weeks.

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Mine was only a rotator repair. I initially went in to simply have an impinged nerve released. It was during that operation that they saw my rotator had completely peeled off the bone at some point. It was not a full tear, but they said it looked as though I had partially torn it at some point and my body tried to heal on its own, a process that I likely went through multiple times. Even though it was a partial tear, a repair requires a full tear anyways.

Obviously, your surgery was far more extensive than mine, but it sounds as though the recovery protocol is/was very similar. I also had to be in a sling with a wedge for 6 weeks. I was told to sleep in mine actually, but after 3 weeks, I did try to sleep without it using pillows to stabilize it instead. At 6 weeks, I was told to stop using the sling, but still not actively try to engage my shoulder. My exercises were guided stretching using a pole or stick, but not actually using my own muscle on the operated side to move. It wasn't until 8 weeks that I began movement exercises. 12 weeks is when I got to be a bit more aggressive, and at 16 weeks I really began aggressive exercises without restrictions. My ROM is still not near where it was prior to surgery, but I am finally noticing small gains. I also cannot lift more than 5 lbs if I try to raise my arm out in front of me. I have a hard time reaching to my opposite side of the body and doing an overhead press motion. It felt like I was not getting anywhere for a LONG time, but I do feel like every so often I get a big leap forward almost overnight. I would still say I am probably only about 60% of where I would like to be, but I am seeing some light at the end of the tunnel (although it still feels like a long ways away). If you are feeling rushed, I would convey that. I was told that pain is normal as the shoulder is the hardest to recover and rehab of any joint in our body. But I was told excruciating pain is a sing that you are doing more than what your body is ready for.

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@JustinMcClanahan

Mine was only a rotator repair. I initially went in to simply have an impinged nerve released. It was during that operation that they saw my rotator had completely peeled off the bone at some point. It was not a full tear, but they said it looked as though I had partially torn it at some point and my body tried to heal on its own, a process that I likely went through multiple times. Even though it was a partial tear, a repair requires a full tear anyways.

Obviously, your surgery was far more extensive than mine, but it sounds as though the recovery protocol is/was very similar. I also had to be in a sling with a wedge for 6 weeks. I was told to sleep in mine actually, but after 3 weeks, I did try to sleep without it using pillows to stabilize it instead. At 6 weeks, I was told to stop using the sling, but still not actively try to engage my shoulder. My exercises were guided stretching using a pole or stick, but not actually using my own muscle on the operated side to move. It wasn't until 8 weeks that I began movement exercises. 12 weeks is when I got to be a bit more aggressive, and at 16 weeks I really began aggressive exercises without restrictions. My ROM is still not near where it was prior to surgery, but I am finally noticing small gains. I also cannot lift more than 5 lbs if I try to raise my arm out in front of me. I have a hard time reaching to my opposite side of the body and doing an overhead press motion. It felt like I was not getting anywhere for a LONG time, but I do feel like every so often I get a big leap forward almost overnight. I would still say I am probably only about 60% of where I would like to be, but I am seeing some light at the end of the tunnel (although it still feels like a long ways away). If you are feeling rushed, I would convey that. I was told that pain is normal as the shoulder is the hardest to recover and rehab of any joint in our body. But I was told excruciating pain is a sing that you are doing more than what your body is ready for.

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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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@ssbionicknee

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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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.

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@JustinMcClanahan

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.

Jump to this post

I went to land therapy last Wednesday. The range of motion was much better. My PT said that with the ROM that I had, there was no way I had a frozen shoulder. I was able to do all my exercises and have been doing them at home. At home, I have been busier than normal and using the shoulder, like I was told. I move it as much as I can, but can't lift over 5 pounds. Since my land PT, I have been in a lot of pain. I have tried everything I know to control it. I am taking my ibuprofen and tylenol, icing it, and using biofreeze. Finally, Saturday, as I was laying in bed afraid to move it anymore, I went ahead a took a pain pill. That pill was enough to calm my arm down and allow me to be more comfortable and to get my mind off the pain,

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@ssbionicknee

I went to land therapy last Wednesday. The range of motion was much better. My PT said that with the ROM that I had, there was no way I had a frozen shoulder. I was able to do all my exercises and have been doing them at home. At home, I have been busier than normal and using the shoulder, like I was told. I move it as much as I can, but can't lift over 5 pounds. Since my land PT, I have been in a lot of pain. I have tried everything I know to control it. I am taking my ibuprofen and tylenol, icing it, and using biofreeze. Finally, Saturday, as I was laying in bed afraid to move it anymore, I went ahead a took a pain pill. That pill was enough to calm my arm down and allow me to be more comfortable and to get my mind off the pain,

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@ssbionicknee Have you done ROM in the pool it will be easier on the joint and dont let the pain get ahead of you take your pain pill when it starts it has a better chance at relieving your pain .Have you asked about specific therapy for strengthening your lifting ?The best to you

Liked by Leonard, karolyn

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@lioness

@ssbionicknee Have you done ROM in the pool it will be easier on the joint and dont let the pain get ahead of you take your pain pill when it starts it has a better chance at relieving your pain .Have you asked about specific therapy for strengthening your lifting ?The best to you

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Yes,I have been doing water therapy. The pain had gotten so bad that I asked to be in the pool so that it would be easier on the joints and working on ROM.I just go to land therapy once every now and then. Until the arm stops hurting as much I plan to do water therapy. The ROM has gotten better and I ice it as much as possible. But I still have pain that radiates down the arm to the wrist.

Liked by Leonard

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I had to do physical therapy for over a year ,full muscle tear surgery the worst pain ever,had to re use my arm and hand again, now 3 years later feels torn again not sure what going on dr trying injection now

Liked by Leonard

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@karolyn

I had to do physical therapy for over a year ,full muscle tear surgery the worst pain ever,had to re use my arm and hand again, now 3 years later feels torn again not sure what going on dr trying injection now

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@karolyn I am 66 and just had rotator cuff surgery two weeks ago. The surgeon said that I have natural degeneration of the tissue and bone. So because of this I will always have fraying tissue, tears, causing some pain. “Thank you Mother Nature”. 🙂
Not sure of your age but that’s something you might want to ask about.

Liked by Leonard, karolyn

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I have a bone spur in my right shoulder. Have had cortisone shots in it. Not sure how that relates to yours, Bonnie

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@pjss48

I have a bone spur in my right shoulder. Have had cortisone shots in it. Not sure how that relates to yours, Bonnie

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@pjss48 I had a bone spur also. They removed the bone spur as they can contribute to tears in the rotator cuff.

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@bonnieh218

@karolyn I am 66 and just had rotator cuff surgery two weeks ago. The surgeon said that I have natural degeneration of the tissue and bone. So because of this I will always have fraying tissue, tears, causing some pain. “Thank you Mother Nature”. 🙂
Not sure of your age but that’s something you might want to ask about.

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I'm 43 had the surgery 5 years ago was great helped for a year fell again and think I tore it I have something wrong with my c3 c4 c5 c6 in my neck might be the problem now

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