My aching shoulder

Posted By: fastlarry

My aching shoulder - 12/05/17 05:24 AM

Has anyone had successful rotator cuff surgery? My right shoulder has bit the dust; I believe I had a partial tear for over a year that has completely torn as I can't raise my hand as to shake hands or reach for a beer. I'm out of the shooting game for now and haven't tried riding. It is hard to get my hand on the right grip, but once there I might ride with the bar supporting my arm.

What can i expect from a surgical repair? How long?
Posted By: TheOtherLee

Re: My aching shoulder - 12/05/17 06:16 AM

Larry - This thread might help *link*
Posted By: RecentConvert

Re: My aching shoulder - 12/05/17 01:39 PM

I have had it done and know several others also having the procedure. The surgery is very reliable, if you follow through with the physical therapy. If you don't follow through, you don't get full recovery. It will be better, but not as good as it could be.
Posted By: fastlarry

Re: My aching shoulder - 12/05/17 03:28 PM

That was a good thread, thanks.
Posted By: Living the Dream

Re: My aching shoulder - 12/05/17 11:12 PM

Should really say "Corpsman Flow Chart", but I can forgive them for that mistake.

[Linked Image]
Posted By: BigTup

Re: My aching shoulder - 12/06/17 01:13 AM

Funny you should ask. Before I tell my story I want to say that I have had a few times where I could not lift my hand enough to put it In my pocket. A cortisone shot fixed it like a miracle. In July we rode to Vancouver Island, 10 days, and camped the entire way. Every morning my shoulder was killing me. I thought another cortisone shot would do the trick. Long story short, I had surgery 5 weeks ago. The surgeon relocated my bicep tendon, cleaned up other torn tendons, bone spurs, and put this 'bovine patch' on my rotator cuff. 5 weeks and I have a long way to go to recover. I don't know your age, but the cortisone shot worked until now, and now is 68 years old. Good luck.
Posted By: fastlarry

Re: My aching shoulder - 12/06/17 04:36 AM

Similar story here. Had the shot at end of August and got about 4-6 weeks of relief. Then I probably aggravated the problem working in the yard and garden. Back to the same pain and worse. The doc wouldn't give me another shot, saying the short time it gave me relief was indicative of a more serious problem, like a torn rotator cuff or partially torn. Last weekend I couldn't lift my hand to buckle my belt, but it is a little better today. Just not as painful. I'm 71.
Posted By: Selden

Re: My aching shoulder - 12/06/17 01:45 PM

Cortisone shots are funny things. ~15 years ago I injured my right shoulder while chainsawing and moving trees. After 3 months, it wasn't getting any better, so I saw a sports medicine doctor who diagnosed "schmutz" in the joint, and pushed this big honking needle in my shoulder. A week later, the pain was completely gone, and has never returned.

On the other hand, two years ago my left elbow was hurting as the result of shoveling too much snow, and I remembered how well the shoulder had done. A shot to my elbow hurt like hell when the anesthetic wore off, and there was only modest improvement for a few weeks before it was back where it was before the shot. Then I decided to search for the effectiveness of corticosteroids for tennis elbow, and was horrified to learn that they are less effective than placebo, and actually increase the risk for long term injury by weakening the tendon.

Surprisingly, after 3 months of heavy lifting involved with moving my household earlier this year, the elbow is back to normal. I also suspect that using a touchpad on a laptop contributed to the problem, and have cut back on that repetitive movement.
Posted By: WBinDE

Re: My aching shoulder - 12/08/17 10:42 PM

I had my right rotator cuff done when I was 60. Mid-December. I was totally diligent about doing my exercises, PT, and stretches. It seems that whatever range of motion you get back after 8-10 weeks is pretty much all you're going to get, and the first 4 weeks you're in a sling not doing active stretching at all. I asked my surgeon when I could ride again and he said "when it's warm enough". I rode to my appointment in mid-March and he was like "I said not until it's warm enough!" And I said "it's 45 degrees and I have heated gear, that's warm enough." After he did the ROM and strength checks he told me that he'd planned on asking me back in another month but decided there was no point and discharged me. It still took a few more months to get full strength back in that arm though.

I was shocked how much strength I lost in just a few weeks in a sling, I couldn't reach out to grasp a doorknob.
Posted By: Paul De

Re: My aching shoulder - 12/09/17 03:15 PM

Originally Posted by Selden
....Then I decided to search for the effectiveness of corticosteroids for tennis elbow, and was horrified to learn that they are less effective than placebo, and actually increase the risk for long term injury by weakening the tendon.....

+1 to that

Onto my soapbox..
It blows my mind the number of folks who will put more time into researching the purchase of a new car or refrigerator and almost zero time into researching their heath care choices...present company excluded smile
Expert opinion aside you are your best health care advocate. Whether a needle or surgery these are invasive actions that have pros can cons to be considered and lots of information is needed to make the right choice. The issue of weakened tendons being brought up about corticosteroids are a well documented side effect all too often glossed over in the discussion of their use on your body. Too many times I have heard of, or been directly involved in medical treatment discussions where critical information was omitted or glossed over. Get multiple expert opinions and do a deep dive into any information you can find (hence your post here). Find a source to translate any technical mumbo jumbo into language you can understand. Before any surgery review the data on the surgeon's number of and successful outcomes for the procedure your about to have. Do not forget to look into the hospitals track record or managing the surgical process to avoid the wrong procedure being done (wrong shoulder) and most of all how well they manage infection in their facility. Have they had problems with super infections. Too bad, so sad, if the doctor takes offense to your questions. In fact, maybe another doctor is in order if they behave that way. My wife and I literally had a doctor tell us that we should not read the statistical research we were quoting as it was too confusing for laymen like us...That doctor was replaced that day!
OK off my soapbox

Larry, I am sure you will arrive at a course of action and an outcome that is best for you and restores you to a high quality of life.
Posted By: Whip

Re: My aching shoulder - 12/13/17 01:03 AM

I had an aching shoulder for three months that never seemed to get better so I went to the local sports doc in Salida after Xrays and then MRI he said I had a torn rotator and the surgery/recovery was nuts.

A friend suggested acupuncture... four visits later 90% of my discomfort is gone and I am back in the gym weight lifting.


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