Karen's Rotator Cuff Rehabilitation

by Karen
(Merritt Island, Florida)

Me and my husband, Joe prior to my surgery

Me and my husband, Joe prior to my surgery

Well, first of all, I'm not an athlete. Yep, even non-athletes can and do get rotator cuff tears. Mine was a partial, near-full thickness tear of the supraspinatous tendon. The MRI also revealed a SLAP tear of the glenoid labrum and a large bone spur.


My injury occurred as a result of lifting a pillow at an odd angle, albeit, a dense pillow, approx. 5 pounds. However, I had also just completed chemotherapy for breast cancer and my body was in a much weakened state. I recently turned 50, so there was degeneration due to aging as well. So I guess one would say, there were a combination of reasons for my injury.

This resulted in a partially frozen shoulder. I had difficulty dressing myself and doing simple, every day tasks. It was painful and also irritating to be so limited in my activities.

Ultimately, I had 12 weeks of physical therapy 3 times a week and I also did my at-home exercises faithfully twice a day. Fortunately, my shoulder became unfrozen.

So, if there's any lesson in this, DO YOUR PHYSICAL THERAPY, whatever your physical therapist (PT) and doctor want you to do, but don't overdo it...because you can actually slow down your recovery and increase your pain.

I tend to be a perfectionist, so I thought that I could grit my teeth through the pain and was willing to do it 6 times a day if it would make it better faster. Not so. It takes what it takes.

Be patient. I actually learned that my body responded better by limiting my at-home exercises to once a day rather than twice.

Due to concerns about my overall health at the time, my surgery was delayed for 3 months. I got back to school, the gym, and got lazy about my at-home physical therapy...a BIG mistake.

While my shoulder did not refreeze, I did lose some range of motion I had regained and my pain increased. I thought working out and lifting weights were strengthening the shoulder so that the other exercises were no longer necessary.

The PT's know what they're talking about. They're still necessary. I'm a good or bad example depending on your perspective.

Three months later, I've had surgery and am now 4 weeks after surgery and still in a sling. Rehab started within a week of surgery and I go 3 times a week for therapy where only the PT moves the shoulder.

Soon, I get to add at-home therapy and am excited to begin actively working towards a full recovery. They tell me it will be a minimum of 4-6 months, possibly even a year, but whatever it takes, physical therapy will be a top priority in my daily routine even after I've finished my rehab.

Please be encouraged!

If a 50 year old woman, who had gastric bypass surgery in 2006, is recovering from breast cancer from 2007 (I'm cancer-free now by the way) can recover from a rotator cuff tear repair in 2008, so can you.

Keep a positive attitude, work through the pain and do your at-home exercises, no matter what it takes.

I intend to get my full range of motion back so I can golf, fully participate at the gym and ball room dance.

I'll keep you all posted on my progress and how well I achieve my goal of reclaiming my life to the fullest!

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Apr 27, 2016
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Cuff Rehabilitation NEW
by: Andre Ank

The human shoulder is unquestionably a standout amongst the most confounded and delicate joints in the human body. Despite the fact that to the normal man, this joint appears to be like the ball-in-attachment sort joint like the human hip, the shoulder is vastly different.

The bundle of your shoulder fundamentally sits in the middle of a shallow attachment in the scapula (shoulder bone) notwithstanding an indent in your neckline bone (clavicle). (1) If you consider it, how stable does the bundle of your silly (upper arm bone) skimming in the middle of your shoulder bone and your neckline bone sound? That is not stable sounding to me.

Presently, what keeps this joint stable is a gathering of little muscles that not just keep the ball part of the hilarious in the right spot, however permit an extensive variety of movement while keeping it there. Follow my blog kamagra http://www.pillenpalast.com/

Oct 28, 2015
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Jul 16, 2015
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Jun 27, 2015
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Jun 16, 2015
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good post NEW
by: Anonymous

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Jun 15, 2015
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Jun 01, 2015
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Sister karen NEW
by: Daniel

My dear sister Karen..I am very happy that you're cancer free now. I've tears in my eyes reading your story. you're one brave women. I help student write essay and i will definitely share your story with them so they can learn that this world is full of brave and strong human beings like you. I wish you stay happy forever with your husband.

May 11, 2015
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Update on my Rotator Cuff Rehab 8 years later NEW
by: Anonymous

Thank you all for your positive feedback. I especially appreciate the kind comments about the picture of my husband and me. (I lost him unexpectedly a few months after this post...a heart attack at 51.) Anyway, it is a blessing to know that my experience may have helped you. You all are inspiring to me.

I am now 57. I achieved an almost 100% recovery with my range of motion. Not important as I can do all of my daily functions. If I were a professional athlete, it might be important. I don't think ZUMBA counts in the professional athlete arena.

I do experience discomfort but primarily when I am very active or lifting something heavy. I guess some discomfort is part of life after this type of injury. I am not limited in anything I like to do such as offshore fishing, scuba diving for lobsters, scallops, snorkeling or ZUMBA. So for me, surgery was a success and Life is GOOD!

May 07, 2015
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good post NEW
by: Anonymous

I am altering to have surgery on my shoulder I have a full thickness tare and bones spures that were pulverized because of my fall I am frightened yet I know God will take me through Your state of mind is brilliant I am sensitive to most agony med's and I think thats the startling part they say the torment is terrible after sugery simply ask. buy real pinterest followers

Mar 30, 2015
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It's a shocking incident NEW
by: Anonymous

It's a shocking incident to me, and also a rare one. Through lifting a pillow you have just got this pain and it's very sad thing to know. I would like to write my essay on this injury so that people must be aware of it and be cautious before it occurs to them.

Mar 09, 2015
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reply NEW
by: Danny

This is the first time that I am hearing about the rotator cuff rehabilitation issue in non athletes. From the image, I can understand that your husband is very much loving and supporting to you. You must be so lucky. for more details

Apr 28, 2009
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Thanks
by: Sara Arthur

Dear Karen,
I am fixing to have surgery on my shoulder I have a full thickness tare and bones spures that were crushed due to my fall I am scared but I know God will take me through Your attitude is wonderful I am allergic to most pain med's and I think thats the scary part they say the pain is bad after sugery just pray..Isn't God wonderful im so thankful of you recovery from breast cancer

Apr 03, 2008
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What an Amazing and Encouraging Story!
by: Bart - SII

Karen, thank you SO much for sharing your experiences. You have definitely had quite a time over the last few years - yet you write with such optimism and such motivation!

Your positive attitude and unfailing drive to get better is what has and WILL make you successful. And it is a great inspiration for everyone who reads these pages. I wish all of my patients had your spirit!

Thanks again - and keep us posted as you progress!

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