Sleeping after rotator cuff surgery

by Sharon
(California)

Hi - I've read some of the posts and also have heard from other sources the value of a recliner for sleeping after rotator cuff surgery. May I ask why the need to sleep sitting up or reclining? I am scheduled for surgery late January and am now concerned since I don't have a recliner. I do have lots of pillows and am most curious. No one has ever fully explained the reasoning for the reclining position. Thanks so much.

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Dec 04, 2008
sleeping in recliner
by: Bart - SII

The reasoning behind the need for a recliner is the resting position of the humerus and shoulder when lying flat. In a recliner or propped up with pillows, you are able to 1) allow for gravity to distract the humerus from the glenoid (the normal hanging position) and 2) it prevents extension of the joint which occurs when you lay down on your back.

It comes down to finding a comfortable resting position for the arm that doesn't stress the repaired tissues.

My girlfriend underwent shoulder stabilization surgery in may and she spent the first few days in a recliner, but then moved to bed placing pillows under her back and arm to find that comfortable position. She was sleeping in a sling for the first few weeks to.

A recliner isn't necessary, but nice if you have one. If not, lots of pillows and help getting everything propped up and in place will work. The hardest part is that the normal rolling over and re-adjusting that we all do when we sleep isn't nearly as easy and so sleeping restfully can be challenging in the first few weeks.

Bart

Dec 31, 2008
Recliner
by: Anonymous

I just had rotator cuff surgery and have spent 8 nights in a recliner. I wish I could lie down in a bed, but it is too painful. Maybe if tou have someone with you at all times, to help you get up and also fix your pillows the right way, it might be possible. However, I would strongly suggest buying or renting the recliner....mine just pushes back, but be careful you don't get one with a handle on your bad side.

Mar 19, 2009
Sleeping issues
by: Steve D,

It is now not quite 3 weeks following my arthroscopic surgery for repair of a torn tendon and removal of bone spurs. Pain now is minimal. Annoyance is high. The sling is a constant companion. Going without it is just too risky. The hard part now is getting a good night's sleep, I use the recliner, and plug into the iPod and basically stay on my back trying to sleep. I am awake at least once per hour (darned clock!) and this routine is daily. Daytime naps on the couch help. but the routine as we knew it before surgery just cannot/will not resume for several more weeks. I have tried Tylenol PM. It did help, but I hate the morning-after feeling. In short, it all comes down to what works for each person. Avoid the bed as it just worsens the sleep pattern.

Mar 28, 2009
Recovery time and sleeping after surgery
by: Charlie H

I'm in week 3 after the surgery and the first week was hell trying to sleep. I have sleep apena as well and this only worsend me trying to sleep.
I chose the bed with lots of pillows , and had my wife proped me up so I could wear my mask. The arm still hurts when moved the wrong way, The Dr. told me 6 weeks til pain goes away and up to a year untill I get back to 100%. But to be able to use the arm with out any pain after the heal time I think it was worth it. You just got to get use to doing nothing!! Do the time, do what the Dr. says, do not over do it.

Apr 21, 2009
Bless Your Hearts....
by: Anonymous

I had surgery on my shoulder 9 months ago. I was t-boned in my car, driver side door. I felt a snap thinking I broke my arm and I had extrememe pain coming from my neck. I feared the worst that my neck was broke. Thank God I was ok. I went through 7 months of therapy before they finally done surgery because my two MRI came back negative. I cried in my doctor's office and begged for help. When they done surgery, they told my gf that my shoulder was torn all to pieces. I had spurs, ruptured my bicep tendon, torn rotator cuff, torn the muscle from the top of the shoulder blade, and had a partial dislocation. I went for 3 months without pain med because doctor's didnt' believe me. Surgery helped a great deal, but I'm still in pain. I'm hoping this will go away. I've heard that it takes a long time to heal. As for sleeping, I didn't sleep hardly at all the first two weeks after surgery. I'm like everyone else, I had to sleep upright. One piece of advice, I got a urinal beside my bed because I was hooked up to a cooler. And, it was difficult going to the bathroom. Plus, I was so out of it from the drugs, that I had a hard time walking straight. So, it was also a safety issue. I also suggest that for the ladies out there, invest in a few nite gowns that zip up the front and have huge sleeves for easy access to get in and out of. I dont' know about everyone else but I didn't even want anyone to touch me, and I wouldn't move unless I absolutely had to. I was in so much pain, that the least amount of movement was excrutiating. I hope I'm not scaring anyone, I'm just trying to be honest. And, I'm not the type to complain about pain. It was the worst thing besides giving birth that I've ever been through. And, I hope I never have to experience it agian. I will say this. I dont' regret having the surgeyr. It did help with my pain significantly. So, I don't want to sound like the barrier of bad news. I just want to be honest for those out there thinking about having surgery. Make sure you try and get someone to be with you at home for "at least" the first week...if not two weeks. Just because it's shoulder surgery...don't take it lightly...this is a major surgery.....I couldn't even wipe my own bottom.....it had to be done for me....that's sad...

Jun 11, 2009
Sleeping after rotator cuff surgery
by: Gina

It's true about the recliner. If you are having surgery, try to get one. The reason is, sometimes (depending on how they do your surgery and where the repair is),your back might feel like it is on fire (as mine did) after the surgery. If you sit up there is less pressure on it. Also when you have to go to the bathroom you can't just sit up normally without straining your shoulder muscles, you have to kind of roll on your side and put your feet on the floor to get up, otherwise it hurts more. You will probably only get 3-4 hours of sleep till you wake up from moving onto an area that causes you enough pain to wake up. If you have to sleep in a bed, put pillows next to the side your surgery was on and also the other side, so that you do not roll and turn on your sides. This helps you get more sleep. The worst pain is the first 72 hours, after that it is a lot less. I also think the Dr.'s ought to give people morphine for the pain, because when it takes 3500 mgs. of Vicodin to dull the pain enough for you to only get 3 hrs. of sleep, that pain needs something stronger than that.

Jun 21, 2009
rotator cuff surgery
by: michael

Coming up on a month since I had open rotator cuff surgery.. i had a full tear. Sleeping the first 2 weeks was just to painful..i tried to relax in a recliner but even though i was on pain meds the pain kept me up. Im up to about 3 hrs of sleep a night in my bed but god for bid if I lay the wrong way woww painful!. The worst thing about this surgery was I was pretty built and after surgery my arm immediately went to mush. Very hard to look at myself like this but I got the surgery to better my future. I sacrificed my summer and body to better myself when Im all healed up...hopefully! RIght now I still cant even move my arm for my life its so freaky. Well anyway Best wishes to all of you and a quick recovery! Ill be back in the gym as soon as Im able to ;)

Jun 22, 2009
Sleeping after Rotator Cuff Surgery
by: Michael (from NE)

Hi fellow sufferers,
I had rotator cuff surgery on my right shoulder Dec 1994. I had to sleep sitting up for 3 weeks. I’m a wrestler and it took me until September 1995 before I could return to full unrestricted wrestling. My shoulder never did return to the full abilities I had prior to the surgery ( being able to bench 225 lbs, being able to do 20+ pull ups etc.), however I was able to “wrestle” again and I felt very little pain after about 1 year. Over the last 14+ years I apparently forgot how painful the surgery recovery had been because on April 2009 I had my left shoulder operated on. It’s been almost 2 months and my shoulder still hurts and my range of motion sucks. I still sleep in a recliner most nights. I have taken over 100 pain pills (px) durning the past 2 months for the pain which seems to be worst at night. But I see weekly improvements in the strength of my arm and its range of motion, so I have some hope. I need to find some exercises I can do to keep this from happening again. Does anyone have suggestions for me on exercises I can do, AFTER I’m recovered, to strengthen my shoulders and prevent this from happening again?

Send an email to mjbahr007@aol.com if you have any suggestions.
Put ROTATOR CUFF SURGERY RECOVERY in the title of your emails and don’t include any attachments. If you don’t know what you are talking about please spare me and don’t send me an email. If you are a doctor, PT therapist, athletic trainer, or an experienced coach, I would really like to hear from you!

Jun 27, 2009
sleep
by: Pat

I am 1 week post-op(June 19, 2009)for rotator cuff repair, a/c joint removal, and biceps tendonesis. I too have been sleeping in a recliner but I find my butt getting sore from sleeping in one spot. I wake up frequently, tho I'm down to 1/2 percocet at bedtime and before exercises. My range of motion is pretty good tho pretty painful. I am going to try sleeping in my bed with pillows tonight. I've been looking on line at wedge pillows. They are primarily for acid reflux, but I wonder if they might work for this as well.

Jul 31, 2009
SLAP Repair and Sub A/C procedure
by: Anonymous

Surgery 6/24/09 so I am about 5 weeks postop. I was amazed at how badly it hurt to lay flat on the floor for the first time. Am out of the mobilizer and moving the arm. My range of motion sucks. This is the most painful surgery I've ever experienced. I am fearful that I will not regain my ROM or strength. I am not sleeping through the night yet...too much pain. Therapy starts next week. Doctor told me I could return to work in 7 days....right. I wonder why it still hurts so bad, did the doctor make it worse? Not sure. If I had to go through this again, I wouldn't do it.

Aug 03, 2009
rotator cuff repair
by: kathy

I just had the rotator cuff repaired and bone spurs removed to in my left arm thank god i am right handed it helped alot . I did have help the first few weeks if i needed it for certain things i am a very independent person and i was going to not let this get me down you have to say to yourself it hurts but really try i slept on the couch for three weeks and now i am into my sixth week and in my bed the pain does get better and physical therapy helps me alot takes alot of the stiffness out but i know i will never be 100 percent again my lawyer told me after a year i could see the doctor and get a award from my employer because i got hurt at work and i will go for it my lawyer only gets payed if i get the award and you know it does depend on age, and how determined you are i am lifting my arm almost over my head and it is only sixth weeks thanks to physical therapy but im very careful i dont want to go for surgery again so i only use my left shoulder doing what the doctor says is okay to do, the exercises i do are pulleys ,bike , and shoulder crunchs thats were you lean up against the wall and press you arms down and your shoulders back and squeeze together and that helps with the pain because i dont really beleive in taking pills but i did take oxycodone for two weeks the doctor perscribed it every four hours and i took it only when i needed it mostly at night so if you are determined you can get stronger you really have to work at it and try to keep the pain off your mind and i know thats easier said then done but it does help my cats helped me company for me and i went for walks i now also am driven again i exercise daily but dont over do it about one hour a day twice a day i have a set of pulleys and they have helped so does massages i hope this encourages some of you that are ready to give up . my email is snowey2468@hotmail.com if you want to ask anything.

Aug 14, 2009
Rotator Cuff Surgery
by: Linda

I had rotator cuff surgery 6/25/09. The worst part was wearing the brace for 6 weeks. The metal portion of the brace that attached to my waist crushed my inner elbow and caused me more pain and discomfort than the surgery. When I finally got the brace off my elbow was swollen and very painful. I started physical therapy 2 weeks after surgery and am just now beginning to feel like I'm improving. My range of motion stinks, but is definitely improving. The important thing is to do everything your doctor and physical therapist tells you to do. I'm still having a lot of trouble sleeping. As soon as I lay down to sleep my shoulder hurts so bad that it keeps me awake. I'm so exhausted from not getting a good nights sleep. Does anyone have any sugestions for getting a good night sleep? I'm hoping that I get back my full range of motion that I had before the surgery.

Aug 18, 2009
Help
by: Genie

I had rotator cuff surgery on July 24. Here it is August 18 and my doctor still has not removed the staples. I only had the sling on for a week. What's up with that? I am still in a lot of pain. God, I pray this will go away soon. I have and app't with my doctor today to remove the staples. I am going to tell him I am in so much pain and ask why.

Aug 18, 2009
3 months in
by: Anonymous

I had rotator cuff repairs and acromioplasty surgery on May 19th 2009.I have returned to work on light duty for 2 hrs/ day for 2 weeks now. I have found that 2 hrs is plenty for now because the arm ( my dominant side ) is extremely sore upon waking and takes a great deal of teeth grinding effort to get it moving enough to get heat and ice applie to it. This surgery is painful from day one but over time and with perseverence and caution it is the right choice to avoid even worse situations down the line.


Aug 20, 2009
Sleep Meds?
by: Ohio Mom

I'm 3 wks and 2 days post-op (RC repair, bicep tenodesis, bone spur removal, AC work, arthritis clean-up). My ROM is actually better than was expected. My pain is still constant but has changed from searing to aching. My biggest problem by far is lack of sleep. I have a couple of recliners to choose from, an army of pillows, and an electric pump ice machine but I cannot get more than 1.5 to 2 hrs of sleep at a time and can't seem to accumulate more than about 4 hrs each night I've tried melatonin and benadryl. They make me drowsy but cannot sustain my sleep. When I wake up after taking these meds -- every 1 - 2 hours -- I just feel goofy and dizzy. Has anyone asked their docs for something like ambien and did it work? The sleep deprivation is really getting to me physically and emotionally. I think that my life would change if I could string a couple of decent nights' sleep together.

Aug 20, 2009
Sleep meds?
by: Pat

I take two Tylenol PM's before bed and I can sleep through the night.

Aug 20, 2009
Comments for Ohio Mom + Update my Progress
by: Michael

I take ambien (not the CR) and it does help with the sleep a little. The problem is that it just helps you to go to sleep it does not keep you asleep. When your meds wear off or you move the wrong way you will still wake up. I had very little sleep beyond 2 hours at a stretch for the first 6-8 weeks. .I had surgery 4-30-09. Since it involved a Bicep Tendon repair I was told not to exercise my arm for 5 weeks to give time for the tendon to repair. Unfortunately my shoulder "froze" which means scar tissue formed and the shoulder was very tight and very hard to move. Did I mention PAIN? I have been going to physical therapy for almost 2 months and the pain is less and my motion is improving. I anticipate about 1 more month of stretching then most likely 2 months of supervised exercise before I’m back to my previous level. I hope to toughen up my shoulders so this never happens again. Once in both shoulders is more than enough! To those just starting this journey hang in there I feel your PAIN!

Aug 20, 2009
Ohio Mom & Michael
by: Pat

I also had the tendonesis with my rotator cuff repair as well as a/c joint removal and I had my first PT the day after my surgery and for every day for the first week. After that, it was three times a week. I am down to twice a week now and have almost full range of motion tho I don't have the strength yet. We are just now starting to work on that. The PT pain is still really rough, but I'm hoping with the strengthening, it will lessen as well. I am sleeping through the night in my bed and have been for the past four weeks, tho I use a wedge pillow so I'm not sleeping flat. My surgery was 6/19/09. It's really strange, the different protocols for the same basic surgery.

Aug 22, 2009
i just want to go to bed!
by: liz

i had surgery on august 12. i had bone spurs as well as calcium deposits removed. my rotator cuff was torn and the doctor said that during the surgery he straightened out my arm and because of limited rom it tore the cuff some more. he took care of those repairs. for the first 6 days i was so sick from the anesthesia - headaches, dizzy, blurry vision. just felt really blah. took percoset and a nausea pill for 4 days and then felt i didn't need that. the pain was manageable did some pendulum exercises, and iced a lot. got the stitches out on day 5 and started pt on day 6 (8/18). went to pt on the 19th as well as yesterday (21st). felt i was doing well. then last night while "sleeping" in the recliner i kind of cat stretched my body out inadvertantly, including my arm (i cannot wear that sling while in the recliner. so uncomfortable. actually i find that sling always uncomfortable, so i keep my arm down at my side when i'm home.), and now my shoulder feels really tight and uncomfortable. i'm so worried i screwed things up. i don't go back to my therapist till monday. i'm so worried about this. the extra exercises i've been doing at home with the pulleys, etc. for the past few days are now painful and not as smooth. something feels like it's catching.
i find sleeping in the recliner incredibly difficult. my tush is just so tired of being sat on! i've tried propping pillows on the bed, etc. but after 10 minutes it feels like my arm is broken. i can't lie there.i keep thinking about the first night i'll be able to sleep like a normal person, but i guess that won't happen for a long time. i'm going to try tylenol pm tonight.
i have to say that i wish i hadn't gone through with this surgery. my shoulder hurt before it, but in hindsight, i could have lived with it. i don't see how i'll ever be "normal" again.......

Aug 23, 2009
Tougher than I thought
by: Anonymous

Had rotator cuff and labrum surgery on Friday. Dr. said my shoulder was a mess. Needed five anchors rather than three. Took two percocets every four or so hours. First 24 hours was horrible. Better today (just took a gingerly shower with the help of my wife. Sleeping has been tough. The recliner is ok. The icing machine is a godsend. I actuall look forward to my three hours of therapy in "the chair". I really don't know how long I've slept over the last two days. Hopefully I get six or seven in tonight.

Aug 23, 2009
follow up - tylenol pm
by: liz

i tried the tylenol pm last night and it worked. i awoke, minimally, at some point during the night and felt like i was in a coma! i realized that even my toes were asleep!! but sure enough, 8 hours later i completely woke up. i would recommend it if you're having trouble sleeping in your chairs!
i think tonight i might try one pill instead of the 2 because i'm only 5'5 and weigh 127 lbs. the full dosage might be too much of a good thing for someone my size.
i was very conscious of not stretching out my arm again this morning. my exercises here at home are coming along again, so maybe i didn't screw things up the other night. i'll know for sure when i go back to the therapist tomorrow. but i have to say that today i feel like i have "restless arm syndrome" or something. i can't find a comfortable position for my arm to rest in. anyone else finding that? this IS difficult, isn't it?
well, good luck to all of you. websites like this are helpful - it's good (and at the same time horrible) to know you're in a boat with many others...........


Aug 23, 2009
Been getting some sleep taking Unisom
by: Ohio Mom

I have slept better (not great) by taking Unisom. I am still waking up 3-4 times per night but I am able to back to sleep fairly quickly. Before I had to pace around, do pendulums, and ice to get the pain back under control when I would wake. I took one full pill the first night and it was WAAYYY too much for my system. I was out of it until 10:30 the next morning. 1/2 pill seems to be OK and I only feel a little hung-over the next morning. At least I'm not so blue and weepy because I'm sleeping. Next question for y'all. . . I have very little stamina and get very very tired doing very very little. I went to church today, did the simplest of chores, and put together the simplest of lunches and was extremely fatigued. I'm 3 1/2 weeks post-op. Has anyone else experienced this? If so, how long was it before your strength and endurance returned?

Aug 23, 2009
thoughts for ohio mom
by: liz

i feel your pain (no pun intended). i don't think it's unusual to be feeling tired. if you think about it - you're not sleeping well and you're in pain, which can be very debilitating. also, were you used to working out? up until 8/11, the day before my surgery, i had been going to the gym just about every day for the past 27 years (i discovered exercise after my son was born and i had 25 lbs. to lose). i always felt so healthy and strong and full of energy because of my workouts. this sitting around is exhausting! plus, again, if you think about it, you did go through major surgery. i think we all probably don't think of it that way, as we would if we had had open heart surgery or something. but i would guess most all of us were under for 2-3 hours. that takes a huge toll on the body..........

Aug 23, 2009
Surgery coming up..
by: Jody

Wow - the comments are incredibly frightening to someone who is scheduled for surgery in a couple of weeks! I heard from a friend who's had it done already that a recliner is important. So, I just did one little search and GEEZ! look at all these posts! My doctor has been very honest with me - I have a tear and bursitis but he won't really know the extent of damage until he gets in there
. I am a very active woman of 57 and really just need to go through with it. He told me that the only thing that will keep me from work for awhile will be the pain which, he admitted, is pretty darn awful. So, Tylenol PM (check), a good recliner (don't have one yet), gobs of pillows (check), iPod (check), audio books (check), large arm holed night gowns (um, not so much - what, K-Mart not Macys?), someone nice to live with who will fawn over me (check!). Trip to Jamaica planned in January, almost 4 months post-surgery - I am planning on being in pretty good shape as far as sleeping goes - I sure hope so!

I am going to die without my bike riding. However, next spring I will be ready to jump back on - God willing. Wish me LUCK and lots of good drugs!

Aug 23, 2009
Ouch
by: Anonymous

After 48 hours I started the pendulum exercises. VERY difficult. The range of motion chair is a breeze in comparison.

Aug 24, 2009
Slept ok last night
by: Anonymous

My Dr. said I could take 25mg of Benadryl to help with itchiness from Percoset and with sleep. Seemed to do the trick. My Iphone is great for one handed typing while sitting in the therapy chair.

Aug 24, 2009
update two and a half months later
by: kathy

my employer just told me my time to come back to work full duty or i loose my job. can you believe it i got hurt at work and they have the nerve to tell me that. i know they have the right to let me go my job was only protected for twelve weeks under the family medical leave act i am inproving everyday i am determined to not let this get me down but at times i wish i did not have to have the rotator cuff surgery along with the bone spurs because at times i have no strength in my left arm and hand i will never be the same and it really makes me want to cry the pain is bad only when the wheather is bad other then that its tolerable i keep going to physical therapy three times a week now my job says i have to make my appointments at night if i can so i dont take off so much and i have to countinue therapy two more months or so i am now able to raise my arm higher then a month ago but i have to rest my arm on the microwave to beable to fix my hair back brushing is okay and somedays i have a hard time getting undressed at night but i keep smiling and moving on i hope when i return to work sept 1st i can handle it the doctor thinks i will be okay but i know they will watch me specially since it was a workers comp case sleeping is alot better in bed but i cant sleep on my left side to watch tv in my room only on my back or right side so i have to sit up or lay on my back which i hate and i sleep right sided driving at times is crazy i try not to go in heavy crowds i drive early morning or after 6.00 at night when the traffic is not so heavy guess you adapt to what ever you can handle so my advise is to not give up.

Aug 24, 2009
update two and a half months later
by: kathy

my employer just told me my time to come back to work full duty or i loose my job. can you believe it i got hurt at work and they have the nerve to tell me that. i know they have the right to let me go my job was only protected for twelve weeks under the family medical leave act i am inproving everyday i am determined to not let this get me down but at times i wish i did not have to have the rotator cuff surgery along with the bone spurs because at times i have no strength in my left arm and hand i will never be the same and it really makes me want to cry the pain is bad only when the wheather is bad other then that its tolerable i keep going to physical therapy three times a week now my job says i have to make my appointments at night if i can so i dont take off so much and i have to countinue therapy two more months or so i am now able to raise my arm higher then a month ago but i have to rest my arm on the microwave to beable to fix my hair back brushing is okay and somedays i have a hard time getting undressed at night but i keep smiling and moving on i hope when i return to work sept 1st i can handle it the doctor thinks i will be okay but i know they will watch me specially since it was a workers comp case sleeping is alot better in bed but i cant sleep on my left side to watch tv in my room only on my back or right side so i have to sit up or lay on my back which i hate and i sleep right sided driving at times is crazy i try not to go in heavy crowds i drive early morning or after 6.00 at night when the traffic is not so heavy guess you adapt to what ever you can handle so my advise is to not give up.

Sep 01, 2009
How is everyone doing?
by: Liz

I was just wondering if anyone wanted write a follow up on how you're doing.
I'm 3 weeks out and going to PT 3X a week. Progress is very slow - still all passive movement stuff. My arm seems to ache all the time. Nothing crazy painful, just uncomfortable. I find that something is always "catching" in my arm if I move it wrong. If it gets to be too much I'll take one 500 mg. Tylenol. Doesn't really work all that well, but 2 of those pills makes me feel sick. I'm hoping that when I go back to see the doctor the end of next week he'll let me start taking Advil. That always worked for me in the past for other things. Still "sleeping" in my recliner. Hate it. I've tried going to bed - using pillows/ NOT using pillows - I last for one hour and go back to the chair. Too painful. Sleep is still difficult for sure......
Anyway, how are you all doing???

Sep 01, 2009
Just starting with a physical therapist
by: Genie

Had my rotator cuff surgery on July 24th. Here it is Sept. 1st and finally on Sept. 3rd I start my therapy. I had some home exercises but I guess I have not done them enough because now my doctor says physical therapy with a therapist. It still hurts a lot at times. Some days it just aches and aches. I went back to work FT two weeks after my surgery. Some days still, I wish I could go home and lay down with an ice bag and some pain pills. I keep plugging along, but I sure do wish by Thanksgiving I will be OK. I still can't reach behind my back to close my bra. Have to put it around my waist in the front, turn it around and pull it up. Same with belt loops on my jeans and dress pants, I can't reach behind my back. Have to use my right arm to try to catch the belt as my left arm can't reach back that far. The left arm is the surgery arm. Is this common with anyone?

Sep 01, 2009
dont give up it takes time
by: kathy

genie,

I had the same problem with my bra and i could not wear tee shirts or any other shirts that hung over my area were the surgery was if you want to hear more about my recovery you can email me at snowey2468@hotmail.com i had surgery back on june 15th and its been rough for me love to hear from you take care and hope you recover well

Sep 02, 2009
Update
by: Pat

I saw my surgeon last Thursday. My surgery was 19th of June and I have almost full range of motion. I am just now starting to work on strength with the therapist twice a week for the next 8 weeks. I am able to put my bra on behind my back. I don't have any problems sleeping, but I do still use a wedge pillow. I had a tendonesis along with the rotator cuff repair so I have a screw in my arm. My Dr says I have inflamation there and has put me on a short dose of steriods and I was told to ice my shoulder periodically during the day. I am back at work two days a week. I work at a veterinary hospital and one of the vets I work with fixes me up with an ace bandage and ice pack a couple of times during the day. It does seem to help. This whole process just seems to take forever, but I guess I am fortunate that I can pretty much function, even if it isn't completely without pain for now. I wish you all good luck with your recovery.

Sep 02, 2009
My insurance company cut off my physical therapy.
by: Linda

I had my rotator cuff surgery which included removing a calcium deposit and then repairing my tendon, on June 25th 2009. My insurance company which is Empire government has only allowed me 15 physical therapy visits and has now cut me off. If I want to continue my therapy, I have to pay totally out of my pocket. Has anyone else encountered this problem and if so, do you have any suggestions on how to fight this? My surgeon has said that I need 6 months of physical therapy, and I'm only 2 month into it. Way too soon to be cut off. If I stop now I'm afraid I will be crippled for life. My range of motion has improved considerably since removing that awful brace, but I still have a long way to go. I can hardly reach behind my back. I think it's very cruel of the insurance companies to cut me off way before I'm ready. Does anyone have any suggestions on what I can do?

Sep 12, 2009
Can't sleep
by: Anonymous

I had rotator cuff surgery May 17,09. Here it is Sept. 12, 09. I still can't sleep. I don't like sleeping on my back and I can't get comfortable. The Dr. prescribed ambia and it does make me sleepier but as you can see it is 3:30 a.m. and i'm still awake. I'm really not in alot of pain, bu discomfort. Any comments on this?

Sep 12, 2009
4 days post-op
by: Jody

I had surgery Tues. Sept. 8th - got a nerve block so the first 18 hours were bliss. Pain was pretty bad the 2nd day and night, but I quit the Percocet Thursday night. It's Saturday and I have been taking only a Tylenol here and there. I ended up having the tear repaired, a bone spur ground down and my tendon smoothed out, plus I had a lot of bursitis to remove. I see the surgeon Monday. Today I took a shower by myself and washed my hair - felt great and didn't get any bandages wet. I do feel some discomfort - it's expected with surgery - but really, I feel great. I am sleeping in a recliner and icing a few times a day. I am taking naps here and there. Haven't been out of the house since Tues. and I think we will go to a movie today. Oh, my jeans are on! I bought a great bra that hooks in the front so that is working well. Got in on by myself today. My husband was great help and continues to be but I really can do most this stuff by myself. I am not doing any PT yet but I think that will begin next week. NOT looking forward to that - I know it's going to hurt. I will really have to self motivate to do the exercises at home if they hurt a lot. My husband will have to crack the whip! I am looking forward to Jamaica with the family in January and being back on my bike early spring - those are my motivators.

Sep 14, 2009
reply to i was cut off for physical therapy
by: kathy

linda,

the insurance companys call the shots about what they are going to cover i have mvp threw my job and they dont allow for physical therapy at all it depends on what plan your company picks they usually ofer them three diffrent plans and they pick which one they can aford i learned this from a lady that worked at mvp she said most insurance companys do this im lucky that my physical therapy is being paid by my workers comp but i was recently told they pay for so many vists a year im not sure. i got hurt at work and its been almost a year andseven months since i got hurt then i had my surgery which was rotator cuff repair along with bone spurs i have been also doing therapy at home and its been three months since my surgery and i do alot of stretching and i have a set of pulleys if you would like to email me i can tell you what else that might help your recovery im not a doctor but ive been threw alot and maybe i can help my email adress is snowey2468@hotmail.com hope this helps you

Sep 17, 2009
actually sorta sleeping
by: Anonymous

Today is 6 weeks after the surgery and I really haven't had a lot of problems to speak of. They did a block of the nerve in the right arm that was operated on and that block lasted two days during which I took the pain meds as prescribed. I can't say I have had a lot of pain. Discomfort but no severe pain. I have been sleeping in a recliner for 6 weeks and it hasn't been the best but I have had some nights with good sleep and most nights I do sleep. I do have two cats that think me in the recliner is just for them to be lap kitties and I sleep through that. I had the surgery on the 5th of Aug and started rehab on the 10th which I think has helped a lot. I have been religious with the rehab doing the exercises three times a day as a rule. The sling came off today and that is nice to be able to use the right arm again although the use is limited. Tonight I am going to try the bed again. I have done that before and sleeping on my back after a couple of hours I have a stinging feeling in my left thigh for some reason.

Sep 19, 2009
Still in a recliner
by:

I had the surgery on 8/12 and I'm still in my recliner. Once in a while I try to go to bed, but after a few minutes on my back my shoulder starts to throb. I try to turn on my good side with a pillow under my bad shoulder forearm, but that gets painful after a while. So after a couple of hours of trying different positions I go back to my chair. I've talked to so many people who say they've been able to go to bed after 2 or 3 weeks with no problems!! I feel so ridiculous that I still can't lie down. Please tell me someone else out there is in the same boat........

Sep 19, 2009
Still can't get a good night sleep.
by: Linda

I had my rotator cuff surgery on June 25th and I still can't get a good night sleep. I am able to sleep in my bed, but I'm still having pain in my shoulder as soon as I lie down. I've been taking two tylenol pm's every night before I go to bed and this has been allowing me to get about 3 to 4 hours of sleep before I'm awoken with pain. I can't wait until I can sleep through the night without any pain and without taking tylenol pm.

Sep 20, 2009
actually sorta sleeping update.
by: Anonymous

I got the sling off last Wednesday and yesterday it went back on. I overdid it and the doc said if the shoulder got to hurting to use the sling. I tried sleeping in the bed and that didn't work to well. I did three nights and was comfortable on my back but that is not a comfortable position for me. I tried sleeping on my left side and that worked for about 30 minutes and then the shoulder would start hurting. I think that trying to sleep without the sling has created some pain as when I got up this morning it hurt like the dickens so I will keep it on for a while and see if that helps. I have been by myself for a while to and it is impossible to not use the right hand and arm a lot so I think that has not helped.

Sep 20, 2009
5 1/2 weeks out.......
by: Liz

It's a funny thing about these blogs. As bad as it is to hear that others are in pain and going through the same awful things, it's reassuring at the same time that we're all not crazy. I had surgery on 8/12 and also can't sleep in a bed. I last a few minutes and then I call it quits because of pain and go back to the recliner. It seems like it will be a long time away before I can crawl into bed and be comfortable. I'm going away for a few days starting 10/21 and I'm already nervous about it because I'm hoping I'll be able to sleep in a hotel bed by then!!!
I'm still going to therapy 3 times a week. Everything is still passive movement but hopefully next week I'll start to work my muscles. My ROM still needs a lot of work but I'm very diligent about doing my home exercises - usually I do them 5 times a day if I can. I don't wear a sling because I find it more uncomfortable than not wearing one. But just letting my arm hang is not pleasant either. When I go for a walk I cradle my bad arm with my good one. People must think I'm nuts, but that's OK.
I also find that Tylenol is like a sugar pill for me. It doesn't work AT ALL! I can't wait till I get permission to take Advil - that will help at night, I'm sure. (did anyone else's doctor not allow them to take an anti inflammatory for 8 weeks??) I'm also still not allowed to drive which makes me crazy. My doctor said until I can grip the wheel and turn it quickly he won't clear me for driving.
So anyway, it certainly hasn't been easy these last 5 1/2 weeks. I'm hoping that in the next week or two things change dramatically.......
Hang in there, everyone.......

Sep 20, 2009
3 months and still not driving
by: Linda

I drive a stick shift, so I asked my doctor when I would know that I was ready to drive. He told me that I had to be able to take the palm of my hand and place it on the crown of my head. It's been almost three months and I'm almost able to do it, but not comfortably. I think I'll be able to drive soon, but don't want to chance it till I'm ready. Thank goodness for a wonderful support group and good friends that have been shlepping me back and forth to work and physical therapy and everywhere else I need to go. This surgery is something you should definetly think twice about if you are alone. You need someone with you to help you. On the positive side, I'm beginning to be able to sleep better at night with not too much pain!!!! Good luck to all. I know it's tough, but there is a light at the end of the tunnel.

Sep 21, 2009
I'm still in pain
by: Genie R

It will be 2 months on Sept. 24 since I had my rotater cuff surgery and I am still in pain most of the time. I have not had a good nights sleep in months between pain before my surgery and still now. My therapist said not to push myself. As soon as I feel pain to stop doing that exercise. I just do a few and then it hurts like the dickens. I thought we are supposed to push it to make our muscles work again. I am so miserable I should have never had the surgery. At times it hurts more than before the surgery. I am giong to give it a couple of more weeks and if there is no improvement then I am going back to my surgeon and ask him why do I still feel so much pain. He told me I could get rid of the sling after my first week. I have been talking to others who have had rotater cuff surgery and they said they had the sling on for at least 2 weeks. The only time they took it off was to shower. Can it be possible to be in so much pain still? I am afraid I have to get another surgery. Is it too soon to worry, or should I be much further along by now? Thank you anyone for any comments.

Sep 21, 2009
RE: Genie
by: Linda

Genie- I had my surgery 3 months ago, so how I felt after 2 months is still pretty fresh in my mind. I had many moment where I felt like you, and wished I had never had the surgery. I think each person is different and also your surgery might be different. I had a calcium deposit removed and also my tendon repaired. At month two I had gained some of my range of motion back and really only experienced pain when sleeping or being stretched by my physical therapist. If you are in bad pain when you are not doing anything, maybe it's a good idea to speak to your surgeon. I can tell you that for me it definetly gets better as time goes by. I'm just now starting to get a decent nights sleep and not feeling too much pain at night. During the day I don't have any pain. I think my arm that I had surgery on feels better than my other arm. Hang in there. It does get better.

Sep 21, 2009
after surgery
by: previously anonymous, now Jim

I was told to keep the sling on for 6 weeks. Only off to shower and change clothes and so on. I had a major tear on the top tendon as it was 3 cm back and had to be pulled back in place and sewn and the tendon in front was torn 1/2 way through. The bicep tendon is gone. Lots of scar tissue in the joint I guess. The had a lot of stuff to remove. I am now sorta out of the sling as I overdid things when the sling came off. I put the sling back as I was told if there was pain from over exertion it would help. I am also taking pain meds and needed. Lortab 7.5 mg.

Sep 21, 2009
To Genie
by: Liz

I'm only be at 6 weeks on Wednesday so I can't speak to how it should feel at 8 weeks. I can tell you though that my arm aches almost all the time. It's not out and out pain, but just kind of like a toothache kind of thing. When I do my exercises at home there definitely is some pain involved. I really do think that it has a lot to do with what had to be done at the time of surgery. Some people just have a tear repaired. Others have more. I had a torn cuff but also bone spurs, calcium deposits, manipulation under anesthesia, lots of debridement. Perhaps you had even more than that. I would definitely think about setting up an appointment with your surgeon so that you can discuss your issues with him. Let him (her?) know exactly what worries you and maybe he could put your mind at ease and explain what's going on. What is your therapist's opinion? I pump my PT all the time about where I should be right now, and although I think I'm not making much progress he's always reassuring that I'm where I should be for WHAT I HAD DONE. We even had that talk today. Every case is so different and people heal at incredibly different speeds.
Hang in there, Genie. We all feel your pain. Keep us up to date.....

Sep 22, 2009
update after 4 months of surgery
by: kathy

I have been almost 4 months now and i have to tell you that it does get better and everyone is right people do have diffrent levels of pain and recovery. me i was in my bed after 2 months sleeping good and driving about 5 weeks only to the store and therapy now im back to work full duty and driving all over i still have days when the shoulder hurts bad almost like its bruised and massages help that alot but it depends on how much i use it or the wheather to. be patient for the ones that are only 2 to 3 months it does get better a few weeks ago i could not even put my hair back with out putting my arm up on a cabinet to hold it but now i reach the back of my hair to clip it but the days it hurts i still have to occasinley use the cabinet to hold my arm up to my hair so be patient easier said then done i know but when you start noticing things you can do you will be amazed and proud you could do them for yourself and dont feel shame to ask for help still at any month after surgery because everyone heals diffrent rember? and there will still be times you will need help i still do i cant hold on things when i try lifting small light pagages yet and at therapy i have to tell the therapist not today i cant do it but i will try to do a few exercises but cant promise anything and i had rotator cuff repair/bone spurs

Sep 23, 2009
I getting really afraid
by: Genie R

Thank you Liz, Linda, Jim and Kathy for your comments. I am so discouraged. Tomorrow, the 24th, it will be 2 months since my rotator cuff surgery. I just don't believe it, I am just as bad as I was before the surgery. I keep thinking perhaps he should never have told me I didn't need the sling after using it for only six days. I have to go back to him and ask him what the heck went wrong? I guess I will wait till October, say another week or ten days, then if there is absolutely no improvement I'm going to get an app't to see him. Every morning I have to get up for work, so tired, swollen eyes, I just look horrid. I think you can see the pain in my face. Again last night, I woke up at 5:00 a.m. and put an ice bag on my shoulder. I hardly have any pain pills left so I use them sparingly when I just can't stand it. Otherwise, I use ibuprophen (probably spelled it wrong). I have had other surgery in my life - back, knee, and my other shoulder but that was not for a rotator cuff, it was for a bone spur. I never have experienced such pain for so long after surgery. If I have to get another surgery I will be so upset. More time off from work and more money as I had to pay 10% of this surgery. Thank God at least I do have health insurance. My physical therapist said not to push it on my exercises. Soon as I feel pain, stop that exercise. I always thought you had to push yourself so your body would get better and used to doing things. I'm so confused. Thank you for all your kind thoughts.

Sep 23, 2009
Your therapy, Genie
by: Liz

Genie, in looking back at posts I noticed that you said that your surgery was 7/24 but you didn't start real PT till 9/3. Maybe that could be a reason you're still in a lot of pain. Now, I'm not a PT or a doctor so don't quote me on this, but I think the usual protocol is to start physical therapy a lot sooner than 6 weeks after surgery. I know you mentioned that you did therapy at home, which is great, but you didn't have a therapist stretching you out and giving you new exercises to do as you progressed. Maybe you formed scar tissue which is impeding your progress. Again, I'm not a doctor, but from everything I've read therapy usually starts 4 to 6 days after surgery. You might want to ask someone about this.
Hang in there.........

Sep 23, 2009
My doctor didn't send me till later
by: Genie R

Hi Liz,

My doctor gave me home exercises about two weeks after surgery. I had the staples in for almost a month. When I went back the third time he finally took the staples out. I complained I was in a lot of pain. Then he said I should see a therapist. By the time I got in to see the therapist was almost another two weeks, so as you stated, it was approximately 6 weeks till I saw the therapist. I must have a rotten therapist. She showed me exercises and had me run through them, but she never stretched me. Also, she said not to push it, if it hurts stop. What do you think will happen now? Too late to break down any scar tissue? Thanks for your concern.

Sep 23, 2009
To Genie
by: Liz

Boy. It sounds like a tough situation for you. I don't know. If it were me I'd make an appointment asap with the surgeon. Ask him why you didn't go for therapy right away. Ask him if he thinks scar tissue is hampering your healing process. See if you can change therapists. It all doesn't sound right to me that they're not being more aggressive with this. Not having someone stretch you out is not good. I went today to PT and I go through my exercises and then I lie on a table and he takes my arm and stretches it all the way back towards my head - he does it about 10 times, stretching it further each time. It's agony but he gets it further each session. Then he stretches my arm out to the side, kind of in a "L" shape, and does that a number of times. Once a week he measures to see what degree I'm at to make sure I'm making progress (I've been making steady progress till today - I actually lost 2 degrees. It was so darn upsetting.) Today he did a few new stretching things. I'm always on the table each session for about 20 - 25 minutes. These seem to be the things that need to be done and they're not doing this for you. Why else go to PT? The exercises anyone can do at home - it's the stretching out that's their job.
Please talk to your doctor and demand some answers....

Sep 28, 2009
Felling a Little Better
by: Genie

Hi Liz,

I am feeling a little better these past couple of days. Worked like a dog over the weekend doing fall cleaning. Surprisingly I don't feel bad. I have another issue I have to take care of before I go back to my doctor. I have a bluging disk and I will be going for an epidural steroid shot on Oct. 5. My doctor knows about this problem too. Since I have to see him after my shot, I will discuss my shoulder problem at that time also. Hopefully it will continue to get a little better. I still have trouble sleeping and I still can't reach the back to hook my bra. I still have to put it around my waist in front to hook it and turn it around and pull it up.

Sep 30, 2009
7 months out
by: Judy

Well I had rotator cuff tear surgery in February 2009, along with bone spurs taken off on the shoulder and clavicle. It has been over 7 months now since that surgery and I am still having sleepless nights. I unfortunately had the surgery on my right side (I am right handed) and that makes it worse. I can't sleep only on my back. Hate it! My pain in the shoulder and now down my arm to my wrist is not getting better but actually worse. I have had (1) injection 5 months post-op for the inflammation I am told I still have. Two weeks ago I was given the Steriod Medrol Dose Pak to take which did nothing. Is this pain and nagging ache ever going to go away? My strength is fine, it's the pain that is getting very old. How many injections can you have and in what time frame? Any suggestions?

Sep 30, 2009
Good luck,Genie
by: Liz

I'm glad you're feeling more encouraged. Yes, please be very honest with the doctor. I have my 8 week visit next Tuesday. I'm hoping he'll give me permission to take Advil - that should help the discomfort. I had a deep massage today because everything keeps tightening up - very uncomfortable. But I am making a bit of progress. Just never thought it would take so long to get better. I can absolutely see how it will be months before I feel "normal". I'm still in my recliner at night. Tried going to bed a few times last week, but it was no good. But, I'll plod on.....
Good luck with the bulging disk. And I hope everyone out there is feeling a little better every day........

Oct 16, 2009
Finally in the bed.
by: Jim

It is 10 weeks after the surgery and I have been able to sleep in the bed for a few nights now. My rehab guy says not to sleep on my right side ( the surgery side ) and I am now into strength training plus keeping on with the ROM training.

Nov 20, 2009
sleep positions
by: Ellen

I have not had surgery yet, but am about to see the doc. in a couple of weeks. I've had my injury for about 6 months, and pain just gets worse, even with physical therapy.
Anyway, sleeping is getting a tiny bit easier, and what I have is a miniature freezer next to my bed where I keep my gel packs. When I wake up in pain, I put one on my shoulder and it removes the pain very quickly. The biggest problem is that you should not sleep with anything frozen on your body, as it can cause frostbite--so if you think you might accidently fall asleep while icing, you might consider putting a mini-refrigerator or a cooler beside your bed instead of a freezer and the gel packs won't get frozen--just nice and cool. Then if you fall asleep with the gel pack on, you won't get frostbite.
The very best kind of gel pack in my opinion, are the large ones available at medical supply stores. You can make your own, however, which saves you a bunch of money. Just take a zip-baggie and pour liquid dish detergent into it (I've heard Palmolive is best for whatever reason, but I used Dawn and it worked fine). You need to get all the extra air out of the bag, then zip it up. Then put that into another bag (double-bag it) to help catch any leaks because, as you know, zip-baggies do spring leaks sometimes. Anyway, put that into the freezer or fridge and in a couple of hours you have a nice, cold, flexible pack that conforms to the body. I've heard that you can also do the following: Mix 2 parts water with 1 part rubbing alcohol and pour that into a baggie. Apparently it won't freeze solid due to the alcohol, and it stays mushy, soft and cold after being in the freezer. I have not tried that "recipe" yet.
Sitting upright (as much as possible) does help reduce pain alot at night, but like others said, it gets tiresome to sit in the same position all night. I found that putting a slice of foam rubber under my butt kept my butt from sliding forward on the bed sheets. Otherwise, I would end up in a flat position if I didn't put the foam rubber pad down.
Also, if you buy a super soft king size pillow, it will help cradle you on each side because it's a wide pillow. In fact, I would suggest a number of king size pillows, all piled up--really soft ones. The cradling effect will help support your shoulders as you lie on your back nestled in them.
OK, I have to sign off. Being on the keyboard is making my shoulder hurt.
Hope all of you feel better very soon!
Ellen

Nov 23, 2009
Still in pain
by: Genie

Hi Everyone,

I sure hope all of you are doing much better than me. Tomorrow the 24th of Nov., it will be 4 months since my rotator cuff surgery and I am still in pain. Every day I'm in pain to some degree. Some days it's much worse than others. I went back to my surgeon about 2 weeks ago and complained. Now he tells me it's my neck and wants to send me for an MRI. I called his office two days later and said I cannot keep going back and forth for therapy and MRI's and his co-pays. Besides, I also told his office, how come only my surgery side hurts. Wouldn't my neck affect both sides if it was problems with my neck. No explanation with that from his office. Bottom line, I said I have to wait till after the holidays, it's just too expensive right now. So right now I am in limbo. I guess I have to tough it out till after the holidays. I have to go back in January for another eperidural steroid shot for my bluging disc. This year has been a nighmare. Can this be true, still in pain after rotator cuff surgery four months later. Did anybody have to get 2 surgeries. I hope it doesn't come to that.

Nov 23, 2009
Still in pain
by: Genie

Hi Everyone,

I sure hope all of you are doing much better than me. Tomorrow the 24th of Nov., it will be 4 months since my rotator cuff surgery and I am still in pain. Every day I'm in pain to some degree. Some days it's much worse than others. I went back to my surgeon about 2 weeks ago and complained. Now he tells me it's my neck and wants to send me for an MRI. I called his office two days later and said I cannot keep going back and forth for therapy and MRI's and his co-pays. Besides, I also told his office, how come only my surgery side hurts. Wouldn't my neck affect both sides if it was problems with my neck. No explanation with that from his office. Bottom line, I said I have to wait till after the holidays, it's just too expensive right now. So right now I am in limbo. I guess I have to tough it out till after the holidays. I have to go back in January for another eperidural steroid shot for my bluging disc. This year has been a nighmare. Can this be true, still in pain after rotator cuff surgery four months later. Did anybody have to get 2 surgeries. I hope it doesn't come to that.

Nov 23, 2009
Still in pain
by: Genie

Hi Everyone,

I sure hope all of you are doing much better than me. Tomorrow the 24th of Nov., it will be 4 months since my rotator cuff surgery and I am still in pain. Every day I'm in pain to some degree. Some days it's much worse than others. I went back to my surgeon about 2 weeks ago and complained. Now he tells me it's my neck and wants to send me for an MRI. I called his office two days later and said I cannot keep going back and forth for therapy and MRI's and his co-pays. Besides, I also told his office, how come only my surgery side hurts. Wouldn't my neck affect both sides if it was problems with my neck. No explanation with that from his office. Bottom line, I said I have to wait till after the holidays, it's just too expensive right now. So right now I am in limbo. I guess I have to tough it out till after the holidays. I have to go back in January for another eperidural steroid shot for my bluging disc. This year has been a nighmare. Can this be true, still in pain after rotator cuff surgery four months later. Did anybody have to get 2 surgeries. I hope it doesn't come to that.

Nov 23, 2009
Still in pain
by: Genie

Hi Everyone,

I sure hope all of you are doing much better than me. Tomorrow the 24th of Nov., it will be 4 months since my rotator cuff surgery and I am still in pain. Every day I'm in pain to some degree. Some days it's much worse than others. I went back to my surgeon about 2 weeks ago and complained. Now he tells me it's my neck and wants to send me for an MRI. I called his office two days later and said I cannot keep going back and forth for therapy and MRI's and his co-pays. Besides, I also told his office, how come only my surgery side hurts. Wouldn't my neck affect both sides if it was problems with my neck. No explanation with that from his office. Bottom line, I said I have to wait till after the holidays, it's just too expensive right now. So right now I am in limbo. I guess I have to tough it out till after the holidays. I have to go back in January for another eperidural steroid shot for my bluging disc. This year has been a nighmare. Can this be true, still in pain after rotator cuff surgery four months later. Did anybody have to get 2 surgeries. I hope it doesn't come to that.

Nov 23, 2009
Still in pain
by: Genie

Hi Everyone,

I sure hope all of you are doing much better than me. Tomorrow the 24th of Nov., it will be 4 months since my rotator cuff surgery and I am still in pain. Every day I'm in pain to some degree. Some days it's much worse than others. I went back to my surgeon about 2 weeks ago and complained. Now he tells me it's my neck and wants to send me for an MRI. I called his office two days later and said I cannot keep going back and forth for therapy and MRI's and his co-pays. Besides, I also told his office, how come only my surgery side hurts. Wouldn't my neck affect both sides if it was problems with my neck. No explanation with that from his office. Bottom line, I said I have to wait till after the holidays, it's just too expensive right now. So right now I am in limbo. I guess I have to tough it out till after the holidays. I have to go back in January for another eperidural steroid shot for my bluging disc. This year has been a nighmare. Can this be true, still in pain after rotator cuff surgery four months later. Did anybody have to get 2 surgeries. I hope it doesn't come to that.

Dec 01, 2009
pain free
by: kirk

I think I had a problem with my surgery, I had athroscopic stabilization. I had to had suture anchors placed inside my shoulder to aid with the rotator cuff repair. Back to the problem, the nerve block they put in my neck still has not worn off 100% I did however have to start physical therapy before I left the hospital after surgery. Less than a week after I could move my arm out in front and too the side. Sleep is pain free and I am sleeping so much I think it is helping with the healing process. I just have the regular 2 pillows and sleep on my side. I have no pain at all! I expect a full range of movement within 6 weeks. And to be back in the gym at full strength at 6months. Sorry to hear so many of you are in pain. Oh and the full open surgery is much harder to recover from than the athroscopic (keyhole) surgery. Good luck everyone.

Dec 05, 2009
Sleeping after rtc repair.
by: RTC=Ouch

I am post op day 9 after my RTC repair. I long for a nights sleep. I can find no comfortable position, period. I just go for days with minimal sleep and then finally one night I will get a little sleep due to exhaustion. This is with out a doubt the most painful experience of my life. Living one armed, no driving, unable to sleep, etc. The day time pain in now controlled by motrin only but nights are dreaded. In a weird way, its nice to know others are dealing with this as well. Peace to all in this situation.
GC.

Dec 10, 2009
18 weeks
by: Jim

I am at 18 weeks since the surgery and am doing great. I was sleeping in a recliner for about 10 weeks and now am in bed. I still have some minor pain but nothing of major concern. I am getting the strength back and each day it all gets better. The rehab is most important part after the surgery. I ave had some great therapists.

Dec 10, 2009
going for MRI
by: Genie

Here it is Dec. 10th and I am still in pain. Every day - pain to some degree. I had the rotator cuff surgery on July 24th. I called my doctor again and explained my situation. I told him I would go for the neck MRI now and not wait till Jan. and could I get an MRI of my shoulder too. He tells me having an MRI after rotator cuff surgery can show a false positive. Never heard of that, has anyone? Bottom line he will order the MRI of my neck and also my left side under my arm and by my left breast. That hurts a lot too. I was wondering if anyone had those left side pains or right side pains depending on which shoulder got the rotator cuff surgery.

Dec 10, 2009
Pain after surgery
by: Anonymous

Hi Genie,
I don't know the answers to your questions but I am looking into "Trigger Point Therapy" as a way of resolving my pain, which I have had since June of this year. Every day/night is the same--pain goes on and on with some days better than others. I am beginning to test out Trigger Point Therapy as a way of reducing pain. I am not a doctor, but possibly some of your ongoing pain could be caused by trigger points that have developed as a result of the trauma, and they can refer pain to all kinds of areas. I have yet to see if this kind of self-help therapy will work, as I'm just starting to try it. It involves pressing on the skin and finding the sore spots and then holding pressure on the sore spots until the knotted portion of the muscle releases (a very basic description). Maybe you have already tried this, I don't know. I'm reading an interesting book called "The Frozen Shoulder Workbook". I sure hope this works, as I'm so tired of being in pain all the time, and I'm sure you are too. If this works, I'll come back and post my results.
Ellen

Dec 13, 2009
6 months recovery rotator cuff
by: kathy

well its been six months and i am alot better then a few months ago.back to driving at any hour and work full duty there are days when i work my shoulder to much it lets me know back off im still in therapy but down to two days now a week and my strength is improving more i see the doctor dec 18th and i know he will take me out of pt because of my progress they even talked about cortisone shot if it did not improve strength wise but im sure that they wont do that know im hoping i dont want the shot. i got my hair cut short because going behind to put my hair up was pain ful still its much easier short and looks better on me so im told . dont give up im not i keep trying to improve every day im about 65 percent there strength wise and i know it will never be 100 percent i still have problems raising my arm high and i probley will never get that back. dont ever give up please keep trying it will work its self out sooner or later.

Dec 13, 2009
6 months recovery rotator cuff
by: kathy

well its been six months and i am alot better then a few months ago.back to driving at any hour and work full duty there are days when i work my shoulder to much it lets me know back off im still in therapy but down to two days now a week and my strength is improving more i see the doctor dec 18th and i know he will take me out of pt because of my progress they even talked about cortisone shot if it did not improve strength wise but im sure that they wont do that know im hoping i dont want the shot. i got my hair cut short because going behind to put my hair up was pain ful still its much easier short and looks better on me so im told . dont give up im not i keep trying to improve every day im about 65 percent there strength wise and i know it will never be 100 percent i still have problems raising my arm high and i probley will never get that back. dont ever give up please keep trying it will work its self out sooner or later.

Dec 19, 2009
One day at a time...
by: Michelle

Like many of you, I tripped into this site looking for a quick answer to my surgery question. For me the journey started as a simple removal of calcium deposits, but turned into the removal of bone spurs, cleaning up some frayed labrum tissue, and repairing a torn RC, some of which was torn pre-surgery, some because he had to cut it to get to the other stuff. I am now on day 4 of recovery, and every day is a little better, though it appears I have a long road ahead.

Hoping to go back to work on Monday, at least for awhile. I work in an office. hope this is not pushing it. Just dont want to sit around forever. Question- how long before most of you could drive again? (auto transmission.)

Love all the comments...thanks for posting!


Dec 19, 2009
Driving
by: Liz

Michelle, it took about 6 weeks before I could drive. My doctor was very specific about not giving me permission until I could grip the steering wheel and be able to turn it quickly. And I even hedged that a little. I'm now a little over 4 months since surgery and I'm feeling better finally. It has taken me an awful long time - I'm still in physical therapy 3X a week and faithfully doing all my exercises at home 2-3X a day. I do think I'm the exception to the rule however. I'm not really sure why it has taken me so long to get a little better. I can now go for a while without thinking about my shoulder, but then I'll turn or reach a little bit differently and I'll definitely be reminded of it! I still don't have full range of motion but it's getting there. I'm having a slight set back right now because they think I have bicep tendonitis so that's a whole other (painful) problem. I did find that getting deep tissue massages REALLY helps. They hurt but they help. I have been going 2X a week for about 2 months now. It all gets SO expensive, between physical therapy and massages but I can't imagine getting better any other way.
Hope everyone out there is doing as well as can be expected. This is not an easy recuperation, so hang in there.......

Dec 19, 2009
Something that works for my injury
by: Anonymous

Hi all,
A short while ago I posted a note about a book I bought called "The Frozen Shoulder Workbook". I was skeptical at first, because I have tried so many things and nothing has worked. I figured I would try the techniques in the book and see if I got any benefit because I was constantly in pain, and the pain at night was causing night sweats and I could not sleep more than an hour at a time. I couldn't work during the day either, without pain (I am an artist). Anyway, I began to try the techniques, which are called "Trigger Point Therapy" and began to see some results within about 3 days. That encouraged me to keep at it. I wasn't really diligent at first--would just work on it whenever I could, here and there. But when I noticed my shoulder really starting to improve, I became more diligent. I can now finally start to sleep on the injured shoulder (lying on my side), and can sleep 4 hours at a time, which is a big improvement over waking up every hour. I used to wake up every hour or so and ice my shoulder throughout the night, and was exhausted during the day. Now I don't have to ice at all. Anyway, if you get this book, you need to read it from cover to cover to get a good general idea of the techniques. Then go back and look at the diagrams and apply the techniques that work for your specific areas of pain. I am actually surprised that this is working so well (so far), and plan to continue to do this. It has certainly been a far better investment than the physical therapy (which, by the way, made the condition worse), the doctor visits, and pain meds. I even tried Lunesta sleeping pills, which did absolutely nothing to help me sleep.
I hope all of you are feeling better, but if not, this might be something you'll want to look into.

Dec 19, 2009
Fatigue?
by: Bob

Had 2 complete tears, 1 partial labrum tear, and a torn bicep surgery on November 24th. It's been 3 and a half weeks now and am still experiencing a lot of fatigue. I have barely left the house - although I've been taking 25-30 minute walks once a day - but find if I try to go out to the store, for example, with my wife, I am very tired and want to sleep in the car. I heard it's common to be tired 3-4 weeks after surgery - has this been the norm for some folks? Also - on a different note - has anyone suffered from post-op depression at all?

thanks for the wonderful posts.

Dec 19, 2009
Fatigue
by: Anonymous

Yes! I was feeling exhausted for about 2 months when I was having lots of pain. I wondered if there was something else wrong with me because I had never felt so tired before, and wanted to take naps all day long. I really impacted my work schedule. However, I found that as the pain diminished, so did the feeling of exhaustion. I think the pain takes alot out of a person, making it a struggle to get through the day.

Dec 19, 2009
PS. to my last note
by: Anonymous

PS. I forgot to mention that I did feel extremely unmotivated while I was feeling exhausted, and I could not tell if it was mild depression or if it was due to the exhaustion. I'm not prone to depression, so it was unusual for me to not want to do anything other than lie around all day. I think feeling depressed often accompanies any kind of illness or injury and there's this feeling of; "Will this ever get better?". But yes, you will get better!

Dec 27, 2009
neck pain
by: Anonymous

I had rotator cuff surgery a week ago tomorrow. Sleeping is a challenge but have managed to get some, sitting up is a necessity. My biggest problem is neck pain. I think they sent me home with my sling not properly fitted so that was the original culprit, but it is still an ongoing issue, particularly at night. I have resorted to taking off the shoulder strap to sleep. Haven't seen any other posts on this......MAC

Dec 28, 2009
2 weeks in
by: Michelle

Well, two weeks in snd every day is an improvement! Still sleeping in a recliner, and still cannot move shoulder or dress without assistance, but my energy has returned. This is a much longer road than I anticipated! Great to have Mom visiting from NY!

Dec 30, 2009
one week out- trouble?
by: Rach

I had repair of a complete rotator cuff tear and torn ligaments one week ago. My "wrap" dressing as well as my immobilizer were on pretty tight. I started cpm machine the next day. Slept in recliner 1st 5 nights, have been in bed the past 2. I had pain frequently and was tahing the prescribed oxycontin, vicodin, and celebrex.

Here is my problem. I saw doctor yesterday. He took off my "wrap" dressing and sent me home with the immobilizer on loosely and said it didn't have to be tight. During the car ride home, I had more pain and felt like the muscles were stretching and loosening. Maybe it was too tight before? So I decided a couple hours later to put deoderant on under my affected shoulder. I simply let my arm hang while wiping a bit on (with my good hand, so I wasn't holding or supporting the bad). I felt a very painful 'pop' and pain lasted less than 5 seconds. Since then, I have pretty much had no pain, at all! Cpm machine is now a breeze.

So did I maybe ruin my repair or had I started to have "frozen shoulder" that is now gone. Please help. Md is gone now till next week and I'm worried I messed up.

Jan 04, 2010
7 months rotator cuff repair /bone spurs
by: kathy

hello well the doctors stoped my therapy just like i said but i have to tell you its been 7 months now and i still have days i cry it hurts specially when the wheather is cold and snowy boy did it hurt just almost like i had the surgery done again i got threw those couple of days when it snowed but i still ache but not as bad my doctor said in march he wants to see me and in july for a physical to see how much of loss in the arm my strength has increased but i still have problems holding things for a long time like grocerys the doctor thinks that the company i work for should award me for the shoulder because i will only be 65 percent for the rest of my life i can use it to a cetain degree but not for everything i have to write down what i can do and cant do it looks like the company might have to give me something because before the accident i was okay 100 percent never no problems belive me i hate this because i have days i cant even pull up my zipper on my coat without going very slow i have to tell people i cant rush due to my shoulder most people understand some dont care i am not giving up i just do what i can and go from there i am raising it higher but with alot of pain but i will never be able to move my arm behind my head far as i use to so i have to keep my hair short to be able to manage it .

Jan 04, 2010
7 months rotator cuff repair /bone spurs
by: kathy

hello well the doctors stoped my therapy just like i said but i have to tell you its been 7 months now and i still have days i cry it hurts specially when the wheather is cold and snowy boy did it hurt just almost like i had the surgery done again i got threw those couple of days when it snowed but i still ache but not as bad my doctor said in march he wants to see me and in july for a physical to see how much of loss in the arm my strength has increased but i still have problems holding things for a long time like grocerys the doctor thinks that the company i work for should award me for the shoulder because i will only be 65 percent for the rest of my life i can use it to a cetain degree but not for everything i have to write down what i can do and cant do it looks like the company might have to give me something because before the accident i was okay 100 percent never no problems belive me i hate this because i have days i cant even pull up my zipper on my coat without going very slow i have to tell people i cant rush due to my shoulder most people understand some dont care i am not giving up i just do what i can and go from there i am raising it higher but with alot of pain but i will never be able to move my arm behind my head far as i use to so i have to keep my hair short to be able to manage it .

Jan 04, 2010
comment to rach
by: kathy

rach im not a doctor but it sounds like what happended to me scare tissue breaking but maybe you should tell your doctor just in case better safe then sorry later scare tissue is a pain i had problems doing pt it took 2 monthe for the pain to let me move it the way i should of finally it gave in i still hear pop but i probley now have arthritis since the surgery let me know how you make out snowey2468@hotmail.com

Jan 17, 2010
Cuff surgery
by: Dirk

Going to see the Dr in a couple of weeks. Had an MRI, and I have a small bicep tear and small rotator cuff tear. Not in too much pain now. Take 800 mil ibuprofin and 1 Advil PM at night and sleep ok. My regular Dr wants me to do PT before I try surgery. She says I am not that bad yet. Ortho says I should have operation because it is not too bad yet. What to do? I am only allowed 40 PT visits per year. For the person whi had neck trouble I have cervical compression as well. I had 2 cervical epidurals in 2004 and do 'chin tucks' and it is ok.

Jan 17, 2010
How much is too much
by: Deb

My surgery was Jan 4/10. This is my 9th surgery so am quite aware of pain but first for the arm which is a different thing again all together pain wise. I am just not sure for using the repaired arm what is not enough or too much. My surgery was on my dominant arm (right) for partial tear, bursectomy, bone spurs & cyst removal & more then 2-3hrs of sleep at a time would be great. Tylenol PM sounds like the answer along with my best friend "the recliner". I have been doing some exercises on my own & start PT next week but am not sure if daily housework duties is too much. I have been doing slowly some cooking, laundry, sweeping, vacuuming of course mainly with my good arm but have not been told what are the limits. I find it hard to ask for help & get bored sitting. Seems to hurt less if I get up & move with my arm hanging to my side & keep busy. Can't wear the small material sling because my neck is so bad with degeneration & bulging disc but am worried I may strain or not give the shoulder the proper rest if I don't use it. The hospital sent me home with a huge sling that wraps around the waist & velcro straps that crisscross over the shoulder. So any ones input would be great re:limitations of daily chores & arm rest. Thanks to all for posting. I sure am glad I kept searching for a site with fellow sleep deprived patients feeling the same. People that have never had surgery don't understand so its nice to hear from others that are feeling the same.

Jan 17, 2010
Dirk and Deb
by: Liz

To Dirk
Yours is such a tough decision. I went to my ortho 2 years ago complaining of pain in my left shoulder. He took some x-rays and said I had calcium deposits which are probably causing damage to the rotator cuff. He sent me to PT for a month which neither helped nor hurt. I went back to him a few months later and he gave me a cortisone shot which really helped for about 1 month, but then the pain came back again. I returned to his office and he told me to live with the pain till I couldn't live with it anymore because, he said, "You REALLY don't want this operation. It's a long, hard recovery". And there was always the hope that it all would take care of itself.
Well, I went back last June because by then the pain was very bad, and he sent me for an MRI. That's when he said it was time for surgery - I had a torn supraspinatus, bone spurs, and calcium deposits. I scheduled it for 8/12. So the question is - if I had had surgery way back when, when I first went to him and the pain wasn't THAT bad, would the surgery have been less??? Or was it wise to wait till it got really bad? I still don't have a clear answer to that myself. I lean to thinking I would have done it sooner before it got really bad. I definitely WOULD try the PT first, though. It didn't help me, however I have met people in PT since my operation who are there for that very reason and they say it's helping them. So that's worth a try. However if you have only 40 PT visits a year - if it doesn't help and then you have the operation you'll need all those to recuperate. It's a tough decision..... It has been 5 months since my operation and I'm still in PT! Best of luck to you, Dirk.
Deb:
I feel your pain! As I said, I had surgery last August and it's all still fresh in my mind. I started PT 5 days following the operation and the big thing they told me was to NOT do anything with the arm. Keep it protected in that darn sling (I HATED that thing!) and just do the passive exercises they showed me in PT. I found it all pretty painful and really didn't want to do too much with my left arm anyway (I'm right handed, so that was a blessing) I spent 8 weeks in the recliner before I could go to bed. I took Tylenol PM every night. It really helped me sleep. Another thing that helps with sleep is Melatonin. You might want to look into that. I would have loved to take Advil and Advil PM but my doctor wouldn't let me take any anti-inflammatories for 8 weeks. That was a bummer and I've never met anyone else whose doctor wouldn't let them take Advil! But Tylenol PM is worth a try...... But I would say be very gentle with your arm. You really don't want to screw anything up!! Good luck.......


Jan 18, 2010
Rotator Cuff Tear
by: Dirk

Thanx for the reply Liz, you have had a tough road to travel! I forgot to mention 4 years ago I had PT for my left shoulder as it was hurting back then. Never had an MRI on that one just PT and it got better. Back in 2001 I had a torn meniscus, and the Dr repaired it and I was in a leg brace for 9 "beautiful" weeks! That was a bummer as well. I am trying to look on the "bright" side of this. Nobody seems to wear a arm sling longer than 6 weeks tops. My other problem is I am right handed and this is my right shoulder. Well once again thanx for your help and good luck.

Jan 18, 2010
Deb & Dirk
by: Rach

Dirk- I had my shoulder pain for around 7 years before I had even mentioned it to a doctor. I just lived through the pain for all that time! I don't know if it started as a small partial tear and got worse over the years, or if it started out as a large, complete tear. I had good days and bad days. The only reason I finally had it looked at is because my husband & I want to start a family very soon, and I knew I wouldn't be able to hold or pick-up a child or baby for more than a few short minutes at a time. Now I still have my good & bad days/nights, but so far (3 1/2 weeks after surgery) I am very happy I had the surgery.
*I would say it depends on your job, daily activities, degree of pain, and wether or not you are ok with possibly having to limit or give-up certain things you won't be able to do. I would say start with therapy, and see how that goes.

Deb-My doctor did a fabulous job on my surgery (as far as I can tell so far), but like you, he did not tell me my restrictions or what I could do. I don't know if it's because of my profession and maybe he thought I knew. I'm not sure. I started my PT last week, and my therapist is great!! He asked if I knew my restrictions or not, then he told me everything!
*You, my dear, are doing way, way, too much. Your shoulder won't heal properly and you'll most likely still have pain forever if you don't rest and stop all those chores!! Seriously. My shoulder felt really good before I started my therapy, so I felt I could start doing things. Nope. My therapist said no. I had filled-out medical papers last week, and my therapist said "absolutely not!" He said no writing for another 3-4 weeks minimum! So even though you feel bored and probably useless, you have to cool it for a while. Sorry.

Jan 18, 2010
Deb & Dirk
by: Rach

Dirk- I had my shoulder pain for around 7 years before I had even mentioned it to a doctor. I just lived through the pain for all that time! I don't know if it started as a small partial tear and got worse over the years, or if it started out as a large, complete tear. I had good days and bad days. The only reason I finally had it looked at is because my husband & I want to start a family very soon, and I knew I wouldn't be able to hold or pick-up a child or baby for more than a few short minutes at a time. Now I still have my good & bad days/nights, but so far (3 1/2 weeks after surgery) I am very happy I had the surgery.
*I would say it depends on your job, daily activities, degree of pain, and wether or not you are ok with possibly having to limit or give-up certain things you won't be able to do. I would say start with therapy, and see how that goes.

Deb-My doctor did a fabulous job on my surgery (as far as I can tell so far), but like you, he did not tell me my restrictions or what I could do. I don't know if it's because of my profession and maybe he thought I knew. I'm not sure. I started my PT last week, and my therapist is great!! He asked if I knew my restrictions or not, then he told me everything!
*You, my dear, are doing way, way, too much. Your shoulder won't heal properly and you'll most likely still have pain forever if you don't rest and stop all those chores!! Seriously. My shoulder felt really good before I started my therapy, so I felt I could start doing things. Nope. My therapist said no. I had filled-out medical papers last week, and my therapist said "absolutely not!" He said no writing for another 3-4 weeks minimum! So even though you feel bored and probably useless, you have to cool it for a while. Sorry.

Jan 18, 2010
Reply
by: Dirk

Rach, thanx for your input. It is good to see somebody is doing "ok' after surgery. I see your point about starting to have a family. We have 3 grandkids now and I want to pick them up as well. Youngest is 5 months. I will keep watching this forum it is the best I have come across. I see the Dr in a couple of weeks.



P.S. Enjoy your kids, they will be grown up in a heartbeat! That is when you have them. LOL

Jan 25, 2010
Two rotator cuffs repaired in one year
by: Jerry

I've had open RC surgeries on both shoulders in the past year. My right shoulder went into surgery Jan 29, 09 for a 35 mm full thickness tear of the supraspinatus and the tendon had pulled back 25 mm. The arm was placed in an immobilizer for six weeks. Pain control was a nerve block for the first day, but I had significant pain for the first night. Lying down in a bed made sleeping impossible and I ended up sleeping (badly) on a sofa, propped up by pillows for the next six weeks. From my second experience, I know a recliner would have helped greatly.

Since I could not put the immobilizer on by myself, I went to work wearing pants big enough to fall down (held up with suspenders) and a loose fitting knit shirt. I had to be able to pull the slacks up one armed and fasten the suspenders, because I couldn't open and close the waist band or a belt. At home, I wore pants with an elastic waist band. Pain was not that bad and my shoulder felt ok just taking acetaminophen after the first four days on stronger stuff.

Sleeping in a sitting position was bad and interrupted by slumping down and feeling strained. That went on for six weeks until the immobilizer was taken off and I could sleep in a bed again.

PT in the first six weeks was limited to passive motion and an attempt to regain ROM which was severely limited. After four weeks, the therapist started moving the joint to try to recover ROM, gently at first but with enough pressure to bring tears to my eyes by about eight weeks. I could not lift the arm at all when it came out of the immobilizer at six weeks and early attempts to raise it to vertical when lying on my back were agony. I think it was three months before I could raise it vertical against a wall, even with finger walking. PT was continued weekly until four months post op, but exercises went on all year.

However, at six months that shoulder felt strong and had recovered nearly all ROM. Then I injured the left shoulder. As soon as I saw the MRI, I arranged for surgery asap and went in on Nov 19 for the left shoulder, again with open surgery. This tear was 25 mm, full thickness, of the supraspinatus.

Post op, I was put in an immobilizer for two weeks, but I was able to shift to a sling for the next four weeks.

This time, having learned something, I went right out before the operation and bought a nice Laz-E-Boy recliner. It has a lever I could operate with the right arm and has a rachetting mechanism that will keep it reclined to a specific position. I find sleeping vastly improved compared to being propped up on a sofa and at nine weeks post op am still sleeping in the recliner. I still can't get comfortable sleep in a bed. I strongly recommend a recliner to anyone facing a shoulder surgery, but I don't know how I could have operated the lever when my right arm was in the immobilizer.


Jan 27, 2010
Liz & Rach
by: Deb

Thanks Liz & Rach for your response. It's always great to hear from others whom have been there. I have now since been to the PT a few visits which she read me the operation report (& riot act, lol)& more then I thought was done so hence the immobolizer. Plus I came home with a home traction for my neck which isnt helping matters. She was great & gave me the low down of what can & can't be done in my life at the moment. There is a fair amount of inflammation. So yes, you both were right, patience rest & relax is my new learning curve for the time being. Just have to deprogramme myself & let the family continue to help (I hate depending on others). I did get tylenol PM & finally had a good stretch of sleep last night. I even slept part of the night in bed. My next outing I'll have to pickup the melatonin to try. Things are looking up ! Thanks again.

Feb 08, 2010
sleeping after sugery..
by: Anonymous

I am 10 days post op, 2 rotator cuff tears repaired, bicep reattached and bone spur removed.

block worked great for 2 days, 3 days of pain pills, 2 days of Advil and am off of pain meds.

24/7 ultra sling, tried sleeping in bed last night, and woke up with a lot of pain, but I had a great night sleep.

Slept okay in recliner, miss my bed.

I will try the pillows tonight in bed, if not, then it will be back to my recliner.

Any other ideas?

Feb 08, 2010
Suggestions
by: Anonymous

I had 3 tears (2 complete, 1 partial), a torn labrum and a torn bicep. I was told I couldn't start PT until week 4. Sounds similar to yours there and I won't go into too much detail other than to say I sleot in the recliner for 6 weeks - the gravity on the arm while in bed was unbearable. After the 4th week, I tried a pillow under my armpit and sleeping sideways - a little comfy but not enough to keep me there all night and I also tried a small throw pillow on my chest and shoulder that was operated on (leaving it slightly up off the bed) and that also worked a little to relive the discomfort but I had to do the recliner again. It wasn't until week 6 or so that I moved to the bed (after which time the sling was removed) but I remember those two things bringing some relief.


Good luck.

Feb 08, 2010
Update for Dirk
by: Dirk

I saw the "shoulder Dr" last week. He said surgery is up to me. Went to see my family Dr today she wants me to get a 2nd opinion. Family Dr also gave me a scrip for 1 month PT. If I had surgery the shoulder guy said he would scope the small tear and leave the bicep tear alone. After that I would be in a sling 5 weeks and have 5 weeks PT. I am about to get an appt with PT and the other shoulder Dr my Dr recomended. Much conference!

Feb 08, 2010
What did I do wrong
by: Genie

Help, please give me your opinions. I went to my surgeon again last week and told him I still have pain. I had rotator cuff surgery on my left shoulder on July 24th. After sending me for a shot in my neck and I also had one on my surgery shoulder, he said he has to go back in and get rid of scar tissue. I only had the sling on for a week. At that time he said I could take it off. Also I didn't start physical therapy for at least a month after. What did I do wrong? I don't want to repeat my mistakes and have him remove scar tissue then end up with the same problem. Thanks for any input. I truly appreciate it.

Feb 08, 2010
What did I do wrong
by: Genie

Help, please give me your opinions. I went to my surgeon again last week and told him I still have pain. I had rotator cuff surgery on my left shoulder on July 24th. After sending me for a shot in my neck and I also had one on my surgery shoulder, he said he has to go back in and get rid of scar tissue. I only had the sling on for a week. At that time he said I could take it off. Also I didn't start physical therapy for at least a month after. What did I do wrong? I don't want to repeat my mistakes and have him remove scar tissue then end up with the same problem. Thanks for any input. I truly appreciate it.

Feb 08, 2010
What did I do wrong
by: Genie

Help, please give me your opinions. I went to my surgeon again last week and told him I still have pain. I had rotator cuff surgery on my left shoulder on July 24th. After sending me for a shot in my neck and I also had one on my surgery shoulder, he said he has to go back in and get rid of scar tissue. I only had the sling on for a week. At that time he said I could take it off. Also I didn't start physical therapy for at least a month after. What did I do wrong? I don't want to repeat my mistakes and have him remove scar tissue then end up with the same problem. Thanks for any input. I truly appreciate it.

Feb 08, 2010
Re: What Did I Do Wrong
by: Anonymous

It strikes me you should consider a second opinion on your next surgery. It is relatively unheard of to remove the sling after a week, not to mention going a month without PT. Doing these things can easily lead to additional damage ... as well as potential "frozen shoulder" issues.

Generally the sling device is kept on for approximately 6 weeks. Passive motion PT is started within a very short time after surgery and continued for about 6 weeks. Then your PT should become more active (you doing the exercises and beginning to use the arm yourself). That lasts approximately another 6 weeks. Then you will be given exercises that will build strength from that point on.

Do consider a second opinion. I find it concerning that your surgeon had you remove the sling so soon ... and did not get you into PT for so long.

Feb 19, 2010
What I did wrong
by: Jim

It is now over 6 months on my surgery and I have very minor pain with weather change and full use of the shoulder. In regard to your rehab I agree with the previous poster. I would get a second opinion from another orthopedic surgeon. I was in a sling for 6 weeks and then off and on afterward if I overdid the phase two of the rehab to give the shoulder a rest. I was in rehab the week after the surgery ( as soon as I could get an appointment ) and went three times a week for six weeks doing passive exercises such as pulleys. After six weeks I was told to lift no more than the weight of the arm for four weeks and started on the pole exercises and the fingers up the wall continuing the phase one exercises. After 10 weeks I continued with the phase one and phase two and started strength exercises. After eight weeks I moved from Colorado to Arkansas and only went to rehab twice a week until 16 weeks. During rehab I did what the therapist suggested three times a day.

Feb 27, 2010
Recliner a must
by: mike

Had full thickness tear in right shoulder. Surgery was Feb.9th 2010(arthroscopic). They re-attached tendon and also shaved the acromion joint. They did a total arm block along with the anesthesia,so I didn't have any feeling in my arm for 24 hours after surgery. The pain was extreme after that, but pain meds and about 5 days later the pain is minimal. I have been sleeping in a recliner, but tried sleeping in my bed on Feb.25th only to wake up in pain within a couple hours. I was also instructed to stay in sling for 4 weeks. I also had major setback 1 week after sugery, I developed a blood clot in my left lower leg and could not walk because the pain was excruciating. Went to E R and was admitted, spent 4 days in hospital thinning my blood. Blood clots are no joke and can kill you if they dislodge and go to your heart or lungs. If possible, try to walk around as much as you can to keep blood circulating, and take 81mg aspirin. Am looking forward to start P T.

Mar 01, 2010
Having second surgery
by: Genie

I will be going in for a second surgery with my original orthopedic surgeon on April 16th. He said I must have developed scar tissue and also a pin he put in he is thinking of removing. Please tell me how long I will need to be in a sling and also how soon should I start physical therapy. I will discuss this with him but I need some advice on what to tell him I think I should do. He said this surgery will be a lot less trouble, but I want to heal right this time. It's been almost a year with pain. First because of the torn rotator cuff and then afterwards from the surgery. Thank you for any input, I truly appreciate it.

Mar 08, 2010
12 DAYS POST-OP
by: Anonymous

Had my surgery 12 days ago by arthro. Great doc fixed in 4-5 areas. Had the nerve block; which wore off in 18 hours. SO GLAD that I started the pain meds before it wore off. Doc actually phoned me at home on Day 2 to see how thing were going and answer questions. He assured me that the worst pain would be gone the next day and it was. He had me meet with the PT before surgery and she really helped me get my ducks in a row - like having a friend cut a couple oversized t-shirts from sleeve to bottom on the operated side and putting a few velcro closures in place. She also taught me the 4 exercises I'm allowed to do in the first 6 weeks. Only one REALLY hurts.
Fortunately, along with 2 prior joint replacements, I had a tirple ankle fusion 2+ years ago. I was TOTALLY non-weight bearing on that side for 6 weeks. I think this best approximates what I'm going through now.
Sleep is a big challenge. I sleep propped up in bed - I have one of those chair pillows with arms and put other pillows behind and on it. I'm up and down all night and, when it seems like a losing battle, I turn on TV and watch sitcom reruns.
I was warned that the pain involved in this would top the joint replacements. So far, that's not true. I know the PT after 6 weeks will hurt and I'll just have to fight and breathe through the pain.

Mar 24, 2010
Surgery two months ago
by: Shane

I had rotator cuff repair done on January 26, 2010. I had my sling on for 6 weeks--or I was supposed to. At around 4 1/2 weeks I began developing a fluid sac on my elbow and the sling became difficult to take. By week 5 I wasn't wearing it, except to jog. My follow-up appointment with the doc was at week 6 and he asked where the sling was. I told him about the elbow and how uncomfortable the sling made it. He said that he usually has people wear their slings for 6 weeks.

Anyway, after running for 10-15 times with my sling, I had this feeling to call and ask the doc if I was supposed to be running. He said, "no, not until after I talk to you at your next appointment on April 5th." Oops! I hope I didn't hurt anything. In the meantime, I'm on my fifth week of PT, 3 times per week. I'm improving, but my therapist today, who was a sub, commented on how tight my shoulder is. I don't know if it's supposed to be that tight or not, and if I need to get some scar tissue removed, I'd rather get that done sooner rather than later. I'm also experiencing periodic pain on the outside of my biceps, from the shoulder to the elbow--and I read somewhere on the web that this means you have a rotator cuff injury. So now I'm worried that I've reinjured it, because I have that pain, but maybe you can have that pain still as it's healing up. Anyone else experience this or know?

Anyway, I appreciate all the comments made on this board.

Apr 01, 2010
Scar tissue
by: Michelle

Hey everyone!

I posted along time ago and found this site useful, very informative.

Quick question - I am 3 1/2 months post op (full tear, bone spurs, calcium) and feel stronger every day. The bad news, though, is that I developed scar tissue and still cannot move my arm fully, even with PT. The Doc gave me 3 months more of PT to see if we can move it or he said we may need to go back in and break it up. The first surgery was hard enough!

So, here's the question, does anyone have experience with breaking up scar tissue? Is it possible to get it moving without surgery? I am working really hard with my excellent therapist, however, it really adds up in terms of time and money...just to be told surgery anyways? Maybe?

Help!

Apr 01, 2010
Me too
by: Anonymous

M left shoulder was scoped on March 19th. A partial supraspinatus tendon reattachment, a bicep tear repair, and some cartilage removal. I was able to stop using pain medication on the 22nd. I have to wear a sling for six weeks and then can hold nothing heavier than a cup of coffee when at full arm extension for another six weeks. I am having trouble with sleeping too. The shoulder aches if kept in one position for very long while propped up in my bed. I have a nice recliner; however, I do not sleep very well in it either because of the same type of ache. Once I sit up, the pain quickly goes away. I found the best position for me is on the couch, bad side up. I lean back at about 6o degrees into the couch's back to comfortably support the shoulder. I experience no ache at all while in this position. I can get about 2 hours of sleep in before I need to get up and walk around a bit. I'm a flopper so this one position sleeping would have been hard pre-injury as well. I look forward to getting back to rem sleeping levels. I love to dream.

Apr 02, 2010
to Michelle
by: Rach

Michelle-
I'm just over 3 months out.... my physical therapist has been able to break-through some scar tissue while stretching out my shoulder. It made me scream and all, but the next week, I definitely felt a difference!!
Also, the pain you are feeling at the outter bicep is normal. It's the pain from strengthening those muscles again and also from the strecthing. Totally normal. I've got the same thing going on.

Apr 03, 2010
When can I go back to work?
by: Shane

I have a very physical job as a letter carrier and I need to know how long before I can go back to work? I know right now would be impossible to do my job as I can't lift anything, and the other day we had some snow, so I stupidly grabbed a snow shovel and began pushing snow off the top of the car. I was mostly using my left arm which is my good arm, but my right arm was up there assisting. For the entire rest of the day (this was Thursday and it's now Saturday) my right arm felt dead tired. I can still feel some of the after effects. So in addition to hoping I didn't do some injury to my shoulder, I know that it's certainly not ready for my job. Once again, I had surgery on January 26th, and it's now April 3rd.

Apr 03, 2010
Scar tissue
by: Anonymous

Thanks Rach! I appreciate the comments.

My pain is all internal...meaning it feels that there is something inflamed and sensitive on the inside of the joint, where the humerus rubs against the labrum. The rotator cuff doesn't hurt at all and is getting stronger every day.

I made good progress yesterday (I have an excellent therapist!) and felt increased mobility. I just feel like I am behind some of the other patients who had surgery after me. As a former competitive athlete, and someone who is still driven, sometimes that is hard to take. :)

Wish I could peak into the future! If I knew I was ultimately headed to frozen shoulder surgery I would do it now, instead of anohter 2 months of PT and then surgery.

Anyone out there have to have post rotator cuff, frozen shoulder surgery? Did it fix the problem?


Apr 03, 2010
A Good Result
by: Mati

I have an unusual, but very promising story about rotator cuff surgery. I had surgery on February 16th. The first few days were uncomfortable, but the pain medication (Norco) worked well at keeping things under control.

I did sleep in a recliner and found sitting up was the most comfortable position for me. I also kept the sling on without fail until I went back for my post-op checkup a week later.

By day two I had some itching on the 4 entry sites. It was annoying but not unbearable. On day 7, I returned to the doctor and they removed the stitches. There were 4 small entry points, and in all honesty you had to really look to see them.

The doctor noted that I was "unable to work" and also that I could not drive. I am a system administrator and do considerable typing, but nothing that involves heavy lifting, etc. My Workman's Compensation company took that to mean that I was not able to work because I couldn't drive to the office. The arranged for rides.

The short version is that by week two I was back to work with basically no restrictions. It was confusing to me as I was told to use the arm only passively. Still, back to work I was.

Last week when I went back to the doctor, he was surprised that I was back to work. HOWEVER, I am in the top 2% for recovery from this surgery (at any age). I am 60, so that's quite an accomplishment.

My right arm is still weak, however the pain is less and less every day. I continue to work full time and am much more comfortable than I was the first couple of weeks.

I suspect that my story is not the usual, as this surgery and recovery is clearly very painful for most. Still, there is hope for all.

The hardest part has been trying to do the normal things we all do to take care of ourselves. Even doing laundry requires some lifing and movement. I can't say for sure, but I suspect that my accidental "back to work" situation actually may have helped me to avoid the build up of scar tissue that is so common.

I wish you all the best and a speedy recovery.

Apr 05, 2010
glad i found this cite
by: jean

I had my surgery also on march 19..i had the torn rotator cuff repair, bone spurs, arthritis, and a detached bicep. i was thrilled to find this cite last night and to know i am not alone. i always try to not complain, but i am so sleep deprived that i was really starting to feel sorry for myself. i have read all the posts and have two questions and two suggestions that i hope will help. questions..i started simple at home pt two days after surgery to keep basic hand wrist and elbow movement. And the pendulem both back and forth and circular. My Dr. said that ROM would not begin until 6 weeks after surgery. Am I increasing the build up of scar tissue by not doing more formal PT. I noticed that many writers were not allowed to take Advil for a period of time following surgery. My Dr. has allowed me to take advil without restrictions. What is the reason some are told not to take advil? Two quick suggestions: I lined the sling with a flanel material making it more comfortable to wear. I was given a breast binder to wear, it is a straples corset that adheres with velcro. It can be worn in liew of a bra, go to expand a band medical dot com, Mine is lined and very comfortable. They run small. Hope that helps.

Apr 05, 2010
Advil
by: Liz

I wasn't allowed to take Advil for 8 weeks because the thinking is that they want the shoulder to remain inflamed because your body rushes more blood to an injury to help with healing. So because Advil is an anti-inflammatory it would decrease the inflammation therefore slow down the healing process.
I love Advil - I've always used that particular medication for headaches, cramps, etc. and it always did the trick very quickly. So I was really sad that I wasn't allowed to take it for so long, but I did as I was told. I was allowed Tylenol but, to me, it's like a sugar pill - it did absolutely nothing!
As far as PT, I started 5 days after surgery with all passive stuff under the supervision of my (wonderful) therapist. Everyone seems to have a different protocol, which I find interesting.
I'm now almost 8 months out and I can do just about anything. I still work on my ROM exercises and it does ache when I do too much, but there IS light at the end of the tunnel for everyone.

Apr 05, 2010
Tax day surgery
by: Moxie

I have my arthroscopic surgery on April 15th (tax day). I have a highly recommended surgeon at the UW Madison. He has done several procedures on Badger and Packer players so I do feel confident he will do a great job. However I am still extremely scared of the recovery pain as my stomach doesn't tolerate pain medicine at all. I have gotten sick on Demerol, Vicodin and I think one that started with a P in my past surgeries on my wrist and elbow. I hear this surgery is much more painful them either of them.
I have 1 large and 1 small rotator cuff tear, a small bone spur and bicep tendonitis in my right (dominate) arm.
Please if you have any suggestions on pain management or other tips or tricks on taking care of yourself while your laid up that would be helpful. I have heard I should wear a tank top as that will help with when they put on the sling for itching a crossed your breast and belly? I am sure there are other tips people have learned having to be one armed for so long.
Thanks for your help!

Apr 05, 2010
response to moxie
by: jean

i just wrote a post this am...two up from yours. i would strongtly rec you go online and order the breast binder...so comfortable that i sleep in it. it is pretty enough that you can wear it as a tank top, but don't have to raise your shoulders to put it on. it wraps around you and velcros in the front. i was lucky enough that the hosp. where i had my surgery sent me home in one. secondly,put a piece of soft material in your arm sling...will make you much more comfortable,

i know that a friend of mind couldn't take meds like you after rotator cuff surgery. i will check with him on what he did. i can tell you that once i started my passive pt exercisesw at home,a few days after surgery, i didn't need any meds for pain...stopped all meds after 5 days.

good luck to you...i will write back if i can think of anything else useful...do know this the day of surgery was no where near as bad as i had feared!!! jean

Apr 06, 2010
Thanks Jean
by: Moxie

I appreciate the info on the breast binder. I was wondering if you also took Tylonal pm and if that helped you sleep. I do have a recliner so it sounds like that is where I will be sleeping for a while. Is it true you really cant lift your arm away from your body for weeks and nothing heavier then a glass of milk or coffie cup for weeks. Do you start to feel fine and have a hard time NOT doing things like cleaning, laundry, vacumming? I am afraid I will over do it as I do have a hard time NOT doing.

Apr 06, 2010
to moxie
by: jean

i started taking one half of a .5 mg of clonazepam a half hour before bed after almost a week of no sleep. i had a presciption prior to this surgery for anxiety as needed. i'm not into using meds so i have close to a full prescription left.

i am still only 2 weeks and a few days from my surgery and am not very much of an expert on specific movements. i will be seeing my dr next week and should know more. i too am a doer and have found these first two weeks challenging. i do light housekeeping and laundry with my other hand. my surgery was on my dominent hand so even folding laundry is a challenge, but it feels good to do these things. i like to do the basic home pt as it really helps with the stiffness and pain. by the way, pain for me is like an ache, not a sharp pain so it is tolerable. i had a bad emotional day last week due to lack of sleep and frustration over not being my busy self. i wish i had known about this site at that time as it is really helpful to communicate with others going through the same thing. i am doing better as i have accepted that i need this time to rest and heal..for fun i read and am catching up on my mr.monk tv shows..his humor helps me forget this rehab so i would say surround yourself with laughter as much as possible.

prior to the surgery, i went to a thrift store and bought button down larger size shirts...all in light comfortable materials..i wrote out 6 weeks of birthday cards and did daily arm exercises to help in the post op healing. i found out after sleeping in my recliner that i needed a lower lumbar cushion as i was getting alot of pain on my bottom. you might want to buy one before tax day. it has really helped me to sleep much more comfortably. i was also given a free raiki session the day before my surgery by a dear friend. i was't a believer in it, but i can tell you that my pre-surgery stress nearly went away. the day of my surgery i was very calm..i still don't believe how calm i was as i had been stressed for three months prior to it. hope these tips help. oh yes...they usually give you a block prior to the surgery. mine lasted 15 hours past my surgery so i had no pain at all until the block wore off. using ice also helps with pain.

i am almost half way through this sling thing..in some ways it seems like forever, but in others its going fast. my spirits after the first two weeks are much better. i am glad i had this done because my shoulder was a mess..down the road it could have been too late for this repair. hang in there and write anytime you have questions...i will be rooting for you!


Apr 06, 2010
Tax Day surgery
by: Moxie

Jean and anyone else on this wonderful site I want to say thanks. I will keep checking back for any new tips and suggestions as I agree with Jean!!! Great site to look back on and get the real stories from those going through this tough surgery. On my way to a much needed vacation just before my surgery to see family in NC. I will check back when I get back on Monday the 12. I will also keep you all posted on how my surgery goes and how I am dealing with the pain. Keep on posting!


Apr 06, 2010
Dressing dilemmas
by: Anonymous

I am 6 weeks minus one day post-surgery. That means that I may get to ditch the sling and start sleeping in a more normal position tomorrow. As others have said, the pain is more of an ache. Although sometimes constant, it is bearable and pain meds are seldom necessary after a week or so. Ice is essential and the first course of treatment for the pain. The bra issue is annoying. I've basically gone without one since the surgery. I had ordered several front closure ones before the surgery. My husband could NOT get any of them on me (as I was moaning and saying not-nice things). I ordered some 4" bigger and he can get it on... with some effort, tugging and pinching. After not wearing one for so long, it's REALLY uncomfortable. There is no way that I could even put a front closure bra, with multiple hooks and eyes, on by myself, when the restrictions say not to hold anything heavier than a toothbrush in the hand on my operated side. Wish I'd heard about the velcro corset before now. Good luck all!!

Apr 06, 2010
dressing dilemmas
by: jean

not too late for the corsett binder..i bought two strappless bras prior to surgery..can't imagine putting them on even after sling comes off. these binders cover you to the waist and you can wear them under shirts like a camisol...very pretty, comfortable and easy to put on. i plan on keeping them even after this rehab...lots of support if you know what i mean. chicos should market them for all...lol. congrats on your six week sling freedom!!!!

Apr 08, 2010
Advil and scar tissue
by: Bart - SII

One of the reasons that Advil is contraindicated can be because of the type of pain/inflammatory medication you may be on immediately following the surgery. If your doctor prescribes any type of anti-inflammatory (which is common but varies from physician to physician) Advil is contraindicated because it too is a non-steroidal anti-inflammatory. Tylenol is an analgesic, and is usually ok to take with other NSAIDs. They may have also warned against Aleve, Motrin, or other NSAIDs.

Some physicians do feel that NSAIDs following surgery or acute injury can disrupt the normal healing process because of their actions on the inflammatory process (a normal, natural, and necessary process for healing). This opinion varies from doc to doc as well.

With regards to scar tissue - the body does start laying down weak scar tissue almost immediately after injury. This type III collagen eventually is replaced with stronger type I collagen during scar maturation in the later stages of healing. Most physicians will recommend some type of passive range of motion (pendulums, stick stretching, therapist assisted) in the early stages of rehab. This will help to limit the amount of scar tissue formation. It is a fine line between maintaining motion and protecting the healing tissue. Follow your doctors instructions and protocols, and make sure you have a rehab therapist who is invested in your overall recovery and things should go well.

Bart

Apr 09, 2010
Rotator cuff surgery
by: Terri

I'm in Canada and had surgery Mar. 30. It is common practice here to have a nerve block prior to surgery.I was pretty scared about the block, but had a great anesthesiologist who explained the whole process and why it is done. I would strongly suggest having the block, mine lasted about 20 hours. My surgeon thought I only had a small tear, some scar tissue and bursitis. He discovered during surgery that the tear was between 1 to 2 inches. I was prescribed oxycontin and oxycodone( similar to percs). I only used the percs for a day after surgery. I started using the ice machine as soon as I came home from the hospital and only disn't use it at bedtime. Dresses with elastic tops (tube dresses) are a godsend, you can just pull them up to your armpits. Sleeping is a challenge. I use 2 puffy pillows to put me at a 45 degree angle, another under my arm and one inder my knees. This helps with both lower back and shoulder pain. I started physio a week after surgery, PT is quite adament that I use the pain meds prior to physio. She has advised that she will be somewhat agressive but this is necessary to ensure that I regain full movement and recover fully. At the initial assessment, she said that she was surprised at the extent of motion that I have a week after surgery. Today she already was able to move my arm above shoulder height. I do passive therapy at home 3 times a day and still ice the shoulder on a regular basis. After the therapy session today, I can understand why she wants me to use pain meds prior to therapy. The meds relax you and allows the therapist to manipulate your shoulder alot easier as you aren't as resistant. Just remember the ice after any pt whether at the therapists or at home.

I have a recliner which the pt says I should sleep in but hot flashes just make it way to uncomfortable. To help with any excess sweating, I was advised to put a face cloth in the armpit. This really helps. I also found that a second sling is a must. You can wear the second one while you wash the first. A cotton tube bandage over your injured arm also helps with sweat issues. I've been told that I will need the sling for 6 weeks. My suggestion to anyone who is having surgery, do exactly as your surgeon says. You only want to go through this once.

I think that I have been very fortunate and had an excellent surgeon. I've been getting about 5 hours of sleep before waking up to stretch my back and fingers and have had little pain. Hopefully I will regain full usage sooner than expected.

Apr 13, 2010
recliner chair tips
by: jean

i spoke to my pt person and asked for advice on best sleeping position in recliner. he said to sleep as fully reclined as possible, put a pillow behind operated shoulder and one under the knees to help the back. tried it last night and had the most comfortable sleep in three weeks..and i am not as stiff this am..17 days till sling comes off!

Apr 13, 2010
napping
by: jean

just took my first great nap since surgery using the position described above...i added a pillow over my other shoulder and a larger pillow under my knees...i slept like a baby and as with this am no bad aches after sleeping for the first time in three weeks. i used feather pillows for my shoulders and draped them over the top of the recliner...sleep is the best healer, both emotionally and physically...good luck to all!

Apr 13, 2010
napping
by: jean

just took my first great nap since surgery using the position described above...i added a pillow over my other shoulder and a larger pillow under my knees...i slept like a baby and as with this am no bad aches after sleeping for the first time in three weeks. i used feather pillows for my shoulders and draped them over the top of the recliner...sleep is the best healer, both emotionally and physically...good luck to all!

Apr 15, 2010
moxie
by: jean

i woke up today thinking of moxie and her tax day surgery. good-luck today! i am on my third day of painless sleeping with two weeks to go in the sling...any suggestions/comments on precautions after the sling comes off...i know the repair takes three months to heal and i worry that w/o the sling i could redamage it. thanks

May 13, 2010
Rotator cuff surgery
by: Are they serious?

Hi,I had rotator cuff, torn bicep reattached and bone spurs surgery 7 days ago, doing better then i thought i would at this point and time.I do have lot of pain in my elbow (stiffness).I also have a lot of pain in my neck area, thought it may be from the pain block they gave me? feels very bruised down my neck into my collar bone area, hurts to touch that area.I for got to add they did remove some bone in the collar bone area if i understand right.
I still have a hard time dressing my self and doing normal personal hygiene. i just found out that workmen's comp is making me go back to work 10 days after surgery ? Are they serious ? I can't even drive my self to pt or work at this point, cant wear a bra, tie my shoes, do my hair. I have to use my ice machine every 3 to 4 hours to relive pain.still have my stitches, pulling up my britches is a chore all on it's own. (i'm sure i will be most pleasant when i go back to work:).
Sleeping is also a bit of a challenge for me, i sleep about 2 hours at a time and i wake up
from this awful pain in my neck.Recliner is my best friend.

Thanks for letting me vent,any one else sent back to work this soon after surgery? i have a job that is 90% labor.

May 14, 2010
Thanks everyone for your remarks
by: HK

regarding the May post about WC sending them back to work too soon, doesn't the surgeon have to release you? Mine does. That would be just wrong, you are not ready that soon, you need to heal.

I am taking at least three months off. My RC tear was complex and an open repair. I am at almost 6 weeks and still need my sling. At 2 weeks they told me to do very little even with my good arm as it would hurt me, and I was allowed to use my hand elbow down and keep my arm in and stable and stationary.
I do a little bit every day and am careful to monitor and not overdo it. Each week gets better and I find myself wanting to do a bit more or 'test move' it to see if it will work. then I scare myself. Trying to get my hair up out of the way by hanging it upside down and tipping towards my hand so I can gather it with the good hand to clip up is hard.

I tried to do small simple light things yesterday without wearing my sling as much and am paying for it in much more aching today. I have gradually been doing more as long as I am careful and try to abide the rule no more weight than a cup of coffee, but my downfall is doing too much like these other women that live alone and there is so much to do. I hope I am not causing myself damage in the long run. My PT is very limited as the dr wants scar tissue to build up on the repair. Same no ibuprofen just tylenol.

It was tendon to tendon tear repaired, it was still attached to the shoulder bone. 20 sutures on the tendon was a lot.
Everything you all said about recliner is true, I was lucky that family had a big electric lift chair and it is awesome! We got it off Craigs List. Also down pillows on the arms like someone said I did but I am ok now. Have tried the bed but still not so good.
I wear a bra top camisole tank and a reg cotton tank over that most comfortable. I had to plan and prepare a lot for this surgery and it paid off.
I have not been released to drive and have a small truck manual, but last week (#5) I drove a little very carefully keeping my big sling on (left arm) so I would not use it other than to have fingers on bottom of the wheel while I shifted. I just got a little stir crazy and had to get out, now I am content to settle back in and behave.

May 14, 2010
re going back to work too soon
by: jean

i am amazed that you are doing as much as you are so soon after your surgery.I had a large rotator cuff tear, bicep repair, bone spurs etc. 8 weeks ago today. two weeks ago my sling came off and i started pt. My dr.'s protocal did not allow me to do many of the things you are now doing. If you have to drive to work, you could damage your new surgery or hurt someone else. It takes three months for the rotator cuff to fully repair in most cases. You do not want to go through this again. I agree that you should get a permission slip from your surgeon before you return to work...you can also download his protocal to show what you can and cannot do. Good-luck.

May 14, 2010
Almost 4 months
by: Shane

On May 26th it will have been four months since my surgery. My doctor still hasn't given approval for me to go back to work doing my complete job. I'm a mail carrier and as such, I must extend my arm higher than my head to sort mail, and must extend my arm out of my truck to deliver it. He did give me permission to do the walking part of my route which involves extending the arm, but keeping it in a bent position for the most part.

As for the healing process, I went on vacation last week and regressed a bit as to how much motion I had in the shoulder, even though I tried to do my stretches and exercises--it's just hard to do those when you're with relatives going here and there. My range of motion is still limited and I still have a good deal of pain when I try to go beyond that range of motion. I still can't lift my arm either in front or to the side to the straight up position. Trying to put my arm up behind my back, as if to scratch my back doesn't go to well either. When I have a lot of pain, my best solution has been the gel cold packs that the PT uses. When I can't sleep at night because of discomfort, I've been taking the Tylenol PM--store brand and that has helped a lot.

May 14, 2010
a little more
by: HK

I know I went on and on in the first post off the main subject of why the recliner, but thought all the info was so useful so I wanted to add my 2 cents worth.

I also am wondering how Moxie is.

I also had the nerve block, and was having pain control issues the first night in the hospital after it wore off and ended up that Dialadid (sp) was the one that suited me best. Took it (and Tylenol 1000 mg) the first week steady then only as needed for the next week, then just at night and weaned off easily. Still taking tylenol as needed.

May 14, 2010
on the sofa now
by: jean

as i said above, i am 8 weeks since my surgery and 2 weeks out of the sling. i tried at different points to sleep in my bed. at 7 weeks, i left the recliner and slept both on my side and on my back on my sofa. heavenly!!! i tried the bed last night, and didn't sleep well at all...back to the sofa. however, the sofa is sooo much better than the recliner! my pt is wonderful..in one week off the sling, i went from 50% rom to 65%...i can write, brush my teeth, put on a bra and tee shirts...i was so concerned that my dr.'s protocal required waiting 6 weeks (I did do home exercises)..but the progress once out of the sling is very heartening. i love the pt as even though there is discomfort, i leave feeling so much better and with far less pain. every day i am now seeing improvement. good-luck to all of you going through this...this is a major surgery. Jean

May 16, 2010
been a while
by: Rach

It's been a while since I've written. It's now been almost 5 months since my surgery. Still in PT, now weaned down to 2 days a week, from 3. Therapy is about 2 and 1/2 hours each time. Went back to work (as a nurse) 3 months post-op. Still light duty, can't lift more than 50 pounds now, and no overhead work. However, I go back to the MD tomorrow, probably will be full duty.

Therapy has been going great. My external rotation was the hardest for me to get back. Still painful when he does the external rotation stretching, but it's where it should be. I've been having a very positive outlook lately, until this morning. In order to shave my under-arms, I still have to hold that hand/arm against the shower wall, in able to shave my underarm. By this time, I should be able to hold my arm up by itself- I can hold it up, but not far enough to be able to shave with it at a 90 degree angle. Hopefully I'll get there!!

May 18, 2010
comfort, sleeping and pain pills
by: livnonthefarside

FYI the reason that you do not want to get rid of the pain completely is that it prevents you from destroying what the Dr. did to repair the shoulder. The pain is the way for your body to tell you 'don't do that, your damaging me'. If enough pain medicine was given that you no longer feel the destruction that you are doing to yourself, you can do permenantly harm.

That said, if the pain is constant and unbearable, call the Dr., some people do not respond to a certain pain medicine and another type of pain medicine can be given. There is no need to suffer needlessly. Be polite, Be firm and Be persistant.

If you cannot afford a recliner, go to a medical supply place and get one or two foam wedges. they stay in place better than pillows and can make it comfortable to rest. If you find that the foam wedges 'migrate' from where you want them. Get your helper to take a sheet and lay it out on the bed put the foam wedge in the middle of the sheet and fold the sheet over the wedge, making a two long pieces of sheet hanging out from the bottom and top of the wedge. When you lay on the sheet it pins the wedge from slipping (wedge is like meat in a taco, sheet is like taco shell, person lays on top of taco shell, pinning meat (wedge)inside shell (sheet). This meathod can work with pillows also.

To get up from a sleeping position- lay on the side of the bed that is the same as your un-injured side. roll onto your un-injured side and move your legs off the side of the bed to sit up. Wait for the dizziness to pass before standing up. If you are still disorentated or dizzy have someone help you.

Good Luck-

May 18, 2010
I found a way to sleep in bed after surgery.
by: Molly

Hi All,
Think I have read all the postings & I am now 3 weeks post rotator cuff surgery. Had a tendon almost completely torn away from the bone. The Ortho Dr. was able to repair it. I tried all the above mentioned sleeping techniques such as the recliner, sitting up, the bed & anything else I could think of with no success. I was lucky to get 1-2 hours sleep a night. I have heavy duty meds like Vicoden ES & Oxicodone. Neither helped with the night pain. My daughter asked me to try one of her Klonopin, 1mg tablets. She told me it was an anti-anxiety medication. I told her she was nuts, as I was not anxious, just in pain, but I tried it. Took it about 45 minutes before laying down in bed & low & behold I slept through the night with no pain, in BED. I asked my Dr. for a prescription as the Ortho Dr. said the night pain could last awhile. Have been taking it for a week now & sleeping in bed all night. I asked my Dr. & the pharamist how it worked when the pain pills didn't & they had no answer for me. So I just wanted to share my experience with those that may still not be able to sleep. It works for me, maybe you too.

May 19, 2010
6 months post op - now bone spurs?
by: Michelle

Hey everyone! It's been awhile!

I am happy to report that 6 months post op and I am pain free, getting stronger every day, and have pretty good ROM. Yeah! Only one challenge - a recent MRI shows more bone spurs. :(

The spurs are keeping me from having complete ROM. A few people have told me that maybe I should just chalk it up to age (only 45...hello!!) and be thankful for the movement I have, but I want to stay active for a long time - golf, work out, all that fun stuff!

Debating more surgery...gulp! Anyone have more bone spurs post surgery? What did you do? Can they go away on their own?

Thanks!

Michelle

May 19, 2010
Spurs
by: Dirk

I still have not had surgery. I had 6 weeks of PT. My doc says to try and wait for surgery. The PT helped a good amount. And I am doing a bit better. As far as the bone spurs I have a small cuff tear and bone spurs. Dr says if I have surgery he will take care of spurs then. The PT has helped the spurs as well. Although I do take 800 motrin every day.

May 20, 2010
May 26 surgery
by: Linda

I have rotator cuff surgery next Wednesday and I am very anxious. Had knee replacement in Novemeber and this seems like it will be much, much harder. But there is a lot of pain and the Dr. said some people wait too long and then it cannot be repaired. Any other helpful hints? I live by myself and will probably only have someone with me for a day or two.........

May 21, 2010
surgery next week
by: jean

please try to find someone to help you out for at least the first week. you will be on painkillers for a few days and you should stay ahead of the pain (your joints and muscles tense up under pain, which is not good for your surgery) I was on pain meds for the first 4-5 days...the initial home pt really helped with pain management. at the very least, you will need help with bathing and driving to the doctor. As for tips, i would stock my fridge with pre-cooked meals and or frozen dinners. I would buy or lease a recliner chair, electric being best, but manual handle at least on your non-surgical side. I would have several comphy down pillows and a lumbar pillow for sleeping and sitting in the recliner. I would purchase large button down shirts (i went to goodwill for these) and elastic waist gym shorts or pants. My thoughts are with you..the pain for me lasted only the first few days, but pain meds help blunt the worst..then its more like an ache. i was out of my sling in 6 weeks( I had a large rotator cuff repair, spurs and arthritis removed and a bicep attachment..ie the works) Today is nine weeks since my surgery and i have been in pt three weeks. Once my sling came off, the worst was behind me. I love my pt as now i can do so many things and the ache is 1 out of 10 most days. i think if i had known that, i would have gotten through the first 6 weeks in a better emotional state. one more thing, rent books, videos etc..most libraries will deliver if you are ill. Good-luck..I'll write more if i think of anything.

May 21, 2010
surgery next week
by: jean

please try to find someone to help you out for at least the first week. you will be on painkillers for a few days and you should stay ahead of the pain (your joints and muscles tense up under pain, which is not good for your surgery) I was on pain meds for the first 4-5 days...the initial home pt really helped with pain management. at the very least, you will need help with bathing and driving to the doctor. As for tips, i would stock my fridge with pre-cooked meals and or frozen dinners. I would buy or lease a recliner chair, electric being best, but manual handle at least on your non-surgical side. I would have several comphy down pillows and a lumbar pillow for sleeping and sitting in the recliner. I would purchase large button down shirts (i went to goodwill for these) and elastic waist gym shorts or pants. My thoughts are with you..the pain for me lasted only the first few days, but pain meds help blunt the worst..then its more like an ache. i was out of my sling in 6 weeks( I had a large rotator cuff repair, spurs and arthritis removed and a bicep attachment..ie the works) Today is nine weeks since my surgery and i have been in pt three weeks. Once my sling came off, the worst was behind me. I love my pt as now i can do so many things and the ache is 1 out of 10 most days. i think if i had known that, i would have gotten through the first 6 weeks in a better emotional state. one more thing, rent books, videos etc..most libraries will deliver if you are ill. Good-luck..I'll write more if i think of anything.

May 21, 2010
tips for linda
by: jean

hopefully my prior post will appear with my long list of tips. i just thought of two more. go to a cvs or surgical supply store and get a large cold therapy pack..my pt uses one placed in a pillow case. it drapes over the shoulder and is much more soothing than the ice bags i was given after my surgery and if you move it doesn't fall off your shoulder. second i bought a heating pad made for the shoulder and neck...much better than the one i was using until i went to pt and discovered that they made them.

May 21, 2010
surgery
by: Linda

Thank you Jean for your tips and comments. I have one large Ice thing at home and will go and get a couple more. I keep going back and forth about having the surgery - but I know that come Wednesday I will go. I do have friends who will be a big help with whatever I may need.
You sound like you are doing great and that is a big encouragment to me right there. So of the other posts said they wished they'd never had the surgery. When I had the knee surgery - it hurt like crazy - but almost everyday I saw changes for the good. I need to keep that mind mind. I will put up some meals this weekend. At my church there are also ladies who will make meals and bring them to me. So that is also an option. I just like being independent and it's hard to ask for and allow people to help. But thank you again..........your comments are a big encouragment and give me even more of a push to get it done!

May 21, 2010
more tips for linda
by: jean

i retrieved an email that i had sent a few weeks ago to a friend who was preparing for rotator cuff surgery...while you're at your drugstore, you might also want to buy 1. hibiclens soap (my doctor's instructions were to wash the shoulder area the night before and the morning of with this to help prevent infection) 2. dental flossers, if you like to floss your teeth like i do, they are the only way to floss with one hand 3.purelax laxative...helps while you are on narcotic meds. one note on the icer, mine has beeds, cost about 15.oo at cvs and i have only needed one as it refreezes pretty quickly. I also took a piece of fleese and loosely lined my sling as the one i was given at the hospital was scratchy against my skin after a few days. Also, as i mentioned above, a small lumbar cushion,available at surgical supply stores, will really help (approx $10-15) After I slept/sat in my recliner for a few weeks, i was having a lot of pain in my cocix(spelling?) area. This helped immediately. A pillow under my knees and draped over the back of my chair gave me more comfortable sleep. I have decided to type up a letter to give to my doctor that can be handed out to his patients facing this surgery. I learned as i went along with some great tips on this site. I am also an independent type and the hardest part of this surgery was allowing others to help and trying to accept that the best way to recover was to give myself a miny vacation from my daily activities. people feel good helping others, so let them. your turn will come. Good luck and i will watch this post to see how you are doing.

May 21, 2010
living alone after surgery
by: Anonymous

I also am alone. Jean covered most the main points I can think of.
The hospital sent me home with a handful of things to cover my site with so I could shower. I only did it and my hair every 3rd day as it was tiring (and still is at 7 weeks) I had anything and everything I could think of done ahead of time to save me, and premade and stored food in paper soup cups with lids in the freezer. got 6 bags of ice, refillable ice bags and made gel packs with water absorbing gel crystals and 20% propelene glycol sealed in foodsaver packs and doubled. They thaw to a formable shape and slip in a pillowcase as Jean said or wrap in a tea towel.
I sleep in a electric recliner with a twin comforter that is easy to manuver.
The surgery was not as bad as expected, the first couple days were the worst. Just rest and sleep a lot. It took me a month to start feeling better. But living alone it is hard as there is so much to do. Try hard to only use your hand as needed in the early stages less is best. I had to and constantly worry if even the stuff I did was too much. Be careful to not do too much, use it too long, or not to lift too heavy with the injured side (no more that a weight of a cup of coffee), stay within your appointed range of motion allowed and only use lower arm/hand as needed.

I tend to pick and choose my needed chores, and have to let things go much longer between being done, be it bathing, vaccume rug, sweep floor, still using my good side of course but the surgery side has some gentle use. Now if I do too much I ache the next day. And may for two days. My better side shoulder suffers and hurts almost more now than my repaired side, I am sure it is torn also.
Good luck and just let stuff go and get help when you can if someone comes to visit ask for help.
ah yes paper plates, plastic utensils if that helps with cleanup.
And I sleep in my comfey tank camis and stretch waist pants same as I wear daytime saves the effort of too much dressing.
I typed one handed, but now put a card table to my recliner and the height to my laptop is reachable so I can type with my hand resting on the side, upper arm in as it is supposed to be.

May 21, 2010
comments from anonymous above
by: jean

great advice..i'm adding the paper goods to my list to my doctor..i wonder why they don't have some brochure with advice on preparing for this surgery, esp. for people living alone! i was even thinking of finding a space on this site to list them w/o having to read through all the blogs. i was blown away about your comment on your other shoulder as just today i was telling a friend that so many people who have this surgery have to have it on the other shoulder! I came to the conclusion that while you are in recovery, you are preforming many weight bearing exercises on the other shoulder. usually you use two hands to lift things, not one. i decided today, before i read your comments, that i would no longer try lifting heavy things with my other arm. it does hurt now, where it never did before. why don't doctors tell you these things? may-be i'm wrong, but my intuition tells me i'm right. so, i would add as a tip to others, go gently also on the other shoulder.

May 21, 2010
the 'other shoulder'
by: Anonymous

I actually have a thought on the other shoulder hurting and being next needing surgery. I have since met a lot of RC surgery that did have to have the second one done. I am thinking that both were injured at the time of the worst one, but the other doesn't appear as obvious so we disregard it. I did! I knew it hurt too but the one that was worse was what we focused on not considering that maybe they both were damaged at the time as we tend to use both arms to reach up and bring things down.
Now I don;t tend to use my good arm for heavy things as I just can't, but I think just the fact that is is being used for everything and that it may have some damage already has made it much worse. I am now wondering who I begin to discuss this with regarding if workers comp will cover the second shoulder. I guess start with my surgeon as I see him before I will see my employer. The surgeon will be in the know as this is his speciality.

May 24, 2010
linda
by: jean

the friend i told you about who i sent the email to with tips just had her rotator cuff surgery last thurs. she is doing fine and as it turned out she is wearing only the light sling. her recovery will be much quicker than mine. my surgeon told me prior to my surgery that once he went in, he could better see the extent of my shoulder damage...one result could be the much shorter recovery. i am wishing you the same. she was glad that she was prepared for both outcomes. Since my last post, i am also giving my other shoulder a break from one sided heavy lifting and i am feeling much better on both sides.there have been several days this past week that i have to remind myself that i had shoulder surgery 9 weeks ago, and my repairs were extensive. so good luck again!

May 25, 2010
to Jean
by: Anonymous

Glad your friend Lindas surgery wasn't as bad as they thought it might have been.
I wear my light sling around the house because it is easier to slip in and out of for use and rest in when I can. But out in any situation that I need the firm stability and security I wear the big one with a block. Each day it feels a little better to leave out in the house a bit at a time. Still not ready to take off completely yet I can tell. I am at 7 weeks.
The pain is getting less and though I do worry if I will ever be able to lift it again I get hope reading the other posts, so thanks for those.
I have been sleeping in my bed more and more just recently as long as I am not aching too much and tired enough to not be restless. The electric chair as I call it has become a source of comfort in the livingroom, I like it for a change if I have been in the bed a few hours and want to flip sides and can't. The chair makes me stay on my back comfortably. Good luck healing to you too, glad you are giving that other arm a break. I am trying to as well, but still trying to do small chores I have to do. Easily get exhausted!

May 25, 2010
12 weeks since surgery
by: Cheryl

Hi. Its been 12 weeks since my surgery. I fell, dislocated and broke shoulder in many places. I had anthroscopic surgery and my doctor sewed 4 large pieces of bone together and screwed it into my shoulder. Yuck, I know. My range of motion is pretty good but I still can't sleep a full night. I sleep about 3 to 4 hours and then it wakes me up feeling very stiff and sore. I still do PT three times a week. My bicep and deltoid muscles are really weak. I had a sling with pillow for 8 weeks and I slept in a recliner for those entire 8 weeks. I hope it gets better. I can't stand the weakness in my arm. It feels like it weighs a ton.

May 25, 2010
weakness in the arm
by: Anonymous

Cheryl can you not lift your arm either yet? I was afraid something wasn't right as I can't even begin to at 7 weeks. My upper arm only goes a few inches any direction then is useless. I don't want to try too hard and wreck it but it is a little frightening. I hadn't though of it as muscle weakness so much as that maybe it was the tendon not ready to be able to lift the arm yet. I won't see the doc for another week and half. But muscle weakness make sense too. I think my Deltoid was cut as I had open surgery and I have wondered about that as far as it's healing and ability in the future.

May 25, 2010
travel after rotator cuff surgery
by: Dragonfli1102

Hi guys. I appreciate all of the comments and feedback posted on this site. It's very helpful! I was injured in a car accident and am scheduled to have rotator cuff surgery repair on June 16th. I have a cruise scheduled to depart July 17th that will sail for a week. I am wondering if I will be able to take the trip or if I should try to cancel. I will be 4 weeks post-op at that time.

Thoughts?

May 25, 2010
cruise at 4 weeks?
by: Anonymous

My personal opinion if I had the choice knowing what I know now, I'd take the cruise first then do the surgery. I was more functional before surgery than I am now at 7 weeks. At 4 weeks I didn't feel so good and hurt a lot still. Just would rather lay around still at that point which one should do.
But it depends on how miserable you are now. I had coped with my tear for a year before I was ready to settle down and do nothing.

May 26, 2010
cruise at 4 weeks?
by: Anonymous

I just re read your question, and if you can't change surgery date and can't change the cruise I'd say you could do the cruise, you just won't be feeling your best. will still be very limited and have to be careful and in discomfort if not still some pain. Hard to sleep still at that time. Won't be comfortable dressing up. Not to be a downer but stuff to consider. Though as I said it could be done. I'd have gone if I already had one set up and no choice or to lose out.

May 26, 2010
cruise
by: jean

my personal opinion, based on my recovery, is to try to reschedule the surgery if at all possible, esp if it is rotator cuff repair. having cruised several times, i can't imagine being on a ship 4 weeks after my surgery...sleeping in a bed might be very difficult, the possibility of reinjury, dressing up etc. it is your choice, but i would take the cruise first and try to immediately contact your surgeon for the first date available after your return (if that is an option based on your injury). also, what are you going to do if you are in pain or having any post recovery issues while a week out at sea?

May 26, 2010
Cruise
by: Anonymous

I am 4 weeks post op rotator cuff surgery. I was smart enough to take my Las Vegas vacation the week before the surgery & sure glad I did. Could not imagine doing it afterwards for a long while. The dressing, sleeping & mainly the pain are the 3 biggies. It's still a pain just to drive to the grocery store & push a basket. I will start ph next week after 5 weeks post op. Know it will really hurt, but will make it. Good luck to you. Please change your surgery date for after your wonderful cruise. You will have lovely memories to look back on during your recoup.

May 26, 2010
Cruise
by: Dragonfli1102

Thank you guys so much for the feedback. I am going to try to postpone the surgery!

May 26, 2010
time off work?
by: Dragonfli1102

I have one more question you guys (and gals) might be able to answer for me. How much time away from work did you all have?

I work in an office most of the time; however, I travel about 50% and have to carry a laptop everyday. I've heard that about 4 weeks off work is what's required.

Thoughts?

Thanks

May 26, 2010
Not lookin' good
by: Shane

I went to my doc on Monday and he told me that I'm extremely tight for being 4 months post-op. I'm to go another two months and if it doesn't loosen up, he's going to have to go back in and remove scar tissue. That sucks, man. Try telling your boss that you still can't do the job and tha it may be nine months from the date of surgery before you can do it.

I wonder, just how common is it that they have to go back in to remove scar tissue?

May 26, 2010
Not lookin' good
by: Shane

I went to my doc on Monday and he told me that I'm extremely tight for being 4 months post-op. I'm to go another two months and if it doesn't loosen up, he's going to have to go back in and remove scar tissue. That sucks, man. Try telling your boss that you still can't do the job and tha it may be nine months from the date of surgery before you can do it.

I wonder, just how common is it that they have to go back in to remove scar tissue?

May 26, 2010
reflections of rotator cuff surgery
by: jean

when i first went to my surgeon and found out that my mri showed a small rotator cuff tear, bone spurs and artritis , i was told that my surgery and rehab could be fairly simple (no repair done on a small tear, but "cleaning up") or much more extensive. I prepared myself for the worst, by purchasing items that i would need, etc. but went in there expecting the best. I had a large tear with bicep repair and all the rest (the worst case scenario). My friend went in this past week expecting the worst and is on the fast tract or easy three week recovery. I was told by several people who have had this surgery that it was a piece of cake (I'm sure they were in the first group) and by others it is a long recovery. I think most people on this site had the second and are writing for tips and support, like I did, to get through this. I have come to the conclusion that this surgery, the surgeons protocals and people's recoveries are very different. I know people that are driving and sleeping in their beds two-three weeks after surgery and I still am not after 10 weeks post op. Then i feel like a wimp...why can't I? I read about people on this site who are doing much worse than me. My surgeon told me today that I am doing well for 10 weeks post-op. I was in a sling for 6 weeks and have only had pt for four. My fexian is 160, my abduction is 160, external rotation 80 and internal rotation 60. Most important to me is that after each week of pt i see improvement in my daily skills and less pain, starting after the first week! I love going to pt and while it is a little painful, it is not horrible. i always feel better after i leave (i take a pain pill before i go, thanks to a tip from this site) I am 61 and not athletic. I am writing this to say that i wish everyone the best including people who are thinking about this surgery. For me, the first 6 weeks were hard (because of the sling and that the surgery was on my dominent shoulder). once the sling was off, i saw improvement by leaps and bounds. unless you have a real deviation from the "norm" whatever that is, don't despair that you are not healing or doing as much as others. see your surgeon or get a second opinion if you are experiencing pain well beyond a reasonable time. keep your chin up as this is a serious surgery and go at the pace that will help you most! don't let anyone make you feel bad that you are not doing all the things that they could do (perhaps they had the easier surgery).best wishes, jean

May 27, 2010
Rotator cuff surgery
by: ARE THEY SERIOUS ?

OK, well it has been 3 weeks today and wow the pain in my elbow is unbelievable.My movement is pretty good,pain isn't that bad in shoulder area unless i move the wrong way, but the stiffness in the elbow is crazy.Anyone else have stiffness in the elbow area with a lot of pain? I can not extend arm downward and have lots of swelling about a inch above elbow towards the bend of my arm. I will add I did have to have the bicep tendon reattached along with removal of bone spurs and arthritis. I'm starting to think maybe the reattachment of the bicep was not successful?
I did go back to work a week after surgery, what a joke that was lol. I made it a few days and then had to take my week vacation, just couldn't do it anymore. I'm already driving my self to pt 3 times a week that's a chore.
My advise, have some one that can help you full time for the 1st 2 weeks.I wish everyone the best of luck with their recovery.

May 27, 2010
JUST STARTED PT
by: Anonymous

Hello everyone, I had surgery on April 12th. I'm concerned because my doctor just released me to do pt. I can't even reach for a glass. I'm still sleeping on my back with several soft pillows. I had a anchor/rod placed in my right shoulder. MY job wan't let me come back until I have some range of motion. I'm feeling very depressed, because I feel very helpless right know. I live by myself and the cleaning chores are very hectic. Please reassure me that this will get better.

May 28, 2010
response to above
by: jean

in response to the above, my recovery really started after pt...6 weeks after surgery...like you are now. pt will stretch your shoulder and increase your range of motion and then work on increasing your strength. please try to keep your chin up...things should start to become easier for you!

May 28, 2010
2 days post surgery
by: Linda

Much better than expected. Have only needed to take the pain pills twice a day. Arm sometimes feels like it is stuck and then I just move it out a little and it settles down. Sleeping in bed on my back - but it's hard to get comfortable. Have a friend saying with me but I try and do stuff for myself. Am able to sit outside on the swing and enjoy the weather. Bought a sleeveless smock 2 sizes to big and wear that every day. Easy on - easy off. I had a bidet put on my toilet when I ahd knee replacement last Novemember a I highly recommend it if mobility is an issue. So far... so good. I see the surgeon on June 3rd and that will really tell me what's up and when I can go back to work. He was able to repair one of the tendons by making the small holes. The larger, full thickness tear he had to make an incision. He told the person who had taken me that all went well. So grateful to God!!!! AMEN!

May 28, 2010
linda
by: jean

so glad your surgery went well..it sounds like you are doing very well post-op!

May 28, 2010
RTC Surgery Expectations
by: Dragonfli1102

Jean - thank you so much for posting all of your tips to this site. I have made a list of everything I need to do before my surgery. It's scheduled for June 16th. Foruntately, I have a 19 year old son who lives with me and will be helping during my recovery time. Phew!!

Did your doc give you an expected time away from work? My doc is saying 4-6 weeks. Is that about right? I know it depends some on your occupation.

Thanks again for your tips!!

May 30, 2010
Frightened but going for it
by: John Wilson

I've read many of the pre and post op threads with great interest. I'm having my subacromial decompression and biceps tenodesis on June 24. I think I'll have to look into a recliner chair or something to get better sleep. Is there a recommended make, type or shape? Don't sleep well at the best of times so post op is going to be really tough. I'm an Industrial Technology teacher in Australia (age 52) and anticipate a 2-3 months recovery before return to active duty. The toughest thing will be the time away from kayaking and playing competition canoe polo, which I also teach for school sport. I'm kind of scared about losing my fitness and physical condition. Any suggestions??

Jun 04, 2010
my update
by: Linda

Thanks Jean for all your helpful hints. I had my staples out yesterday. Went into work (church secretary - so it's a desk/computer/phone thng) for a couple hours. Went home pooped and arm ached all night. Am in work all day today and will ice it when I go home. I'm driving. Still can't sleep on the side I had surgery. But all in all I'm glad I had it done and things are moving along. I start Physical Therapy next week and have exercises I can do at home in between times.
I never did have to sleep in a recliner. Was on my back propped up for a couple nights and then was able to sleep on my unoperated side. Only took 6 pain pills in total. And for the past 2 nights haven't taken any. God bless anyone getting ready for this surgery. Well worth having!!

Jun 04, 2010
Almost one year later
by: Linda

I had my rotator cuff surgery 6/25/09. It's been almost one year since surgery. I had a large calcium deposit removed and my tendon repaired and anchored. The pain is gone, so as far as my surgeon is concerned my surgery was a success. I have a lot of my range of motion back but still not too good with my external rotation and putting my arm behind my back. I had a full 7 months of physical therapy and continue to do my exercises everyday on my own. Before I had the surgery I had a mild case of scoliosis. Due to the curvature in my spine, my right shoulder(the shoulder I had surgery on) was a little lower than my left shoulder. Since my surgery my scoliosis has become much worse and my right shoulder is way lower than it was before surgery. I also have severe scapular winging which my surgeon says will probably never get better. So, although the surgery has helped me with the pain I was suffering from, I feel that the surgery has weakened my spine and shoulder and has made me look some what deformed. My surgeon never told me before surgery that this could happen. So, if you have scoliosis, you might want to think twice before having surgery. I've just started going back to physical therapy in hopes of straightening out my shoulder or at least helping it to not get worse. Has anyone had a similiar experience with their shoulder dropping and severe scapular winging?

Jun 05, 2010
Response to John
by: Shane

You can somewhat maintain your cardiovascular fitness by taking walks every day. I did that and it helped. I'd say now that walking 3 miles isn't good enough and I may have tried to walk twice as much. Once a week after a couple of months, I went on a grueling hike--maybe 6-8 miles. I also tried to keep the strength in the unaffected arm by doing one-armed exercises, such as bench press, rows, triceps extension, and curls. No need for that side to atrophy along with the side that has had surgery.

Jun 05, 2010
My own progress slow
by: Shane

I'm about 4 months and 1 week out now. I'm beginning to run out of my PT that will be paid for by insurance (I get 50 visits per year and I'm up to 34). I called the doc's office and they want me to come in sooner than my originally scheduled appointment near the end of July, so I'm going in on June 16th. At my last appointment, the doc said my range of motion was quite bad for four months out, and said I may need to have scar tissue cut out. I'm thinking that's what he's going to say on the 16th when I go in.
Other than range of motion issues, I'm still having a little pain, though it increases dramatically if for some reason I have to move my arm past the range of motion arc, like if I start to trip and fling out my arms to try and catch my balance, it can hurt way bad. But my shoulder is much stronger now than it was even a month ago. I'm hoping that the increased strength will help me recover quickly if and when I have the scar tissue removal surgery.
Good luck to all of you with your surgeries and recoveries.

Jun 05, 2010
Doing good 5 weeks out
by: Molly

I went to my 1st pt this past week, 5 weeks out of surgery & the physical therapist was totally amazed that I have total full range of motion. I told her & well as he ortho dr. that I had not been babying the arm. I would try things(as I live alone), if it hurt I would stop doing it, but if it didn''t hurt I figured it was o.k. They both agreed. I think one thing that was helpful to me was I was only in a sling for 2 weeks(per my dr.). My tendon was almost completely torn away from the bone & dr. put 2 anchors in to secure it. With my HMO, I am only scheduled for 8 pt treatments, but may not need them all. The only pain I have is in my bicep, occasionaly, so guess we will work on building that up. Still have some nightime pain, but getting better all the time. I just wanted to let those know there is hope. I know we all have a different types of surgeries & dr's that so things differently, but hang in there. I have mowed the lawn, raked leaves, washed windows & moped the floors with no problems(using my affected arm). I am not bragging, but letting you know how lucky I fell. Good Luck to everyone & God be with you in your recovery.

Jun 05, 2010
Scoliosis and Scapular Winging.
by: Linda

I had my rotator cuff surgery 6/25/09. It's been almost one year since surgery. I had a large calcium deposit removed and my tendon repaired and anchored. The pain is gone, so as far as my surgeon is concerned my surgery was a success. I have a lot of my range of motion back but still not too good with my external rotation and putting my arm behind my back. I had a full 7 months of physical therapy and continue to do my exercises everyday on my own. Before I had the surgery I had a mild case of scoliosis. Due to the curvature in my spine, my right shoulder(the shoulder I had surgery on) was a little lower than my left shoulder. Since my surgery my scoliosis has become much worse and my right shoulder is way lower than it was before surgery. I also have severe scapular winging which my surgeon says will probably never get better. So, although the surgery has helped me with the pain I was suffering from, I feel that the surgery has weakened my spine and shoulder and has made me look some what deformed. My surgeon never told me before surgery that this could happen. So, if you have scoliosis, you might want to think twice before having surgery. I've just started going back to physical therapy in hopes of straightening out my shoulder or at least helping it to not get worse. Has anyone had a similiar experience with their shoulder dropping and severe scapular winging?

Jun 12, 2010
eleven weeks post op, feeling much better!
by: HK

I had to post today and say I am beginning to feel so much better, and better faster all the time. My surgeon saw me a week ago and was so pleased. I started my 3rd simple PT exercise and was told to keep increasing my at home activities as I carefully have been doing.
I had posted some of my earlier experiences in previous posts though not all as HK.
I live alone and it was a lot of planning ahead and forcing myself to take it easy. Then as the pain decreased I slowly started using it to do what I had to do being careful to not use too much, too long, no more weight than allowed or out of allowed range. Be sure you do as instructed by your doc as it paid off to behave. If I had ruined this repair there was little chance of fixing it again. So that put the fear in me.
I was able to increase activity a little at a time, listen to your body how it feels the next day and adjust accordingly. This is for those of you that HAVE TO do things and can't just lay around being waited on.
I have been doing my supine reach stretch exercise and increasing it every day for only one week and general increases in all my activities, I started slowly weaning off the sling as I felt it was ok to do a couple weeks ago, (doc told me I can last week) and now just wear it when I am tired and up and around to support it. Sleeping more and more in my bed, though both shoulders ache the operated one is now the best, so I still need to lay creatively to sleep well. My reach in all directions has improved so much since last week and my strength is getting better so quickly I am actually having hope. It used to feel like a deal limp noodle if I tried to raise it a little to test it. Now I can slowly raise it more than I had expected. But not to do too much/often or it will get sore!! So I still am limited and not able to go to work at my paying job but integrate back to doing the real things in daily life right now for starters. That gives me the liberty to know when enough is enough and pace myself. If I need to I chill with the cold gel packs packed all around my front, back and side of the shoulder. Oh BTW I had an Open surgery, complex tear of the supraspinus rotator cuff tendon, still attached to the bone but the tear was so big he stitched 20 sutures internally knotted to reduce friction and all tidy I suppose like a darned sock hole. The deltoid was opened with the grain to access the tear. It was very painful in the beginning and yes I will go through it again if that is what it takes for the other side. At least now I know first hand what to expect. Thank you everyone else for your great help and comments, and I wish everyone the best healing!

Jun 20, 2010
sleeping in bed painfree
by: Jean

Hit the 3 month post-op mark this past Friday. Last week I started the strenghing part of pt. and will be working on that for the next few weeks. I love pt. because I have seen improvement after every session. Last week I was finally able to sleep in my bed with NO PAIN. Most of the time I actually forget I've had this surgery...again pain is very minimal. Hope everyone is doing well in their recoveries.

Jun 21, 2010
Surgery number 2
by: Shane

So I'm going in on the 29th for another surgery to remove scar tissue that is limiting my range of motion. I guess this happens to a certain percentage of rotator cuff patients, but I'm not sure I like it happening to me. The doc says though that I should heal much faster afterwards, and I'm certainly looking forward to that. Wish me luck!

Jun 28, 2010
2 weeks post-op
by: dragonfli1102

Hi Guys. quick question: After surgery, do you sleep with the sling on or take it off at night?

Jun 28, 2010
sleeping with sling on or off
by: Anonymous

in my case I slept with the firm one that had the foam block just for the first few days then transferred to the light weight cloth one. Both have a waist strap. Wearing it to sleep mostly to keep it safe and it felt secure and snug close to my body in the most painful early stages. Then I started loosening the strap, eventually I'd unhook the strap and when I was certain I wouldn't do some movement in my sleep or awakening that would harm it I shed it altogether for sleeping.
I am 13 weeks out now so I don't recall exactly when as it seems so long ago! Maybe at the second week I was sleeping without the sling.

Jun 30, 2010
SLEEP AFTER SURGERY
by: Gemini

Had rotator suff surgery June 8. Have to wear a sling with a foam block for six weeks. Slept in the recliner for a week and am in the bed now. It has been the most painful surgery I have ever had. Started PT this week for passive therapy. Had a few little exercises to do starting the day after surgery.
I see where other people are worrying about the cost of pt after their insurance runs out and that is a big concern of mine too. Mine will pay for about three months and I really don't see how I am going to be able to afford the strenght training ones. I see online the very same exercises that they have plaaned for me, included the one with the pulley I start tomorrow. I wondered if there is anyone out there that did pt on their own after the insurance ran out and had good results?

Jul 01, 2010
Sleeping post rotator cuff surgery
by: Dragonfli1102

Thanks for the feedback everyone who has posted to this site. Its been most helpful. I am 2 weeks post op now and am feeling pretty good. I am only doing PT 1X per week and can notice a significant difference each visit!

I am able to sleep in the bed now as long as its slightly elevated with lots of pillows. The sling is a constant as well, which sucks in Atlanta in the summer!!

Just wanted to thank everyone!

Jul 02, 2010
Tips for Getting hand behind back stretch?
by: MrD

Hi All,
I'm almost 4 weeks post bone spur removal. My ROM is improving for all movements except getting my hand behind my back! Uggh.. I just can't get it up from my bottom!! Anyone have any tips or tricks that worked for them to get ROM for that movement (I think called "internal rotation??). My PT says it's the hardest one,but seems a little impatient that I just can't improve on that one, while my others are ok.

Thanks a lot!

Jul 14, 2010
Sleeping problem after subacromial decompression
by: Jacqui



I had a subacromial decompression done on the 24th June 2010 and had a large bone spur removed. Apparently most people go back to work 1 to 2 weeks after surgery, hmmmmm! I have gone back this week after just over 2 weeks and I am struggling because I work full time and I cannot for the life of me get a decent sleep because of the nagging 'toothache' like pain in my right shoulder and arm.

I've got great physio therapists who have been very supportive and advised me initially to sleep with pillows supporting my right arm and then today they have said that I need to think about getting into a reclining position. My colleague at work is going to loan me a V shaped pillow and I am going to prop myself up tonight and try to get some sleep.

I coped with the lack of sleep much better when I was off because I could get a nap during the day but working full time with no sleep is killing me, I can't concentrate and I'm only on day 3 back at work. My advice to anyone who is going to have this done is don't even think about going back to work for at least a month. Sleep deprivation is rotten at the best of times but when you are in pain, it amplifies everything!

I am a very positive person and I'm sure this will all have been worth it eventually but when you are lying awake at night and you know you have got to get up at 7am, you do wonder!!

Jacqui

Jul 17, 2010
Thank you for all of your posts on here!!
by: Nick from MN

I actually found this page because I've been experiencing trouble sleeping after my labrum surgery 8 days ago and I just wanted to say thank you for everyboyd's input, tips, and humor that I discovered while reading through MANY of the posts! I will refrain from whining too much yet since I'm only 8 days post-op, but not being able to put together more than 4 hours of sleep in one night really starts to become frustrating pretty quickly!! I hope that you're all recovering well or are fully recovered by now : ))

Jul 17, 2010
Thank you for all of your posts on here!!
by: Nick from MN

I actually found this page because I've been experiencing trouble sleeping after my labrum surgery 8 days ago and I just wanted to say thank you for everyboyd's input, tips, and humor that I discovered while reading through MANY of the posts! I will refrain from whining too much yet since I'm only 8 days post-op, but not being able to put together more than 4 hours of sleep in one night really starts to become frustrating pretty quickly!! I hope that you're all recovering well or are fully recovered by now : ))

Jul 17, 2010
recovery after rotator surgery
by: Jean

Just a note to wish everyone a quick recovery. I am almost four months out from my surgery, still going to pt three times a week and except for getting my arm behind my back doing very well. Most times I forget that I have even had the surgery. Two weeks ago I was reminded when I tried to sleep on my surgery side..big mistake!!!It took a week to be able to get back to my weight and rom exercises!! I really can't complain, as once my sling came off, the healing and inconvenience lessoned right away. For anyone in the early stages of recovery, keep your chin up..it will pass. Thanks to Bart for this site..what a wonderful place to share information and know you are not alone through this surgery.

Jul 29, 2010
You guys are scaring me
by: D Koss

I scheduled for rotator surgery August 5th. I have a year of 3 cm. Dr Moore in Sarasota is doing it on a Thursday and will be able to go back to work on Monday. I work for the government checking people in at the front desk using a computer and handing out clip boards through a glass window.

I already have trouble sleeping and have 3 herniated discs in my back too.

I can't loose my job and I am now wondering if I will be able to go back to work for a 40 hour week.

Aug 02, 2010
There is HOPE.
by: Jane

I had rotator cuff surgery on July 7. I found this site just 9 days after surgery when I could not sleep more than 2 hours at a time. I took the advice taking a sleep aid and things got better immediately. I am taking ADvil PM.. After 3 1/2 weeks, I am actually sleeping on only 2 bed pillows and IN MY OWN BED. What we take for granted. I start PT in two days and for the most part am doing fine. The best advice I can give anyone at this point is...do your exercises regularly right after surgery. I only had a regular sling and after a week stopped wearing it all the time. I find that I am less stiff and the exercises are easier to do. I do live alone, so don't have to worry about being bumped into. I still wear the sling when out and about. I go back to work in a week. I am an assistant principal and had the luxury of being off of work for the summer. I cannot imagine going back to work after only 4 days but that is just me. Reaching out away from your body will be difficult for a while. I am just now able to go without advil during the day.
Still struggling with doing my hair...and some other daily things...but doing the best I can with my left hand. (am right handed) So it does get better every day...and for me has been a very big lesson in PATIENCE. Thanks for posting everyone.

Aug 04, 2010
Sleeping after rotator cuff surgery
by: Chuck

Hello my fellow sufferers. It has been 2 weeks from today since I had my surgery. Originally my Dr. told me the MRI did not show any tears and that he could take care of my problem arthoscopically. Once he got in there he found a small tear and had to cut me. I have had a few surgeries in my life time but none where the pain keeps lingering like this. I have slept in my bed since day one; however, it hurt like heck. I have been on pain meds 24/7 but trying to cut back now. I did find out that I could increase my sleep time by taking a pain med and then I take an Ambien about 2 hours later. I am glad I did not read this section before surgery or I might not have gone through with it. I was thinking how bad can it be....I found out. Good luck to everyone.

Aug 04, 2010
6 weeks post-op and back to work
by: Dragonfli1102

Hello. I am now 7 weeks post-op and returned to work on Monday, August 2nd. I was fine last week and felt pretty confident about my recovery. After returning to work, I am experiencing a lot of pain in my arm/shoulder and am back on pain meds. My PT thinks its just due to usage that the shoulder is not used to. I sure hope that's all it is!

I do agree with everyone though that it definitely gets better. If you are within the first 4 weeks of your surgery, keep on truckin! You will see improvement soon!

Thanks everyone for your posts to this site. I was certainly helpful getting everyones tips and ideas.

Aug 05, 2010
Better at Last!
by: Gemini

It's been eight long weeeks since rotator cuff surgery, but there is a light at the end of the tunnel. Getting that darn sling and foam block off was such a relief that it was easy to overdo. Watch yourself or you will pay for it the next day. My therapist said three more weeks and i will be good to go. So even though it seems endless, it will get better and you will be able to sleep (maybe not painfree) in your bed again soon.
Good luck and best wishes to everyone who has had the surgery and those who are facing it.

Gemini

Aug 06, 2010
6 weeks after subacromial decompression
by: Jacqui

Hi Folks

I was interested to read the comment about the person having surgery done on the 5th and set to return to work on the 9th August. I struggled going back after 2 weeks, please be careful! Remember, once you are back, you are expected to work!

It's a painful operation and just because it's done with keyhole surgery, don't underestimate the work that's been done inside. To anyone who hasn't had it done yet, ask for a pain block to be put into your shoulder before you wake up from the anaesthetic. After that, don't allow the pain to get out of control, take prescribed pain relief regularly and use ice packs.

I sleep with 2 normal pillows with a V shaped pillow on top and lie on my good side with pillows I can place my injured arm across. The pain is worse if you allow your shoulder to drop forward and it's the reason you need to tuck the pillows under your arm to fill the gap and keep it positioned properly.

I wrote on this site in mid July and I am a good deal better now than I was then so take heart and stay positive!

Jacqui

Aug 13, 2010
Suggestions to Pre-op people
by: Chris

I had surgical repair of 100% tear, plus removal of spur, on right shoulder (I'm right handed) 2 months ago. 1st 3 nights were awful - and haven't taken one pill, not even a tylenol - since then. It's been very mild pain... BUT - I don't think I realized how "disabled" I'd be. Not being able to lift more than 1 lb (or so they say - I know I've broken that rule) is pretty much impossible unless you have a 24/7 assistant! But I do my best:
Suggestions for pre-op people:

Cook as many things as you can that can be eaten one handed in advance. I cooked up a few dozen seasoned burgers and froze them. - Open packages like crackers, packaged oatmeals, etc and take lids off things like vitamins, pills, etc and just replace without screwing shut. - Take a laundry drying rack and put in your bedroom and drape several pairs of elastic waist pants over them, as well as underwear, easy to pull on tops. So much easier than trying to pull a pair of pants out of a stack in a chest and having them all fall down! - Buy a lightweight battery powered vacuum. I've always had one and now it's more important than ever! Eureka Quick Up is great ! - And for women, got to Expand-a-Band - EaBMedical.com - for soft elasticized wraps with velcro closure to replace bra. Believe me, those first few weeks, you won't be putting on a bra any way, not even by hooking around your waist! The owner is a wonderful person and gave me terrific service! - Wash as much laundry, sheets, towels, etc as you can just before surgery. You won't be doing it again any time soon....

And good luck - it's not painful, just a pain-in-the-youknowwhat! Chris

Aug 15, 2010
Surgery 8/5 back to work 8/9. I'm funny!
by: D Koss

I actually thought up until Sunday night that going back to work would be a piece of cake. What I didn't plan on is the pain associated hours after physical therapy.

Last night was the first night I slept in my bed although I'm back on the lounge chair as I feel more comfortable.

I'm going to go back to work Monday since I have already lost about 4 days of pay and really can't afford to take off anymore time.

It's been a bad year for my family. My mother had a heart attack, teenage son tore his ACL and menescis. I used all my vacation and sick time for family members so now I'll have to just suck it up.


Sep 01, 2010
still recovering
by: Chuck

It has been 6 weeks from today since my surgery. I cannot imagaine some of you having to go back to work after only a week or two. I am better, however, I continue to have a lingering pain off and on. I am going to try and not take any more pain meds since they kill my appetite and I am down about 12 pounds. I NEVER want to go through this again. Good luck to everyone.

Sep 01, 2010
Almost back to normal after 7 months
by: Shane

Well, I had surgery originally in late January, and spent several months going to therapy, but plateaued at an unacceptable level of range of motion and pain. Finally in late June, I had to have another surgery for scar tissue removal. That really sped things up and helped a lot. I'm almost back to normal and my range of motion has increased tremendously. I just tried archery for the first time since the surgery today and was able to do it, though it was obvious that I need to build up my strength. I think that's what I need to spend most of my time on now and should be able to get back to 90-95 percent of what my shoulder was like prior to the surgery, according to the doc.
I'm hoping all of you continue to get better.

Sep 06, 2010
Ice after Rotator Cuff Surgery
by: Wild Bill

Love this site..thanks to all fellow sufferers..:-) Had surgery Aug 18th..Still in pain and taking meds about once every other day before bed..Started passive PT the 2nd day after surgery and go 2 days a week..Sleep in a bed kind of sitting up..Miss sleeping with my wife but no way can I do it at the moment..pain is not what I thought it would be..Much less than I thought and was told by my Dr it would be worse..One thing I've learned from everybody in PT and friends that have had it..EVERYBODY IS DIFFERENT !!!! Thank your lucky stars if you have less pain like me and pray for those that are having a tough time..I'll stay in touch and let you know how I'm doing..Good luck..By the way, how long would you suggest I use the Ice Maching ? I have a GameReady..How many days, weeks, etc ?

Sep 13, 2010
no surgery ?????
by: Stella

I fell in April 2010 & told I had torn rotator cuff. Because of family happenings to this day Sept. have not had anything done. Does anyone know what happens to you (I am 61) if you do not have the surgery. I can use my arm very well lifting above head and to my back. Somedays it aches if I have over used it & can take an aspirin for relief.

Sep 13, 2010
Response
by: Dirk

My shoulder was diagnosed in Feb 2010. I had 4 weeks of PT. I still do my PT at home 4 days per week. It is better although I am a bit careful what I do. I am 52 so I have lots of time for surgery.

Sep 17, 2010
Scared!!
by: Mary

Hi all,

Wow, lots of different results and levels of pain! I have a torn RC in right shoulder (right handed) and it has retracted over an inch. I am scheduled for surgery on Sept 29 but am thinking of postponing because I am sooooo scared. I have a lot of pain in my shoulder currently but can use it for just about everything. Sleeping sucks but I do have pretty good ROM, with pain, but it works. It is just my 15 y/o and myself at home and we have a lot going on, I can't be laid out! My shoulder hurts terribly now, how much more painful can it be after surgery? I truly don't know what to do...............

Sep 18, 2010
bicep and rotator cuff
by: Anonymous

Right side injury to a right handed person. The bicep was the most painful at 1st. I only sleep about 2 hours a night. the most in 2 weeks 6. From no sleep 39 days. Pain pain and more pain.
Ice helps sleep with alot of pillows.

Sep 18, 2010
bicep and rotator cuff
by: Anonymous

Right side injury to a right handed person. The bicep was the most painful at 1st. I only sleep about 2 hours a night. the most in 2 weeks 6. From no sleep 39 days. Pain pain and more pain.
Ice helps sleep with alot of pillows.

Sep 18, 2010
bicep and rotator cuff
by: Anonymous

Right side injury to a right handed person. The bicep was the most painful at 1st. I only sleep about 2 hours a night. the most in 2 weeks 6. From no sleep 39 days. Pain pain and more pain.
Ice helps sleep with alot of pillows.

Sep 23, 2010
MY TURN
by: Darroll

I have been reading this page for a while, mostly while getting ready for my surgery. Iknew from ya'all it was not going to be fun, but what choice did i have.
So here i am 8 days out from surgery,and yes there is pain, it is hard to sleep, and i love my ice machine. Atitches come out in 5 days and i assume the therapy,other than the elephant trunk will begin. yippee
Probably my most fun was having to go to the er the night of the surgery, apparently the pain mrds did not work well, but i also had muscle spasms, which required muscle relaxers----valium. At least i was able to sleep that night.
Typing is fun one handed. I work at home and am on m computer all day. SO WHEN PEOPLE ASK HOW IT IS GOING, I JUST TELL THEM TO TRY THIS TEST; tie one arm behind you then work on your keyboard all is well till you see that command to hit control, alt, delete. later guys

Sep 25, 2010
Hard to sleep all night
by: G

It's been 5 weeks since I had my surgery; and 3 weeks of PT. My doctor did not send me to PT right away. I had 3 rotator cuff tears and was in extreme pain when I left the hospital. The PT has helped me extremely plus the exercises at home-which equals to 5x a day. I take Vicodin 3-4x day but need something to sleep! I sleep in increments of 2 1/2 hours each night; thanks for suggesting Tylenol PM; I am trying it right away! I recommend the recliner so I prepared & bought one before my surgery (August 18th)and soft pillows-it's still hard to sleep on the bed so I spend my nights on the recliner,or couch.I wake up so many times & wake my husband up. I have good days & bad days when I am in pain all day with ice packs on my arms/weather makes it worse & all I can advice is to take it easy & ask for help when you can't open/reach for something-better than try & hurt yourself.

Sep 27, 2010
So much better!
by: Jacqui

Hi Guys

This is the third time I have written on this site and I have to tell you that I am now soooo much better! It will be 13 weeks for me on Thursday and I had my surgery done at a hospital in Chester in the UK. It is damned painful for the first few weeks and sleeping is a nightmarish experience. However, I must stress that surgery is the only route and if you want to sort it properly, just bite the bullet and get it done!

Occasionally if I forget and stretch too far or reach for something, I get a spasm of pain that goes all the way down to my wrist but that is always my own stupid fault. Please take heart, the sleeping gets better and I can now say that I am a good 85% pain free 3 months on and that my surgeon has done an excellent job.

Be patient and keep your sense of humour and I promise you, all will be fine.

Jacqui

Sep 27, 2010
Good luck
by: Jean

I have written amny times over the last 6 moinths (my surgery was on March 19 and it was for a major tear, bicep repair...etc.etc and I am 61. Please don't let some comments scare you from having this surgery if you need it. It is painful for the first week or so and pain meds help alot )if you can take them). Sleeping is one of the biggest issues, but with time you will sleep w/o pain. The most difficult part of this experience is the sling ( for me, it was 6 weeks, and the surgery was on my writing arm) After the sling comes off, you should feel major improvement. I just finished pt last week and am feeling wonderful. Don't despair... you will get through this and reading this site is very helpful for morale as other people who have never gone through this have no idea what you are going through. Good luck to each and every one of you!!!

Oct 01, 2010
Why a sling? Four days post op.
by: Philylady

I had rotator cuff surgery 4 days ago. I have an ice machine.
My pain is not that bad. He did it arthroscopically and I had one anchor. I also had a spur removed.
Has anyone not worn their sling? I don't see a purpose for it.
I know what I am not allowed to do and what I can.
I do pendulum swings and I don't think it's a big deal.
I rest my arm on a pillow next to me and I'm fine.
Is there any harm in not using the sling?
Thanks.
Philylady

Oct 02, 2010
philly lady asking about not wearing her sling
by: Anonymous

You are lucky the injury was so minor, and that the surgery was so simple and your pain a minimum. I am sure you will heal well if you do as the doctor says and just wear you sling as told. If you think you don't need to please consult your doctor and know why you should.
Mine was not so easy and a long recovery and behaving paid off as I am gaining back my abilities to use my arm. I had to wear my sling for 3 months! At times I took it off but it supported, protected and allowed my tendon to rest and heal. Your six weeks will not be that bad. You don't want to risk tearing the anchor and going through it again to find out it might be non-repairable the next time!

Oct 04, 2010
sling
by: JeanAnonymous

I agree totally with the above response to your question. I would add what my surgeon told me..all it takes is one slip (for example reaching out to grab something or tripping) to damage this surgery. Wearing your sling is part of your recovery.

Oct 04, 2010
sling
by: JeanAnonymous

I agree totally with the above response to your question. I would add what my surgeon told me..all it takes is one slip (for example reaching out to grab something or tripping) to damage this surgery. Wearing your sling is part of your recovery.

Oct 06, 2010
R/C Surgery Recovering
by: Jeff

Great site, don't you all agree?
I am now 22 days post-op and seem to be coming along fine. Had a total tear, spurs and just about anything else you can imagine on my left shoulder. (Which I ignored for years) Had the right one repaired in 2008.
The surgery is not bad but man the recovery...but it does get better.
The recliner and I got to know each other well again for the first two weeks but now I spend time in the bed or on the couch. No pain meds and will get about 4 hrs sleep per night and a lot of rest during the day.
Have started P/T and take no more pain meds. (Got tired of the floor moving and ants crawling up the wall)
So...hang in there each of you just starting recovery and those of you thinking about it.
It DOES GET BETTER and you will look back on the experience and be glad you took the surgery route.
Oh by the way..I am a 68 year old male and I plan on using my limbs for a lot longer.

Oct 06, 2010
R/C Surgery Recovering
by: Jeff

Great site, don't you all agree?
I am now 22 days post-op and seem to be coming along fine. Had a total tear, spurs and just about anything else you can imagine on my left shoulder. (Which I ignored for years) Had the right one repaired in 2008.
The surgery is not bad but man the recovery...but it does get better.
The recliner and I got to know each other well again for the first two weeks but now I spend time in the bed or on the couch. No pain meds and will get about 4 hrs sleep per night and a lot of rest during the day.
Have started P/T and take no more pain meds. (Got tired of the floor moving and ants crawling up the wall)
So...hang in there each of you just starting recovery and those of you thinking about it.
It DOES GET BETTER and you will look back on the experience and be glad you took the surgery route.
Oh by the way..I am a 68 year old male and I plan on using my limbs for a lot longer.

Oct 06, 2010
Has anyone ever had this happen
by: Darroll

I am three weeks out from surgery. Last night something strange happened. While "trying" to sleep. I was awakened by sharp pain exactly at my rotator cuff. then it would go away, then come back. Well I took another pain pill and it did not do any good at all..Kept me awake for hours.
Today is my third trip to pt. I sure hope it starts getting easier soon.


Oct 07, 2010
Have faith, it does and will get better!
by: Jacqui

To Darroll and fellow sufferers

You will get ups and downs after this type of surgery, remember, you only had this done 3 weeks ago and it's very early days. I went back to work 2 weeks after having surgery and my first week back wasn't easy because I couldn't sleep much at night with the pain. The lack of sleep made the pain worse and it was hard to concentrate at work. My PT was brilliant and talked me through the procedure I had had done and gave me some sound advice about how it's important that you keep the shoulder supported during the night and try to stop it moving forward into a position that is going to wake you up. Easier said than done I know but what you experienced was probably due to you moving around in your sleep and stressing the injury.

If you can just get through the first 5 or 6 weeks, you will suddenly start to feel more comfortable at night and believe me, the sleep makes all the difference to coping with the discomfort. From 8 weeks onwards, you will really see a difference.

I am 14 weeks today and I am pain free at night now. The only problems I have is if I stretch or reach up for something without thinking and that's always my own fault. My range of movement is getting better by the week and I am so glad I got this sorted out by surgery because PT and Cortisone injections as a first line of treatment didn't work for me. I had a large bone spur which had grown down into a hook, restricting my movement and causing a lot of pain, especially at night.

Don't worry, you will really start to see a change for the better very soon.

Jacqui

Oct 12, 2010
Searing pain in thigh
by: Wally

I had surgery 6 weeks ago and go back to the doctor tomorrow. I've been in a sling the whole time and read this blog a few weeks ago when I was looking for help on sleeping.

My tear was a bit worse than expected so had a 2" open surgery in addition to the arthroscopic. Doctor said it would be a bit longer recovery. As for pain, I really have not had much. The initial block lasted 3 days and after that only took pain pills a couple times. I guess I have a high tolerance for pain as it is very uncomfortable during passive motion PT, but it is gone when we finish. My wife helps me with PT twice a day and I do pendulums (30 reps X3) 2-3 times per day. Looking forward to losing the sling maybe tomorrow and driving soon. But I know the next round of PT will be pretty painful as we start moving the arm and shoulder up.

But the biggest opportunity I've had, involves a searing pain I get many times in my right thigh. I read a post before from someone who had surgery on their right shoulder and they had this pain in their left thigh. Mine is opposite, left shoulder surgery, pain in right thigh. I think it's a pinched nerve. The first time I got it was night #5 in the recliner. I was awakened by a "hot" searing pain in my right thigh. I got up and moved around and it went away. I sat back down and awhile later it came back. So I moved to the sofa and don't have many problems there. But I am getting more frequent attacks and I can be laying in bed, on the PT's table at the hospital, sitting on a sofa, standing up, etc. A week and a half ago I felt the thigh getting warm, stood up, and then stepped down some steps. On one of the steps when my foot hit the step, it was like an electric current surging through my leg. Twice this week I have been awakened by an unbelieveable searing pain (much worse than a calf cramp)and I get up and move around to make it go away.

I'm going to hit up the Ortho doctor tomorrow but besides the one post, has anyone else experienced anything like this, and do you think I'm on the right track with it being a pinched nerve? Prior to this many years ago a doctor was draining my foot with a scalpel due to blood poisoning in the leg, and he accidentally came in contact with a nerve. This pain I'm having is very similar to that experience. Any thoughts are appreciated and thanks to everyone who has shared their stories, ideas, etc.

Oct 18, 2010
Leg pain in bed
by: Jim

I had my surgery Aug 2009 and it was a bad tear. I also had pain in my led when I tried to sleep in the bad after being in the recliner for about 2 months. I don't remember a lot about about but I know I went back to the recliner and slept with no leg pain. I am fine now and I don't remember when the leg problem went away but it did.

Oct 18, 2010
Rotator cuff surgery
by: cb

Had surgery 8/30 for a 90% tear in my rotator cuff. Wore the sling with pillow for three weeks and sling without pillow for three weeks. Doctor gave me oxycontin and percocet. That took care of the pain except for the first night after surgery and 7 weeks out I rarely take those meds but continue to take a non-narcotic pain med. I am just able to start my night in the bed with a pillow under my arm and shoulder but wake up at some point and go back to my hated but necessary recliner. Still doing passive therapy and the pain is incredible but I am told necessary. Good luck to all my fellow sufferers. Remember, do whatever rehab is necessary and ice after....this too shall pass.

Oct 23, 2010
Surgery 9-14-2010
by: Linda J

Had surgery 9-14-2010- glad I found this forum as really getting frustrated. Surgery theysaid went weel samll teat and bones spurs- Doc took sling off in 24 hours, pain meds as needed, started passive therapy immediately- then moved right up to pulleys angle wings, by 2nd week- SO MUCH pain-doc say doing too much- terapsit backoff for 2 weeks bak to passive- 4th week bak to assited therapy- thought i ws goin to pass out- hurt during therapy BAD- then pain after about 3-4 with movement. By reading all the post i think I might be doing tomuch at home as houswork et I slepp in bed or couch but get 3-4 hours and up- to ice (my best friend) noone ever said anyting about heat b 4 home therapy I will try that- and i do take advil and tylenol- I guess I thought by now I would be better its been 5 weeks and 3 days- Want to go bak to wrok , need money- but work in factory soscared will hinder healing. Does all this sound ok- I am worreid about scare tissue build up- I am making progress in therapy- slow- I thought i would be back to work in 2 weeks Ha ha - I only want to get to the point that I can say I am glad I had surgery - not there yet

Oct 23, 2010
ljt
by: Anonymous

Just how bad is therapy suppose to hurt? 5 weeks and in assisted pt- pain was BAD is this normal?

Think maybe had me doing too much therapy at 1st- IDk doc say one thing therapis another

Oct 24, 2010
reply to 5 weeks in
by: Darroll

I am also just 5 plus weeks in, and yes pt does hurt. I find that after new exercises it seems to hurt more. But I have actually noticed improvement. So I guess the ole saying is true. No pain no gain. I know that when I finish a pt session I feel like I am carrying around a wet noodle. The pain is ok during the day but it is the night pain, that is really rough on me. The muscle spasms, no sleep. Never thought I could survive on about two hours sleep a night.

Oct 24, 2010
reply to 5 weeks in
by: Darroll

I am also just 5 plus weeks in, and yes pt does hurt. I find that after new exercises it seems to hurt more. But I have actually noticed improvement. So I guess the ole saying is true. No pain no gain. I know that when I finish a pt session I feel like I am carrying around a wet noodle. The pain is ok during the day but it is the night pain, that is really rough on me. The muscle spasms, no sleep. Never thought I could survive on about two hours sleep a night.

Oct 25, 2010
Pain now due to frozen shoulder
by: Jay

I also had a ruptured tendon repaired, spur ground off and a piece of bone removed from the AC joint - this due to arthritis. This was 10 weeks ago. I have been in constant pain despite strong pain-killers 24/7. I've been reading this site and thinking - tomorrow it will start to improve!

Yesterday saw my surgeon for follow-up - hooray!! I'm not a hypochondriac - I have a frozen shoulder. That might not be so great, but at least it explains the pain. I've been off work doing absolutely nothing - so you imagine my frustration!!

I had a cortisone injection and amazingly this morning I don't have my teeth gritted. Shoulder is still sore etc but I can feel a difference - so maybe inflammation has decreased a bit already. Has anyone else been in this situation? What happened next? Thanks.

Oct 26, 2010
5 weeks plus
by: Rickshere

I had rotator cuff surgery 5 + weeks ago. Tendon was torn an inch off the bone...Took 1-2 hydrocodone about every 5 hours for pain...Sleeping has been the worst....I asked the doc when I can expect to sleep without this pain and he said another month....i cut down on the pain meds even though he wanted me to use them before rehab work at home and bed.....well, after i cut down, I felt like s**t....withdrawal? I'm down to two a day but they don't help much with night pain...I'm going to try Tylenol pm for starters and see if I can sleep more than 1-2 hours at a time...Recliner actually didn't help much....If I can't sleep horizontally, sleeping sitting up isn't any easier...Rick

Oct 28, 2010
Pain management for sleep
by: Miss Foxie

It's been 16 week's for me since cuff surgery, I found that the first feeling of pain while asleep was to start moving that shoulder gently before it made me get up.While laying in bed or your recliner start rolling your shoulder slowly ,it has to move. You will find that it's like humming yourself right back to to sleep.Good Luck !!!!!!!!

Nov 05, 2010
2nd surgery in 2 years first right now left
by: Lisa

Where to begin..hmm..let's see..how 'bout, AAAHHH!!
Sleep. What's that? Had my surgery Sept.24th 2010,6weeks today. Same day surgery, in by 630 am out by 11:30am. Yup. the pain i had after the block wore off and the taking percocet with advil and antinausea meds still ended me in the ER 630
am that saturday morning. Never in my life had I been in so much pain.I consider myself a tough cookie. I remembered that my first surgery was pretty painful but i had a painbuster the last time which helped control in a little better. It wasn't used this time..not sure why but percocet alone is not enough. On top of all this I'm a diabetic..41 years..got it at the age of 7..so that has to be taken care of..if my blood sugars are high the healing process takes longer..they where doing well until I got a cold that ended up becoming bronchitis which is now going into my 4th week..taking a steroid for that which jacks up the blood sugars..which again slows down the healing process..and the coughing makes the pain in my shoulder worse..so yeah..this has been a blast. So my advice to everyone having trouble sleeping..take it when you can get it. Watch a funny show. Laughter is the best medicine. If I didn't laugh i'd be crying all the time...Thanks for letting me vent

Nov 05, 2010
2nd surgery in 2 years first right now left
by: Lisa

Where to begin..hmm..let's see..how 'bout, AAAHHH!!
Sleep. What's that? Had my surgery Sept.24th 2010,6weeks today. Same day surgery, in by 630 am out by 11:30am. Yup. the pain i had after the block wore off and the taking percocet with advil and antinausea meds still ended me in the ER 630
am that saturday morning. Never in my life had I been in so much pain.I consider myself a tough cookie. I remembered that my first surgery was pretty painful but i had a painbuster the last time which helped control in a little better. It wasn't used this time..not sure why but percocet alone is not enough. On top of all this I'm a diabetic..41 years..got it at the age of 7..so that has to be taken care of..if my blood sugars are high the healing process takes longer..they where doing well until I got a cold that ended up becoming bronchitis which is now going into my 4th week..taking a steroid for that which jacks up the blood sugars..which again slows down the healing process..and the coughing makes the pain in my shoulder worse..so yeah..this has been a blast. So my advice to everyone having trouble sleeping..take it when you can get it. Watch a funny show. Laughter is the best medicine. If I didn't laugh i'd be crying all the time...Thanks for letting me vent

Nov 07, 2010
Surgery tomorrow
by: jeano

I have been reading this post for about a month now since I made the decision to have a 2nd rotator cuff surgery on my R shoulder. I initially injuried that shoulder back in mid 70s- young female in my 20s. Back then the doc said heat and muscle relaxer. It improved and was ok for about 10 years - then the pain got worse and I went to many docs, PT, lots of advil, xrays etc while no one found what was wrong. Finally I read in our local paper that a sports medicine doc that had worked with the Chicago Cubs had started practice in our area. He sent me to a ortho surgeon who was sure I had a tear and did arthroscopic repair - 10/92 - as he found the tear in my subscapularis, which no other doc thought could be possible in a non athlete female. So that helped for years but jump forward to 2005. I have had R shoulder/neck/arm pain and it took 3 years to narrow it down to rotator cuff again. I have - according to the new shoulder orthopod - extensive partial tearing of supraspinatus, partial of the subscapularis and biceps tendon tear. I know alot more about it know but I am still aprehension about this. I know I will be off work for at least a month. This site has really helped me know what to ask the doc and how to better prepare. I will be back (when I feel good enough to key left handed) and report about tomorrow's surgery. I got a recliner after reading all these posts!!!

Nov 07, 2010
Hairdresser needs tendon tear surgery
by: John

Any hairdressers out there needing this type of surgery? Wondering how long I should take off work? I thought two months should be good. Having surgery in a few months - got to plan for it in this type of business. Any advise would be appreciated.

Nov 08, 2010
Reply to John Hairdresser
by: Anonymous

John, I work PT on hair and PT at another job. I had a very severe full tear on my left shoulder. some of my previous posts are mixed in here with the old ones from this spring and summer. I was able to do one client every other day at 2 months into recovery then one a day the next week and so forth increasing by judging my own pain and ability. Kept my arms low and elbows in. Don't push it and allow yourself to heal or things will not be good. I returned to my other job after a 6 month break and have to take it easy still with whatever I do. Don't want to damage it again, and it might not be 100% good still. Might never actually. Now I can tell I need the right side done but it is not as severe and urgent as the left was. I need a total knee replacement though next. It is more urgent.
I was kept in the hospital for 2 days because of pain management and no one at home to help me, and I highly recommend that as a previous poster said they also had problems after the block wore off. I had open surgery to properly fix the damage and wow the pain was extreme the first two days. Dilaudid was what worked for me. Then the second week I was weaned off and onto Tylenol 1000 MG day. Good luck! I will do it again as it was worth it. I have no regrets. It is wonderful to be able to lift that arm again.

Nov 09, 2010
help me
by: Judy

I had rtc sugery on April 23 2010, I am still in therapy. I can not lift me arm over my head due to the muscles will not contract. My rotator cuff was torn due to rep. motion not trauma. If anyone has any thoughts on this please respond.

Nov 12, 2010
to the last post still not being able to lift arm
by: Anonymous

Sorry to hear you can't lift your arm this far out from surgery. What does your surgeon say? Could it be the surgery failed, was done poorly, or did you have something that happened that could have caused it to tear again before it was healed? Was it an open or closed surgery? If closed could the doc possibly missed something that was needing repair? (a second area of damage)
I am about a month earlier than you but I can lift my arm. They do say to give it about a year to be fully healed and functional as it can be.

Nov 12, 2010
13 Weeks post-op
by: Bashful_Jane

I'm sorry you're having so much trouble, Judy. I had mini-open surgery to repair a torn rotator cuff and grind down bone spurs on my dominant side 13 weeks ago today. I just completed 12 weeks of physical therapy 3x/week and have full range of motion with no pain. I have three weeks of PT left at 2x/week to further strengthen and stretch so I can reach as far up my back as my "good arm" can. If I were you, I'd consult with your doctor to ask his opinion about going to a different physical therapist. My therapist is very aggressive and pushed me to stretch beyond what I thought I could do. She also held me accountable to do home exercises every day as well. Painful, yes, but so necessary to regain full use of that shoulder and arm. I hope you find a solution quickly.

Nov 14, 2010
Update from 10/12
by: Wally

OK, as a follow-up to my post from 10/12. I am now at 11 weeks. Been out of the sling for 4 weeks, and back to driving for 3. I also made it back to bed 3 weeks ago, and just in the last week I've started feeling good laying on my non-operated side. I've found myself in the morning a couple times laying on my operated-on side, and it didn't hurt a lot, but was stiff and needed loosened up.

Passive PT has gone well. I have 13 different motions I do 10X twice a day. My wife thought the wall stair crawl would get me, but I got my arm all the way to the top first try.There was a little pain, but I made it. And so far, outside of the first 2 nights after surgery, when they said to keep ahead of the pain, and I took 2 generic vicodin, I have not had to take any pain meds. I feel very fortunate after reading so many posts with tremendous pain involved.

This Wednesday I go back to the doctor, and then the strengthening PT will begin. Currently holding a hair dryer above my head is a slight challenge, but have seen progress in the last week.

The other issue I previously mentioned, the searing pain in my leg at times, has been minimized with some additional PT. As I figured, it most likely is a pinched nerve. My therapist has me doing a couple exercises that have seemed to help. One, I lay on my back, and raise my leg straight up, and pull it toward me while pressing my foot forward as much as possible. I hold my leg for 10 seconds, lower it, then repeat 5-10 times. The other exercise, my wife helps me for optimum effect. The goal is to lay on your back, and raise your leg back toward your chest, and try to press the leg as hard as you can into your chest. We do this one 6-7 times. And now, maybe only doing these a couple times a week, I may only notice a slight sensation from the nerve once or twice a week.

After my appoinmtment Wednesday, the doctor will most likely release me to return to work with a 5# lifting limit on my left arm. I'm actually taking the following week off as a vacation week to give it another week to heal and get some strengthening in.

Thanks to all who shared information. Our procedure is a very scary one, and just having information from those with experience can be a measuring stick (even if we can't do apples to apples exactly)to gauge progress.

Nov 23, 2010
RT Surgery 9 Weeks ago
by: Anonymous

I'm a 60 year old male and I had a 1" full thickness tear that was scoped 9 weeks ago. I had a tear and an open surgery on the same shoulder in 1990. I have been a regular weight lifter since my early 20's and I lifted weight up until 2 days before the surgery.
I started PT 4 weeks after the surgery. The PT said my range of motion was better than 95% of post op RT patients. I started lifting light weights at pt after 8 weeks. I saw the surgeon a few days ago and he told me not to lift any weights until the end of December. I'm happy with my progress.
My first 2 or 3 weeks after surgery was very difficult. Things do get better with time. I referred to this board pre and post op and want to contribute as others have. Thanks for all the insight. Hang in there everybody!

Nov 23, 2010
RT Surgery 9 Weeks ago
by: Anonymous

I'm a 60 year old male and I had a 1" full thickness tear that was scoped 9 weeks ago. I had a tear and an open surgery on the same shoulder in 1990. I have been a regular weight lifter since my early 20's and I lifted weight up until 2 days before the surgery.
I started PT 4 weeks after the surgery. The PT said my range of motion was better than 95% of post op RT patients. I started lifting light weights at pt after 8 weeks. I saw the surgeon a few days ago and he told me not to lift any weights until the end of December. I'm happy with my progress.
My first 2 or 3 weeks after surgery was very difficult. Things do get better with time. I referred to this board pre and post op and want to contribute as others have. Thanks for all the insight. Hang in there everybody!

Nov 23, 2010
RT Surgery 9 Weeks ago
by: Anonymous

I'm a 60 year old male and I had a 1" full thickness tear that was scoped 9 weeks ago. I had a tear and an open surgery on the same shoulder in 1990. I have been a regular weight lifter since my early 20's and I lifted weight up until 2 days before the surgery.
I started PT 4 weeks after the surgery. The PT said my range of motion was better than 95% of post op RT patients. I started lifting light weights at pt after 8 weeks. I saw the surgeon a few days ago and he told me not to lift any weights until the end of December. I'm happy with my progress.
My first 2 or 3 weeks after surgery was very difficult. Things do get better with time. I referred to this board pre and post op and want to contribute as others have. Thanks for all the insight. Hang in there everybody!

Nov 28, 2010
surgery on nov 23, 2010
by: Anonymous

I had surgery this past tuesday on a torn muscle in my rotator cuff and after the first 4 days I must say I am surprised my arm doesnt feel bad. I admit the first 2 1/2 days were not nice, pain all the time, slept on my couch most of the time. I had a 24 hour post-op appointment the very next day and my doctor told me not wear my sling at all? Don't know if this is correct but this is what he told me. He also told me to start doing shoulder exercises. I will admit this advice made me nervous because when I broke my collar bone i had to wear the sling alot longer and i think it was trying to do too much that caused my tear (I still dont know how I got the tear). I will say that if you find out you have a tear dont suffer with pain like i did for over two years before having the surgery. I think I am lucky because my arm is just real sore now, not hard pain but pain/soreness that is tolerable. My only worry is that I have a job that requires my to lift up to 50lbs on a daily basis, I work for walgreens and we have two trucks a week with 500-900 pieces on it, so we are always lifting. Two years ago I took my DM my doctors note saying I wasnt supposed to lift nothing and his response was you cant work here and lift nothing, you need to find out how many pounds you can lift. Should I find another job???

Nov 28, 2010
surgery on nov 23, 2010
by: Anonymous

I had surgery this past tuesday on a torn muscle in my rotator cuff and after the first 4 days I must say I am surprised my arm doesnt feel bad. I admit the first 2 1/2 days were not nice, pain all the time, slept on my couch most of the time. I had a 24 hour post-op appointment the very next day and my doctor told me not wear my sling at all? Don't know if this is correct but this is what he told me. He also told me to start doing shoulder exercises. I will admit this advice made me nervous because when I broke my collar bone i had to wear the sling alot longer and i think it was trying to do too much that caused my tear (I still dont know how I got the tear). I will say that if you find out you have a tear dont suffer with pain like i did for over two years before having the surgery. I think I am lucky because my arm is just real sore now, not hard pain but pain/soreness that is tolerable. My only worry is that I have a job that requires my to lift up to 50lbs on a daily basis, I work for walgreens and we have two trucks a week with 500-900 pieces on it, so we are always lifting. Two years ago I took my DM my doctors note saying I wasnt supposed to lift nothing and his response was you cant work here and lift nothing, you need to find out how many pounds you can lift. Should I find another job???

Nov 28, 2010
surgery on nov 23, 2010
by: Anonymous

I had surgery this past tuesday on a torn muscle in my rotator cuff and after the first 4 days I must say I am surprised my arm doesnt feel bad. I admit the first 2 1/2 days were not nice, pain all the time, slept on my couch most of the time. I had a 24 hour post-op appointment the very next day and my doctor told me not wear my sling at all? Don't know if this is correct but this is what he told me. He also told me to start doing shoulder exercises. I will admit this advice made me nervous because when I broke my collar bone i had to wear the sling alot longer and i think it was trying to do too much that caused my tear (I still dont know how I got the tear). I will say that if you find out you have a tear dont suffer with pain like i did for over two years before having the surgery. I think I am lucky because my arm is just real sore now, not hard pain but pain/soreness that is tolerable. My only worry is that I have a job that requires my to lift up to 50lbs on a daily basis, I work for walgreens and we have two trucks a week with 500-900 pieces on it, so we are always lifting. Two years ago I took my DM my doctors note saying I wasnt supposed to lift nothing and his response was you cant work here and lift nothing, you need to find out how many pounds you can lift. Should I find another job???

Nov 28, 2010
surgery on nov 23, 2010
by: Anonymous

I had surgery this past tuesday on a torn muscle in my rotator cuff and after the first 4 days I must say I am surprised my arm doesnt feel bad. I admit the first 2 1/2 days were not nice, pain all the time, slept on my couch most of the time. I had a 24 hour post-op appointment the very next day and my doctor told me not wear my sling at all? Don't know if this is correct but this is what he told me. He also told me to start doing shoulder exercises. I will admit this advice made me nervous because when I broke my collar bone i had to wear the sling alot longer and i think it was trying to do too much that caused my tear (I still dont know how I got the tear). I will say that if you find out you have a tear dont suffer with pain like i did for over two years before having the surgery. I think I am lucky because my arm is just real sore now, not hard pain but pain/soreness that is tolerable. My only worry is that I have a job that requires my to lift up to 50lbs on a daily basis, I work for walgreens and we have two trucks a week with 500-900 pieces on it, so we are always lifting. Two years ago I took my DM my doctors note saying I wasnt supposed to lift nothing and his response was you cant work here and lift nothing, you need to find out how many pounds you can lift. Should I find another job???

Dec 03, 2010
5 wks post op
by: Anonymous

Great site! Nice to know that I'm not alone. I had arthroscopic RC repair of supraspinatus tear Oct. 27. This was my second surgery on my left shoulder this year. I had a subacromial decomp. with distal clavicle excision July 12,2010. Long story short, I wasn't feeling any better after PT and told surgeon. He did an MRI arthrogram and found a full thickness tear so back to the OR I went. I was told I could stop wearing the sling during the day after 1 week but had to wear it at night or if I went out of the house. I was also told that I could drive as long as I wasn't taking any pain meds. I haven't started PT yet except for the stuff the surgeon told me to do. I go see surgeon today so I'm assuming I will get to start PT now. I have been "sleeping" in my bed the whole time (more like napping). I am still in pain. Mostly achiness with some sharp pain. Im scared to death of reinjuring this arm. I am almost out of FMLA time and was told that I HAVE to be back at work by the end of Dec. I work in the healthcare field so this should be interesting (and painful). We pretty much go nonstop all day so I'm pretty nervous. Good luck to all and happy healing.

Dec 03, 2010
Kathy 2009
by: Anonymous

Kathy, if you were hurt at work and you're work was treating you that badly, I hope you had a good Worker's Comp lawyer. They're there for more than just a check. A good one will make sure you are taken care of throughout the process. Hope you are well.

Dec 03, 2010
Kathy 2009
by: Anonymous

Kathy, if you were hurt at work and you're work was treating you that badly, I hope you had a good Worker's Comp lawyer. They're there for more than just a check. A good one will make sure you are taken care of throughout the process. Hope you are well.

Dec 03, 2010
Kathy 2009
by: Anonymous

Kathy, if you were hurt at work and you're work was treating you that badly, I hope you had a good Worker's Comp lawyer. They're there for more than just a check. A good one will make sure you are taken care of throughout the process. Hope you are well.

Dec 04, 2010
Sling?
by: Anonymous

After my surgery I was in a sling for about 6 weeks. This was not just because of doctor's orders. I found that the sling reduced the dependance on my repaired RT. I wore it in bed as I slept on my non operated side. Wearing a sling when you go out is also advisable because it reduces the chances of people bumbing into you ect. All of the internet research sites I have looked at recommend using a sling for much longer than the 2 days the previous poster stated was his doctor's order. For me I knew when it was time to stop using it. Good luck.

Dec 04, 2010
Sling?
by: Anonymous

After my surgery I was in a sling for about 6 weeks. This was not just because of doctor's orders. I found that the sling reduced the dependance on my repaired RT. I wore it in bed as I slept on my non operated side. Wearing a sling when you go out is also advisable because it reduces the chances of people bumbing into you ect. All of the internet research sites I have looked at recommend using a sling for much longer than the 2 days the previous poster stated was his doctor's order. For me I knew when it was time to stop using it. Good luck.

Dec 04, 2010
Sling?
by: Anonymous

After my surgery I was in a sling for about 6 weeks. This was not just because of doctor's orders. I found that the sling reduced the dependance on my repaired RT. I wore it in bed as I slept on my non operated side. Wearing a sling when you go out is also advisable because it reduces the chances of people bumbing into you ect. All of the internet research sites I have looked at recommend using a sling for much longer than the 2 days the previous poster stated was his doctor's order. For me I knew when it was time to stop using it. Good luck.

Dec 05, 2010
Put your health first
by: Jacqui

Hey Guys

I got signed off on Tuesday as fit and healthy, great range of movement and operation 100% success. I'm nearly 6 months on and really proud of myself for the brilliant recovery I've made.

I did struggle for the first 6 weeks after the operation and stupidly went back to work two weeks after surgery because I wanted to honour a contract which I had worked hard on. Sleeping was a major struggle but I gritted my teeth and got through it. However, loyalty definately doesn't pay off because I got made redundant on the 22nd November.

Don't rush back to work if you don't have to because it's not easy for the first 6 weeks and in my case, my loyalty was misplaced. Put your health first. You may not have much to show on the outside if you've had keyhole surgery but remember there will have been a lot of cutting inside and you need to give it chance to heal.

Good luck with your recovery and think of me with my job hunting!

Jacqui

Dec 06, 2010
scar tissue
by: aparrently whinny

had small tear in right shoulder. surgery late july..I got to sit 4.5 weeks with my lovely foam block..almost gave it a proper burial once I could lose it. I started p.t. in 5th week. I am in my 13th week and NOT doing so good. I have been diagnosed with frozen shoulder. The p.t. is very painful. No one else there screams!!! I have went in the bathroom and vomited. So after reading this site, Im thinking maybe Im not the biggest baby afterall. So thanks for the info. My next step is 4 more weeks of pt, and then if no improvement- off to surgery for scar tissue removal. I hope that I can get back to normal soon...

Dec 06, 2010
scar tissue
by: aparrently whinny

had small tear in right shoulder. surgery late july..I got to sit 4.5 weeks with my lovely foam block..almost gave it a proper burial once I could lose it. I started p.t. in 5th week. I am in my 13th week and NOT doing so good. I have been diagnosed with frozen shoulder. The p.t. is very painful. No one else there screams!!! I have went in the bathroom and vomited. So after reading this site, Im thinking maybe Im not the biggest baby afterall. So thanks for the info. My next step is 4 more weeks of pt, and then if no improvement- off to surgery for scar tissue removal. I hope that I can get back to normal soon...

Dec 06, 2010
scar tissue
by: aparrently whinny

had small tear in right shoulder. surgery late july..I got to sit 4.5 weeks with my lovely foam block..almost gave it a proper burial once I could lose it. I started p.t. in 5th week. I am in my 13th week and NOT doing so good. I have been diagnosed with frozen shoulder. The p.t. is very painful. No one else there screams!!! I have went in the bathroom and vomited. So after reading this site, Im thinking maybe Im not the biggest baby afterall. So thanks for the info. My next step is 4 more weeks of pt, and then if no improvement- off to surgery for scar tissue removal. I hope that I can get back to normal soon...

Dec 06, 2010
scar tissue
by: aparrently whinny

had small tear in right shoulder. surgery late july..I got to sit 4.5 weeks with my lovely foam block..almost gave it a proper burial once I could lose it. I started p.t. in 5th week. I am in my 13th week and NOT doing so good. I have been diagnosed with frozen shoulder. The p.t. is very painful. No one else there screams!!! I have went in the bathroom and vomited. So after reading this site, Im thinking maybe Im not the biggest baby afterall. So thanks for the info. My next step is 4 more weeks of pt, and then if no improvement- off to surgery for scar tissue removal. I hope that I can get back to normal soon...

Dec 06, 2010
scar tissue
by: aparrently whinny

had small tear in right shoulder. surgery late july..I got to sit 4.5 weeks with my lovely foam block..almost gave it a proper burial once I could lose it. I started p.t. in 5th week. I am in my 13th week and NOT doing so good. I have been diagnosed with frozen shoulder. The p.t. is very painful. No one else there screams!!! I have went in the bathroom and vomited. So after reading this site, Im thinking maybe Im not the biggest baby afterall. So thanks for the info. My next step is 4 more weeks of pt, and then if no improvement- off to surgery for scar tissue removal. I hope that I can get back to normal soon...

Dec 06, 2010
scar tissue
by: aparrently whinny

had small tear in right shoulder. surgery late july..I got to sit 4.5 weeks with my lovely foam block..almost gave it a proper burial once I could lose it. I started p.t. in 5th week. I am in my 13th week and NOT doing so good. I have been diagnosed with frozen shoulder. The p.t. is very painful. No one else there screams!!! I have went in the bathroom and vomited. So after reading this site, Im thinking maybe Im not the biggest baby afterall. So thanks for the info. My next step is 4 more weeks of pt, and then if no improvement- off to surgery for scar tissue removal. I hope that I can get back to normal soon...

Dec 06, 2010
PLEASE submit your comment ONCE
by: Anonymous

You type the comment. At the bottom is the code word you prove you are not spam. Then just click the SUBMIT COMMENT BUTTON ONE TIME!
It will not show up for a while, that is normal.
Be patient it will be there.
No need to hit it over and over.

Dec 07, 2010
scar tissue - frozen shoulder
by: Anonymous

hi, I know just how you feel...!!
I had a tear repaired,spur removed and some bone cut from AC joint in mid August. At 12 week mark saw my surgeon who diagnosed frozen shoulder. I had been "eating" pain-killers. Physio kept saying it's alright - it's a painful recovery - (now see a different physio) - should have seen surgeon much earlier! He put a cortisone injection into my shoulder. The difference within 24 hours was amazing! It's still sore now but I have movement - the more I exercise the better it is. If the injection hadn't made a difference I would of had a hydrodilatation procedure. This apparently breaks up scar tissue successfully. Have a look at http://www.victoriahouseimaging.com.au/
This is a common procedure in Australia but not elsewhere ?? Good luck - hope it all works out ok for you. Basically it's not a simple operation - it takes time and it hurts!!

Dec 08, 2010
My experience
by: Jim

I had very successful rotator cuff surgery on August 5, 2009. I had two tears, The top one and the front one whatever they are and of course some scar tissue scraping. The nerve in the arm was deadened and I started taking pain meds ( morphine ) immediately as I was told to get ahead of the pain and not try to catch up. After the morphine for about a week I started on oxycodone for a while and then to something else. I was on pain meds for a couple of weeks I think. I started rehab as soon as possible on Aug 10. I used the sling constantly for 6 weeks sleeping in a recliner. Actually I was in the recliner for probably 10 weeks. After 6 weeks of phase 1 rehab I was out of the sling but not using the arm to do anything much and using the sling if the arm got uncomfortable from over use. Then it was phase two of rehab for weeks 6 to 10. That was more motion and lifting of the arm only rehab. Then it was to phase three for weeks 10 to 16. This was using the arm and strength training. Today the arm is great and pain free. It lets me know if I over do things but no complications. I guess the main thing is going to rehab as soon as possible and staying in the sling for 6 weeks.

Dec 08, 2010
great news
by: Darroll

Today is my 12 th week after surgery. Total tear and bone spurs. My doctor released me yesterday and said I was probably at the point he would expect me to be at, at 6 months. I can only say I went to pt after 2 weeks,,, I did my exerceises three times a day at first and then to two times a day after about a month of threes. The pain was terrible, but somehow I got thru it and now have basically 100% of my range back,,, but still working on strength. My message..... do the work do the exercises, it hurts but you have to get thru it. Good luck to all

Dec 15, 2010
Torn Rotator Cuff Surgery Coming Up
by: Beverly

HI, I just found this site and would be grateful for any advice. I have a torn rotator cuff and the tendon (whatever the strip over the shoulder is) has broken off the bone and retracted to the rear muscle. Anyway, I am scheduled 1/12/11 for arthroscopic surgery with a very good sports surgeon (in fact he is the orthopedic surgeon for the San Diego Padres) so am confident of him. I have been reading some of the comments and am frankly a bit scared of the pain that I can expect. I had both knees replaced in March and after the first 3 weeks was off all pain meds completely but my pt says this pain will be worse. I have already ordered a breast binder like some recommended. And saw the tip about the double baggies with either soap or water/alcohol. I have always used peas or corn. Questions: How hard is it to put on normal but loose fitting clothing? Is there any benefit to an ice machine? What meds have you found most helpful (I know this can change with each person) I anticipate percoset as that is what I used for the knees, followed up with Darvocet. Vicodin makes me very ill and codiene is out of the question. My favorite over the counter is Aleve. Has anyone heard of a pain/medicine pump that they leave in(?) you? I have a great pt and the surgeon said to start 2 days after surgery. I also purchased a power recliner (although like a dummy realized the button is on my operated side). My husband took an old raquet ball racket and cut part off, put a rubber tip so I can reach over and hunt for the buttons. Gonna get a mirror. Anything else you can think of? Please send me your advice to my email address bmeredith101@yahoo.com as I am not sure I can find it on this site. I would be very grateful for any help I can get.
Beverly

Dec 22, 2010
No Sleep
by: Anonymous

Husband had rotator cuff surgery on 11-29-10. He is wearing a sling with a block thing to keep his arm away from his body and has been pretty good at wearing it all the time. HOWEVER, the no sleeping thing is killing us both! He doesn't seem to have too much pain, but can't take any kind of a sedative or he gets completely loopy. (Seeing old friends walking around the house, trying to eat food that isn't in his lap, grabing a coffee cup that isn't there, etc.) Sleeps VERY little and so I get no sleep either. We are suppose to go on a family cruise on Jan 23 and I am worried about how he will handle it. He tries to sleep in the bed, but goes back and forth between that and a recliner. He doesn't start PT until Jan 4 when the dr changes the sling to a regular one. This post has helped knowing that what he is experiencing is rather normal. Wish the doctors were a little more forthcoming on how a person would affected after surgery. We were told that the cruise would be no problem RIGHT!! Let them pay for it and try to get the money back.

Dec 22, 2010
Life With No Sleep
by: Anonymous

Husband had rotator cuff surgery on 11-29-10. He is wearing a sling with a block thing to keep his arm away from his body and has been pretty good at wearing it all the time. HOWEVER, the no sleeping thing is killing us both! He doesn't seem to have too much pain, but can't take any kind of a sedative or he gets completely loopy. (Seeing old friends walking around the house, trying to eat food that isn't in his lap, grabing a coffee cup that isn't there, etc.) Sleeps VERY little and so I get no sleep either. We are suppose to go on a family cruise on Jan 23 and I am worried about how he will handle it. He tries to sleep in the bed, but goes back and forth between that and a recliner. He doesn't start PT until Jan 4 when the dr changes the sling to a regular one. This post has helped knowing that what he is experiencing is rather normal. Wish the doctors were a little more forthcoming on how a person would affected after surgery. We were told that the cruise would be no problem RIGHT!! Let them pay for it and try to get the money back

Dec 22, 2010
Life With No Sleep
by: Anonymous

Husband had rotator cuff surgery on 11-29-10. He is wearing a sling with a block thing to keep his arm away from his body and has been pretty good at wearing it all the time. HOWEVER, the no sleeping thing is killing us both! He doesn't seem to have too much pain, but can't take any kind of a sedative or he gets completely loopy. (Seeing old friends walking around the house, trying to eat food that isn't in his lap, grabing a coffee cup that isn't there, etc.) Sleeps VERY little and so I get no sleep either. We are suppose to go on a family cruise on Jan 23 and I am worried about how he will handle it. He tries to sleep in the bed, but goes back and forth between that and a recliner. He doesn't start PT until Jan 4 when the dr changes the sling to a regular one. This post has helped knowing that what he is experiencing is rather normal. Wish the doctors were a little more forthcoming on how a person would affected after surgery. We were told that the cruise would be no problem RIGHT!! Let them pay for it and try to get the money back

Dec 22, 2010
Life With No Sleep
by: Anonymous

Husband had rotator cuff surgery on 11-29-10. He is wearing a sling with a block thing to keep his arm away from his body and has been pretty good at wearing it all the time. HOWEVER, the no sleeping thing is killing us both! He doesn't seem to have too much pain, but can't take any kind of a sedative or he gets completely loopy. (Seeing old friends walking around the house, trying to eat food that isn't in his lap, grabing a coffee cup that isn't there, etc.) Sleeps VERY little and so I get no sleep either. We are suppose to go on a family cruise on Jan 23 and I am worried about how he will handle it. He tries to sleep in the bed, but goes back and forth between that and a recliner. He doesn't start PT until Jan 4 when the dr changes the sling to a regular one. This post has helped knowing that what he is experiencing is rather normal. Wish the doctors were a little more forthcoming on how a person would affected after surgery. We were told that the cruise would be no problem RIGHT!! Let them pay for it and try to get the money back

Dec 23, 2010
Its not all bad news.
by: Anonymous

Sorry to here that my fellow rotatory cuff patients are having difficulties. For those who are about to have the surgery I can share that I had a fully torn tendon repaired on my left shoulder Dec 9th at Mount Sinai hospital in Toronto (resulted in 3 screws being put in and 5 "bullet holes" for scares). First weekend/week was very uncomfortable sleeping. Pillows under the arm/shoulder made things somewhat bearable, but the oxycodon helped the most (goes directly to the area in pain). My advice is continually ice the area, take the prescribed anti-inflammatories and pain meds as needed. It has now been 2 weeks since the surgery. I got the stitches out on Dec 21st and started physiotherapy the same day. No longer need the sling, and have been doing the pendulum and other exercises 3 times daily. The exercises hurt big time initially, but you will be surprised how quickly your range of motion increases and the pain decreases. Any pain I do have is controled with extra strength Tylenol. Good luck to those about to have the surgery and speedy recovery for those who have already had it.

Dec 29, 2010
Finally Did It
by: Mary

Well, I finally had my surgery 12/15 after cancelling twice. I can honestly say my experience has not been bad and I was scared to death. Took my Doc 3 hrs through 4 little holes. Had a very large tear that had retracted, bursitis and removed the end of shoulder bone. The first few days I was so amazed at how good I felt but then the numbing meds they used after surgery wore off I had some pain. Still not too bad when I took 2 Oxycodone EVERY 4 hrs. I sure do love my sling though, feels safer! I now only take 2 Oxycodone in the a.m. and maybe a couple more in the evening depending on the pain. I am having no problem sleeping but sure can't wait to get outta that darn recliner and into my king size bed!!! I am pleased as punch that my experience was nowhere near what I had read about and anticipated. Guess a good doc really helps. However, I don't start PT until 6 wks after surgery. I talked to him about frozen shoulder and he said that should not happen and if I did PT earlier I would most likely retear because it was so big. Anyway, good luck to all who have this to deal with. I just wanted to share that my experience was actually quite good. Cannot complain!! Hugs

Dec 31, 2010
Four Weeks
by: Piedmont NC

Had my surgery four weeks ago yesterday. Damage was quite a bit more than MRI had shown. Surgeon used two small incisions, one about 2 inches, one closer to 3 inches. Incisions are healing beautifully as he used plastic surgery type sutures. I had one tendon with a complete tear, two with substantial tears, the end of a bone removed, and a bony growth removed. P.T. has consisted of passive movement only, for the first six weeks due to the extensive repairs. I am to continue to wear my sling when out in public at this point mainly to remind me to limit my use of my (dominant) arm, and for people to "keep their distance", per my surgeon and physical therapist. Like many other people who have posted, I have slept in a recliner until the last few days. I was told the best way to place pillows for support in bed is to use three pillow in the shape of a modified capital A, with the horizontal pillow up near the top of the two pillows that angle in. The use of a pillow on both sides helps to keep me from rolling. (I had never been a back sleeper before surgery!) Last night was the third night I was able to sleep in bed, fairly comfortably. As much research as I had done online, and listened to my surgeon and medical professionals, it was a little more than I had bargained for! However, with frequent icing and "staying ahead of the pain", the pain was manageable with percocet, two hours later tramadol, two hours later percocet...for the first three days. I was then able to taper off substantially after that, but took the advice of my surgeon and took percocet before each P.T. session. Ibuprofin is usually enough now, but I am not afraid to use prescription pain meds if necessary. Elastic waist pants are so helpful, as are snap or button front tops. Last week I was able to get on loose over the head tops. I wore camisole type undershirts for support that could be pulled on with out having to lift my repaired arm. Took three weeks until I could manage getting on a bra. I start back to work next week part time, and will be back full time the following week. I'm sure it will take some getting used to that pace again. For those who haven't had their surgery yet, try to get a recliner if you don't have one, stay ahead of the pain with your meds, use ice, have elastic waist pants, button or snap tops, and don't use your repaired arm in any way contrary to what your surgeon and physical therapist advise. Best wishes!

Jan 05, 2011
Really could use some advice
by: judaloo

I'm due to have surgery next week on my rotator cuff (dominant arm).
Hopefully the procedure will be arthroscopic and go smoothly.
I am scheduled to start physio a couple of days post surgery... and as a woman, I am having difficulty understanding how you dress post surgery.
Can anyone offer good tips re clothing? I will be fine at home, but want to be adequately covered for the physio sessions.
Any advice will be greatly appreciated. Thanks so much

Jan 05, 2011
Piedmont NC
by: Anonymous

What I find works best to wear for physical therapy is a sleeveless, stretchy, one or two sizes larger than your normal size cammi top. You can step into it and pull it up with your "good" hand/arm. Wear it under a loose, button down shirt, and wear elastic waist pants. Good luck to you with your surgery and recovery.

Jan 05, 2011
How to dress
by: Beverly

Hi,
Are you actually able to slip a sleeve over the arm and pull it up? Button up makes sense. I have made a couple of flannel tops that look like waist length "bibs" and the center slips over your head. Then they have 2 ties on each side to hold them together. Any other ideas?
Beverly

Jan 05, 2011
cami tops post surgery
by: Anonymous

I was able to carefully slide my arm into a camisole top with a bra shelf inside for support, I lived in them for months before ever wearing a bra. I also was able to slide my arm into a sleeve of a loose sweatshirt and button tops early on. Just let the arm hang and slide the sleeve on it first then put on the head and the other arm in or something like that. I had an open surgery and live alone and managed fine with planning. The other way I think I dressed was to pull clothing on with my arm tucked in like a wing then poking it through the arm hole of loose tops. Good luck it is well worth the hassle. 10 months out and I forget it was even a problem most times. Eventually will have to do the other arm.

Jan 07, 2011
Solution to the Dreaded Recliner
by: Allan

Great site! Great advice! I am a picky sleeper and dreaded sleeping in my recliner downstairs in the living room. Based on suggestions of others I decided to minimize the variables of my sleep.

OK, so I have this sling and pillow and pain pump and, well, pain. I thought how could I make my sleep as "normal" as possible. I decided the day of surgery to stack my bed, 2 king pillows for my head, two for my right side (lying down face up) and one for my left.

Same bed, same background noise, same lighting.

I was able to lie on my back with my right arm resting over my stomach, supported by the bed and was able to sleep on my LEFT side by placing my sling on top of the pillow to my left.

I have been sleeping like this since surgery and for me it works great. I have two positions to choose from without impeding my recovery and I can sleep on my own bed!!

Hope this can help someone avoid the dreaded recliner!!

Jan 07, 2011
Post surgery hints
by: Jean

I keep getting emails of comments from this site and it reminds me of how I felt a year ago knowing that I was facing this surgery(which I did on 3/19/2010) I am so glad that I had it done and while the first few weeks can be difficult, things quickly improve after the sling comes off (for me, 6 weeks). The worst pain lasts the first week or two, but with pain meds, not that bad. I am repeating myself here fropm earlier comments, but I wish I had known about shoulder icepads as well as heating pads for the shoulder (available from CVS). I learned about these in pt after 8 weeks of icepacks etc. Heavenly...and we still use them. Just an inexpensive tip that is worth so much. Good-luck to you all...and one more tip..wear that sling as much as possible..it's a pain, but it prevents reinjury as is very worth it.

Jan 07, 2011
Ice
by: Beverly

Hi, I am told I can purchase an ice machine for the shoulder at the hospital for $150.00. I have used frozen peas, etc, in the past for my knee replacements and they seemed to work pretty well but start thawing out in about 1/2 hour. Does anyone have any advice, is the machine worth it, does it work better?
Beverly

Jan 07, 2011
I have been lucky so far!
by: Ellen

Followed this site for quite a while before having surgery on Dec. 14. Two tears, one complete and partially retracted, and a bone spur removed. Put immediately into a sling, but one without the large pad most people get.

Amazingly, once I left the recovery room, I had no pain!!! Took pain meds the first night because I was positive the pain would come, and it still hasn't!

Saw the doctor two days after surgery, an he told me that I didn't need to wear the sling except when around lots of people, and when sleeping, so when I am home, it is always off. Even went into work (a high school) after seeing the doctor.

Sleep either in recliner, or propped up in bed--haven't tried anything else as sleeping on my back has always been impossible.

Start PT on Wednesday and hope things go smoothly there.

Not writing this to rub it in to any of the rest of you---just want those waiting for surgery to know that in some cases, recovery goes very smoothly--I have been incredibly lucky so far!

Jan 10, 2011
this sucks
by: Anonymous

Had surgery Dec 15 after 4 months of pain and terrible sleep. Three inch scar is fine. Tendon was completely torn. In the last 4 weeks I have slept more than an hour or 2 only when completely exhausted from 3 or 4 days of little sleep. Startin to feel like I'm goin wacky but for some reason I am relieved to know that my experience is typical. I am sick to death of the pain and the sling, but I just can't stomach any more pain pills. By far the worst surgery I've ever experienced. I feel like it just isn't getting better. I'm taking a day off from the sling but being very careful. Thanks for sharing. I am relieved to know this is normal.

Jan 12, 2011
it does work
by: Anonymous also

hi all- just had rc repair on my second shoulder 12/21. had first one repaired 4/2009=- that was a 13 wk ordeal from fall to surgery-but was back to nearly normal activity 3 mos.saw improvements for a yr. this time i knew what i had done and got into ortho 2 wks later - surgery at 3 1/2 wks. much easier so far.less swelling,less bruising, less pain. three screws ea shoulder-both large full thickness tears, shaved acromium. my surgeon has patients in sling 4 wks- stitches out after 7 days- start pt that week. very passive pt first mo- nothing above waist,pendulums, side to side motion supported on ball,ultrasound (wonderful), elbow curls. pt starts pulleys after first mo. i cannot handle pain meds- so day after surgery was on 400 mg ibuprofen every 6 hrs. that keeps the edge off for me. as far as clothing for women- bought elastic waist shorts for first surgery,pants for second.camisoles that can be pulled up over your hips- let affected arm hang down and slide into the strap. i wore these for months-w. button front shirt over if out in public. you can put good arm in sleeve and just button the front over bad arm and sling. can't tie shoes so made sure i had slipons. got one armed flossers, pump shampoo bottles. made as much food as possible ahead and froze- you can't exert enough force to get lids off the first mo-will need someone to open cans or opo bottles. just leave the lids off your pain meds. i took a cami the day of surgery and had them put it on me when they took off my gown before i went home to avoid sling rubbing on bare skin.sleeping is tough- lots of pillows on couch.sleep deprived 6 wks or so. glad i was retired and did not have to go back to work.good luck to all- for me, first arm is nearly normasl- hope second recovers as well.

Jan 12, 2011
it does work
by: Anonymous also

hi all- just had rc repair on my second shoulder 12/21. had first one repaired 4/2009=- that was a 13 wk ordeal from fall to surgery-but was back to nearly normal activity 3 mos.saw improvements for a yr. this time i knew what i had done and got into ortho 2 wks later - surgery at 3 1/2 wks. much easier so far.less swelling,less bruising, less pain. three screws ea shoulder-both large full thickness tears, shaved acromium. my surgeon has patients in sling 4 wks- stitches out after 7 days- start pt that week. very passive pt first mo- nothing above waist,pendulums, side to side motion supported on ball,ultrasound (wonderful), elbow curls. pt starts pulleys after first mo. i cannot handle pain meds- so day after surgery was on 400 mg ibuprofen every 6 hrs. that keeps the edge off for me. as far as clothing for women- bought elastic waist shorts for first surgery,pants for second.camisoles that can be pulled up over your hips- let affected arm hang down and slide into the strap. i wore these for months-w. button front shirt over if out in public. you can put good arm in sleeve and just button the front over bad arm and sling. can't tie shoes so made sure i had slipons. got one armed flossers, pump shampoo bottles. made as much food as possible ahead and froze- you can't exert enough force to get lids off the first mo-will need someone to open cans or opo bottles. just leave the lids off your pain meds. i took a cami the day of surgery and had them put it on me when they took off my gown before i went home to avoid sling rubbing on bare skin.sleeping is tough- lots of pillows on couch.sleep deprived 6 wks or so. glad i was retired and did not have to go back to work.good luck to all- for me, first arm is nearly normasl- hope second recovers as well.

Jan 17, 2011
Ice Machine and Listening to Your Body
by: Allan

I had rotator cuff surgery 12 days ago. I had dull pain most of the time and baaad pain when my arm went somewhere it didn't want to go.

The ice machine is made by BREG. You can buy it from them for about $160 and is fabulous. I broke one of the velcro and they sent me a replacement the next day at no charge. Great customer service.

I decided against doctor's advice to not wear my sling during the day. I am very careful what I do (move arm slowly and normally with no weights!) but my theory is to keep the arm as mobile as possible. STOP if you move it where you shouldn't...listen to your body. I ALWAYS wear it when I sleep in bed...I can't control what happens there, so I rely on the sling.

I stopped using all pain meds 5 days after surgery...I can fortunately tolerate the level 2 or 3 pain that sometimes flares up. I decided I did not want to dull my senses so I cant feel if I am doing something bad with my arm.

I play tennis competitively and I decided I am not going to wait 6 months to play again. I am shooting for 5. Keep the faith everyone!!

Jan 17, 2011
So Far, So Good
by: Beverly

Well, Wed 1/12 was the big day. In at 7:45, home by 3:00. 4 small arthroscopic wounds. Started the percoset right away, 2 every 5 hours, no pain but goofier than all get out! The surgeon showed me the pictures of before (shredded and lumpy, like cottage cheese)and said it was a pretty bad tear. Then the after picture, smooth and healthy looking, said it was a good repair and there should be no problems with it. The best part is there is very little pain. I now take only ony percoset every 5 hours, even for pt today. The therapist is very happy with my progress, this was only my second session and I am already at 90 degrees! I'm sure as we progress in therapy there will be times when I'll just have to bite the bullet but this is nowhere near as bad as I expected. Here's wishing each of you at least as happy an outcome!
Beverly

Jan 19, 2011
For Women-- Perfect bra
by: Anonymous

I've had TWO rotator cuff surgeries (11/04/06 and 12/22/10). One on each shoulder. I've found the perfect bra if you need to wear one. It is made by Moving Comfort and is the Fiona. What's great about it is that the straps have velcro on the ends for there is no need to slip your arms through to get the bra on. Just secure the chest part in front, then slide it to the back and swing the straps up and secure them. Viola... I've used these bras for both my surgeries. They work really well. Are sold by Amazon.

They are technically running bras but work for rotator surgeries too.

I've found the rotator surgeries to have long rehabs. The shoulder that was done four years ago is better than it ever was. I have high hopes on future prospects of my recent surgery.

For those of you who are considering surgery, I would suggest that you find a GREAT surgeon who has done many surgeries. That should be a top priority. Really research your surgeon and choose a top hospital.

Jan 19, 2011
Going pretty well
by: Elizabeth

My rotator cuff/impingement surgery was 12/23 -- so I am 4 weeks out. I was a little scared after reading this blog before surgery. It has been much better than expected. I needed the pain meds (loratabs) for just a couple of days. Therapy started on the 6th day. Some pain during therapy but very manageable. I was able to sleep with pillows propped up in bed -- no issues sleeping. Don't need a recliner.
So much better than expected. So those of you pre-op patients, don't worry -- it may not be that bad.

Jan 25, 2011
Clothing tip
by: Beverly

Hi, Almost 2 weeks now and fabulous! Once in a while a pain pill and pt is great. In fact, my biggest challenge is not to use it.
Clothing tip: Perfect for therapy or could be dressed up for other uses. I take an old t-shirt (if you don't have any the local thrift shop has tons - get oversize), cut off the sleeves just outside the shoulder seam so they don't ravel, slit the operation side top to bottom, edge hem, (you can hem the sleeve holes too), then sew on ties (ribbon, seam tape or whatever), finish the ends of the ties with Fray Check and you have a top that slips right on, no hassle and ties on the side. You can also use buttons or snaps instead of ties. I use a heavy enuf material so no bra is needed. You could get as fancy with this design as you want.
Hope this helps someone.
Beverly

Jan 27, 2011
update
by: Anonymous also

Hi-another update following my 12/21 surgery. Out of sling at 4 weeks- able to sleep on back slightly reclined rather than sitting up- makes a world of difference! Still surrounded by soft pillows. Started pulley and tension bar at pt this week- feels really goood to stretch it a bit. i asked pt after reading all the various protocols here- she said the standard around here (midwest) is sling 4 wks for protected healing to take place.We started pt 1 wk post-surgery- butno active movement- she did some stretching and pulling./ Also agreed pt should not be extre,e,y painful- if it is, too much too soon.I love going to pt- good luck to all- it really does get better!!!!

Jan 30, 2011
rotator cuff repair plus
by: lk

Rotator cuff reconstrution with biceps tenodesis and synovectomy on Jan 18th/11. My biggest worry is damage to the repair from tensing my muscle all the time. If I tighten the sling the shoulder hurts and if I leave it loose I seem to tense up. Sleep is also a problem. No position is good for very long but adjusting the pillows and sitting up helps. Hate the sling!
Started passive exercises with the physio at one week and have had the arm out three times a day for dangling and elbow extensions since day three.
Had no idea it would be so difficult but can't turn back now
lk

Jan 30, 2011
rotator cuff repair plus
by: lk

Rotator cuff reconstrution with biceps tenodesis and synovectomy on Jan 18th/11. My biggest worry is damage to the repair from tensing my muscle all the time. If I tighten the sling the shoulder hurts and if I leave it loose I seem to tense up. Sleep is also a problem. No position is good for very long but adjusting the pillows and sitting up helps. Hate the sling!
Started passive exercises with the physio at one week and have had the arm out three times a day for dangling and elbow extensions since day three.
Had no idea it would be so difficult but can't turn back now
lk

Jan 30, 2011
rotator cuff repair plus
by: lk

Rotator cuff reconstrution with biceps tenodesis and synovectomy on Jan 18th/11. My biggest worry is damage to the repair from tensing my muscle all the time. If I tighten the sling the shoulder hurts and if I leave it loose I seem to tense up. Sleep is also a problem. No position is good for very long but adjusting the pillows and sitting up helps. Hate the sling!
Started passive exercises with the physio at one week and have had the arm out three times a day for dangling and elbow extensions since day three.
Had no idea it would be so difficult but can't turn back now
lk

Jan 31, 2011
I so appreciate everyone's comments
by: chocovo

I'm scheduled next week for full tear rotator cuff surgery and have bone spurs to be removed. After reading through this blog the other evening, I realized just how little my doctor and his staff have told me about this surgery. You have all been immensely helpful and I know I'll have a somewhat easier time of it knowing some of the tricks you have discovered for dealing with this type of surgery. I am lucky to have found a coworker who had this surgery and has one of those ice machines that blows cold air on the incision. She has offered to loan it to me.I am hopeful it will help as much as she says it does. If I come across any helpful hints as I go through this, I'll post again.
Good luck to all of you and thanks again.

Feb 05, 2011
reply to chocovo
by: Anonymous also

Chocovo- you are correct- seems the doctors could provide a lot more practical information. Mine even has had the surgery himself and did not offer a lot. Hope all goes well for you. I am now 6 1/2 weeks out- very little pain- just a dull ache at times. Sleeping well on "good" side- it does heal!! Good luck to you all!

Feb 05, 2011
pt
by: Darroll

Trust us....it gets better. I am about 20 weeks out an only feel aching, no.real pain. Just do the pt. I think that is the most important.....two to three times a day for the first month and a half.....matter what, do it.


Feb 05, 2011
pt
by: Darroll

Trust us....it gets better. I am about 20 weeks out an only feel aching, no.real pain. Just do the pt. I think that is the most important.....two to three times a day for the first month and a half.....matter what, do it.


Feb 11, 2011
Shoulder surgery
by: Anonymous

I need a shoulder surgery replacing a torn tendon.
Unable to sleep in a reclinder due to my back. Slept in a reclinder three days after being ill about three months ago and my back is still bad.
When I get out of bed unable to straighten up. Have to hold on to door handles with both arms to get to a chair so I can straighten my body out.
Any auggestions.

Jeri

Feb 12, 2011
reply to jeri
by: Anonymous

Jeri- Good luck with your surgery.
i've had rotator cuff repair on both shoulders- sleeping is tough after shoulder surgery. It improves greatly once you are out of the sling.I do not have a recliner- surrounded myself w/pillows and tried to sleep pretty much upright w/feet on a pillow on a coffee table in front of me. A pillow under my knees and bending my knees helped my hip and back- pt says that really helps the back. Hopefully you have someone to stay with you- while in my sling I asked for a hand to get up the first several days.Once out of the sling could get more reclined on couch still- and again kept pillow under kness and knees bent.Good luck-

Feb 14, 2011
No Sleep
by: Robyn

Two weeks and four days out. I'm just so tired. I'm looking forward to being able to dress myself again, and to do my hair. Applying eyeliner and mascara with the left hand is tough when you're right handed, and the right hand is suspended from a sling. This is a rough one, girls. Thanks for letting me whine.

Feb 15, 2011
Robyn- it will get better
by: Anonymous also

Hi Robyn- I can empathize- but hey, you're probably half way through with the sling! My first one was my left andI'm left- handed- that was tough. When the right one was repaired in Dec that was easier. Eight wee check yesterday- can now lift up to five pounds, start weights and the bands next week.Tiome will pass and things will improve- it is worth it to have a functrioning shoulder/arm gain- esp if you were in a lot of pain before the repair. Hang in there!

Feb 15, 2011
no pain no gain
by: Anonymous

Robyn, just remember to do your physical therapy. No pain no gain.

Feb 16, 2011
Sleepless in Superior
by: Robyn

Thanks for your encouragement and advice. I'm doing the PT, and it's not too bad. Today they told me my range of motion is normal, and the pain is tolerable, so I got a recovery A+. I guess if lack of sleep and looking like the Sea Hag is the worst of it, than I'm pretty lucky. How long before you guys were driving again? These are the things I ponder at 2:46 am.

Feb 16, 2011
driving
by: Anonymous

When it was my left arm, I drove a week after losing the sling(Sling was on 4 wks). The problem was I was so stiff- was hard to extend my arm. The second time was my right- I started two days after removing the sling- had to push my arm forward and support it to get enough strength to get the key in- and use left hand also to help move shift- but after a few short trips it loosened up and is much easier. My surgeon never put any restrictions on driving- even w/sling- he said he drove w/ his sling on left- I would not have felt safe - esp in a Midwest winter!!

Congrats on your rehab score!

Feb 19, 2011
KO in Kansas
by: Greg

It was so nice finding this blog, because it made me feel that what I was going through was normal for the beast. I had Rotator Cuff surgery on February 14th. I have been uncomfortable in every position and cannot get sleep. The sleeplessness definitely is the most frustrating thing about this surgery. That and being constipated!!! It seems that some of my favorite things have been taken away from me. Gardening, sleeping in my own bed, driving, a full shower, and work. It's hard to accept that the recovery will be so long. I had no idea that shoulder surgery would be this invasive to life. If not for the Lord Jesus Christ to keep me content in all circumstances this ship would feel like sinking.
The first 24 hours were the worst, the oxicotton and the percaset upset my stomach terribly. The supository medicine they gave me worked the first time but is not working anymore. My stomach remains upset. Cant' find anything to relieve it. I consistantly get headaches and have extremely sore muscles. I think this might be caused from the fact I can't take ibuprophen anymore. It works as a great pain reliever for me. Hang in there all!

Feb 19, 2011
Know your meds
by: Andee

I read every word of this site in preparation for my Feb. 15th surgery (mini-open to repair two massive tears and one nearly complete tear). Almost all the advice is right-on, especially for the women. I don't think I could do this without a recliner. Greg's story is unfortunate; mine is cautionary. Because I had the open vs arthroscopic, the doctor changed from Percocet to Dilaudid, supposedly stronger. Turns out it had absolutely no effect on me no matter how the dose was increased! I basically had no pain management the first 24 hours (and I had elected not to have the nerve block) until I could get the prescription for Percoset and Oxycontin. Those kicked in almost immediately, although I had some catching up to do. I found ibuprofen helps if the shoulder gets too inflamed. So my advice is to go with a drug you know works for you in a pain-critical environment such as this. Don't let them change the drug unless you know it works. Turns out from my internet and personal research that I am not the only one to have this experience with Dilaudid.
I really looked forward to my first shower and hair wash, but it was such an ordeal it set me back. I used a cheap sling from the drugstore to wear in the shower, which helped, as I was afraid I would bang my arm, or forget and try to use it.
My doctor is not at all forthcoming with information. Thank heavens for sites like this one.

Feb 19, 2011
Hang in there Greg and Andee
by: Anonymous

The first couple weeks are the toughest- the pain is the worst then and you need so much help since you're in the sling. I iced it constantly the first two weeks or so- I mean 24/7. That helped a lot. Behind it, on top, down to the elbow. Had three ice packs going at times. After the first few weeks, pt suggested trying heat -esp on the top where I got really tight. That helped as well. I am nearly nine weeks out now and just a dull ache after new exercises. Really- after three months you'll be pretty much back to normal. Wish I'd found this site before my first surgery in 2009. Good luck-

Feb 22, 2011
questions about dressing and opiates
by: Judy

I'm scheduled for surgery in a couple of weeks on my dominant arm to repair a complete tear on my rotator cuff. I've found a lot of really helpful info on this blog. Neither my doctor or the PT mentioned a fraction of the things I've read here. But I continue to be confused about a few things.
Many of you say to get t-shirts and/or button up shirts several sizes too large. I get that it's probably easier to pull on a t-shirt if it's really loose, but I don't understand why you suggest an over-sized button-up shirt. Is the idea that you wear the shirt over the rigid sling?Also, I already take an opiate for chronic back pain due to severe scoliosis. I've been warned that this will make it more difficult to manage post-operative pain. Has anyone had any experience with this?

Feb 22, 2011
reply to Judy
by: Anonymous also

Hi Judy- Good luck w/your surgery. I got some soft cotton knit cardigans at Walmart a couple sizes too big- the first few days I wore it w/my "good " arm in the sleeve but the other side buttoned over the sling. You will be sore and swollen- I had them put a camisole (from Sam's or Target) over my hips and on me when they took off my gown following the operation- that prevented the sling fabric from being directly on my skin. I was not to shower for three days so was more comfortable. I am 9 weeks post op today and just this week wore regular blouses and bras.I had been wearing camis with cardigans over them.The softness and stretchiness were much more comfortable for me. I had a co-worker who was not as swollen and who got back into regular blouses sooner- but I like loose things anyway. Just more comfortable.Also- when you do exercises three times a day and you still have your sling it is easier not to have to mess w/ the sore arm too much at first.The sling is difficult enough to move arm in and out of. I was instructed not to wear over the head tops for 12 weeks follwing my first arm- if loose enough you can pull up over your hips and keep arm hanging down to put on, or lean forward and keep arm down- the issue was not to stress the repair too soon w/overhead reaching.I had a friend who had no restrictions like that - she retore her repair.I may have been overly cautious but did not want to have to start over!

Feb 28, 2011
my favorite tip
by: Anonymous

i went to Target the night before right rotator cuff repair and bought some oversize microfiber towels in the automotive dept. I can towel-dry my hair and dry my whole body with one, they are very lightweight and not as awkward as a bath towel. still in the sling, had a massive tear and have to wear it for 6 weeks so every little bit of independence helps.

Mar 01, 2011
Surgery next week
by: CurtB

I have surgery for my right shoulder next week to fix a 5 mm suprastanatus tear, long head bicep tendon problem,shave the acromial bone, remove the burcal sack, and something else. I talked to the surgeons nurse, and she said they normally do not prescribe an ice machine for this kind of repair.

Does that sound right?

If I/they find that need one later, it will mean a 3 hour drive back to the hospital to get one.

Mar 01, 2011
reply to CurtB
by: Anonymous

Icing is advised, however it is accomplished, because it helps and feels so good! I asked about an ice machine, but my insurance would not cover it, and it was quite expensive. I borrowed one from a friend who swears by it (two repairs for her). But although I've found it convenient, I wouldn't buy it. The iced fabric part is heavy on my shoulder (as an ice pack is too); eventually the ice in the machine melts and has to be replaced and that is a bit of a bother. I did like the continuous ice the first week, but found I used less of it in the second week. If you can get it for a nominal cost, go ahead, but it would not be worth it to me if for too much $$. I am amazed, though, by how differently we all seem to view these things.

Mar 01, 2011
ice machine
by: Anonymous

No one I know of here has had the machine following rotator cuff repair; my brother did have one following repair of a torn labrum. I just used refreezable ice packs and kept them on 24/7. I put one behind the shoulder, and got a very small one at Walgreens for on the top of the shoulder- it is extremely tender initially and I found the weight of the regular ice packs too uncomfortable the first few days.I also put one under the elbow- that can be quite swollen at first. Goodluck to you- I'm 10 wks post op now- only a very dull ache following exercises- and increasing strength and range of motion- it works!

Mar 03, 2011
Icing
by: Elizabeth

The best thing for icing after surgery is the Cryo Cuff. Connects to a thermos that routes ice water through the cuff. You get great relief of the whole area without weight on the incisions.
I woke up in recovery with it on. I loved it! Kept it on for hours especially the first few weeks. It helped with pain and swelling a ton.
My insurance didn't pay for it, but I was happy to pay -- it was about $300.

Mar 03, 2011
Not sure I want this surgery
by: Dave

This is a fantastic resource for anyone considering this surgery! Thanks for all the information.

I am 56 - two months ago, I fell and tore two rotator cuff tendons off the right humerus.
But, even with the torn tendons I have 90% ROM with the right shoulder. There is some loss of capacity and a little pain at night but it is not substantial. That's the reason I waited so long to have the MRI. I had gone into the doctor about a hamstring, and he advised the MRI for the shoulder, even though it was not bothering me very much. And now he advises the surgery to reattach the tendons.

Because of having many other major surgeries in recent years I am very concerned that the stress of the surgery and PT will not be worth the gain, and in some cases the post-surgery outcome sounds worse than where I am at now! Plus I think there is a higher risk or recurrence when you get into your 50's and older.

My question is this. Has anyone lived WITHOUT this surgery for some period of time, and what was the outcome? Did the shoulder deteriorate? Mine seems to be getting better, even though the tendons cannot heal, I guess other muscles can take over. Is there any PT than can strengthen the biceps and deltoid and other upper arm muscles to help make up for the rotator cuff damage?


Mar 03, 2011
reply to Dave
by: Anonymous

Hi- I am 56- tore first rotator cuff falling 26 mos ago. I was sent to pt and made a bit of progress- once it plateaued and pain increased I was sent for mri-THEN they found two tendons torn. It was nearly 14 weeks from my fall to the surgery. Had a great outcome although rehab is a chore. There was no question I needed the repair for range of motion and pain reduction.Second time I fell- knew immediately I had a tear- surgery 3 1/2 weeks following my fall. Same deal- large tear, three screws, shaving of acromium(sp?)- rehab has been much easier- pt agrees w/ me that the atrophy of the muscles for that length of time following the first fall made the rehab more difficult. However- I did NOT have the good range of motion and use of arm you have- I have a friend who had a repair - overzealous pt and it failed 6 wks post-op- but she like you has little pain and good range of motion and has opted to wait- says main difficulty is weakness- but she is retired and can get by. I'd recommend finding an excellent surgeon you trust and quizzing him on the prognosis if you delay. Good luck!

Mar 06, 2011
Thanks Anonymous
by: Anonymous

There is nothing trivial about this surgery or the potential outcomes. I feel a little misled by the first ortho surgeon who advised the surgery but gave me little information about the risks of failure, recurrence, etc.

I am always a little skeptical when you are getting your information from a surgeon who is making his living by ordering procedures.

I have had many major surgeries and one thing that I learned was that you really need to get informed and educated before you start working with your health care providers. In one case it was a major facial trauma, so you are stuck with whatever facility you get airlifted to, in that case!

I see a wide range of advisories form different surgeons about what they allow you to do when in the sling. My job as an engineer is 90% at a desk, on a computer. Aside from the difficulties in getting to/from work, and dressing, and the logistics of using a bathroom at work, it seems like keyboarding (my dominant right shoulder was injured) would not be a high risk activity during recovery. Obviously lifting, extending and otherwise stressing those tendon repairs are a no-no.

Some surgeons say it is OK, mine says no. Being out of work for 5 - 6 weeks or more would be a huge problem for me, so I want to be sure that is really necessary.


Mar 06, 2011
Follow Up
by: Dirk

It has been a while since I posted. I have not had surgery yet. I had 4 weeks of PT a year ago and it helped quite a bit. I still have the tear and I am careful. I know I will need surgery someday. I am 54. I know 3 people who have had surgery since I had PT. Not one is really happy with the outcome. They have better ROM but still have some pain and or stiffness. So that is why I will wait as long as I can..

Mar 06, 2011
1-Week Post-Op tomorrow
by: Anonymous

Tomorrow ill be one week since my surgery. I had 3 arthroscopy incisions before the doc saw I had a full tendon tear. He cleaned up some arthritic thickening and removed multiple bone spurs. Then, he installed bone screws, shaved the fraying from the tendon and suitured it back to the bone. Sleeping hasn't been much a problem in our reclining sofa ... was only on the ocycodone for a couple of days. I learned that hitting the TENS unit on both channels with 4.0 milliamps makes the achy feeling go away in about 30 seconds. The past few nights, this has really helped. Inflammation is what elevates the levels of pain, so, I used the provide Game Ready icing device for 30 minutes-on and 30 minutes off for the first 48 hours after surgery. All-in-all, I'm off the icing device, the TENS unit and the Oxycodone. This was a serious operation in my case, but, if you properly use the right pain management routine, the pain is not much of a problem at all ... at least for me. Feel free to email me at jbrumley@cfl.rr.com if you are going in for surgery and Ill be glad to share that routine with you. My post-op dealings haven't been badd at all ... some of these comments above sound like nightmares, but, you can manage the pain and it makes life good.

Mar 06, 2011
1-Week Post-Op tomorrow
by: Anonymous

Tomorrow ill be one week since my surgery. I had 3 arthroscopy incisions before the doc saw I had a full tendon tear. He cleaned up some arthritic thickening and removed multiple bone spurs. Then, he installed bone screws, shaved the fraying from the tendon and suitured it back to the bone. Sleeping hasn't been much a problem in our reclining sofa ... was only on the ocycodone for a couple of days. I learned that hitting the TENS unit on both channels with 4.0 milliamps makes the achy feeling go away in about 30 seconds. The past few nights, this has really helped. Inflammation is what elevates the levels of pain, so, I used the provide Game Ready icing device for 30 minutes-on and 30 minutes off for the first 48 hours after surgery. All-in-all, I'm off the icing device, the TENS unit and the Oxycodone. This was a serious operation in my case, but, if you properly use the right pain management routine, the pain is not much of a problem at all ... at least for me. Feel free to email me at jbrumley@cfl.rr.com if you are going in for surgery and Ill be glad to share that routine with you. My post-op dealings haven't been bad at all ... some of these comments above sound like nightmares, but, you can manage the pain and it makes life good.

Mar 10, 2011
update
by: Anonymous

Just saw my surgeon today- I am 11 weeks post surgery, large tear, three screws- he does not need to see me again unless any problems arise. I will continue pt once/wk for 10 more visits to increase strength and improve range of motion- I only have pain if I overdo things- then I get a dull ache. So, for all of you not quite as far post op- there is hope- it is well worth it to have a pain-free, functioning shoulder again- I would just recommend checking around and finding the best surgeon and best pt you can. Besides friends, I asked the pts about the surgeons they had seen good results from, and I asked the surgeon and his staff about the pts they had seen good results from- good luck to all!

Apr 02, 2011
4 weeks post op
by: Martha Greba

Thanks for everyone's input about their experiences following rotator surgery. I have a few suggestions to help others during their recoveries. I had a medium tear in my bicep tendon and rotator. Unfortunately, the surgery could not be done arthroscopically. I get very sick from anesthesia so to prevent this I took a pill the morning of surgery called Emend. Very expensive, but it works. I also asked for Phenergan just in case (Not sure of the spelling) for nausea.
Before surgery I went to Bed Bath and Beyond and bought a reclining pillow with arms. This was very helpful with a few other pillows to keep me in that upright position while sleeping. I also bought a Body pillow. I switched back and forth from the recliner to the bed and after 4 weeks can finally sleep in bed through the night. I take 1 pain pill and 1 Benedryl at bed time and another Benedryl at 3 or 4 am.
You can only wear shirts with zippers or buttons, so make sure they are soft because it feels good next to your skin. Forget trying to get on a bra for a few weeks. After 4 weeks, I can finally use my left hand to help hook it in front and pull it around. I can only wear elastic pants and slip on shoes. I bought shampoo, conditioner and lotion with pumps. For 4 weeks I have done my own PT at home and I just started with a Physical therapist this past week. I added pullys to my at home PT. I am wearing the abductor sling for 2 more weeks. I like to line that with soft fabric and I can't wait to get it off. I was experiencing horrible nerve pain from my neck to my thumb and yesterday I went for a massage. I wouldn't recommend this for everyone because it was so painful, but the therapist really worked my shoulder neck and arm. He released a lot of scar tissue in my bicep. I feel so much better today. I have used my ice machine constantly, done my exercises, rested, taken my pain meds and can honestly say I think I am turning the corner with the pain. I would never wish this surgery on anyone. It is painful beyond belief. Everyone kept telling me this takes time and I am a believer now. Speedy recoveries and restful nights to all of you. Thanks for all for the advise!

Apr 02, 2011
4 weeks post op
by: Martha Greba

Thanks for everyone's input about their experiences following rotator surgery. I have a few suggestions to help others during their recoveries. I had a medium tear in my bicep tendon and rotator. Unfortunately, the surgery could not be done arthroscopically. I get very sick from anesthesia so to prevent this I took a pill the morning of surgery called Emend. Very expensive, but it works. I also asked for Phenergan just in case (Not sure of the spelling) for nausea.
Before surgery I went to Bed Bath and Beyond and bought a reclining pillow with arms. This was very helpful with a few other pillows to keep me in that upright position while sleeping. I also bought a Body pillow. I switched back and forth from the recliner to the bed and after 4 weeks can finally sleep in bed through the night. I take 1 pain pill and 1 Benedryl at bed time and another Benedryl at 3 or 4 am.
You can only wear shirts with zippers or buttons, so make sure they are soft because it feels good next to your skin. Forget trying to get on a bra for a few weeks. After 4 weeks, I can finally use my left hand to help hook it in front and pull it around. I can only wear elastic pants and slip on shoes. I bought shampoo, conditioner and lotion with pumps. For 4 weeks I have done my own PT at home and I just started with a Physical therapist this past week. I added pullys to my at home PT. I am wearing the abductor sling for 2 more weeks. I like to line that with soft fabric and I can't wait to get it off. I was experiencing horrible nerve pain from my neck to my thumb and yesterday I went for a massage. I wouldn't recommend this for everyone because it was so painful, but the therapist really worked my shoulder neck and arm. He released a lot of scar tissue in my bicep. I feel so much better today. I have used my ice machine constantly, done my exercises, rested, taken my pain meds and can honestly say I think I am turning the corner with the pain. I would never wish this surgery on anyone. It is painful beyond belief. Everyone kept telling me this takes time and I am a believer now. Speedy recoveries and restful nights to all of you. Thanks for all for the advise!

Apr 02, 2011
4 weeks post op
by: Martha Greba

Thanks for everyone's input about their experiences following rotator surgery. I have a few suggestions to help others during their recoveries. I had a medium tear in my bicep tendon and rotator. Unfortunately, the surgery could not be done arthroscopically. I get very sick from anesthesia so to prevent this I took a pill the morning of surgery called Emend. Very expensive, but it works. I also asked for Phenergan just in case (Not sure of the spelling) for nausea.
Before surgery I went to Bed Bath and Beyond and bought a reclining pillow with arms. This was very helpful with a few other pillows to keep me in that upright position while sleeping. I also bought a Body pillow. I switched back and forth from the recliner to the bed and after 4 weeks can finally sleep in bed through the night. I take 1 pain pill and 1 Benedryl at bed time and another Benedryl at 3 or 4 am.
You can only wear shirts with zippers or buttons, so make sure they are soft because it feels good next to your skin. Forget trying to get on a bra for a few weeks. After 4 weeks, I can finally use my left hand to help hook it in front and pull it around. I can only wear elastic pants and slip on shoes. I bought shampoo, conditioner and lotion with pumps. For 4 weeks I have done my own PT at home and I just started with a Physical therapist this past week. I added pullys to my at home PT. I am wearing the abductor sling for 2 more weeks. I like to line that with soft fabric and I can't wait to get it off. I was experiencing horrible nerve pain from my neck to my thumb and yesterday I went for a massage. I wouldn't recommend this for everyone because it was so painful, but the therapist really worked my shoulder neck and arm. He released a lot of scar tissue in my bicep. I feel so much better today. I have used my ice machine constantly, done my exercises, rested, taken my pain meds and can honestly say I think I am turning the corner with the pain. I would never wish this surgery on anyone. It is painful beyond belief. Everyone kept telling me this takes time and I am a believer now. Speedy recoveries and restful nights to all of you. Thanks for all for the advise!

Apr 02, 2011
4 weeks post op
by: Martha Greba

Thanks for everyone's input about their experiences following rotator surgery. I have a few suggestions to help others during their recoveries. I had a medium tear in my bicep tendon and rotator. Unfortunately, the surgery could not be done arthroscopically. I get very sick from anesthesia so to prevent this I took a pill the morning of surgery called Emend. Very expensive, but it works. I also asked for Phenergan just in case (Not sure of the spelling) for nausea.
Before surgery I went to Bed Bath and Beyond and bought a reclining pillow with arms. This was very helpful with a few other pillows to keep me in that upright position while sleeping. I also bought a Body pillow. I switched back and forth from the recliner to the bed and after 4 weeks can finally sleep in bed through the night. I take 1 pain pill and 1 Benedryl at bed time and another Benedryl at 3 or 4 am.
You can only wear shirts with zippers or buttons, so make sure they are soft because it feels good next to your skin. Forget trying to get on a bra for a few weeks. After 4 weeks, I can finally use my left hand to help hook it in front and pull it around. I can only wear elastic pants and slip on shoes. I bought shampoo, conditioner and lotion with pumps. For 4 weeks I have done my own PT at home and I just started with a Physical therapist this past week. I added pullys to my at home PT. I am wearing the abductor sling for 2 more weeks. I like to line that with soft fabric and I can't wait to get it off. I was experiencing horrible nerve pain from my neck to my thumb and yesterday I went for a massage. I wouldn't recommend this for everyone because it was so painful, but the therapist really worked my shoulder neck and arm. He released a lot of scar tissue in my bicep. I feel so much better today. I have used my ice machine constantly, done my exercises, rested, taken my pain meds and can honestly say I think I am turning the corner with the pain. I would never wish this surgery on anyone. It is painful beyond belief. Everyone kept telling me this takes time and I am a believer now. Speedy recoveries and restful nights to all of you. Thanks for all for the advise!

Apr 19, 2011
Sleeping back in bed after 2 weeks
by: Anonymous

I am now into my 3rd week of post-op surgery on my right shoulder. I had 1cmm tear in ligament. I am surprised that I can smile and laugh again! Boy they were not kidding about that pain the first 2 days. Doctor had to up my meds from morphine to Vicadin. Sorry about my spelling. Anyway, this is week 3 and still in sling, able to brush teeth mildly with right arm but I still use my left arm to do everything. I live alone so I have to drive myself 2 miles to the busstop to get to work. I am happy to report that I just starting sleeping in my own bed 4 nights ago. I prop atleast 8-10 pillows around me but I feel better in the bed since my couch was making my buttocks sore. And I am now only waking up 2 -3 times a night as opposed to every 2 hours. I can't seem to do the pulley, though. I will keep trying. I wish you all as well as myself a speedy recovery and good night sleeping. Thanks all for sharing your stories!

Apr 27, 2011
7 WEEKS AFTER
by: JOEL

I AM CURRENTLY 7 WEEKS AFTER SURGERY.HAD SUBCROMIAL DECOMPRESSION AND ROTATOR CUFF TEAR.AFTER HAVING SHOULDER SURGERY IN 95( TORN CUFF) I WASN'T LOOKING FORWARD TO A SECOND SURGERY ON THE SAME ARM.AT 0-2 WEEKS AFTER SURGERY MY SHOULDER WAS STILL IN PRETTY BAD PAIN WITH NOT MUCH OF A RANGE OF MOVEMENT. AT 3 WEEKS I REALLY STARTED TO NOTICE PAIN REDUCTION AND MORE MOBILITY.NOW AT 7 WEEKS MY PAIN IS ALMOST NON EXISTENT,RANGE OF MOTION HAS IMPROVED GREATLY.I WON'T BE THROWING OR GOLFING FOR ANOTHER 3-4 MONTHS BUT I AM PLEASED WITH EVERTHING SO FAR.FOR EVERYBODY STILL FEELING THE 2-3 WEEK PAIN HANG IN THERE IT DOES GET BETTER ONCE THE HEALING REALLY STARTS TO TAKE.
GOOD LUCK EVERYONE AND BELIEVE ME I KNOW IT SUCKS

Apr 27, 2011
7 WEEKS AFTER
by: JOEL

I AM CURRENTLY 7 WEEKS AFTER SURGERY.HAD SUBCROMIAL DECOMPRESSION AND ROTATOR CUFF TEAR.AFTER HAVING SHOULDER SURGERY IN 95( TORN CUFF) I WASN'T LOOKING FORWARD TO A SECOND SURGERY ON THE SAME ARM.AT 0-2 WEEKS AFTER SURGERY MY SHOULDER WAS STILL IN PRETTY BAD PAIN WITH NOT MUCH OF A RANGE OF MOVEMENT. AT 3 WEEKS I REALLY STARTED TO NOTICE PAIN REDUCTION AND MORE MOBILITY.NOW AT 7 WEEKS MY PAIN IS ALMOST NON EXISTENT,RANGE OF MOTION HAS IMPROVED GREATLY.I WON'T BE THROWING OR GOLFING FOR ANOTHER 3-4 MONTHS BUT I AM PLEASED WITH EVERTHING SO FAR.FOR EVERYBODY STILL FEELING THE 2-3 WEEK PAIN HANG IN THERE IT DOES GET BETTER ONCE THE HEALING REALLY STARTS TO TAKE.
GOOD LUCK EVERYONE AND BELIEVE ME I KNOW IT SUCKS

Apr 27, 2011
7 WEEKS AFTER
by: JOEL

I AM CURRENTLY 7 WEEKS AFTER SURGERY.HAD SUBCROMIAL DECOMPRESSION AND ROTATOR CUFF TEAR.AFTER HAVING SHOULDER SURGERY IN 95( TORN CUFF) I WASN'T LOOKING FORWARD TO A SECOND SURGERY ON THE SAME ARM.AT 0-2 WEEKS AFTER SURGERY MY SHOULDER WAS STILL IN PRETTY BAD PAIN WITH NOT MUCH OF A RANGE OF MOVEMENT. AT 3 WEEKS I REALLY STARTED TO NOTICE PAIN REDUCTION AND MORE MOBILITY.NOW AT 7 WEEKS MY PAIN IS ALMOST NON EXISTENT,RANGE OF MOTION HAS IMPROVED GREATLY.I WON'T BE THROWING OR GOLFING FOR ANOTHER 3-4 MONTHS BUT I AM PLEASED WITH EVERTHING SO FAR.FOR EVERYBODY STILL FEELING THE 2-3 WEEK PAIN HANG IN THERE IT DOES GET BETTER ONCE THE HEALING REALLY STARTS TO TAKE.
GOOD LUCK EVERYONE AND BELIEVE ME I KNOW IT SUCKS

Apr 27, 2011
7 WEEKS AFTER
by: JOEL

I AM CURRENTLY 7 WEEKS AFTER SURGERY.HAD SUBCROMIAL DECOMPRESSION AND ROTATOR CUFF TEAR.AFTER HAVING SHOULDER SURGERY IN 95( TORN CUFF) I WASN'T LOOKING FORWARD TO A SECOND SURGERY ON THE SAME ARM.AT 0-2 WEEKS AFTER SURGERY MY SHOULDER WAS STILL IN PRETTY BAD PAIN WITH NOT MUCH OF A RANGE OF MOVEMENT. AT 3 WEEKS I REALLY STARTED TO NOTICE PAIN REDUCTION AND MORE MOBILITY.NOW AT 7 WEEKS MY PAIN IS ALMOST NON EXISTENT,RANGE OF MOTION HAS IMPROVED GREATLY.I WON'T BE THROWING OR GOLFING FOR ANOTHER 3-4 MONTHS BUT I AM PLEASED WITH EVERTHING SO FAR.FOR EVERYBODY STILL FEELING THE 2-3 WEEK PAIN HANG IN THERE IT DOES GET BETTER ONCE THE HEALING REALLY STARTS TO TAKE.
GOOD LUCK EVERYONE AND BELIEVE ME I KNOW IT SUCKS

May 11, 2011
9 weeks post op
by: D.Smart

Hello everyone.... I am so glad that I found this site. I went in for a less serious shoulder surgery and ended up having a small tear in my rotator cuff. It is now 9 weeks later and I can tell you it does get better . It is probably one of the worst surgeries you can have. I wouldn`t wish this on my worst enemy. 1st month is tough, then i started Physical therapy. That helps alot, it hurts but you start to get your range of motion back. for the 1st month i couldn`t do much , zip up or button up shirts only, NO BRA !!! AFter 5 weeks I wore a cami but pulled it up over my legs to get it on. Couldn`t take pain meds after 5 days so I took Motrin from then on in. This is a very tought operation but I am determined to get better so I go to therapy 2 to 3 times per week, and on off days I do it myself 3 times a day. I ended up getting a pulley to help get my strength back. Hang in there if you decide to do this and good luck !!!
PS : 9 weeks later and i`m not back to work yet but very soon !

May 11, 2011
11 weeks post-op
by: Jack B.

11 weeks since full tear rotator cuff surgery. Also collarbone work w/ multiple bone spurs shaved from the shoulder socket. Metal screws now are dissolvable screws. No bad pain ... only slight discomfort. My regimen was a follows:
1. Day of surgery: Started taking 5-325 ocydodone (albeit, Percocet equivalent)-one pill every 3 hours at 10:00 p.m.-key is to never let pain set in. Used GameReady ice machine and TENS.
2. 1st & 2nd days after surgery: One oxycodone every 3 hours;ice harness on for 30 minutes-off 30 minutes. Still used the TENS.
3. 3rd day after: Completely cut myself off meds & kept up the ice machine, however, only 30 minutes on every 2 hours.
4. 4th day: Quit icing machine; relied solely on the TENS unit. It worked well for me.
5. 7th day after surgery: Began physical therapy & did exercises they told me to do at home twice daily ... physical therapy was Monday & Thursday each week.
6. 10 weeks to the day of my surgery, I was released
7. The past two weekends, I've been doing yardwork & roofwork. I feel much better than I did before the surgery & very strong.
For me, the key things were:
1. Did what I was told to do by surgeon and therapists.
2. Don't take oxycodone 1-2 tablets every 4-6 hours 'as needed'. Took 1 every 3 hours & never got to 'for pain as needed' ... very important to stay medicated ... not dopey, just medicated ... one every 3 hours.
3. Time has flown by quickly. I am so glad I didn't take the cortozone shot & delay surgery. Get it done. Get it over with. You may only have a partial tear, which is what my surgeon thought. He found I had a full tear. He had to open the shoulder ... such a small incision, I was shocked. No gross scar ... just a thin surgical line where he went in.
Different people have different experiences. Mine was not bad at all. Some heal faster than others. For me, therapy was not bad, either. Last three weeks was somewhat challenging, only because I pushed it as much as they would allow.
The number one 'top of the list' is do your research. Get the best surgeon. Don't settle for just any Orthopaedic surgeon your doctor refers you to. You have choices ... choose the best. YOUR insurance is paying for it. I feel this is the single most important thing. I'm in Florida and Dr. Jablonski of Jewitt Orthopaedic Clinic did my surgery. He's the best in Central Florida and does a lot of surgeries on the Orlando Magic Team players and the Orlando Predators ... some pro ballet company, as well. I hope this helps you ... my fellow rotator cuff surgery candidates friends, here. Feel free to email ne at jbrumley@cfl.rr.com. I'll be happy to answer any questions you might have. Thank you for your time.

May 13, 2011
Not as bad as some
by: Nana

9 days post full thickness ter of the rotator cuff and bicep repair. Virtully no pain. I hated the ice water pump and only used it the 1st day. Since then, nothing but a hydrocodone once a day. I was back at work as a paralegal on day 5, still typing 80 wmp. The ONLY problem is the lack of sleep. Not because of pain in the shoulder, but the pain in the rear from laying on one position all night. No recliners in my house, but I don't think much would change with one. I'm counting the minutes until the medieval torture device called a sling is gone and I can get some sleep. Only 4 weeks and 5 days to go.

May 13, 2011
Recent Surgery
by: Anonymous

I amd a 50 year old male and had a torn rotator cuff, two tears in the labrum, bone spurs and impingement of the bicep tendon. The result of years of playing full contact ice hockey and playing baseball. Surgery was performed on April 22, 2011. Everything went very well. The surgeon repaired the damage and installed a screw during the procedure. When the nerve block wore off, the pain was pretty intense but I stopped taking pain medication within 3 days after the surgery and went back to work one week later. I have been sleeping in a recliner for the last 3 weeks. It is very difficult to get a good night's sleep. I am averaging about 2 to 3 hours per night. The pain in the shoulder isn't bad but I have a constant ache from the top of my bicep down to my wrist. I had a follow up with the surgeon 13 days after surgery. He said I could take the sling off at the end of the following week (3 weeks after surgery) but should continue sleeping in a recliner for one more week. It is also difficult to shower because I cannot reach across my body. I have been doing excersises since the day after the surgery and during my follow up visit, the surgeon added some new ones. He said that I am ahead of schedule because I have kept myself in good shape. I will be going to a physical therapist in one more week. Twice per week for six weeks. The best thing to do is follow the doctor's orders. Don't rush anything. If you do, you run the risk of causing additional injury.

May 15, 2011
scheduled for next week
by: Anonymous

Great to find this page, though not so great to read how awful the recovery can be. I'm scheduled for rotator cuff surgery (full tear) in a week. Dominant arm. Many of the hints here are useful: pillows, pain meds, etc. I've thought about not having surgery, but have been told that though pain may decrease, it only gets more difficult to repair the injury as time goes on and things retract. I play music, so I can't give up my right arm.

Any other advice? I see that a lot of you are typing a few days after surgery. That's really good news-- you can use both hands so quickly!

Thanks

May 15, 2011
Right-hand dominant
by: Anonymous

My surgery nearly 12 weeks ago for a full tear+ and I'm nearly back to normal. Learning to use mt left hand was a little difficult at first, but, only a few days later and it wasn't bad. get a braush to wash the mid area of your back. It was a really good thing for me when showering.

May 15, 2011
reply to 5/15 anonymous
by: Anonymous

Good luck with your surgery- you are correct- if you know you have a full tear, get it repaired. Easier recovery, less loss of other muscle strength. I would suggest scrolling back and reading as many of these posts as you have time for. The most helpful hints , which your dr may not have told you, are those such as getting one armed dental flossers, pump shampoos, spray deodorants, front button shirts, nightgowns and camis if you are female that can be pulled on over your hips sso you do not try to raise the operative arm too soon- I've had both repaired and survived -you will too!! Get a wonderful pt- of the utmost importance- and use the sling!!! You do not want to retear anything! The best of luck to you!

May 17, 2011
Still having random pain almost 1 year later
by: Dragonfli1102

Hey guys - I am 11 months post-op. I am able to use my arm now for everything, washing my hair, moving boxes - pretty much unlimited.

My concern is that I still have random pain,in my shoulder/arm. I would expect it after lifting a box or working out, but its actually very random. Sometimes the pain is enough that I will take an over the counter medication to calm it down.

I have a doctor appoint already scheduled as a follow-up in two weeks. I am just curious if anyone else has experienced this at 1 year post-op?

For thos of you that are pre-op, this is one of the best sites out there. I still read it one year later. Great info.

Thanks.

May 17, 2011
reply to dragonfli
by: Anonymous

Hi- I have had full tears of both rotator cuffs repaired- three screws in each, and acromium shaved- I am 2 yr post -op first shoulder, 5 mos second. I get pain if I lift something too heavy, or the dog pulls too hard on the leash- and can still be tender to sleep on my side with pressure on either shoulder- but I can usually find a reason for the ache and it is short-lived. I'll be curious to hear what your DR thinks- please post after your visit. I too check into this site periodically- found it prior to my second surgery- wish I'd had it prior to my first.

May 17, 2011
reply to dragonfli
by: Anonymous

I am 8 months post op from my total tear of my dominant shoulder. Probably 99% of the time I have absolutely no pain, But once in a while I get a little pain, but it does not last long. I agree that sometimes it is sore to sleep on but I understand that. I played golf this past Sunday and did not even think of my RC even once. I think my success comes mostly from a great doc but also a great pt guy. And I did the pt, every day, three times a day, down to twice then once. I still try to get to a gym to work on it when I can. No matter what pain I have, it is better than I had before the surgery. Hang in there.

May 17, 2011
Pain
by: Dragonfli1102

Thanks guys! I thought it was normal to have "some" pain. Just wanted to make sure it wasn't just me. I will absolutely post after i see the doctor.

May 17, 2011
love this site
by: D.Smart

I posted my story a couple of weeks ago. I`m so glad I found this site. It helps to know what I`m going thru is commom . I am 9 weeks post-op. Things are much better than before . Physical therapy is a big part of recovery. I was going 3 times a week, on off days I do myself 3 times a day. I ended up purchasing a pulley system ! I got it thru my PT place. Well worth the$$$$. I am just returning to work after 9 weeks, I still have some pain ....
Hang in there everyone ! Behind every dark cloud is a rainbow !!!!

May 17, 2011
Last Surgeon Appt today
by: Jack B.

12 weeks and 1 day after surgery, my surgeon has told me I no longer neeed him. He indicated at 2 1/2 months after surgery, I was where many of his patients normally are at 4-6 months. Two weeks ago, I shoveled out 23 bags of wet mulch and leaves from my mulch beds around the houes. Saturday, I shobelled out 1 ton of river jack rock I had loaded in my pick-up truck. Yesterday, I went back and got another half ton and shovelled it out, as well. Today, I went back and got 25 50 lb bags of rock and it's all laid down in my flower beds ... all 1,250 lbs of it. Alittle itghtness in my shoulder, with zero pain at all. I'm 53 and feel like I'm 20 again. My surgeon said today, 'You can do anything you want to do as long as you don't get crazy with it, including lifting fairly heavy weights at the gym. All surgeries are not nightmares. It really has not been bad at all for me through the entire process. I have posts above which I wrote during the process (past 12 weeks). I hope this encourages you if you ned the surgery. I had a full tear where the shoulder had to be opened and screws were applied with multiple bone spur shaves and an extensive collar bone trim for a severe arthritic condition my surgeon found. Please feel free to email me with any questions I might be able to help you with ... at jbrumley@cfl.rr.com.

May 17, 2011
Jack B.
by: Anonymous

12 weeks and 1 day after surgery, my surgeon has told me I no longer neeed him. He indicated at 2 1/2 months after surgery, I was where many of his patients normally are at 4-6 months. Two weeks ago, I shoveled out 23 bags of wet mulch and leaves from my mulch beds around the houes. Saturday, I shobelled out 1 ton of river jack rock I had loaded in my pick-up truck. Yesterday, I went back and got another half ton and shovelled it out, as well. Today, I went back and got 25 50 lb bags of rock and it's all laid down in my flower beds ... all 1,250 lbs of it. Alittle itghtness in my shoulder, with zero pain at all. I'm 53 and feel like I'm 20 again. My surgeon said today, 'You can do anything you want to do as long as you don't get crazy with it, including lifting fairly heavy weights at the gym. All surgeries are not nightmares. It really has not been bad at all for me through the entire process. I have posts above which I wrote during the process (past 12 weeks). I hope this encourages you if you ned the surgery. I had a full tear where the shoulder had to be opened and screws were applied with multiple bone spur shaves and an extensive collar bone trim for a severe arthritic condition my surgeon found. Please feel free to email me with any questions I might be able to help you with ... at jbrumley@cfl.rr.com.

May 24, 2011
Pending
by: Anonymous

I have a full tear and partial tear. Surgery is 5 weeks away. I am scared to death. I am extremely active, walk, ride bike, beach time, ocean swimming, and salt water fishing. It appears as though the summer that I work so hard to enjoy is going to be gone. I have no recliner and no one to help out. Even walking to dogs wil be a challenge, and I haven't slept in 4 months.
I hope those who read this are better off. It is depressing at times.

May 25, 2011
reply to Pending
by: Andee

Dear Pending,
You'll see my post above in Feb. I'm now 14 weeks post-op, and as so many people have said above -- hang in there because it is worth it in the end. If you are extremely active, then it is even more important that you go through with the surgery. You will become increasingly disabled if you don't, and you won't be active anymore. And you have the luxury of 5 weeks to plan for the surgery.
I had only two weeks to plan, but the first thing I did was to buy a used recliner. I found a good one at the clearance center for rental furniture, but check Craig's list and Freecycle. I was in the recliner much longer than some of the people posting here, but I was unable to sleep in the bed until just this week. Get one that is comfortable. If you get it now, there is time to have it cleaned. Put it in your bedroom, or in front of the TV. Put sheets on it. I used the elastic "garters" you can buy to keep sheets on the mattress. Works great. Have a table with all the things you'll need -- a light, clock, TV remote, water glass, etc.
Get your house in order; all the laundry done, food pre-cooked (or frozen dinners) in the freezer. Figure out the clothes you'll wear (see posts above). Dogs groomed and checked out at vet. Start going through the motions of imagining daily life with only one arm. But really, you will be able to use your hand and lower arm and you'll figure out work-arounds.
I didn't have much help, but I found that not a lot needed to be done post-op. Just rest and little chores. You should be able to walk the dogs, but maybe not as far or for as long for a couple of weeks. Use your energy for that. And get lots of rest. I did some garden clean-up, and kept up a bit with house-cleaning. And your PT will take up some of your time and get you out of the house and talking with people who understand what you're going through.
I can't say I've had a great time these 14 weeks, but it has been interesting and challenging. I'm headed to Europe in July and I'm going to ride a bike in Amsterdam! Haven't been on my bike since last fall before my RC tear, but I'm looking forward to it and I'm going to be fine.

May 25, 2011
Reply to the last few posts
by: Anonymous

First of all, I am 8 months post op. And I truly believe that the pt is the most critical part of recovery. I have had some of the"twinges" in my shoulder since the surgery but not any where near the pain I had before the surgery.
I also want everyone to know that I just played golf a couple of weeks ago and didn't even think of the surgery. Remember before the surgery I couldn't even come close to being able to play golf.

Additionally I believe the recliner is quite good, but I did not have one. I slept in a rocker for a few nights, but then moved back to my bed with a whole lot of pillows. Of course I had to sleep sitting up but at least I was in a familiar surrounding.

Best advise get a great physical therapist and then do the exercises three times a day,, down to once a day for at least four months.

May 26, 2011
WASN'T BAD FOR ME AT ALL
by: Jack B.

Well, I've posted above and I had a full tear and during arthroscopy, the surgeon decided he would have to open the shoulder to repair it. It was a tiny incision about 1 1/2". You can hardly tell it's there now ... after less than 3 months. My surgery was 02/28 and I have been rocking in my mulch beds outside the house ... 4 1/2 tons of rock I have shovelled ... while using mostly my left arm and shoulder, but, also giving my right (repaired) shoulder a good workout, within the guidelines sat by my surgeon.

If you're in pretty good physical shape, do what the surgeon advises, and do physical therapy, you shouldn't have problems. Other than a little tightness, I have zero pain. It's very important to do the prescribed activities at home which your surgeon and physical Therapist recommend.

I was never in any pain ... just irritated a little with the sling. Good luck with your procedure.


May 26, 2011
Caring for my wife
by: Mike

My wife had surgery 2 weeks ago. They had to repair her rotator cuff, torn librum, and had to modify and reattach her bicep.
This was all in her right shoulder, and she is right handed. She is usually extremely active and loves the outdoors and sports activities. So, on a day to day basis, the worst things are not being able to do the things she likes and of course that darn sling, which is just uncomfortable and inconvenient.
But my bigger concern is trying to help her get/stay comfortable at night so she can sleep.
Since day one, we have had her on a sofa, propped up with pillows. We do have a recliner, but she hasnt been able to get very comfortable on that.. At this point her lower back is starting to bother her, and I am trying to give her as much support as possible.
Any suggestions are appreciated!

May 26, 2011
reply to Mike
by: Anonymous

I think trouble sleeping is pretty much a given- I was on the couch with pillows- but still never slept more than an hour or two at a time. My hip started giving me fits- found that if I bent my legs and put pillows under my knees that took some of the pressure off and helped- mentioned it to my pt and she said that is often helpful for back pain as well- so if you haven't already, you might try that. Once the sling is off it helps- at least you can give yourself a little leverage for getting up and down. Being more upright rather than trying to lie flat was more comfortable initially. Good luck to your wife- that's a lot to have done- just keep reminding her it will all be worth it!

May 26, 2011
I just want to be "normal" again!!!
by: Jeni

On May 12th I had surgery to repair my right shoulder (& I'm right-handed). It will be two weeks tomorrow since my surgery.
They repaired my 80% torn rotator cuff, torn labrum, bone spur & had to cut and reattached my bicep ligament(at a lower point on the shoulder bone) because it was so torn & frayed.
I have always been an active person and have played many years of competitive co-ed volleyball & softball along with other outdoor activities. I am 45 years old and cannot wait to be healed so I can get back out there and enjoy life once again!
Following surgery I took pain meds for about 4-5 days then completely stopped. The pain/discomfort was manageable with lots of icing. I iced almost non-stop for the first week. I even "slept" with my ice machine running. At my one week appt with the surgeon, he was impressed with the lack of swelling & how great my incision looked. I attribute that to all the icing I did along with the daily exercises I was doing 4 x's per day.
Like everyone has commented...I am lacking sleep and feel like a zombie. I do not nap during the day and I have been going for a daily 1/2 mile walk since a few days following surgery.
I have to wear an immobilizing foam block thing that is attached around my waist...and my sling is attached with velcro to that device. It is VERY uncomfortable & hot (I live in AZ). I was told to wear the block at least till my next appt with the surgeon (one month out). This makes sleeping even that much more difficult.
I started P.T. on Monday (11 days after surgery). I'm glad I did, as I was given more instruction on how to do my exercises correctly & received a much needed neck/shoulder massage. At P.T. I was able to get more of my questions answered than with the surgeon. I will be going to therapy 2 x's a week for the first month, then going up to 4 x's weekly soon after.
For now, I'm going stir-crazy at home!!!! I found out it's ILLEGAL to drive with the sling on. I'm feeling very cooped-up & unable to do anything. I will be walking to and from P.T. (1 1/2+ miles each way) beginning tomorrow.
My complaints??? ...Irritating sling & block, neck soreness, slightly numb fingers, lack of sleep due to being uncomfortable & sore lower back,frustration at doing regular routine things- like getting ready for the day (Much more difficult for females then men, I might add...with hair, make-up & shaving issues!), feeling isolated...and being bored beyond belief!
I just want to be "normal" again!!! I really liked having two usable arms! Life stinks right now! :(

*I would be happy to discuss "shoulder surgery life" with anyone...you can also contact me at: jeni@jenisan.com

Jun 13, 2011
Pain in the bicep
by: Jude

Into the end of my eigth week all was going pretty well except for sleep and it has been a year since I injured both shoulders at work as my chair slipped and I grabbed the desk with both hands tore one tendon through the other partial. It has been a year of little sleep and as the other tendon is still torn both sides hurt pretty bad until lunch time.
A week ago I started having severe tearing and cramping sensations in my operated arm. I have been taking magnesium which has help a fair bit but pain continues.
Am doing physio and been without the sling for a week. I have done the exercises in a heated pool which has been good, the exercises don't hurt but if I move my arm the wrong way it kills. Sometimes it just cramps for no reason.
I know I have held my shoulder tensely since the operation and have to will myself to relax it.
Anyone have any ideas or similar problem





Jun 13, 2011
Pain in the bicep
by: Jude

Into the end of my eigth week all was going pretty well except for sleep and it has been a year since I injured both shoulders at work as my chair slipped and I grabbed the desk with both hands tore one tendon through the other partial. It has been a year of little sleep and as the other tendon is still torn both sides hurt pretty bad until lunch time.
A week ago I started having severe tearing and cramping sensations in my operated arm. I have been taking magnesium which has help a fair bit but pain continues.
Am doing physio and been without the sling for a week. I have done the exercises in a heated pool which has been good, the exercises don't hurt but if I move my arm the wrong way it kills.
Sometimes it just cramps for no reason.
I know I have held my shoulder tensely since the operation and have to will myself to relax it.
Anyone have any ideas or similar problem





Jun 14, 2011
reply to jude
by: Anonymous

Hi Jude- Sorry to hear you are having so much pain. I would contact your surgeon and ask his/her opinion. I have had both rotator cuffs repaired, full tears, screws installed- but after the initial surgery had very little pain as I progressed carefully through therapy. With the first one I also had to make a very conscious effort to relax my shoulders- that helped the pain greatly. I must have gone through 55 years of life w/ my shoulders tensed! Sounds to me as if you are perhaps overdoing it for how far you are in recovery- good luck! Let us know what you learn-

Jun 15, 2011
1 week post op
by: Jan

I am now 1 week post op, surgery started as keyhole and ended up as open for a torn and completely detached rotator cuff tendon plus other bits also. Pt started the day after surgery and I do it 3 times a day at home, passive exercises only though, which I manage without a problem. No longer need pain killers on a regular basis, perhaps one at night if needed, but sleeping is terrible if not impossible in a bed. I find it best to use the reclining sofa but it is a restless sleep and feel exhausted all the time. I must admit it hasn't been as bad as I expected, but I don't like the thought of wearing a sling for 6 weeks and not being able to drive for a couple of months. On the whole I am pleased with my progress in such a short time, I'm still able to prepare meals etc, so hopefully will be back to normal in a few months.

Jun 15, 2011
1 week post op
by: Jan

I am now 1 week post op, surgery started as keyhole and ended up as open for a torn and completely detached rotator cuff tendon plus other bits also. Pt started the day after surgery and I do it 3 times a day at home, passive exercises only though, which I manage without a problem. No longer need pain killers on a regular basis, perhaps one at night if needed, but sleeping is terrible if not impossible in a bed. I find it best to use the reclining sofa but it is a restless sleep and feel exhausted all the time. I must admit it hasn't been as bad as I expected, but I don't like the thought of wearing a sling for 6 weeks and not being able to drive for a couple of months. On the whole I am pleased with my progress in such a short time, I'm still able to prepare meals etc, so hopefully will be back to normal in a few months.

Jun 17, 2011
jan
by: Anonymous

Jan- You will be amazed at your progress once you get out of the sling. You still need to be careful- but you feel so much better. My surgeon told me I'd be pretty much back to my regular routine in 4-6 months but that I would notice improvement for a year- and he was right. And unfortunately, the sleeping issue is not fun.I still have some issues w/sleeping on the shoulder I had repaired in December. It is quite amazinbg they can fix these probelms, though- I am grateful each day!

Jun 17, 2011
Good Recovery
by: Anonymous

I am 3 1/2 months out from surgery and want to thank everyone who contributed their suggestions to this very helpful blog. I am 67 and the shoulder of my dominant arm was a mess. Total tear of the rotator cuff, torn bicep, a third tear and arthritis. The doctor put in 5 anchors and scraped my shoulder down to bleeding bone. He told my husband he did not expect the surgery to be a success due to my age and the sad shape of my shoulder. I will probably need a shoulder replacement in 10 years. I was in a sling with that bulky block for 2 months--no use of the arm allowed. I started physical therapy after 2 months and now have almost my full range of motion back. I still have some aching of the biceps, but that may take months more to resolve.
The first few days were extremely painful, as I already take opiates for my back and pain management is very hard in these cases. My pain doctor had me double my opiates for a few days and I was back to normal meds within 6 days. I'm glad I had the surgery and my husband is glad that he no longer has to cook, clean, dry my hair, etc. My surgeon is part of a practice that serves an NBA team and other professional teams, so they are really good. I encourage anyone considering this surgery to find the best doctor available, then trust them to fix you up. It will be worth it in the end. Just follow the advice about preparing for surgery on this site and think about buying or renting a recliner. Thanks again for all your help.

Jul 02, 2011
Third shoulder surgery
by: Scott

I am eleven days post op. I suffered a injury in 2008 while operating as a firefighter and tore both shoulders fairly bad. Because the right shoulder was so bad I concentrated in that first with two major surgeries in two years. I wasn't intil I had a very minor fall landing on my left shoulder that I knew it was time to repair this one. Now eleven days out I remember very vididly all the tough times I had on the first two surgeries. For me one of the keys is getting off the narcotics as soon as you can tolerate it. Because I was in so much pain I was on extrememly heavy oxycotin for the first seven days. Eleven days latter I am still reeling from the effects. I have been going tru withdrawls for the last four days that to are worst than the pain. I'm a pretty stable individual but I have been experiencing extreme anxiety. This has make the process of sleeping even worst because I have a hard time just staying still. Relecting on the previous surgeries I had a sililar experience the first surgery and the second I got off the meds on day three. Sooo much better. Anyway, everyday I'm feeling better and able to relax. Sleeping has always been a struggle but I'm amazed on such few hours we can survive on. I'm managing around three broken hours now and feel ok. My wife says I look like a zombie but thru this whole process has been so comforting to me. I feel so bad for you that have to go thru this alone but as you have read, time will pass and you will get thru it.
I so have appreciated the comments from folks going thru this surgery. It has been of great comfort.
My only advise is to gut out the sling look forward to the day you can donate it or burn it. Utilize the loved ones around you, if your a religious person as I am ask God to join you on this journey and bring you peace, and don't sweat the long nights. watch late night tv, read, and sleep when you can.
Bless all of you as we go thru this together.
Scott

Jul 31, 2011
Happy to find this blog!
by: TT

Hi Everyone! I am a 52 year old female 11 days out. I had an 80% tear in my rotator cuff and once he got in there he found a lot of scar tissue he also had to repair. I ended up with four holes in my shoulder and two screws inside!
I find it amazing the differences in what each surgeon asks of their patient! Mine has me in the typical pillow sling for 6 weeks, but am not starting any therapy until tomorrow (day 12), and told me I could drive after a week. I have been driving now with no problem, although the roads here in the northeast leave me achy from the bumping of the ride. My surgeon did not even want me to do any pendulum swings either. He said I could take my arm out of the sling to rest it on a pillow while sitting on the couch as long as it was fully supported. It is such a pain to take it in and out of the sling I just leave it in there 99% of the time. But I am afraid of my PT tomorrow. I have learned from this site to take some pain meds before I go ;) Thank you very much!
Of course I have all the same complaints, lack of sleep, and hating my sling! I am so scared getting dressed and undressed I have been only changing clothes when I shower every other day! My first time putting on a bra somehow worked fine. I wedged the one strap between my waist and an open doorway, then pulled the other side around and was able to hook it, twist it and get it on! I was so excited. The next time was an hour before my trip to get my stitches out. I could not do it this time......I finally called a neighbor to come hook me up!!
My surgeon wanted me to stay home 3 months! He hadn't warned me about this, I couldn't do this to my boss and co-workers, so he agreed to let me back after 19 days with the use of one arm. The nurse I talked to the other day said I could not type with that (bad) arm as it would cause my hand to rotate. I noticed a few people in this thread have gone right back to typing and have faired well, but maybe it depends on what has been fixed inside that touchy little thing we call our shoulder!
My surgeon also has had me on Aleve twice a day since day one, for two weeks. He said it was to prevent scar tissue.
So all in all I have found we are all going through this journey differently with different results but there is no rhyme or reason to any of it!!! <3

Aug 04, 2011
Surgery Tuesday August 2nd
by: scottsdale

I am two days in. I woke up in recovery in screaming pain. The block missed it's mark. The anesthesiologist came back in an reblocked me and that was heaven. Swallowing was hard though and is still messed up. Block wore off at 0400 the following morning and I darted on the oxycodone full bore. By 4pm yesterday block was fully gone and pain was intense. Oxy didn't touch it, so I added 3200 mg ibuprofen and that helped a lot! Oxy makes my nose itch like crazy. Slept pretty well last night actually and pain is better today. Got a long road ahead.

Aug 04, 2011
That was 3 200 mg of ibuprofen
by: Scottsdale

Just talked to my anesthesiologist about my difficulty swallowing. Says it is the laryginal mask they use in my throat during surgery and that it will go away with time. So far so good today.

Aug 04, 2011
Another side of the story
by: Parker

I'm so pleased that this series of articles is still available for my posting.
I am over 80 years old, and suffered a four tendon rotator cuff tear about 6 weeks ago, I knew that I would require surgery, and reading this series of comments had me scared to death. I felt that the treatment was worse than the disease But I am now 9 days post op, and I must say, that if one follows his docs instructions, it is a relative piece of cake. Follow your doc's instructions. I mean, take the darn analgesic medicine (in my case Narco) before the pain has become intense, and repeat it as often as it is necessary! (You won't become addicted and start dealing drugs on the school-yard) Wear the dog-gone sling, and shut the heck up about the associated disability, and not being able to put on a usual shirt. Use ice-packs on a regular basis, etc.
I know that all patients are a bit different, and I only mean to communicate to you, that this surgery is not as bad as some of the previously posted articles might lead one to believe. Wait for the surgery. Don't blow your brains out in anticipation, like I wanted to do.

Aug 06, 2011
5 days post op
by: Anonymous

I am amazed at the diversity of experiences and can only say that everyone reacts to pain differently and that if you are thinking about surgery, think about the long-term goals and not the short-term trials. Yes, this surgery is more painful than others, and there is a long recovery time, but the benefits far outweigh the alternative. My child is still young, and had zi not had the surgery, I would have faced a lifetime of "Mommy can't". Now that qill only be a temporary phrase.

I am five days post-op and only took the percocet at night for a couple days...the daytime i take tylenol if i need it. i'm not saying i feel no pain...just not enough to risk an addiction or ruined kidneys. When the pain gets stronger, I do take the meds. My doctor, nor a representative, nor a knowledgeable nurse was there when i awoke, so i was given no post-op instructions beyond the few illegible sentences scribbled on my release papers, so any info about after-surgery care was gleaned from sites like this.

As far as sleeping goes- I sleep on our couch using a back-support pillow and other regular pillows. Some nights, like tonight, I find it challenging to get comfy-But I do fall asleep eventually and nap in the afternoon if I can. I can't wait to be able to sleep in my own bed again, but I won't rush it. Good luck to you all.

Aug 07, 2011
Worries re: upcoming surgery
by: Allemaj Semaj

I'm having rotator cuff surgery and also repairs made to my labrum on Aug. 23rd. Not looking forward to being unable to bathe myself, however I am happy that this pain I've been experiencing since February will have an end date. Any advice and well wishes would be great. This forum rocks!

Aug 08, 2011
good luck
by: Anonymous

Good luck to you the 23rd. My advice would be to scroll through this blog and read all the tips suggested by others- there is a lot of info here the doctors neglect to tell you regarding preparing for the surgery (freezing food, etc.), clothing tips, etc. The surgery will be well worth the hassle- I've had both shouders repaired and have no pain and full use.

Aug 16, 2011
What works for me
by: 4946

I had surgery 7/11/2011 for large tear of my right rotator cuff. One tendon completely torn and one tendon majority torn. First two weeks no sleep. Immediately after surgery I bought the cheapest motorized recliner with controls I could reach with my left hand. The recliner is helpful. After 2 weeks I was able to sleep on my side in bed with multiple pillows. I have found sleeping with a large heating pad(walmart) with velcro wraps strategically placed to wrap perfectly around shoulder or an aircast cryocuff shoulder wrap(ice water) to assist in sleeping. I usually use cold before bed and heat to help during sleep. I have also used cold during sleep but the cooler pump is loud. It has been 5 weeks today since surgery and I am up to 5-6 hours uninterrupted sleep at a time. I am using a Half pill of Tramadol at night and tylenol as needed. Another helpful find for me was to use freezer blocks instead of ice in my cooler. My freezer could not make enough ice to keep up with my needs and the blocks are much easier to use, 2 at a time and I rotate through six. Best wishes to fellow warriors and keep posting!

Aug 17, 2011
TENS Machine?
by: Anonymous

What is this TENS machine that some of you have posted. Does it help? Should I invest in one? I'm having rotator cuff surgery - large tear and 2 additional (one bicep) and also bone spur, the first week in Sept. By all the comments, this looks like it's going to be a real fun ride!!!! But like everyone else, I'll have to deal with it. Not much I can do, but grin and bear it!

Sep 01, 2011
2 days after rotator cuff surgery
by: Debbie

my pain was really bad yesterday, The Dr. gave me 600 mg of lortab 1 pill every 6 hrs for pain. The pill works for 3 hrs, then i take 2 ibuprophen
Today I have less pain in shoulder, but pain is in upper arm and in the palm of my hand. I am so tired but the pain in my hand is keeping me awake.
I was given a cryogenic pump to use for 48 hrs after surgery. My family is filling it up with ice every 4hrs to make sure the water is cold. Yeah, they are making me wake them up to put new ice in it. The first night I slept in bed with a pillow under my shoulder. Now i'm in the recliner, it is easier to sleep and get in and out of to go to the bathroom. I had a lot of scar tissue, frayed rotator cuff. burs on bone and arthritis. I am starting physical therapy tomorrow and have home exercises to start today.
Took sling off today and will shower later. I go back to work in 5 days. It's my left shoulder and I'm right handed so I should be ok. Will keep you posted on progress in therapy.

Sep 01, 2011
2 days after rotator cuff surgery
by: Debbie

my pain was really bad yesterday, The Dr. gave me 600 mg of lortab 1 pill every 6 hrs for pain. The pill works for 3 hrs, then i take 2 ibuprophen
Today I have less pain in shoulder, but pain is in upper arm and in the palm of my hand. I am so tired but the pain in my hand is keeping me awake.
I was given a cryogenic pump to use for 48 hrs after surgery. My family is filling it up with ice every 4hrs to make sure the water is cold. Yeah, they are making me wake them up to put new ice in it. The first night I slept in bed with a pillow under my shoulder. Now i'm in the recliner, it is easier to sleep and get in and out of to go to the bathroom. I had a lot of scar tissue, frayed rotator cuff. burs on bone and arthritis. I am starting physical therapy tomorrow and have home exercises to start today.
Took sling off today and will shower later. I go back to work in 5 days. It's my left shoulder and I'm right handed so I should be ok. Will keep you posted on progress in therapy.

Sep 01, 2011
2 days after rotator cuff surgery
by: Debbie

my pain was really bad yesterday, The Dr. gave me 600 mg of lortab 1 pill every 6 hrs for pain. The pill works for 3 hrs, then i take 2 ibuprophen
Today I have less pain in shoulder, but pain is in upper arm and in the palm of my hand. I am so tired but the pain in my hand is keeping me awake.
I was given a cryogenic pump to use for 48 hrs after surgery. My family is filling it up with ice every 4hrs to make sure the water is cold. Yeah, they are making me wake them up to put new ice in it. The first night I slept in bed with a pillow under my shoulder. Now i'm in the recliner, it is easier to sleep and get in and out of to go to the bathroom. I had a lot of scar tissue, frayed rotator cuff. burs on bone and arthritis. I am starting physical therapy tomorrow and have home exercises to start today.
Took sling off today and will shower later. I go back to work in 5 days. It's my left shoulder and I'm right handed so I should be ok. Will keep you posted on progress in therapy.

Sep 01, 2011
2 days after rotator cuff surgery
by: Debbie

my pain was really bad yesterday, The Dr. gave me 600 mg of lortab 1 pill every 6 hrs for pain. The pill works for 3 hrs, then i take 2 ibuprophen
Today I have less pain in shoulder, but pain is in upper arm and in the palm of my hand. I am so tired but the pain in my hand is keeping me awake.
I was given a cryogenic pump to use for 48 hrs after surgery. My family is filling it up with ice every 4hrs to make sure the water is cold. Yeah, they are making me wake them up to put new ice in it. The first night I slept in bed with a pillow under my shoulder. Now i'm in the recliner, it is easier to sleep and get in and out of to go to the bathroom. I had a lot of scar tissue, frayed rotator cuff. burs on bone and arthritis. I am starting physical therapy tomorrow and have home exercises to start today.
Took sling off today and will shower later. I go back to work in 5 days. It's my left shoulder and I'm right handed so I should be ok. Will keep you posted on progress in therapy.

Sep 01, 2011
2 days after rotator cuff surgery
by: Debbie

my pain was really bad yesterday, The Dr. gave me 600 mg of lortab 1 pill every 6 hrs for pain. The pill works for 3 hrs, then i take 2 ibuprophen
Today I have less pain in shoulder, but pain is in upper arm and in the palm of my hand. I am so tired but the pain in my hand is keeping me awake.
I was given a cryogenic pump to use for 48 hrs after surgery. My family is filling it up with ice every 4hrs to make sure the water is cold. Yeah, they are making me wake them up to put new ice in it. The first night I slept in bed with a pillow under my shoulder. Now i'm in the recliner, it is easier to sleep and get in and out of to go to the bathroom. I had a lot of scar tissue, frayed rotator cuff. burs on bone and arthritis. I am starting physical therapy tomorrow and have home exercises to start today.
Took sling off today and will shower later. I go back to work in 5 days. It's my left shoulder and I'm right handed so I should be ok. Will keep you posted on progress in therapy.

Sep 01, 2011
2 days after rotator cuff surgery
by: Debbie

my pain was really bad yesterday, The Dr. gave me 600 mg of lortab 1 pill every 6 hrs for pain. The pill works for 3 hrs, then i take 2 ibuprophen
Today I have less pain in shoulder, but pain is in upper arm and in the palm of my hand. I am so tired but the pain in my hand is keeping me awake.
I was given a cryogenic pump to use for 48 hrs after surgery. My family is filling it up with ice every 4hrs to make sure the water is cold. Yeah, they are making me wake them up to put new ice in it. The first night I slept in bed with a pillow under my shoulder. Now i'm in the recliner, it is easier to sleep and get in and out of to go to the bathroom. I had a lot of scar tissue, frayed rotator cuff. burs on bone and arthritis. I am starting physical therapy tomorrow and have home exercises to start today.
Took sling off today and will shower later. I go back to work in 5 days. It's my left shoulder and I'm right handed so I should be ok. Will keep you posted on progress in therapy.

Sep 01, 2011
2 days after rotator cuff surgery
by: Debbie

my pain was really bad yesterday, The Dr. gave me 600 mg of lortab 1 pill every 6 hrs for pain. The pill works for 3 hrs, then i take 2 ibuprophen
Today I have less pain in shoulder, but pain is in upper arm and in the palm of my hand. I am so tired but the pain in my hand is keeping me awake.
I was given a cryogenic pump to use for 48 hrs after surgery. My family is filling it up with ice every 4hrs to make sure the water is cold. Yeah, they are making me wake them up to put new ice in it. The first night I slept in bed with a pillow under my shoulder. Now i'm in the recliner, it is easier to sleep and get in and out of to go to the bathroom. I had a lot of scar tissue, frayed rotator cuff. burs on bone and arthritis. I am starting physical therapy tomorrow and have home exercises to start today.
Took sling off today and will shower later. I go back to work in 5 days. It's my left shoulder and I'm right handed so I should be ok. Will keep you posted on progress in therapy.

Sep 01, 2011
5 days......
by: Anonymous

Debbie, I fear 5 days will not be enough time home. If you can take more time off, you might want to reconsider it. I went back after 2.5 weeks and could have definitely used another week off. If you must, bring a pillow to support your sling while sitting down. I found it a help, as it seemed the part around my neck was a heavy pull, so I would lift up and then my shoulder would ache. The pillow helped with these problems.
Good luck :)
TT

Sep 08, 2011
new to the forum
by: Maryann

Found this forum in the middle of the night and find it to be very helpful. I am 7 days post-op, some pain but struggling with the sling. Having no sleep is detrimental to recovery so I devised a pillow arrangement that supports my arm yet is restrictive for safety. 3 hours sleep is better than none! Has anyone else had to do this? Thanks for the posts. Speedy recovery to all!

Sep 23, 2011
amazed by pain
by: Anonymous

Hi yes many of us have devised various arrangements of pillows in decliners,couches and in bed.you may need to experiment over time as your needs will change during the rehab.this is my second r/c surgery.one inn each side. Iwas doing really well until today. It is week 6 and I had my first assisted active pt appt. The appt went well but now I am in severe pain and unable to sleep.I had finally made it back to my bed but think I am going to have to go back to the chair/couch. I went back to work at 4 weeks but really wish I. Could have waited a few more weeks. I know from before that this part of the pt is the most painful. Being at work without enough sleep is really hard. And I have a nightmare commute. I know I will get through this .I have an amazing surgeon and great pt. Just feeling more sorry for myself than I usually feel because the pain is worse than it has been in weeks and I know I am overtired aund stressed about work. Sorry for whining but as others have said people who haven't been through this just don't get it. My boss is particularly clueless. And thinks that when I am out of the sling that I will somehow be magically healed 200%. I am going to give her the protocol to show I can hold a cup of coffee. Good luck to everyone. It does get better.

Sep 23, 2011
amazed by pain
by: Anonymous

Hi yes many of us have devised various arrangements of pillows in decliners,couches and in bed.you may need to experiment over time as your needs will change during the rehab.this is my second r/c surgery.one inn each side. Iwas doing really well until today. It is week 6 and I had my first assisted active pt appt. The appt went well but now I am in severe pain and unable to sleep.I had finally made it back to my bed but think I am going to have to go back to the chair/couch. I went back to work at 4 weeks but really wish I. Could have waited a few more weeks. I know from before that this part of the pt is the most painful. Being at work without enough sleep is really hard. And I have a nightmare commute. I know I will get through this .I have an amazing surgeon and great pt. Just feeling more sorry for myself than I usually feel because the pain is worse than it has been in weeks and I know I am overtired aund stressed about work. Sorry for whining but as others have said people who haven't been through this just don't get it. My boss is particularly clueless. And thinks that when I am out of the sling that I will somehow be magically healed 200%. I am going to give her the protocol to show I can hold a cup of coffee. Good luck to everyone. It does get better.

Sep 23, 2011
amazed by pain
by: Anonymous

Hi yes many of us have devised various arrangements of pillows in decliners,couches and in bed.you may need to experiment over time as your needs will change during the rehab.this is my second r/c surgery.one inn each side. Iwas doing really well until today. It is week 6 and I had my first assisted active pt appt. The appt went well but now I am in severe pain and unable to sleep.I had finally made it back to my bed but think I am going to have to go back to the chair/couch. I went back to work at 4 weeks but really wish I. Could have waited a few more weeks. I know from before that this part of the pt is the most painful. Being at work without enough sleep is really hard. And I have a nightmare commute. I know I will get through this .I have an amazing surgeon and great pt. Just feeling more sorry for myself than I usually feel because the pain is worse than it has been in weeks and I know I am overtired aund stressed about work. Sorry for whining but as others have said people who haven't been through this just don't get it. My boss is particularly clueless. And thinks that when I am out of the sling that I will somehow be magically healed 200%. I am going to give her the protocol to show I can hold a cup of coffee. Good luck to everyone. It does get better.

Sep 23, 2011
Coping...
by: Wendy

I had right shoulder arthroscopic surgery June 30th of this year. I had partial tear, damage from arthritis, a bone spur, and a frozen shoulder. Sleeping and pain management have been major issues since the surgery. I tried to sleep in a recliner for a couple weeks, but only slept for an hour or so at a time. A hand controlled lever is essential, not a manual recliner you have to "push." I've been sleeping on my left side with pillows since then...or maybe I should say not sleeping. I am a confirmed stomach sleeper and have tried to sleep on my back with no success. I sleep for three to four hours and then wake up with some pain. I am very fortunate not to be working at this time. Naps are frequent for me, since I reach a point of exhaustion.

Don't let your pain "sneak up" on you during recovery. I desperately wanted to be off of strong pain meds and all of my attempts to cut back ended in misery. Consistently taking the meds, especially during the early recovery period, will keep you much more comfortable. I am now at a point (almost three months post surgery) where I manage with ibuprofen during the day and one vicodin at night. Overall, the pain has decreased substantially, but it has taken this long to reach what I would consider a manageable stage. Getting back to a full night's rest is my high hope for the near future. While I did not have the ice machine people have referred to, I started out with regular ice packs and found they did not cover the needed area. I purchased a "Freezie Wrap" from MendMeShop.com and have found it to be very helpful. I can't stress enough the importance of frequent icing! It really helps the pain. You wear it, strapped in with compression.

I started physical therapy about two weeks post surgery and it has been effective in increasing range of motion and strength. The home exercises are really important. I had my third follow-up with my surgeon today. He thinks I've still got about eight more weeks of therapy, possibly a little less since I seem to be "ahead of the curve" with rehab.

If you are reading this prior to surgery, it will come as no surprise to you that this recovery is a tough one. I've had days when all I wanted to do was sit and cry with the pain. There is no "immediate" fix. It's a long road and tough to be positive all the time.

I found that button front shirts were real lifesavers. I purchased some cheap ones and have only recently started wearing "over the head" clothing again. I also wore large camisoles I could step into and pull up instead of bras. When you begin to wear a bra again, you can put it on over the camisole and the bra slides easily around after you hook it in front. The bra straps resting on the camisole straps make it more comfortable as well. I also take a small pillow with me to movies or events where I'll be sitting for an extended period to rest my arm on.

Oct 01, 2011
suggestions for men's clothing accomodations
by: Anonymous

I am a female who has had both shoulders repaired- and did the camisole up over the hips routine for several weeks. My brother is having open surgery next mo to reapair two rt tendons and a torn biceps- I wondered what worked for men for clothing until you were able to get shirts over the head. Did you cut t-shirts down the back to have something soft against the skin while in the sling? I'm sure the first week or so he will not want a button front woven shirt on- thanks for any suggestions.

Oct 01, 2011
HiTech T-Shirts
by: Anonymous

I used hitech t-shirts that are breathable and 100% polyester. He will need something very comfortable, soft and easy to put on. T-shirts work by putting operated shoulder through first and stretching the other arm through. No special clothing involved/needed.

Oct 02, 2011
men'sclothing
by: Anonymous

thank you for the shirt info for men- that will be helpful.

Oct 07, 2011
Back For More!
by: Mary

Wow, I wrote a post long ago about how great I felt after surgery, hahaha. Now here I am almost a year after total tear repaired and have to go under the knife again! Surgery went well 12/15/10 and was feeling pretty good a couple weeks post op. I didn't start therapy for 7 weeks, which I questioned. Everything I have read seems that the majority of patients start therapy almost immediately. It was also like pulling teeth to get any pain meds!! I was very concerned but figured Doc knew what he was doing. Anyway, I have been in extreme pain for months! Talked to a woman who had surgery in May and she was showing off her range of motion. LOL She turned me on to her Doc and I had an MRI. Well, seems I have lots of scar tissue in there, whoda thought?! The repair looks good and no atrophy, at least a couple of pluses! I have 2 options, live with it (won't get better) or have surgery. What's a woman to do? I am petrified and mad to say the least! He wants me in the hospital overnight. Wants to do a nerve block, break the scar tissue loose and cut some out. OK, he then proceeds to tell me it's possible he could break my arm!! Whaaaaat? OMG, he could have omitted that part and I wouldn't be quite as scared. He wants me in hosp with nerve block so I can start therapy the next day. Just wanted to know if anyone here has gone through this. I am soooooo scared and actually considering living with it. But, I don't know how much longer I can handle the pain or the immobility.......

Oct 07, 2011
To Mary...
by: Wendy


I'm so sorry you are having such difficulty! Wish I could give you a hug (gently)! I'll just tell you that my MRI pre-surgery showed a lot of arthritis damage, fraying, etc. in addition to the tear and a bone spur. My surgeon used a nerve block with surgery, which wasn't bad at all. I had absolutely no pain (and no feeling) until it wore off hours later. My surgeon's "cleaning up" of the area absolutely made a difference. He had recommended PT as a less invasive course before we made the decision for surgery and, if anything, it made the situation worse. All of the above prohibited any progress. I'm making progress now (three months post), but I know about the pain issue...it's tough! My surgeon admitted that I may never have optimum results given the arthritis factor, but I'm definitely improving. Good luck to you and I wish you all the best!

Oct 07, 2011
Bone Spur and Torn Ligament Repair
by: Anonymous

I will be having (sometime) a Rotator Cuff Repair and Bone spur surgery. Should one go a see their surgeon before they have surgery. I have been doing Physio therapy 3 times a week and also some Exercises every day.

Oct 31, 2011
Shoulder
by: Anonymous

Still able to post

Oct 31, 2011
Shoulder
by: Anonymous

Still able to post

Oct 31, 2011
Shoulder
by: Anonymous

Still able to post

Nov 13, 2011
driving NEW
by: Anonymous

How soon following repair on right shoulder (rotator cuff/biceps tendon) have folks been able to drive a stick shift? Thank you

Nov 17, 2011
# Weeks out NEW
by: Greg

Had my surgery October 26. I am working the passive excerises. My problem is sleeping. If I lay on my back I am comfortable with respect to my arm. The sling has become part of me. What I do is snore. I am a side sleeper. My throat is always dry and sore. I have put the pillows up but still snore. Will try the recliner. My throat bothers me more than my arm. I have tried the mouth piece, strip, and lubricant. Nothing works. Any suggestions?

Nov 17, 2011
CPAP NEW
by: Anonymous

Try CPAP. See a sleep Doctor or pulmonologist. I recommend cpap with humidifier and RESMED swift fx nasal pillow. You might get a much better sleep experience like I did.

Nov 17, 2011
Thanks NEW
by: Greg

Will look into a nasel pillow mask.

Dec 19, 2011
Going in today- Left Shoulder Full Tear of RC. NEW
by: Joe_NH

Great board here! I think it would help if people could annotate their age and level of fitness in their posts. I am trying to gauge recovery based on those criteria and have. I am going to start my recovery/updates going forward in that way. As the title says I am getting my left shoulder scoped today(December 19th, 2011) for a full tear of my rotator cuff.I am right handed and hope to drive within a week. I a off work for the next 2 weeks with hopes of returning Jan 3rd.2012. I am a 44yr old male who is a avid weight lifter, healthy eater and very active with kids softball/baseball. This surgery is sure to test my mental prowess as being not able to do these things will drive me insane. I feel confident in by Dr. who does roughly 200 of these surgeries per year and who himself is a gym/workout enthusiast and that expects me to recover easily( we'll see!). Again great board here and resource for us going through this repair to our shoulders.
Look forward to updating my recovery in hopes of helping others. Off to the gym now for one last workout!

Dec 19, 2011
Encouragement for you NEW
by: Maryann

Joe, I wrote back in September to ask how people were coping with sleeping after this surgery. I am older than you, 59, but have done extremely well with this surgery. The pain that others have spoken of continuing even after the surgery has not happened for me. I had the typical after surgery pain and discomfort and fighting the sling will cause some additional pain but if you do what the doc says and follow the therapy routine you will do fine and will probably be able to do everything you have done in the past. Extreme patience is a requirement but it is worth every bit. Good luck!

Dec 19, 2011
Full tears of Supraspinatus and Infraspinatus tendons NEW
by: Anonymous

Injury: Full tears of Supraspinatus and Infraspinatus tendons.
Age: 57

I live a sedentary lifestyle, definitely not in shape, do some biking and hiking but work is sitting at a computer monitor.

Injury was 1 year ago, falling on ice.

Surgery on 12/16/2011 was not bad recovery is difficult as sleeping is really hard with sling and block. It's not painful now, 3 days after surgery just highly irritating with straps and velcro wound around your body. Surgeon does a lot of pro baseball/football athletes so I am hoping I am getting a good one!

I got a Kodiak cooling machine these are great.
hxxp://www.breg.com/cold-therapy/polar-care-kodiak.html I recommend it, $200 though.

Can't sleep on either recliner or bed, just too annoying hopefully I will adjust to it. How long does the block stay in before going to just a sling?

By the way when describing your injury, "tear" is not enough info; is it a muscle or tendon tear? Full or partial tear? Which muscle/tendon? There are a LOT of ranges of damage to the rotator cuff, this info helps when reading the reports. Thanks!

Dec 20, 2011
day 1 post surgery NEW
by: Joe_NH

Had a full tear plus lots of cartilage damage. Dr. used titanium anchor and screws in fixing things. I see him again in 3 days , so i will get better explanation then, i was a bit drowsy when we talked post surgery and do not remember full details.
Sleeping was no problem in recliner thx to nerve block, but dull pain is setting in now. it is hard to ice it due to bandages not letting cold get to area. I suspect tonight will be tough sleeping...

Dec 20, 2011
My turn is coming up..... NEW
by: Ron

I go in on January 19 for R/C surgery. I could have had it earlier, but I didn't want to be bothered with the whole thing--and sling--until after the holidays. Hopefully I'll recover by Spring when the yardwork begins. Full-Thickness tear of the Supraspinatus and Partial-Thickness tear of the Infraspinatus tendons, right (strong side) shoulder. 48 years old. I did it, also, when I slipped and fell on ice when we were hit by all of that snow in the Mid-Atlantic area 2 years ago. I'm sure all that shoveling didn't exactly help! I didn't actually know I had done it then, but it was somewhat painful. My doctor suggested P.T. before I saw an Orthopaedic doctor, but I didn't go. I worked through the pain and it eventually went away, for the most part, after a couple of months. Then, a couple of months ago, I took a swing at a stink bug (of all things) and I felt a slight "pop" in my shoulder and a dull pain has continued since. Also, my shoulder "crackles" sometimes. It doesn't always bother me. I'll be fine one minute, then do something as innocuous as reach for a coffee mug and I'll feel pain shoot down my upper, outer arm. An MRI gave me the bad news. Sleeping is a problem as I'm a "side" sleeper. If I try to sleep on my left side, my right side will eventually move causing pain and a wake up. I usually just pin my right arm under the pillows and hope for the best. I thought about not going through with it, but the sleeping issue is getting old.

Reading these posts makes me both worried and hopefull about lots of things. I sure hope I'm one of the "easier" recoveries. The doctor is pretty confident he'll be able to go in arthroscopically, but the recovery is obviously the bigger deal. When I asked, he told me to expect 3 months before being able to return to full duty (law enforcement), but warned it could take a bit longer.

A recliner.....I'd like to try it, but I can't see buying one just for this and it's doubtful it would get much use otherwise. Besides, why do the manufactures ALL seem to put the recliner control on the RIGHT side??!!

I've gathered a lot of "pre-operation prep" info from this site. I'll check back from time-to-time before I go in and post after it's over.

Dec 20, 2011
Full tears of Supraspinatus and Infraspinatus tendons NEW
by: Anonymous

I am now 5 days after surgery, and it is going well. Almost no pain, not even icing after PT. PT for me will be 6 weeks of simple joint flexure exercises, then 6 weeks of strengthening. Sling plus abduction block for 3 weeks, then in a regular sling for another 3 weeks at least.

I am doing PT exercises at home 3 times a day, just joint extension and flexure to prevent scarring and joint freezeup.

Dec 20, 2011
Recliner handle NEW
by: Anonymous

Ron:

The default position for the control lever on a recliner is the right, but you can certainly order a LaZ-Boy recliner with the control on the left. I would have done that had I had sufficient advance notice of my surgery last March. My husband would tuck me in at night and get me out in the morning. Or, if you have a cane or other reaching device, you can use your left hand to reach over, snag the lever, and pull it up. Good luck to you.

You can read my account of my own expeience dated June 17 2011 titled "Good Recovery".

Dec 20, 2011
Sleeping.... NEW
by: Maryann

I devised my own way of sleeping and the couch was comfy for me for 8 months. However, the doctor was not happy but it worked and my surgery was a success. I took off the sling at night, put my whole arm into the pillow case with pillow and the case served to stop my arm from moving while I slept. My arm was braced against the back of the couch. I'm a light sleeper so it worked for me. If you are a heavy sleeper this might be dangerous for you but the pain should wake you up if you move.

Dec 21, 2011
Recliner handle.... NEW
by: Ron

Thanks for the tips. I think I'll just go with the default and improvise as I'd rather try and find a used one. Besides, If I splurge and order a left-handed model, surely I'll tear my left R/C next!

Dec 23, 2011
Recliner sleeping NEW
by: Vicki

Had rotator and bicep repaired on 12-13. Really missing bed. still off and on in recliner. I also use footstool,so don't have to use side lever.......wouldn't be able too. I hope this is all worth it.

Dec 23, 2011
Recliner sleeping NEW
by: Vicki

Had rotator and bicep repaired on 12-13. Really missing bed. still off and on in recliner. I also use footstool,so don't have to use side lever.......wouldn't be able too. I hope this is all worth it.

Dec 23, 2011
MOTORIZED NEW
by: Anonymous

I bought motorized recliner with easy to reach control. You can even snag one used if you're lucky.

Dec 25, 2011
Full tears of Supraspinatus and Infraspinatus tendons NEW
by: Dave

I am 8 days out of surgery now, with almost no pain, Just learning to sleep with the giant sling/block is difficult, not because of pain it is just so awkward. But I an getting used to it. Recliner did nothing to me I am sleeping in bed.

So far it is passive PT which is not painful at all. My biggest fear is doing something too soon and re-injuring because there is no pain.

I guess the active stretching will become harder but that does not come for a long time, at least 5 weeks.

I wonder why some people have such a hard time with the surgery. Is it the kind of damage or the surgeon? Or the method?

I say the pics of the damage in my shoulder, the whole tendon(s) were totally torn off the bone. I was amazed at how large this tendon connection is, like a 1" - 2" wide leather belt but twice as thick. Really large. It was shredded inside the joint all that had to be cleaned up before the repair, total time under was 2 hours.

I think because my injury was so sudden and violent (ice fall on concrete) that was the reason for all the shredding in there. Gradual injuries I think are less "explosive".

Anyway not sure if it is the surgeon or not but I am pain free and am hoping for a continued uneventful recovery.


Dec 26, 2011
I had my surgery Sept. 15th NEW
by: Cliff

I had a 95% tear (much larger than the Dr. thought) and a "prolific" bone spur. First 6 weeks were spent in the sling, doing basically nothing. Then physical therapy started. I am still doing physical therapy 2 times a week, and all the excersises at home. I still cannot sleep in bed. Sometimes I wake up at night and lie down in the floor for awhile to stretch my back out. I'm gonna try the bed again this week. I take one hydrocodone every 12 hours now. I can lift my arm about 98 degrees on my own. The therapist is trying to get it to 180 degrees (feels like 360)while I'm lying on the table. At least I "look" normal now. It's scary when you first quit using the sling, but you quickly get used to it. Doc released me for light duty on Jan. 5th. But my job said they could not accomodate me until I'm fully healed. (I've only given them 27 years and my right arm). To anyone thinking of having this surgery, I would probably echo what most say on here. It is a long and difficult recovery, but I think it will be worth it in the long run. Just understand that it is normal to feel pain for a long time but that the pain meds should keep it under control. Only time I felt major pain was when I tried to back off the pain pills and it came roaring back. You'll probably find the right amount of time in between pain pills. You will survive this. A helpful spouse is a big plus.

Jan 02, 2012
Surgery was 12/19/11 NEW
by: Llano

2.5 cm full thickness tear of supraspinatus and infraspinatus. Arthroscopic repair with anchor. I had some pain the first and second days with hydrocodone and ice machine, but only a dull ache at times or sharp pain if I accidentally jerked my arm. I got off that durn hydrocodone on the seventh day and alieve does what is needed. My doc has me in the sling with pillow for 4-6 wees and only pendulum swings and passive external rotation with elbow at side. I got meals ready and bought big button down shirts beforehand, along with easy lids for meds, one handed toothpaste, etc. my 10 month old vizsla has not bumped my arm yet amazingly. The first week I "slept" in the recliner. After three days of almost no sleep and some mild hallucinations I took Benadryl and that worked. I sleep in bed on my back with my cpap a few hours at a time. My worst problem is sweeping up after this chewing puppy! My neighbors bring me supper almost every night. The first 48 hours my boss stayed with me. Then another friend came on the fourth day with food and picked up my script refill. I had someone drive me to my week after appointment to get stitches out. After being off the hydrocodone I can drive just fine. I am a professor so I am off work now anyhow. I feel I could do my job though and of course I am doing work stuff ok now at home just like always. I have some problems keeping my shoulder relaxed - years of bad habit. Best wishes on the journey fellow travelers!

Jan 02, 2012
Full tears of Supraspinatus and Infraspinatus tendons NEW
by: Dave

Surgery was on 12/16/2011 so I am over 3 weeks out now.

No pain, just a little ache sometimes. Good flexibility. Still doing passive PT.

Really the only problem is the sling, sleeping with this is ridiculous. In fact I feel that wallowing this thing in bed is damaging; you end up jamming ad twisting the arm in some really awkward ways. I think a light sling would be better. Just my opinion, not my doctor's.

In 5 days I remove the abduction block so then it will just be a sling, so that should be better.

Jan 08, 2012
I just want to sleep! NEW
by: Anonymous

Surgery was 12/27/11. My stitches are out and I am mostly pain free. Where I encounter pain is in trying to sleep...I'm thinking of trying to take the sling off at night. And the back of my neck is sore from the weight of my sling/arm...this had better be all worth it!

Jan 08, 2012
response to I just want to sleep NEW
by: Anonymous

I sympathize with your discomfort due to the sling. Here are a couple of suggestions.
1. Get some soft flannel fabric and shape into a rectangular pad. Put it between the strap and your skin. this really relieved a lot of discomfor for me.
2. Make a towel roll to put under your sling to relieve the weight from your neck/shoulder. If using a bath towel, fold it in thirds lengthwise, then roll up. If using a hand towel, fold in half lengthwise and roll up. Secure the roll at either end by wrapping with shipping tape or duct tape. Anytime you sit down, position the roll on your lap so it supports your sling, and you will get immediate relief.

Jan 11, 2012
Updated Info and Progress NEW
by: Joe_NH

Arthroscopic surgery was done on 19 Dec, 2011 on Left Shoulder, I am right handed.
Below is the wording of surgical report I can not transfer it to layman's terms so here it is:
Very Significant osteochondral injury to humeral head w/ loose flaps of cartilage throughout.
Type I SLAP Lesion as well as complete Rotator Cuff tear was found.
Examinations of the subacromial space demonstrated extensive bursitc changes.

I had stitches removed 23 Dec. and started PT on the 26th 2x's per week with passive work being performed.
It is just over 3 weeks from the surgery and pain is easily tolerated w/ Ibuprofen and icing. Sleeping is still tough , but I am back in a bed. I take my sling off at night and have big pillows around my entire body to prevent rolling. Seems to work for me even though my PT guy is not happy, I need sleep! Must say so far I am basically happy, real test will be in 6 months post surgery when I can start hitting the gym again.


Jan 11, 2012
Updated Info and Progress NEW
by: Joe_NH

Arthroscopic surgery was done on 19 Dec, 2011 on Left Shoulder, I am right handed.
Below is the wording of surgical report I can not transfer it to layman's terms so here it is:
Very Significant osteochondral injury to humeral head w/ loose flaps of cartilage throughout.
Type I SLAP Lesion as well as complete Rotator Cuff tear was found.
Examinations of the subacromial space demonstrated extensive bursitc changes.

I had stitches removed 23 Dec. and started PT on the 26th 2x's per week with passive work being performed.
It is just over 3 weeks from the surgery and pain is easily tolerated w/ Ibuprofen and icing. Sleeping is still tough , but I am back in a bed. I take my sling off at night and have big pillows around my entire body to prevent rolling. Seems to work for me even though my PT guy is not happy, I need sleep! Must say so far I am basically happy, real test will be in 6 months post surgery when I can start hitting the gym again.


Jan 15, 2012
counting down NEW
by: Anonymous

So thankful for this sight. I was involved in a rear-end collision in August 2011. My husband and I in a miata. The other driver in a Dodge Ram pick-up. The ram won. Hubby is fine after some chiro treatments. They did not help me. After some PT, my back is better, but kept returning for pain in my shoulder,arm and neck. Cortisone shot helped somewith aching arm, but intensified the pain in shoulder and neck. Finally,after months of being in painortho scheduled an MRI. I have a full-thickness tear which involves most of the supraspinatus fibers -15mm AP wide; a torn tendon retracted about 18mm and other technical wording.I am a 50 year old woman and in good health.
I have had 3 weeks to prepare for this and still don't feel prepared as it is now almost a week away. Very concerned about recovery as it is my right shoulder and am right-handed. I was searching for answers to several ?'s like clothing and sleep. Thanks for all the input. It has been very helpful. There should be a pamphlet handed out with all of this to help patients prepare. I have lots of family to help, but I like to keep busy. It will be hard. And no knitting!? Have saved my new books and movies from Christmas.
I have not slept well for months now anyway and sleep with my arm propped up on pillows. So, my hopes are that surgery will eventually lead to some day getting a full night's sleep and being able to sleep on my right side again.
Thanks for tips on meds, clothing and multiple pillow propping! Couple of ?'s : how soon has everyone been able to drive? and anyone have trouble with feeling nauseous after surgery or have trouble eating? I'm not too good with strong meds.
And, yes, I will trust in God to bring me peace. Well wishes to you all!

Jan 16, 2012
Pain when sleeping after 2 months post op NEW
by: Jim

I just found this site today. Question for you all.
Over last week or so I been waking up at night with pain in my shoulder. I had surgery about 2 months ago. I have been going to PT. I am thinking because I am sleeping more freely in bed. Meaning I am moving around side to side like i used to sleep. I don't see Dr. till end of month at which time i will ask him.
Just wondering if this is common at this stage of the game.

Jan 16, 2012
Not feeling totally prepared NEW
by: Ron

With my D-Day fast approaching (this Thursday) I, too, feel a bit unprepared. Speaking with my doctor at the pre-op office visit, he didn't seem to indicate my driving was going to be restricted, only that I "probably wouldn't want to try it for a few days." Now, I'm not a total idiot. I'm not planning to drive around doped up on meds. The thing is, the PT center in his office is several miles away and I'm not always going to have someone to take me. While I like the idea of having PT where there are doctors around--just in case--I have two other centers that I can literally walk to. I assume they all have a "protocol" for dealing with these procedures.

One of the things I'm having trouble figuring out is what to take to the hospital to wear home. Is that sling thing actually going to fit under a shirt? It looks HUGE! The doctor recommended button-down shirts and seemed to indicate I would be able to get my "bad" arm through the sleeve and then put the other arm through. I guess this is done rather carefully!! Maybe I can just stretch my hooded sweatshirt over me for the ride home.

Another thing, I forgot to ask about icing. I don't want to wake up in recovery with some type of icing device attached to me after I already bought one. Maybe I'll call his office and see if I can get an answer on that. I found this pamphlet online. It appears to give some helpful advise for the procedure. Maybe all ortho docs should have a pamphlet.

http://www.oastaug.com/shoulderbrochure.pdf

Jan 16, 2012
Helpful Tips NEW
by: Rita

I will try and answer some questions that you all have posted:

I had my surgery on Dec 16th - the first ten days I slept in a recliner. I am a 55 year old female in good health, but not a exerciser.

I bought the Cold Rush cold therapy unit and I think it helped with the swellening. I still use it after I do PT and my exercises.

As for clothing to take to the surgery - you will need something that opens in the front and is large for you - the nurses will dress you. You will not be able to pull anything over your head. The sling thing must go over your clothes and yes it is very big and bulky.

I was able to drive once I stopped the pain meds.
I take myself to PT.

I still find sleeping the be the most difficult. I sleep on a pile of pillows on my left side (right shoulder had surgery) and then my hip will start to hurt. I am up every few hours.

Good luck!


Jan 17, 2012
Thanks, Rita NEW
by: Anonymous

Only one day left to "ckicken out!" Ha!

Regarding the sling and shirt. Are you saying they put your bad arm through the sleeve of the shirt and _then_ put the sling on? So your arm is outside the shirt, not inside/under it? Will I be able to take a t-shirt to put on (or I guess the nurse will put on) under the regular shirt? I'm not crazy about the thought of the sling band rubbing on my skin. I wish I would have thought to ask a few more questions while at the doctor's office.

I've read some posts that state an "ice machine" was sent home with them, and others that didn't have that. If I need it, I guess it'll be ice packs until I can find one. All seem to have to be ordered anyways. I haven't seen any in stores.

Jan 17, 2012
Sorry Rita NEW
by: Ron

I didn't mean to post as as "Anonymous." It would be nice if we could simply "reply" to each other.

Jan 19, 2012
Ice Therapy NEW
by: Anonymous

I bought one of these on recommendations here from someone, I bought it used on eBay where there are a bunch for 1/2 price as new. I recommend it as a great pain reducer for post surgery and after PT. search eBay for Berg Polar Care Kodiak. This is one on amazon.
http://www.amazon.com/Polar-Care-Kodiak-Multi-Use-Combo/dp/B003WLTPX2

Jan 21, 2012
so grateful for this site~~~ NEW
by: Gaelle

Have been reading these since @ 5 days after my surgery (dec.14)and cannot tell how much appreciate all. I am 60 yr. old female, relative good health & like/need stay active. My surgery was for: shoulder massive rotator cuff tear;laberal tear; subacromial bursitis & bisceps tendinosis w/partial tear. Damage was significantly worse than anticipated, so had 6 incisions, icluding one mini-open incision.
As said here, recoup can, and is for me, very difficult to say the least. But, now just over 5 weeks post, am beginning to see that 'rainbow'! yesterday was my 2nd PT visit and was so encouraged, esp as was no pain involved..yet. I know that will come, but not this soon. All was given to do were couple passive assisted movements & shoulder sqeeze. For me, i feel this is no time to be in a hurry to progress, if at all possible.
Sleeping: that continues to be the problem; am now in bed after only few first nites in recliner. But sleep only increments of 2-3 hours at time. Of course tons of pillows stacked all over, but eventually found the right position. Pain also bad for me for entire first month ( vicodins mostly w/ advil PM). Just within last 10 days or so, have cut back from 10 a day to now usually one in A.M. & one night, w/advil as needed. Again pain tolerance different for all of us. I know pain could come back with a vengence so am trying be prepared for the ups & downs.
I also appreciate the info here regarding caution on the use of your good arm...as much as I dont regret surgery (as if I had a choice!)I certainly do NOT want have do it again~~
I really want to comment a bit more, but am getting tired, and, as surgery was on my dominent arm, typing w.left hand is slowwwww.
One last thought wwould like to add though is this:I found out that my P-therapist would not have a copy of the surgeons report of the actual surgery (they often only receive a referal for specific kinds of therapy needed, and a basic info of what kind of surgery was done ,ie: "rotator cuff & bicep repair"). But I always get a copy of the surgeons report, detailing every single procedure done from rhe moment you are put asleep to when you are wheeled into recovery room. I didnt have that w/me for my first P-therapy visit, and knew that she really didnt know how extensive the surgery really was..which means, she couldnt really give me the appropriate movements to do. So 2nd visit, I took the report, gave her and she was astonished to see how much had been done, and also explained to me in laymans term so I at least had better understanding, which also explained why I had so much pain and for the amount of time I did (or should say, still do!).Anyway..just food for thought, in case you come across same problem.
Thats it for now, but hoping all you are getting through this, and having as many good days as possible!

Jan 21, 2012
I didn't chicken out! NEW
by: Ron

Though I kept telling my wife I was going to! 2nd day post-op. 100% scoped. Took the wad of bandages off today and took a welcome, albeit slightly painful, shower after my wife "Saran wrapped" my arm. The doc said it went well. I'll see him next Friday for my follow up and PT routine.

First night wasn't exactly sleep-filled in the recliner. Last night was a bit better. If the damn cats would have quit messing with me, it may have been better!! Up and down with the pain and it's hard to find a comfortable position in any chair. My right (operated side) elbow has been getting sore, especially the inside. I guess it wants to be stretched out, not cramped up in a sling most of the day. It's kind of aggravating at times. I've tried rubbing sports cream on it and that may be helping. We'll see tonight. Maybe I can erect an electrified fence around the reclined to keep the cats away!

Jan 22, 2012
Counting down- 2 days away now NEW
by: Anonymous

Ron,thanks for writing back so soon after your surgery. I am only 2 days away and getting very nervous now. More so because there is so much left to do before I am unable to use my right (dominant) hand again, and one day to do it in. Even if I had another week, I suppose I'd still feel unprepared. Am also concerned about recovery, but am encouraged to see survival is 100%! :) So thankful for everyone's helpful advice. Will write back when I am able. Well wishes to all! - Jeanne

Jan 23, 2012
more help w/sleep......... NEW
by: Anonymous

Just wanted to add another possible sugestion (my surgery was dec 14)..Had trouble sleeping, and still do of course...And although I'm still not able to sleep laying completely flat (propped up with huge pillows everywhere), I finally tried something few days ago that helped significantly. I took one of my anxiety pills at night along w/pain meds, and it worked great!Am finally sleeping most of night, generally only getting up once or twice. This in contrast to waking every 2-3 hours! Anyway, would not have thought on my on, but I think I did read someone here doing the same w/great results. So if nothing seems to help, might try asking dr. for a scrip...there should be NO reason why dr. would say no. That's what I did. I told my dr (my reg md)that I needed more than normal, and the reason why, and he said of course~~Not a person who likes taking lot of drugs, but for this kind of pain & discomfort they are a godsend~~~

Jan 23, 2012
Good Luck, Jeanne NEW
by: Ron

Honestly, I never quite felt "prepared" up until my surgery. I finally figured, "screw it, I'll figure it out!"

If you're offered it, I'd recommend the nerve block. If you aren't offered it, I'd ask for it. According to my anesthesiologist, many people don't like it because of the dead arm feeling for a day and a half or so. And, it goes into your neck. The tingling in my fingers drove me bonkers at times (like my hand fell asleep) and the feeling was weird. BUT-----I figured it beat the alternative: PAIN!!

The anesthesiologist told me I was going to receive something in my IV that would make me not remember it, but I do. It didn't hurt, though. The needle is electrically charged and we knew when he hit paydirt because my arm/shoulder began twitching and jumping. That's how they know where to give the meds.

Just called the doc's office about a percocet refill. Sleeping, or chair sitting, bring the most discomfort. If I need more of the meds it hopefully won't be but for a couple more days. I may just fall back to some Vicodin I have left over from something else. I had more energy today than I've had, which is surprising with my sporadic sleep. Sometimes I'm fine, but other times I get pain up and down my affected arm. I couldn't see spending money on an ice machine so I'm icing the old fashioned way with flexible ice packs. The hospital gave me extras plus some small pillows to use for support. I will admit that the ice packs can weigh heavy n your injured shoulder, so don't over pack them.

Best of luck!

Jan 26, 2012
Post Surgery 1 1/2 years NEW
by: Chris D.

I wish I would have had a recliner after my surgeries. I was operated on twice and had to sleep sitting up on the couch. Percoset didn't work, Ibuprofen worked some. For those of you that are worried about it, it gets better. I still have some stiffness and some pain in the cold. I had bone anchors and sutures put in because of a loose shoulder, also had some labrum damage that was allowing my shoulder to slip out of socket under they weight of my arm. Once you get back into a normal routine, watch out for the position of your arm. I can sleep with my arm under my pillow like I used to before surgery, but when I wake up, I have to give my shoulder about 45 minutes to an hour in a normal position before the weak feeling goes away. Most of my pain comes from the where the bone anchors are. I have pain free days, but mostly a constant dull pain that I've learned to deal with. Good news though, my shoulder no longer slips out of the socket and I got most of my strength back (I actually can lift weights at the gym again, but not as much as I used to).

Jan 26, 2012
my experience. NEW
by: Jim in Texas

I had rotator cuff surgery a couple of years ago in Durango Colorado by Paul Dvirnak. There were also some other problems that were taken care of at that time. Thing is this isn't brain surgery. I went through the whole deal without any probems but then again I am retired and can take my time with the rehab.I had the nerve block and it was great, no pain, then they had me on morphine for a couple of days and then oxydcodin for a while and then on to hydrocodon for a few days All this was about a week or so I think. Start the pain meds immediately to get ahead of the pain. If you fall behind and start getting pain it is really hard to get ahead of it I have been told. This was all pretty pain free. I started rehab the same week or next week from the surgery. DO NOT wait to start rehab and get a good therapist. Do the rehab as ordered. I know it is a bother to spend an hour three times a day doing the rehab but it is better than the alternative. I was in a sling for 6 weeks and the only time out of it was to shower with the arm hanging. DO NOT try to raise the arm with out using the non-operated on arm. I slept in a recliner and after a while that was ok. After the sling I was allowed very limited use of the arm for another 6 weeks only being able to lift the arm some and doing simple exercises mostly for range of motion. Then it was another 6 weeks of range of motion exercises and strength exercises. I am happy I had the surgery done and in my opinion it was all worth it. Again the key to this is a good surgeon and rehab therapist.

Jan 27, 2012
Sleeping nightmare NEW
by: Martin

like most i have tried the recliner method and the bed cusion method and have found that they dont work for me i had my operation 7days ago today and i have only slept 2 to 3 hours a day
I couldnt believe it when the doctor told me i had a tendon tear in the rotor cuff as i was expecting just a clean out now i have been told that i have to spend 6 weeks in a sling and then 4 to 5 months of rehab my wife is great but i dont know how long her patience will last it really sucks because i am very independant. oh well thats enough wingeing for one night arm is getting very sore

Jan 27, 2012
Things get better 4-5 months NEW
by: 4946

I had surgery 7/11/2011 for large tear of my right rotator cuff. One tendon completely torn and one tendon majority torn. First two weeks no sleep. See my post 8/16/2011. I wasn't sure the surgery was worth it in terms of recovery until 4 months post surgery. Then progress was swift in terms of less pain progressing to no pain and increases in strength and range of motion. My shoulder was pain free at 6 months and I returned to playing hockey. My shoulder strength is limited but hopefully getting stronger. Keep vigilant with PT and exercise. It took me awhile to figure out the correct pain killers. After consulting with doctor and Physical Therapist, with the correct pain killer, I slept better. I used prescription pain killers 30-40 days. Statistically most people are happy with this surgery, but it took me 4-5 months to feel happier. Keep battling fellow warriors, it does get better for most of us.

Feb 02, 2012
one week out post op NEW
by: Anonymous

Good site here. Had my RT surgery one week ago today. I took the HydroCodone for 2 days but it made me so constipated and drugged up (itchy) I stopped all meds. Pain is not my problem. The sling is my problem and of course any daily routines are now an adventure. Sleeping (have Sleep Apnea) is a problem as others have said. 2 hours at a time at best. Doing the PT at home and at Therapist. One day at a time. Thankful for my wonderful wife's support and patience. Thanks for all the sharing here. It helps to know we are not alone in this journey.

Feb 05, 2012
4 weeks and two days from surgery NEW
by: BK

I am 4 weeks and two days from surgery. I suffered a near complete tear of the main tendon while bench pressing -- still not sure how I got the bar up onto the rests. Anyways, I expected the worst and am surprised the pain hasn't been that bad. Only time the pain was tough was roughly 24 hours after surgery and that only lasted a few hours. I only take a half percocet at night to sleep but generally have stayed away from meds (other than some Advil here and there) because of what they do to you (moods, constipation). I had surgery on a friday and was back working Monday (from home) and back to work in the office and starting rehab Tuesday. Sleeping has been a challenge as I tend to sleep in a recliner for 45 mins at a time. Wearing the sling has been frustrating and driving isn't a picnic either. Friday the doc told me I could begin phase 2 of rehab. Now there is a negative, it's been that i've been getting back spasms the past three days. Those flat out suck.

Feb 07, 2012
2 weeks post-op NEW
by: Jeanne

two weeks to the day. Did receive the block(awake for it) - kind of freaky but worth it to come home with no pain. did not like the the dead arm/pins and needles in hand feeling, but had no pain til 3 in the morning. began percoset. did not tolerate it well - very out of it and then very sick. had to flush it from my system. it was not relieving pain much anyway. same problem w/vicodin. can only take ibuprofen - works fairly well. however, 2 weeks later, woke to whole arm in pain around to my back. (I am right-handed. surgery was on right shoulder) tear was larger then expected,tendon needed to be anchored on,bone spurs and cleaning out). been doing my exercises, but 1st PT appt isn't til next mon.
getting pretty good using left hand,so much cant do tho. Husband and daughters have been great! but need to get back to driving soon
Sleep sounds about the same, 2-3 hours at a time.Recliner very uncomfortable, so slept on couch w/pillows for 5 nights then moved back upstairs to bed w/my pile of pillows - no difference.
Thanks to those writing in further past to give the rest of us hope!

Feb 10, 2012
3rd week blues NEW
by: Jorge

on my 3rd week after surgery, and shoulder pain is the least of my problems. i was operated on my left shoulder and all seemed well for the 1st week after surgery. i then started to feel queasy and this developed into an enthusiastic bout of nausea followed by stomach condition and being unable to keep anything down including the oxycodone i was taking every 4 hours. i then stopped prescription painkillers all together 7 days ago, but i still continue to feel noxious and haven appetite. i am now on antibiotics, my family dr. is treating me with a z pack to eliminate the possibility of a sinus infection. i also need to take meds to keep the bare minimum of sustenance down.
anyone out there with anything remotely similar experience?
I'm totally tired of this...

Feb 10, 2012
to Jorge NEW
by: Anonymous

Sorry to hear this. The only trouble I had w/nausea was the day of surgery- which is standard for me- can't tolerate any anesthesia.- and was unable to take any of the prescription meds due to nausea /vomiting. I just handled it w/ibuprofen and tylenol. A sinus infection certainly would be no fun following this surgery! Good luck to you- saltines, chicken noodle soup, and seven up would be my only suggestions.

Feb 10, 2012
can't sleep NEW
by: Anne

I had surgery a week ago today. Torn Rotator Cuff. Cannot sleep at night. I have 2 recliners, one a chair and a couch that both sides recline. I think one of the problems is that I am not a back sleeper. I would do anything at this point in time to lay on my stomach for some much needed rays. I've tried the pillows, but as soon as any part of the shoulder touches anything shooting pain in the bicept muscle. The best way to describe is like a large cramp that you cannot get rid of. Can only sleep, 1 - 2 hours at a time. The posterior muscles are so sore, from sitting up all the time, have sent out for a rubber invalid ring.
The pain is still excruciating, not in shoulder, but in the bicep muscle. Percocet, the prescribed med for this op is not even touching the pain. I talked to the Surgeon, he says the pain should subside quite abit after the 4th day, but nothing yet. Says Tylenol, extra strenth will do then. Yeah right.
I thought I was prepared with clothes for this surgery, but you don't really know until, your looking for another button up top. Very depressed and wish I had never had the surgery, although there was no other avenue.
I have sinced found out from the hospital where I had the surgery done, doctor's won't recommend this surgery to anyone under 40 as their pain tolerance cannot handle it. As far as pain goes, it is the worst out there.
I do have a recommendation for anyone with pain in the bicep. I have used this now and months before the surgery and it has helped immensely. Ice Pain Relief Deep Cold is my saviour. Use the spray on entire arm and hand, of course not the operated holes, and it wrap it with a towel, to wear in the Breg sling, or I use a couple of baby blankets and it turns warm and it really, really works. It definately takes the edge of the searing pain off.
Well, good luck to everyone who is having this surgery. Five more weeks in the sling. If there is any other way to sleep please post.

Feb 10, 2012
Anne NEW
by: Anonymous

Anne- I feel your pain- truly. I have had both shoulders repaired. It is well worth it once it heals- I could not have handled the pain and loss of function I had from my tears. I have no pain now- am 57 yr old female- very non-athletic- but functioning shoulders!

My hip and rear got very sore also- I did not have a recliner so just packed pillows around myself on the couch and put feet on a quilt on the coffee table- not good- pt suggested a pillow under knees - that helped a lot with the hip and buttocks pain. I did have to sleep on my back- pretty much sitting up- for a few weeks.Gradually I was able to move more onto my non-operative side- that helped a lot. Also- even when out of the sling, the first week or so I put it back on at night- did not risk flailing the arm into a weird position- Good luck to you- it will get better- just is a long rehab.
















Feb 11, 2012
A little sleep NEW
by: Annr

I'll take your advise about the pillow under the knees, any advice right now will help. I did have about 4 hours straight sleeping last night, 8 days. Propped the pillows behind me and actually laid down, but when I awake, it feels like the bicep has a big cramp, must get up, take sling off and massage the arm. I'm going to try and put the arm in some epson salts, today. They say the pain in the bicep is the immflamation. Well see the Surgeon on Tuesday, hopefully with some advice.
Thanks

Feb 11, 2012
To Ann NEW
by: Jorge

4 hrs of sleep on recliners is pretty good. i'm on my 3rd week since surgery, and when I get cosecutive 4hrs of sleep I feel much better the following day.
I have yet to feel comfy in any position on my recliner. It always feels too hot! or if I lower the thermostat, then my toes and slanged (slung?) fingers freeze!
I was told by the doc that I will be able to share the sling while at home after week 4, but not sure if this means that I will be able to shed it at night... Does anyone out there sleep w/out a sling in bed after 4 weeks? /

Feb 12, 2012
jorge NEW
by: Anonymous

Yes- my surgeon said I could ditch the sling completely at 4 weeks- I just felt more secure w/it on at night. No one else I know used it after the four weeks- I was just nervous about banging my arm or flailing around too much. I think they actually prefer you not use it because then you are not so stiff.

Feb 12, 2012
8 weeks post surgery NEW
by: Joe NH

Well been 8 weeks tomorrow and I can say things are much better the past few weeks. Sling has been off for almost 3 weeks now and sleeping is great! Hardly ever use any meds and when I need them it is ibuprofen. Had to slow down therapy do to my range of motion being too good for where the bodies natural healing process is, passive active exercises mainly. I have been back to the gym regularly but not using the repaired arm except for doing bicep curls with up to 17.5lbs dumbells. I can run on treadmill fine too. I have another 4 weeks until any strengthing can begin inan active sense. Overall I would say things are positive at this point. Those not sleeping just keep up with the ice and pain meds as it does drastically improve before too long!

Feb 13, 2012
sleeping on their side NEW
by: Anne

Has anyone tried to sleep on their uninjured side 1 and 1/2 weeks post op. I've tried, since I'm not a back sleeper, and the sling digs into my stomach. Sleeping on the side, however, makes my arm throb. Is this hurting the repaired cuff?

Feb 13, 2012
response to anne NEW
by: Anonymous

I did not sleep on my good side for at least 8 weeks- I had to be semi-reclined- or sitting up because arm hurt too much. If you're sleeping on the good side, and in sling, doubt it would damage operative arm- I just couldnot do it. you might want to just call surgeon's office and ask-

Feb 17, 2012
1st PT visit coming up NEW
by: Jorge

Thank you to all of you out there that keep our spirits high.
I have been getting a little more sleep at night the last 4-5 nights. I am still on my sling and sleeping in my recliner,
.However i am coming up on my 4th week since the operation and PT sessions will start this coming Tuesday.
I am also going to be free of the sling during the day, but all wear when i go out in public.
So I have 2 questions for the group:
1. what should i wear for the PT visit? i have only been wearing over sized long sleeve flannel shirts...
2. for those of you that shed the sling on week 4, do you put it back on at night?

Feb 17, 2012
Just hit 4 weeks NEW
by: Ron

I wear sweats to PT. I like to wear a t-shirt that isn't too embarrassing under a sweat shirt or flannel--just in case I have to take it off. I really don't have to. I'm still in the recliner (it's getting old) but I don't think I can do the bed yet. I'm not wearing the "pillow" with the sling during the day anymore--per doctor's OK--but I normally use it at night because it seems to help keep my arm from doing something painfully stupid overnight as it keeps it in place. March 2 will be a 6 week check up with the surgeon. Hopefully he'll give me the OK to toss the sling, but I'm not sure if I'll still use it at night, or not. PT _hurts_ at times, but it's leading to a greater good--I hope!

Feb 18, 2012
Pain now cramp NEW
by: Anne

Just want to say, thanks for this site, thank god.
Seen the surgeon last Thursday, regarding Feb. 3, rotator cuff surgery, all he was concerned about was, why didn't I have the sling on, well, I thought maybe because I was at his office and he might want to take a look at my shoulder, not. He just puts in the CD, shows me what he's done, says it was a good tear, (rather than) and continues to write out the script for pt. Four weeks of passive therapy. Someone has to help me do 3 different excercises, twice a day. Will be going to pt now, 3 times a week. Must always have arm in sling, 24/7, until the 6 weeks is up.
I have probably neglected to tell everybody here, that I reside in Canada. We are not sent home from the hospital with ice machines or morphine drips, and nobody here has even heard of such things. Although we have medical coverage, we could not even pay separately for these helpful pain strategies, even if we wanted to.

Now here is something very interesting.
When the surgeon writes me out this script for pt, he turns the page over, and on the back are 30 different physio places in and around where I live I can go to. He points out to me, that he is sure there are other places I could go, but that HE HAS INTEREST in the ones on this sheet, and that he has pull, say if I need and ultra sound, x-ray, maybe more timely appts., etc.
I WAS DUMBFOUNDED, OR MAYBE JUST VERY NAIVE, AND LIVE IN A CAVE. Now, I don't know if all or most, but this is how our Dr's are making their money.

Okay, back to pain, cramping and our great life after surgery. It seems like the best we can do is to try to get by everyday, a little less pain and a little pt to get us to a time where this all will be just be a memory.
Thanks

Feb 18, 2012
Progress slow, but steady~~ NEW
by: Anonymous

I am in my 9th week after surgery and still keep my sling handy. I was told by surgeon to stop wearing at 5 weeks except when I go out in public (meaning crowded areas), and I still do. As for sleeping at night, I still put it on , but without the waist & neck belts. My thinking is as long as I have my arm snugly inside the sling any movement during sleep & or upon waking will automatically remind me to be careful. So far it works. I think most of us will stop using sling when We are ready.
As for PT visits, I wore the oversized shirts there but with a tank top or tshirt underneath. Usually the first few visits are simple stretches that you are shown how to do. But when therapist wants to start the stretching, bending,& turning for you (thats when the fun REALLY begins), they need to be able to have a firm hold of your arm.
Anyway, thats what works for me...I hope recovery goes well with everyone....!

Feb 20, 2012
6 weeks post-op NEW
by: Donna

This site has been of tremendous help...both prior to and following surgery. My surgery took place six weeks ago today on January 9. The healing process has been slow yet recognizable. The initial days/week after surgery were most difficult due to quite a bit of discomfort and lack of sleep...I was waking every hour on the hour. To alleviate this problem, I was prescribed Ambien at my first post-op visit to the surgeon. Good medication for short-term sleep concerns but, in my opinion, not good for the long haul. Took 5mgs each night for approximately 3 weeks, then I weaned myself off because I couldn't shake the feelings of fatigue, lethargy in addition to headaches. Though I made several attempts to sleep in bed during the first four weeks post-op, I was unsuccessful so I slept on the recliner for the entirety. Sling came off after 4 weeks. My doctor didn't want to keep me in sling longer than that because of arthritis in injured shoulder. Approximately 4 1/2 weeks post-op, I got tired of the recliner and went back into bed. What I found to be extremely helpful was a Boppy pillow I borrowed from my daughter...it's a pillow new moms use to prop up their babies for feedings. I use it for sleeping on my good side by propping my repaired arm up on pillow and it works like a charm. There are several different kinds...if you are lucky enough to borrow one, I highly recommend doing so. For me, it's been a godsend. My second post-op visit was last Wednesday. I was told I could resume sleeping on repaired shoulder. Though able to do so, it's for minimal amounts of time as the shoulder begins to ache shortly thereafter. Physical therapy has been ongoing since week 2 post-op and continues twice weekly in addition to a daily stretching routine. Before surgery the doctor said it would take 3-4 months for full recovery; I didn't believe him then. Now I do! It's a long journey. For all of you out there...wherever you are in the process, good luck. In my experience, it does keep getting better!

Feb 22, 2012
4 weeks Post-op NEW
by: Jeanne

Thanks to all who write in. Now that I am 4 weeks into this, pain is better during the day. I still have trouble sleeping at night. Some nights are better than others.Have had 4 PT visits now. I can now leave sling off while at home, unless I am in pain; still need to wear it out in public/crowds, and do not have to wear it at night. I have not had a problem going without it at night. Any pain/throbbing wakes me and am so surrounded by pillows, I am not concerned about anything happening. Surgery was on my right shoulder, but am still not able to sleep on my left side. After a week of not sleeping well on the couch, I figured I might as well not sleep well in my own bed! I do get longer stretches of sleep in now, but after yesterday's PT visit, I had a bad night, waking in pain often. Usually I adjust my position or sit up for a few minutes to relieve pressure. I wear a tank top under a loose button up shirt to PT. This has worked just fine.
I've been having some bouts of stabbing pain here and there, esp lately and since yesterday's new exercise. PTherapist says its part of the healing process. Feel like this will go on forever. But, therapist said he saw an improvement from last week. So, stick with the exercises! Use heat before and ice after. (Has anyone else been told not to drive yet at this point? I am told to wait.) Well wishes to all!

Feb 23, 2012
Driving NEW
by: Ron

Jeanne, as far as driving goes, I gave it a shot about a week out for short distances and have been driving daily ever since. My doctor never actually gave me any instructions but when I asked at my post-op appointment he told me "as long as you can grip the wheel and aren't driving a stick you should be OK." He suggested driving around a large parking lot for practice if I thought I needed it. I was off the drugs by then. Being right handed and this involving many things on the right side of the car it's awkward sometimes getting the key in, or grabbing something off of the passenger seat, but I've had no real problems. I haven't driven in the rain yet & I imagine getting to the wipers could be fun! Driving hasn't been an issue, and I've had lots of nice folks offer to give me a hand (or shoulder) at grocery stores and such.

Feb 26, 2012
4 weeks post-op NEW
by: Anonymous

Hi, This site is wonderful. Very helpful before my surgery on 1-26. I did buy a recliner before the surgery - a power one- because it's my right shoulder that I injured. We put it in our bedroom and I slept in it for the 1st week plus. It's still the most comfortable place for me to be. For awhile I was taking morphine every 6 hours and dilaudid every 5. Staggering the meds was effective, and the ice packs invaluable. I also used the kindle lots in the beginning.

We also used 'lotsahelpinghands' to make a site for updates and so people who wished to could sign up for meals and/or transportation. My husband took several days off and we're lucky enough that my mother could come a few hours a day. We also put our puppy in a favored kennel for the 1st week. This helped to lessen the amount of stress. Our 12 year old had no clue how much I usually do around the house!

I've been going to PT 3x weekly and there's definite improvement, but the first time I went, I wept. It hurts!

Good luck! I'm going back to work tomorrow and I'm nervous. I was lucky to get 4 weeks off.

Take care.


Feb 26, 2012
Keep going because it does get easier NEW
by: Jacqui

Hi

It's been a long time since I have written on this website but after reading some of your comments, I felt I should try to give you some inspiration.

I went through this in 2009/10. I had tremendous pain in my shoulder and kept thinking it would go but it just got worse. Eventually I went to see my GP and I was referred to a specialist. He scanned my shoulder and told me I had got rotator cuff impingement. In June 2010 I had it operated on and they removed a very large piece of bone which had formed a hook and was causing havoc in my shoulder. When I woke up from the surgery, I had a lot of severe pain but they quickly got it under control. Unfortunately once I went home, controlling it wasn't easy and I had many sleepless nights. This was fine whilst I was off work because I could snatch an hour here and there during the day but my employers put me under pressure to return after just 2 weeks and I then had a horrible 4 weeks of not sleeping and looking like death warmed up when I went into work. Ironically, they made me redundant several months later and if I knew then what I know now, I'd have taken 8 weeks off and told them to be more patient! All I can say is that it does get better and once you get through that initial first 6 weeks, you will notice a massive difference and feel alot more comfortable. Now, 20 months later, my shoulder feels brilliant and if I had to have the other one done, I wouldn't hesitate because it's amazing what they can do. Just remember, when they operate on bone, it leaves a rough edge which rubs on tissue and feels raw and this raw edge has got to callous over and become smooth again. This takes a good 6 to 8 weeks but once it has done this, that's when you will feel the benefits of having gone through this surgery.

Be positive because the pain after is really shortlived compared to what you went through prior to the surgery. I drove 10 days after
surgery but just be careful not to jolt the steering wheel going round bends because you will know about it!

Best wishes, good luck and be positive.
Jacqui

Feb 27, 2012
What's the best thing to wear after surgery NEW
by: MARIA

I just found this site by chance and I am happy I did. Reading all the comments have cleared a lot of things for me and I don't feel so afraid as before. I have diabetes and will have surgery in my right shoulder on March 29 2012. I have two torn ligaments and some calluses. I have never been operated for anything in my life or even been in hospital as a patient. So it’s a new world for me. I read up about sleeping suggestions but what about clothing and bathing. Any tips are welcome. Thanks

Feb 27, 2012
What's the best thing to wear after surgery NEW
by: MARIA

I just found this site by chance and I am happy I did. Reading all the comments have cleared a lot of things for me and I don't feel so afraid as before. I have diabetes and will have surgery in my right shoulder on March 29 2012. I have two torn ligaments and some calluses. I have never been operated for anything in my life or even been in hospital as a patient. So it’s a new world for me. I read up about sleeping suggestions but what about clothing and bathing. Any tips are welcome. Thanks

Feb 28, 2012
Very loose clothing NEW
by: Jacqui

Hi Maria

Good decision, it needs to be done and once it's settled down, you won't reqret it. When I had it done, I woke up with a disposible nappy taped to my shoulder which protected it for the first 2 days. After that, my local clinic put very light dressings on and within a few days I just let the air get to it. You need something like a sleeveless top with a loose cardigan if it's cold that you can just ease over the injured shoulder. You will be given exercises to do as well by your physio therapist and you need to start these as soon as you can to start getting the shoulder moving and stop yourself stiffening up. My biggest problem was drying my hair but I even managed that and you will too.

Good luck with everything.
Jacqui

Feb 28, 2012
To Maria NEW
by: Jeanne

Hi Maria,

I've found this sight to be very helpful with ideas. For clothing, anything loose fitting so it won't pull on your arm going on or off. I purchased a few things to add to what I had. Tank tops and camisoles work well and button-up tops (I got a few flannel on clearance) and cardigans. Elastic waist pants that you can easily get on with one hand (flannel p.j's around the house, and sweat or yoga pants work well and can be nice enough to wear in public). Someone on this sight suggested getting shampoo in a pump dispenser to help for bathing needs. I could not find one, so my husband cleaned out an empty hand soap dispenser and filled it with my favorite shampoo. You can also do this for conditioner and shower gel. Just line them up where you can reach them easily with your good hand.
Hope this helps!

Feb 28, 2012
to Maria NEW
by: Anonymous

Hi Maria- I have had both shoulders repaired. I bought camisoles that I was able to pull up over my hips since could not raise arm for awhile post-surgery. Also button front shirts and soft cotton cardigans. I took a cami with me to surgery so they could help me put it on after surgery so the sling was not rubbing on bare skin- then I put a very large button front top overit- good arm in sleeve, other just buttoned across sling and all. (Inexpensive men's soft flannel one)

I got a nightgown at target that was large enough to pull up over feet and hips.Didnot wear this for first week or so- just wore the yoga pants and camis 24/7.

I was not allowed to shower for three days- then my husband used waterproof tape to put saran wrap over the incisions to keep dry. You will need help the first few days to keep your balance - i was allowed to take arm out of sling to shower- but just held it hanging down at my side.

Mar 01, 2012
Frozen Shoulder after Surgery NEW
by: Anonymous

I had surgery in March, 2011, and still struggle with a frozen (stiff) shoulder. This website is great for hints/suggestions, but this problem hasn't been mentioned much. I've been told it happens in 10% of cases, so I'm one of the lucky ones. I do not have full range of motion and I still have some pain, mostly at night or when I use my arm a lot. I still have to do stretching and strengthening exercises every day. I don't want to discourage anyone, but I sometimes feel I'm the only one with these problems a year later. I want others to know that they're not alone if they develop this problem. It has slowly, progressively, improved but I've been told it could take 1 1/2 to 2 years.

Mar 05, 2012
frozen shoulder....... NEW
by: Anonymous

I know for me, that is a big concern. Its only been 12 weeks since my surgery, but I worry that I too might have same. I didnt start PT (except the minimal stretches at home) until @ 5-6 weeks after surgery. And even then, my PT didnt start doing the arm movements on my arm (you know..the ones where you feel like a pretzel)until about 3 weeks ago. Thats when I went in, and she said, "Ok, no more Mr. Nice Guy". Meaning the really hard work began. I actually endured it for about 10 minutes but then had to ask her to please stop. I have since learned, that it is a good idea to take full strength med before going, about 30 minutes before, one & 1/2 vicadin. I did last week, and it really made a difference. But my problem is getting through the exercises at home. I know I have to do them, and do, almost every day. But some days, like yesterday, I was already in pain and just couldnt do any. I keep thinking, am I going to have to be medicated pretty much 24/7 for the next couple of months? I am a 60 yr old female, and have always had a high tolerance for pain, but somehow this is different. Anyway, thats why I worry about ending up with frozen shoulder...do I go through daily agony for couple more months, or am I going to have the FS because I just couldnt do what am suppose to do. My surgeon told me repeatedly, before and after surgery, that I would have to work really, really hard during recouperation. I said, of course I will! I had no idea what he really meant. Anyway, is just one of those days where am feeling sorry for meself.

Mar 05, 2012
loose fitting clothes NEW
by: Anonymous

I'm a 68 year old woman and found that I didn't need to buy any special clothes. Unless you wear skin-right tees, you should be able to wear your regular tees (assuming they have a little stretch to them).
1. gather up the hem of your tee in your good hand and let it hang upside down.
2. bend over and let your operated arm hang straight down. Pull the tee up over your operated arm until the arm slips through the sleeve.
3. Stand up and slide the shirt up until the sleeve is properly positioned on the operated shoulder.
4. Now you can easily slip your head and good arm through the proper holes. Pull the shirt down into position.

Mar 06, 2012
Full tears of Supraspinatus and Infraspinatus tendons NEW
by: Dave

10 weeks after surgery, well into PT now.

Had zero problems until strength training began. Now it's sore all the time, probably because the cuff was torn off for a a whole year before surgery, so the muscle is completely atrophied. So it will be a while.

I do get some "clicking" in that shoulder which doc tells me is tendon clicking past bone, it's normal.

Overall this has been pretty easy for me, remains to be seen though how much strength and range of motion I will eventually regain,

Mar 08, 2012
untreated apnea NEW
by: Brian

Hello and thanks for all the comments that I've read here. I can't say they're very encouraging though. Just barely got through my 2nd night after postop.

I have untreated apnea and can normally sleep on a shoulder although it has hurt for some years as both arms have rotator cuff problems. I got the right, dominant shoulder done on March 6, and I did not realize that there would be virtually no chance of sleeping on my left shoulder. I have never slept on my back comfortably in my life.

I have tried it on a bed, on a couch, but the only chance is sleeping straight up in a recliner since the operation. I wake myself up about every 30 seconds. This is pretty close to hell. I can imagine this going on for weeks or months as some people have posted. If calling my GP today in hopes of getting some sort of apnea treatment immediately.

Anybody have any suggestions for the interim?

Thanks for any help you can give me. I really appreciate this forum.

Mar 09, 2012
Not much pain NEW
by: Z

Hello all,

Had surgery feb 27. Had the nerve block and did not have trouble sleeping night of post op. Nerve block wore off by the morning. had a slap repair and bankart repair. Lots of loose cartilage removed. Six anchors needed to repair all tears on shoulder. I have not really had much pain or trouble sleeping. I'm writing this blog to give hope to those who are about to have this surgery. Lots of the other post may scare you as they did before my surgery, but hopefully this puts you at ease. I really didn't take much narcotics either in the days following the surgery. Just keep the shoulder and the sling and follow your doctors orders and you will be fine. Hang in there.

Z

Mar 15, 2012
rotator cuff surgery tomorrow NEW
by: Linda V

ok..I have read all the posts, how the hell do you guys type so well? I fell hard on my right arm 2 months ago,apparently tore my rotator cuff pretty good. and only now can I use the computer? Can you actually use your fingers and wrist with it in a sling? I am planning to take full advantage of hubby having to look after me, so will be ok for most things. Can't use the recliner because it has a right hand side handle..my bad arm, so if I get in it, thats where I will be staying until someone hears my sreaming. Can you lay on your good side? Anyway, I am hoping my sense of humor helps with the pain, would rather laugh than cry..will update you once I learn how to use my laptop with one finger.

Mar 15, 2012
answer to Linda V NEW
by: Anonymous

If anyone else is in the house you can use your right-control recliner. I am right-handed and had surgery on my right shoulder. My recliner control is on the right. This may sound silly, but we bought a walkie talkie and that worked perfectly in the house. My husband would go to his computer on a different floor and I could easily contact him. Also, as I got better,I was able to use my cane in my left hand to snag the handle on the recliner and pull it up. If your husband is handy, he may be able to rig some other tool for you to reach the recliner handle.

Mar 16, 2012
Thanks for the idea NEW
by: Linda V

Thanks for the idea on using the recliner. I am going to try the zero gravity outside recliner first, if all else fails maybe just proped up on the couch..time will tell

Mar 16, 2012
ZERO didn't work for me NEW
by: Anonymous

I couldn't stand the zero gravity chair for long periods of time. Keep the tags on so you can return it.

Mar 16, 2012
ZERO didn't work for me NEW
by: Anonymous

I couldn't stand the zero gravity chair for long periods of time. Keep the tags on so you can return it.

Mar 16, 2012
ZERO didn't work for me NEW
by: Anonymous

I couldn't stand the zero gravity chair for long periods of time. Keep the tags on so you can return it.

Mar 18, 2012
NOT a good experience so far. Wahhhhh NEW
by: CW

I am 2.5 weeks out after surgery. Was supposed to be arthro but tear was extensive so ended up with a large open surgery. Developed pulmonary edema after surgery. Spent the night at hospital. Tons of tests and since nothing life threatening evident was sent home. Obviously, sleeping in a hospital is awful much less with this type surgery. 2 days later started PT. Painful but I know I have to do it. Have probably slept 3 hours at the most once or twice since coming home. Cannot get comfortable. I feel like a crazy person going from place to place in my house with a gazillion pillows and blankets, a place for my meds, a glass of water. I have been running a fever of around 100 since I came home. Friday night I became short of breath and fever elevated. Primary DR said go to ER. They ran a gazillion tests and found nothing life threatening so sent me home. The ER doc said maybe I am stressed. REally, ya think? Very little sleep in 2.5 weeks, trouble breathing and fever might contribute. I am down to taking one percocet per day. I want to get off this junk. The ER doc gave me a script for Ambien which I have not yet filled. The nurse who discharged me said to be really careful if I take it because it will knock me out. If I should need to get up and use the restroom or re-position myself I might fall on my operated shoulder. Well that scared me into not trying it. So, I remain sleepless. Anyone try Ambien? How did it go? Any help is appreciated before I hang myself from this STUPID SLING. JK

Mar 18, 2012
CW..... NEW
by: Ron

It sounds like you've had one of the "least desirable" experiences so far... to say the least.

As far as sleeping goes, are you trying to do a bed or a chair? Personally, I think a chair or, preferably, a recliner is easier, though frankly, it all sucks at first! What PT are you doing? Mine was only the Codman's Pendulum Exercises at home for about 6 weeks. I don't think I did any _real_ PT until 2 weeks after. And that was all passive stuff. If you don't want to try the Ambien (I didn't) maybe consider one of the PM type pain relievers with a sleep aid (Diphenhdramine), or the sleep aid by itself.

I just passed 8 weeks and, while happy to be out of the sling (after 6 weeks) and progressing with PT, I still sometimes ache. I figure I'm moving in uncomfortable ways and sleeping in weird positions. When I was sleeping in the recliner, sometimes I'd wake up and find my sling on the other side of the room!! I _still_ don't remember doing that! It'll get better. Hang in there. I've still got a way to go, but I'll make it. You will, too!!

Mar 18, 2012
Stir Crazy NEW
by: Brian

In response to someone asking about typing - I used Dragon Dictate until a few days ago. Now I can use my fingers to type, although I had to put the mouse on my non-dominant side.

I guess in a way I have been lucky. I'm two weeks into it, and there's been just about no pain, only enough discomfort to keep me from being able to sleep. It's gotten to the point where i can get two or three bouts of 45 minutes of sleep each night, and a couple of dozen 5-15 minute periods. But it is driving my crazy.

Can't sleep on my back on recliner because of apnea. So I bounce from recliner to chair to bed to couch to computer all day. Can't get comfortable. Feel the sling is choking me, etc. Cabin fever. Stir-craziness, and sleep deprivation is leading to a kind of depression or melancholia. Can't help but think of all the things I can't do, wish I had done before, hope I can do later.

Reading helps, but only a bit. Depends on what I read. Unfortunately I started on something lying on my desk for years, Bradbury's "Something Wicked This Way Comes." Unbelievably great writing, but melancholic and nostalgic - just what I don't need. Anyone got any good suggestions?

Thanks for providing a place to unload and exchange Ideas.

~ B

Mar 19, 2012
to CW and Brian NEW
by: Anonymous

CW- You've been through the ringer- sorry to hear of all your complications. First couple weeks are enough of a challenge w/out other issues. Are you icing constantly? That helped immensely. My PT at home was pendulum swings- then the pt started at 10 days and was all passive initially- actually felt good! I'm a lightweight- ibuprofen made me sleepy. I "slept" propped on couch for a few months. Gradually could recline a little more as shoulder improved. Good luck to you!I've had both done within 18 months and it is fine now- no pain, life does get back to normal.

Brian- I like Nelson DeMille's books- some suspense, some humor-

Mar 19, 2012
had surgery on Friday NEW
by: Linda V

Surgery went well, not anything like I expected from reading others experiences. The pain is minimal, no worse than when I first injured it.Been sleeping quite well propped up in bed, all seems to be going well

Mar 19, 2012
for Linda V NEW
by: Anonymous

Glad to hear it went well. My two were not fun- but I fortunately had nowhere near the long term pain many of these posters have. It was a blessing to have a functional arm again- mine too was less painful than prior to surgery. First mo in the sling was the worst-

Happy Healing to you!

Mar 22, 2012
my mistake NEW
by: Anjie

I had surgery 2/23/12 this my second time around on my right shoulder. I am a.too tough on shoulders (had left one done once also), b.have weak/crappy shoulders, or c.really bad luck. Whichever it is or a combo of some or all, this second time is definately MUCH worse than the first times. I believe age and general shape/health prior to surgery have some effect on outcome/recovery. I started out day of surgery like a champ, hopped off recovery room bed, into clothes and car, headed home, slept good. Then nerve block wore off at 8PM...OMG, that was the most horrible pain I ever had. Ive had ALOT of surgeries but WOW it was BAD. I felt ok after that pain was controlled and I did OK as far sleep and activity went for these first 3 weeks, then last wednesday I reached over a coffee table to grab a phone for my neighbor and its all been downhill since then. My PT is worried I may have reinjured it, at least caused minor tears inside at repair site. I am so very upset because I was rehabbing so well up to now. I had amazing ROM and next week I was to start with light weights. GRRR something so simple as reaching out for a phone??? My pain is now in high gear. I take advils and it doesn't help much. Ice, no help, heat, minimal help. I see PT again friday and if Im no better I go back to Doc. I have found I can sleep on my left side (nonsurgery side) with a pile of pillows in front of me roll into them with my arm slung out over top of them. Also my boyfriend would sleep with his back against mine and I could roll against him andslide my elbow back onto his side for some relief. I hope everyone recovers well. I also hope everyone learns from my mistake. I now keep a shoestring tied to my waist to my wrist to prevent me from reaching out too far with my arm. GOOD LUCK ALL!

Apr 02, 2012
Progress, but some painful clicking NEW
by: Anonymous

I posted on March 8 and March 18 about not being able to sleep. It's been 4 weeks and I hadn't gotten more than 1 and a half hours of sleep in a row for the entire time.

On the positive side, there's been about no pain at all, and my PT is going great.

So I slept with the sling off last night, and got 2 hours sleep in a row. It felt great. Hoping to increase that daily.

Now the question - I use a pulley to stretch my shoulder - a la my physical therapist's order. At first it went great, but now I've developed a painful clicking at some point (just like before surgery). Once past that point, it's great. Can stretch almost as far as my other shoulder.

Does anyone have any experience with this after surgery, and does it go away? I hope so, because that is one of the reasons I went in for surgery to begin with.

All the best to all of you,

Brian

Apr 02, 2012
Progress, but some painful clicking NEW
by: Anonymous

I posted on March 8 and March 18 about not being able to sleep. It's been 4 weeks and I hadn't gotten more than 1 and a half hours of sleep in a row for the entire time.

On the positive side, there's been about no pain at all, and my PT is going great.

So I slept with the sling off last night, and got 2 hours sleep in a row. It felt great. Hoping to increase that daily.

Now the question - I use a pulley to stretch my shoulder - a la my physical therapist's order. At first it went great, but now I've developed a painful clicking at some point (just like before surgery). Once past that point, it's great. Can stretch almost as far as my other shoulder.

Does anyone have any experience with this after surgery, and does it go away? I hope so, because that is one of the reasons I went in for surgery to begin with.

All the best to all of you,

Brian

Apr 03, 2012
response to Brian NEW
by: Anonymous

Sorry I can't help- never had the clicking before or after with either shoulder- hopefully someone here has some answersfor you- Good Luck!

Apr 04, 2012
I need words of encouragement, please! NEW
by: Anonymous

I had labrum surgery on Feb 24 2012, and recovery was ok. I starteed Physical therapy two 10 days after surgery. But 4 days ago while carrying my 6months old babygirl in her carrier i use my arm to give suport to the tired good arm. The very next day my shoulder started to hurt like it was after 5 days of surgery. I'm affraid i messed up the surgery. can a DR or therapist or any one tell me something please!

Apr 14, 2012
carry baby! NEW
by: Anonymous

I was told since I had Labrum surgery ( complete tear), tear to Tares major and bone spur removed to not lift more than 5 lbs first 6 months, and close to my body.no 2 yrs later shoulder gets cranky with cool weather, and or if I sleep on that side a bit more than the good side when in bed. I did not sleep in bed first 11 months. First 3 months kept sling on when sleeping sitting up on couch or maybe 2-3 hrs in recliner. Recliner had bolsters too high and would put pressure on arm. I found that the scar tissue would develop if I did not do therapy as directed by therapist at home. no major strength improvement noticed til 7 months. Back 90%, and for a 61 y/o that is good. Biggest thing majority of time pain free. Feels a little stiff when I awake since I toss and turn in bed a lot. Keep up regular exercises per your therapist.everyone heals differently, and it is the reps in weights not the lbs which will help you overall. listen to your body, and you will know if you are doing too much to reduce it daily and maybe do every other day. I still 2 yrs later do a progressive routine every day. This keeps me strong so that I do not become susceptable to injury again. good luck it will get better. email me if you want to discuss exercises. wdcope4129@gmail.com

Apr 23, 2012
13 wks. later NEW
by: Anonymous

My husband had rotator cuff surgery 13 wks. ago today. He had the therapy chair, which he started the day after surgery and did that 3 hrs. and day at 1 hr. intervals, and then didn't start the actual therapy until 6 wks. post-op. Therapy is 3 times a wk. and the surgeon had originally prescribed 4 wks. of intense PT and added another 4 wks. because he could only lift his arm minimal. He still can only lift it maybe half way up and that's it. He's in more pain now than before the surgery and tomorrow he goes back to surgeon to see what they are going to do from here. It's so frustrating for him because he is a carpenter by trade and knows no other skills. Not to say what it's doing to him being a man and not being able to provide. Prior to this he was only doing side jobs when he could get them so needless to say we are not getting workman's comp. Has others had this little of progress in this length of time?

Apr 24, 2012
reply to anonymous NEW
by: Anonymous

I think it's good your husband is going back to the Dr. Everyone heals differently depending on many factors including the amount of damage and type of surgery- but at 3 mos I was pretty much able to do daily things , much better at 6 mos, and my surgeon was correct- I noticed improvement up to a year. Carpentry would obviously be a difficult profession to return to- but if he is not currently working at that I would hope pain would have decreased rather than increased.I loved PT- it felt good- but I know others who found it excruciating. Good luck to you both!

Apr 24, 2012
13 weeks post surgery NEW
by: Jorge

I am in my 13th week since rotator cuff surgery too.
I have been going to PT for 8 weeks and have seen great improvement, especially in the last two weeks.
I am still at PT 3 X week. And still find it painful to go there.
Is your husband doing the stretch and strengthening excercises faithfully each day?
I also could not sleep in be until this weekend, the recliner was my best friend for the 1st 12 weeks!
People do recover differently and at their own pace.
Please tell your husband to persevere and that, yes, this procedure requires a lot time to heal.
But it will!


Apr 25, 2012
13 wks. later NEW
by: Anonymous

WELL HUSBAND WENT BACK TO SURGEON YESTERDAY AND HE IS GOING TO GIVE HIM 4 MORE WKS. OF PT. THAT WILL BE A TOTAL OF 12 WKS. PT AND I PRAY THAT IT WORKS. YES MY HUSBAND IS FAITHFULLY DOING HIS STRETCHES AND SUCH AT HOME TOO. I KNOW HE'S TRYING TO KEEP HIS CHIN UP THROUGH THIS WHOLE THING, BUT I GUESS OUR BIG THING IS CAN SCAR TISSUE REALLY BE BROKE THROUGH THIS LATE IN THE GAME? I THANK YOU BOTH FOR YOUR INPUT ON THIS.

Apr 25, 2012
Reply to scar tissue question NEW
by: Anonymous

Yes, improvement can be made after 14 weeks. At 14 weeks, I had very little range of motion and sleeping was very, very difficult. I was diagnosed with a frozen shoulder after surgery so realize my recovery is not typical. I went to PT for 6 months and still do daily stretching & strengthening as my range of motion is still not 100%. I had my surgery 13 months ago and continue to see improvement, but it is very, very slow. I've been told it may be 1 1/2 to 2 years before I'm recovered.

Apr 27, 2012
frozen shoulder NEW
by: Anonymous

I didn't know that it took that long to heal after surgery and is that what frozen shoulder is just a bunch of scar tissue that won't break up? I guess my husband and I were expecting that he could raise his arm up over his head after the 3 mo. mark and all would be good. We both knew he definately wouldn't be back to doing his carpentry, but still expected a lot more than this. I am glad to hear that your continueing (mispelled) to heal, that's great. Keep up the good work and thank you for your comment.

Apr 27, 2012
6 weeks today NEW
by: Anonymous

Today is my 6 week point, pain has not been anything like I was prepared for...very good thing. I find I don't want to put my sling back on after I get dressed in the mornings, it feels so much better with it off. What I am wondering is this..is it possible that the pain and difficulty in lifting my arm is just stiffness? Will physio get rid if the stiffness? Can't go to physio til I see the surgeon next week, but, I am moving my arm as much as I can til then. Good Luck to all of you on your recovery !

Apr 27, 2012
6 weeks NEW
by: Anonymous

I'm glad you have little pain- but I would limit arm use to whatever the surgeon advised- probably elbow curls and pendulum swings- until you see the surgeon and start pt. There is a very regimented protocol for increasing movement as the repair heals- you don't want to reinjure. I was restricted to no lifting the first mo, nothing heavier than a coffee cup the next two- and no unassisted lifting above the waist for a period of time. Please be careful. Good luck to you.

Apr 30, 2012
6 weeks NEW
by: Jorge

I would like to second the comment before me.
It is awesome that you have felt so good at 6 weeks. However, don't risk doing anything that might undo this complicated operation
I am 12 weeks post operation and I am still limited to many chores at home or work. Don't do anything that you think might be ok to do until your MD gives you the green light.
When you start PT they will direct you to the proper regiment of exercises and stretches that will help you heal at your own speed.
God luck.

May 01, 2012
Recovery planning...NEW NEW
by: Shannon

I've read through so many comments here and have done more online research, so hoping I'm prepared for surgery in less than 48 hours. I live alone, but have a friend taking me to surgery and staying the night. I do have 3 dogs at home, so hoping I'll be able to care for them and myself. I'm 49 (female), in good physical health but have a torn rotator cuff and bone spur.

After all my reading & research....Bought some snap-front medical 'scrubs' at thrift stores for easy to wear tops, and have plenty of yoga pants. Prepared multiple meals to freeze in single-portions, so should be covered for a few weeks. Have a recliner (no handle required) parked in front of my living room TV. Hired lawn and 'pooper scooper' service. Picking up all my meds tomorrow to have ready...no kids in my home, so will remove tops for easy access. Put soaps/shampoos in pump dispensers. Bought slip-on sneakers. Downloading some books to my book reader (no page turning required), and have DVD's lined up. Laptop on a stand by the recliner. Hope I have it all covered...if not, will be hitting up my friends for help. Hope I can make it back to work (just a desk job at a computer) in a couple of weeks.

Any other 'prepare for recovery' ideas?


May 02, 2012
Good luck Shannon! NEW
by: Anonymous

You seem to have things well planned and organized for post operation. I am 13 weeks post op and am recovering pretty well.
There are a few things that I found difficult to deal with:
The drugs they gave me (oxycodone) made me extremely sick to my stomach, so I spent several days by the throne in the bathroom...
Bathing was always a chore, get one of those sponges on a stick to reach areas that will be difficult to reach.
Forget about sox, get warm slippers.
Have water available at all times by your recliner
The comfortable recliner will get old soon, I placed a thick bedcover on top of it and this made it better.
Don't be shy about asking friends for help if you need any. That's why they call or visit you.
Don't do anything the doctors advice you not to do. This is a complicated operation with very long recovery, so shortcuts are not recommended.
Even if you feel no pain, do not use your arm in any other function other than allowed.
These are my two cents worth!

May 02, 2012
for Shannon NEW
by: Anonymous

Shannon- You are well prepared. Good luck to you. Just a note- I had difficulty taking my sling off and getting it back on myself the first week or so- removed it to do the pendulum swings and for shpwer- just so you're aware you may need some assistance initially. Also- keep a box of saltines or other crackers near you w/your water- that way no need to get up and about too much at first.

May 20, 2012
Shoulder surgery and living alone NEW
by: Anonymous

I also live alone - my rotator cuff surgery is scheduled in two weeks. Someone will be staying with me for the first 3 days but I'm nervous about how much help I will need after. I'm sure friend's will stop by but thinking about getting a private nurse until the end of the first week (it will be very costly) any suggestions??


May 21, 2012
Shoulder surgery and living alone NEW
by: Shannon

I just went through the surgery 2 weeks ago, however I was lucky and they found my rotator cuff intact, but had to repair frayed labrum, bursitis and bone spur. I also live alone though had a friend stay overnight and multiple friends checking in on me the first days. I posted previously about my preps, here are some ideas that helped a lot...
1. Cook, prepare and freeze single serving sized meals to last you weeks, items that do not require a fork AND knife since cutting would be difficult. I had lasagna, chicken & rice, quiche, etc. It's 2 weeks later and I still have at least another week of food prepared.
2. Ice cream...for 2 days after surgery my throat was sore, so ice cream sandwiches (no scooping required) were a life saver.
3. LOOSE clothes. I went to the thrift store and bought snap up xtra large scrub shirts (the kind the medical staff wear). The huge bandage prevented me from wearing anything I owned. So I recommend one to two sizes larger. I also only wore yoga pants, any elastic band pants would work for easy on/off.
4. Get some Miralax...stool softener, the pain meds will mess with your system so this is handy to have.
5. Most folks with rotator cuff surgery prefer sleeping in a more sitting position. If you dont' have a comfy recliner, look into getting one of those 'chair back' shaped pillows. I slept in a huge "U" shaped pile of pillows.
6. I bought a large shoulder ice pack from Walmart since they didn't send me home with an ice machine this was also a life saver.
7. Set up your sleep area...you'll spend a lot of time there, need phone handy, remote controls, huge bottle of water. I have Netflix and Hulu Plus, so had plenty of options of movies & shows to watch.
8. Put your shampoo, conditioner and liquid bath soap into Pump type dispensers...easy to work one handed.
9. Have flushable wet wipes in the bathroom.
10. I have dogs, so I prepared 10 days worth of meals so I didn't need to do any extra measuring & such. Hired a pooper scooper and lawn mowing service for a month to give me recovery time but keep the yard clean & mowed.


Best of luck!
Shannon

May 22, 2012
New NEW
by: Anonymous

Also- you will probably not be able to open pop cans or soup cans or med bottles- have someone open them for you ahead of time if you will be home alone at the times you will need them-

have enough ice packs to rotate them-

good luck!! It will be worth it!!

Jun 05, 2012
1 day post up NEW
by: Anonymous

thank you for all the info. i am better prepared than i had expected.

Jun 06, 2012
One Week Post Op NEW
by: Nancy

One week post op with full cut. My pain is minimal, but I am a 49 year old female who lives alone and have not showered for a week now, driving me crazy. I am taking sponge baths, cannot get the area wet, as the stitches are still in, so have no idea how to wash my hair. I am very woozy as I have not slept more than 2 hours at a time since surgery. I've tried Ambien, Tylenol PM etc. Afraid to even try to stand in shower, wash long hair with one hand, keep incision dry at the same time.

Any suggestions on showering while severely sleep deprived?

Thanks,
Nancy

Jun 06, 2012
reply to anonymous NEW
by: Anonymous

Do you have any close friend or relative who could help you shower? I can't imagine trying to do it alone initially. Until my stitches were out I had to keep area covered- my husband taped saran wrap and put adhesive tape on the edges to keep my incision dry. Also had to have him lather shampoo to wash my hair and help w/clothing.
If there's no one you are comfortable with to help w/ that- could you manage in /out of tub to wash most of yourself, then have a friend wash your hair for you in the kitchen sink? I also did that . It really was important to have someone to help w/balance initially- I wasn't on painkillers other than tylenol- but the surgery and the lack of sleep make one groggy. You do not want to fall and damage the repair. Or could you ask your Dr's officve about a home health aide? I have no idea how that works but surely there's something to help a perso nwho lives alone. Godd luck to you!

Jun 06, 2012
Reply regarding washing hair etc... NEW
by: Nancy

Hi, thanks for response!

I am having a friend try to wash my hair over the kitchen sink tomorrow night. Not even sure if I should lean that far over though?

Not sure on the home health aide....I should call insurance company and ask.

How long does the "wooziness" last? That is the worst part! I could do so much more if I were steady.

Thanks,

Nancy

Jun 06, 2012
Reply regarding washing hair etc... NEW
by: Nancy

Hi, thanks for response!

I am having a friend try to wash my hair over the kitchen sink tomorrow night. Not even sure if I should lean that far over though?

Not sure on the home health aide....I should call insurance company and ask.

How long does the "wooziness" last? That is the worst part! I could do so much more if I were steady.

Thanks,

Nancy

Jun 06, 2012
Reply regarding washing hair etc... NEW
by: Nancy

Hi, thanks for response!

I am having a friend try to wash my hair over the kitchen sink tomorrow night. Not even sure if I should lean that far over though?

Not sure on the home health aide....I should call insurance company and ask.

How long does the "wooziness" last? That is the worst part! I could do so much more if I were steady.

Thanks,

Nancy

Jun 06, 2012
Reply regarding washing hair etc... NEW
by: Nancy

Hi, thanks for response!

I am having a friend try to wash my hair over the kitchen sink tomorrow night. Not even sure if I should lean that far over though?

Not sure on the home health aide....I should call insurance company and ask.

How long does the "wooziness" last? That is the worst part! I could do so much more if I were steady.

Thanks,

Nancy

Jun 07, 2012
To Nancy NEW
by: Anonymous

I think when I had a friend wash my hair over the sink it was probably 5--7 days post op-Would it be easier to lean backwards than forward? Just cover your incision w/ a bunch of towels so drips don't get on it.

I think I was a bit dizzy/groggy a week or so- then it depended if I was able to get any sleep. I could not handle the narcotic painkillers so after the first day was just taking ibuprofen alternating with tylenol- but the lack of sleep is awful, I know.

Hang in there- it will get better- and it will be worth it- and you willfeel so good once you get done w/the sling!

Believe it or not, the shoulders seem like a piece of cake compared to the sciatica and bursitis I am battling in my hip- good luck- just remember it will heal!!!

Jun 07, 2012
Shower? NEW
by: Jorge

I agree with the previous responder, you do need someone to help you keep balance and to help with keeping insicion area dry.
If you feel you need your privacy, wear a bathing suit! I just could not wait until I tok my first shower! You will feel a whole lot better afterwards.
I too was woozy for the 1st week and a half post surgery while taking a lot of oxycodone. When my system had had enough, I got quite sick to my stomach, and this decided it for me that enough pain killer was enough!
This too shall pass... you will eventually feel better and will be glad to had your rotator cuff repaired.
I am now 4 months since my operation and can do mostly anything I want. Within reason, that is.
Good luck and keep a stiff upper lip!


Jun 07, 2012
Thanks All NEW
by: Nancy

Thanks, I had my stitches and bandages removed today, so I was allowed to get the incision wet, I actually took a shower, half standing up, half sitting down...washed my hair feel so much better! Now I just need sleep!

I told my doctor about the sleep issue. He said "we are surgeons, not insomnia doctors". I told him I've never had insomnia in my life and just cannot sleep in this position, and it is causing huge issues with lack of sleep. He said "we do dozens of these surgeries a week and no one ever complains about sleep, contact your primary care dr.".

Seriously??? I wanted to scream, yet all I hear about in PT is sleep issues!

Sorry if you are having a worse surgery yikes!!

Feel better all...

Nancy

Jun 08, 2012
Namcy NEW
by: Anonymous

Glad you got stitches out- each step makes you feel a little better. Your Dr's comments are amazing- sleep is the biggest issue- just read these posts!! My surgeon had had a tear and repair himself- so he was empathetic- your guy obviously hasn't!! Read back in these posts for suggestions on using pillows, recliners, etc. No magic cure unfortunately- takes time- but you will get there!!I've had both shoulders done and survived- and they work fine now:)

Jun 10, 2012
11 days post op NEW
by: Daniel

Hey guys!! First off, great sight.. I've been reading for hours. I'm almost two weeks post op from complete labrum tear, rotator cuff tear and the usual bone spurs.. Injured my left shoulder when I fell.. (anterior to posterior dislocation).. Got 3 anchors which is nothing compared to some of the other stories I've read.. For some reason I had to have 4 or 5 incisions.. Not too sure because I still have sutchers in covered with butterfly bandages.. 3 incisions are exposed.. Sleeping at night still sucks.. I've been taking (2) 7.5/350 hydracodones and 10mg ambien.. Helps me get to sleep but does not keep me there.. I think i have averaged about 5 - 6 hours a night plus breif naps during the day.. Got the abduction pillow out of my sling last week, but still have a week left in the damned sling.. From what I understand I will be doing pendulums and other stretching exercises at 1 mo post op before I start pt.. Can't freakin wait!! You guys and your stories are great!! I have a whole new respect for my shoulder and body after all of this.. Take care guys and best of luck with your recovery..

Jun 10, 2012
Re All NEW
by: Nancy

Hi Daniel,

You are doing great...if you can sleep that long that soon you are way ahead of most of us.

I had a full cut (stitches, no butterfies), and the worst was the lack of sleep! After stitches were removed on Thursday, I found an odd way to sleep on my stomach vs the "sleep sitting up with 5 pillows" method, it has made a world of difference. My surgeon's attitude stinks, but we run our life's, not our doctors.

I am 4.5 weeks from sling coming off, but if I can sleep and do my little pendelum swings (which get bigger everyday) I am good. I am soooo much better since I can get more sleep.

Hang in the there! I feel soooo much better than one week ago!

Any questions, feel free!

Nancy

Jun 18, 2012
16 days till surgery NEW
by: Lynn

Hi all,
Thanks you all!! This site has been so helpful in getting me prepared for my shoulder surgery. My husband left me a few weeks ago (on good terms and probably temporarily) but will be back to help me after surgery. He is also buying me a new remote controlled recliner. But I think I will be alone for a lot of the time with him popping in and out after the first week. My main issue right now is a wicked chest cold which I hope clears up before my pre admission appointment next Friday.
I have used the info on here to make my self a nice check list of things to do and buy in the next two weeks. Here are a few other things I thought of.
1. Getting my hair cut just above my shoulders so it will be easier to take care of.
2. For the women, getting legs and pits waxed too.
3. Lots of meals and dog food made and frozen.
4. Wash loofa with long handle.
5. Spay nozzle on kitchen sink for washing hair.
6. Shower stool and hand held shower head.
7. Lost 20 lbs too.

hmm I think that covers the major stuff. I think the main thing now is keeping my stress down and getting in the right frame of mind with everything going on with hubby. Will let you know how it goes.

Jun 18, 2012
lynn NEW
by: annonymous

lynn, i am exactly two weeks post op and live alone. i had a subcromial decompression and shoulder tenodesis done on my dominant side. like you, i have benefited from info presented on this site. someone stayed with me the first 3 days but in retrospect an extra couple of days would have been better. Friends have stopped by daily and this has been great both to keep my spirits up and to help out with little things. i reached out to friends and family by letting them know about the surgery ahead of time. best of luck...

Jun 18, 2012
Lynn NEW
by: Anonymous

To add to your pre-surgery list- cut your toenails and fingernails really short-

Good luck-it'll be fine. Sounds like you're well prepared-

Jun 18, 2012
last checkup NEW
by: Anonymous

Going for my 2 month check up tomorrow. I have about 90% movement back, and no pain, just stiffness. Saved a lot of my pain meds for physio, expecting the worst, but, they are still in the bottle..no need for them. I do still have uncomfortable nights, hoping they will pass soon. Not half as bad as I thought it would be, don't want to do it again though..good luck to all of you in the first stages, everyday it gets a little better!

Jun 18, 2012
last checkup NEW
by: Anonymous

Going for my 2 month check up tomorrow. I have about 90% movement back, and no pain, just stiffness. Saved a lot of my pain meds for physio, expecting the worst, but, they are still in the bottle..no need for them. I do still have uncomfortable nights, hoping they will pass soon. Not half as bad as I thought it would be, don't want to do it again though..good luck to all of you in the first stages, everyday it gets a little better!

Jun 18, 2012
Almost 3 wks post op NEW
by: Daniel

I will be 3 weeks post op on wed.. The most severe pain is gone.. Sleeping is still a pain in the ass for the most part.. Sleeping a lot better but I still wake up every few hours because of discomfort.. Shoulder is extremely stiff every morning.. I now am having a lot of pain in what seems to be my bicep maybe.. I can't really pinpoint where the pain is but it seems like it is at the top of my bicep near my shoulder.. It's an intense sharp pain.. I'm thinking it has something to due with the fact I haven't used my left arm in over a month and all of the muscles in my bicep and shoulder area have deteriorated. Maybe it's scar tissue.. I go back to the dr in the am so we shall see what he says.. Sling is off tmrw and I start stretching for a while before pt.. Can't wait to be able to get out and play golf, baseball and get off of desk duty.. I can't stand working in an office for 8hrs a day.. That in itself may be worse then the recovery.. Haha

Jun 19, 2012
Getting there... NEW
by: Nancy

I will also be three weeks post op on Weds, but no sling off for 3 more weeks and no PT other than passive until then. I have tried to put my own hair up by putting my elbow on bureau, "stepping" away to the left one step, flipping my head over and using a "scrunchie". The next day I am in pain, so I think I am doing something wrong. I had someone stay with me most nights for 3 weeks (friend leaving Sunday), so I have been very lucky, being alone the first week would have been impossible, but I had complete cut with no movement allowed, other than pendalums for 6 weeks. Cut is still a bit open, bandage is still bloody everyday although stiches have been out 2 weeks, is this normal?

Jun 19, 2012
Getting there... NEW
by: Nancy

I will also be three weeks post op on Weds, but no sling off for 3 more weeks and no PT other than passive until then. I have tried to put my own hair up by putting my elbow on bureau, "stepping" away to the left one step, flipping my head over and using a "scrunchie". The next day I am in pain, so I think I am doing something wrong. I had someone stay with me most nights for 3 weeks (friend leaving Sunday), so I have been very lucky, being alone the first week would have been impossible, but I had complete cut with no movement allowed, other than pendalums for 6 weeks. Cut is still a bit open, bandage is still bloody everyday although stiches have been out 2 weeks, is this normal?

Jun 20, 2012
reply to Nancy NEW
by: Anonymous

Nancy- I was fortunate to have had the five small incisions- but I would call the surgeon's office to ask about the blood- two weeks seems like too long to still have oozing- they may just have you put a butterfly bandage on it to keep it closer together as it heals- but I'd definitely call and ask

Jun 20, 2012
sleeping etc.. NEW
by: Nancy

Daniel, if you are sleeping and working after 3 weeks you are doing great!!

I haven't driven yet. Afraid, in south FL, and they do not recommend it for 3 more weeks. Perhaps mine was worse than some. Yes, the blood is not normal, that stitch should not have been removed, agreed. I just want normal sleep and driving, I can't even begin to think of sports etc...

Has anyone else had complete cut and complete tear? They disconnected a muscle, reconnected the ligament (sp?) and then reconnected the muscle.

I was going to try to drive to PT tomorrow, but weather is very bad here and I don't think it is smart. I am still in sling for three weeks...I may have to cancel PT which is not good!!

Nancy

Jun 20, 2012
Get a Hospital Bed NEW
by: Anonymous

I had rotator cuff and bicep surgery. The one thing I would suggest is getting a hospital bed if your insurance will cover it. The bed has been a sleep savior. We have two recliners and I knew I still wanted a bed. I can easily adjust my head and my legs. It’s great. I am not stuck in one position. If my shoulder starts hurting I just adjust my bed up or down with one push of a button. Also my husband is getting a better nights sleep because I can adjust the bed by myself and have no trouble getting out of the bed. The mattress is nothing special so I cover it with a mattress pad and two sheets. My doctor wrote a prescription for the bed and they delivered it the day before my surgery. Keep up with you pain meds and get a bed.

Jun 20, 2012
Get a Hospital Bed NEW
by: Anonymous

I had rotator cuff and bicep surgery. The one thing I would suggest is getting a hospital bed if your insurance will cover it. The bed has been a sleep savior. We have two recliners and I knew I still wanted a bed. I can easily adjust my head and my legs. It’s great. I am not stuck in one position. If my shoulder starts hurting I just adjust my bed up or down with one push of a button. Also my husband is getting a better nights sleep because I can adjust the bed by myself and have no trouble getting out of the bed. The mattress is nothing special so I cover it with a mattress pad and two sheets. My doctor wrote a prescription for the bed and they delivered it the day before my surgery. Keep up with you pain meds and get a bed.

Jun 20, 2012
Get a Hospital Bed NEW
by: Anonymous

I had rotator cuff and bicep surgery. The one thing I would suggest is getting a hospital bed if your insurance will cover it. The bed has been a sleep savior. We have two recliners and I knew I still wanted a bed. I can easily adjust my head and my legs. It’s great. I am not stuck in one position. If my shoulder starts hurting I just adjust my bed up or down with one push of a button. Also my husband is getting a better nights sleep because I can adjust the bed by myself and have no trouble getting out of the bed. The mattress is nothing special so I cover it with a mattress pad and two sheets. My doctor wrote a prescription for the bed and they delivered it the day before my surgery. Keep up with you pain meds and get a bed.

Jun 20, 2012
recliner NEW
by: Lynn

My Husband is bringing my new recliner over today. It is a power control one so I can adust it with the little control panel to whatever height I want it. The foot rest and back are separate controls so it is very similar to a hospital bed. Hope it helps. 13 days to go.

Jun 20, 2012
nancy NEW
by: Anonymous

I know two people who had full tears. One was in sling 4 wks- one 6 wks- (one in Ia, one in Wis)They both recovered fine- probably along the same timeline I did w/my arthroscopic repair. Neither drove until out of sling- Dr said ok if they thought they could- but both had right side done, and one had stick shift vehicles. One started passive pt at one week (same surgeon I had)- one not until 6 weeks- just did pendulum swings and curls at home.I think he had more stiffness to work through starting later. One had stitches out at one week- the other at nearly two weeks. Did not hear of any bleeding from either after stitch removal.

Jun 21, 2012
Shoulder pain after deep massage NEW
by: Anonymous

I am 9 weeks post op rotator cuff tear and shoulder spur removed. Going to therapy 3 times a week. Have been feeling pretty good. My therapist is on vacation this week. Had a new therapist 3 days ago...she did a deep shoulder massage which I hadn't had before which I told her. She said I would feel better. It did not! Two days after I was still having pretty bad pain. Today not as bad but still jabbing pains. Will go back to therapy next week when my regular therapist is there. Has anyone else experienced so much pain after massage? Hoping nothing is wrong again. Thanks.

Jun 21, 2012
Deep massage after shoulder surgery NEW
by: Anonymous

I am 9 weeks post op rotator cuff tear and shoulder spur removed. Going to therapy 3 times a week. Have been feeling pretty good. My therapist is on vacation this week. Had a new therapist 3 days ago...she did a deep shoulder massage which I hadn't had before which I told her. She said I would feel better. It did not! Two days after I was still having pretty bad pain. Today not as bad but still jabbing pains. Will go back to therapy next week when my regular therapist is there. Has anyone else experienced so much pain after massage? Hoping nothing is wrong again. Thanks.

Jun 21, 2012
massage NEW
by: Anonymous

I am 3 months post op, been pain free mostly until yesterday, when they did the deep maassage, thought I was back to day one. Still really sore today too, will sure tell them not to do that again..whewww some wicked pain!

Jun 21, 2012
Thanks for the "heads up" NEW
by: Nancy

Thanks for the "heads up" on the deep massage! I am three weeks post op and they passively moved my arm all the way up yesterday (while lying down). I have been in complete pain all day today for the first time.

Is this normal? Again, I am only having passive PT, cannot have active PT for 3 more weeks until sling comes off 6 wks post op.

Jun 22, 2012
nancy NEW
by: Anonymous

yes nancy, it's ok.

Jun 24, 2012
Good to know NEW
by: Ruth

It was good to read all the comments reaching back several years, although I haven't really read anything new that sounds like it will help. I had shoulder surgery two years ago--pretty much just needed a decompression and clean up. I was back to normal sleeping within a month, although I did have daily pain for about six months. This time I had surgery on the opposite side. I thought it would be the same or maybe even less?? However, had a tendon 95% detached so ended up with a pretty big repair, five screws and the decompression. Needless to say, I've been miserable. It's been six weeks and I get depressed to still be taking pain pills and sleep is the worst. SLeep is pretty much not sleep as much as it is: nap, wake, nap, wake. I'm so tired!! My range of motion is very poor, but I'm using the arm a little bit now so I'm hoping things will improve. I thank everyone for sharing because it is good to know I'm not the only one going through this--and I'm not crazy having this amount of pain.

Jun 24, 2012
Been There NEW
by: Anonymous

Hang in there fellow warrior!

Jun 25, 2012
Reply to Ruth NEW
by: Nancy

Ruth, you are not crazy, what is sleep? I remember it!!

And does anyone know why, on a pain website, you have to scroll down the whole page to see latest??? Shouldn't latest show first?

I am less than 4 weeks post op...the whole thing just stinks....I was also over 90%.

Had a friend stay with me until today, she has to leave tomorrow. No clue how I am going to put my hair up, it gets caught in sling every day..

Sorry if I sound angry, just tired, another Monday of Judge Joe Brown, ick....

Jun 25, 2012
Reply to Ruth NEW
by: Nancy

Ruth, you are not crazy, what is sleep? I remember it!!

And does anyone know why, on a pain website, you have to scroll down the whole page to see latest??? Shouldn't latest show first?

I am less than 4 weeks post op...the whole thing just stinks....I was also over 90%.

Had a friend stay with me until today, she has to leave tomorrow. No clue how I am going to put my hair up, it gets caught in sling every day..

Sorry if I sound angry, just tired, another Monday of Judge Joe Brown, ick....

Jun 25, 2012
Reply to Ruth NEW
by: Nancy

Ruth, you are not crazy, what is sleep? I remember it!!

And does anyone know why, on a pain website, you have to scroll down the whole page to see latest??? Shouldn't latest show first?

I am less than 4 weeks post op...the whole thing just stinks....I was also over 90%.

Had a friend stay with me until today, she has to leave tomorrow. No clue how I am going to put my hair up, it gets caught in sling every day..

Sorry if I sound angry, just tired, another Monday of Judge Joe Brown, ick....

Jun 25, 2012
Reply to Ruth NEW
by: Nancy

Ruth, you are not crazy, what is sleep? I remember it!!

And does anyone know why, on a pain website, you have to scroll down the whole page to see latest??? Shouldn't latest show first?

I am less than 4 weeks post op...the whole thing just stinks....I was also over 90%.

Had a friend stay with me until today, she has to leave tomorrow. No clue how I am going to put my hair up, it gets caught in sling every day..

Sorry if I sound angry, just tired, another Monday of Judge Joe Brown, ick....

Jun 29, 2012
last day of PT..not happy~~ NEW
by: Anonymous

..am so depressed...(sorry, but i am.)..today is last day of PT, after 6 months, due to insurance not wanting to pay for more. have a frozen shoulder,on top of the extensive work done, and i am only 1/3 recouped. everything is still very painful.

Jun 29, 2012
Frozen Shoulder etc NEW
by: Nancy

If you have frozen shoulder, they need to put you out and put back into place, that should not affect the amount you spent on PT....Oh,I feel so bad, please fight this!!! You cannot live with frozen shoulder!!!

Jun 29, 2012
Frozen Shoulder etc NEW
by: Nancy

If you have frozen shoulder, they need to put you out and put back into place, that should not affect the amount you spent on PT....Oh,I feel so bad, please fight this!!! You cannot live with frozen shoulder!!!

Jun 29, 2012
Frozen Shoulder etc NEW
by: Nancy

If you have frozen shoulder, they need to put you out and put back into place, that should not affect the amount you spent on PT....Oh,I feel so bad, please fight this!!! You cannot live with frozen shoulder!!!

Jun 29, 2012
Frozen Shoulder etc NEW
by: Nancy

If you have frozen shoulder, they need to put you out and put back into place, that should not affect the amount you spent on PT....Oh,I feel so bad, please fight this!!! You cannot live with frozen shoulder!!!

Jul 02, 2012
Frozen Shoulder NEW
by: Anonymous

I, too, had 6 months of PT after developing a frozen shoulder after surgery. I was in the sling for 7 weeks; I did not take it off. That's no shower, wearing shirts that closed with velcro, etc. Anyway, because of this, I developed a frozen shoulder. I am now 16 months out from surgery and continue to improve; there is hope. I would NOT take the option of going into surgery so they can break the shoulder free. There's a good chance of them breaking your arm and you needing more surgery. You can recover from a frozen shoulder, it just takes a lot of exercising and patience. The doctor said it may take me 1 1/2 to 2 years to get back to normal. It is depressing, painful, etc., but there is hope.

Jul 04, 2012
nancy & anonymous.. NEW
by: Anonymous

Nancy, thank you so much for your comments and concern, and..well wishes! I can see that you yourself have only just begun this journey, so I am wishing you speedy, and (hopefully)as painfree as possible, recovery. The latest development with PT is that she was able to get 9 more visits for me (due to unused days), so get @ another month. It is still hard to deal with day-to-day, but, I have to agree with this last comment left regarding more surgery. I've read about surgery for FS, and yes, is GREAT possibility of breaking a bone (or more) during surgery, and that alone keeps me from considering it.

Also, my type of FS was caused by scar tissue buildup. By not getting enough PT early enough, scar tissue keeps building up, and so on. Then you have the FS. Now, to my way of thinking..if I had surgery for this, I would again have to deal with scar tissue, and could easily end up with....another Frozen Shoulder. So, I am going to go along with last commenter to just keep up the daily therapy, no matter if it does take another year, or so. And yes, it is painful, and days of 'woe is me' will come and go, but for now, any little bit of progress is better than none. (By the way to the last commenter, thank you very much for the encouragement to keep on, and letting me know am not alone, and there is hope~~!)

Again, Nancy, thank you, and want to encourage YOU to keep up the good work!..PT can and will at times, be very painful, but remember, thats the therapist not only restoring movement to you, but, also.....breaking up any and all scar tissue~~~~
Best wishes to all who are still recovering~~

Jul 05, 2012
RESPONSE NEW
by: nancy

Thanks to all, my pt is $60 a visit, during passive, once per week is okay, once I am moving, I need to go 3x, $180 per week? Don't know what to do, and shoulder in sling 7 weeks I need the pt..

Jul 05, 2012
pt NEW
by: Anonymous

I am 3 months post surgery, go to pt once a week, and I find I get more out of my "homework" than I do at the clinic. I can do the same things at home, just need pt to show me the next exercise.Everyone is didfferent, I am at about 70%, and if this i a good as it gets, I will be happy.

Jul 07, 2012
rotator cuff surgery 1 week out NEW
by: Anonymous

Is it common for you arm to shake all over the place after having surgery on your shoulder? My arm if I try to use it will tremble uncontrollably does anyone know why this is?

Jul 07, 2012
reply to anonymous 7/7 NEW
by: Anonymous

I hope what you're referring to is the quivering I experienced when I did the pendulums and elbow curls soon after surgery. Hopefully if you are only one week post surgery you are not using it more than that. I did experience some very weird feeling quivers as I bent over and let it dangle. I was told that was just the muscles and nerves doing their thing. It decreassed over time as healing took place.

Jul 07, 2012
Almost 6 wks post op NEW
by: Daniel

Hey guys... On Wednesday I will be 6 weeks removed from my labrum and rotator cuff repair.. I feel really good however my ROM stinks.. I can only get to 90* in front of my body unassisted.. I can get to about 140* with my pulley or therapist.. Been going to pt twice a week but starting next week it's going to 3x/wk.. According to doc I too am starting to develop a frozen shoulder.. My external rotation and ability to reach behind my back is not very good.. I'm trying to do my stretching exercises 3x a day at the house.. I hope to god I don't end up with a fs.. The fact that I'm 29 yoa and in decent shape should benefit me.. Keep your heads up and continue to fight..
-Daniel

Jul 07, 2012
Daniel NEW
by: Anonymous

Hey Daniel- Your therapist knows best- but having been thru this twice that rom doesn't sound that bad to me for only 6 wks out. Slow but steady worked for me- but I am a lot older than you- good luck!

Jul 07, 2012
muscle spasms NEW
by: lyndsay

HI, I had my surgery on Tuesday so day 5 today. I to have some quivers and muscle spasms on occasion. Last evening was bad with quite a bit of pain. I iced and took my oxy and within 30 min it was better but lots of bruising under my arm today. The recliner is awesome and I am getting lots of sleep. Went for a short walk today and puttered around the house a bit. Surgeon said the tear was much bigger than he expected and said I would be off work 6 months. I think my employer will find me a desk job prior to that so I can keep my sanity.
Back to doc on the 18th for first check.

Jul 07, 2012
Lyndsay/Anynomous NEW
by: Daniel

I too thought my ROM was pretty good for only being out of sling for 2 wks but doc doesn't think so.. O well I will just continue to press on..
Lyndsay...
Sounds like its your nerves causing the spasms.. My bruising hung around for a couple of weeks.. I wouldnt be too concerned with it.. I bet it will subside soon.. Good luck in your journey..

Jul 10, 2012
PT etc... NEW
by: Nancy

The shaking is normal I think, I am now 5 weeks out, still in passive PT for 2 more weeks...my employer laid me off for being out of work too long (past 90 days) so I have to go into a business suit to interview, no clue when that can happen? I am still wearing sundresses, PT says I am doing well for my post op duration. Sleep is still on and off, thank goodness I have disability insurance, but given the time it takes to find a job in this economy, that is now starting to worry me. How long, with full cut and full tear, before I can put a business suit on so that I can interview?

Jul 10, 2012
interview NEW
by: Anonymous

I had arthroscopic - but a co-worker (teacher) had full tear and open incision. Her swelling actually went down before mine- and she was in regular clothes before she even got out of the sling (which was at 6wks). For her, that meant blouses and cardigans-with the sling over them. I realize those have more give than a suit jacket.

Good luck in your search; maddening that you can be let go due to a necessary medical procedure. Hope you find a better employer!

Jul 15, 2012
OUCH NEW
by: Brenda

My thoughts and prayers are with anyone that has had this done. Mine was repaired July 10th. Pain control was not even an option for the first three days. Not to mention the continual crying and mood swings over the next couple of days. I was in a lot of pain before the surgery but after going through this, I would not have the surgery again. And I had many sleepless nights prior. This is almost too much to deal with. My sincere thoughts are with all of you that understand this pain. May you heal quickly.

Jul 15, 2012
This is just too much... NEW
by: Nancy

I would not recommend anyone have this surgery if they live alone, the health insurance company should send someone at least 3X per week, but they do not care.

Tonight my cat urinated on my bed, he has never done that before, probably because I cannot clean the cat box and was waiting for a friend tomorrow, so with one arm I stripped my bed, sprayed everything with "cat neutralizing spray", and through it in the washer.

I was due to start a tiny pit of "active" PT tomorrow, but I know I hurt myself tonight, and there is no way to get sheets on the bed. This is crazy....I cannot take anymore, it is almost 7 weeks and still in sling, petrified of frozen shoulder, as it has been so long, still on pendalums etc...

Jul 15, 2012
brenda and nancy NEW
by: Lyndsay

I am sorry to hear you are having such a tough time. I am 12 days since surgery and experience no pain for most of the day. Much less than the pre surgery pain. Slight tired ache in the evenings but thats it. I am out and about doing stuff, bit of house work too. My ex stayed a few days to help me but other than that I have been on my own. I do sleep in a recliner and pop a T3 before bed. Got off the oxy on day 3. Back to the surgeon in 3 days. Then physio which I am sure will have it's challenges.
Hang in there. Things will get better.

Jul 23, 2012
Response to Lyndsay NEW
by: Nancy

Lyndsay, did you have a full cut or with scope? There is a huge difference....

Jul 23, 2012
my situation NEW
by: Lyndsay

I had a full tear of supraspinatus and and acromioplasty with open surgery. Incision is about 3-4 inches long. I am sure everyone's situation is different. I know someone who has had the rotator cuf done 4 times. (keeps tearing due to not following docs orders) and he said each time is totally different with different pain levels.

Jul 23, 2012
To Lyndsay NEW
by: Nancy

Lyndsay,

Do EXACTLY what Dr and PT tell you, I was in sling for 7 weeks and no active PT until that time, last week. I am afraid of FT....do not listen to anyone else, this site is great for advice, but do what they tell you, it is SO important, I also had full tear, full cut, and partial tear in the back....best of luck to you!!

Jul 23, 2012
To Lyndsay NEW
by: Nancy

Lyndsay,

Do EXACTLY what Dr and PT tell you, I was in sling for 7 weeks and no active PT until that time, last week. I am afraid of FS....do not listen to anyone else, this site is great for advice, but do what they tell you, it is SO important, I also had full tear, full cut, and partial tear in the back....best of luck to you!!

Jul 24, 2012
to Nancy NEW
by: Lyndsay

Thanks Nancy, I will take that advice for sure. I imagine as I progress I will have my ups and downs too. Last thing I want is to go through this again. I start Physio in about an hour. I am out of the sling around the house and wear a collar cuff when I go out. I started passive exercises at home last week and am a little achy here and there. I noticed this morning that the bottom of the incision is open a little and oozing a bit so going to get the nurse at my family doc clinic to look at it today as they are in the same building as my therapist.
This site has been helpful but you are right about following your docs instructions only.
Wish you all the best.

Jul 24, 2012
Unreal Dr Visit NEW
by: Nancy

I went to my 8 week follow up today. I was on passive PT for 7 weeks, along with sling for 7 weeks, so was due to start active today.

My third party COBRA did not pay Blue Cross (I paid them on time), so it appeared I did not have insurance. By the time we got that straighten out I had missed PT, but made surgeon's appointment in same facility.

Surgeon's assistant did not understand why, 8 wks out, I have 0% ROM. Explained that they ordered 7 wks passive, he had a fit and went to PT (same bldg) and blamed me for going once per week. I did everything they told me!!! Now they think I have frozen sholder. I brought the new PT script to PT Dept(going tomorrow), and they told me I am almost up to my limit for PT with BC/BS, now I have to call for an insurance advocate, with 0% ROM...this is just crazy!!! It's already $60 a visit, now they want me to pay $100.....I am at my wits end and DO NOT WANT frozen shoulder!!!

Any advice??? Thanks!!!

Jul 24, 2012
Unreal Dr Visit NEW
by: Nancy

I went to my 8 week follow up today. I was on passive PT for 7 weeks, along with sling for 7 weeks, so was due to start active today.

My third party COBRA did not pay Blue Cross (I paid them on time), so it appeared I did not have insurance. By the time we got that straighten out I had missed PT, but made surgeon's appointment in same facility.

Surgeon's assistant did not understand why, 8 wks out, I have 0% ROM. Explained that they ordered 7 wks passive, he had a fit and went to PT (same bldg) and blamed me for going once per week. I did everything they told me!!! Now they think I have frozen sholder. I brought the new PT script to PT Dept(going tomorrow), and they told me I am almost up to my limit for PT with BC/BS, now I have to call for an insurance advocate, with 0% ROM...this is just crazy!!! It's already $60 a visit, now they want me to pay $100.....I am at my wits end and DO NOT WANT frozen shoulder!!!

Any advice??? Thanks!!!

Jul 27, 2012
Sleeping after arthroscopic shoulder surgery NEW
by: Jamie Lautz

Surgery was 2 weeks ago today. Vertical lesion & encapsulation cleanout. I had the most awesome nerve block (lasted over 24 hours) which helped enormously. I try to avoid the Percocet save for @ bedtime & when I am headed to PT. I too ache, but it hasn't been as bad as some of you folks have had so I will not complain.

With regard to sleeping - my better half rented a hospital bed for $140/month. It was cheaper than renting a recliner from the medical equipment company, & I believe there may be coverage under durable equipment on insurance, & certainly cheaper than buying a recliner which we really didn't have the room or need for otherwise. It has been a godsend... but I now need to figure out what to do when I return the bed, which I hope will be in 2 weeks (it really doesn't do much for the living room decor).

I have been checking into the wedges. Any suggestions? I would welcome them, as I'd love to return to my own bed.

Hope you are ALL feeling better.

Jul 27, 2012
Sleeping after arthroscopic shoulder surgery NEW
by: Jamie

Surgery was 2 weeks ago today. Vertical lesion & encapsulation cleanout. I had the most awesome nerve block (lasted over 24 hours) which helped enormously. I try to avoid the Percocet save for @ bedtime & when I am headed to PT. I too ache, but it hasn't been as bad as some of you folks have had so I will not complain.

With regard to sleeping - my better half rented a hospital bed for $140/month. It was cheaper than renting a recliner from the medical equipment company, & I believe there may be coverage under durable equipment on insurance, & certainly cheaper than buying a recliner which we really didn't have the room or need for otherwise. It has been a godsend... but I now need to figure out what to do when I return the bed, which I hope will be in 2 weeks (it really doesn't do much for the living room decor).

I have been checking into the wedges. Any suggestions? I would welcome them, as I'd love to return to my own bed.

Hope you are ALL feeling better.

Jul 27, 2012
to Jamie NEW
by: Anonymous

I moved back to my bed about a week ago. Surgery was Jule 3rd. My daugher-in-law gave me her pregnancy body pillow. I make a semi circle with it and put a normal pillow in for my head. I can bring the sides up under my arm and cradle it. I sleep pretty good. Better than when I tried to pile up pillows.

Jul 27, 2012
Thanks! NEW
by: Jamie

That is certainly something I will look into.

Jul 29, 2012
8 wks post op NEW
by: Nancy

I see that most people posting do not live alone. I'm interested in any advice for people who live alone...8 weeks post op, finally allowed to advance to active PT, just this week, cannot sleep on my back (just can't, never could), but I have learned to sleep on my "good" side....a shower is still a difficult procedure! Had someone stay with me for four weeks, for which I am greatful! But, nothing changed in that time....who knew???

At least they no longer think I have FS!! Going from 0% active too 100% active is crazy!! The pain is unreal!!

Jul 29, 2012
Reply to Nancy NEW
by: Anonymous

Hi- Your situation sounds like my brother's- no active for 7 weeks - sling 7 weeks. He is ok now- but had a struggle first few weeks of pt. He lives in a different state than I- my surgeon started passive pt one week, out of sling at 4 wks- I think I had easier time w/rehab. All I can suggest re being on your own- have neighbor or friend open cans, pill bottle lids, etc ahead of time- don't be shy about asking for help- people are glad to do what they can. Now that you're out of sling and more active the progress will be noticeably quicker- you will be amazed - truly. Good luck to you!

Jul 29, 2012
living alone. NEW
by: Anonymous

I agree with previous post. I live alone, had someone stay with me the first 4 days and I'm 8 weeks post op. My rehab has been complicated by mild nerve damage resulting from the nerve block. It is difficult when you live alone and have surgery but you have to reach out to people for emotional support and any kind of assistance. What helped me was making sure that no one person was being over burdened and everyone was glad to help when I requested. Good Luck to you.

Jul 29, 2012
LIVING ALONE NEW
by: Lyndsay

My husband left me 4 weeks prior to my surgery and came back to stay with me for the first week. After that I have been on my own. I am not one to ask for help, ever. It was something I had to learn prior to my surgery and once I did I was amazed at how much help I got from neighbors I didn't even know. Lots of volunteers to walk my dog, help with laundry and cleaning. I am pretty much doing everything myself now, with the left arm. If anyone drops by to visit I give them a list of a few things I need done. It isn't easy at times keeping my spirits up but I try and think positive each day. Reading good books, watching comedy and getting outside for long walks helps.

Jul 30, 2012
Living alone after RC surgery NEW
by: Nancy

Thanks to all! I am positive, however there are things I simply cannot do after passive for 7 weeks. I had ONE active PT session, and BC/BS is threatening to shut me of on PT, crazy! I need to call an advocate.

To all that commented, I've about maxed out on neighbors, friends, etc, people have the attitude, at 8 weeks to "get over it". Arm doesn't move much!!! Can't "get over it", wish it were that simple!!! I think BC/BS should send someone over at least 2 or 3X per week! That is not happening.....I just want 8 hrs of sleep staight through!!!

Aug 14, 2012
RC surgery NEW
by: Biff

I had RC surgery about a week ago. The tendon was completely torn through. Granted, I have oxycontin available but I was expecting a ton of pain from stories I've heard, and I've had much worse pain from toothaches. This is more annoying than anything else. Same issues as others; can't sleep in a bed for a while (still in the recliner), and being it's my right arm, the stick shift goes away (the Porsche is sitting). I suspect the PT is going to be painful. All in all, it's going better than I expected.

Aug 14, 2012
To Biff NEW
by: Lyndsay

Hi Biff, My experience is similar to yours. I am 6 weeks today no pain from about week 2 onward other than an over stretch and some inflammation now due to frantically trying to save my dog that was choking I am doing good. I was driving around 3.5 weeks, though not a stick shift. The physio is not painful like I expected. Just follow doc orders and take it easy.

Aug 31, 2012
Need Advice on Rotator Cuff NEW
by: Anonymous

I was hit the back with a steel door at work and caused 2 bulging disc and rotator cuff tear and tore the labrum off the bicep. It has been 4 weeks today. I just finished up 56 times of therapy and today I received a letter from my school ordering me back to my teaching position. Which is 1st grade. My light duty is no lunch or bus duty or reaching overhead. I am still taking pain meds when I do anything it stirs up pain in the front part of my shoulder. If i turn my arm a certain way I have severe pain just like I did before surgery. I am still sleeping in a recliner! If I lay on my side, surgery side up, it feels like my arm is being pulled off. Typing this in fact is a chore! Another thing is it safe for me to drive? Just wondering why this doctor released me with restrictions/light duty other than it is a Workers Comp case!

Aug 31, 2012
Need Advice on Rotator Cuff NEW
by: Anonymous

I was hit the back with a steel door at work and caused 2 bulging disc and rotator cuff tear and tore the labrum off the bicep. It has been 4 weeks today. I just finished up 56 times of therapy and today I received a letter from my school ordering me back to my teaching position. Which is 1st grade. My light duty is no lunch or bus duty or reaching overhead. I am still taking pain meds when I do anything it stirs up pain in the front part of my shoulder. If i turn my arm a certain way I have severe pain just like I did before surgery. I am still sleeping in a recliner! If I lay on my side, surgery side up, it feels like my arm is being pulled off. Typing this in fact is a chore! Another thing is it safe for me to drive? Just wondering why this doctor released me with restrictions/light duty other than it is a Workers Comp case!

Aug 31, 2012
Need Advice on Rotator Cuff NEW
by: Anonymous

I was hit the back with a steel door at work and caused 2 bulging disc and rotator cuff tear and tore the labrum off the bicep. It has been 4 weeks today. I just finished up 56 times of therapy and today I received a letter from my school ordering me back to my teaching position. Which is 1st grade. My light duty is no lunch or bus duty or reaching overhead. I am still taking pain meds when I do anything it stirs up pain in the front part of my shoulder. If i turn my arm a certain way I have severe pain just like I did before surgery. I am still sleeping in a recliner! If I lay on my side, surgery side up, it feels like my arm is being pulled off. Typing this in fact is a chore! Another thing is it safe for me to drive? Just wondering why this doctor released me with restrictions/light duty other than it is a Workers Comp case!

Sep 02, 2012
SLEEP! NEW
by: Petey-cat

I read there are a lot of people with rotator cuff surgery having difficulty sleeping. What i haven't read about is sweating at nite. i am a side sleeper who usually toss & turns a lot in my sleep, I tried the recliner first few nites but was dying to lay down. I only sleep in my bed with covers on - period - don't sleep in chairs, couch, etc. I prop myself up with pillows, doze for about 1-1/2 hrs needing to lie on my side. When I do lie on myside, propped up or not, I SWEAT! Niteshirt, sheets, pillows are all soaked almost as soon as I lay down! I took the same painkillers before surgery as I am now. Sugery included bone spur, bicep & tendon. Today is 9th day since surgery. A/c is always on. Any suggestions?

Sep 03, 2012
labrum,rotate cuff, spurs NEW
by: JACK

I am having surgery in 4 weeks I was thinking about buying a foam wedge and laying in my chase lounge with pillows and blankets all around me... do you think that would work? How do you go about taking a shower if you have to wear a sling for 6 weeks?

Sep 03, 2012
labrum,rotate cuff, spurs NEW
by: JACK

I am having surgery in 4 weeks I was thinking about buying a foam wedge and laying in my chase lounge with pillows and blankets all around me... do you think that would work? How do you go about taking a shower if you have to wear a sling for 6 weeks?

Sep 03, 2012
hi jack NEW
by: Darroll

Jack. After three days you will be able to take off your bandage and shower. Sleeping is an individual thing. Some thing work and some dont. It is worth it.

Sep 03, 2012
hi jack NEW
by: Darroll

Jack. After three days you will be able to take off your bandage and shower. Sleeping is an individual thing. Some thing work and some dont. It is worth it.

Sep 03, 2012
Full tears of Supraspinatus and Infraspinatus tendons NEW
by: Anonymous

Surgery was 12/16/2012.

I have some advice for folks getting this surgery.

I think that the PT after this surgery is "one size fits all". If you have a severe injury and especially if you go a long time before getting it repaired (I went 1 year), and you are older, (57 here) do NOT allow them to push you through the standard aggressive PT like any other RC surgery.

Sure you need to keep it moving, but in my opinion some of this PT is WAY too aggressive. I finally backed off, let it heal a couple of months, then slowly returned to activity, and it was fine. The too early too aggressive PT was probably fine for a more minor repair that was not delayed.

Like any other medical condition these days you need to do your research to stay a step ahead of the "professionals".

Sep 04, 2012
reply to jack NEW
by: Anonymous

I was allowed to shower after three days- My husband had to cover incision w/saran wrap and waterproof tape- I took arm out of sling but was to keep it dangling at my side- no active movement. Could lean forward slightly to let gravity pull it away from body to wash under arms. No reaching- then right back in sling. Be careful you don't mkae any reflexive movements- like grabbing for soap that falls! Scroll back and read older posts - ther are lots of good suggestions for clothing, showering, etc.Sleeping is tough for a long time-lots of folks have to be rather upright to keep pressure off the operated side- others were able to support w/pillows and had an easier time of it. Good luck!!

Sep 04, 2012
shoulder labral surgery NEW
by: jack

Thanks that was the information I was looking for I was wondering if my arm can come out of sling while taking a shower this seems to be a nightmare I have a little bit of pain but nothing too serious I feel like my arm has less strength some pain while sleeping and movements lots of popping and clicking and impingement it's a feeling of the shoulder humorous popping out of the glenoid

Sep 04, 2012
shoulder labral surgery NEW
by: jack

Thanks that was the information I was looking for I was wondering if my arm can come out of sling while taking a shower this seems to be a nightmare I have a little bit of pain but nothing too serious I feel like my arm has less strength some pain while sleeping and movements lots of popping and clicking and impingement it's a feeling of the shoulder humorous popping out of the glenoid

Sep 04, 2012
Reply to Jack - Showering NEW
by: Anonymous

I was not allowed to take the sling off at all for 7 weeks, which means no showers, sponge baths only, for 7 weeks. Everyone and every surgeon is different, but I didn't want you to be surprised if your surgeon does not allow showers until after the sling is off.

Sep 04, 2012
shower NEW
by: Anonymous

You are right each surgeon is different. Mine had me out of the sling at 2 weeks and just using a collar/cuff one when I went out. I had two tendons repaired with some screws, bone spur removal and a retracted bicep. When I asked him last week how come only 2 weeks in a sling vs the common 6 weeks he said he felt early movement leads to better healing and les chance of frozen shoulder and if his work needed 6 weeks without movement then he best be in a different profession.

On the showering: I chose to bathe instead of showering. I filled the tub 1/2 way and was able to rest my arm on my lap to wash. Lying down in the tub on an angle, sort of on my good side, I was able to wash my hair. I also had a nylon scrubby with a long handle so I could wash under arms with my good arm. It worked quite well. I had open surgery so had to keep incisions dry for weeks.

Sep 05, 2012
Sling, shower, etc... NEW
by: Nancy

Everyone has a different "degree" of surgery, something I have learned since having this. I was in the sling for 7 weeks, allowed to shower after the stitches came out after one.

In regards to sleeping, the BIGGEST issue is, can you sleep on your back? If so, it's not so bad. I cannot. I am a stomach sleeper. It took me 3 months to sleep on my stomach after surgery. After no sleep for one week (horrible), I learned to sleep on "good" side. Still was off and on. It is a long road if you had a very bad tear(s), spurs, etc. Trust me, it does get better, the first week is the worst.

Sep 05, 2012
Sling, shower, etc... NEW
by: Nancy

Everyone has a different "degree" of surgery, something I have learned since having this. I was in the sling for 7 weeks, allowed to shower after the stitches came out after one.

In regards to sleeping, the BIGGEST issue is, can you sleep on your back? If so, it's not so bad. I cannot. I am a stomach sleeper. It took me 3 months to sleep on my stomach after surgery. After no sleep for one week (horrible), I learned to sleep on "good" side. Still was off and on. It is a long road if you had a very bad tear(s), spurs, etc. Trust me, it does get better, the first week is the worst.

Sep 05, 2012
Sling, shower, etc... NEW
by: Nancy

Everyone has a different "degree" of surgery, something I have learned since having this. I was in the sling for 7 weeks, allowed to shower after the stitches came out after one.

In regards to sleeping, the BIGGEST issue is, can you sleep on your back? If so, it's not so bad. I cannot. I am a stomach sleeper. It took me 3 months to sleep on my stomach after surgery. After no sleep for one week (horrible), I learned to sleep on "good" side. Still was off and on. It is a long road if you had a very bad tear(s), spurs, etc. Trust me, it does get better, the first week is the worst.

Sep 05, 2012
Misc. NEW
by: Nancy

1) to the person who was sent back to work after one month, you need a second opinion...unheard of if full tear.

2) Showering....I was in sling 7 weeks, you can shower after stitches are out (1 week), and yes, it is tough, I have long hair

3) Sleeping...if you can sleep on your back, you will be fine, I cannot...so it took me 3 months to sleep on my stomach with my arm hanging off the bed....slept on my "good" side after one week of no sleep after surgery. Sleep is still not "normal"...

4) If you have a spouse, significant other it is much different than doing this alone. I live alone and there are a lot of things I still cannot do, that would be greatly minimized (like putting sheets on a bed) if I were married etc... huge difference...

Sep 05, 2012
Jack NEW
by: Anonymous

Wow alot of good information i am getting from this forum you all are a tremendous help! I am a side sleeper have bone spurs sperated ac joint torn labrum and torn rotaotor cuff just a mess the pain is maybe a 2 on a scale 1-10. This happened few months back but having the surgery next month. I hope the doc gives me something better than percs 5/325 i could take 3 or 4 at a time and have little relief for major pain. i had knee surgery in cast for 6 weeks then in PT the flowing day after the cast was removed and ill tell ya to rebend the leg again was the worse than any pain i felt id rather have root canal with out novacane. I take 2 to 3 showers a day just to feel refreshed hope i can at least take a shower once a day after 2 days or even every other day. im more worried about the recovery pain and time it takes to be back to normal and if i do this would i make things more screwed up. i plan on going to florida and drive 1200 miles and 1200 miles back around 12 weeks past the sergury and im hoping to be able too.
ill probably order the foam wedge for sleeping because i dont have a recliner only a chase lounge that i plan to use or the bed or couch.
After my knee surgery its been 10 1/2 years and i still have not regained my quad muscle to full its still like jello and left side of knee has no feeling hopefuly i dont have the same with my arm. i am a personal trainer and in contruction so ill be laid up for quite some time i guess...

Sep 05, 2012
Driving NEW
by: Nancy

I would not suggest driving that distance at 12 weeks. I finally drove 2.5 hrs each way over labor day w/e, 90 days post op. The first 2.5 was fine, the 2.5 hrs 3 days later caused pain for the entire next day. That is just my personal experience, again, everyone is different. Regarding medication, they gave me percs, 10/325...that seems to be the "norm"....best of luck to you...

Sep 05, 2012
shoulder NEW
by: Anonymous

Thanks Nancy!!! seriously you guys rock! i'm looking into rent a center for a recliner i want to be prepared. I also have like 6 months in sick time i could probabaly take 3 months off paid if i needed to i do drive at least 200 miles per day to and from and around town at work was thinking of going back in 4 to 6 weeks but i guess that might be a smart move. i think ill have to see how i feel at around 10 weeks out for the 1200 mile drive to florida plus when im down there i wont have anything but a flat bed and dont know how ill feel laying flat at 12 weeks

Sep 10, 2012
Rotator cuff repair NEW
by: Angela

I had surgery to repair a full thickness tear in my RC on 8/31/12. After reading this thread and other stuff online I was a little freaked out. Especially since it was my right shoulder and I'm righthanded. I was given hydrocodone and started taking 2 every 4 hrs as soon as I got home. So far I haven't experienced a lot of pain. Changing the bandages really hurt if the incisions were slightly touched. I've been sleeping on the couch with pillows. The first 2 days I slept on and off for a couple of hrs before waking up. Not due to pain though. Probably because I had multiple people staying at the me. Since then I've been sleeping longer.
I went to the Dr 4 days after surgery and he said my incisions looked fine. I go back Tuesday to have my stitches removed. I asked for a different sling. They gave me a plain one which wraps around my waist after surgery. They gave me a slingshot2 when I requested another one. Took it off when I got home. It wasn't comfortable when I sat on my couch. I did wear it for a little bit the past 2 days. Since it has the pillow my arm is not directly against me which gets old with the other sling. Actually I'm already sick of both of them. I have to wear for 6 weeks.
I don't start pt until 6wks after surgery. Dr didn't give me any home exercises. I asked about pendulum exercises at my 4 day appt and he was like sure if you want. I definitely don't want to end up with frozen shoulder.
I go back to work this Tuesday. I work from home so it should be okay. I've been fortunate to have my parents staying with me.

Sep 11, 2012
Misc. NEW
by: Nancy

Anglea,

Yes you are fortunate to have parents staying with you..

Again, if you can sleep on your back, you will be okay, if you sleep on your stomach, as I do, it takes a long time.

If you live alone, it is very difficult. I am over 90 days and cannot lift my arm straight above my head...

Sep 11, 2012
Misc. NEW
by: Nancy

Anglea,

Yes you are fortunate to have parents staying with you..

Again, if you can sleep on your back, you will be okay, if you sleep on your stomach, as I do, it takes a long time.

If you live alone, it is very difficult. I am over 90 days and cannot lift my arm straight above my head...

Sep 11, 2012
Misc. NEW
by: Nancy

Angela,

Yes, you are fortunate to have parents staying with you..

Again, if you can sleep on your back, you will be okay, if you sleep on your stomach, as I do, it takes a long time.

If you live alone, it is very difficult. I am over 90 days and cannot lift my arm straight above my head...

Sep 11, 2012
arm NEW
by: Lyndsay

Hey Nancy, My doc told me it would be a year before I could lift my arm above my head. 6 months to get it to go as high as shoulder height.
10 weeks for me now and I can get my arm to almost waist height. I functioned so long with only a left arm that I am managing ok on my own. Changing the sheets and washing the dog are still two things I can not do.

I had open surgery. Supraspinatus had a full tear, infraspinatus partial tear and a retracted bicep. So I am not expecting full ROM for at least a year.

Sleep is still not great. I toss and turn all night. I am a side sleeper and neither side works for me right now. Still on my back with pillows.

Doing physio at home and only seeing the therapist once every 2 weeks. Some days are good some not so good. One day at a time is my motto now.

One day at a time is my motto now.

Sep 11, 2012
Misc NEW
by: Angela

I was doing pretty good with sleeping and comfort until last night. For some reason my normal setup wasn't working and I couldn't get comfortable. I switched ends of the couch,changed slings and nothing really seemed to work. I had a dull ache in my shoulder. I didn't get any sleep and today is my first day back at work. Luckily I work from home. I'm still trying to figure out the best arrangement for typing. Right now I have my laptop on my lap at an angle.

I get my stitches out today. That will be one less thing to worry about.

I'm going to try not to nap today so I can sleep tonight.

Nancy, I'm a stomach sleeper too, but this hasn't been as bad as sleeping in the bed flat on my back like I had to do back in May when I had my knee scoped. I also live alone so once my parents leave in a week I'll have to find friends to take me to the store until I'm out of my sling and can drive. I've been doing pretty good doing most things on my own like showering and fixing my smoothies. I have noticed my left bicep and wrist are sore so I should probably be a little bit more careful. Lord knows I don't want to have to go through this on my left shoulder.

Sep 11, 2012
3 weeks to go... NEW
by: Jack

Three weeks from today is my shoulder surgery I just got a call from my doctor telling me i need to go for pre op in two weeks. I had to post cause my nerves are shot lol. Now it feels like this is real... I ordered a recliner from RAC rent a center not bad $125 for a month. that should help with sleep i hopem im trying to be as prepared as i can, anything else i might need before i get my sergury?

Sep 11, 2012
Jack NEW
by: Anonymous

Hi Jack, we can all understand how nervous you must be. If you scroll back and look at previous posts you will find plenty of suggestions. Getting a recliner is a good start - I used mine for two months. Best of luck to you...

Sep 11, 2012
Pillow NEW
by: Jack

I just found a very large Multi Position Pillow - Multi Functional pillow for total support while sleeping or resting in bed on amazon.com i will order that as well so when eventutally im able to lay in bed or on the couch im have this for support.

Sep 18, 2012
When do I regain energy after shoulder surgery? NEW
by: Deb

I had surgery 8/10/12 to repair a complete tear in my rotator cuff. I still have pain, but it seems to be lessening and hurting only in areas that are tight or needing stretching or moving. Or I'll have pain when trying to do things like blow drying my hair.
I think I'm pretty on target with recovery, but when do I get energy back? It takes the smallest things to completely drain me. I stayed off work 3 weeks, and have been back working but not full days. I'll typically work till after lunch, go to therapy (therapy 3 times a week) and then go home exhausted.
If I have to do anything out of the ordinary like driving a distance or exherting myself more, the next day I'm almost sick with exhaustion. To the point of nausea.
I've walked a little, I've been doing my homework as far as therapy at home.
When (or how) can I gain more energy?
Any and all advice or experience is greatly appreciated!
Deb

Sep 18, 2012
re: Deb NEW
by: Angela

Wow Deb you have progressed quickly. I had surgery 8/31 to repair a full thickness tear and I'm in the sling until my next Dr's visit, 10/8. My doctor didn't give me any home exercises to do. I asked if it was ok to do pendulum exercises and he said yes so I do those 2-3 times a day, plus I've been using my recumbent bike.

Using one hand for everything wears me out pretty quickly. As a matter of fact my left wrist is sore and feel a little pain in my left upper arm when doing certain things.

Have you tried taking vitamins to see if that helps with your energy? I've been taking mine and I hope that helps some once I start PT. Hopefully others will reply with some suggestions.

Ang

Sep 18, 2012
Re: Ang NEW
by: Deb

Ang, thanks for responding! Yes I'm taking vitamins, B12, magnisium, glucosamine, fish oil (or maybe they fall under suppliments, not sure). Some days I feel more energetic for awhile, and did more than I should and paid for it the next day. I'm learning to rest more. But I just thought it seemed like it was going sooo slow.
So your dr. didn't have you do therapy? I do therapy 3 times a week at TOC, plus I'm supposed to do exercises the therapist gives me twice a day. I started therapy the Monday after having surgery on Friday.
Are you tired and exhausted?
Today I've been researching foods to eat for energy, I'm afraid my diet isn't good, too much junk food.
Also, have you had problems with constipation, indigestion, nausea?
Thanks!
Deb

Sep 18, 2012
also, arm pain NEW
by: Deb

Also Ang, I have been having pain in the upper part of my good arm. I'm right handed, and it was my right shoulder that was operated on. Now my left arm hurts quit a bit up in the same area, and scares me that it's also rotator cuff related, and I do NOT want another surgery. I'm trying to be careful and not strain it, but in the week after surgery, I put alot of stress on it lowering myself in and out of the tub etc.

Sep 18, 2012
re: Deb NEW
by: Angela

I too am right-handed and had surgery on my right shoulder. I'm trying to take it easy with the left. I think another surgery would push me over the edge. I had surgery on my knee back in May. I started trying to do as much as I could right after surgery since I live alone and knew I'd only have my parents down for the first 2 weeks.

I was given hydrocodone after this surgery and took 2 every 4 hours for the first 4 days and it did make me constipated for a day or 2. I added chia seeds to my green smoothies and that did the trick. The hydrocodone worked, but it made me itch so bad so I was switched to oxycodone. I started out taking 1 every 4-6 hours. One morning I took 2 pills and was sick to my stomach for a few hours. I think it was because I hadn't eaten. I'm down to about 2 pills a day.

I've been lucky so far when it comes to pain. I have a feeling it will be a different story when I start PT in October. Especially since it will have been just about 6 weeks after surgery. Most of the people on this board started PT right after surgery. There have been a few others who had to wait 6 wks like me. For now I'm counting down to 10/08. I can't wait to get rid of this sling!!

Sep 18, 2012
Ang NEW
by: Deb

Thanks, it sounds like you eat healthy, which would be a big help to me too I'm sure!
Good luck with your recovery, maybe you can do some passive pt on your own before you start it for real on 10/8. Maybe it won't be bad!

Sep 18, 2012
Surgery NEW
by: Jack

I am two weeks away from getting this done. I have pre op next week the recliner is ordered, pillows and ice packs on hand back and scratcher lol.

Sep 18, 2012
Jack NEW
by: Deb

Jack you were so smart to research this before surgery, I sure wish I had!
I'd have: slept in the recliner more, bought the perfect pillow, had some Biofreeze on hand, known not to put too much stress on my good are (seriously, take it easy as you can with the good arm, I'm almost 6 weeks out and my good arm is pretty sore and I sure don't want another RC surgery). I'd have had clothes on had that was easy to slip in and out of, with buttons or closure on the front. Wear something to the hospital that is baggy enough to wrap around your shoulder in the sling.
Good luck with your surgery. Oh yeah one more thing, about post surgery PT. Do the exercises they give you, but don't push the arm to the point of pain. I had passive therapy for a few weeks, and I pushed my arm too hard and I think I just strained it and caused more pain. All you need is a good stretch, if it hurts alot, ease up!

Sep 19, 2012
More than 90 days out NEW
by: Anonymous

More than 90 days out, full tear, bone spurs etc, PT tells me my bicept (sp?) is recovering normally, have 3 herianted discs in neck. Not sure what to think....

Sep 19, 2012
More than 90 days out NEW
by: Anonymous

More than 90 days out, full tear, bone spurs etc, PT tells me my bicept (sp?) is recovering normally, have 3 herianted discs in neck. Not sure what to think....

Sep 19, 2012
Deb NEW
by: Anonymous

Deb- I've had both shoulders repaired within an 18 mo window following separate falls. As far as energy- you need to remember you had general anesthesia and a lot of work done in there- regardless whether your incisions are small. The good arm does get sore from doing so much of what is usually a shared load- don't overdo it. If you don't sleep well at night, you will be more tired during the day. I took short naps for a few months.I remeber just walking around the grocery store with a friend wore me out and I could not figure out why. If you are working, that takes a toll on you as well. Take it as easy as possible and give it time to heal. You'll get there! (Now that I have some back issues, the shoulders seem like a piece of cake- at least they healed and got back to normal!) Good luck- Molly

Sep 19, 2012
Molly NEW
by: Deb

Thanks so much Molly! That helps. I just found out today I have to have something cut off my arm, something I thought was maybe acne, but it turns out to be a very "low risk of spreading" cancer. They said they will put me out for this, but only twilight. I'm hoping the "twilight" and probable quickness of this surgery, thus not being under as long as I was for shoulder surgery, will equal not exhausting me so me.
Good luck with your back, I hope you can get to feeling better without another surgery.
Thanks again!
Deb

Sep 19, 2012
Reply to Deb ew NEW
by: Anonymous

Deb- Is the procedure going to be on your good arm or the operative arm? That does not sound like any fun. I guess when it rains, it pours. Forgot to tell you- the pain meds can make you both nauseous and constipated. I cannot handle heavy- duty meds so only took tylenol and ibuprofen after the first day- but a friend who had it done drank prune juice (yuck) w/ her meds. Pain itself can also make you nauseous- as can lack of sleep. You sound like you are ahead of the curve as far as your activity- just don't overdue it and reinjure the repair. Good luck! Molly

Sep 19, 2012
6 months post op NEW
by: Anonymous

Just had my 6 month check up...100% range of motion still need to get more strenght, the only thing I have trouble with is throwing rocks at the neighbors dogs. Haven't had a pain med since the second week after surgery,sleeping was never a problem.Not too shabby for a 65 year old lady that had a massive tear from playing hockey.Everyone heals differently, and everyone has a different pain level, but a possitive attitude is the most important thing for recovery

Sep 20, 2012
Correction, deltoid NEW
by: Anonymous

It is my deltoid that will not come back after the surgery, 90 days out, I have 3 heriated discs in my neck, does this make sense?

Sep 20, 2012
Correction, deltoid NEW
by: Anonymous

It is my deltoid that will not come back after the surgery, 90 days out, I have 3 heriated discs in my neck, does this make sense?

Sep 20, 2012
Correction, deltoid NEW
by: Anonymous

It is my deltoid that will not come back after the surgery, 90 days out, I have 3 heriated discs in my neck, does this make sense?

Sep 20, 2012
Correction, deltoid NEW
by: Anonymous

It is my deltoid that will not come back after the surgery, 90 days out, I have 3 heriated discs in my neck, does this make sense?

Sep 20, 2012
Molly NEW
by: Deb

Yes the procedure will be on my bad arm. And they told me I couldn't take anti inflammitory meds till after surgery, and I was about ready to start phasing the pain pills out with an anti-inflammitory med. I guess not now.
I'm believe it will all be ok. Right now I'm just enjoying the beautiful fall weather and enjoying that I'm finally starting to get more energy!
Thanks
Deb

Sep 20, 2012
Deb New NEW
by: Angela

Glad to see you are getting more energy.

I actually tweaked my shouler yesterday when I was sliding it out of my sling so I could type better. I moved my arm back instead of sliding the sling forward. It didn't leave my side, but I did something it didn't like. It was sore when I woke up this morning. I think that is the most pain I've had upon waking up this whole time. I had to take pain med and ice. Still feels a little of, but I would think that wasn't enough movement to do any real damage. Hopefully it is just sore from not being moved like that in weeks. I actually wish I could lay on my back and have someone move my arm up to see if that would help. It kinda feels like it needs to be popped if that makes any sense.

In regards to eating healthy, I don't consistently. I do try to make sure I have a green smoothie with protein powder at least once a day though.

I hope your next procedure goes smoothly.

Ang

Sep 20, 2012
Ang NEW
by: Deb

Ang,
I do get what you mean about it feeling like it needs to be popped. I wish you had someone to give you a little passive therapy, just move it around for you. It really helps mine when I stretch it out and move it, as long as I don't overdo it.
I bet you may have just strained it a little by making it do a movement it hasn't in awhile.
I'll be glad for you to get to go to PT. I talked to my therapist yesterday, and asked about why some people go to therapy right after surgery and why some wait. She said different doctors have different outlooks, and the good thing about waiting for therepy is that it doesn't hurt as bad as if you'd started it right after surgery. So that's good news for you!
Deb

Sep 20, 2012
Deb NEW
by: Angela

Oh that will be so awesome if PT doesn't hurt as much. I was thinking just the opposite.

I think I'll really take it easy this weekend. At least I felt it when it happened and I know it wasn't from the baking I did Tuesday and Wednesday :).

Sep 20, 2012
Valium NEW
by: Anonymous

All these posts I read just went to the doctors to get Valium to calm my nerves before surgery

Sep 20, 2012
90 days out... NEW
by: Anonymous

I went to my neurologist today, I need a nerve test to see the interaction between the neck and the rotator cuff....deltoid not recovering. Does anyone know anything about this?

To the person who feels like they need passive, yes you do! As soon as possible.

Regarding immediate PT vs sling, it depends what you had done. The range is huge....

Sep 21, 2012
Progress? NEW
by: Brian

I posted on March 8, 18, and April 2 of this year.
I had rotator cuff surgery on my right (dominant) side in March. I also have a bigger tear on the left RC which needed taking care of at a later date.

The recovery was misery beyond my wildest expectations, as you may want to (or not) read in the above posts.

Now, 6 months post-op, with constant PT, ever day (I built a little gym with a pulley and weights in my basement) the shoulder has little actual pain (more discomfort than pain), great mobility, strength is returning, but there are other issues.

The clicking in my shoulder is intense. Sometimes it feels like there are ratchets on top of, in front of, and behind the shoulder (under the scapula). There is still significant biceps tendinitis.

But the main problem is that the shoulder still falls asleep at night, waking me up often, as does the other shoulder. This was the main complaint when I went in for the surgery. I can't get decent sleep.

Maybe the problem is cervical after all, but my doc didn't really give that much consideration.

The other thing, and this is HUGE, is that after the surgery, I got intense PT, which I really appreciated. I also did the same PT for the other shoulder.

Turns out that the other shoulder, which was more damaged in the first place, has responded extraordinarily well to the PT. It's better than the shoulder that had the surgery!

So I suspect that the whole operation could have been spared if I'd gotten more intense PT from the beginning.

To be fair to my Phys. therapist, I didn't take the PT all that seriously before the operation. I did after, because I didn't want to keep going through the misery I had in the beginning of recovery.

My point is - if you can at all - do the most intense PT you can for a long time before you go in for the cutting. If I had to do it again, I would never have done the surgery, and I'd have shoulders like Arnold Schwarzenegger by now from all the PT I would have done over the years.

I am definitely not going in to have the other shoulder done.

It's only been 6 months, and I know the clicking and shoulder falling asleep may go away after a year or so, so the operation should be considered a success. But the PT on the other arm was a much bigger success, without the sling, the no sleep at all for a month, the depression, and the pain.

Talk to your doc and your physical therapist about upping the workouts, and give it all you've got. It might save you the worst couple of months of your life.

Sep 21, 2012
Shoulder Surgery coming up... NEW
by: JACK

HELLO ALL!!!!

I tore my labum, rotator cuff, bones spurs and seperated ac joint and after reading all of these comments about shoulder surgery from all of you guys I followed most of your instuctions and I decided to be prepared for the worse so I went out and rented a brand new black leather recliner with cup holders and its really comfy, I also bought a back sratcher, 2 gel ice packs, foam wedge, a huge pillow made for sitting up in bed, i have 3 shirts that have velcro on shouders so you can step into it made for shoulder surgery,sweat pants with elastic waistband, crocs that just slip on feet, vitamins, new shower head, hand soap foam pump bottles,baby powder,floss picks, DVD's, Tums for stomach, figs to help with bathroom issues,a book, Valium lol and a few other items... so this forum and youtube has help tremdously because im pretty much ready for this annoying surgery. I am a part time personal trainer so I take care of myself in the gym 5 days a week working out since 2003 so I am fit and have strong muscle and will aid in a speedy recovery. I have the sick time at my full time job so I am not worried about getting paid, I am mainly worried about not being able to go about my regular schedule I will defenitly become extremely figity and will miss the gym BADLY. My surgery is october 2nd so I figure mid November I will start PT by mid December 2012 I will be doing light cardio on tred mill and Bike then April of 2013 I will be back in the gym strength training and building muscle and by June I will have gained my muscle back to the way it is now. I dont want to push it and re-injure myself but I will do PT and home excersizes and wont miss a session becuase I have the dedication and mind to beat this. I will also be back and post after my surgery or if anyone wants me to give them updates to their personal email address I will be glad to do that reply and just post your email letting me know you want to here my progress and i will get in contact with you right away.

Jack

Sep 22, 2012
@ Jack NEW
by: Angela

Jack sounds like you are all set. I agree this forum was very helpful and helped me prepare for my surgery. Hopefully everything goes well and you don't experience a lot of pain.

Angela

Sep 24, 2012
Pre-op NEW
by: Jack

Hi Guys,

I have pre op tomorrow afternoon- what exactly will they do in pre-op?

Thanks

Sep 24, 2012
Pre-Op NEW
by: Anonymous

Hi Jack,

Pre-op is generally blood work, EKG and chest ex-ray..no big deal.....

Sep 26, 2012
Op 31st Aug 2012 NEW
by: Dawn

Not a sports injury but, rotator cuff and tear repair. I didn't have a recliner but did sleep propped up in the corner of a high back sofa. Lots of feather pillows are required. Managed to sleep in bed after 10 nights. almost 4 weeks on and I still wake after 4-5 hours and spend the rest of the night propped up in bed. Did anyone have voice problems after surgery? I seem to have lost my ability to call my cats in from the garden, can't shout now. I am still very tired and dressing and undressing is not easy. Physio is essential. I have returned to office work for a few hours a couple of mornings a week but, it knocks me out. I'm 55 and overweight and i'm I wish I had dieted before the surgery. I am lucky I don't have kids to look after but, unlucky that I don't get paid while off sick. I know it will all be worth it in the end.

Sep 26, 2012
Re to Dawn NEW
by: Anonymous

Hi- I was a little croaky and throat was sore- Dr. said from tube during surgery- I'd guess yours is the same issue. It resolved after awhile- can't remember how long. I was lucky w/ the dressing and undressing- first was in the summer so I just slipped on camis and pullon shorts and sandals. Second was winter- pullon pants , camis w/cardigan over them. I also was mid-fifties- and no longer skinny-both were injured by falling I had full recoveries and they are great now- you'll make it! The only thing I notice is I am not quite as strong- my fault for not continuing w/weights- but have full range of motion- can even hit a tennis ball w/racket for the dog- too much and it's tired- but it works! Good luck- but don't overdo it- I took it quite slow- but it worked- had a great PT- that is key.

Sep 26, 2012
a year a half out. NEW
by: Anonymous

It's been a year and a half since my surgery in March of 2011. I'm a 68 year old woman and wanted to let you know how glad I am I had the surgery. The shoulder of my dominant arm was a total mess and my surgeon did not expect the repairs to take. See my prior posting of June 17, 2011, titled "Good Recovery". I am happy to say that I have my full range of motion (except for trying to reach behind up to my shoulder blades). No pain. I may not have quite as much strength in my operated arm, but I am no athlete and done any particular strength training. I, too, was a life-long stomach sleeper, but following surgery I learned to sleep on my back and I now find that position is the most comfortable. If I sleep on either side, I will wake up in a couple of hours with aching shoulders. My number 1 advice is to look for the best doctor you can find and after surgery do not make any use of your operated arm until your doctor says its OK. Travel a couple of hours to find a specialist if necessary. I was lucky enough to have access to a medical practice that treats injured NBA team members. I don't think I would have had my good outcome but for that doctor.

Oct 05, 2012
Other issues to be aware of after rotator cuff surgery NEW
by: Lee

I had right shoulder rotator cuff surgery in Nov, 2010. It has returned to probably 90% of its original strength and flexibility, which is considered good. I had all of the issues that everyone has been commenting about, but there were a few major issues that I encountered that were not mentioned in any of the posts. I thought people should be aware, because doctors may or may not mention it to you after your surgery.
1. If you have shoulder surgery, make sure you immediately start moving your elbow and hands/fingers to prevent issues. My doctor did not tell me to, so i did not move them for a while and osteophyte (bone spurs) developed. If I had moved them constantly, the osteophyte probably would not have had a chance to develop. I had to have surgery on my elbow after that.
2. Be careful of the arm that did not have surgery, so as to not hurt that one from overcompensating. Especially if it is the non dominant arm. My doctor did not warn me about this, so I tore my rotator cuff on that arm also. I found out from my doctor "afterwards" that this happens quite a lot! I now need surgery on my left shoulder also.
These situations may or may not happen to you, like they did to me. Just be aware of the possibilities, and how to reduce the likelihood of it happening. Good luck to everyone.

Oct 07, 2012
Non Dominant Arm NEW
by: Anonymous

Thanks Lee, I am four months out....dominate arm, full tear. The non-dominate arm hurts....I hope I didn't tear it..yikes!

Oct 08, 2012
1 Week post op NEW
by: JACK IS BACK

I feel terrbile today constipated, nausious, dizzy stuffy extremely weak and more pain yesterday and today they the whole week before. I cant seem to get comfy were ever i am in the house i mo ve from chair to chair to bed. -I put lots of pillow in the bed amd im able to sleep on my back proped up for a few hours. I took my forst shower friday and took the banages off i have 7 cuts that are stitched up but 3 out of the 4 incisions are side by side so they were probably working through 4 holes. i tweaked my should with the slightest movement yesterday and OH LORD did that hurt badly. sorry about my poor grammer its hard to type with my bad arm and on percocets. - I have been taking like 10 percocets with in a 24 hours period there 5/325mg -they are the weakest pain stuff but at least i have something. my tv sound stopped working oh boy thats gnna be ab issue lol.My cat scratched up my leather recliner i rented for 125 per month so i might have to pay for the repairs or own it GOSHHH what else can happen to me. thanks everyone for listening to my crap. I look foward to coming here to chat to you all and maybe help someone like you all helped me.

Oct 08, 2012
Jack NEW
by: Anonymous

Hang in there Jack. It will get better. Remember ICE is your best friend right now. Take it slow. One day at a time. It is a long slow process but each day will feel better. You are going through the worst right now.
I am now 12 weeks out and there was no pain for weeks but now I am pushing my physio exercises so sore muscles. But this is a good sore cause I know I am improving. Still off work till January as I need good range of motion and strength for my job.

Oct 09, 2012
Jack NEW
by: Deb

Hang in there Jack!!! I despaired of it ever getting better, (I'm 8 weeks out) but toward the end of last week I started feeling much better. Physically, mentally, everything. I know where you're coming from. I feel happy with life again, for 2 months I just existed, seems like.
I started therapy 4 days after surgery, when do you start?
Nausea and constipation and indigestion were problems for me too. Eat apples! They help lots, but I only discovered that recently.
I took an otc Prilosec, I chewed Tums. For constipation try Mirolax, very gentle, and you can put it in anything to drink and it doesnt taste. If the constipation gets bad, get a little bottle of that stuff people drink before having a colonoscopy and drink about half of it. I had to resort to that once, and I went to the bathroom for like 24 hours...so it's a last resort, but it works. Constipation will make you nauseous. If nausea persists, ask for a perscription of Phenergin. It helps, plus makes you a little sleepy. Another thing that helped me was Biofreeze, a topical thing you can rub on hurting areas (not incision sites, but around them). I hurt in places not even close to my incision sites, and that helped some.
Try to get your tv fixed, I know you don't feel like concentrating on books and magazines.
IT WILL GET BETTER!!!

Oct 09, 2012
Thank you deb and everyone NEW
by: Jack

I feel so tired lazy and just staring at walls this is terrible I feel depressed so annoying trying to sleep because im a side sleeper. I layed on my good side for like an hour i didnt have pain in my bad shoulder but i wonder if that is not a good thing to do. I drank 5 gallons of water in 1 week trrying to eat good but im on a carvel kick lately lol. You guys really are so helpful and are the only people who understand this hell im going through.

JACK BAUER

Oct 09, 2012
Jack NEW
by: DEB

You're welcome! I wish I had found this forum while I was early in my recovery.
I have trouble sleeping sometimes also. My dr. perscribed sleeping pills for me, and I was SO thankful. See if your dr. will perscribe Restoril for you. You can get a generic and it's cheap, less than $10 for a month I think. It's an old sleeping pill, not as trendy as the newer ones, but it WORKS WELL. I take 30 mg., but you can get it as low as 7.5 mg.
Good sleep is key, and I love the Restoril. I'm gonna keep taking it because it works so well.
Also, BE CAREFUL with your good arm, I wish someone had told me that, I'm afraid I may have injured my good arm putting so much stress and pressure on it. But I'm not even getting it checked out unless it gets worse.

Oct 09, 2012
Finally NEW
by: Angela

I am a little over 5 weeks out from surgery. I went to the doctor yesterday and he said I can stop using the sling. I finally start physical therapy tomorrow (Wed). I have a feeling it is going to hurt. Yesterday I could barely move my arm out away from my side and slightly up before I felt the stiffness and a little pain. I hope pt gets me moving in the right direction pretty quickly.

Oct 09, 2012
Reply to Angela NEW
by: Anonymous

Angela- Glad you're starting PT tomorrow. Just a word of caution- don't experiment on your own at home trying to stretch it- wait for the pt to instruct you. For the first couple weeks of pt, I was not to try to move operative arm myself- everything was assisted- either with a stick being held onto by good arm and the repaired one "going along for the ride". Same w/ the pulley- was told to let it go for the ride, but not to let it do the work- wasn't ready yet. I know all doctors and all therapists are different- as well as what each individual's repair was- good luck to you. It will work- and it will be worth it! Molly

Oct 10, 2012
shower NEW
by: Anonymous

i take a nice hot shower everyday but somehow i still stink is it from the pills or anasegia- i never had this before. its been 2 weeks post op?

Oct 13, 2012
Therapy NEW
by: Angela

So I've completed my first 2 pt sessions. Of course I was nervous before the first session. I ended up staying at work longer than planned so I couldn't go home and take a pain pill. Luckily I was able to get my hands on some aleeve. I took 3 about 45 minutes before my appointment. The therapist said I had good rom especially since I was just starting pt over 5wks after surgery. Today he was surprised with my rom. Said I was in the top 1% of patients. He even asked if I was sure I had a repair. I assured him I did. Some of the stretches hurt and my shoulder is more sore than before pt, but I'm sure that's to be expected after 5+ weeks in a sling. Overall I guess it is going pretty good. So far I've been doing my pt exercises twice a day everyday. Maybe I really will be able to start running in 4 weeks. We shall see. I hope things continue to go well. I'm. In a wedding 11/17 and I desperately need to quickly lose all of the weight I can put on during recovery.

Oct 13, 2012
Therapy NEW
by: Angela

So I've completed my first 2 pt sessions. Of course I was nervous before the first session. I ended up staying at work longer than planned so I couldn't go home and take a pain pill. Luckily I was able to get my hands on some aleeve. I took 3 about 45 minutes before my appointment. The therapist said I had good rom especially since I was just starting pt over 5wks after surgery. Today he was surprised with my rom. Said I was in the top 1% of patients. He even asked if I was sure I had a repair. I assured him I did. Some of the stretches hurt and my shoulder is more sore than before pt, but I'm sure that's to be expected after 5+ weeks in a sling. Overall I guess it is going pretty good. So far I've been doing my pt exercises twice a day everyday. Maybe I really will be able to start running in 4 weeks. We shall see. I hope things continue to go well. I'm. In a wedding 11/17 and I desperately need to quickly lose all of the weight I can put on during recovery.

Oct 13, 2012
Angela NEW
by: Anonymous

Glad it went well Angela. Makes a world of difference to be out of the sling- and after the next mo healing really improves. My Dr told me by three mos would be pretty functional but continue to see improvements for a year- and he was right. Jsut don't overdo it!

Oct 13, 2012
11 days post op follow up NEW
by: JACK

Well... today im 11 days out left the recliner last night went into bed woke up sleeping on my good shoulder i dont think that is a smart move even though i was comfy and slept because my bad shoulder was huntched fwd. and today extremly stiff and painful. Heat seems to make it feel better than ice. I start PT on monday with 90 degrees fwd. motion and 0% extrenal rotation ice heat and stimulation after evaluation.

jAcK iS BaCk...

Oct 15, 2012
sleep, ice and hope NEW
by: Wordcat

I am 10 weeks post op and wish I, too, had found this forum earlier!

SLEEP The biggest issue for me the first 6 weeks was sleep. I would suggest to the non-sleepers to do what you need to do to ensure sleep. If you need to take your pain pill at night - take it. If you need to ask for a sleeping pill - ask for it. If Tylenol PM works for you -take that. If you are not sleeping you are likely also becoming depressed. I know I did.

ALSO, the nurse at the hospital suggested a wedge-style pillow available at Bed, Bath & Beyond ($20). It didn't work the first two weeks, but eventually it became my best friend. I am still sleeping with it.

ICE keep icing! If your doctor will prescribe a CryoCuff, get one. I found a brand new one on e-bay and love it. It allows you continuous icing without the slippage of ice packs. It is expensive if you have to purchase out of pocket. I am still using it, especially after PT sessions.

HOPE It WILL get better! It may not seem like it, but it will. Keep icing, get some sleep. I also have a massage therapist that I have used for about 12 yrs. I called her and she came to the house. Granted, it was not the massage I am used to, but I believe it was a crucial part of my healing. Having someone rub your shoulder blade on the operated arm, gently stroke/rub your forearm and bicep feels like you have won the lottery! Your other arm is working so hard, it could use the rub as well. So can your neck. And your feet, with all those acupressure points. Try it. It's worth the extra bucks for the house call. Tell the therapist they don't need their table (you can't get on it anyhow) or their chair (not comfy either) and maybe they won't charge as much for the housec call.

Oct 15, 2012
sleep, ice and hope NEW
by: Wordcat

I am 10 weeks post op and wish I, too, had found this forum earlier!

SLEEP The biggest issue for me the first 6 weeks was sleep. I would suggest to the non-sleepers to do what you need to do to ensure sleep. If you need to take your pain pill at night - take it. If you need to ask for a sleeping pill - ask for it. If Tylenol PM works for you -take that. If you are not sleeping you are likely also becoming depressed. I know I did.

ALSO, the nurse at the hospital suggested a wedge-style pillow available at Bed, Bath & Beyond ($20). It didn't work the first two weeks, but eventually it became my best friend. I am still sleeping with it.

ICE keep icing! If your doctor will prescribe a CryoCuff, get one. I found a brand new one on e-bay and love it. It allows you continuous icing without the slippage of ice packs. It is expensive if you have to purchase out of pocket. I am still using it, especially after PT sessions.

HOPE It WILL get better! It may not seem like it, but it will. Keep icing, get some sleep. I also have a massage therapist that I have used for about 12 yrs. I called her and she came to the house. Granted, it was not the massage I am used to, but I believe it was a crucial part of my healing. Having someone rub your shoulder blade on the operated arm, gently stroke/rub your forearm and bicep feels like you have won the lottery! Your other arm is working so hard, it could use the rub as well. So can your neck. And your feet, with all those acupressure points. Try it. It's worth the extra bucks for the house call. Tell the therapist they don't need their table (you can't get on it anyhow) or their chair (not comfy either) and maybe they won't charge as much for the housec call.

Oct 15, 2012
sleep, ice and hope NEW
by: Wordcat

I am 10 weeks post op and wish I, too, had found this forum earlier!

SLEEP The biggest issue for me the first 6 weeks was sleep. I would suggest to the non-sleepers to do what you need to do to ensure sleep. If you need to take your pain pill at night - take it. If you need to ask for a sleeping pill - ask for it. If Tylenol PM works for you -take that. If you are not sleeping you are likely also becoming depressed. I know I did.

ALSO, the nurse at the hospital suggested a wedge-style pillow available at Bed, Bath & Beyond ($20). It didn't work the first two weeks, but eventually it became my best friend. I am still sleeping with it.

ICE keep icing! If your doctor will prescribe a CryoCuff, get one. I found a brand new one on e-bay and love it. It allows you continuous icing without the slippage of ice packs. It is expensive if you have to purchase out of pocket. I am still using it, especially after PT sessions.

HOPE It WILL get better! It may not seem like it, but it will. Keep icing, get some sleep. I also have a massage therapist that I have used for about 12 yrs. I called her and she came to the house. Granted, it was not the massage I am used to, but I believe it was a crucial part of my healing. Having someone rub your shoulder blade on the operated arm, gently stroke/rub your forearm and bicep feels like you have won the lottery! Your other arm is working so hard, it could use the rub as well. So can your neck. And your feet, with all those acupressure points. Try it. It's worth the extra bucks for the house call. Tell the therapist they don't need their table (you can't get on it anyhow) or their chair (not comfy either) and maybe they won't charge as much for the housec call.

Oct 21, 2012
Thanks all. Wish I new about this before. NEW
by: Africa Anonymous

Hi all.

Three-hour op was 10 October. Actually got five opinions from orthos with shoulder expertise & each independently concluded a pathology. Three said, "you are so young" (at 52) "so why not get it done?" haha.

Injured it 40 years ago snow skiing then overdid the yoga last year. Yoga folk, do you really want to do that shoulder & hand stand? If so, make sure your shoulders are strong enough by going to the gym, too.

So my deal - acromioplasty, plus biceps tendonesis & rotator repair, both partial.


Lessons learned:

1. Ya, 52 is young...:-)

1a. MRI (done in the US) and ultrasound (three done here) do not always reveal the problem, sometimes you get surprised so be prepared. If you have an MRI, I believe it's better to do it with contrast.

2. Time & patience. I quote my surgeon: "it takes nine months to have a baby and it takes six weeks for a tendon to graft onto the bone." That's that. Six weeks in sling, only passive motion till then, 3x a day. Don't overdo it. Pain is not your guide!

3. Day & night. I now have almost no pain during the day. Stopped taking pain meds after six days (Stopayne) when the pain subsided.

Note: anti-inflammatories can delay healing. If no inflammation message is sent by ? the brain?, there's no rush by little healing critters to zoom to your shoulder. That is why many previous writers said they had been told to stay off Advil for 8 weeks.

4. If you have a bathtub, tis great to hang your arm in the warm water. Obviously keep the shoulder dry but the weightlessness is wonderful.

5. It's a lot easier to maneuver your immobilised self if you've done your sit-ups and squats in advance of the op :) When you are inevitably shifting the pillows for the 10,000th time trying to get comfortable or sitting up to retrieve quietly the pillow on the floor or your husband's "side" while flailing three other limbs to get comfortable in the wee hours, you end up using lots of other muscles...


6. Nighttime is just difficult. No idea how to get comfortable at night. Make a hot cup of ginger tea (natural anti-inflammatory).

Stopped the sleeping pills after six nights. Last night tho finally downed a melatonin. Thought I would injure myself if I shifted the pillows one more time (or possibly bash my head against the wall in frustration).

7. Count your blessings that "this too shall pass".

I imagine the Para-Olympians in London, many who's future hope of pain-free mobility is just never going to be there.


8.Wireless keyboard helpful.

9. Must travel four weeks after surgery. Doc thinks people at airport will bang into my arm. Will allow me to travel if I fly as a disabled passenger, in a wheelchair. Fine with me.

10. Ginger, turmeric, MSM, some people say these help natural healing "from the inside". Also Vitamin C and Omega 3. Thoughts?

Thanks everyone for telling us about light beyond the first few days, first few weeks and first few months. . .

Oct 21, 2012
labrum tear update NEW
by: JACK

Hi guys I'm 18 days post op out of the sling I resume PT tomorrow taking my pain medication kinda makes me not sure if I'm in pain or not lol. I am doing exercises 90 degrees for what elevation 0 percent external rotation pendulum exercises 30 reps 1 set circular motions also scapula pinches. They started me physical therapy 2 weeks post op because I'm in good physical shape from working out for the past 9 years I would get the surgery again if I had to.
JACK BAUER

Oct 21, 2012
labrum tear update NEW
by: JACK

Hi guys I'm 18 days post op out of the sling I resume PT tomorrow taking my pain medication kinda makes me not sure if I'm in pain or not lol. I am doing exercises 90 degrees for what elevation 0 percent external rotation pendulum exercises 30 reps 1 set circular motions also scapula pinches. They started me physical therapy 2 weeks post op because I'm in good physical shape from working out for the past 9 years I would get the surgery again if I had to.
JACK BAUER

Oct 21, 2012
Update NEW
by: Angela

I completed my 2nd week of PT. PT has been going well. I was really sore after Monday's session. Therapist put another of pressure on my upper arm when he was stretching it out. I should have said ease up but I did not. That won't happen again. It is still sore, but it is from stuff I did. Wednesday I squeezed into a dress. I had to zip it in the front and then pull the front around. Since it was tight it took some tugging. Then I had to reach back to get it unhooked so I could unzip it. At one point I thought I was going to be stuck. Friday I picked up a case of water and put it in my cart. It didn't hurt at the time. Later that night I was out in the cold rocking in a chair and it started to hurt some. I'm making a point to be more careful.
Ang

Oct 22, 2012
it gets better! NEW
by: Deb

Just a word of encouragement for everyone. My surgery was August 10. 2012. I thought I'd never get better. pain, discomfort, therapy, trying to sleep w/o my shoulder hurting, waking in the middle of the night hurting, trying to go to work and being so exhausted I'd get sick and feel like I was going to pass out. BUT, believe it or not, one day all of a sudden it was so much better. There is still exercise at home to do, and it's still sore sometimes, but the turn around was so immediate that I could hardly believe it.
Now, no pain pills (which was probably part of what was making me feel bad). I'm SO glad to have this behind me.
I just wanted to encourage someone who is still right in the middle of this, your day will come! Best wishes.

Nov 01, 2012
sleeping??? NEW
by: Katherine

I hve read several years of messages. Very useful. I am going to have this surgery - total shoulder replacement - for arthritis which has destroyed all the cartiledge in my left shoulder. I have fairly good muscle development , and recommend that anyone going in for this to work with a phys. therapist beforehand to develop muscle support.
I have read all the issues of putting on a bra. I have never been able to hook mine in back because I have short arms! You can imagine the rest of my limitations I look forward with some anxiety.
My big question is regarding sleeping in a recliner. I can get one, buy one, borrow one, but am looking to the others on this list to know if anyone has feelings about which kind of recliners are better than others for this purpose? I am not a connoiseur of recliners, and know nothing about their relative merits. Like many of you, I sleep on my stomach (with a CPAP mask), or on my bad shoulder which is still ok for that. But the doctor says it is impossible for the first several months following surgery, and most of you have confirmed this.
All the best to all of us. New club member.

Nov 01, 2012
katherine NEW
by: Anonymous

I had shoulder surgery 5 months ago and was so happy that i rented an automatic lift recliner before the surgery. i practically used it all the time for the first 10 weeks - key here is AUTOMATIC. best of luck to you!

Nov 02, 2012
Slap tear surgery NEW
by: Anonymous

Today is day one of my shoulder surgery. The nerve block wore off and my pain medicine isn't helping much. I'm In a relicer, but can't imagine getting any sleep at all! I had a labrum tear and had a bicep tendodesis procedure done. Any one out there with any advice? I didn't think i would be this uncomfortable.

Nov 02, 2012
Slap tear surgery NEW
by: Anonymous

Today is day one of my shoulder surgery. The nerve block wore off and my pain medicine isn't helping much. I'm In a relicer, but can't imagine getting any sleep at all! I had a labrum tear and had a bicep tendodesis procedure done. Any one out there with any advice? I didn't think i would be this uncomfortable.

Nov 02, 2012
re: Slap Tear Surgery NEW
by: Angela

Sorry to hear your pain meds are not working. Do you have an ice machine? If so make sure you use that as much as possible. It really helps. If you don't have the machine, have someone make or get you some ice packs. Ice really is your friend.
I hope you can quickly get your pain under control.

Ang

Nov 04, 2012
sleeping after rotator cuff surgery NEW
by: Jules

I have a lot of experience with this. 2 yrs ago I had a cervical fusion done and was in a Miami-J collar. Oct. 28th ,2012 I had my right shoulder done. These are all the result of the same injury. I was have a recliner but the top has a puffy pillow...make sure that doesn't cause you issues. The best option I have found is a bed wedge pillow. I have one that is rather large..about 30-40 degrees. I can put it on it's end and it's a very supportive back rest. It can also be laid flat and you have an incline and put pillows around you. You have to play with it but it's cheaper than a recliner, portable and versatile. I personally like to sleep more erect. When I had the neck surgery it took me awhile but eventually I trained my mind and body. I take some melatonin at night because pain meds and stuff can mess with getting into the right cycles of sleep. It makes me dream a lot. I've always been able to judge a good nights sleep by my dream activity, if I've dreamed I usually have had better sleep. As a little get well gift and joke, my hubby gave me a small lava lamp and I find that very soothing to watch while I listen to some soft music. Still, the pain wakes me up. I've had real issues with pain meds and getting relief. They make me sick..but that's another subject. By the way, the neck surgery was a cakewalk compared to this.

Nov 04, 2012
Getting there-3.5 weeks post-op NEW
by: Africa Anonymous

Hi Again

All different sizes of pillows formed into a U-shape with careful construction of the side where the op was done - (lower, softer, and so the elbow can't slide backward) this is what seems to work pretty well.

No purchase of anything new, just pillows pillows everywhere (and behind the knees too, can relieve the back).

Melatonin, yes that is a nice alternative to hard-core pharmas. And the dreams are unusual, it's true.

I am about 3.5 weeks post-op. Don't know if it's okay but carefully sleeping flat on stomach (without sling for a brief time) is wonderful to stretch out the elbow. I had biceps tendonesis and rotator cuff repair. It's so relaxing to have it straight, with no pressure. Helps with cramps from perpetual sling.

Haven't been on any pain pills since day 6, or anti-inflammatories, but I understand that once one starts PT (not the passive movement stage) then it's rather masochistic not to use some, if not counterproductive.

For those just in week one, don't despair. It gets better. Well, at least so far so good.

Also, the scar, I had a mini-open and the doc has said to keep a strip of Micropore on the one long scar (about 1.5 inches). He said this will help make the scar a small smooth white line (not stretch or raised). Micropore (sp) comes in flesh colour apparently, but I just got white. Right now the scar is not really the issue but it is kind that he has recommended a way to minimize it.

Nov 13, 2012
ideas NEW
by: Anonymous

i had surg one month ago and sleep with pillows hi against top of bed, get a small oblong pillow as well, ice, stay on pain meds and be patient. dont need a recliner

Nov 13, 2012
ideas NEW
by: Anonymous

i had surg one month ago and sleep with pillows hi against top of bed, get a small oblong pillow as well, ice, stay on pain meds and be patient. dont need a recliner

Nov 13, 2012
ideas NEW
by: Anonymous

i had surg one month ago and sleep with pillows hi against top of bed, get a small oblong pillow as well, ice, stay on pain meds and be patient. dont need a recliner

Nov 13, 2012
6 week follow up slap and bankart tear NEW
by: JACK

I am 6 weeks post op today. I had PT yesterday and it was very painful. Lying on back he stretched me to about 160 degrees fwd elevation that's puttig arm past my ear backwards that was extreme. I am still taking a ton of percoset more than what they say to take. I take 3 upon waking up in the morning 5/325 percs and a minimum 10 per day. They do work well but i am affraid of the addiction. I might switch to Nucynta 50mg which is just as good but less addicting

Nov 14, 2012
Pain Meds NEW
by: Anonymous

Jack,

That is a lot of percocete! Try to cut back! The Nucenta made me very depressed, watch out! I was in a sling for 8 weeks, only passive PT for 7, active at 8, health insurance mistakenly dropped by BC/BS SIX times during PT of 5 months. My arm still does not work correctly.

Percocete is VERY addictive....but also watch out for Nucenta. If you feel the least bit depressed, stop taking it immediately!!! The first night I thought I was having a bad day, the second night I was suicidal!

Nov 14, 2012
Nucynta NEW
by: JACK

I have taken Nucynta before and it made me very happy LOL :)

Thanks for your thoughts and concerns I always like to hear from you all this site has helped me so much

Nov 14, 2012
Progress report at five weeks NEW
by: Anonymous

Hi All

Glad everyone is progressing. ? Well I am at five weeks today. Last week I had to take a four hour flight and was supposed to use a wheelchair but I didn't when I left, only when I landed. Well, that wheelchair was MY FRIEND. Doc has been worried about the crush of people who don't notice an arm in a sling. He was right.

I am still not on painkillers. Jack, do be careful because I know of some who have gotten addicted. That's why I went off all meds on Day six.

Who knows once I go to the heavy physio if I will be able to survive. The thing about the painkiller addiction is of course it is very profitable for some people, but not for you, so take good care.

Re the scar, one more tidbit I learned from the physio, different from the doc. She had also had the same surgery as it turns out (acromio, biceps tendon and rotator tear which required a "mini-open" op).

She said put the strip of Micropore the length of the scar(s) then every day put Bio-Oil on it. This sort of makes the bandage translucent. This helps with the healing (the men may not care..)

As for sleeping, I am in a hotel bed now, here for work for five weeks, no physios ;( . They gave me lots of extra pillows. The arm is feeling much better. I am doing some pretty serious passive stretches as per the physio who was worried that it was getting frozen...

The stretches are controlled but v helpful. The potholes here on the roads, now THOSE could be the end of me. I think I will always keep my sling on while on these bouncy roads. Beware if you have any in your future..

Best to all.


Nov 15, 2012
No more PT??? NEW
by: Anonymous

Has anyone had this problem? Health insurance co. allowing no further PT...arm moves about 50% as per before surgery....the PT people can move it, I cannot, PT can move it 100%, passive!....health insurance is going to leave me this way? I try very hard to do all my PT at home, not the same....can they legally do this? This is my right arm, I am right handed...what a mess...if I had it do to over again I would not have this operation! I wish I had known, buyer beware!

Nov 15, 2012
Same boat NEW
by: Africa Anonymous

So sorry to hear this. I am in the same boat. They told me from the beginning they would not pay for PT except if it was in the hospital as an inpatient! Obviously not the case and ridiculous. I have pretty good insurance actually but about PT they said no.

I don't understand why. If I don't have the PT then the op in effect will be a waste of their money. I am paying for it and it is because I can. If I couldn't I don't know what I would do. It's just not fair.

ALas. I don't understand but I share your situation. Don't give up though on the hope it will get better because I understand that for most people, eventually, it really does get better. If not, then maybe the prob was the doc, not the physio? Wishing you all the best.

Nov 15, 2012
PT NEW
by: Anonymous

Has anyone had their heath insurance co cut off PT before recommened?

I do not have full movement and am afraid of being unable to fully move my arm for life...


Nov 15, 2012
insurance NEW
by: Anonymous

The same happened to me and I have to pay as much as I can monthly for a long time. It is ridiculous!

Nov 15, 2012
PT NEW
by: Anonymous

My insurance allowed a certain number of visits- then the pt had to submit information indicating a medical need to continue it longer. This was a Blue Cross/Blue Shield policy- they did approve more for both shoulder surgeries. It is ridiculous if they think one can heal from this surgery without pt- the equipment and the expertise are SO different than what one could do at home. Is there any kind of appeal process if the pt or surgeon supports the need for more visits? Good luck!!

Nov 15, 2012
Meds and PT NEW
by: Deb

I have a comment and a question. First of all, I'm 3 months out from full tear rotator cuff surgery. PAINFUL recovery as you all know. I was worried about getting addicted to the pain pills. I was on them longer than friends and family thought I should be. But the day came that I was just done with them. I worried for nothing, I didn't have a hard time coming off them like I was afraid I was.
Now my question: I was in PT for 12 weeks (and thankful my insurance covered it now that I'm reading the struggle some of you have gone through with that). After my last PT visit, I was told to keep doing exercises at home. I have not done it. And now I'm starting to notice more pain in my arm when I do something to use the muscle in that arm. I'm a bit stiff too. Has anyone else experienced this? I think my answer is to get back to my exercises immediately, and if this new pain persists, see the doctor. Anyone have any thoughts on that?
Thanks!

Nov 15, 2012
6 weeks post op NEW
by: JACK

You have to keep moving that arm keep up your ROM excersizes it will tighten up once you stop the movements. I went to see the doctor today and he cleared me to go back to work. I got Nucynta for pain damn those little things are strong makes me very dizzy and a headache

Nov 15, 2012
PT NEW
by: Lyndsay

My surgeon said PT was optional but would speed up recovery. I went a few times and now do all my exercises at home 3-4 times a day. 18 weeks now and slowly improving but still pain in my bicep and limited strength. It is a slow process as lots of patience is required. I use bands and pulley and light weights. Back to see surgeon on Monday to see if I am on track.

Nov 15, 2012
reply to Deb NEW
by: Anonymous

I too was fortunate to have pt for several months.Once that ended,continuing exercises and especially using the pulley at home made a world of difference in range of motion and reducing stiffness. I also iced for a LONG time. The strength just comes slowly- don't overdo the lifting and think just because you are done w/pt that your shoulder is back to normal. You still need to be carful with your movements and with lifting. My first surgery was 3 1/2 yrs ago- the other shoulder two years ago- if I overdo it w/ moving boxes or yard work I stillfeel it for a day or two.

Nov 16, 2012
Don't suffer in silence NEW
by: Anonymous

Hi Again Person with Insurance Crisis

I believe you cannot give up.

I would go to the surgeon and have them write a letter to your insurance company saying that if you do not have the PT properly, then you will end up needing another op, (which they will have to pay for). Alternatively, you will be disabled enough not to be able to work, then they will have to pay all related costs for that!

If that doesn't work, I would write a letter to the Consumer Protection Agency (if you have one) and make sure that insurance company gets appropriately negative press for abandoning you. It is better if it is in their trade journals where they actually care what people think as opposed to a small town newspaper but that is a start, too.

Otherwise, it is like them saying, "we will pay for the operation but we won't pay to stitch you back up". Tell a journalist, have the write an article about you.

Speak up. If you suffer in silence, other people will also in the future. I understand that people take advantage of insurance companies but this is not the case here. It is literally like approving the operation then leaving you on the table when it is done saying we don't pay to get you off of it. (I knew in advance and I had the op anyway, this is not your case).

All the best. PS. It is nice to write to us but none of us can really do anything but listen. :(
Good luck! Let us know.

Nov 27, 2012
wowzers NEW
by: gc75067

reading all of this and it sounds like pure hell for a lot of people. i am scheduled for rotator cuff repair, slap repair and subacromial decompression in two weeks. surgery is on a thursday and PT starts the following week.

Nov 27, 2012
Will get better don't despair! NEW
by: Africa Anonymous

Dear Folks who read this

It is really not that bad. I am now on week 6.5. I am out of my sling. I sleep in my bed. I haven't been on painkillers since Day 6 nor anti-inflammatories or anything else. It is not fun but the light is there at the end of the sleepless tunnel.

It is stiff, it is sore especially when it is cloudy or rainy. Why, I don't know. Do all the PT, passive etc. I am someplace remote with no PT's so I am doing it on my own. I am still getting better. I will see them soon.

Try the tumeric and MSM. I actually found Indian food made a painful day go away, I do not know if it was tumeric or the lovely flavour.

My one largest incision is still closing properly (just 1/4 inch still a bit wet). I had to go on another dose of Augmentin and Fucidin(topical)just to make sure no problems. I decided this myself because of where I am (remote Africa) and doc agreed. Water could be potentially not clean. But it's okay. Take a deep breath, buy some good books, thank the Lord that someone can make this shoulder feel better. Even at 6.5 weeks and no active PT, mine (rotator/biceps repair) already feeling happier. Best to all.

Nov 27, 2012
To Wowzers NEW
by: Anonymous

I've had both done-a pain, a hassle, an inconvenience- but I'll tell you- the pain ended, they healed and they work again! I'd do that again if I could rather than deal w/this compressed nerve in my back w/ pain shooting down my leg all night for the past year- puts things in perspective!Good luck to you-after my surgeries, I only took one pain pill- then only ibuprofen from day two on. Pain varies greatly from one patient to another- hopefully you'll be one of the luckier ones!

Nov 27, 2012
pain pils NEW
by: Anonymous

coming off pain meds for about 3 months taking them everyday is AWEFUL worse than the flu... any suggestions?

Thank you!

Nov 28, 2012
Surgery, pain meds etc. NEW
by: Anonymous

I would not recommend this surgery to anyone. Health insurance co cut me off PT 5 times, sending me backwards in my recovery....pain pills still needed at times after 5 months, 8 weeks in sling, what a disaster.

Do not have this surgery! I still struggle with sleep and doubt I will ever have my ROM back....biggest mistake of my life!

Nov 28, 2012
Surgery, pain meds etc. NEW
by: Anonymous

I would not recommend this surgery to anyone. Health insurance co cut me off PT 5 times, sending me backwards in my recovery....pain pills still needed at times after 5 months, 8 weeks in sling, what a disaster.

Do not have this surgery! I still struggle with sleep and doubt I will ever have my ROM back....biggest mistake of my life!

Dec 03, 2012
Almost eight weeks: swollen elbow? NEW
by: Africa Anonymous

All in all I am doing very well at nearly week 8. I haven't been able to have physio because of where I am, so I have to do the exercises myself. I can eat, sleep, get dressed and all those things now. Usually it's not painful and I can see progress with flexibility which will no doubt improve after physio gets hold of me.

Question -- now my elbow seems to have fluid or is in any case swollen and rather painful. Like sitting it on a table is sore.

Does anyone know what has caused this? (I had a biceps tendonesis and rotator cuff repaired). Thanks

Dec 03, 2012
Africa NEW
by: Anonymous

I had a similar surgery and the same thing happened to my elbow. The doctor suggested icing it and using over the counter anti-inflammatories - I can't say that I followed through religiously but it went away eventually. Just make sure you continue the exercises. This is just my experience, I would definitely check with the doctor. Mine was a mild swelling and mild pain.
Good luck.

Dec 05, 2012
READ THIS POST!! If had or having cuff surgery NEW
by: John Margiotta ,nj

My name is John Margiotta. I was up until a year ago , a hardcore weightlifter and worse (@ 39) I was a full time coach and competitor of fight and combat sports (yes,the stuff on tv where fights are in a cage) . Well about a year ago 2 weeks before a fight in the semi pros I suffered a full thickness retracted tear. And also had 2 small tears of the other rotater muscles. Surgery was on nov 8 of 2011. My heart was broken I not only love what I do ,but it was also paying me 70,000 dollars a year training athletes. But my head was traumatically altered,anyways had the surgery. I asked the dr how long he gave me 6 months to be back. So at four months and a lot of visits (I mean this surgery ,the sensations you feel ,are they normal ,the clicking.) at 5 months he said I could lift just"be careful with pressing. He stated thru muscle testing that I achieved good results in a short time. And said I was to obsessed with my arm and my future and said to see a shrink. Well I said to myself , the hell with my fear I'll take his word. Now keep in mind " COMMON STRENGTH HADN'T BEEN ACHIEVED YET, and I had no business with weights if a stability pushup wasn't in my so called good recovery. AT FIVE MONTHS I TORE IT AGAIN CONFIRMED WITH MRI. Even with this evidence he said it was the anchors. . He stated he wasn't going to put me thru another surgery. I left wanting to end my life. My Dominant arm, my living,my lifestyle,my bane of my existence I was told to find another trade.FUCK YOU DO. WENT TO A DR PETER BLANK OUT OF MORRISTOWN. HE STATED HE COULDN'T COMMITT THE SECOND TEAR TO A BAD TWO ANCHOR SURGERY. WHAT HE DIDN'T AGREE WITH IS HOW THE DOC WITH MEI IN HAND SAID ON YOUR WAY. So aSEXOND SURGERY ON MY DOM ARM ,BACK TO BACK AND HOPE TO RETURN TO MY LIFESTYLE.i no am 7 months out of surgery and feeel much better but was told by my specialist anybody who gets this surgery should be careful up to a 9 month mar or ayear. And anybody telling anybody different is lying. Remember to always retract(pull in) the shoulder blades and then depress them down ward so in and down is always first to initiate arm movement use really light weights with a stabilization tempo of 2-2-4 (2sec push or pull ,2seconds hold and 4sec back up or down depending if your pulling or pushing.i personally think I WILL RETURN. Because will overrides fear and doubt the hell with statistics.im coming back and that attitude aids a more complete recovery. Well all be fine.....god bless and take it slow donteush it. The strengths comeback in the arm is much slower than the healing of the sight,but it will return.

Dec 05, 2012
Africa elbow swelling NEW
by: Anonymous

Hi- I had the same thing happen with the first shoulder surgery. Dr. thought probably bursitis- I had landed on hip, elbow, and shoulder when I tore my tendons- the elbow took quite a hit on cement- so..... maybe not the same as your issue, but it did eventually resolve. Took a few months as I recall- and even when fluid was gone the elbow was tender for awhile. Hope yours improves as well.

Dec 14, 2012
Rw:wowzers NEW
by: Anonymous

Original "wowzers" post was made by me. Surgery wad 24jrs ago. Nerve block way worth it. Zero pain for about 23hrs. Now pain is low, just enough to be annoying.

Dec 14, 2012
JACK is BACK NEW
by: JACK

This is a follow up from my suregery on october 2nd to repair a torn labrum and remove bone spurs. I am currently about 12 weeks post op. I now can sleep on my bad shoulder with some pain.The doctor told me to back off of PT and I can start doing the excersizes at the gym so I will stop PT around the new year completely. My neck was diagnosed with degenerated disks 3 years ago and is now bothering me again I think it has to do with my shoulder surgery and all muscle are out of whack and pulling on my neck OY VEY lol Well I am at full range of motion except for exteral rotation pain is very minimal now it comes and goes and hurts when i do stupid things reaching and moving to fast or lifting wrong. If I had to do it again I would. After about 2 weeks I was so much better after surgery but I am in alot more pain then when I had the surgery.

Jack

Dec 20, 2012
Update NEW
by: Angela

It has been awhile since I've posted. I had rotator cuff repair on my right shoulder 8/31. Things seemed to be going well until Thanksgiving. I've been having a nagging pain. I thought it would go away once I rested it, but not so much. It comes and go. Was just told yesterday I can drop down to PT twice a week and I should be good to go on my own in a month.

Well a couple of weeks ago I reached up to adjust my shower head with my left arm and felt a pain. I mentioned it at PT and he stretched it. I decided to do some wall stretches on my own and I got an excruciating pain at the top of my shoulder. It hurt to the touch. It finally went away, but the pain when extending still there. I went to the doctor last week and he ordered an MRI. I got the results today and I have a partial thickness tear, almost full. So I'm having surgery the day after Christmas :(. I'm nervous since my right shoulder is not 100%. I plan on taking it really easy this time. I think I did way too much last time.
I'm kinda down right now, but I'm trying to keep things in perspective. I just attended the funeral of a coworker yesterday. He battled cancer for 7 years. Shoulder surgery and a sling for 5+ weeks is just an inconvenience in comparison.
At least I should be able to prepare better this time around.

Dec 21, 2012
To Angela NEW
by: Anonymous

Angela, I am so sorry....my surgery was on 5/30, full! My PT was interupted so many times by my health insurance co, I've lost count.....I was cut of 3 mths later...I can barely move my arm..I need an MRI...the health insurance co tried to save money, in the long run I may need another surgery....and then they will play the same game. I don't know the answer. Best of luck!

Dec 21, 2012
To Angela NEW
by: Anonymous

Angela, I am so sorry....my surgery was on 5/30, full! My PT was interupted so many times by my health insurance co, I've lost count.....I was cut of 3 mths later...I can barely move my arm..I need an MRI...the health insurance co tried to save money, in the long run I may need another surgery....and then they will play the same game. I don't know the answer. Best of luck!

Dec 21, 2012
To Angela NEW
by: Anonymous

Angela, I am so sorry....my surgery was on 5/30, full! My PT was interupted so many times by my health insurance co, I've lost count.....I was cut of 3 mths later...I can barely move my arm..I need an MRI...the health insurance co tried to save money, in the long run I may need another surgery....and then they will play the same game. I don't know the answer. Best of luck!

Dec 21, 2012
To Angela NEW
by: Jules