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SunsetMan
11-25-2012, 15:53
I'm 50 and had my left shoulder tuned up Nov. 5. He did a double row suture bridge repair on the rotator cuff, a bicep tenodesis repair on the long head bicep, a decompression and some cartilage clean up.

The damage was accumulated over the years. Pain has been minimal and the physical therapist said I had good range of motion.

I'd appreciate hearing your stories and any advice for recovery. Can anyone recommend a keloid cream? Scarring is minor (4 arthoscope scars), but if there are good keloid creams out there I will use it.

My goal is to get and maintain range of motion and to do everyday tasks. I think it is time to give up heavy weights forever.

SpoiledBySig
11-25-2012, 16:31
I had Rotator cuff surgery in 2002, Right shoulder, excessive calcium deposits made a sharp icicle-like edge which had been steadily tearing on the rotator cuff. I was 43 and I'm telling you it took a very long time to totally heal (like over 6-7 months)...it may have been longer.

I can tell you there were times I wished I never had it done at all months before I finally healed up. But, it was necessary, because my arm was so bad off before the surgery that I had trouble getting my gun out of the holster and raising it to shooting level. It took a quarterly hand gun qualification session to convince myself it was time for surgery, no more putting it off.

You need to keep up with the physical therapy and walk your fingers up the wall and hang your arm down with a small weight in continuing circular motions, etc. But, it will get better. It just takes us salty ol' dogs more time because we're not 20 something spring chickens anymore. :cool:

SunsetMan
11-25-2012, 16:44
Thanks Spoiled. I wasn't in a lot of pain and had good ROM pre-surgery. I think I still had some cuff attached. I think it was a good time for my surgery, things weren't getting better.

BSA70
11-25-2012, 17:11
Just curious, what caused this problem? I'm in my 40's and a weight lifter. I sometimes wonder if I am destroying my body:crying:

SpoiledBySig
11-25-2012, 17:24
Just curious, what caused this problem? I'm in my 40's and a weight lifter. I sometimes wonder if I am destroying my body:crying:

For me, my surgeon told me that the calcium deposits could have been from my younger years as a concrete block mason. He also said it could easily be from heredity (but nobody else in family, brothers, uncles, father, etc. ever had it).

I know that in Egypt, Archeologists could tell by the bones if an over 3000 year old skeleton(s) was a worker with the pyramid blocks, or had an easier life (like Royalty).

It's hard to say if constant weight lifting would cause it, or not. :dunno:

G17Jake
11-25-2012, 18:16
I did everything the physical therapist told me to do, and my shoulder is fine now.

I worked with a therapist for three months, going twice weekly at first, and once a week for the last month or so.

The PT sessions were painful, but I kind of enjoyed the challenge of regaining the use of my shoulder. It provided me with something different to focus on.

After the three months of working with the therapist, he gave me a list of exercises to do on my own, and I did them.... carefully and patiently.

M2 Carbine
11-25-2012, 19:06
First tore my left rotator cuff tendon from the bone in 1995.
Three screws in the bone to reattach the tendons.

3 months of therapy and pain.


That was so much fun I thought I'd tear both shoulders this August. Lot of pain.

Finally I had the left shoulder operated on Oct 10.
Now in therapy for left shoulder. Pain. But more pain in the right shoulder.

I can't get the right shoulder operated on until my left arm is useful. Maybe another month or two. Then I'll start all over with the right arm.
I'm not sure my right shoulder will last another month or two.
Gets more painful every day.


In the mean time my shooting is limited to point shooting with a Ruger SR22 pistol. Right, or two hands. Can't raise a pistol chest high with my left arm.


Do what the physical therapist says, exactly.
In 1995 I overdone it.
No pain, no gain, right?
A lot of pain, a lot of gain, right?
Wrong.
I set myself back weeks by pushing too hard, which added more weeks of pain.

This time I'm being a good boy and pushing only as hard as the therapist says I can. (still hurts)
At 75 I'm finally realizing that my body breaks easier and doesn't heal as fast.

SunsetMan
11-25-2012, 19:10
Just curious, what caused this problem? I'm in my 40's and a weight lifter. I sometimes wonder if I am destroying my body:crying:

I think my shoulder injury was from general wear and tear. If I had a do over I'd go lighter on the weights. I used to love doing pullups, not really working the cuff so much, but maybe causing bone on soft tissue wear. The shoulder is a pretty crowded joint.

The doctor shaved some bone spurs too. Like Spoiled I probably had some bone scraping going on.

I noticed the injury after a summer of doing some heavy duty landscaping. I enjoy doing things manually and found that we are much more susceptable to repetitive strain injuries as we age.

I'd recommend moderate weightlifting for all ages (no maxxing), and no repetitive straining tasks past 40 years.

SunsetMan
11-25-2012, 19:19
First tore my left rotator cuff tendon from the bone in 1995.
Three screws in the bone to reattach the tendons.

3 months of therapy and pain.


That was so much fun I thought I'd tear both shoulders this August. Lot of pain.

Finally I had the left shoulder operated on Oct 10.
Now in therapy for left shoulder. Pain. But more pain in the right shoulder.

I can't get the right shoulder operated on until my left arm is useful. Maybe another month or two. Then I'll start all over with the right arm.
I'm not sure my right shoulder will last another month or two.
Gets more painful every day.


In the mean time my shooting is limited to point shooting with a Ruger SR22 pistol. Right, or two hands. Can't raise a pistol chest high with my left arm.


Do what the physical therapist says, exactly.
In 1995 I overdone it.
No pain, no gain, right?
A lot of pain, a lot of gain, right?
Wrong.
I set myself back weeks by pushing too hard, which added more weeks of pain.

This time I'm being a good boy and pushing only as hard as the therapist says I can. (still hurts)

Damn, sorry to hear that M2. How did you injure your shoulders?

M2 Carbine
11-25-2012, 19:37
Damn, sorry to hear that M2. About how old are you? How did you injure your shoulders?
I'm 75 in Jan.

First time, 1995, I tore it hooking up a heavy trailer to a tractor. Felt like a big piece of meat being torn in half. Hurt like hell.
When the pain let up a little my Wife and I and friends went shooting.
I kept working and didn't have the shoulder operated on for about 7 weeks.
I'm not nearly as tough now as I was in those days.:supergrin:



This time I tore the right shoulder on a horse.

A few days later I tore the left shoulder when taking the saddle off the horse.
Favoring my torn right shoulder I took all the weight on my left shoulder. Bad angle or something but you could probably hear the tearing in the left shoulder 15 foot away.

Thinking maybe the damage wasn't TOO bad I went a couple months before getting a MRI.
Both shoulders are so bad the doctor has to slice and dice, like the first time.
Cut through the same 3 inch scar from 1995.:)


.

SunsetMan
11-25-2012, 20:28
I'm 75 in Jan.

First time, 1995, I tore it hooking up a heavy trailer to a tractor. Felt like a big piece of meat being torn in half. Hurt like hell.
When the pain let up a little my Wife and I and friends went shooting.
I kept working and didn't have the shoulder operated on for about 7 weeks.
I'm not nearly as tough now as I was in those days.:supergrin:



This time I tore the right shoulder on a horse.

A few days later I tore the left shoulder when taking the saddle off the horse.
Favoring my torn right shoulder I took all the weight on my left shoulder. Bad angle or something but you could probably hear the tearing in the left shoulder 15 foot away.

Thinking maybe the damage wasn't TOO bad I went a couple months before getting a MRI.
Both shoulders are so bad the doctor has to slice and dice, like the first time.
Cut through the same 3 inch scar from 1995.:)


.

Wow. Sorry I missed your age in your first post. You sound like one tough SOB. Best wishes on your recovery.

CAcop
11-25-2012, 22:01
We have had probably 5-7% of our department get them from fights and accidents. Usual recovery time is 3 months with a few being 6 months. The big thing is to follow doc's orders and more importantly follow the PT instructions including homework. IF they say do the following exercises every day then do them.

SunsetMan
11-25-2012, 22:41
We have had probably 5-7% of our department get them from fights and accidents. Usual recovery time is 3 months with a few being 6 months. The big thing is to follow doc's orders and more importantly follow the PT instructions including homework. IF they say do the following exercises every day then do them.

Thanks. I'm getting more optimistic that I will get to do more than daily tasks in time. There was another cuff thread where it didn't sound like the outcomes were good.

The recurring theme I hear from here and from a neighbor is to follow the doctor's and PT's instructions. My neighbor said he slacked a bit and his shoulder locked up, requiring his doctor to novacaine the shoulder and manipulate it loose.

SunsetMan
11-25-2012, 22:49
As an FYI, I think I now have 5 scews in the shoulder. You can YouTube double row suture bridge and bicep tenodesis to see what was done. The doctor said he did a knotless cuff repair to avoid a possible surgery to remove the knots later.

TxGlock9
11-25-2012, 22:54
Even if it heals you need to keep off the super heavy weights.

I'm a gym rat and a nurse.

SunsetMan
11-25-2012, 23:02
Even if it heals you need to keep off the super heavy weights.

I'm a gym rat and a nurse.

Absolutely, and thanks for the advice. My excercise goals from now on are moderation and joint preservation.

I'm thinking walking, bike/trike riding, yoga and light weights. And relying on machines for landscaping work.

medicfire104
11-25-2012, 23:04
Tore my left one in April of 2010 due to trauma, did it Friday night at work when I was hit with a heavy object, just felt like someone punched me, muscle was soar. Everything worked the way it should but I reported it and said I'm OK. Next day it was painful to move but I ran some calls only drove so no heavy work. Was thinking I gotta stop and get some Icy Hot for this. That evening, Saturday, me and the girlfriend got in my truck to go for dinner, rolled down my window and went to place my arm out the window, it didn't move at all, knew something was wrong. Doc on Monday, MRI Wed, Ortho a week later, surgery scheduled 2 weeks later. Doc said my tear was not completely through but just about, I didnt want surgery but doctor said with my job, FF/paramedic, I will tear it all they way through and then it will be worse and harder to fix. Doc also said it works comp so you not paying. Sugery day was easy, 2 little holes from the scope and an incision on the top. I don't know why he used both but when I googled it, found some write up that said this is needed for some types of repairs. After surgery late in the day, it hurt, took my meds as often as percribed and iced it all the time and still had pain. PT 3 times a week hurt a lot for months. Did PT and exercises at home. Got worried a few times I would never be the same when I was having problems hitting my range of motion goal for that week, then always like the last day be for my ROM limit was increased I hit the current one. I was out of work 7-8 months total. My job wouldn't take me light duty for a desk job or it would of been shorter. Recover time was 4-6 post surgery doctor told me, he kept me out of work just about the full 6 months due to my job type. I hated it, it hurt a lot, probably some of the worst pain ever, never wanna do it again but I healed 100% and am exactly the way I was before surgery and returned to work in the same field. I was 27 or 28 at the time, since I was young I think it helped with healing.

medicfire104
11-25-2012, 23:16
Also I was given Oxycontin and Vicodin for pain I took them as directed as the pain got less and less so did my med use, I replaced them with tylenol as needed. One night I had not taken a narc in 24 or so hours after using them for 3-4 months. I woke up felt like my skin was crawling and got a chill now and then, it was a very restless night. Next day was fine, still no narcs, that night same thing, I was thinking what is wrong with me I'm calling the doc tomorrow. Started to think I'll go take a Vicodin it will help me sleep. At that moment I sat bolt upright in bed, and though jack*** your going through with drawls. Here I am a paramedic for 9 years, saw people go through it and treated them but it takes me like 36 hours to recognize it on myself. My girlfriend was sleeping on the couch so I could have the bed. Next morning told her about it, she flushed all the pain meds, didn't matter I wasn't taking them again. The worst was over at that point, didn't want them anymore, didn't need them for pain, and slept good at night after that.

SunsetMan
11-25-2012, 23:27
Also I was given Oxycontin and Vicodin for pain I took them as directed as the pain got less and less so did my med use, I replaced them with tylenol as needed. One night I had not taken a narc in 24 or so hours after using them for 3-4 months. I woke up felt like my skin was crawling and got a chill now and then, it was a very restless night. Next day was fine, still no narcs, that night same thing, I was thinking what is wrong with me I'm calling the doc tomorrow. Started to think I'll go take a Vicodin it will help me sleep. At that moment I sat bolt upright in bed, and though jack*** your going through with drawls. Here I am a paramedic for 9 years, saw people go through it and treated them but it takes me like 36 hours to recognize it on myself. My girlfriend was sleeping on the couch so I could have the bed. Next morning told her about it, she flushed all the pain meds, didn't matter I wasn't taking them again. The worst was over at that point, didn't want them anymore, didn't need them for pain, and slept good at night after that.

Good to know, thanks! My pain has been eerily non-existant. The first couple of days were maybe a 2 out of 10. Since then maybe a 1/2, even during passive physical therapy. I will stay clear of Tylenol due to liver concerns though.

TxGlock9
11-26-2012, 00:38
A NSAID like Ibuprofen is a good substitute for pain and can allow you to fall asleep if you ever have that problem. If you're having liver problems stay away from tylenol, although ibuprofen does affect the kidneys.

LoadToadBoss
11-26-2012, 06:06
Just curious, what caused this problem? I'm in my 40's and a weight lifter. I sometimes wonder if I am destroying my body:crying:
Short answer, yes.

Years of bench press and overhead presses have taken their toll on my shoulders. I have torn labrum cartilages in both shoulders. The pain is minimal as long as I don't lift. Now I have 400+ lbs of weights, bars and benches that I may never use again. BTW, I'm 53.

The Hawk
11-26-2012, 06:30
I had rotator cuff surgery 3 years ago. Although my doctor says it was a success, I can tell that I am not 100% what I was prior to my injury. However, I see people that do not have complete range of motion like I do, so I am not complaining. I did exactly what my physical therapist said and that is why I have complete range of motion. I think my injury was due to lots of weight lifting. :nsb: I was benching 320 lbs prior to surgery. Now I don't go over 200 lbs on bench. I am 55 years old and am realizing that I need to slow down. Good luck and keep doing what the Dr. and physical therapy folks say. :thumbsup:

M2 Carbine
11-26-2012, 08:11
Thanks. I'm getting more optimistic that I will get to do more than daily tasks in time. There was another cuff thread where it didn't sound like the outcomes were good.
It's really an individual thing and the damage that's been done. But keep in mind that the shoulder has been damaged bad and will never be good as new again.

In 95 my doctor told me I would never get back the full range of motion.
Don't tell me I can't do something.

I flew helicopters. After about three months I went back to work but was still lacking about 10% extreme movement.

Whenever I was on the ground for a few minutes while loading passengers or cooling the engine for shut down, I would reach back over my shoulders and grab the head rest brackets. I would lean forward as far as I could and pull hard. Hurt but the pain would stop when I let up the pressure.

It took about two years but I got back the normal full range of motion.

It's very doubtful that I'll do as well this time. My age is too much against me.


Good luck to you. In your physical condition you will do just fine.:)


.

SunsetMan
03-11-2013, 21:34
Thanks to everyone for their advice.

Here is a recap of the recovery:

6 weeks in the sling. At about 3 months I had 95% range of motion and was able to lift the arm straight up unassisted. I may have started driving my stick shift car at 3 months or a little less.

Pain increased as my passive and active exercises started. At about 3 months I was completely off hydrocodone.

At four months I'd say I have 98% range of motion. I've been doing light dumbbell exercises and 20 reps. Front raises with 5 pounds, curls and bent over rowing with 12 pounds and some machine exercises. For overhead press I am up to whopping 3 pound dumbbells. The overhead press seems to be the last thing I'm getting back. I'm in no hurry though.

I can do daily tasks and that is what counts.

Recommendations:

Be sure to consult with your doctor about pain or other medications. I could have used a Xanax for anxiety the night before and perhaps the day of the surgery. My doctor was not stingy with the hydrocodone, thank goodness. I met someone in physical therapy who said their doctor cut them off after couple of weeks. I was also lucky that my doctor gave me Ambien (get the extended release if you can) to help me sleep with the sling. I toss and turn at night and the sling made me very claustrophobic.

I needed slip on shoes for about 2 months. Get some elastic laces (such as Lock Laces) for your tennis shoes. I love these laces now.

I needed a double oversize shirt to go over the sling the first couple of days, after which I was able to slip on a shirt without raising the bad arm. Your mileage may vary on that.

Make sure you are comfortable with your sling. The first one they gave me was too bulky, so I had the doctor give me another one. You will need to wear the sling 100% of the time until the doctor says you can do without it.

You may want to buy a TENS unit. I was addicted, or just fascinated, with it for a while, but haven't used it for weeks now. It does seem to take your mind off the pain when you have pain.

You will need a automatic shift car for a couple of months.

You will feel helpless and like an invalid for a couple of months. This will pass.

Your shoulder will feel loose or unstable when you get to start using it. It should tighten up as you strengthen the muscles that stabilize it.

How are you doing M2?

GVFlyer
03-11-2013, 23:52
I had a arthroscopic labrum repair three years ago after crashing on a ski slope at Breckenridge. I landed with my arm hyperextended above my head and the results were not pretty.

I healed quickly and regained full strength and mobility. For me strict adherence to the assigned physical therapy was the most important part of post-op recovery.

M2 Carbine
03-12-2013, 02:54
As I said earlier my left shoulder was operated on Oct 10 and the right shoulder Jan 3.

It's about 3am. Shoulders, especially the right one, still hurt enough to wake me up at night.

I don't have much strength in either shoulder but I have pretty good range of motion in both arms, maybe 3/4.

Can't shoot much but a 22 yet.


Back to bed, therapy again in the morning.