Re: Rotator cuff recovery
I am 3 months out (oct 6). I can raise my arm to about 170 degrees - almost straight up. I can do many things now I couldn't before - just can't lift heavy things. I have just started on putting my arm behind my back (like when you have to scratch your back) and it is very painful. Last month - December - is when I started noticing I could do more things like reaching up more than pre-surgery.
As for progress - a lot depends on the extent of surgery, your therapist and your willingness to work hard at home. I go to PT twice a week. I do the exercises 2-3 times a day. As for raising my arm - the therapist had me buy a pulley. I remember not being able to even get up to the pulley (mine is not as high as at PT) then one day I did. What a good feeling. Then he told me to do it with my back against the wall so I could raise the arm higher. About a week and half ago I was able to pull my arm up enough to touch the pulley which is about 160 degrees. Now I concentrate on table slides to stretch it. I still do the pulley before to warm up my shoulder and to relax it. I live in a motorhome and can now reach the top of my slide so I will hold onto it and try to straighten my arm.
Important is to go until it hurts a little but not where it really hurts to avoid tearing something.
Also, do not take pain medication before PT (unless the therapist OKs it). If you take pain meds you won't know when he/she is at your limit. Pushing it past will leave you hurting more than you should. Before therapy do the circles and I find if my shoulder starts hurting doing them will help relax it for a while.
I asked my therapist the other day if he thought I would ever be pain free and he believes I will. I asked why and he said because I work hard at home on it. I am still looking forward to the day I can sleep on my left side (the surgical arm).