I had rotator cuff surgery in October to repair a 1-1/2 inch tear of the labrum. During this procedure, the doctor also cleaned up scar tissue and bone fragments that were believed to have been caused by injuries and a previous RT surgery from 4 years ago. I reported to the doctor about 3 weeks ago that I'm having pain in areas that I've never had before. He scheduled an arthrogram that was completed yesterday afternoon.
To be clear, yesterday's surgery was not to be simply an exploratory procedure but was to also include any repairs as necessary. In fact, additional time was made available as it was expected that an open procedure (as opposed to using only the arthroscope) would be required. Anyway, while in the recovery room the doctor showed up and while I waited in anticipation to find out how well any problems were fixed, I was told "...your days of lifting weights are over. Theres nothing left of the rotator cuff." He reported that the anchors that he connected in October were still there but there was nothing attached to them. He also reported that the original tear was now complete.
I'm shaking as I type this. I'm very active in sports which include boxing, skydiving and rugby. I'm now unable to even brush my teeth with my damaged arm. I simply don't know what to do. In almost as a passing comment, the doctor mentioned grafting as an option but that it was not very effective and that his office did not perform them. I live here in the Tampa area and don't know what else to do. Please, if there is anyone out there with any ideas I'd appreciate any help or info you can provide.
I don't know much about Rotator cuff damage and what can be done for it. But just because maybe you cannot use that arm like you used to, doesn't mean you cannot be active still.
If you wanted to be active outside of picking up other hobbies like chess, reading, or artistic, you could always just swap out. Perhaps you could begin cycling instead of boxing. You can always run and begin to train for marathons...however they do it. Soccer is a wonderfully under rated game by most but can be very intense. Perhaps if fitness became too large of your life, perhaps you need to begin being more social again with people. Whether we like it or not, often physical activities take away from relational such as family if you have it or friends. I've found that often God allows me to be sick or overwhelmed when I need to stop and focus on something else. Sickness can be a blessing in disguise and can bring us to different points in our lives we would normally never reach. It's never easy to go through the painful times, but remember as dark as the night might be...there's always morning.
The following 2 users give hugs of support to: Tank53 OceanQueen (07-15-2011)
JHL - I can feel your pain RC injuries suck when they are simple repairs. Have you saught a second or third opinion?
I have an opposite problem. I know something is going on in my RC. My bench went from just under 400lbs to 275! I have had several MRI's with contrast dyes and they tell me I have the shoulder of an 18 year old. Luckily I can work around the injury but, there is something that they are missing. Let me know what other Dr opinions are, my brother is also going for surgery next month to repair a tear.
Yea I see the doctor on Wednesday. I'll get all of the office and surgical notes as well as any MRIs/X-rays. There's another doctor that has been mentioned but I first want to know exactly what is torn. There's mention of a "slap" tear that deals with the glenoid (socket) but if the problem is indeed the rotator cuff itself then I don't know what else to do. He mentioned a graph but how do you graph the socket tissue? Again, I'll see him on Wednesday and see what he says.
As for benching, I only went up to 350 for a few reps at a time at best. While this didn't bode well with the rest of the offensive line I held my own when it counted. If you're loosing 125 lbs on the bench then I agree that there might indeed be a problem. Like you said, get another opinion!
Jhl - I have heard so many nightmare stories of RC surgeries that at this point I am learning to live with the problems. I have been through three Dr's and heard three diifferent opinions! Your situation really sucks! I have been lucky enough that I can work around this - the biggest problem is the general public never ask "so what do you squat?" I hope the new Doc works out for you - drop a line on the outcome - Good luck!
No joy on the Rotator cuff. Doctor reports that what he sewed together has already come apart. The reason he gave is that there was too much scar tissue and that what he sewed together was "too fibrous". With this I'm having to go to the hot-tip specialist here in town who performs tendon transplants.
The problem now is that the doctor not within my insurance network. My insurance will not make even a partial co-payment if he/she is not one of their providers. What this means is that I need to go to two seperate doctors and have them both agree that I need to see this particular specialist. My concern here however is that they are demanding that one of these be a doctor that they have chosen (not me). I tried to get them to ok the opinion of another doctor within the network as I was uncomfortable with them deciding who should make second-opinions. Not only that but he's about 30 miles away.
Ok, here it is. What scares me is that this guy will ride the corporate line and say that I don't need to go outside the network and them I'm stuck with someone they've chosen. If this were a simple RC tear or any other canned procedure then fine. But here I'm having to have tendons taken from somewhere else on me or from a cadaver to make this happen. I want to be the one who picks the doctor to do this.
Hopefully this Dr won't be a piece of crap and will listen to you and your concerns as a patient. I have been lucky to see Dr's that dont give a rats behind about what the insurance companies want. That is just a nightmare situation. Best of luck with the outcome.
I can feel the pain. I have RC tears in both arms. They occurred about a year apart. The doc wanted to operate but I told him I wanted to check around on people that had the surgery & then decide.
Everyone of about 20 people, that had the surgery, I questioned said if at all possible do not do the surgery because most surgeons could not do it correctly.
I could not afford to get one of those pro athlete doctors & am not even close to where they practice, so I had no surgery.
You live in an area that has Pro Athlete surgeons. Try to get one of them to check your shoulder.
After 6 months to 1 year I could slowly raise my arms over my head, but had no strength.
After 5 years I still have pain in one shoulder when doing certain motions with my hands. It is bad some nights when I sleep on a should/side too long.
I can do work with both hands at waist level. I was also tied to the first doctor by a mutual doctors agreement in my area for them not to look at or treat another doctors patient. I could not even get a second opinion.
Maybe you could go to another state & get an independant second opinion.
From the research I have done it seems that the RC surgery is one of the most complicated surgeries done. The shoulder joint has 360 degree rotation & must be carefully operated on to prevent more problems.