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Old 08-18-2007, 06:19 AM   #1
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Question Rotator Cuff and SLAP surgery

Is there anyone who has had surgery to repair torn rotator cuffs and/or SLAP, bursitis, or impingement?

I'm a former athlete who is considering surgery on both shoulders for all of these disorders, which were caused by overuse. I have very lax joints which cause my humerus to sublux in multiple directions and has put a lot of stress on my RTC. I haven't improved with rest, physical therapy, NSAID's, and ice.

I'm at the point where I occassionally can't lift my arms more than a few inches on a bad day (because my shoulders sublux, so if the head of the humerus is not well-aligned in the joint capsule, it's very difficult to move, while other days it's fairly well-aligned and I can move). Plus there's a lot of aching and sometimes sharp pain and discomfort because it's hard to support my shoulders and sit up and walk around properly.

I've heard a lot of stories about people being in huge amounts of unresolved pain after the surgery and people who have not regained much range of movement, and would not opt for surgery again. I have a brother who has gone through two knee surgeries and had problems, so I am very leery about joint repair.

Is there anyone who can share their stories with me? Both positive and negative are welcomes?

How did you injure your shoulder? How much pain were you in prior to surgery and after surgery? How were you limited because of the injury before surgery? How long did it take to recover?

Would you do it again?

 
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Old 08-18-2007, 08:52 AM   #2
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Re: Rotator Cuff and SLAP surgery

I can't tell you everything about my son's surgeries and recup time, as he is 35 and really doesn't tell his Mom everything But he did have rotator cuff surgeries on both shoulders, one at a time with a few years in between each surgery. His was caused from over use also, he is very athletic and a surfer. I know that right after the surgery he was in a lot of pain and then went thru PT which he said at first was also very painful, but he said it worked for him and now he is using both arms and shoulders normally.

 
Old 08-18-2007, 03:05 PM   #3
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Re: Rotator Cuff and SLAP surgery

Thanks for sharing.

Do you know if he had open surgery or arthroscopic? I've heard that the recovery time is shorter for arthroscopic, but many surgeons are more comfortable with open surgery.

I'm OK with pain after surgery, assuming it's somewhat controlled by medication and doesn't last toooo long.

 
Old 08-18-2007, 05:26 PM   #4
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Re: Rotator Cuff and SLAP surgery

Hi Sue, I had surgery 2 years ago for a slap tear-arthroscopic. Not real sure how I did it initially but one day while in the gym something snapped. The surgeon said it looked as though it had been tearing for a while and this was it now time for surgery. Sorry to have to tell you this but recovery was extremely painful for me. and long. My arm was immobilized for 4 weeks then pt started and went for 2 months. Well it didn't work for me. I still have terrible pain and no I would not do it again.

 
Old 08-19-2007, 03:54 AM   #5
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Re: Rotator Cuff and SLAP surgery

Quote:
Originally Posted by kdel View Post
Hi Sue, I had surgery 2 years ago for a slap tear-arthroscopic. Not real sure how I did it initially but one day while in the gym something snapped. The surgeon said it looked as though it had been tearing for a while and this was it now time for surgery. Sorry to have to tell you this but recovery was extremely painful for me. and long. My arm was immobilized for 4 weeks then pt started and went for 2 months. Well it didn't work for me. I still have terrible pain and no I would not do it again.
Oh, wow, I'm sorry you're in so much pain. Have your doctors come up with a plan for rehab?

I don't think my situation quiiite fits with yours, but I could be very wrong (and maybe I'm just trying ignore negatives!). You sound like you had an overuse injury and then an acute injury.

I'm still at the point where all of my problems are caused by overuse. It's very likely that there a lot of small tears. At least for now it doesn't feel like anything has suddenly happened at once, although it's been getting worse lately.

 
Old 08-19-2007, 04:10 AM   #6
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Re: Rotator Cuff and SLAP surgery

I hope I didn't scare you and yes my injury does sound a little different though they did say it was a slap tear- I always forget the medical term?? Anyway it wasn't a clean tear and the surgeon actually said that she had never seen anything like it- that instead of a straight tear that they could go in and sew up it was ragged and shredded and all she could do was scrape the excess tissue to clean it out so no real repair done. This of course was all told to me AFTER surgery and also found injury to the bicep tendon which she left alone because she said there was really nothing she could do at that time for it.
One more thing, did they send you for an mri? They sent me for something called an arthogram(sp?) and told me it was an mri with die. ok no big deal so off I went. DON"T go unprepared if they suggest this as it is not a simple mri it is a test-actually a small procedure where they lay you on a table in a hospital gown, then the actually insert die directly into your shoulder (big needle) THEN stick this long camera right into your injured shoulder that is already killing you and move it all over the place to see the injury. No anesthesia and for me NO warning from the doc!! I just want to add that I have a friend whose rotator cuff surgery was open and more severe of an injury, he had a different surgeon also and surgical insicion was quite large but he is doing well, it worked for him. After surgery they gave him a pain pump to wear at home for 3-4 days and he said he had only minor discomfort so youmay want to check into that. I have heard of others who have had the open surgery and are doing well. Maybe it's easier for the doc to get in there and see everything better? Good luck to you, not trying to scare you just inform you and also maybe get a second opinion, I will from now on.

Last edited by kdel; 08-19-2007 at 04:18 AM. Reason: adding something

 
Old 08-19-2007, 09:36 AM   #7
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Re: Rotator Cuff and SLAP surgery

Hi Sue...sorry to tell you that my injury was from overuse. Had a 2 inch rotator cuff tear, 10 bone spurs (that did no t show up in the MRI) and part of my acromium bone shaved off as it was causing an impingement. The surgery was a piece of cake. The recovery is the worst thing I have ever experienced in my life. I am at 4 months and still have less ROM than before surgery and am still in pain. Tolerable at this point but still pain. Had 2 injections and PT before the surgery that didn't help. PT is greuling after the surgery. I have been told by many that shoulder surgeries are really a gamble. Some work, others don't. No One seems to have an explanation as to why they don't have a real high success rate. I also would not do this again. Surgeon is now telling me it will take at least one year for a full recovery and we won't know until then how much ROM I will regain. I wish you luck with whatever your decision is.

ICC

 
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