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Old 06-07-2011, 07:40 AM   #1
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tammilee HB User
Pain After Rotator Cuff Surgery

Hi everyone....I'm new to the message board. I just had surgery on my right shoulder on Friday (4 days ago) for RC tear. The dr said I had multiple tears and he had to put multiple anchors in my shoulder. My surgery was done arthoscopically and I have 4 small incisions.

I have to say I have never experienced so much pain in all my life!! I'm still in the sling and wearing my ice cold therapy pack....I don't see the dr till Monday for my follow up and to get my stiches removed. The dr gave me oxycocet (perks) and gabapentin for pain.....I have almost used up all my perks cause the pain has been so bad and I find I need to take them every 4 hours otherwise the pain becomes to unbearable to deal with.

Can anyone tell me how long it takes before the pain goes away.....I find it difficult to sleep, my shoulder and arm ache and throb all the time. I'm not the type of person who can sit around and do nothing but this has knocked me down and I'm getting really frustrated with the limitations.

I would love to hear from anyone who has gone through this and share their experiences with me.....any words of advice would be greatly appreciated.

 
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Old 06-07-2011, 10:18 AM   #2
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Re: Pain After Rotator Cuff Surgery

Thanks Jen....I have done my best to relax and have done a lot of sleeping due to being so out of it from the perks. What kind of surgery did you have and when did you start your PT? My dr said I would be in the sling for 4-6 weeks and start PT around the 3-4 week period. I do have a PT assesment on the 22nd but from what I've been reading everyone seems to be starting their PT almost right away.

For the most part if I stay still the pain is not to bad other than the aching and throbbing in my arm.....obviously whenever I try to shower or change and move my arm the wrong way I am in extreme pain.

I would love to hear your experience and what you did to get through this.

 
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Old 06-08-2011, 06:16 AM   #3
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Re: Pain After Rotator Cuff Surgery

Thanks for the advice on PT....like I said I'm going for my assessment on the 22nd and to be honest I'm really not looking forward to it. I find any movement of my arm is very painful....I can't imagine whats it's going to feel like when they try to stretch out my arm. I have a very high pain tolerance and have been through a lot of surgeries in the past but I do have to admit this has been one of the most frustrating ones I have been through due to limitations and pain.

Today is day 5 post-op and I actually feel pretty good....I might even try and get out and go for a walk after being in bed for the past 5 days

How long did it take for you to start being able to use your arm again? I know it's a long process but I'm hoping that after a few weeks I will be able to get back to some of my regular routines.

 
Old 06-08-2011, 02:27 PM   #4
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Re: Pain After Rotator Cuff Surgery

hi, i had the surgery 11 weeks ago. it was the worst recovery i ever had. i did start pt 1 week after surgery. sleeping for me was the most difficult. i wore the sling 4 weeks. i cant remember when the pain went away. hang in there because it will dissipate.

 
Old 04-17-2012, 01:28 PM   #5
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Re: Pain After Rotator Cuff Surgery

this sounds so much like me. im one week post slap tear surgery and im in a huge amount of pain. your story is idenical to mine to u have any advice
?

thanks--michelle

 
Old 04-17-2012, 04:14 PM   #6
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Re: Pain After Rotator Cuff Surgery

Had slap tear surgery on the 24th of January and am still in P T trying to get my range of motion back. Stick with the pain meds. This is not the time to try and be a hero.

 
Old 04-17-2012, 09:21 PM   #7
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Re: Pain After Rotator Cuff Surgery

Thanks Maggie. It's been one week and I started feeling better a couple days after the surgery. But now the pain has intensified. I meet with the doc in two days to get stiches out, but I was told before surgery that I won't start pt for at least 4 weeks. I have been xhillin in the recliner most of the day and I'm going nuts. I hate relying on so many people and I just wanna be self sufficient. I hate being on the pain meds and have almost gone through 60 in the matter of a week. How long did it take before you were feeling a little back to normal and able to do things. I want to go for walks, but any movement is killing me.

 
Old 04-18-2012, 12:51 PM   #8
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Re: Pain After Rotator Cuff Surgery

It was quite awhile before I could really do much for myself. The first week, it was good to just get a shower after like day three and lay in the recliner. (Which I also sleep in). You really need to keep movement to a minimum and that will help keep the pain down. What pain medication are you on- although everyone reacts differently to the meds- I had percocet and then used hydrocodone. The first three days I had ice on it, I would say 20 out of 24 hours and then I was icing about 6-8 times a day after that for another 10 days and that really helped keep the pain down. I started PT at exactly four weeks and at that point was still in and out of the sling for a few more weeks.
The first 10 days I didn't really do anything I didn't have to- and I am usually a person that is always doing something. I watched movies and downloaded books to my I pad. You have to be patient as you need to heal in the first few weeks and then get your range of motion back. I am trying to do that now and it is tough! Had a cortisonne shot on Monday as he thinks my rotator cuff is irritated and maybe that is why PT cannot get the stretches in to get me back to full range. It is just too painful even with pain meds.
Take care and ice ice ice.

 
Old 04-25-2012, 04:58 AM   #9
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Re: Pain After Rotator Cuff Surgery

Hi Tammilee. Part of the pain is because the procedure of this operation is that they inject saltwater into your shoulder to press out the space above your supraspinatus. I wonder about your age. Also they usually do acromeoplasty which is very painful but will heal quite well. This operation I believe is the most painful nobody believes it. On the other hand youīre lucky cause things would have gone worse and worse if your supraspinatus had degenerated still more. I had this surgery because of a torn supraspinatus 18th feb. 2008. Luckily enough my PT is very motivated he says the surgery does 40% and PT 60% of the healing process. I understand quite well now why my "supra" got so weak that it ripped when I fell on my outstretched hand. My left shoulder was as weak as my right one and the surge also did acromeoplasty on this but because I didnīt fall on it it completely restrenghtened and has never been as good all my life. 2 months after my surgery I started exercising which is absolutely necessary for right healing of the tendon. Itīs going to be moving again in your shoulder isnīt it? I slept for some weeks with piled pillows and ate 2 boxes of drugs 2 weeks after the surgery. i couldīt brush teeth and made lots of pendule movements with the operated arm over the edge of a table, even in the middle of the night when I couldīt sleep. My PT said lack of bloodflow in my back had been the main reason for this rotator cuff degeneration. Clearly a genetic cause, as Dad had been a back patient all his life and both my sister& brother got hernia surgery. As healing proceeded i started remembering lots of things that indicated bad bloodflow. Only 36 years old I had hemorrhoids and got surgery 2 times since. This as a result of constipation that my PT told me is because of poor bloodflow in the back. Also an incorrect and "turned pelvis had caused wearing out of the lumbar disks speeded up by poor bloodflow. PT is magic. This turns around the process of wearing out lumbar disks by improving bloodflow by massage. Our body is so complete that it reacts very positively to this and will give you back every inch that you spend on strengthening exercises.Take care of buying a good yoga mat, f.i, Manduka, itīll do magic for you. But for now, find this PT! He/she must have this overall insight of what strengthening means to the human body. Best wishes for healing, be patient, youīll get your health back!

 
Old 04-30-2012, 08:56 AM   #10
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Re: Pain After Rotator Cuff Surgery

I've had both shoulders repaired in the past 18 months - the pain was dreadful and I'm still having problems. Get a TENS unit - they are quite helpful.

 
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Old 04-30-2012, 04:04 PM   #11
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Re: Pain After Rotator Cuff Surgery

Hang in there! Had mine done on August 15, 12. Made it fine for a while, but pain didn't go away. Had another procedure (biceps tenodesis) done on March 15. Getting much better now. My therapist told me that recovery from shoulder surgery was much more difficult than any other surgery, including open heart by-bass! After 3 back surgeries and one heart by-pass, I can tell you he was telling the truth. The pain will go away, just do what the doctor says and don't try to be a hero. ICE IS YOUR FRIEND! Use copious amounts of it!! I still have to sleep with a couple of pillows under my left side (side I had surgery on) and that seems to help quite a bit, being propped up that way. Praying for your pain to go away and for a quick recovery!

 
Old 05-01-2012, 04:45 AM   #12
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Re: Pain After Rotator Cuff Surgery

I tried the TENS-unit when my PT took a holiday. Anyhow it didnīt do me any good. The only way out of this is exercising. The degeneration of tendons is result of poor bloodflow which increases by the years. Only way to cope with it are regular exercises that build up the flood flow slowly but steadily. This might take a few years but pays off. PT is magic !

 
Old 05-01-2012, 02:58 PM   #13
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Re: Pain After Rotator Cuff Surgery

i am having more pain than normal. my rotator surgery was march 2011. i dont even want to go back to the dr. i am just going to live with it.

 
Old 05-01-2012, 05:37 PM   #14
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Re: Pain After Rotator Cuff Surgery

debbie g I hope you got PT after surgery cause itīs the only way out of this!

 
Old 03-17-2013, 09:15 AM   #15
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Re: Pain After Rotator Cuff Surgery

I had shoulder surgery 6days ago...the Dr. was suppose to repair the rotator tear, reattach my bicep,fixed torn ligaments and removed several bone spurs. He said the rotator tear wasn't as bad as he thought it was and just cleaned it up(whatever that means) but did everything else that I mentioned above. My question is...how long will I be in pain??!! It's horrible!! The Dr. gave me percocets to take every 6hrs. but im finding myself taking them every 4hrs. cause the pain is just to much to handle. Im using the ice thearpy machine that the hospital sent me home with and that is helping. I've had other surgeries before and have never ever experienced this kind of pain before!!!! When will I start feeling better? All I do is sleep and that is not like me at all. If anyone can give me any suggestions to help i'd appreciate it. Im doing my exercises several times a day and probably won't start PT for 2 more weeks. I just want the pain to go away.....

 
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