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Old 06-02-2013, 08:53 AM   #1
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Question Full thickness rotator cuff tear and more - advice?

Hello,
I had an mr arthrogram on my left shoulder two weeks ago and I'm now booked for surgery in 3 to 5 weeks. I am looking for advice on recovry and any experiences you could share. My shoulder has a full thickness tear of the supraspinatus tendon, a type 2 slap tear, significant proliferative degenerative ac joint changes, and significant marrow edema. ( their words, not mine ) Surgery will include tendon repair, cartilage repair, ac joint excision and a bicep tendon tenotomy. Any input would be greatly appreciated.

 
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Old 06-02-2013, 06:42 PM   #2
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Re: Full thickness rotator cuff tear and more - advice?

Did you have an injury? Are you having a lot of pain? It is a tough surgery. Expect 6 weeks in a sling and several months for recovery. PT usually starts at 6 weeks and goes 2-3 times a week, plus daily home therapy for 3+ months. It is painful, especially the first few days. If you have a recliner, that is great as sleep lying prone is difficult. There are lots of hints for self care, clothing, etc. outcome can depend on your age, type of injury or whether it is degenerative, etc. good luck.

 
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Old 06-02-2013, 08:49 PM   #3
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Re: Full thickness rotator cuff tear and more - advice?

Thank you for the reply. I did over exert it in Feb. and had a very sharp pain etc. I think that's when I damaged my supraspinatus, although I think my shoulder problems are a combination of overuse for 20+ years and what happened in Feb. Honestly, this whole surgery thing makes me nervous. Just cutting the biceps tendon seems pretty drastic, but the way my surgeon explained it, it made sense. I guess I'll look forward to a lot of time in my Lazy Boy downstairs this summer. I just hope it makes it easier to sleep at night.

Last edited by TL1; 06-02-2013 at 08:51 PM.

 
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Old 06-03-2013, 03:21 AM   #4
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Re: Full thickness rotator cuff tear and more - advice?

The bicep tenotomy is the least of these issues. Often it can rupture on its own without much negative result. And if you are older, surgeons are tending to just cut it and not reattach, which not only lengthens recovery, but can cause more pain, plus it can re-tear. I think mine did, but I have so many problems, I could care less!

The most important reason to have this type of surgery is if you have such pain that it is definitely interfering with your life. If the answer is yes, there is no need to be afraid. You are in and out, but do be prepared for a long recovery. Some people do not realize this and it comes as a very unwelcome surprise.

 
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Old 06-03-2013, 03:52 PM   #5
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Re: Full thickness rotator cuff tear and more - advice?

Yes I do have constant pain, especially at night. Being a cabinetmaker for the past 25 years I can definitely say that it impacts how I work and day to day life in a significant way.

I know everybody heals at different rates but what's a good guess at when I should expect to be able to work again? Normal work, not sitting down work.

You mentioned earlier something about hints for clothing..... is this because I'll be in a sling with my arm tied to my torso?

I had 3 plates and 16 screws put into my ankle 4 years ago so I'm hoping that will help in expecting how much pain there's going to be..

 
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Old 06-03-2013, 05:54 PM   #6
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Re: Full thickness rotator cuff tear and more - advice?

You will need to see how it goes and discuss return to work with your doc. Count on several weeks though. A cuff repair requires at least 12 weeks to heal. I cannot speak to comparing an ankle fracture to shoulder surgery. But I can say that the pain is worse than childbirth! I have had 6 surgeries on my right dominant shoulder, including all the repairs you mentioned, although not at the same time, up to and including 3 replacements, partial, total and reverse.

Loose clothing, with buttons or zippers is a must, along with pants with elastic waist. You will be living one-armed for awhile. The arm is typically in a sling, not tied to the torso so to speak. Most are allowed to take it out for bathing and doing simple movement as explained by your surgeon.

 
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Old 06-03-2013, 06:10 PM   #7
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Re: Full thickness rotator cuff tear and more - advice?

Hi I'm 56 yo had slap tear and scraping and cleanup done from osteo in may I think? My pt didn't start for 4 weeks the therapist wasn't happy because she thought I should have gotten it moving sooner, there are differences of opinion on that. However, in July I ended up back in OR under anesthesia for manual manipulation because I was partially frozen. It's called MUA. Be sure to do your exercises at home and on your first dr visit after surgery ask for some pendulum exercises to do til you get to pt.

Oh yeah, I took an old pillowcase cut the long end off use the two long end points to tie around neck and put elbow in corner of pillowcase to shower with. Really helped. You don't want to get you other one wet. Good luck Cathy

 
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Old 06-03-2013, 07:47 PM   #8
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Re: Full thickness rotator cuff tear and more - advice?

I guess there's just no easy answer to any of this. I just have to try to be as prepared as I can and hope for good results, I'm very stubborn about being useful and productive. It's just so hard to talk to the surgeon about anything, no way to get ahold of by phone or secretary. Don't call us, we'll call you. That's why sites like this are a good resource for people like me.

Thank you both very much!

 
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Old 06-12-2013, 06:51 PM   #9
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Re: Full thickness rotator cuff tear and more - advice?

make sure you follow orders so you don't retear it after the surgery. It takes months of PT and at home PT. From what they tell me, you'll never be 100% again. Someone else might tell you different, I don't know. I just know what others have told me.
good luck. I feel for ya.

 
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Old 06-12-2013, 06:55 PM   #10
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Re: Full thickness rotator cuff tear and more - advice?

make sure you follow orders so you don't retear it after the surgery. It takes months of PT and at home PT. From what they tell me, you'll never be 100% again. Someone else might tell you different, I don't know. I just know what others have told me.
good luck. I feel for ya.

 
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Old 06-13-2013, 04:00 PM   #11
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Re: Full thickness rotator cuff tear and more - advice?

I'm nowhere near 100% now, so almost anything would be an improvement. I would be happy just to have most of the pain go away, even if I don't get back full range of motion. It's been getting worse and worse over the last 4 months and I'm starting to get a fair sized lump over the AC joint.

 
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Old 06-13-2013, 06:12 PM   #12
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Re: Full thickness rotator cuff tear and more - advice?

There is a high possibility of retear as we age. There are so many factors, it is impossible to predict outcome. Chances are you won't be worse, but there is risk of stiffness and retear, especially if you use your shoulder a lot for your work. As long as you are aware of the risks and post op care required, it should not be a problem. Most do well. Just be prepared for a long recovery and rehab.

 
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Old 06-13-2013, 07:22 PM   #13
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Re: Full thickness rotator cuff tear and more - advice?

My surgeon did say I was a good candidate for surgery because I'm in good shape, my muscle tissue is good (no fatty infiltration), and no atrophy. I'm still working, although doing less physical work and more computer work these days. She assured me the prognosis should be good. That being said, I will be very careful after going back to work and expect no pressure to do more labour intensive tasks.

I am still unsure about after the surgery and getting dressed etc. Are t-shirts with one arm cut off a good idea? Or will it be easy enough to dress myself with normal button up shirts? Should I be going out to buy muscle shirts or am I just worrying too much?

 
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Old 06-13-2013, 07:41 PM   #14
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Re: Full thickness rotator cuff tear and more - advice?

Definitely button up shirts I got mine at goodwll cathy

 
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Old 06-13-2013, 07:53 PM   #15
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Re: Full thickness rotator cuff tear and more - advice?

Forget tshirts. Think of what you can get on and off without pulling it on overhead for awhile. It is summer, so think buttons or very loose and stretchy. It isn't the sleeve, it is getting it on. Try holding your arm bent at the elbow, to your stomach and see how easy, or not, it is to put a tshirt on with your good arm only. Also, elastic waist shorts or pants are much easier than jeans. Is this your dominant arm? If so, you will need to think about personal hygiene using one arm, including brushing hair and teeth. Bathing is a challenge too. Get shampoo and soap with a pump on top that you can use with one hand. Sleeping is also challenging. Recliners are great as sleeping laying flat is near impossible. If you don't have a recliner, get lots of pillows to prop yourself up. If you DO have a recliner, it might be hard if the handle to raise the foot is on your operated side. I have an electronic one, been sleeping in it over 3 months now after the last surgery. And have your pain meds on hand when you get home and start them the minute feeling starts returning to your fingers. Once that block wears off, the pain is excruciating for the first couple days. Also, get two or three gel packs to keep in the freezer. Icing the shoulder is soothing for a long time.

Last edited by galalena; 06-13-2013 at 08:05 PM. Reason: Addition

 
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