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Post-rotator cuff surgery - progress at a halt

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Old 04-30-2018, 08:02 AM   #1
Join Date: Apr 2018
Location: Raleigh, NC
Posts: 2
cb93 HB User
Post-rotator cuff surgery - progress at a halt

I am 80 years old, who had rotator cuff surgery for a full tear on Jan. 3rd. I was in the sling for 9 weeks but have been faithfully doing the PT exercises since then. I was making progress for a while but for the last 4-6 weeks, I don't see any improvement. I can lift my arm forward about 95 degrees and sideways about 75 degrees. The only thing I notice which I don't understand is that when I first wake up, I can move my arm much better and as the day wears on, my arm gets stiffer and stiffer. I have good passive ROM but actively lifting my arm either way produces crunches and clicks (painless). I have tried to move up my next appt. but can't and getting information from this dr. is almost impossible. I am hoping I have not come to the end of my progress - has anyone had to take longer than 4 months for good active ROM?

Last edited by Administrator; 04-30-2018 at 09:14 AM.

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Old 04-30-2018, 01:43 PM   #2
Join Date: Dec 2008
Location: Tri Cities,. WA
Posts: 137
allhis HB Userallhis HB Userallhis HB User
Re: Post-rotator cuff surgery - progress at a halt

Wow - 9 weeks in a sling. Did you start PT before that?
What does your physical therapist say?
Have you left a message for the doctor or better yet, talked to his assistant about your concerns?

Using the pulleys is what got my arm to move. The PT would stretch it but it was important I continued with the pulley in between. In fact, the first 6 months I did the exercises 2-3 times a day.

I started PT week 3 after surgery and was out of the sling for the most part week 5 but did continue to wear it when in the store to protect my shoulder until week 7. It took almost a year for all the little sounds in my shoulder to go away.The most annoying was the 'snapping/slipping' sound of the tendons. But just as the doctor said - once the muscles got stronger the tendons 'slipping' stopped.

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Old 04-30-2018, 01:55 PM   #3
Join Date: Apr 2018
Location: Raleigh, NC
Posts: 2
cb93 HB User
Re: Post-rotator cuff surgery - progress at a halt

The 9 weeks were because of my age and the size of the tear, they said. I started PT at 4 weeks. The therapist just keeps saying everything is ok but she sounds as if she is coming out with canned responses. I've tried to talk to the dr. or his PA but can't get through but I have an appt. in 2 weeks.

I used the pulley and the ROM was great - it's when I try active ROM that I can't make progress. You say you did the exercises for 6 months so I feel better from hearing that - I am doing about 2 hrs. a day and will keep on, even though I'm not seeing progress.

I'm also grateful for what you said about the "snapping/slipping" which went away eventually - it isn't exactly painful but it seems to impede the exercises.

Thanks so much for the response.

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