Rotator Cuff Tear

  • Advertise with us

« back to Coffee Lounge forum

Forum topic by oakdust posted 02-17-2009 06:39 PM 3056 views 0 times favorited 33 replies Add to Favorites Watch
View oakdust's profile


177 posts in 3815 days

02-17-2009 06:39 PM

just found out that I tore a rotator cuff and it will take surgery to fix it. Anyone out there had this type of surgery? Just wondering what to expect.
The worst part is I just took on two kitchen cabinet builds and I am a one man shop. Thought about training the wife and 2 yearold Grandson, but i may never get my shop back if I do that

-- Bob, Rockford IL,

33 replies so far

View Tim Pursell's profile

Tim Pursell

499 posts in 3782 days

#1 posted 02-17-2009 07:37 PM

I had some problem with a rotator cuff about 18 years ago, (too much raquet ball !)but I was able to do 6 weeks of therapy & then some on my own for 6 months or so & got 90% back. I heard of a friend of a friend that recently had the surgery done & heard that his arm was taped to his chest, but I have no idea how long the re-hab would be.
What’s your Doc say?
If I wasn’t 2 hours away from you I’d come work for you for a while. At least till you get both arms working again.


View dan_fash's profile


62 posts in 3426 days

#2 posted 02-17-2009 08:04 PM

Well, I’ve never had rotator cuff surgery, but I was an othopaedic surgery nurse for ten years. I’ve been in more rotator cuff surgeries than I can count. 1st, get it done as soon as possible. The longer you wait, the worse the injury becomes and the more dificult the surgery is (which can mean a poorer repair).
2nd. unfortunately, rotator cuff repairs are very painful surgeries to recover from. I believe 6 weeks in a sling and swath (a sling strapped around your chest as well as your neck to limit movement) is standard, though that may vary from surgeon to surgeon. Expect PT to be a pain. however, if you get to the repair early, the results can be amazing. Even with the trouble, the surgery is well worth having. you may (hopefully) never know how drastically your arm use could be decreased by ignoring this injury.

Best of Luck

-- "If I find in myself a desire which no experience in this world can satisfy, the most logical explantion is that I was made for another world." -C.S. Lewis

View Dadoo's profile


1789 posts in 3990 days

#3 posted 02-17-2009 09:41 PM

From another Nurse (me) I second what Dan Fash told ya. Expect some pain in recovery and also expect someone else to do any lifting for you for quite awhile. Also ask your Doc for something strong for the “breakthru” pain. (Or you could be a tough LumberJock and buck up to it…and lose sleep every night.) Vicodin is really good stuff. Get some.

-- Bob Vila would be so proud of you!

View oakdust's profile


177 posts in 3815 days

#4 posted 02-18-2009 02:09 AM

Hey thanks for all the offers to help but I am going to tuff it out long enough to finish the kitchens.
I see the Doc in the AM but he has told me PT is not an option it will have to have surgery.
And I’ll ask about meds for the break through pain.

-- Bob, Rockford IL,

View juniorjock's profile


1930 posts in 3765 days

#5 posted 02-18-2009 02:34 AM

Vicodin…..... isn’t that what House takes? Must be good stuff.
- JJ

View Padre's profile


930 posts in 3489 days

#6 posted 02-18-2009 02:53 AM

I had the right shoulder done 3 years ago, the left shoulder surgery in December. I am still recuperating. I am in PT now (PT stands for Pain and Torture by the way) ;)

Get some good pain meds. Make sure you know what you can tolerate and what you can’t. For instance, I can’t take the strong stuff (oxycontin, etc.) but Darvocet worked great. Ultracet was prescribed for mild pain.

Get a few sleeping pills for the first few nights, and plan on sleeping in a recliner until it doesn’t hurt to lie in bed. Some can do it after a week, most 2 weeks.

Now, you are going to get itchy after a few weeks, and the arm won’t feel ‘all that bad’ from time to time. So you may be tempted to do only ‘light stuff’ in the shop, etc. DO NOT DO IT! You can easily re-tear the muscle, tear off where the Doc reattaches the muscle to the bone, etc. And then that surgery multiplies all the pain and recovery by at least 100%.

Even though PT is a P.I.T.A., do it and do the exercises they give you. It will hurt, yeah, but it is worth it in the long run.

Well, hope this helps a little, and please don’t put off the surgery. You are only making it worse every day and every time you lift something.

-- Chip ----------- 6:8

View CaptnA's profile


116 posts in 3813 days

#7 posted 02-18-2009 03:17 AM

My mother had her first one done at the tender age of 75. Three months later she was well enough to have the other one done and did. She’s now 80 and pain free well, in her shoulders anyhow
I’ve been messing with a bad right shoulder for too many years. It stinks. I keep reinjuring it. A year and a half ago I got hit by a car and they said nothing new was hurt, but they told me I stirred the proverbial hornet’s nest from being hit by a car 8 years ago that aggravated old injuries etc. Last September I fell off the top of a fire truck and re-re-re-aggravated it. I just got through with weeks of pt and got some decent movement back but not ‘well’. Nothing to operate on by itself but one doctor wanted to go in and fix all the ‘little things’ he could (bone spurs, partial thickness tear, adhesive capsulitis etc) and said that ought to justify surgery the other two said they couldn’t see doing surgery right now. sheesh
The things they can now do and the new techniques are amazing over just years ago.
Good luck and as all have said – DO the PT even though its a pain.

-- CaptnA - "When someone hurts you, write it in the sand so the winds of forgiveness will scatter the memory... "

View oakdust's profile


177 posts in 3815 days

#8 posted 02-18-2009 05:41 AM

When my shoulder started waking me up in the middle of the night I found that if I lay on my back and put my arm behind me. Really strange way to sleep but it seems to help. I know what you mean about shop time bringing on the pain. I have to finish building cabinets for two different kitchens before my surgery, I guess I have to stay LJ tough and work through it. This post has gotten more attention then I thought it would and like 3finger said lots of good info. Thanks everyone

-- Bob, Rockford IL,

View GFYS's profile


711 posts in 3471 days

#9 posted 02-18-2009 05:45 AM

I heard on the radio today there was some great breakthrough in medical treatment of athletic injuries including rotator cuff tears. I think it involved injections of somthing and the patients own blood into the area.

View oakdust's profile


177 posts in 3815 days

#10 posted 02-18-2009 07:35 AM

isn’t my own blood getting there already? I haven’t heard of that, I’ll have to ask the Doc. I am going to see a doc that does nothing but shoulders. Wonder if he can fix my wife when she gives me the cold shoulder? I’ll deny I typed that, must have been the cat!

-- Bob, Rockford IL,

View mmax's profile


179 posts in 3455 days

#11 posted 02-18-2009 08:52 AM

Here is the link to the article mics_54 refers to.

-- Always remember you're unique, just like everyone else

View woodyoda's profile


117 posts in 3457 days

#12 posted 02-18-2009 08:58 PM

Bob, email me, I bet I can make your rotator cuff better over the phone…....
you’ll do the work to fix it, I’ll just tell you WHAT to do…..guaranteed, no negative affects

View oakdust's profile


177 posts in 3815 days

#13 posted 02-19-2009 12:48 AM

woodyoda, already set for surgery. Doc says it’s to far gone for PT, will be out of the shop for 2 months or longer.

-- Bob, Rockford IL,

View bibb's profile


327 posts in 3531 days

#14 posted 02-19-2009 01:31 AM

Had it done last fall, almost good as new today. The trick for the first couple of days is to sleep in your recliner. There just doesn’t seem to be a comfortable way to sleep on your back or “good” side. The recliner will let you get a decent (not great) night’s sleep. Take it slow, you don’t need to be a jock and prove anything. Get help with the cabinets since reaching above your chest will be out for a few months.
Don’t turn down the pain meds for the first few days but remember that the meds will make it feel that you can still use the shoulder…NOT!!!
good luck

-- you may only live once, but if you do it right that's all you need

View oakdust's profile


177 posts in 3815 days

#15 posted 03-02-2009 11:52 PM

Inflammation of the bursa? Did they tell you to ice it and take motrin?
I am scheduled for March 31st and already have the recliner in the basement ready to go.

-- Bob, Rockford IL,

showing 1 through 15 of 33 replies

Have your say...

You must be signed in to reply.

DISCLAIMER: Any posts on LJ are posted by individuals acting in their own right and do not necessarily reflect the views of LJ. LJ will not be held liable for the actions of any user.

Latest Projects | Latest Blog Entries | Latest Forum Topics