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  1. #1
    Registered User Hujombo's Avatar
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    Full thickness rotator cuff tear. Please tell me what I'm in for.

    I'd really appreciate hearing others' experiences with rotator cuff surgery. Will I be able to lift again? How horrible is the surgery? How horrible is the recovery? How long will I be down and out? How do you sleep at night? Anything to let me know what I'm in for would be helpful, even it it's bad news. I'd like to know what's ahead for me.

    Thanks.
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  2. #2
    Registered User kh971's Avatar
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    Wow, no response. Well here you go. Go get yourself a NICE recliner because that is where you will sit, and sleep for the next 2-3 weeks after the surgery. Maybe after 3 weeks you might , might be able to sleep in your bed. I doubt it though. It has been 8 years since my repair. Therapy is your friend, and I hope you have a high tolerance for pain. Thearapy is to only keep the scar tissue from setting in really good. That is my opinion though. So the more you can bear and push yourself in rotation and movement the better off you are when you go through therapy. Remember therapy is not about strength, just range of motion in the begining.
    It actually sucks since you will not be able to lift anything heavy for 8-10 months. Remember you do have to be smart about your comeback. Then it is balls to the wall for lifting.
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  3. #3
    Registered User db_ggmm's Avatar
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    How did you injure yourself?
    01/07/06 - Quit Drinking. 03/15/08 - Quit Smoking.
    06/01/09 - At 118lbs, started lifting, intarweb fasting, and crab backtraced cycling.
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  4. #4
    Registered User Ceedubya's Avatar
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    STICK TO THE THERAPY!!!! buy a good mattress (I like memory foam), and find a good massage therapist for down the road. And again... STICK TO THE THERAPY!

    I wish I would have been more dilligent with the therapy when I did mine in. After 12 years I got into lifting, and now 2 years later I am doing much better.
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  5. #5
    Stay Strong all year long alex2363's Avatar
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    [QUOTE=Hujombo;689887851]I'd really appreciate hearing others' experiences with rotator cuff surgery. Anything to let me know what I'm in for would be helpful, even it it's bad news. I'd like to know what's ahead for me.
    Will I be able to lift again?
    yes, if u do proper rehab to prevent scar tissue
    How horrible is the surgery?
    not bad, you get pain pills for few months and it feels no worse than working out in terms of pain
    How horrible is the recovery?
    each person is different, it may take 6 to 12 months for full recovery, it took me 9 months, im slow healer,lol
    How long will I be down and out?
    see above
    How do you sleep at night?
    on bed or recliner for 1st few weeks

    Thanks.
    IIFYM crews ....I Reps back.
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  6. #6
    Registered User Thunderman's Avatar
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    It is a VERY painful surgery, you will not be able to sleep for about 2-3 days after the surgery.....

    You will have to stay on a recliner for about 5-8 days, again it is very difficult to sleep or even get comfortable....

    You will be TOTALLY down for 5-8 days. Again, lots of pain!

    You will be able to start slowly lifting at about 6 weeks. DO NOT RUSH IT!!!

    Good luck, Mine is a thousand times better 6 months later.

    Originally Posted by Hujombo View Post
    I'd really appreciate hearing others' experiences with rotator cuff surgery. Will I be able to lift again? How horrible is the surgery? How horrible is the recovery? How long will I be down and out? How do you sleep at night? Anything to let me know what I'm in for would be helpful, even it it's bad news. I'd like to know what's ahead for me.

    Thanks.
    If the thunder don't get you, then the lightning will!!!
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  7. #7
    Registered User Dutchman's Avatar
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    Don't know what to tell you. I have torn my left RC 2X and the right one 1X. My last tear was 5 months ago and I took the same approach as before. RC Surgery horror stories from friends made me look harder at a possible natural alternative. Folks think its a BS solution until they see me work out and lift seriously heavy weights for my age. I'm back up to things like 460 in my Rack Deads after warming up with 4 sets of 20 Pullups (2 Parrallel and 2 Wide Grip) or doing 3 X 12 weighted DIPs with 75 lbs strapped on. I'll soon start using the same belt for my Pullups. Neither of my shoulders will probably ever be 100% again but they are both around 95% and I can live with that.

    The solution for me was two fold. First I increased my Omega 3s (from Fish Oil) to 2,700 mg daily. I take three triple strength gel caps I get at Sams Club about $19 for a bottle of 150 caps each with 1.4 gms of Fish Oil and 900 mgs of Omega 3's. Turned out to be a godsend for my joints with great secondary effects for my heart etc. The second thiing for me and I simply can not understand why more peple here haven't tried it, is megadosing Cissus Quadranguaris. I prefer the Super Cissus RX brand from USPLabs and I buy it right here at BB.com for around $30 for a bottle of 90 caps. They tell you to take 2 caps a day. For me the first month of recovery, I take 6 caps ED ie 3 before both breakfast and dinner, about 15 minutes before. By the second month I only take 3 caps 1X a day and by the third then I either take 2 caps ED or 3 caps along with my protein shake an hour before the gym. Cissus IMHO is the greatest natural supp to hit the market in the last decade and it does wonders for bones, joints, ligaments and tendons. Three times now I have repaired my RC with it and I have seen countless friends and family have similar great results with shoulders, knees, elbows etc. I do all the normal rehab exercises with rubber bands, pulleys and light weights but soon I always find I can start to move up on carefully selected heavier exercises.
    Dutch

    For four generations my family has answered the call and served as needed from Europe to Asia to 9/11. We will gladly stand and fight again to preserve our freedom from tyranny.
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  8. #8
    Registered User kh971's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by db_ggmm View Post
    How did you injure yourself?
    Not really sure may have been in the gym, but i did have a nasty t bone wreck where a kid hit the side of my F-250 and i broke out the drivers window with my face. I cracked my skull, and tore all myh intercostals when i went halfway out the window. I did not break a single rib!!!!! I think I would have been better if I HAD brokern the ribs. Having torn intercostals and sneezing was the worst pain I have ever had in my entire life. When I felt a sneeze coming on I would lay down and curl and start crying before I sneezed!!! it was that bad.
    Oh yeah, you won't be lifting nothing at 6 months except a 10-20 lb dumbell. Don't rush the therapy.
    Your sling will start to almost feel like it is cutting into your neck after 2-3 weeks, have some wider memory foam or rubber to put around this sling. Do not wait for it to get really bad, fix it when you start to notice the pain.
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  9. #9
    Registered User flexcalibur's Avatar
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    I had my surgery on 5/27/11. I'm still completely passive and will be for about 4 more weeks before I begin light resistance. I had a full thickness tear of supraspinatus and subscapularis, and partial tear of biceps tendon (short head). The repair consisted of 5 anchors, not sure about the sutures, biceps tenotomy, and spur removal and decompression bone augmentation. I guess I'm lucky, but I didn't have any pain with the injury. I could just feel the weird sensation of tearing in my shoulder. After the surgery I had some pain for a couple of days after, but was able to discontinue the lortab in favor of advil on day 3. I am already to full range of motion in PT with very little discomfort. I am curious to see what level I'll be able to get back to, but I'm not going to rush it. I'll start back with light weights at the first of 2012. I've been through similar down times with a pec tear in 06 (pics are on here somewhere). I'm just going to have to see what I can accomplish with lighter weights from now on.
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  10. #10
    In For GAINZ VictoryWon4Him's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by Ceedubya View Post
    STICK TO THE THERAPY!!!! buy a good mattress (I like memory foam), and find a good massage therapist for down the road. And again... STICK TO THE THERAPY!

    I wish I would have been more dilligent with the therapy when I did mine in. After 12 years I got into lifting, and now 2 years later I am doing much better.
    This statement says it all. Therapy is your main key. Just be sure to find someone that's good. If you can, check them out before you go or use word of mouth. I've had PT's that were lousy and some that were fantastic. You quickly find out which one is helping you to make max progess. Once you find that one, stick with them and do what they tell you. Much like lifting, it takes time, but it'll be well worth it in the long run. Good luck with the surg.
    Philippians 4:13 I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me.

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  11. #11
    Registered User Hujombo's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by Hujombo View Post
    I'd really appreciate hearing others' experiences with rotator cuff surgery. Will I be able to lift again? How horrible is the surgery? How horrible is the recovery? How long will I be down and out? How do you sleep at night? Anything to let me know what I'm in for would be helpful, even it it's bad news. I'd like to know what's ahead for me.

    Thanks.
    Thanks for your comments. The fact that it's more than a year since I posted this helps explain what I experienced. Recovery is a long slow process. I had my surgery July, 2011. I started back, a little, with lifting in April. I had a torn rotator cuff and a torn labrum. I wasn't permitted to start PT until three months post-op. Tearing up the scar tissue hurt. I actually used cuss words in a loud voice and other patients heard me. Not pretty. I lift much lighter now and am working my way back. A bone spur was the cause of my injury. I have one in my left shoulder too, and I'm going to have that removed before I tear muscle on that side. Still, I'm very happy with the results. Almost full range of motion in the injured shoulder. Not a ton of pain at this point. I get sore from workouts and I ice after (and heat before). In any case, the best advice was to work at physical therapy. It proved to be critical.
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  12. #12
    Registered User yakabebe's Avatar
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    Have faith, my man...I have had both shoulder recon after tears.

    6-7 weeks in a sling...pretty painful for first few days.

    Took me almost 9 months to get to the point where I could lift even an oly bar.

    Now as strong as ever.

    As to what caused them.

    Both on bench press. Once I was pushing my last rep with a spotter who then ...missed the friggin rack and all the weight hit my shoulder

    The other was when my ego got out and went head to head vs a young guy and on max reps with 60kg...tore the RC on some stupid last ridiculous rep.

    Learned BIG lessons from both

    Youll get better and if you're diligent and heal well and the surgeon was good...expect good things!

    I know heaps of professional rugby league players who have had multiple shoulder and knee recons and who are every bit as good as before and gone on to play for Australia.
    http://forum.bodybuilding.com/showthread.php?t=154678393

    After the hard sessions - when ya ask yourself all the really tuff questions like "WTF are you doing, mate?"....the answer is....if you aspire to be the best at something - if you set your goal to be best in the world - you want to do more than anyone else is doing out there.

    Easy..if a guy's working harder than me - doing more than me - he fking well deserves to beat me.

    Simple.

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  13. #13
    Registered User Hujombo's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by yakabebe View Post
    Have faith, my man...I have had both shoulder recon after tears.

    6-7 weeks in a sling...pretty painful for first few days.

    Took me almost 9 months to get to the point where I could lift even an oly bar.

    Now as strong as ever.

    As to what caused them.

    Both on bench press. Once I was pushing my last rep with a spotter who then ...missed the friggin rack and all the weight hit my shoulder

    The other was when my ego got out and went head to head vs a young guy and on max reps with 60kg...tore the RC on some stupid last ridiculous rep.

    Learned BIG lessons from both

    Youll get better and if you're diligent and heal well and the surgeon was good...expect good things!

    I know heaps of professional rugby league players who have had multiple shoulder and knee recons and who are every bit as good as before and gone on to play for Australia.

    Thanks for the encouragement. I tore mine benching. Nothing heavy--225, after a warm-up set, on the first rep. The bone spur just shredded it. But I see a lot of people who have gotten back, so I am encouraged to think I can too. It's hard at 50, but not that hard.
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  14. #14
    Registered User BLaaR's Avatar
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    This is one of the injuries next to back injury that I am most afraid of. Partly because the left shoulder is not feeling to great at times. I went to the doc and he said it is bursitis. Been resting for two weeks now.

    When the rotator cuff is turn up by a bone spur, is this a kind of injury that happens over time ? If so can you describe the sensation you felt with the spur constantly rubbing on the cuff ?
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    Registered User fittofattofit's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by BLaaR View Post
    This is one of the injuries next to back injury that I am most afraid of. Partly because the left shoulder is not feeling to great at times. I went to the doc and he said it is bursitis. Been resting for two weeks now.

    When the rotator cuff is turn up by a bone spur, is this a kind of injury that happens over time ? If so can you describe the sensation you felt with the spur constantly rubbing on the cuff ?
    I had the same thing and had massive tears in both RCs with repairs (5 ops in all since 2010)
    The first tear was due to a large spur which was cutting the tendons like a knife - for years I had a painful shoulder --- not sharp pain, but a 'burning' pain that was almost always there. When the first rupture happened I was benching 245 and the left infraspinatus and supraspinatus both tore apart. I didn't get repaired for 9 weeks and the muscles had shortened so that the repair was too tight and they re-ruptured. SS was re-repaired, but IS is still ruptured. IS and SS on the right ruptured doing speed reps on bench of 176. I also had LHB repairs

    Still can't bench but I've managed to do OK working around my injuries

    All I can say is be proactive about your shoulder and get a scan if things don't settle. Early intervention with spurs, acromioplasty for impingement and repair of large partial tears will save you a lot of trouble and a much bigger operation later. Of course, do your RC rehab work and lift properly and listen to your body and you'll hopefully avoid an op altogether
    "Better to wear out than rust out!"

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  16. #16
    Registered User BLaaR's Avatar
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    Thanks for the reply fittofattofit.

    I do have the burning sensation but it is not all the time. I can move the shoulder just about in any direction without pain. I do have pain in the following situations :

    1. Moving into a dip position.
    2. If I hold my arms upright (field goal position) and their is weight applied from the top. For instance this weekend my 5 year old was climbing on the jungle gym and he asked me to help him slide down a pole. When I position my arm under him, and pressed up, I felt pain. Oddly doing dumbell presses or barbell presses or even bench presses no pain.
    3. I feel pain on my outer shoulder running down the outside of my arm when I press my arm against my body, palm facing inwards.

    Other than that. No real problem. I can even sleep on the shoulder without problems.

    I will continue my rest this week and if the problem is still there next week I will go for a scan.
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  17. #17
    Registered User Hujombo's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by BLaaR View Post
    Thanks for the reply fittofattofit.

    I do have the burning sensation but it is not all the time. I can move the shoulder just about in any direction without pain. I do have pain in the following situations :

    1. Moving into a dip position.
    2. If I hold my arms upright (field goal position) and their is weight applied from the top. For instance this weekend my 5 year old was climbing on the jungle gym and he asked me to help him slide down a pole. When I position my arm under him, and pressed up, I felt pain. Oddly doing dumbell presses or barbell presses or even bench presses no pain.
    3. I feel pain on my outer shoulder running down the outside of my arm when I press my arm against my body, palm facing inwards.

    Other than that. No real problem. I can even sleep on the shoulder without problems.

    I will continue my rest this week and if the problem is still there next week I will go for a scan.
    I have a bone spur in my left shoulder and am going to get it removed before I have a tear. My left shoulder cracks and pops when I move it. I do a ton of exercises to strengthen the RT, but it won't be enough. I'll need the surgery. Fittofattofit describes the feeling well, but I'm sure it's different for everybody.
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  18. #18
    Registered User BLaaR's Avatar
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    @ Hujombo

    Good luck with the healing process, please post updates as you can along the way.
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  19. #19
    Registered User fittofattofit's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by Hujombo View Post
    I have a bone spur in my left shoulder and am going to get it removed before I have a tear. My left shoulder cracks and pops when I move it. I do a ton of exercises to strengthen the RT, but it won't be enough. I'll need the surgery. Fittofattofit describes the feeling well, but I'm sure it's different for everybody.
    You're looking great in your avi so you've made a very good recovery and 223 is huge!
    And I wish I'd had surgery earlier. Good move to get that spur done now
    "Better to wear out than rust out!"

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  20. #20
    Chasing the dragon JRT6's Avatar
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    I'm monitoring small spurs in my left shoulder. I'm stretching every day and doing a lot of mobilty exercises. I had nickle size spurs taken out of an elbow last dec and the results of the post surgery ROM are pretty disappointing. I don't want to go through that again.
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