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  1. #1
    bassing68 bassing68's Avatar
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    Question rotator cuff inj

    I had been having shoulder pain and periodic immobility for about 10 years. I had seen different VA doctors, X-Rays, CT scans, MRI's all showing negative except for 2 bone spurs. I finally got a good VA ortho who said I can have up to 3 shots to see if it helps, if not then I will have to choose between living with it or surgery.

    When the 2nd shot failed, he highly advised surgery to deal with the spurs and to see if there is any damage that all the other tests showed negative. He said if it's just the spurs, the surgery will take about a hour but if there is any unseen damage it could take 1 1/2 hours.

    The surgery took 3 hours. How I was able to move or even lift is amazing. He3 talked to us after recovery but I don't remember anything. My wife said that I had just about the worse rotatory cuff he had ever seen. He told her something to the effect that suppose it's supposed to look like a slice of cheese. It looked like a bag of shredded cheese. My wife and daughter said the pics they had looked horrible but I don't remember seeing any.

    I go back in 5 days for my first follow up. I am anxious and I know that some of you have been through this yourselves and might have some rough about guess how long it will be before I recover to my fullest whatever the fullest means. Does anybody have any near ideas on how long it will take and a rough guess what my outcome might be?
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  2. #2
    Registered User itsallgoode9's Avatar
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    Hey man, I'm about to turn 37 and had a complete rotator cuff tear of my right shoulder a couple years ago. The tendon tore off the bone completely, retracting into my arm, and took an thin "eggshell" portion of the bone with it, which then fractured into a billion pieces. The surgery was arthroscopic and they used some sort of mesh to reattach it, as there was nothing solid enough left to use screws of any sort. My surgeon said in 15 years of this he's only seen 2 other times this has happened--usually it was a tear or a fracture but hardly ever both--so yeah, basically it was extremely bad. After the surgery he kept emphasizing how I need to be extra careful during recovery as the attachment was very fragile--much more fragile than a normal reattachment.

    I had my surgery the last week of September a couple years ago and was back in the gym doing HIIT workouts starting the first week in Feb (only 4 months downtime!). There were some workouts I was was careful with but basically it was "if this hurts at all, I don't do it" but really there was hardly anything that caused noticeable pain --I was doing med ball slams fine, ski machine fine, for example. The only thing I can think that cause some pain was bench press on a normal bar. I felt pretty much back to normal during this whole time.

    I then casually worked out april-jan (just a couple times a week, weight training, no real goals, no real gains, not really pushing myself). Starting back in Jan I've been in the gym every day and have no issues whatsover while pushing my self HARD--dips, weighted dips, skull crushers, chinups, pullups--nothing has caused any pain, which all of these exercises put heavy stress on the shoulder.

    I still notice my injured side IS weaker, and I don't know if that will ever change, as that doesn't seem to be getting better. For example, doing inclined dumbell presses, my right arm will give out 3 or 4 reps early on my final set. But then again, it's only been two months of hardcore working out, so maybe my strength will come back. Otherwise, zero pain and everything FEELS back to 100%, even if the strength is only 95%. Honestly, the more I've worked out the better shoulder has gotten.

    I have a feeling my recovery was faster than most people's (I mean, come on, exploded shoulder to doing med ball slams in 4 months?! ) but I'm just trying to show that you will get back to pretty much normal and will be fine working out.
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    Let's slot floppies keyboardworkout's Avatar
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    Subacromial decompression and acromioplasty is no big deal if that is all they did. I have had both of my shoulders done.

    I went into both surgeries strong and with good range of motion. I was overhead pressing light weights within two weeks and had full strength again at two months.


    My wife has torn her supraspinatus twice in 14 months. Those surgeries suck big time. Immobilized for 12 weeks and lots of pain with long recovery.
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    Registered User tst313's Avatar
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    Know that feeling well. Am about to hit 50, and am finding that I get tendinitis just about anywhere I have a joint. Anyways, starting about October last year I started having rotator cuff pain. I was lifting pretty heavy at that time and during overhead presses one day I finished and went "ouch that may have been too much." Let it go until January. Basically a nagging pain that was felt whenever I extended my right arm straight out or moved it up to my face. Finally went to the doctor where xrays showed nothing was wrong. Got my first ever cortisone injection and it didn't do much. Figure I was 50 and the long term damage from it was insignificant at this point. Went to the chiropractor who got me on rehab for my shoulders. I kind of laughed at the 1lb dumbbells used during extensions that target the rotator cuff. But after 15 reps it was burning. He said he gets professional bodybuilders who come in and laugh, then have tears in their eyes after doing 3 sets- basically stressing a tendon and muscle area that is woefully under trained. So far, it seems to be helping quite a bit. I have moved away from any overhead pressing exercises at this point until I know it is 100% healed. Id recommend you look up some basic shoulder and rotator cuff rehab exercises, and stick with them for a couple of months.

    The bad news? You may spend a year rehabilitating your shoulders back to functional use. I didn't notice your age, but you may have to come to the conclusion that you can't lift like you did when you were 25. With good rehab you may be able to eventually surpass what you used to do, but I wouldn't count on it. Sucks to get old. Joints, tendons, ligaments - they all wear out. People will tell you its all about drive and ability to push. Well, yeah, to a point. But once those things just mentioned start to give out, pushing them beyond their limit will cause you constant pain and multiple trips to the surgeon. Take things slow, think rehab for a year, and then reevaluate once you are done. Its what I have to do and it sucks at first, but now I have come to accept the fact that fitness goals change as you age. Best of luck!
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    Registered User bpg523's Avatar
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    I had bone spurs removed from my left shoulder in 2011...I was full strength a year later.
    In October 2017 I had 3 torn rotator cuff muscles and I am 95 percent back. It just takes longer to get back to full strength and being 45 doesn't help. The main thing is do your Physical Therapy, it is by far the bet thing you can do for recovery!
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    Originally Posted by itsallgoode9 View Post
    Hey man, I'm about to turn 37 and had a complete rotator cuff tear of my right shoulder a couple years ago. The tendon tore off the bone completely, retracting into my arm, and took an thin "eggshell" portion of the bone with it, which then fractured into a billion pieces. The surgery was arthroscopic and they used some sort of mesh to reattach it, as there was nothing solid enough left to use screws of any sort. My surgeon said in 15 years of this he's only seen 2 other times this has happened--usually it was a tear or a fracture but hardly ever both--so yeah, basically it was extremely bad. After the surgery he kept emphasizing how I need to be extra careful during recovery as the attachment was very fragile--much more fragile than a normal reattachment.

    I had my surgery the last week of September a couple years ago and was back in the gym doing HIIT workouts starting the first week in Feb (only 4 months downtime!). There were some workouts I was was careful with but basically it was "if this hurts at all, I don't do it" but really there was hardly anything that caused noticeable pain --I was doing med ball slams fine, ski machine fine, for example. The only thing I can think that cause some pain was bench press on a normal bar. I felt pretty much back to normal during this whole time.

    I then casually worked out april-jan (just a couple times a week, weight training, no real goals, no real gains, not really pushing myself). Starting back in Jan I've been in the gym every day and have no issues whatsover while pushing my self HARD--dips, weighted dips, skull crushers, chinups, pullups--nothing has caused any pain, which all of these exercises put heavy stress on the shoulder.

    I still notice my injured side IS weaker, and I don't know if that will ever change, as that doesn't seem to be getting better. For example, doing inclined dumbell presses, my right arm will give out 3 or 4 reps early on my final set. But then again, it's only been two months of hardcore working out, so maybe my strength will come back. Otherwise, zero pain and everything FEELS back to 100%, even if the strength is only 95%. Honestly, the more I've worked out the better shoulder has gotten.

    I have a feeling my recovery was faster than most people's (I mean, come on, exploded shoulder to doing med ball slams in 4 months?! ) but I'm just trying to show that you will get back to pretty much normal and will be fine working out.
    This is almost my exact story, except my catastrophic rotator tear included my bicep tendon rather than a bone fracture, and I was 44 when it happened 3 years ago. If you have a great surgeon and a sports minded physical therapist, your shoulder will feel so much, and within a few months you'll have 95% of your strength back.
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  7. #7
    Þórr vigi Minotaur's Avatar
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    In 2012 I had r.c. surgery. The orthopedic surgeon said I came very close to losing full use of my arm without surgery. I had a subacromial calcification - fancy name for "big ass bone spur" - two full thickness tears, and a split biceps long head tendon. The tendons were so frayed at their ends he had to snip them and reattach them shortened. I can reach back only so far, no more squats because I can't reach back to hold the bar (not to mention a lumbar fusion 3 years later ). But after 8 weeks of p.t. my arm and shoulder were actually stronger than before. I was out of work for about 8-10 weeks. Do the p.t.!
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