3 Weeks Out From Rotator Cuff Surgery

Hello, I am a 55 year old female and had rotator cuff surgery 3 weeks ago. My cuff was torn about 80% of the way through. I also had a fair amount of
Synovium tissue removed because of inflammation and a good deal of debridement and subacrominal decompression.

I ended up having a mini-open repair.

This was my first surgery ever and let me tell you, I spent the night before surgery running to the bathroom cause I was so nervous. I tell you there is nothing to this surgery. All that worrying for nothing. I got to the ASC, they made me put on a fancy gown with a lovely matching hat, and sedated me. Anesthesiologist gave me a nerve block (didn't feel a thing). Surgeon came in to say hi, wheeled to op room and next thing I knew I was in recovery room. They made me drink water and eat crackers and walkedme to the bathroom. My shoulder hurt a bit but more of a dull ache.

I went home same day, constantly had ice machine on and took an oxycodone every 3 hours for about 72 hours, even set an alarm to take them in the middle of the night. Because I did these 2 things I never ever had any really bad pain. The worst was getting off of the couch, that was a bit painful , but once I was up I was ok. That only lasted about a week.

Fast forward to 3 weeks later. I haven't had a pain pill in 2 weeks. I really have no pain, but I do get really bad cramping between my elbow ans shoulder, probably from wearing this sling all the time. My incision looks like it is healing very well.

I forgot to mention b/4 I decided on surgery I did go the conservative route since April, but did not work for me.

Anyway, I am glad I had it done, now the work really begins.

blackpupjean blackpupjean
51-55, F
7 Responses Sep 17, 2012

You have given me hope. I will be having surgery after the 1st of the yr and have full thickness tear. I am being sent to the Mayo Clinic to have this done.

Thank you so much for the encouragement for my upcoming surgery in 3 weeks. I am terribly anxious about this but after reading your blog, I seriously feel better about it. I am a 59 year old female and fell down 5 steps over my little shih-tzu. I also tried PT with only temporary results. So after a year, I'm ready to go forward and get this over with. I trust the doctor I have chosen, has a good reputation and I feel confident in his skills. I was told it was very important to take the pain medication on a regular schedule regardless of whether you had pain. That I will take his advise and yours :). Thank you again for the encouraging words and helping me to dread this surgery as I much as I was prior to reading your post. Thanks again ~ Angie


It has now been 5 months since my surgery. I am doing very well. I graduated from PT last week. I am now just doing the PT home exercises until i get to be where I want. I still do not have 100% ROM, but my arm/shoulder is pretty functional. I still have some stiffness and very little pain, but it is winter and I think that is commonplace. I am very glad I had this surgery done. Before surgery I could not even make it through an entire 8 hour day at work without my shoulder hurting.

Good luck and happy healing.

Im glad your doing well. I'm six weeks post op and today I have cried twice. The pain is worse now then when I had the surgery. My was a complete tendon tear from the bone. It feels like a blood pressure cuff is on my arm and is squeezing. Pain from neck diwn arm to hand. Therapt next week first session and Im afraid. I hate being in pain, but hate pain meds even more. Regret I had my surgery.

hi Tam, yes I am married and my husband is retired so he helped me a great deal. Was not allowed to shower until a week after my surgery, only sponge baths. I just used one hand to wash my hair. I have pump top shampoo/conditioner and pump top soap dispenser. I wore nothing but extra large button down shirts and sweat pants or loose jeans with elastic waist. I didn't drive until about 3 weeks after surgery, and I didn't drive far, I did my far driving after 4 weeks.

It is amazing what you can learn to do with only one arm. Sorry you got injured at the post office.

Hi, I am just wondering if you had anyone helping you after the surgery? Long story short, I was in a post office standing at the counter sorting through the office mail and an elderly woman jumped a curb and plowed through the post office into the lobby. I jumped out of thway and slammed into a wall. Nobody else got hurt. I untortunately sustained concussion still having issues with memory and concentration, buzzing in ears and headaches. Left rotator cuff tear and all discs from C2 through T1 are herniated. I did the cortizone shots and pt accident happened in April and just got authorizations. I had 3 epidural nerve blocks performed last week, experiencing stiffness, headaches and pain which is suppose to be normal for a few Weeks. Havind rotator cuff surgery in 5 Weeks. I am staying 2 days at my sons college dorm as the surgrry place is 10 minutes away and then go home which he can stay for an additional 4 days.. After that I will be on my own, I have a little dog which I will have to bring out for the bathroom. Just wondering how did u manage the basic things like a shower, wash ur hair, shave under ur arm, etc. where u able to drive approx how long after surgery. Believe me I have no plans in going out except to pt whenever starts. Thanks for any tips u may have. Tam

I am now 7 weeks post op today. I started PT a few weeks ago, and it is rough. It is the hardest part of the entire surgery procedure. i was so stiff to begin with, my flexion and abduction was only at 35 degrees and my ER was at -37 degrees. I am now at about 95 degrees flexion and last I heard was at 55 degrees abduction and - 8 degrees ER, but I'm sure that has gotten better. I haven't been measured in a week. Manual manipulation is the worst part of PT, it hurts so much.

I started AAROM with AROM and it is really tough. The pulleys (forward fexion) is really tough. I try to do the best I can, but I can barely get it over my head. Now my shoulder is hurting because of the pulleys. My shoulder wasn't to bad b/4 the pulleys, now it is constantly aching. Hope i didn't do something to the repair.

I have noticed that I am starting to be able to do things easier now. I can reach a little further on my steering wheel, I can button the top button of my shirt with ease. I can put on socks with two hands with some struggle. I can tie my shoes with some struggle. Things are coming along, but it is baby steps and a very long process.

Good luck everyone with this very long recovery.