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Rehab Is Tough!!

Ok, I'll start and maybe someone else will share. As of Tuesday, Dec. 15th, I am 6 weeks post op. I had spurs and 2 large tears in my rotator cuff. I did the sling thing for 6 weeks and have just started strength training this week. I have had 3 knee replacements and this surgery is by far the most painful of any. I can hardly raise my arm and have constant pain. I have confidence in my physical therapist, but it is very difficult to not get discouraged with the slow progress. I should have done my homework before surgery- I was thinking I would be well on my way to normalcy in 6 weeks. Now I realize I am just getting started with the REAL rehab part. Sure could use some encouraging words from someone who might be further along or even completely recovered!!

j2judybug j2judybug 56-60, F 203 Responses Dec 17, 2009

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I had rotator cuff repair and a "Mumford Procedure" (removal of the end of my clavicle) on July 2, 2014...it's now 12 days since surgery. Had an open procedure rather than arthoscopic, so now have 19 staples in my left shoulder...these will come out tomorrow.
I was prescribed Percocet for post op pain, but due to a mess up with the prescription - doc neglected to put the date on it, so pharmacy refused to fill it - I ended up with Vicodin. Dressing was removed a week ago, and all looked well at that point. I have been told that I will be in the sling for about 4 weeks before therapy starts, and then for another two weeks as the therapist does "passive movement" on my shoulder. Not too sure that I believed that recovery was going to be this difficult. I soooooo long to sleep in my bed, but lying flat is impossible because of the pain. I don't have a recliner, so have to prop myself up on the couch. I keep a pillow under my shoulder at night, but still wake up in excrutiating pain each morning. It feels as though someone is stabbing a knife into my shoulder! As soon as I get into an upright position, the pain lessens, but I still need the vicodin to get rid of it altogether. Yes, I KNOW it's only been a couple of weeks, but should I still need the Vicodin everyday just to get my day started?
Really feeling miserable with this.

I understand everyone's pain on here I have now been through 4 shoulder surgeries and counting...from one nightmare to another. My 1st surgery was a labrum tear on the right shoulder 2012 operated on in October and back to work in February 2013 not fun but not the end of my world.

Over compensating for the right I tore the left by the end of February 2013. My first surgery for the left tear was August 2013, I was hoping it would be as smooth as the right, but found out quick after that I had frozen shoulder. My scar tissue was so bad I had to have a second operation in January 2014. After surgery I experienced tons of pain and was unable to lift my arm more than 4" above my waist. I had an EMG done discovering my nerves had been permanently paralyzed from the pain block, that news of course hit me hard. But that still didn't explain all the problems, so I had an MRI done again and to my horror found out during manipulation my Rotator cuff and muscles had been fully torn. May 2014 I had a 3rd surgery to beak up once again frozen shoulder and repair my rotator cuff. You can't imagine my frustration waking up from shoulder surgery with pain in my elbow... Guess what my elbow may now be injured due to over manipulation along with another tendon. the saying pain sweat and tears can't explain the frustration. I'm lucky to have a great support system of friends, my partner and amazing nurse to keep me focused on getting better oh and of course I will be seeing a new specialist. I am only 31, I could never imagine how horrible some of these experiences could really be. With a new doctor and determination I'm hoping to get my life back or at least a little bit more of my left arm anyway...

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I feel for you. I am scared to death. I tore my rotator cuff 4 mths ago but didnt have ins. just got ins so my 1st ortho appt is may 16 n then will schedule my surgery appt. Good luck. (Didnt look at date of this post)

i had my shoulder surgery 5 weeks ago, which included a hip bone graft into the anterior glenoid, a Bankart repair and a rotator cuff repair. i have been told that my hip site would be worse than my shoulder area, which was true before in the first 4 weeks, as it was a 10cm long incision when compared to the key holes above. but right now my shoulder is showing dominant pain, esp. after i did the PT exercises every time, i just hope nothing is going wrong up there, as my shoulder had been so manipulated after this surgery. may i know if someone outthere also experiences pain after PT, and know if that is normal or not?

I'm now 5 weeks post op and surprised by amount of spin I still have. Had this surgery on my other shoulder but it seems much worse this time I suspect because it's now my dominant arm. Am weaning off the sling/pillow so pain is worse than last week. I assume this is normal?

I had my first rotator cuff repair done arthroscopically on December 6 2014. I was told not to move it so I didn't move it! I went for my first follow-up appointment on December 11 and had an X-ray. When the doctor put the x-ray up his first words were "oh no". Second words "what did you do" - I did nothing but the anchors had popped out. He scheduled me for my second surgery on December 18. This was an open surgical repair of the repair. No one could prepare me for the pain. I thought it was bad with the first one - this one took my breath away. I spent 5 weeks sleeping in a recliner and trying to get myself off the pain meds. I've been in PT 3 times per week for 3 months and I am still unable to raise my arm higher than chest level without assistance. I've finally asked them to schedule an MRI because without assistance my range of motion does not seem to be improving. My PT benefits have run out for the year and if he's going to have to go back in to clear scar tissue, I'll need therapy after that so I want to know now and schedule it now (I can't even believe I'm thinking of another surgery.....but this is unbearable as it is).

I am 5 weeks out from my surgery. I fell on the ice, 3/9/2014 tore my rotator cuff and fractured the head of my humerus. Surgeon put in a plate and screws to fix the fracture and repaired the rotator cuff on 3/14/2014. I am still having severe pain. I have been going to PT since 3/31. I feel like my progress is very very slow. I am anxious to get back to work but I have no idea when that will be possible.

These posts are so interesting and have really helped me deal with the unexpected pain and lengthy rehabilitation of shoulder arthroscopy. Like others, I lifted weights as if I was still a 19 year old, not like the 60+ geezer I am. I suffered a torn rotator cuff in both shoulders. I'm only 6 weeks into my first recovery period, with at least a couple of months of rehabilitation ahead of me. I'm worried because I still wake frequently at night due to the pain. I thought I'd be sleeping soundly after so many weeks. My passive exercises start tomorrow and I'm going to do them as often as possible to try to prevent the problems so many others have had. And when the recovery is complete, I'll have to start over on my other shoulder. Who says getting older is good? Best wishes to all of you out there and I hope your recovery periods are short!

Had torn supraspinatus repaired with suture anchors (screws), subscapulris and bicep torn too. Trimmed acromion process on collar bone. Played 18 holes of golf today, April 12, 5 1/2 months out. Therapy was slow, all passive for 6-8 weeks, then active with bands and weights. I am doing well because I did the exercises three times a day as instructed. Do not try to lift anything for two months, heavy lifting six months to a year if at all. I coild not sleep or raise my hand higher than my chest before surgery and now I' fine. I still do the stretching and weights each morning. Your success is up to you following this surgery. Be patient and follow the directions of your therapist exactly.

I am at 2.5 weeks and this forum has helped tremendously. If anyone is having a problem (now that's a joke) who isn't with taking a shower my husband bought an extra sling for me to wear in the shower. What a saving for me. I would not take a shower without it or without him. This really blows.

I can feel your pain as I read your post. I had my surgery 4 1/2 months ago. Mine was hanging by a thread and what they didn't know was the subscapulary was torn as well. So my surgery was double of what they thought. I still am in so much pain. PT is slow going and I just had an injection a week ago to see if it would help some. They told me I may have to go back into surgery but every time I think about it, I start to tear up, I can't go thru that pain again. I had a blood clot on the inside of my elbow from the sling and it took 1 week to calm down. Talk about pain! I was ill from every med out there so I only took Advil and that did nothing. I have only half of my motion of the use of my elbow rotation. I'm not sure why that is but my surgeon said I will not get that back. I was hurt at work, I'm a Nursing assistant but I'm now back to work only 4 hours a day doing activities. Nothing much, just playing games and talking with patients. It's all I can do at this point. I don't think I will ever go back into Nursing, I'm so afraid I'll never have that strength again and I'm afraid to do it again.
I'm really just hoping for the pain to stop and to be able to do some things normally again. It's frustrating....

I had been suffering from calcific tendonitis in my left shoulder for years, from excessive workouts.
After many cortisone shots, physical therapy etc my ortho doc decided surgery was the next option.
I'm a month post op. He went in removed the calcium and since it had been there for years when removed it left a huge hole in my rotator cuff. He then had to repair that, as well as shaving the bone spur etc.
yes, it's a painfully hard recovery so far but I do feel better than I did a few weeks ago.
My issue is the terrible dull constant ache in my wrist and hand. Has anyone experienced this as well???

Me, me, me. Going to talk to MD about this tomorrow. You are not alone!

I'm 4 weeks post-op and I have that dull ache in my wrist and hand too. It doesn't make any difference if I'm in or out of my sling it still aches. Sometimes I put a moist heating pad ( the microwave kind) on my hand/ wrist to help ease the ache. It must be something common since you're experiencing it too. Good luck and hope you soon feel better, myself included.

Yes I do---mine usually starts in the afternoons and lingers for some time.

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I underwent 2 rotator cuff surgeries to my left shoulder... It started in 2005 while working out and knew I did something to my shoulder. Six years later, after several bouts of physical therapy and several MRI's, the navy doctors finally figured it out - my rotator cuff was torn, but I managed to deal with it by severely curtailing my activity level. In March 2011, I had my first surgery and was quite unprepared for the aftermath, so to say... The old saying, "you don't know what you don't know," was quite applicable. My recovery nurse tried to tell me I had to do these exercises, which I found out later were called Codman Exercises. I was still so doped up from the surgery, I didn't understand a word he said, and didn't do them. My first post-op appointment a week after surgery was the first time my arm came out of the sling. My surgeon helped me out of it and wanted me to straighten my forearm down and let it hang naturally. The pain of trying to straighten my arm was incredible... The end result was it took almost 2 weeks for me to straighten my arm. Physical therapy started later that day. As a result of me not doing the Codman exercises for the first week after surgery, my recovery by my estimation was set back months. I spent 7 months in physical therapy making small progress with range of motion and strength, when I felt something give in my shoulder during physical therapy. I knew I did something to it, but didn't want to believe it. A month later, I was sent for another MRI and they confirmed my fears - the rotator cuff was re-torn and I would have to undergo a second surgery. I had to sit down when I heard my physical therapist tell me that and almost felt like I was going to pass out - I didn't want to have to deal with that pain again, but that was the only option to fix it, so I did it. Unfortunately, with the failure of the first repair, the revision, my doctor said, had less chance for success and once healed wouldn't be as strong as it would have been if the first repair succeeded. January 2012, nine months after the first surgery, I had it again. This time, I knew what to expect, but still couldn't fully prepare for the pain to come - primarily from physical therapy. The second one was still rough going, but by doing the Codman exercises made my recovery faster. I'm a little more than 2 years after the second surgery and it's okay. Not good, but okay. I still have to stretch my shoulder a couple times a week, and the strength is about 50 percent of what it was, at best. There was a time I could bench press 295 lbs with my body weight around 165. That will never happen again, and I'm fine with that. I work out with 50-55 lb dumb bells and it works out fine and I'm able to keep myself in shape. I'm still cautious about activities I do because I don't want to risk hurting my shoulder again. I'm at the point that I can, in some ways, fondly look back at the pain, discomfort, sleeping in my recliner for 6 weeks twice and know I can't forget it. The day I forget about it and think I'm 19 again will be the day I tear it for the third time...

I had surgery done on January 27. I have two full tears and 1 partial tear along with a torn bicep muscle. I was told since you have 2 biceps muscle one will take over for the other. The surgeon said that if my muscle was only partially the way down my bicep he could've repaired it but since it was torn to shreds I order for him to repair it he would have to make an incision and it would've been considered cosmetic.
So here I am 4 weeks out and it is still painful at times but more frustrating. I tore my right and am right handed. I'm still sleeping in a recliner. I have PT 3 times a week and am told I should be able to fix my hair with difficulty but 2 hands in about another 2 weeks.
I've talked to 2 ppl who had this surgery and they both told me that is will be 100% within a year... Crazy but it did need to be done.

It's been 4 weeks since my surgery. I had three tears and two bone spurs. The first couple of days post-op were pretty rough, but it's been relatively pain free since then. I'm still sleeping in a recliner. Havng said that, the PT is starting to get a little painful now that he has started extending my stretches a little. Not using my arm hovever, is starting to drive me crazy. It feels like I'll never get back to using it.

in reading all these posts of people having really bad pain, I can't but help fearing that that pain will come in my furure as well.

I've had rota cuff repair ligaments had slipped off and damage to back from repeatative dislocations this is my third op. It does get better over time. I always end up doing more than I should and faster than I should due to having a 7 year old autistic child. But believe it does get better with time my first one on that arm would have worked but I went back into nursing. It does change your life I have had to retrain to do another job but life is looking better the only time I really get pain is in the winter with the cold and the pain is really bad. Atleast its not all the time tho and a hot pack sorts it with pain killers hope that helps xxx

I saw that you were in Nursing. I had rotator cuff and subscapular surgery plus a bone spur. I'm 4 1/2 months out and I can't even imagine going back to my job as a Nursing Assistant. I have lost half of my elbow rotation. It doesn't move outward any more. My work has me working in Recreational Activities and I am enjoying that. I'm afraid to go back into NA and get injured again. Did you say you could not do nursing anymore?

I am 3 weeks I from full thickness repair with retraction and bicep repair. Glad to say it is not as bad as I had read about. PT is slow and I find myself in a hurry. I am still in the part where my PT is doing the work.

I am at day 6 post op, and experiencing a lot of pain, which is to be expected. However, Is any one else experiencing the frustration of not being able to do anything like you used to? Also feeling really lonely as I live rurally and have a great social network at my job. I'm missing all of my friends and my sense of purpose!!! Feeling helpless!!! My husband and others seem to minimize my pain, and can't seem to understand that it is difficult for me to continue cooking and cleaning, etc only using my left hand (I'm a righty), so I am getting minimal help in these areas...making the pain worse by the end of the day (and possibly preventing the healing process to happen). I was all set to deal with the pain but was not expecting this depression.

I can feel for ya. I have not had my surgery yet. But it is coming in the next 2-3 weeks. I am also a righty and do all the cooking and cleaning and deal with my kid. It really makes me worried about the surgery because I wont be able to do those things.

I'm 4 weeks post-op and I know exactly how you feel. I'm happy that I'm beginning to do for myself ( get dressed on my own, doing some cooking with one hand, cleaning with one hand) but I still feel depressed throughout the day. I've had pain and discomfort from the tear and now from surgery for the past 3 months and it is starting to take its toll. I just have to keep my chin up and try to stay positive. I've always been very active and I seem to spend a lot of time resting and sleeping all night in my recliner! I'll be happy to become more active, hopefully by summer. I'm a righty also and have to use my left hand for my cooking and cleaning and I understand how tiring it becomes. Hang in there, I'm sure it will get better for both of us.

Totally understand and empathize with your frustration levels and depression! I hope you were able to find some more support. Ridiculous for anyone to think that after only six days you would have been ready for cooking, cleaning, etc. I hope you have had a successful outcome, and also have to wonder if you are still married....

I am so afraid. I just went to the Dr and the MRI said this:

1. probable subtle full-thickness rotator cuff tear of the distal supraspinatus tendon, just proximal to its insertion upon the greater tuberosity as above with a small accumulation of fluid within the subdeltoid and subacrominal bursa. Questionable subtle contusion at the level of the greater tubersoity of the humeral head, may also be a potential site of tendon tear at the insertion of the supraspinatus tendon.
2. Mild synovial thickening of the ac joint. Mild inferior spurring with mild crowding of the subacrominal space may lead to impingement.

from all these posts it sounds like I am in for pure hell. Almost makes me wonder if maybe I shoul dpass on the surgery??

I am really scared about this surgery. Almost to the point of not wanting to get it. AllI hear are horror stories. I have a family but my wife is severely disabled so she cant help. I do the cooking and cleaning. How am I gonna do this stuff? Also what about sleeping? It sounds like I wont be able to sleep in the bed? Let alone even pull up my own pants!!! and advice?? I am not worried about therapy I will do it to get my movment back but I am worried!!!

I have a 7 year old autistic boy and have very little help before surgery I went out and got loafs of ready meals I know its not ideal but will feed you both and can eat off paper plates you throw away. Cups and small thing are not too bad with one hand. I have had left and right done with extensive damage done to both. But there are ways any more advice I will do my best to help. It is worth it xx

O and you can sleep in bed go get your self a v cushion and your two pillows you will get comfy. Everything takes a little longer to do but you can do it even pulling up your own pants xxx

Pulling up pants - that did become easier with time, no button pants for the first 2 months though. I found long sleeve shirts actually easier to get out of than short sleeve shirts. I finally 4 months out can mostly get dressed and undressed by myself... My "Big Day" was when I could blow dry my hair by myself. My husband, Bless his heart, built me a contraption that he mounted on the wall and I could place my hairdryer in so I could do my own hair with one arm.

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Welcome to the club. 9 weeks post surgery and still sleeping in Lazy Boy. Some times pain is almost unbearable. Doing PT exercises 3-4 times daily. Have had 2 hip replacements and rotator cuff surgery on the other shoulder, but this is the worst.

Had rotator cuff tear surgery Tuesday and never imagined such post-op pain and limits to moving. Starting PT on this coming Tuesday. Does anyone experience muscle spasms post-op. Great that I found this site and see others that can relate to this surgery.

Post-op spasms are so severe that I want to cry like a baby.

Good luck, this pain and limitations have been a nightmare for me!

I'm 8 weeks post-op and I still have occasional spasms, that will make you want to cry. But they are getting farther between now. Usually worst if I'm tired or over did things with my right arm/shoulder. I still take approximately 4 -6 Advil a day to help with the residual pain and stiffness.

I start PT next week so I'll let you know how it goes. I've done a few of the exercises suggested by my doctor for after 6 wks in the sling. I hated the sling!
So glad to be out of it! Used a large microwaveable heating pad prior to doing the PT exercises recommended by my doctor and that seems to help. I use the heating pad for 20 minutes, then do stretching exercises and strengthening exercises for next 20 minutes, then follow up with 20 minutes of ice packs.

Surprisingly, after my exercises and the hot and cold packs, a lot of the pain in my shoulder is eased up. I know that sounds crazy, but I think just stretching the muscles/tendons helps. Still can't get my right arm up over my shoulder, but making some slow but steady progress.

Hardest things I found to do, while in the sling: getting my pants up (sounds funny, but it isn't, trust me!), wiping after going to the bathroom, and trying to pin my hair up! My bicep muscle seems to be bigger than it was before and tighter/harder. Hope this will improve with time and anti-inflamitory drugs.

I had rotator cuff surgery 4 weeks ago this Friday. I experienced muscle spasms down my right arm, a lot of discomfort in my shoulder blade on right side and neck pain. My hand has discomfort also. I still sleep in a recliner and can only let my arm hang down when the sling is off and I can bend it at the elbow but nothing else. I start therapy tomorrow because my surgeon says I'm very stiff and tight in the shoulder and my therapist will get me past that. I know it will be a long, hard recovery and I'm not looking forward to the pain. I'm so tired of feeling helpless and depressed at times. Just have to keep my chin up and move forward. Good luck to you!

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Hi I am waiting on my RC surgery to my right shoulder I also have Impingement. I am 40 yrs. Old and still working light duty in the office have been waiting on surgery since July Workers Comp and all the legal crap has been holding me up. I just wanna get this done and back to my job. I literally sit for 8 hrs. A day doing nothing. I am going crazy. Do any of you know how long rehab takes before I can go back to my job I lift totes of car parts that I spot weld they weigh 30-35 pds. Just wanna feel productive again.

Hi there. I had shoulder surgery on 10/24/13. I am just now starting to get most of my range of motion back and should be starting strengthening it soon. I am 50 and have a very physical job. I don't expect to be back to work for at least 3 more months. At times it feels great and other times it feels like it is just going to fall off. Good luck when you have your surgery and be very very patient.

I also had repair 11/12/13. Full thickness tear with retraction, which required augmentation patch to bridge the gap. 9 weeks now and the cracking, popping and snapping is terrible when doing pendulum exercises. Anyone else have these noises going on? Scares the hell out of me, sounds like something is broken loose. Any input would be great thanks.

When doing my pendulum exercises in PT, I get a little bit of a popping noise. My therapist said it was a result of still having inflammation and it compressing bone together. Made sense to me. I am 4 weeks post-op.

Experiencing the same cracking, popping, and snapping, with immense pain, after 9 weeks post surgery. Hang in there. I am 79 years old and this is my second rotator cuff surgery.

Yeah, I'm 6 weeks post OP just started the real therapy and the noise I hear is awful but heard its normal. Poussin exercising though and can't hardly move the attn excerpt for pendulum expertise

Thank you for the advice. Although this scares me it helps knowing there are others who can relate to all of this.

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I am 4weeks out from surgery. I was under the misguided impression that it would be 2 month ordeal and viola! Not so. Physical therapy for the next 6 weeks and then 4-6 weeks rehab on my time. I feel for everyone. The pain is worse than what I ever expected. Hang in and blessings.

This group has been a huge source of information and curiosity quenching for me. It's been nearly 11 weeks since my surgery. It included repair of a large tear in the rotator cuff, Labrum repair, bicep tendon repair, decompression of the clavicle and bone spur removal. On my 6 week anniversary of surgery,which happened to be the day after Thanksgiving, I was leaning over to pick something from the edge of the pool at my home, lost my balance and fell toward my right arm which is the surgical arm. Instinct took over and I braced myself with my right hand. BIG mistake. Laid on the deck screaming like a woman in labor for about 10 minutes until the pain subsided. Skip forward....I am now scheduled for another surgery to repair the new tear caused by that fall.

While I thought I had done a lot of research on what to expect, I was and am still surprised at how long this pain has persisted. Particularly the bicep pain. It appears I have a severe case of tendonitis in the bicep where it attached at the elbow and this is was way worse than the shoulder itself before my re-injury.

I was in the sling for 4 weeks and started PT after one week. My PT was excruciating the first time as I had not taken a pain pill before going. I quickly learned to do so! While the PT has been uncomfortable to very painful at times, I look forward to it. There is a clear improvement in the range of motion which helps make the discomfort worthwhile.

Lack of sleep and inability to be productive have been problems that I was not really prepared for. Even now at 11 weeks, I sleep about 1 and 1/2 hours at a time and have to get up to apply Bio-Freeze before going back to sleep. Was in the recliner for right at 7 weeks. Additionally, I am a very active person who ran about 5 nights a week before surgery. Still not able to do so because of the pain from the jarring but I am walking instead.

My wife thinks that much o my continuing pain is due to the re-injury and whatever trauma the fall did to the previous surgery but there's no way to know for sure. Needless to say I am very skeptical about going through this again but I think I have no choice due to the severity of the new tear.

Stretching the arm with a pulley and rope, home exercises and Bio-Freeze have been my saving grace.

I am six weeks out from my RCS and I am still in pain. Night time is the worst for pain.
I faithfully do my therapy but am frustrated when my arm doesn't move certain ways like it used to.
I had a horrible time after surgery. Super sick from the meds, nauseas and vomiting. Had to stop and only take Tylenol or advil. The pain would put me in tears most days. I also got a blood clot by my elbow from the sling putting pressure on my arm. That pain was so bad that death crossed my mind. But, I made it thru that ordeal and I got to start keeping my sling on off yesterday but wearing it when I'm out and about.
I am a CNA so going back to work wouldn't be a wise thing right now. Not much I can do.
I'm just really hoping PT will pay off in thd end an I get my arm back. Right now I'm so frustrated and worried.

I am 14 weeks out from RCS. I have faithfully followed ALL instructions from the Dr. and P.T. I faithfully went to P.T. 3 times a week and did my exercises given to me at home. The pain is so bad before, during and after anything I do.... work, sleep, walk... you name it. I finally requested another MRI before the end of the year, because I met my deductible, and the Dr. mentioned he may want to do another one. The MRI shows that I have a tear in my rotator cuff. ??? I can't miss another 2 months of work and I can't afford the surgery again. I just don't understand how there can be a tear. I swear I followed all instructions from my Dr. and my P.T. My P.T. says that I may be able to get past the pain if I continue P.T. without surgery. P.T. costs between 250 to 500 a visit. So I can't afford that. Has anyone had this experience? Very frustrated!

Hello I,m 6 weeks post op also had several spurs and large tear repaired with patch. Started rehab very painful. Wondering if anybody else has a lot of noise going on like popping or cracking kinda scary sounding, is this normal? Like I said in prior post if I could go back I would have left it alone, but all I can do now is go forward I guess. Sometimes I wonder if I'm doing to much, the sound is awful.

I just had rotator cuff surgery 11 days ago. Although my repair was to my subscapularis muscle which is uncommon. Must rotator cuff repairs are to the supraspinatus muscle. My surgeon is very aggressive as he had me start therapy one week after surgery. This seems rather quick to me...has anyone else started therapy so soon after surgery!? I'm afraid this may cause damage...

Jessa, I started with PT six days out because the surgeon was afraid of scar tissue formation. The first couple of sessions just entailed passive motion and massage, but by the end of the second week I was doing pendulums with a one-pound weight. I was kept in the abductor sling for more than eight weeks, so I think the early movement was a good thing for me -- though it hurt like the dickens -- to prevent my shoulder from freezing up. If your therapist knows what he/she's doing, it's not going to cause more damage. Trust the professionals to know what they're doing, and follow their instructions to the letter.

Thank you..

They started me 48 hours after surgery. Not fun at the time, but I'm now 4-weeks post op and advancing well in range of motion. Hope pain and sleep catch up with my progress.

I am on day 6 post-op...my Dr. Had me start PT three days following surgery and I am going 3 days per week. I too was so nervous about going early, but after doing some research have learned that the earlier the better. I cried during the first session...it was so painful, but also I was really afraid. It does often feel like something is tearing inside my shoulder, especially near bicep (I had supraspinatus and bicep repair). I was told that the popping I felt was a result of blood flow back into the joint. It did feel really good to get my arm out of the sling for a while, but the rest of the day was really painful!!! Take anti-inflammatory and pain meds about an hour before appointment, and ice right after!!! Good luck!!!

I started PT 5 days after my surgery. I too and a little scared at such a quick timeline. having sait that, I'm 4 weeks out and have experienced no ill effects.

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I am a nurse, 60 years old, hurt left shoulder from work accident. After a long year ,finally had surgery on left shoulder. It has been one week, I have not taken any narcotics, Mainly ice, and prescription of 800 motrin. Sleep now on sofa with wedge behind back, left the recliner after 3 days. I have my arm in a sling and see the physician on Monday. From reading the PT stories I am getting worried.....I did have a complete tare but my clavicle was nearly broken at the end from lifting said patient....it was shaved. My physician thought they were going to use metal, but I was lucky. NO arthritis, no spur.... Has anyone had "minor pain" with PT or do I need to take a bullet to bite?

Hi- I'm a 57 yr old female and I'm 5 weeks post-surgery. This is the SECOND time Ive had surgery on the same full-thickness supraspinatus tear. The first surgery also had my bicep tendon relocated. Neither surgery was what I'd call really painful - just about what you'd expect after surgery. Physiotherapy was slow going and uncomfortable - maybe mildly painful. NOTHING like what I'm reading in the comments here. I also took myself off the narcotic pain meds ASAP but I have continued to sleep in the recliner. I tried the bed and found it was not as comfortable as a recliner so....
Do the physio as instructed, 5 or 6 or more times a day, but stop the session if/when it is painful and go back later. Use ice after physio. I may have just been lucky - but NO, I did not have to "bite the bullet". Without the bicep issue to deal with this time I am fully expecting to breeze through physio this time.

To all who are currently suffering through the recovery/rehab process, know that it will get better. I had a miserable ordeal -- full tear, in the full sling for 8-1/2 weeks, PT at the rehab place 3x per week starting 6 days post-surgery (and at home 3 more days per week) for 5 months, allergic reaction to some of the drugs, etc. etc. If there could have been a problem, I had it ... but I'm now pretty much fully functional. I can take heavy casseroles out of the microwave, stretch to reach top shelves, do just about anything I need to do. Sure, I feel discomfort if I try to sleep on my stomach with my arms overhead ... but it's nothing compared to what it was pre-op. (Heck, it was impossible to raise my arm at all before the surgery.) I even feel strong enough to go out on my racing bike ... and I had a pretty messy crash two weeks ago, and my shoulder survived intact! During the rehab process, I was in tears much of the time: the pain was excruciating. I kept at it, though, and I never missed a day of PT, and it paid off. Don't despair if you're six months out and not where you want to be. Neither was I. But in months 7-12, I continued to improve (even though the surgeon wasn't optimistic that I'd see more progress after the six month point) and I'm now pretty darned good. Trust me, even though you think it won't get better, it will. I was a pathetic basket-case in the beginning -- I don't think I got more than 20 minutes of sleep at a time for at least 4 months -- but I'm now doing fine. Keep working hard, and don't give up.

How long did you stay in hospital after surgery? I am having my surgery next week , a right shoulder latissimus dorsi transer for recontruction of rotator cuff tear with a GraftJacket augmentation and limited open ulnar nerve decompression. I go for surgery in the morning then they are sending me home later in the same day. I live alone and I am worrying if this is a best thing to do,when i have read that some people stay 2-4 days after this kind of surgery.

Hi, Slim. Surgery was outpatient -- which it really shouldn't be, if you ask me. I had a nerve block, so I was fine until the middle of night, when the pain level hit the ceiling. I had a "granny nanny" stay at my house the first few days. There wasn't anything she could do for the pain, but it made me feel more secure knowing she was there when I staggered to the bathroom in a drug-addled state. I don't want to scare you, but I really don't think it's a good idea to be alone the first night or two. At the very least, you'll want someone with you to change the ice in the ice machine. There's no way I could've reached up into the freezer to get the blocks of ice myself and then refill the empty containers with water and replace them in the freezer, much less hook and unhook myself from the machine. Now's the time to call in favors from friends or family, if you have 'em, and ask for some babysitting help. Don't be a hero and try to go it alone the first few days, if you have any other option. Good luck with the surgery!

Thanks for the info,I will try to stay in hospital for the first two days, if that cannot happen, I will ask my family for help for the first few days, I'm glad to here that things are better for you after a long recovery,it helps me to know what the recovery will be like, thanks again.

Hi, now one week after surgery, my next visit with surgeon is Jan 7th 2014, one problem is that my right hand is swollen so much that I can't see my knuckles,I feel like needles and pins on my fingers and numbness on my hand also my arm is swollen above my elbow, is this normal or should i be heading straight to emergency.

Glad to hear of your success. I have had your luck so I was getting worried since I still can't use my arm and it doesn't move like it should. I'm a stickler to my PT so I hope it does pay off. I'm a CNA so going back to work would be impossible right now.

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Hi, I certainly understand I had bi-lateral knee replacements at the same time and I would rather go through that than have the same surgery on my other arm (even though I am always in pain). I also had significant tearing with spurs and also arthritis. The physical therapy was an awful experience and I am a proponent of physical therapy following physical therapy for my knees. My knees are pain free and no problems but the surgery on my arm has been over two years and I can't lift my arm to comb my own hair.