Rotator Cuff Surgery and Return to Riding...

Discussion in 'The Perfect Line and Other Riding Myths' started by Mike M, Feb 1, 2008.

  1. bomose

    bomose Long timer Supporter

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    I got some real good sleep last night. Only woke up to pee. I hope to be off the pain pills completely soon. My tear wasn't as bad as some. My PT said I had loosened up well . Go back tomorrow but will do some on my own today, as per her instructions.
  2. LudemJo

    LudemJo Iron Butt Dreamer

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    Had my MRI this afternoon. The injection of the dye was uncomfortable, but really quick. The20 minute MRI was fine since I kept my eyes closed the whole time. I only opened my eyes when she said the scan was complete, and I can see why it freaks some people (my wife) out. I started to feel that claustrophobic feeling and quickly closed my eyes again and controlled my breathing. Wasn't a terrible experience, but I don't want to do it again anytime soon.

    Special thanks to DMCaton, the experience was exactly as you described and it helped a lot!

    If surgery is recommended, I am going to try to hold off until the Fall so I don't lose the whole riding season.

    John
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  3. katoom400

    katoom400 Adventurer

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    yeah, I never knew I was claustrophobic until my MRI...I told them no worries send me in....then about 5 minutes into it I started getting that trapped feeling...I tried closing my eys and thinking about riding, but my mind was playing tricks on me and I was grabbing the pannic button tighter and tighter. I kept saying to myself...calm down...relax...breathe...or you are going to have to start all over again....I ended up moving a bit so they had to do 1 segment over again...I was in there for about 40 minutes. When I came out I mentioned to the technician that next time I'm going to need a xanax or 3!

    I think it is worse for a shoulder MRI since they put this large contraption on the bad shoulder and you are sort of "wedged" into the tube because of this. I didn't like the feeling that if something happened I couldn't get myself out of the tube.....I don't remember feeling that way with my knee MRI.
  4. FoxenTec

    FoxenTec Not going to Live to Die

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    hey Katoom400,

    You like the others have been a tremendous help! I had asked my doctor pre-op about an ice pump machine and he said no that he only wanted me using ice packs. His reasoning was that he said some patients used them in-correctly and had some burns. I have talked to a few that say they REALLY help. I have been using ice packs to help me reach the 6 hours before the next pill. Today is day 8. I have been taking one Hydromorphone pill in the middle of the night and the Oxy every 6 hours during the day. Good news is that they said I could do qty 2 Oxy every 6 hours but I am just taking one. Pain remains between about a 3 and a 8 during the day and night. Sleeping I kind of dread each night. Tried our twin guest bed with tons of pillows but any kind of laying flat brings on the pain within an hour. I typically lay propped up on the couch as vertically as possible and my feet stretched out and that gets me about 5 hours of sleep. The rest is sitting upright on the couch (normal couch sitting position) with my feet on the floor or feet raised. So far I have not been very successful with using the new 800.00 Lazy-Boy for sleeping. I will check out the Zyflamend for reducing inflammation. As always thank you!
  5. katoom400

    katoom400 Adventurer

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    get on ebay and look for a breg kodiak polar care ice machine, you can find them really cheap. you can run it 24x7 if you want...it doesn't get cold enough to burn skin, just wear a t shirt under it.

    http://www.ebay.com/sch/i.html?_fro...polar+care.TRS0&_nkw=breg+polar+care&_sacat=0

    I couldn't really sleep in the recliner either. I found I was able to sleep in my bed laying on my back (most people said this would be the worst position) I had to use pillows under my legs to prevent lower back pain and my only problem was sleeping on my back caused snoring which cause my wife to kick me throughout the night...can't win!

    if you get the zyflamend, try the night time formula for sleep also.

    how long are you to be in the sling? and when do you start PT?
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  6. FoxenTec

    FoxenTec Not going to Live to Die

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    That is very reasonable for the ice machine. I probably should have bought one last week. My doctor was pretty adamant about me not using one.

    I will be in the sling for a total of 6 weeks, then 4 weeks of home exercising and then 8 weeks of PT. That is the plan anyway. Looking at the night formula now. Thanks!
  7. katoom400

    katoom400 Adventurer

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    six weeks is the norm for a large to massive repair, you should find you can do a lot even in the sling. I started driving at day 11, I was allowed to come out of the sling at 2 weeks and start doing the pendulum excercises. I started PT at week 4, so I'm at 12 weeks (8 weeks into PT) and feeling very good. but I can tell I have a lot more to go but I feel pretty good for being 12 weeks in...basically the half way point to being back on the bike (hard enduro trails)...as long as I don't do anything stupid! I'm going to take my RZR out for a ride tomorrow...hopefully that won't be stupid!

    I have my 12 week follow up next Thursday and hopefully I'm cleared to really start pushing the PT.

    once the sling comes off you will feel like a new man!

    how you doing with getting dressed and everything else one handed?
  8. katoom400

    katoom400 Adventurer

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    how are guys making out now that some time has passed?
  9. DMCaton

    DMCaton Been here awhile

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    I was cleared by the doctor to ride March 7th at 14 weeks post-op. Dropped down to once a week PT following that appt (was doing 2x per week before). Picked up a new (to me) WR250X today and am itching to get it out on the trails! I feel comfortable doing anything but the super technical stuff right now and am strong enough to pick a bike up (don't ask me know I know). I've been riding to work since the doc cleared me.

    My range of motion is back to almost 100% lifting my arm forward and sideways. Still at about 70% external rotation so we're still working on that at PT as well as general strengthening.
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  10. katoom400

    katoom400 Adventurer

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    Glad to hear you are doing well. I'm 13 weeks post op and feeling very good, doc says no riding till 6 months and be careful from now till the 5/6 month mark as this is when it feels really good but the insertion to the bone is still only 75% and it won't be 95% until the six month mark......and not 100% until 12-18 months. He says this is the time frame when he has a lot of patients come in that were doing great and just pushed it too hard too soon....

    That said, I was at the gun range shooting a .45 yesterday morning, and then driving my RZR ins 12" of snow in the afternoon clearing dirtbike trails of winter deadfall.

    It's going to be hard to limit myself for another 3 months....but the thought of going from 75-80% to 0% scares the crap out of me....
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  11. bomose

    bomose Long timer Supporter

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    I am 2 weeks out today. I've been out of the sling since last Thursday when I had my followup. My range is doing well and I'll start twice a week instead of 3 times next week. Of course, only passive stuff now. Hopefully, I'll be able to do my ride to Texas in May. I only tore my supraspinatus, had no spurs, and no arthritis, so not as bad as some of you. My surgeon is also aggressive with therapy. I have a very good therapist, too. Sleep is still sporadic at night. That seems to be when I have most pain. Only taking Aleve since last week. Sure can't lift my .45 right now.
  12. FoxenTec

    FoxenTec Not going to Live to Die

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    Sounds like you guys are doing really well!

    I am currently coming up on three weeks post op. Finally stopped the Oxy about 6 days ago and am just taking tylenol. Still having quite a bit of pain though. Nights are the worst as I cannot get comfortable to sleep. Seems my neck really hurts along with my shoulder. I am not sure if it is the sling brace shoulder strap that is causing the neck pain or the surgery. Did any of you guys also experience neck pain?

    I still have a little over 3 weeks to go in the sling. My doc had me immediately start small short exercises and these appear to initiate the shoulder pain. Dressing is difficult (shirts and socks) but manageable.

    Just thinking of shooting a .45 hurts :roflSomeday down the road. I sure miss riding to.

    Can't agree more on the 75% to Zero. No way would I ever want that.
  13. DMCaton

    DMCaton Been here awhile

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    I had some neck pain while I was in the sling that I attributed to the way I was sleeping. Massages from the fiancee helped a ton!
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  14. katoom400

    katoom400 Adventurer

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    at 3 weeks I was getting pretty "routine" with everything I was doing in the sling, everything was getting easier and easier every day...still miserable to be in the sling and definetly had a sore neck from the "dead" arm tugging on it all the time. My wife said I was leaning to the right when I walked also.

    by week 3 I was sleeping pretty good in my bed laying on my back with a pillow under my right arm. I loosen the sling at night so my arm wasn't sticking straight up, but still couldn't go too far away from my side if I did something sudden in my sleep.

    everyone heals at different rates so just listen to your body as to how much you can do. I didn't start any PT until 4 weeks, but I had plenty of what I call unintentional PT just by doing daily things in the sling like, carrying dishes down stairs to the sink and washing them with both hands, then I started carrying things with the right arm when walking around the house and up the stairs......probably more than I was supposed to....I was doing quite a lot with the affected arm but within reason. I figured as long as I kept the elbow glued to my side there was no danger of straining the repair.

    some things to help ROM once you are allowed to are: a rope and pully, get it on Amazon and just work on passively pulling your affected are higher and higher, let your good arm do all the work. Also a large physio ball is good for stretching...place it on a table/bed and use your good arm to prop the affected arm up on the ball and slowly move your body (not your arm) forward so that your body moving forward passively raises your arm as it rolls on the ball. Again....only do these once you are cleared to start passive range of motion. I would think you should be doing your pendulum (Codmans) excercises by now also which are really good for getting the joint moving and bringing in blood to heal.

    believe it or not, the worst part is probably behind you and you should start seeing results everyday. once you get out of the sling it really starts to move faster and feel better, but is definetly scary for the first couple of days out of it. I went to a house party the day after my sling came off and I wore the sling just so my drunken buddies would know that I'm recovering and don't "f" with me....my buddies like to wrestle and mess around once we have a couple of drinks...the sling stops them from even thinking about it!

    I think I still wore the sling at night for about a week once I was cleared to ditch it.... just in case, and I was used to sleeping that way, so I had to ween into sleeping without it.
  15. FoxenTec

    FoxenTec Not going to Live to Die

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    Hey Guys,

    Today is the first day without the Sling. (6 weeks Post OP) Both exercising daily at home and the PT 3X a week is killer. Lots of pain but the PT says that is normal. No major pain meds anymore but occasionally Tylenol or Advil. I dread the PT days except for the heat packs at the start of PT and the ICE at the end. Since my injury on 1/19 of this year, I have slept 95% of the time at an angle on the couch. I think my back is bothering me because of this. I can only sleep in a recliner for about 30 mins to an hour at most and it is uncomfortable. I have tried sleeping in bed on my back but even at 6 weeks post OP, it still hurts to much and I head to the couch. I try and walk each day but the hills are killer and bring on the lower back pain.

    I am coming up on the end of my FMLA. (Family Medical Leave Act) here in Calif.. Since I do a somewhat physical job, it worries me that since I will be beyond the 12 weeks allowed by FMLA before returning to work, whether my job will still be there for me. Do any of you have experience with that? I wonder if employers allow you to return to work at less then 100% especially since it is not a desk job. My doctor indicated it could be 6 months POST OP before returning to work. Plus, I was off 6 weeks before the surgery which puts me out of work for close to 8 months. I wonder how long the company will allow me to be off? They are a corporation with around 2500 employees and operating in a dozen states.
  16. katoom400

    katoom400 Adventurer

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    sorry to hear about your pain and trouble sleeping, all that was minimal for me and so far I feel like I've cheated or something because all of these things are the things kept reading about but I'm 4 months post op now and feel like I could ride. I'm hoping to be cleared in 4 weeks, but only time will tell if the doc will clear me one month early.

    You must be happy to be out of the sling today! it's a great feeling, but scary at the same time...at least for a couple of days...the are feels really vulnerable.

    keep at the PT, IT WILL GET BETTER! one thing I did every day was stretch with the rope and pulley as well as lying on my back and using my good arm to take the operated are up as far as it would go, then push just a bit and hold it 5 seconds...repeat for 3 sets of 10 and let pain be the guide.
  17. bomose

    bomose Long timer Supporter

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    I feel like I cheated, too. My surgery was March 6th. I have almost full range of motion passively and 3/4 moving it myself. Still painful when I move my arm myself and very weak. Doc said it shouldn't be a problem to take my street ride to Texas May 13th. I stretch and do the exercises several times a day, especially the pulley. I'm back in the bed , but wake up with some pain at night. I get relief by doing some pendulums. Seems it stiffens up at night. As I said previously, I was out of the sling within 10 days. But I only tore the supraspinatus. It's still frustrating not being able to do much.
  18. LudemJo

    LudemJo Iron Butt Dreamer

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    After my MRI, the doc found a small tear and some scar tissue from previous injuries or repetitive motion injury. No surgery recommended, and he wants to see me again in a few more weeks (6-weeks from original appointment). He didn't put any restrictions on my activity (much to my wife's chagrin), and I have begun lifting in the gym and spin classes again. The doc's only advice was to not push through the pain, if it hurts, stop doing it.

    While my shoulder feels better, I continue to have some discomfort. I have had several days where the pain was much more than average, and some motions still do not feel or work well. I do feel happier now that I am back lifting again, and feel like I will be able to work through this eventually.

    Good luck to all of you that are going through the recovery. I feel for you.

    John
  19. bomose

    bomose Long timer Supporter

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  20. FoxenTec

    FoxenTec Not going to Live to Die

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    Surgery was March 2nd, so about 9 weeks post op. Starting to get some decent range of motion after each PT visit. Can finally lift my arm straight out without having to use my other arm to lift it. Cannot lift much higher then perpendicular to the body though. I go 3X a week and on off days do home exercises that pretty much mimic what I do in the PT sessions. Doctor says I will be able to lift 30lbs between 6 and 8 months post op, due to the tears being in the top 5% of the bad tears he has repaired. YIKES! Just one day at a time.