How do you tell if you pulled yhe anchors loose or pulled the sutures out of the repaired tissue?

Edited , 12 users are following.

I was in week 8 post-op of a shoulder surgey that involved an open repair of the labrum, relocation of the biceps tendon from the shoulder to the upper arm and an arthroscopic repair of the rotator cuff tendon. Anchors were placed in the bone of my upper arm to attach the biceps tendon to and an anchor was attached to the top of my shoulder to attach the rotator cuff tendon to. Everything was going fine with PT and I had regained most of my shoulder's mobility when I had a setback. I picked up a bag of what I thought was household trash to place in the trash bin with my repaired arm/shoulder. Unfortunately inside the trash bag were broken pieces of concrete and mortar which I'm guessing weighed about 90 pounds. As I picked up the bag and put it in the trash bin I felt a strain in my shoulder. I didn't hear anything pop and originally thought I may just have stretched things a bit. However the pain gradually increased over the next several days on the top of my shoulder where the rotator cuff was repaired and under my arm where the labrum was repaired. The pain increased to the point of here it was before my surgery and  for the next several days I had to go back on pain medication. Although the pain has subsided a bit, I am still experiencing a searing type of pain especially on the top of my shoulder. My doctor said if I didn't hear any thing pop and experienced pain right away that I probably just had a relapse in the healing. I am worried that I possibly pulled out the sutures or worse yet the anchors. Has anyone has had this occur (i.e., lifting a unsafe amount of weight at 8 weeks post op)? If so, did it result in a rupture of the repair? My Doctor took an x-ray and said that the anchors still appeared to be where he placed them but he also said he cannot tell from the x-ray whether or not they could have become dislodged from the bone. He told me to wait a few weeks until the pain has subsided and the flare up has settled down so he can perform an MRI with dye injections. I'm worried that if I did damage the repair areas I am just postponing the inevitable (another surgery).Anyone out there experience anything like this?

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  • Posted

    Sorry for your difficulties I go back to the doctor on that one it's just on an MRI hey maybe you can help me out with a question I'm almost 3 weeks after surgery and I have enormous cramping and pain in my hand I can barely move my fingers there so painful did you have that

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    • Posted

      I did not have any hand cramping. The doctor gave me a hard rubber ball a bit smaller than a baseball the day I left the hospital and told me to squeeze it several times a day which I did. Perhaps that's why I didn't have any hand cramping. Did your doctor have you do this?

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  • Posted

    It sounds like your doctor is on the right track.   I did re-tear mine, but it was a gradual re-tear, the doctor likened it to pulling a loose thread.  It tore just a little tiny bit at a time until the day it tore completely off the bone.  I was at physical therapy that day.  I too  felt that searing knife like pain and I could no longer lift my arm.  I put it off and  tried to ignore it, however after a few months, every time I moved my arm, there was a loud pop, loud enough for others near me to hear it, and it felt like someone jabbed a hot knife  in my shoulder.  That being said, I think it is pretty  hard to dislodge the anchors, but certainly easy to re-tear the tendon.   I hope your doctor is right and you just irritated the heck out of it.  I've had 2 surgeries in 1 year and if  you think 1 surgery is life consuming, 2 surgeries are ... well  I don't think I have any words.  For the last year my life has only been about my shoulder. I swill be so happy to get my life back  with no pain, no therapy, no restrictions etc.   BTW I am 12 weeks post op and being super super careful.

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  • Posted

    "Wait a few weeks" what the heck!!  No, get the MRI asap.  I called my surgeon on his cell phone, sent email, and texts immediately after the PT had me do something that I was not supposed to do.  I was 15 weeks into PT (17 weeks out of the initial repair surgery).  The PT caused one of my repairs to fail, i.e., ruptured the suture which resulted in a tendon ripping back off the humeral head...it took 40 minutes for the tendon to rip off the ball and the anchors.  I howled in pain until the tendon was free.  I could do nothing to stop the tendon from ripped off again.  TOTALLY SUCKED, hurt, sobbing, thinking NOOOO, here we go again.  My surgeon and I scheduled another MRI asap.  My surgeon had to go back in and revise the repair to that supraspinatus tendon.  UGH. The revision surgery was supposed to be three hours; it lasted FIVE hours.  Once the surgeon and his team were inside, they cleaned up the mess (AGAIN) and gave me a double row of anchors.  I fired the PT and got a new PT who is wonderful.  I am 11 months out of the revision NO issues.  Full range of motion, continuing to work on my strength.  I ended my second PT after ten weeks (2 times per week).  I needed a break from PT, and my surgeon agreed.  My PT wanted me to go a bit longer, but I had full rom and needed to be done.  I knew I could back to PT if I needed encouragement or advice.  So far I haven't had to go back to PT.  My surgeon stated that strength would return as we use our arm/shoulder.  I was an elite swimmer in my younger days (55 now).  Never had shoulder issues.  The day after Christmas 2016 freak accident resulted in tearing three of the four rotator cuff muscles (two completely off the ball).  PLEASE SCHEDULE THE MRI PROMPTLY.  Do not wait.  IF the surgeon gives you the run around get another opinion. Good luck.

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  • Posted

    My anchor came loose and I wasn't aware. I didn't notice that anything was off until I started wall walks in PT. When I got to a certain height, I experienced what felt like a restriction or pulling sensation at the front of shoulder; it wasn't really painful.  i thought it was the biceps tendon. This kept happening as I progressed to raising my arm on my own. My PT kept dismissing the tenderness and restriction feeling as a normal part of recovery.  I didn't push back too much because I never experienced a fall or other trauma that would result in a re-tear, and I assumed there would be a lot of pain if the anchors pulled loose or if I retore the rotator cuff.  MRI (w/o contrast) at 5 months was unremarkable.Cortisone shot didn't help.

    By 7 months, I was getting really strong (pushups, planks, etc), and didn't think I could do those things if something was really wrong.  But I still had the nagging restriction feeling  in the front of my shoulder in certain situations. Then one day, out of the blue, I had trouble lifting my arm. After that went on for a few weeks, my doc told me I would need another surgery to see what was wrong, which I had two weeks ago. Turned out the front anchor had pulled away from the bone somewhat, which put a strain on the rear anchor. the rear anchor eventually pulled out, which was why i had trouble lifting my arm all of a sudden. The doc did a revision repair, using 4 anchors this time.

    At four weeks following the first surgery, the had me lie down on the table with my arm hanging off the side. she then placed a weight around my wrist and left me that way for several minutes.  it didn't hurt, but i felt a pull at the front of my shoulder, kind of like a deep stretch.  she did this on a day that the PT was not there to supervise. I now wonder if this was what caused the problem.

     

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    • Posted

      Last year I re-tore my tendon.  Actually I think it was more than that because when the doctor showed me pictures there was pieces of the anchor and sutures floating around.  The doctor said this probably happened within a month or so of surgery.  I didn't know it at the time.   I had full range of motion and no real pain until a few months later.  Suddenly, at about 8 months, every time I moved my shoulder I got a loud pop and it felt like someone stuck a hot knife in there.  My surgeon and my PT was so surprised I could move my shoulder or raise my arm above my head.  Both of them said it couldn't be torn or I couldn't lift my arm like I did and both were so surprised to find the mess in there.   So I guess what I am saying is I don't think you always know when you tear out an anchor.  I've read that MRI's are inconsistent after surgery, as apparently yours was.  What I am concerned about is putting you on weights at 4 weeks.  That seems really early and I wouldn't be surprised if that is what caused it.   Not that you can prove anything.   I am 13 weeks post op for my revision and my doctor has restricted me to NO weights until I hit 14 weeks.  Also, my doctor gave me a copy of the protocol he gave to the PT so I kind of follow along.  If he would have tried weights at 4 weeks, I would have asked him to check the doctor's protocol.   My advise is to be really careful.  You  don't want to have to do this again.  And don't be afraid to question the PT.   Good luck to you and I hope you recover without any incidents.  BTW the first PT I went to kinda sounds like yours.   Mostly the tech was there and the PT rarely saw me.  This new office I now go to the PT ... all  of them have doctorate degrees....spends 20 minutes or so with me, every time  I go  in, stretching and evaluating and then the tech follows his instructions.  I am never out of sight of the PT.  

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    • Posted

      thanks, grammie. how are you feeling now?? i'm very nervous about things this time around.

      and i agree that 4 weeks was too early for weights. since nothing popped or was painful at the time, i didn't connect it my symptoms until after the 2nd surgery when the doc discovered the loose anchors. i'm going to take your advise and keep a close eye on the protocol this time around. and yes, i'm with a different PT this time. smile

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    • Posted

      I'm doing pretty good Kamibri....just inpatient.  I  want to be better NOW.  ha ha   I see the surgeon next week for my 3 month check up.  I'm pretty sure he will say I can do some strength exercises...I hope so.   This surgery was a little more extensive so  my PT is slow going and long.  Like 5-6 months long.  However I don't ever want to have any surgery of any kind again so I am following the doctor's instructions to a T.  We'll all get through this somehow.. smile

       

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    • Posted

      I am 4 1/2 weeks post op.   All I can say is my shoulder was worse than what we suspected. I had a partial rotator cuff tear, my bicep was frayed and detaching from the bone and both had to be repaired along with what I originally was having surgery for which was to clean up bursa area (decompression) and shave some bone to create more room for my tendons.  I basically had 4 procedures in one.  I'll be out of work for 6 - 8 weeks and no driving for 6 weeks.  This was a hard pill to swallow😞.  I’ve been doing PT since 5 days after surgery it hurt like hell but everything was going good until this week.  I went 2 days ago and I’ve been in stabbing pain and can’t get the swelling down even though I’m icing.  I can’t lift my arm as high as I could before.  I think he’s had me using weights too early on.  I have 3 exercises that I use 1 lb weight and 4 more that uses 2 lb weights.  I’m calling my surgeon today because I think something is wrong.  I’m praying no major setback 

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  • Posted

    Hi bicyclist,

    It has been 4 months any update, so did you spoil your repair? Or was is just a Nerve pain? Actually 2 months ago I had my Bankart repair with 3 anchors. Recently after my 10th week I tried riding my Motorcycle, at first there was no pain, later I started to have pain on top of my shoulder. I showed my Doctor, and he checked my shoulder by checking my movements and he said it does not seem that I have spoiled my surgery and currently I am on medication, doc has given me pain killer. So I wanted to know your progress.

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  • Posted

    HI Bicyclist. I had a labrum repair with 2 anchors put in. Like you I was at the 8 week mark when I had an incident where I tripped and fell. I felt a sharp pain but did not hear anything pop. The sharp pain subsided within +/- 20 minutes. I was curious if you ever found out what the deal with your anchors was? Did they come out?

    Thanks in advance.

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  • Posted

    I'm currently 4 weeks post surgery for my labrum on the left side of my shoulder. I had an anterior and posterior tear that was repaired. A few days ago I fell at a friends house. I was in the middle of a conversation when I was bumped and accidentally fell forward onto the person i was talking to landing forward with my arm in the sling. Luckily i was wearing my sling as well as the immobilizer. After i fell i felt some pain , but nothing major. It has been three days now since i fell. I'm not in excruciating pain, but my shoulder feels really achy on my trap as well as i have some pressure on my anterior incision sights. my shoulder feels really irritated. What should i do? Dose it sound like i re injured something?

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  • Edited

    Thanks for posting!! It's so nice reading everyon'es experiences...... I am 6 weeks post surgery..complete rotator cuff tear, bursitis, shaving of frayed labrum and bicep tendons as well. At just about 2 weeks I was feeling great!!! So great, that of course I HAD to send a care package to my daughter, and insisted that I could tape it up on my own. I felt some pulling in my tricep area. I was already back at my desk job, too. Two days later I was going out for a walk and sat down to tie my sneakers...and felt a dull pain. Ever since then my rehab has been uncomfortable. Neither my PT or the Dr. seem to think I tore it off the anchor or the stitches, but I'm not so sure why I used to feel so much better. My sling was not very restrictive, and it allowed me to do more than I think I should have. I can get my arm over my head at PT (while lying down) to about 160 degrees. It's far from easy. I am a very active 53 year old female (running, biking, swimming, weights) and this is so miserable.....I never thought the rehab would be so intense......I should have read this forum prior to the surgery to educate myself. Perhaps this is all normal, and it's not "pain", it's more discomfort. I never had ANY pain...never took any pain medication or even a Tylenol, so i just wish this shoulder would hurry up and heal so I could get back to my life!! 😃

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