Rotator Cuff Surgery-4 weeks post-op

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First two weeks after surgery the pain was intense and I could not sleep unless I was in a recliner. Have been wearing the immobilized  but have a tendency to remove it when I know that there is no risk of injury. I do wear it at night but find I can't sleep good because I am not a back sleeper. If I try sleeping on my side with a pillow under my arm my shoulder hurts more. My other problem is that I am 4 weeks post-op and I can only do 2/3 passive exercises. The one where you hold the wrist of your bad arm and raise it above your head is impossible! I can only raise it to my waist because of the pain. My surgeon told me I have to do it! Easy for him to say! Any advice would be helpful. By the way, at this point my pain is manageable with extra strength Tylenol and Tylenol PM's at night. It sounds as if that will all change when I start P.T. !

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  • Posted

    Hi. I've had a similar op. I'm now 9wks post op. I totally understand your pain. I had to load my pain relief ice before exercise and again after. I was crying with pain for weeks. Try really hard to regain your movement as going bk to theatre for a frozen shoulder will be very unpleasant. As I said I'm 9 wks now and finding physio easier but still haven't regained full range. Will I ever be able to fasten my own bra again. Lol.
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    • Posted

      Thanks for the info. It is encouraging to see at 9 wks it is getting easier especially when I was told up to 6 months physio. Even though I will be thrilled to get the immobilizer off I am concerned about re-injuring the shoulder.  I can't wait to get back in my jeans and stop wearing everything one size larger with lots of elastic! Hope you get full range back soon!
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  • Posted

    I am 2 1/2 weeks post surgery on my right shoulder from full tendon tear and frozen shoulder for 4 years and have had my surgeon say no sling and my physio say sling on. So very confused as have not worn sling the first two weeks now gave pubs and needles in hand. Any advice welcome
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    • Posted

      My surgeon said that the sling prevents re-injury during the healing process until PT begins. My immobilizer had a ball attached for me to keep squeezing to prevent problems with my hand and elbow while in the sling. Maybe your physio and Dr. should discuss the difference in opinion.

       

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    • Posted

      I sure can feel on your pain from the responses I am reading.   It will be two weeks for me after having my rotator cuff surgery on my left surgery which I also happen to be left handed. I keep reading about 65 and older people with more problems. Great because I am soon to be 67. I have had terrible spasms in my shoulder and all the exercises I do kills my lower back. Go figure. Must be the age. But back to the sling I wore mine home from the hospital and then when I went to church I wore it and it felt like it was choking my neck so I didn’t wear it. I made  sure it was my decision whether to wear it or not. But I will say this surgery really sucks. So again I feel your pain for sure 
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  • Posted

    I hate to be the bearer of bad news but it'll take months! I had my rotor cuff repair a year ago and it's taken all that time. The first few months were terrible, so much pain and it is a very slow road to gaining movement. Stick with it knowing it will be gradual and you'll get there..good luck.
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    • Posted

      So true!! I am almost 4 months post op and still have a lot of pain trying to lift my arm. Mine still feels like I'm ripping stiches out of anchors but I know I'm not. I have quite a bit of grinding feeling when lifting my arm. The therapist says it's normal, I don't really like it. Less than two weeks i go in for the same surgery on my other shoulder. 😲 Not looking forward to it.

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  • Posted

    I am 2.5 weeks on and the pain was really bad today and with pins and needles due to finding a way to sleep which has affected my neck as well. Today I have been given strong painkillers codeine,nurofen and paracetamol
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    • Posted

      I am 5 wks post-surgery now and fortunately my pain is managed with extra strength Tylenol during the  day and Tylenol P.M.'s. I also use a TEN's machine. My pain was much worse pre-surgery. Sleeping is very difficult. I sleep with two large pillows propped up and one small one at my lower back. This keeps my shoulder from touching the pillow or the mattress! 
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  • Posted

    I am nine weeks post op - SAD plus rotator cuff repair.  Signed off from consultant as have FROM but still attending physio where the exercises are getting a little harder.  It seems the more I do, the more pain I have.  I have also got an issue with tennis elbow like symptoms.  This actually makes any form of exercise really uncomfortable.  The physiotherapist wants to deal with the shoulder rehab first but I can't help wondering if the elbow will prohibit good progress.  Night times are so much worse pain wise and as it was open surgery, even the incision scar is tender.  I know I'm fortunate that I have a good range of movement, but it's comforting to read that the pain is not unusual at this stage still.  I don't think I was prepared for this prior to surgery.  It's interesting that it wasn't only me who received conflicting advice re: use of sling.  When I queried this at the post op appointment with the consultant, he said not using the sling prevents frozen shoulder.  I certainly don't have that so can't really argue with his theory.  He also said if my elbow doesn't improve, get a referral back to him and he can operate - that's the last thing I want, more surgery.  My physio assures me that the shoulder pain is normal and will take three months or often longer to subside.
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    • Posted

      I am nearly 3 weeks post surgery on my shoulder. I had an arthroscopy. I was also told by my surgeon not to wear a sling except for my journey home. Then my physio 10 days later told me I should have worn it more Because now I an having stiffness and pain after a nights sleep
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    • Posted

      Yes, I often wake in the night and get up and move around.  This eases the pain and stiffness a bit.  I can see the logic in not using the sling.  In fact I did wear it for a bit but found I was still trying to use that hand so I may well have made the tennis elbow issue worse by this.  I definitely have good movement so the operation is deemed to be a success. My theory is, the further along we get with healing and therefore exercises and mobility, the more pain comes with it.  I am hoping we arrive at a point whereby healing reaches a level when the pain and discomfort will subside.  
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    • Posted

      I had SAD op and was told once the nerve block had worn off not to use the sling as it would encourage stiffness. I'm 10wks post op have stiffness in upper range movement. My physio says if I just keep working on it things should return to normal. Everyone is different. You just have to try hard with the exercises. That's my theory any how
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    • Posted

      Hi jaycee. I've become aware that one of the shoulder surgeons has recently had the SAD op. They too are struggling with pain aching etc etc. Maybe they can start to understand how were suffering. I also asked to change to another physio as I was fed up of being told I wasn't doing things correctly. I'm now progressing much better this lady has explained this in more detail using models. I must of come along way since I first started moaning on here but I wish it were over. Just need to get that final range of movement and look forward to one day fastening my own bra. Lol. Take care. Jane
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    • Posted

      Hi Jane - is your shoulder getting any easier?  I am coming up to eleven weeks and although my range of movement is good, the aching in my shoulder, upper arm and pain in my elbow don't seem to be improving much.  I was also reading about thoracic outlet syndrome, which was pretty stupid of me, because now I am wondering if the symptoms are down to this and maybe I have nerve damage.  The Physio is of the opinion that the shoulder is priority and we can deal with the elbow later, but this is where my weakness is now and I feel it's hindering my progress.  He dismissed the slight fluidy swelling that I still have between my collarbone and neck as he said it was due to the procedure and will go.  It's hard to stay positive when the discomfort wakes you up every couple of hours and you feel wrecked the next day.
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    • Posted

      Just want to give an update now that I am 7 weeks post-op. Dr. told me not to use the immobilizer at all now. I am very nervous near grandkids or in crowded stores. Pain was about a level 3 prior to going to P.T.

      As I already knew, my first session with my therapist was horrendous! I was practically jumping off the table while he was stretching my arm. I still have the pain two days later. Not looking forward to every other day sessions! I have very little range of motion now. Dr. & P.T. say that is normal.

      It's helpful to see others on here going through similar situations. Hope we can all look back at this experience and be thankful that we are pain free!

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    • Posted

      I had the same issue with swimming.  I was advised to do breast stroke only and it took days for the increased aching to reduce back to 'normal' aching.

      I actually feel as if I have been lifting heavy weights.  As you say KJean, we are being advised that it is normal so I guess we have to be patient.  It is helpful to know that others are having similar issues.  Not sure I was anywhere near prepared for this though prior to surgery.

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    • Posted

      That is a very good point. It is all very well them telling us to do more exercises but we can also make things worse if we are an impatient patient which I am and have two young sons to look after. Very worried about what job I can do afterwards as I would love to return to being a cook. 
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    • Posted

      Hi. Yes the pain is easing thanks. Physio is going well still not all the way as the capsule they tell me is tight. I've now got a pulley system on the door it's very helpful. Trying to get my arm up my back this week that's my focus.

      Sleeping u get off to sleep ok but wake up feeling like someone has walloped me with an axe.

      Starting bk to work in a couple of weeks 1 hr twice a week.

      My health must come first.

      Boy when I look bk it's been a difficult few months.

      How's things progressing for you?

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    • Posted

      It very much feels like one step forward and two back.  I also find getting off to sleep okay but after a couple of hours awake feeling horrendous.  As I am so tired it has had a knock on effect with everything and whereas I used to go to the gym at least three times a week, I just don't have the energy and there isn't a great deal I can do.  I have spent a lot of today picking up grandchildren so I guess I'll pay for that later.  We did go away for a week and I booked a massage which I was really nervous about, but in actual fact my shoulder felt a lot easier the next day. I do wonder if subconsciously I am guarding it too much.  Good to hear the progress of others.
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    • Posted

      i started having elbow pain after my surgery also. initially, when I took my arm out of sling for pendulums, I could not straighten my elbow all the way...like something blocking the joint...then there would be a loud pop and I could straighten the elbow. Last PT session, he was doing some passive range on my shoulder and I was feeling some sharp pain in my elbow. The PT thinks it is probably connected to some swelling that is compressing the ulnar nerve. He said that happens sometimes...so I would not be in a hurry for elbow surgery. As a PT myself, who has studied myofascial release extensively, I would agree that there is a fascial connection between the shoulder and the elbow. 
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    • Posted

      "The pain is normal"  Well, after ripping three of the for r cuff muscles in a spectacular fall, two completely off humeral head requiring surgical reattachment my physical therapist got careless at 13 weeks (3x/wk) having me do something the surgeon did not approve result PT completely ripped one of the reattachments completely off the humeral head AND ANCHORS all confirmed by another MRI. result starting over again with revision r cuff repair,  now 1 week and three days into this long climb again. FRUSTRATED and angry, but I like you will make it! I had full ROM and pt lost his mind he knew better and is too experienced for this debacle...ARGH.  The recent surgery 6/2/17 to reattach the PTs tear was supposed to take 3 hrs.  it ended up lasting 5 hrs.  the surgeon decided to do a double row of anchors. PT with a different PT and organization begins the week of 6/19.  My advice to "it's normal" be careful. Ask questions. When in doubt check in with treating doctor.  My surgeon was very upset that my pt did this and that my pt did not call my surgeon to inform him. in fact, my former pt did not even report to his boss or the ati-pt corp office.  stunning.  I informed corp office 9 days after the incident. Bummer.  Pix below PTs rip under blue squiggly line. double anchors and sutures. all snug again. Be careful. you will make it!  You are not alone.  Good luck Jaycee1956.

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    • Posted

      I am very depressed. 10 weeks out. Full ROM. But out of blue after 6 weeks of PT I have sharp pain when doing stretching or new PT.

      Pls tell me you got better!! To me, pain means trouble but maybe not. nobody is concerned but me!

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    • Posted

      I'm at 12 weeks now but at 10 weeks I was also having terrible pain when doing pt

      Found out it wasn't my surgery it was aheasions - scar tissue

      They did MUA on my shoulder and wow it changed my life I can move so much more and way less pain so glad I let dr do this procedure

      Maybe you have adhesions in that shoulder - which freezes up the shoulder and within 24 hours after my range of motion was so so much

      better

      Wouldn't hurt to ask your dr if this is a possibility

      I was so depressed before this procedure I couldn't see any end to the pain

      Hang in there it will get better

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    • Posted

      No I had this pain and lack of movement early and at ten weeks dr did the MUA and wow I was better overnight

      But I did have bicep pain for few weeks but now I'm at 12 weeks and that is finally gone

      I only have pain when going to pt limit when stretching other than that I'm pretty good now

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    • Posted

      David, when you start to push the envelope with new movements and strengthening, it often happens that new pain appears seemingly out  of the blue. When I took my sling off at 6 weeks, I made a seeminly inane move and it set off several days of severe bicep pain and spasm. It did finally quiet after 5-7 days of being very conservative and protective. There are nerves that sometimes get trapped in scar tissue. As you start to do more, sometimes the scar tissue gets upset and it tugs at the nerves, causing sharp and shooting pains. It is good to release the scar tissue gently but it can cause pain. It will be an ongoing process with some days worse than others and seems like a step forward and 2 steps back. It is very hard to not feel like the pain you have now will not be there forever. It will not last forever. It's great that you have full ROM at 10 weeks. the strengthening phase can be tough because  you walk a fine line of challenging the healing tissue to continue to heal and also become stronger. Listen to your body. If it says it does not want to do a certain movement...stay within a tolerable level of pain. Are you doing gentle massage of the scar areas? that can help a lot. I like to do my scar release dry...with not oil or lotion. you just place your fingers over the scar and move it around a gently. Time can be your best friend or your worse enemy. try to be patient and believe that it will improve with time. 

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    • Posted

      Sorry took so long to answer was on vacation then forgot password to get in here in doing pretty good now surgery area of shoulder great but I feel adhesions in and around arm in bicep area ugh
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    • Posted

      Is the MUA a manipulation of your shoulder. I had surgery on Feb. 8th and as the Dr didn't expect my shoulder was way worse then expected, a 40 min surgery that ended up being almost 3 hrs. Ive been in PT twice a wk, but I have very limited range of motion, and my DR is wishy washy, as he says I have a frozen shoulder, but it's not frozen. At the age of 16 because of a bad car wreck I was in I have a metal plate that covers my clavical. My Dr. talked about manipulating my shoulder, and I won't lie, I'm scared as sh*t, but anything has to be better then the pain I deal with now. What is your thought, is this what your shoulder was like?

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    • Posted

      Also the nerve block did not work on me as I had pain when I woke up, and was back in the ER that night because I was in so much pain, and pain pills weren't helping.

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