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Has anyone ever had operation to repair torn rotator cuff?

Nik_BNik_B Posts: 270
3 years ago I was lowering myself down through my loft and did my shoulder in. I tend to injure my shoulder allot pulling neck muscles etc so I though that is what I'd done. However that night I woke up in agony and had to go to the emergency docs for pain killers. like a twit I ignored it but it never got better. I started avoiding movements that would cause pain and learned ways around aggravating it. Getting in to the attack position my right elbow will be dropped slightly for example.

The restriction of movement is as follows....If I hold my arm out in front of me then bend the elbow slightly out then try to rotate my arm towards my other arm there will be pain and restricted movement.

After a ton of internet research I am 99% sure I have a torn rotator cuff and am trying to get booked in for the MRI but I am also sure that I wont be the lucky one and see it get fixed through a simple cortisone injection. I am anticipating that I'll have to have the keyhole surgery.

I am no doctor so I must get the professional opinion but...to allay any fears has anyone else ever had this surgery? What were the results with regards to recovery, was it a long process, lots of physio? I'm really hoping to hear that it will not be a hard recovery and I wont have to take a lot of time off the bike.

I'd really appreciate any feedback.

Posts

  • Surf-MattSurf-Matt Posts: 5,952
    Nik - I have a similar problem and have dislocated my shoulder ove 20 times - sparring in kickboxing, surfing big waves, diving into water, etc, etc.

    I had the MRI scan and was given the option of physio or surgery. I knew a guy (ex surf pro) at the time who has done both shoulders and had the surgery - he was out of action for years. So I did the physio very intensely. My physio friend tested me the other day and said it's 99% fine now.

    I'm still cautious but would much rather have the full mobility I still have than the restricted movement you end up with after the surgery.
  • Nik_BNik_B Posts: 270
    Cheers for the reply

    wasn't what I wanted to hear :lol::lol::lol:
  • Nik_BNik_B Posts: 270
    Actually thinking about it, it IS what I want to hear...

    I really don't like operations or anaesthetics. I was more focussed on what you said about your friend. So if physio is an option I think I'd rather do that instead of being unable to do anything fun for ages.
  • Surf-MattSurf-Matt Posts: 5,952
    Nik - sorry - that was my point but I made it unclear - really do look at physio seriously.You'll need to be very dedicated to it but it's VERY much worth the effort.

    Of course yours might be too bad to sort with physio but I'd be surprised if it was that bad.
  • Nik_BNik_B Posts: 270
    What did the physiotherapy entail?
  • Surf-MattSurf-Matt Posts: 5,952
    Nik - basically the use of a Theraband (bit like a giant elastic band) but I supplement the exercises with some of my own stuff.
  • Nik_BNik_B Posts: 270
    A quick google on Theraband turned up you-tube videos of excercises to do and everything. I'm off overseas but when I get back I'm going to get booked in for the MRI and try and get a physio sorted out.

    Many thanks!

    Got a couple of other questions, could you throw a ball now with confidence or would you be worried that you might damage it again? I can't some play ball games with my daughter and when I do I do something daft and it hurts like a censored .

    Also I get a crunching and clicking feeling when I Iift my arm any idea what that is?

    Much appreciated for the answers I had pretty much resigned to an op which no doubt I would have put off for ages.
  • Surf-MattSurf-Matt Posts: 5,952
    Nik - if I throw a ball at full pelt (say for the dog on a beach) more than about a dozen times, it aches a bit but I tend to avoid it.
    Surfing in big(ish) waves is a bit risky (duckdiving becomes quite dodgy)
    Tennis would be a bit risky so I avoid it.
    When kickboxing I tended to dominate with my "good" arm and not use my "bad" one enough.

    That's about it.

    I occasionally crunch a bit - not sure what it is but seems to be okay.
  • sampras38sampras38 Posts: 1,917
    Nik_B wrote:
    3 years ago I was lowering myself down through my loft and did my shoulder in. I tend to injure my shoulder allot pulling neck muscles etc so I though that is what I'd done. However that night I woke up in agony and had to go to the emergency docs for pain killers. like a twit I ignored it but it never got better. I started avoiding movements that would cause pain and learned ways around aggravating it. Getting in to the attack position my right elbow will be dropped slightly for example.

    The restriction of movement is as follows....If I hold my arm out in front of me then bend the elbow slightly out then try to rotate my arm towards my other arm there will be pain and restricted movement.

    After a ton of internet research I am 99% sure I have a torn rotator cuff and am trying to get booked in for the MRI but I am also sure that I wont be the lucky one and see it get fixed through a simple cortisone injection. I am anticipating that I'll have to have the keyhole surgery.

    I am no doctor so I must get the professional opinion but...to allay any fears has anyone else ever had this surgery? What were the results with regards to recovery, was it a long process, lots of physio? I'm really hoping to hear that it will not be a hard recovery and I wont have to take a lot of time off the bike.

    I'd really appreciate any feedback.

    Apart from cycling my other main sport is tennis, and last year I too thought I'd torn my rotator cuff. I did it serving and it's one of the most common injuries in tennis, especially amongst the pros. After a couple of visits to the physio they diagnosed that I had a laberum tear. The symptoms are very similar to a rotator tear as they are both part of the shoulder. I then had to do some stretching exercises with what could be described as a tough deflated balloon every day for 4 weeks with complete rest for 3 months. After all that my shoulder is as good as new, and no surgery.

    So in my experience you need to get checked by a physio, as it may not be as bad as it seemed. My GP initially suspected a torn rotator cuff and referred me to the physio.
  • Nik_BNik_B Posts: 270
    Cheers for the reply. My jobs is a pain in the backside as every time I've made an appointment I've had to cancel it at the last minute. I was planning to try and get squeezed in with a private consultant for an MRI.

    How could the physio diagnose the injury without MRI etc?

    For along time I avoided doing things that caused pain but I am wondering if that's actually made it worse.
  • sampras38sampras38 Posts: 1,917
    Nik_B wrote:
    Cheers for the reply. My jobs is a pain in the backside as every time I've made an appointment I've had to cancel it at the last minute. I was planning to try and get squeezed in with a private consultant for an MRI.

    How could the physio diagnose the injury without MRI etc?

    For along time I avoided doing things that caused pain but I am wondering if that's actually made it worse.

    Well there were a handful of physios in the hospital and this particular one had a good background in sports injuries. They don't always get it right but they can usually get pretty close to the problem with a series of tests they ak you to do, i.e. can you do this, can you do that etc. The shoulder is quite complicated and a lot of people sometimes are a bit too quick to assume it's the rotator cuff.

    One thing you can try..

    Try lifting the injured shoulder above your head. If you can do it without massive pain, it might not be a tear. It could be a pulled rotator cuff or a damaged laberum. Both don't always require surgery, just a lot of rest and in my case, specific exercises. MRI's are good but they are expensive, so unless you want to pay privately you're better off going the physio route first.
  • Nik_BNik_B Posts: 270
    Yeh I'm lucky and have private medical care but even still they usually need 2 weeks notice and often I can't give it as I never know if I am going away again. I'm cancelled 2 appointments allready so physio might be a good idea as I bet it's much easier to get an appointment as there will be more of them than the single Bupa consultant available to me.
  • AnonymousAnonymous Posts: 28,799
    i used to dislocate my shoulder atleast once a month, it got to the point that it would virtually fall out if i out stretched my arms and gradually it would remain dislocated for longer and longer until it needed minor procedures to reinstate it.

    i must have done it 20 times since i was a child and i finally got fed up. at first, i would be able to put it back on its own but the last time i had to get it done in hospital under general anaesthetic.

    i had the whole mri scan thing then got some surgery. i was in hospital for 2 days (including the day of the op) and had my arm slinged for about 4 weeks and then a period of intense rehab at a clinic for 3 weeks.

    my company has amazing private health care so i was dealt with in 2 weeks of having had the final dislocation. i had been avoiding it as it would fix itself but the dislocations had become pretty agonising.

    after all of this my shoulder is repaired and it has never popped since but to be fair, i avoid all of the movements and situations that used to cause the problem. as matt says, the surgery has left me with restricted movement but only in one direction:

    imagine you are flashing in a mac, the outward movement of the arms when the elbows are kept close to your sides kind of thing? well, my left arm probably rotates about 35 degrees whereas t'other arm can rotat about 75 dgrees.

    this doesnt affect my day to dy life and woul only manifest itself as an issue if i was to take up flashing again.............
  • Sorry to hear about your injury Nik - I have the same thing - just before Christmas I came off the bike and experienced extreme pain in my shoulder. The pain went but now I have restricted movement. i had physio first and now have been referred for an op as it did not work. Im told the op is quite ok and you can even cycle pretty much straightaway so long as you do tame stuff first.
  • Nik_BNik_B Posts: 270
    Had my first consultation and the Dr recons it is in fact Slap Lesion. Physio wont do anything and it wont heal by it self either so looks like an op is on the cards and 3 months recovery time. Getting booked in for Magnetic Resonance Arthrogram.

    Good job I'm not a doctor eh? :lol:
  • sampras38sampras38 Posts: 1,917
    Nik_B wrote:
    Had my first consultation and the Dr recons it is in fact Slap Lesion. Physio wont do anything and it wont heal by it self either so looks like an op is on the cards and 3 months recovery time. Getting booked in for Magnetic Resonance Arthrogram.

    Good job I'm not a doctor eh? :lol:

    Mine was actually a slap tear, or minor tear, and it did eventually heal itself with some intensive physio and no surgery.
  • Father FaffFather Faff Posts: 1,176
    First port of call is always a sports physio for a soft injury to my mind. Most decent sports physios will diagnose the problem whereas going to your GP, who is not a specialist will not. If the physio thinks they can't solve the problem then they should refer you to a suitable specialist. I've had several soft tissue injuries from climbing one of which was a torn rotator cuff (causing frozen shoulder) and it took about 6 months of physio and laying off climbing to get it back to normal and back to dangling off overhangs again.

    As with all soft tissues injuries the initial thing is to ice the area, raise it above your head and rest it and all that malarkey and take anti-inflammatories as well such as Ibuprofen or you can get spray on things etc. Pain is not good so if it still hurts and doesn't look too promising after a day or two I would get to see a sports physio asap.
    Commencal Meta 5.5.1
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  • Nik_BNik_B Posts: 270
    Yeh he was a shoulder specialist. He even drew me a picture.

    The arthrogram will show the extent of the injury but he was pretty adament that it would heal by itself.
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