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How long will I be out after Rotator Cuff Surgery?

post #1 of 18
Thread Starter 

About 4 weeks ago I felt something go south in my left shoulder on my follow through after a drive.  Since the pain got worse daily I went and saw an orthopaedic surgeon and he told me it was my rotator cuff.  I am scheduled for an MRI today, but because of the pain and inability to use my left arm I am pretty sure we are talking surgery.

 

Has anyone had this done?  And can anyone tell me the recovery period for a 59 year old.

 

Thanks

post #2 of 18
I would ask the surgeon. The recovery times vary depending on how severe the injury is and what they have to do to fix it.
post #3 of 18

As a result of an auto accident at age 51 I found myself in ER with a broken forearm and dislocated shoulder. The forearm had been previously fractured 30 years before and required a plate installed. The shoulder had no previous injury (but a lifetime of heavy rifle activity).

 

After the plate was installed to repair the forearm, the orthopedic surgeon suggested that I needed rotator cuff repair. He said that a minimally intrusive surgery would involve a small incision and minor work on the joint. Max 2 hrs under the knife, short recovery period.

 

Once the procedure began, he found the scar tissue from heavy recoil and decided to try to fix this. Bad move... big incision, 6 hrs, hammer, chisel, saw, rasp he proceeded to destroy for all practical purposes a shoulder joint that could have been rehabilitated to at least 90% through therapy alone.

 

The muscle in the front of my shoulder has been entirely sliced through, has never regained the mass previous, and when I rotate the arm 360 there is more of a glitch (physical and audible than ever before). Took another 6 months of therapy before I could return to work. Nine years later I have maybe two thirds the strength of that shoulder and arm.

 

Rotator cuff surgery is highly over rated, unless there is truly serious damage (does your shoulder connection to arm dislocate under pressure or motion) physical therapy offers better results IMHO.

 

Your mileage may vary, but remember that surgeons make their living selling surgery!
 

post #4 of 18

I have progressively done more and more damage to my rotator cuff over the years. Too many hard throws and too many times without any proper warm up.

 

Last year it got so bad that I was having to grit my teeth every time I hit a golf ball and the better the swing I made the more it was going to hurt (after impact).

 

Finally I decided I had nothing to lose and started a throwing routine three days a week where I threw 150 baseballs into a net. Started with fairly slow balls from about 40 feet and gradually increased the distance and the speed. Within a couple of months my shoulder didn't bother me anymore during golf.

 

The hardest thing for me was having the discipline to not jump the gun and throw too hard too soon but somehow I controlled myself (unusual for me).

 

Crazy that the thing that hurt my shoulder in the first place seemed to work for therapy to fix it.

post #5 of 18

Get back on the course immediately...but warm up with a large bucket of balls at the range first.

 

However....be advised that I'm not actually a medical doctor...but I did sleep at a Holiday Inn Express last night.

post #6 of 18
Quote:
Originally Posted by cnl390 View Post

About 4 weeks ago I felt something go south in my left shoulder on my follow through after a drive.  Since the pain got worse daily I went and saw an orthopaedic surgeon and he told me it was my rotator cuff.  I am scheduled for an MRI today, but because of the pain and inability to use my left arm I am pretty sure we are talking surgery.

 

Has anyone had this done?  And can anyone tell me the recovery period for a 59 year old.

 

Thanks

My brother had an MRI and it looked as if he had torn his rotator cuff. I drove him to surgery and stayed. About an hour into surgery, I got the call from the Doc. It was just bursitis and bone chips - and they cleared it all out. He did say the garbage in the shoulder can cause extreme pain - which my brother suffered. Maybe you'll have similar news. If you tore the cuff, it may be 6 months before you can start picking up a club - there is rehab, and more rehab from how they talked previous to the surgery.

post #7 of 18

i've never had surgery or anything like that but know several guys who have.. and usually its 6 months to a year....   both guys played softball too lol...  

 

the one guy is a good friend and all he had was minor surgery to remove a bone spur ( i think ) and he said it was a good year before he even felt right about throwing a ball hard again.. He would kind of test his shoulder out after 6 months, and at first his shoulder was super tight, so I advised him to just use a tennis ball or racket ball and throw it softly against a wall..   I think this was in 2008?? and by 2009 ( end of the summer ) he was back to throwing at about 80% ...  

post #8 of 18

Your doctor can tell you about the recovery time, and how soon you can resume activities such a weightlifting, karate and golf. MRI will tell you if you need surgery or just rehab physical therapy.

 

From your summer posts and PMs, I can tell you are really increasing your golf activity. You could have irritated your R.cuff from "overuse," triggering pain but not necessarily needing surgery. With such focused activity, you should consider a workout routine to increase your strength + flexibility + power.

 

BTW, I have a Cat-scan tomorrow of my right abdominal/thigh area to see the source of recurring pain.

 

If we get super bad news, at least we can practice our putting.

post #9 of 18

I tore my subscapalaris back in 96 and was advised to just let it heal and rehab it. this was around the same time with all those medical break thoughs and i guess my treatment plan was normal - i still wonder though. anyway i remember after 6 months of rehab i could do everything within reason, except throw a ball at 100%, 50% sure but if i went over that i would get serious pain and still do to this day, but only throwing a ball harder than 70%.

 

after a year of rehab i was in the military doing push ups/pull ups normally, and boxing. i could throw every punch 100% except for an overhand left handed haymaker, basically a mimic of my throwing motion, i still cant throw a ball harder than 70%

 

Recently i hurt something in the same shoulder and its been 2-3 weeks of rest, ice and ibprofens. it wasnt as bad as my baseball injury but it hurt none the less and does hurt.

 

im still taking ibprofens 2-3 times a day and icing a few times a day or after activities.

 

my self rehab has followed:

 

i did range of motion exercises probably 5-6 days after full on pain (it was slowly building for a week or so then blam), avoiding painful movement, just slow, relaxed; such as the hanging pendulum. i did light stretching too.

 

i didnt sling my arm but i made sure not to move it much other than when doing my ranged exercises - and i avoided sleeping on it.

 

i'd say around day 10 i added light swings - since it was my left shoulder hurting, i would only do half backswings righthanded because bringing my shoulder up and stretching my left arm killed then a modified follow through after a almost gravity downswing. I just focused on weight transfer not really putting any force nor stress on my arms.

 

i added left handed swing day 11-12 i forget, because im going to start hitting left handed with long clubs to protect my left shoulder in the long run. i could do a near full backswing left handed i just watched out on the follow through because coming back up brought pain if i added force.

 

i  just started resistance exercises with a rubber tube nearly 3 weeks out. the pain has become minimal, but there are still a few movements where i can feel it, so im not rushing or going to over do anything. i still dont do full backswings right handed nor sweep full on downswings right or left. just soft, im more worried about the actual movements becoming more and more pain free day after day. i can do full back swings left handed now nearly at three weeks but i only go 3/4th left and right because near 90-100% rh i feel some pain. then i just watch my follow through and only swing at 30% or so while hitting plastic balls at a fence.

 

there are several exercises the rubber tube can be used for. ill do this for another week or two then add a 2lb weight for another week or two and continue this process until im up to 5 lbs and completing high reps easily.

 

i also do range exercises now while massaging the area to try and promote blood flow, and break down scar tissue.

 

im looking at another 4 weeks before i assess where my shoulder is at and hopefully a small bucket is the reward

 

maybe surgery is the way to go for you and rehab times will vary per person. good luck

post #10 of 18
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by WUTiger View Post

Your doctor can tell you about the recovery time, and how soon you can resume activities such a weightlifting, karate and golf. MRI will tell you if you need surgery or just rehab physical therapy.

 

From your summer posts and PMs, I can tell you are really increasing your golf activity. You could have irritated your R.cuff from "overuse," triggering pain but not necessarily needing surgery. With such focused activity, you should consider a workout routine to increase your strength + flexibility + power.

 

BTW, I have a Cat-scan tomorrow of my right abdominal/thigh area to see the source of recurring pain.

 

If we get super bad news, at least we can practice our putting.

 

First off, how did your cat-scan come out?  I hope it was nothing serious.

 

Good news, I had my MRI and my orthopedic surgeon said that there was more artheritis than he first thought and I had a slight labral tear.  Shot me up with steroids and gave me a script for 6 weeks of physical therapy.  Said if my shoulder feels better in 2 weeks I can play golf.

So my lunch hour on September 11th will be spent at the range.

 

Charles

 

PS I think I already told you, but the Steelhead III 5w you recommended is awesome.

post #11 of 18

I have had terrible shoulder problems as a result of an injury I got when I was in my teens. Parents neglected to get it fixed.

When I was 40 it got so bad I could not raise my arm off the ground if I was laying down. After all the tests and MRI images, the doctor said I had a major tear and surgery was required.

Took about 6 months before I regained full movement of the arm and only partial strength.

Fast forward about 15 years and I started having a pinching sensation (impingment) in the shoulder.

More MRI's followed, and doctor said he needed to go back in and clean out all the arthritis and bone spurs that had developed.

Was told this is normal when a shoulder has been violated.

Apparently they shaved stuff off a tendon the holds the ball/socket in place and ground out a bone spur.

Recovery time was just a few weeks this time.

Fast forward another 7 years and more pain and lack of mobility in the shoulder..More MRI's reporting a minor tear and lots of arthritis.

Say they can fix the tear but can't do anything about the arthritis on the tendon since there is hardly any of the tendon left.

Talked about shoulder replacement, but can't do that because of the tendon would not hold the shoulder in place...(they can't replace tendons).

Said they could do a reverse shoulder replacement where the ball is in the old cuff area, and the cuff is attached to the arm bone.

Different muscles and tendons would come into play...Somehow I don't think I would be able too swing a club if this procedure was done!

Has gotten to the point where the cortisone shots don't do a thing anymore.

They did prescribe Meloxicam to help keep inflammation to a minimum and it's been doing a so-so job for the last 2 years.

 

Long story short, if you can avoid surgery, do it by all means. Once you have surgery, additional problems will most likely show up years later.
 

post #12 of 18
Quote:
Originally Posted by cnl390 View Post

About 4 weeks ago I felt something go south in my left shoulder on my follow through after a drive.  Since the pain got worse daily I went and saw an orthopaedic surgeon and he told me it was my rotator cuff.  I am scheduled for an MRI today, but because of the pain and inability to use my left arm I am pretty sure we are talking surgery.

 

Has anyone had this done?  And can anyone tell me the recovery period for a 59 year old.

 

Thanks

Depends on what they find.  For me (51 at the time), it ended up just being a cyst that was impinging on my RC but had caused the cuff to be very weak.  To recover the fastest, do exactly what the physical therapist tell you to do.  Beware that you can get "frozen shoulder" after the surgery and discuss this with your Dr and PT.  Mine was my right shoulder.  I was golfing in about 8 weeks, but should have stayed out longer.  It took me a while to get the range back.  Frozen shoulder occurs if you let the shoulder remain stationary too long.

 

You will have ups and downs, but be patient.  You can help yourself along be doing stretches everywhere you go and multiple times a day.  When you start playing again, always warm up with arm circles and swinging the club to get fully loose.

 

Best of luck.

post #13 of 18
Quote:
Originally Posted by cnl390 View Post

 

Good news, I had my MRI and my orthopedic surgeon said that there was more artheritis than he first thought and I had a slight labral tear.  Shot me up with steroids and gave me a script for 6 weeks of physical therapy.  Said if my shoulder feels better in 2 weeks I can play golf.

So my lunch hour on September 11th will be spent at the range.

 

 

Thats good news for you. I know the Doc said if it feels okay after two weeks you can play golf - I wouldnt though.

 

Since you have 6 weeks of therapy, Id probably start light swings with range of movement being the goal of this exercise after those suggested two weeks. I wouldnt start playing until towards the end of rehab. I believe you should strengthen the area before playing and actually swinging hard to avoid the same injury or some other direct or indirect injuries - Just my two cents. Good luck

post #14 of 18
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by APrince View Post

 

Thats good news for you. I know the Doc said if it feels okay after two weeks you can play golf - I wouldnt though.

 

Since you have 6 weeks of therapy, Id probably start light swings with range of movement being the goal of this exercise after those suggested two weeks. I wouldnt start playing until towards the end of rehab. I believe you should strengthen the area before playing and actually swinging hard to avoid the same injury or some other direct or indirect injuries - Just my two cents. Good luck

Good advise, thanks.

post #15 of 18
Quote:
Originally Posted by cnl390 View Post

Good advise, thanks.

No worries.

 

Im going into week 4 of my rehab and i swing daily now as part of my rehab. I hit plastic balls out back against the fence 4-5 times a day for about 10-20 minutes. I\ts still not a full 100% swing RH, but a swing none the less. Its my left shoulder so when i swing right handed its just nice and smooth with a really short back swing, i still get a tiny tenderness when i do a complete full back swing extending my left arm out - but im making progress daily getting further and further back - this is still with a 90 degree shoulder turn, its just my arms are short and almost 3/4

 

plus, i use a lot hips in my downswing as not to jerk my shoulder.

 

Left handed I started to swing harder today, my follow through in my Left arm isnt bothering me much at all.

 

What i can say is this. All the slow smooth swings has been so beneficial to my game RH it seems. Its made me focus on setting up correctly and using my hips well. I use to think i was getting good hip action but i found out i wasnt. LH is another story since Im basically building a new swing to protect my left shoulder with longer clubs in the long run driver - 5,6,7

post #16 of 18

Charlie,

 

Glad to hear you have a non-surgical solution to your R.cuff. After you heal, you might want to continue the routine to strengthen your golf-muscle areas.

 

 I got my initial Cat-Scan results back: No hernia.

 

Evidently, there's inflammation of the thigh muscle, and a bit in the lower back. (I've had three acute lumbar episodes in last 25 years, but none required surgery).

 

Doctor predicted this (thigh) as what's wrong. He said medium leg injuries are difficult to treat: You can't stop walking around, and also, you don't want the leg to get weak. Just got to take it slow. Don't know if physical therapy is coming.

 

AS for Callaway stuff, I thought you would like the Steelhead as long as the shaft matched up. For other things Callaway, the X.Hot FW ads advertise them as having a "Warbird sole", from the hot club before the Steelheads.  I guess it's back to the future.

 

Swing smoothly! (your shoulder will last longer)

post #17 of 18
Thread Starter 

After 2 weeks of physical therapy I went out to the ranch and tried hitting a few balls in one of the fields.  Hit about 5 with my 9i & 5 with my 20 degree hybrid.  Topped about half, hit a couple of decent 9i shots and the hybrid shots I connected on had no loft and went about 45 degrees right of where I was aiming.  Not a slice or fade, but a straight arrow 45 degrees.

I guess I am unconsciously favoring my left shoulder.

Back to the drawing board.

post #18 of 18
Quote:
Originally Posted by cnl390 View Post
 

After 2 weeks of physical therapy I went out to the ranch and tried hitting a few balls in one of the fields.  Hit about 5 with my 9i & 5 with my 20 degree hybrid.  Topped about half, hit a couple of decent 9i shots and the hybrid shots I connected on had no loft and went about 45 degrees right of where I was aiming.  Not a slice or fade, but a straight arrow 45 degrees.

I guess I am unconsciously favoring my left shoulder.

Back to the drawing board.

 

 

I was lucky and was pretty young when I got a rotator cuff tear (diving for a basketball; stupid, I know. It's not like I was getting paid). I had the option of surgery (no activity for two weeks after, then three months of rehab) or just rehab (three months of targeted, strengthening activity). I took the rehab option and I didn't swing a club until I was done the rehab, and it was like nothing ever happened. That was 32 years ago and I still don't even get a twinge.

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