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Old 02-16-2019, 04:32 AM #1
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Default Rotator cuff tear or surgery anyone?

8 months ago I was reaching way above my head on a step stool to get my huge cast iron pot. It started to slip and to prevent it falling on my head my arms reached way back above and over my head and I felt pain. The pain was very bad. My primary thought I had developed deltoid tendinitis and sent me to a pain management doctor. I did PT and in December he gave me a steroid injection that lasted a week. I have weakness and pain all the time and it gets bad sometimes. I can't lay on it, I have problems combing my hair and getting dressed and almost all lifting. The pain management doc is really nice and he did prescribe me 5mg of oxycodone not to be taken more than once a day. It works pretty well. When I have taken it it manages the pain but I do not take it regularly or often because I have to be very careful with addictive substances.

On New Year's day I lifted a heavy bag into the trunk of my car and aggravated it in an acute manner so the pain has been pretty intense. In December I got a steroid injection which only lasted a week. I was in with my primary about two weeks ago and she did another exam and wondered if it was my rotator cuff. So I have an appointment with my hand surgeon (who does shoulders too). Since then I have been reading about RC injuries. I am afraid I will be starting from the beginning and that he is going to want to try PT and injections again, although I cant have another injection for 2 more months. Personally I think it may need surgical intervention. I have Sjogren's so that is another issue that affects my bones and joints. Has anyone had this type of surgery? Did it help? Was it easy to recover from or super painful? I had joint replacement and carpal tunnel surgery already so I am not too worried about pain- if it means eliminating the problem. Sometimes the pain radiates down to my elbow and sometimes it feels like it throbs. I am an active person, never really sitting still. I havent been able to do my yoga or really any upper body exercises. What do you all think? Does my prognosis look good-whatever the solution is? I am ok with needing surgery. In fact, because I have already had non-surgical interventions I would rather solve the problem once and for all. I was taking an intro to teaching class when my son had a stroke so I would like to get to the bottom of this before re-enrolling. I am only 43-soon to be 44 and I do not feel old. I don't know how someone in their 40's is supposed to feel but generally I feel good and I am blessed with the life I have. Any input or info or comments are welcome.

-sweets
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Old 02-16-2019, 05:39 AM #2
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Default Re: Rotator cuff tear or surgery anyone?

I have never experienced this, sarahsweets, so unfortunately I don't have a lot of advice to give to you. I'm so sorry I don't have an answer to your question. Just wanted to let you know that I've read your post and I'm so sorry you're going through all of this. You don't deserve it at all. If you do need surgery, I hope everything will go well for you. I know you're strong and you can make it. Remeber that we're here for you to support you. I'm so sorry, please don't give up. I hope things will get better soon for you. Is there anything we can do to help you? Please let us know. Remember that we're for you if you need it. Wish you good luck! Let us know how it goes. I'm so sorry you have to deal with this
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Old 02-17-2019, 02:03 AM #3
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Default Re: Rotator cuff tear or surgery anyone?

When I went to PT recovering from my knee ACL reconstruction there was a lady in there that had RC surgery. The PT after any joint surgery is difficult to get the joint moving again but the results are very successful. PT is critical to keep scar tissue from forming. One can end up with a "frozen shoulder" if not conscientious with the PT.

One of my friends here had the surgery a few years ago & it was successful.

I have had shoulder pain for awhile also. Aggrevated last summer when putting my saddle on my 17.2 hand horse (way above my head) It feels better when I don't haul around 50 lb bags if grain. Not sure what damage is going on inside the shoulder. I also pinched a nerve that made me whole shoulder, arm & fingers numb last summer also. That has completely gone away on it's own. It was horrible because everything felt so much heavier & more difficult to pick up. I couldn't pin point anything specific for the cause of either problem as you have. Injuries are such a "pain".

Usually a surgeon will ask what treatments have already been tried. Usually one doesn't end up at a surgeon until last resort & they usually know that but check previous treatments. They can tell just by moving the joint pretty much what is wrong with it.

My ortho that did my knee was amazing. He hekd above & below my knee & moved the joint & knew instantly it was an ACL problem.
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Old 02-17-2019, 05:37 AM #4
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Default Re: Rotator cuff tear or surgery anyone?

My dad his RC surgery not too long ago, within this past year I believe. It went well as far as I know. Getting health updates from him is hit and miss, for the record.
Good luck with everything : grouphug:
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Old 02-20-2019, 03:15 PM #5
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Smile Re: Rotator cuff tear or surgery anyone?

Hello Sweets I am a registered nurse who has worked twenty plus years in the operating room. I also suffered a shoulder injury. Eventually you will need a MRI for confirmation of what exactly is wrong. I would also recommend someone who specializes in shoulder surgery. There is a MAJOR difference between hands and shoulders. Post surgery there will be pain and you must have physical therapy. The pain can be managed, I know there is a lot of fear out theere regarding becoming addicted. If you have pain and take the medication appropriately you do not have to worry about addition. If there is a tear the only way to fix a tear is surgery. You are young and healthy. You should have the surgery if there is a tear. Now, if there is not a tear then try the NSAID's and PT. Perhaps you can avoid surgery. Also going back to the shoulder specialist, see him get his advice. If he recommends PT go to the therapy place that he recommends. It is a benefit to go to the therapists who know the doc and work with that particular physician. I suggest the shoulder specialist as there may be other ways to correct the tear again if that is what is present. Don't put it off with the limited mobility that is going to make things worse. Also if there is a tear you may need to get it fixed quickly. Healing starts quickly and if there is healing that has happened then that could possible make surgery more involved. Also keep in mind that depending upon your insurance a physician may have to repeat the PT and NSAIDS. There are many instances where physicians are under the control of insurance companies. I hope my advice is helpful.
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Old 02-20-2019, 04:43 PM #6
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Default Re: Rotator cuff tear or surgery anyone?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Rushlady View Post
Hello Sweets I am a registered nurse who has worked twenty plus years in the operating room. I also suffered a shoulder injury. Eventually you will need a MRI for confirmation of what exactly is wrong. I would also recommend someone who specializes in shoulder surgery. There is a MAJOR difference between hands and shoulders.
Hi and thanks for responding! My doctor is hands/wrists and shoulders so thats why I chose him. I saw him yesterday and he is sending me for an MRI which is scheduled for tuesday. He checked me for "frozen" shoulder which I had never heard of but he was able to move my arm so thats not it. He feels it could be a tear due to the acute onset of symptoms after an injury and having it get worse over 8 months.
Quote:
Post surgery there will be pain and you must have physical therapy. The pain can be managed, I know there is a lot of fear out theere regarding becoming addicted. If you have pain and take the medication appropriately you do not have to worry about addition.
I had three hand surgeries last year and I was ok with the pain medication.

Quote:
If there is a tear the only way to fix a tear is surgery. You are young and healthy. You should have the surgery if there is a tear. Now, if there is not a tear then try the NSAID's and PT. Perhaps you can avoid surgery. Also going back to the shoulder specialist, see him get his advice. If he recommends PT go to the therapy place that he recommends. It is a benefit to go to the therapists who know the doc and work with that particular physician.
Yes he said surgery for a tear and the sooner the better. I am ok with that. I was taking a class i had to drop in November because my 22 year old son had a stroke and if I want to take it again this has to get fixed first. The issue I will have if its bursitis tendonitis is I cant take any NSAIDS, I had gastric bypass, I have an ulcer and I have barretts esophogus so they are absolutely on the no-no list. I did PT already and I know how integral it is post surgery.
Thank you so much for your advice. You basically just confirmed everything he said yesterday which is really comforting.
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Old 02-22-2019, 11:35 AM #7
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Default Re: Rotator cuff tear or surgery anyone?

Hello Sarahsweets, it sounds like you have a good doctor. Oh my no NSAIDS, I am sorry to learn of that since that can definitely be helpful. I wonder if the lidocaine pain patches might be helpful for you. Also if it is not a tear perhaps of the creams might be helpful as well. Becareful with heat or cold therapy I have seen too many patients that suffer from burns from abusing heating pads. Lastly, I am so sorry to learn of your son. I hope his recovery goes well.
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Old 02-23-2019, 06:39 PM #8
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Default Re: Rotator cuff tear or surgery anyone?

Hello sarahsweets. Ow, how bothersome!
Yes, I've had the RC surgery a number of years ago now and it was one of the best things I ever did! I had just come off a complicated surgical/PT/craziness post-surgical reconstroction, with much hardware, for a shattered L femur, and was weary at the very idea of having more orthopedic intervention. But (IMPORTANT!) I trusted and liked my ortho surgeon, and he said the RC was going to get worse. So I did it, did the PT faithfully, and haven't had much issue with it for the decade since!

Tears don't normally resolve by themselves, and repair is a godsend imo. Much luck to you

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Old 02-24-2019, 06:31 PM #9
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Default Re: Rotator cuff tear or surgery anyone?

Quote:
Tears don't normally resolve by themselves,
This is very true. Usually a tear will end up getting worse. I tore my ACL 5 years before my surgery. Another guy in therapy with me had torn his ACL 5 years earlier. When our ortho had done both of our surgeries the ACL had deteriorated in our knees & there was no ACL left by the time surgery was done. Interesting that it was a 5 year period for both of us. Better to get repairs done before the body & use of the joint makes the condition worse.
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Old 03-06-2019, 09:56 PM #10
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Default Re: Rotator cuff tear or surgery anyone?

Well guys I do have a torn rotator cuff and have to have part of my bicep reattached. And also a shoulder arthoscopy. I am scheduled for march 15. I would like recommendations on a good speech-to-text program or app that is free so I do not go crazy. My laptop is only 4 months old and I have windows 10. Its amazing that I was going to a specialist who was injecting me as if it was tendonitis and my primary suspected it and sent me to my ortho. Sometimes specialists are not that special. If anyone happens to wonder about me, please share.
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