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Anyone had rotator cuff surgery?

Discussion in 'Anything goes' started by OnTheRiver, Dec 20, 2007.

  1. OnTheRiver

    OnTheRiver Active Member

    On doctor's advice, I've been doing physical therapy for about a month now, with no success, in trying to rid myself of some shoulder pain that'd become more "on" than "off" over the past couple of years.

    Basically, the physical therapy's worked great for making it feel good when I'm doing anything but baseball (I like to throw in the backyard with my neighbor, even during the fall and winter; we both play in one of those adult baseball leagues) or anything else that requires over-the-shoulder motion.

    Still, went out and tried to throw again earlier this week, and the pain came back within just a few minutes. Went to the MRI place, and I've got a tear in the rotator cuff.

    Doctor said I've got options -- if I want it repaired, they can do surgery (he said there's a better-than-decent chance they can get this one arthroscopically), and no ball for 8-10 months, minimum.

    I can also just keep doing the therapy, give it a ton of rest, not play next spring and summer, and see what happens.

    So my question to the gallery: Has anyone had a rotator cuff tear repaired surgically? How'd it go? Given the chance to do it all over again, would you?
  2. three_bags_full

    three_bags_full Well-Known Member

    I've never had the surgery, but an uncle just underwent the procedure -- not arthroscopically -- and he's going to be down for a couple of months. He complained this weekend of a good bit of pain and couldn't shake hands with his right (which was kind of funny).

    I've never had any type of surgery, other than stitches after a dog bite, but I wouldn't hesitate to go under the knife. You can have six weeks of pain and play ball next spring, or keep taking the PT, which is costing you a ton of time, if you look at it, not play next summer and still not be healed.

    I'm takin' the surgery.
  3. qtlaw

    qtlaw Well-Known Member

    I did not have a cuff tear but instability/dislocation problems and have had 2 operations on my shoulder (left, from diving for baseballs, need one on my right now).

    How old are you? If you are under 40, I'd say go for the surgery. Problem will likely get cleaned up and you have plenty of time to get well for the rest of your life.

    Problem with shoulders are the timeline for returning are very slow. However, my shoulder is stronger now than before because the rehab really helped the whole area around the shoulder (you need the rehab because with your arm in a sling, atrophy starts).

    When I was young (28 and 30), the rehab sucked but it wasn't too bad because I was single and could make it.

    Good luck.
  4. Editude

    Editude Active Member

    I had the same option a few years back after years of playing shortstop. I chose rehab rather than surgery, and after several months I got my shoulder back to about 90 percent. I also chose to give up baseball and turned to more adventurous ways to challenge myself. I agree that surgery is a better option if you're younger and it's a rupture rather than a tear.
  5. STLIrish

    STLIrish Active Member

    Like qt, I didn't have a rotator cuff tear but rather a torn labrum and shoulder dislocating problems in each. Had surgery on both of them when I was in college. Also, Mrs. Irish is a physical therapist, so it's like I slept at a Holiday Inn Express last night.
    If you've got something torn in there, it's really hard to make a shoulder better through therapy alone, at least better to the point where you can throw overhead effectively without pain and without risking further injury. If you're young-ish, I'd say go for the surgery, do the post-surgical PT right, and get it over with.
    When I had mine (10 years ago now), I was in a sling for a week or two, then in PT for a couple of months, and now as long as I keep them in shape my shoulders don't give me any trouble. I can't throw quite as well as I used to, but still good enough. I'd do it again. But those first couple of days afterward hurt like mad.
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