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Discussion: rotator cuff surgery re attachment of the supraspinatus

Posted Discussion
Dec. 8

34 posts
I know there are guys out there that have had this surgery. what was your recovery time? and what pit falls did you incur or what do I need try and avoid on rehabbing so that I will be ready to play at a 100% when I come back.
Dec. 8
Men's 70
516 posts
Not sure if my injuries were exactly the same as yours, but I have had rotator cuff surgery on both shoulders. Right (throwing arm) at 54 and left at 65. The right was somewhat more invasive as revealed by the two inch scar vs. three little holes for the left.

For the right shoulder, I had the surgery New Year's Eve and was playing in late June. My arm was still very weak, but I was cleared to play. It took nearly a year for me to get back to full strength. I rehabbed hard! Three PT sessions a week for about 12 weeks + 30 minute home sessions every morning and evening and continuing after the formal PT was over. The good news was, once fully recovered, I felt my arm was stronger than before the surgery. I'm going on 18 years now and no more problems.

With the left, non-throwing arm, the recovery time was about the same (surgery in Feb, played the first of August. The rehab was similar, but the non-throwing arm was a little less critical.

I felt after two or three PT sessions that the therapist was taking it easy, possibly because of my age. I challenged him to treat me the same way he would a young athlete who was eager to get back to his sport. He accepted the challenge and we had some pretty "vigorous" sessions, with him even inventing some new exercises specifically of my situation.

Good luck with your surgery.
Dec. 8

69 posts
tc4whir. I`m 78 years old and tore my supraspinatus and infraspinatus completely from the bone. I chose not to have the surgery because of the rehab time and pain that would be associated with the operation, plus the consideration of the time left to play this game we love. Upon weighing all the personal factors I reached that decision. Now after nine months of personal rehab,I was able to throw a rubber ball against the wall at full speed. Thinking I was good to go, I played second base in a practice game and on a double play ball threw to first. There was pain and in the next inning, the opportunity arose again, this time there was great pain where the tendon should have been attached. Needless to say, the arm is not strong enough yet. Will I ever be able to throw? We will see. If I were younger, the decision would have been different. The best of luck to you.
Dec. 8

42 posts
My rotator cuff tendons completely detached from the bone (humerus) on my throwing arm, I had bone spurs that rubbed on the rotator cuff tendon that contributed to weakening of the tendon, and a torn labrum that acts like a gasket to help hold the ball of your arm bone securely within the socket.

I had the surgery at 58 years old (64 now). After the surgery (it was painful), I couldn’t lift my right hand without help from my left hand. I couldn’t lay horizontally for a several weeks after the surgery because it felt like someone was pushing an ice pick into my shoulder – it was a blessing finally lay down in my bed and get some sleep. It took a while for me to be able to sleep on my right side.

The surgeon warned me that even if I felt good, not to push it. He told me a story of a patient that felt good and decided to play golf 3 months after the surgery. He said the patient swung the club at the golf ball and the face of the club hit the ground causing in the rotator cuff snapping. As a result, he got the privilege of re-experiencing the surgery procedure and recovery from the beginning.

I started PT (was painful) the following week after the surgery and continued for 8 weeks (2 times/week). I also performed daily exercises (stretching, elastic bands…) on my own at home. I was fortunate my therapist was a baseball pitcher and he said it would take a year to be at 100%. Well, I guess because I’m older it took me 1 ½ years before I felt I was at 100%.

He stated swinging a bat wouldn’t be an issue early in the recovery cycle but my throwing ability would be limited. He warned me to be careful throwing the ball too hard/early as I could reinjure the shoulder (didn’t want to relive that pain again) because the tissues soft and are still healing.

I began playing catch (approx. 10-20 feet) with my wife after 2 months. I began throwing a tennis ball (25% effort) at a wall (40 throws increasing – over time - to 100 throws per day) 7-days a week. As I began to feel more comfortable, I would begin to increase the speed (25%, 50%, 75%) and back up approximately 10 feet – this was over many months.

I played in a tournament about 4 months after surgery. Swing the bat was okay but I could tell I didn’t have the strength/power I had prior to the injury. Also, I didn’t throw the ball hard (lobs and relays). I began lifting light weights (5 lbs.), push-ups (5), and other exercises at 4 months and slowly increased the weight and repetitions.

I feel that I'm at 100% believe I can throw the ball just as hard as I did before the surgery – time and patience.
Dec. 8
Men's 60
166 posts
tc4whir, I had a completely torn rotator cuff. The plan was to fix via scope. When they went in I also had a frayed labrum and three bone spurs. So they had to open me up and then did the fix. My experience was very similar to the other posters. I had mine done in Nov 2012. The doc let me hit in the TOC that Feb but I could only throw underhand. I did all of the PT plus other work post PT. First year was difficult. Second year was better and felt completely normal the third year. Do all of the PT and as one poster said, do not go too fast. Best of luck. P.S. When I called my teammates and told them that I could hit at the TOC, the response was where could they have this miracle surgery since I was not a good hitter before!
Dec. 9
mad dog
Men's 65
4191 posts
completely tore my left rotator (non-throwing arm)and was swinging a bat after about 3 months..after second surgery (feb 98)...didn't wear my wrap (after first sugery) for sleeping one night and retore it in my sleep....doc not to happy....b/c of that doc tighten my shoulder up for the second surgery....i still have problems going above my head to catch balls that are reaction pain just no reaction up there....recovery is slow .......
Dec. 11

34 posts
thanks guys for all of help, the re-occurring theme I see that is my achilles heel "is take your time and don't push it". If I can conquer this I will be okay, thanks again
Dec. 11

10 posts
Tore my rotator cuff and bicep tendon in April and had surgery in June. Therapy for 2 months and still at home. I would say I am 95%. Worked up to throwing from about 120 feet but still don't have throwing strength. Pain free except can't put my arm behind my back with out a pull but doctor said that would be the last to come around. Hope to be 100% by February. Good luck with your recovery.
Butch Barber ---- #28 Centex 65s
Dec. 11

34 posts
thanks guys for all of help, the re-occurring theme I see that is my achilles heel "is take your time and don't push it". If I can conquer this I will be okay, thanks again
Dec. 19
Men's 60
218 posts
tc4whir, I've had 2 surgeries on left shoulder and it is great and 5 shoulder surgeries on throwing right arm. Last one being a replacement because the rotator cuff was irrepairable so I had the reverse shoulder replacement. Just so you know the surgery makes you feel great at 4 months but be careful cause that's when everyone tears it again. In my case the pain so so strong I did the replacement was my only option to get rid of the pain. As of right now 20 weeks out of surgery I can make the throwing motion with little to no pain. My only thing is be patient and do the work after.
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