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Discussion: Rotator Cuff Surgery

Posted Discussion
Nov. 29

651 posts
Between Vegas and Ft Meyers my right shoulder is gone. Have't been to the Doc yet-been rehabbing on my own. I got 2 choices-see the doc and do the surgery which probably will be recommended. Or, since I am somewhat ambidextrous, buy a left handed glove and finish out my years left handed.

My Question: for some of U who have had the surgery,looking back, was it worth it?

Nov. 30
Men's 60
166 posts
Gary I blew my throwing shoulder out at Vegas. Plan was to do arthroscopic surgery to repair the torn rotator cuff. I could swing a bat and golf club fine and everyday activities were fine. I could not throw a ball overhand more than 20 feet or so. When the doc did the surgery I ended up having a frayed labrum and bone spurs in addition to the torn rotator cuff so he had to open up the shoulder more than planned. The rehab was hard. Harder than knee replacement. Took 2 full years but shoulder now feels just as good as before. You have to do the rehab and do not do too much too early as you can really mess it up if you do. Best of luck. Missouri Dave
Nov. 30

409 posts
Having had both shoulders done, yes the rehab is hard but the surgery does work.
And even without playing ball, a torn rotator cuff can become a quality of life issue when you can no longer sleep on it due to the pain.
The doctors will tell you that the bigger the tear becomes over time the harder it is to repair and the less likely it is to be fully successful.
Good luck . . .
Nov. 30
Men's 70
1250 posts
Just had surgery on Monday. I will update you on progress. I was having limited mobility, left shoulder, not throwing arm. If I did not repair, I would have had to have a reverse replacement within 2 yrs. Just taking pain med to sleep, so far so good.
Nov. 30

62 posts
garyhelfner , just an FYI. If you torn your rotator cuff,you won’t be able to lift your arm to comb your hair without excruciating pain. Plus if you torn it and don’t take care of it,you will end up with what is called frozen shoulder.
Nov. 30
Men's 60
104 posts
I had rotator cuff surgery on my right (throwing) shoulder Sep 26. I injured it June 14 diving for a ball in the outfield, hitting the ground hard on my right shoulder, I knew immediately upon impact I was done. Couldn't lift my right arm, and drove 6 hours home using my left hand to reach over and shift gears on my manual transmission. The orthopedic surgeon who fixed my left shoulder 3 years earlier suggested I try physical therapy to strengthen the surrounding muscles, which I did for 2 and a half months. I could do most normal activities but couldn't throw or swing a bat.

My initial recovery after the Sep 26 surgery was far ahead of the curve, then on Nov 10 I felt a sharp pain as I applied a little extra force pushing on the nozzle to put air in my tires. It set me back about a month, and I hope it was just scar tissue with nothing important coming off one of the 4 plastic posts installed during surgery.

Bottom line is you have to keep up with your physical therapy exercises while being very careful at all times. Your arm will be in a sling for about 4 weeks, and most physical tasks which involve reaching or lifting heavy objects will be out of the question for a while.
Nov. 30
Men's 70
2416 posts
I have to throw this in for you. I had a tear in my right rotator cuff about 12 years ago. I could not throw a ball 10 feet except underhanded. My chiropractor had an ultrasound machine and asked me to let him give it a try before I went to surgery. He tested it and found the tear quickly-no doubt. He said if I went in 3 times a week and did the ultrasound for 6 minutes each time at the highest setting I could take painwise, that it would heal. It took a couple months, but the tolerance level went up and the settings went higher. I finally took the 6 minutes at the highest setting and he said, ok-go throw. About 6 throws and the pain was bad. He retested and said-just adhesions. Go throw. I did and have been pain free since and still have a pretty good arm for a 67 year old. It won't work for all, but just maybe somebody can get it to work like I did without surgery. good luck.
Nov. 30

69 posts
Gary, I had a completely different experience. At 78 years old, I fell off my bike on a wet railroad track and tore two tendons completely away from the bone.I could not lift my arm .I came on the message board at the time and inquired about the advisability of getting surgery. Many responders were very optimistic about the surgery and advised that I go ahead and get it done.. when I inquired on their ages....50, 49, 58... For those guys , they had 20 or 30 years left to possibly play ball. At 78, my decision was to rehab it on my own. I used rubber bands and weights and after three years or so, I can throw. Please note, although I can throw, it still is an 80 year old arm. It`s tough to throw someone out from deep short..The best to you Gary..It was just my two cents..
Nov. 30
Men's 65
2112 posts
Webbie still throws ten feet but now it's overhand.
Dec. 1
Men's 70
2416 posts
Darn, I didn't know anyone was measuring......
Dec. 1
Wayne 37
Men's 65
773 posts
Ever heard of a doctor?
Dec. 1

5 posts
Go to a good orthopedic surgeon at a major teaching hospital and have it evaluated
I had two shoulder replacements 3 years apart and was back playing with the non throwing shoulder in 6mos. I had throwing shoulder replaced in January and was playing in May,4 mos.Could swing with no pain or problem but very limited throwing. Now at 10 mos and can throw 60-75 feet with no pain. Slowly returning, a good surgeon and following therapy protocol is the key. Everyone is different, pain tolerance etc. I will tell you this , I had rotator cuff surgery and two shoulder replacements were easier and less pain.
Dec. 2
Men's 65
221 posts
I had rotator cuff surgery along with relocating my biceps tendon and cleaning up some bone spurs 5 years ago on my right (throwing) shoulder. It only hurt when I threw and I could hit and do everyday activities with no problems. Like you, I thought about becoming a left-hander...for one day! I researched it a little and realized that I would have to do thousands of throws to make throwing left-handed seem natural. You know, that whole 10,000 hours of practice thing!

After the surgery and rehab, the pain went away when throwing. The one problem I have had is that I think it is too tight and I have limited external rotation when I cock my arm to throw a ball which limits the distance I can throw from the edge of the dirt at 3rd to first. Fortunately, I have old slow guys running to 1st base!

Good luck with whatever decision you make.
Dec. 2
Men's 55
286 posts
I had Major Laser Rotator cuff, Labebum and Bicep repair in 2017, It took almost 18 months of rehad before I saw a different in my throwing arm, without any pain... If i had to do it all over again I would choose the Stem Cell Process....I had STEM CELL knee repair in mid November 2019. 1 hour office visit and a shot and i'm already running around like I was 25...So my advise would be to check out the STEM Cell process as well as the old regular way of fixing ourselves, surgery with a year's down time...
Dec. 2
Omar Khayyam

1357 posts
I had rotator cuff surgery three years ago on non-throwing arm. During a short rehab (3 months) I was charting batters for my tournament team and running as a rabbit for my league team and occasionally toward the end for my tournament team. Had a highly recommended orthopedic surgeon and followed directions exactly (although he didn't say I could run a week after surgery—I didn't ask him!).
July 25

2 posts
Ive had 2 cuff tears repaired. Now Ive got a new cuff injury. Doc says I need reverse shoulder replacement. Has anyone had this done and able to adequately throw again?
July 28

5 posts

I have had 5 major reconstructions of my shoulders, two on the left and three on the right. Recently as of March 5th 2020 on my throwing arm, I have a tremendous surgeon in Doctor Demarco Mt Pleasant SC. I was playing 50+ Major for Atlanta Monarchs/Miken (Eurskine Manager). I Can tell you with absolute certainty My throwing is completely gone and I will never be better than 40% with my right arm and never better than 50% with my left arm.
The good to getting back to playing at any level is I can still hit very well and I can throw underhand very well. I also though about transitioning to play as a lefty but didn't make the move to switch. I will begin to play league ball for the fall league in August and our higher level of play and can only play Pitcher, Catcher or DH....

I wish you a great recovery!!!!
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