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Rotator Cuff Surgery

Discussion in 'Off Topic [BG]' started by Texan, Aug 5, 2013.

  1. Texan

    Texan 667 Neighbor of the Beast.

    Aug 15, 2004
    Houston, TX
    I've had pain and nice crunching sounds in my shoulder for years, cortisone shots no longer help. Today, I finally went to an Orthopedic Surgeon and was told that I will probably need surgery to repair my rotator cuff. Of course this is pending the MRI which should be this week to confirm the Dr's suspicions of a severe injury.

    Has anyone had this surgery? Any issues after the recovery time? Anything to watch out for?

    I don't want to have this surgery, but the pain is getting worse and I can't ignore it anymore.

    Thanks in advance.
  2. bluesblaster


    Jan 2, 2008
    well you have my sympathies, I understand its a whole lot of no fun
  3. Texan

    Texan 667 Neighbor of the Beast.

    Aug 15, 2004
    Houston, TX
    This is not what I wanted hear...I'm worried about nerve damage and lack of pain killers.
  4. MJ5150

    MJ5150 Terrific Twister

    Apr 12, 2001
    Lacey, WA
    My wife had the procedure. It was painful for a few days following the procedure, so stay in front of the "pain curve" as they call it. Follow all the post surgery instructions and rehab as they prescribe. In the long run, my wife is happy she had the procedure. But she didn't feel that way for about a week afterwards. :)

  5. Monkey

    Monkey Supporting Member

    Mar 8, 2000
    Ohio, USA
    I'm with you, Texan....

    I'm scheduled to have the very same surgery next Thursday. I had been having pain for about nine months or so, then took a bad fall in May while on a trip to Paris, where I landed with all my weight on my elbow of that same arm. This only made the pain worse, so after x-rays and an MRI, the doc suggested the surgery. Technically, I'm having rotator cuff decompression and lateral clavicle resection.

    One of my biggest gigs of the year, a big outdoor reggae festival in my city, is two weeks after my surgery and I had hoped to play it, but everyone I've talked to who has had the surgery told me that I wouldn't be up for it. So, I reluctantly told my band leader I needed to bow out and he should get a sub. Broke my heart....

    I wish you the best of luck with your surgery. I'm going to try and stick to the rehab plan and get back to playing as soon as I can. I hope you can do the same.
  6. Texan

    Texan 667 Neighbor of the Beast.

    Aug 15, 2004
    Houston, TX
    I wish you the best of luck too. Mine is from 38 years of playing hard...Baseball, surfing, fighting, military, you name it. I have very little strength left in my shoulder, it hurts to drink coffee!. I should have had it taken care of years ago, but I chose cortisone injections instead. Bad mistake.
  7. I know a 26 yr old female who has had to get rotary cuff surgery from years of softball playing, she was a pitcher. She doesn't have any problems now. Good luck dude.
    PS, when they ask you what is your pain threshold on a scale of 1 to 10, tell them 8 so that you can get the good stuff.
  8. placedesjardins


    May 7, 2012
    I had a torn labrum that was fixed with arthroscopic surgery. I was taking cortisone shots maybe once a year and trying to let it heal. Then, I would weight lift. A couple months would go by and then the pain would come back.
    Then, it got really bad after one workout. When there was a click sound from moving my arm with a certain motion while sitting at my desk at work, it would hurt really bad and I had to stay still until the pain subsided.
    It took a couple months of rehab and stretching, but it was worth it. It's pain free now.
    You will want to follow the doctor's rehab and recovery instructions. If he say no weight resistance exercises for four months, then don't do it. If he says, do these six exercises every day, do it every day.
    Let the doctor know what you do, work and hobbies. He may recommend things specific for you, like no baseball for x number of months or no heavy lifting at work until x number of months.
  9. buzzbass

    buzzbass Shoo Shoo Retarded Flu ! Supporting Member

    Apr 23, 2003
    Just had a torn rotator & torn bicep repaired last tuesday. This is my 2nd time for both injuries. PM me, I'll give you my number if you want to get some 1st hand experience
  10. Texan

    Texan 667 Neighbor of the Beast.

    Aug 15, 2004
    Houston, TX
    This sounds a good deal like mine. My shoulder clicks when I drink coffee or move my shoulder at all. And it is painful.
  11. placedesjardins


    May 7, 2012
    The MRI will tell you what's really wrong.
    I always thought I had bursitis. After the MRI, the doctor pointed out the torn labrum, plus I had a bunch of cartilege that was chewed up and beginning stages of osteoarthritis.

    If after the click, it feels like Mike Tyson hit you with the hardest punch in a one-inch area where the click occurred, then you'll probably want to go with surgery.
  12. Texan

    Texan 667 Neighbor of the Beast.

    Aug 15, 2004
    Houston, TX
    Its not that bad, there is not always pain after the click, but when there is pain, its almost like a cramp.

    The imaging place is dragging their feet. They are claiming that they are waiting approval from the insurance company, but I know for a fact that my insurance does not require preapprovals.
  13. Jeff K

    Jeff K Supporting Member

    Jul 9, 2005
    Memphis, TN
    I've had the surgery on both shoulders, several years apart. The first one was horrible. The second, not as bad.

    I used to do 100 push-ups and sit-ups every morning. One Sunday morning, I was running late for church, so I was doing them faster than I usually do. All of a sudden, I felt something snap in my right shoulder and I collapsed in pain.

    Drove to the only doctor in my HMO open that day. (No small task, since I was driving a stick with a useless right arm). He said, "You probably sprained something. Come back in two weeks if it still bothers you." I said, "It's not a sprain. I felt something snap. It's bad. I need an MRI." Being an HMO doc, he refused. Probably because I wasn't squealing and crying like a little kid. Finally, about a week later, I DEMANDED an MRI. They relented and scheduled one (about another week later). Meanwhile, I can't use my arm.

    I get a call from the MRI people saying, "You need surgery ASAP!" I said, "Gee, why didn't I think of that?!" :rollno:

    The surgeon said it was an 11 on a scale of 1-10 for difficulty. He had to drill holes in the bone in my upper arm and my shoulder, then tie it all back together with some kind of laces. I was in some kind of pain for a long time (before and after). Took nearly a year until I was back to normal again. Fortunately, the left shoulder wasn't nearly as bad. If I can help it, I'll never have an HMO again in my life...
  14. Best wishes to you guys have this surgery. I go in tomorrow for bicep tendon reconstruction.
  15. I had rotator cuff surgery on my left shoulder in 2005, took awhile to heal but I'm better than new now.

    However I did not yet play bass. I am a photojournalist and injured it many years prior but waited to get the surgery until I couldn't stand the pain anymore!

    Definitely, first and foremost, get one of those NASCAR looking recirculating ice pack devices and keep ice on that baby after your surgery. For a week. It will speed up your recovery and reduce pain from swelling.

    Mine was like a thermos filled with water and ice with a handbulb to distribute coldness.

    Do the exercises and start out slow and smooth with them but do not miss exercises or physical therapy.

    Take the pain meds before you need them. Then take em until you don't need em (10 days till I could throttle back on the pain medicine and people at work were bugging me for extras!).

    Go online and get a nice looking arm sling because the official one they give you will suck after the first week.

    I WAS able to do most things after about 1.5 weeks, but more slowly, and I steadily improved for months.

    Honestly, I think I wasn't 100% for 6 months but there is no question I needed the rotator cuff surgery because I couldn't even hold my cameras up to my face beforehand.

    No longterm nerve damage but yes, the pain shot I received immediately before surgery numbed part of my neck and face for three months. They said it was rare and would disappear and it did. Bruised a nerve or something.

    I'm not sure how it would affect a professional bassist but as a professional photojournalist I knew I had to get that arthroscopic rotator cuff surgery, or else, and I have no regrets.

    Hope it goes well for you (and several others on this thread), and hit me up for specifics if needed.
  16. adivin


    Jul 9, 2009
    New Orleans, LA
    How ironic, I had the surgery done just today! I'm laying in bed writing this with one arm. I had no choice, I had a tear and it would only get worse. Do not put it off. This is one muscle group that will not come back if it starts to atrophy.

    PM. Me
  17. BassDoc51


    Dec 20, 2011
    Fairborn, OH
    I had it done in 2001. It was a perfect excuse to stay in the recliner, sleeping and watching television for a week. The Valium and Percocet were an added bonus too. If they tell you they're doing a nerve block for the pain, do not leave without a prescription for pain meds. That thing wears off in about 4 hours.
  18. Good luck in your recovery, Fuzzy Beard and Adivin.
  19. If you are told to take Ibuprofin, PLEASE PLEASE PLEASE ask for Nabumetone. It is more effective and it'll be okay on your stomach, liver, kidneys, and pancreas.

    Oh- and regarding pain meds, Percocet is nice, but try to get just Oxycodone, the active ingredient. Percocet has Tylenol. Roxicodone does not. Don't kill your organs to save your shoulder,
  20. MrLenny1


    Jan 17, 2009
    I'm living with atrophy of the ulner nerve, left arm.
    Lots of pain, hurts to play bass. Lots of pain killers.
    Get the surgery & hopefully get relief
    and no pain killers.