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View Full Version : Shoulder Surgery Was It Worth It???


larry10s
03-28-2010, 01:41 PM
in retrospect are you glad you did it???
knowing how you ended up would you still do it or put it off as long as possible?

waves2ya
03-28-2010, 02:43 PM
depends on your presentation...

if you are subluxating and can't sleep (pain) and want to do 'stuff' with your shoulder - and can be patient, and find the right surgeon - and are a wee bit lucky....

it's worth it.

BMC9670
04-05-2010, 04:35 PM
In my extensive research leading up to my surgery, this question came up a lot, and it's natural and relevant. In most cases, including my own, the answer is usually yes, it's worth it. This is usually AFTER all other methods of treatment are exhausted.

For me, a I waited a year after an MRI showed a partial RC tear. Did therapy and it got to about 80%. I then played tennis while continuing my PT, warming up well before, icing down after, the whole bit. I didn't have a lot of pain, but started to notice a marked and steady decline in strength. I then had a second MRI, with dye injected, and it showed the RC tear plus a SLAP tear. Two different surgeons told me it would not heal without surgery. So after talking to several players who had similar surgery, I went ahead with it.

I'm now 4 months out from surgery and I'll admit, I have questioned my decision many, many times in the last 4 months. It's a tough road. But, with every passing week, I feel less pain, more strength, and have started hitting light groundies again. My doc says I'm on track for a full recovery at around 8 months. The key in keeping me sane was a surgeon who can communicate well and being diligent with rehab.

So, while it was not an easy decision and continues to be a long road back, I'm now glad I'm past it and looking forward to playing without pain or weakness.

Good luck.

larry10s
04-05-2010, 04:50 PM
In my extensive research leading up to my surgery, this question came up a lot, and it's natural and relevant. In most cases, including my own, the answer is usually yes, it's worth it. This is usually AFTER all other methods of treatment are exhausted.

For me, a I waited a year after an MRI showed a partial RC tear. Did therapy and it got to about 80%. I then played tennis while continuing my PT, warming up well before, icing down after, the whole bit. I didn't have a lot of pain, but started to notice a marked and steady decline in strength. I then had a second MRI, with dye injected, and it showed the RC tear plus a SLAP tear. Two different surgeons told me it would not heal without surgery. So after talking to several players who had similar surgery, I went ahead with it.

I'm now 4 months out from surgery and I'll admit, I have questioned my decision many, many times in the last 4 months. It's a tough road. But, with every passing week, I feel less pain, more strength, and have started hitting light groundies again. My doc says I'm on track for a full recovery at around 8 months. The key in keeping me sane was a surgeon who can communicate well and being diligent with rehab.

So, while it was not an easy decision and continues to be a long road back, I'm now glad I'm past it and looking forward to playing without pain or weakness.

Good luck.

how long before the pain was tolerable??? how long until you could use the operated arm a little bit?

basil J
04-05-2010, 05:05 PM
I had my shoulder done a year ago this month and I am torn about the results. I have a greater range of motion and less pain, but because he removed so much Cartiladge, my shoulder is unstable and I have lost alot of zip on my strokes. I am okay with slow movements like weightlifting, but fast movements like serving or throwing, I find that I just don't have the zip I once had. I now get sore in the back of my shoulder, where I never had any pain, so I am spending more time on stretching and rear delt movements, but all in all my surgeon told me to be happy. I have a shoulder of a 70 year old and will probably need complete replacement within the next few years. I play decent 4.0 tennis but have lost my weapons and rely on fitness and finishing at the net more now than I used to. Ironically, If I don't play tennis, my arm for the most part is great. I got the surgery done so I could continue playing tennis. Go figure....

drak
04-05-2010, 07:24 PM
what I've learned is that results are very different for so many, even with similar problems. Bottom line is that it is somewhat of a crap shoot, I was very lucky and so far am 100% and had very little pain after the first few weeks, even during rehab. I felt the risk was worth it since the pain when I has serving was getting worse and worse, I tried other options but when the MRI showed a full RC tear and bone spurs and a Slap tear if I wanted to really play tennis again the risk was worth it to me. I had also made up my mind before the surgery that if this did not work I'd likely hang it up and do other things. And frankly even after with my relatively "easy" recovery it's was still a ***** and I don't want to do that again. So I will enjoy my tennis I have now as much as i can and for as long as I can, if it crops up again and becomes chronic a will likely wish tennis a fond farewell.

Drak

larry10s
04-06-2010, 03:30 AM
what I've learned is that results are very different for so many, even with similar problems. Bottom line is that it is somewhat of a crap shoot, I was very lucky and so far am 100% and had very little pain after the first few weeks, even during rehab. I felt the risk was worth it since the pain when I has serving was getting worse and worse, I tried other options but when the MRI showed a full RC tear and bone spurs and a Slap tear if I wanted to really play tennis again the risk was worth it to me. I had also made up my mind before the surgery that if this did not work I'd likely hang it up and do other things. And frankly even after with my relatively "easy" recovery it's was still a ***** and I don't want to do that again. So I will enjoy my tennis I have now as much as i can and for as long as I can, if it crops up again and becomes chronic a will likely wish tennis a fond farewell.

Drak

so it was worth it maybe since you wouldnt do it again??

BMC9670
04-06-2010, 05:14 AM
how long before the pain was tolerable??? how long until you could use the operated arm a little bit?

I never had a great deal of pain. I had heard horror stories and maybe I was lucky, but I had the nerve block for the surgery, which lasts through the first night. After that I took the pain meds for two days and stopped because they made me sick. After that I used Tylenol, but not even much of that. Lots of ice does the trick.

At about 8 weeks I felt everyday living was normal again with no lifting anything or sports, of course, but driving, working (a desk job), etc. Sometimes I would even forget that I had surgery.

It still hurts at the extremes of the range of motion and I'm still working on getting strength back, but looking back, the pain was not the hard part. I had a hard time being confined to the sling in the first 4 weeks and sleeping in bed was hard. I slept in a recliner for 8 weeks, but slept fairly well.

I've also heard that 40 is sort-of a cut-off age for a lot of things: fast vs. long recovery, percentage to return to sport, etc. I'm 39 and fit, and it seems to be going well. That is another reason I didn't put it off, say, another 5 years. Now that I'm hitting light tennis strokes, and with no pain, I feel much more optimistic.

drak
04-06-2010, 05:21 AM
so it was worth it maybe since you wouldnt do it again??

It was extensive surgery and a very long recovery, if not for tennis I would not have had it done as I had no pain besides when I played tennis. Given what I had done, and that I'm 54, I think if I had to have another surgery my "odds" of recovering fully and then being able to play tennis at 100% again would be much lower - hence I would not likely do it again unless I had pain all the time and surgery would remedy that.

Drak

drak
04-06-2010, 05:24 AM
"I've also heard that 40 is sort-of a cut-off age for a lot of things: fast vs. long recovery, percentage to return to sport, etc. I'm 39 and fit, and it seems to be going well. That is another reason I didn't put it off, say, another 5 years. Now that I'm hitting light tennis strokes, and with no pain, I feel much more optimistic"

I don't know about that, I was 53 when I had it done and my recovery time was as good or better than most and I've had a full recovery with no probs at all. Maybe lucky but I also take good care of myself and followed all rehab to the letter.

Robbnc
04-06-2010, 05:42 AM
I had it done at 49 and recovered fast, and mine was not arthroscopic, it was full split deltoid. I'm 54 now and I've been playing ever since.

KenC
04-06-2010, 05:48 AM
"I've also heard that 40 is sort-of a cut-off age for a lot of things: fast vs. long recovery, percentage to return to sport, etc....

That is so true. I have always been physically fit and kept the weight down, do a lot of mountain biking, cross country skiing, long day hikes in the Alps but the day I turned 40 it all changed. Tennis elbow at 43, trigger finger at 45, muscle pulls that would have never happened before, shin splints, little wrist and ankle problems that take days to go away, cuts and bruises take longer to heal, and the list goes on. I still do everything possible to get as much exercise as I can but the body just takes longer to recover and isn't as flexible and strong as it was in my 20's. It sucks having the energy of a 20 yo old and the body of a 45 yo.

As for the OP, I just had trigger finger surgery on my dominant hand, a relatively simple operation. They said in 2 weeks I would be back on the courts. It's now exactly three and the finger still hurts enough that I am afraid to start banging balls again. I had no choice as they told me it would never heal and would eventually get worse. Better to tackle it earlier than later.

drak
04-06-2010, 05:53 AM
That is so true. I have always been physically fit and kept the weight down, do a lot of mountain biking, cross country skiing, long day hikes in the Alps but the day I turned 40 it all changed. Tennis elbow at 43, trigger finger at 45, muscle pulls that would have never happened before, shin splints, little wrist and ankle problems that take days to go away, cuts and bruises take longer to heal, and the list goes on. I still do everything possible to get as much exercise as I can but the body just takes longer to recover and isn't as flexible and strong as it was in my 20's. It sucks having the energy of a 20 yo old and the body of a 45 yo.

As for the OP, I just had trigger finger surgery on my dominant hand, a relatively simple operation. They said in 2 weeks I would be back on the courts. It's now exactly three and the finger still hurts enough that I am afraid to start banging balls again. I had no choice as they told me it would never heal and would eventually get worse. Better to tackle it earlier than later.

I've had the same injury thing goin on since 40, 3 arthroscopic knee surgeries, lots of muscle pulls and a nagging back that I do lots of exercise and stretching for. If you want to play hard tennis it takes a toll on an aging body, but it's worth it for me. However, while healing may take a little longer, my shoulder and others have come back 100% over the age of 50! And I had a full RC tear with two screws needed to reattach, slap tear, two bone spurs.
Bottom line is one only has surgery when needed, but just because one is 50 or older that is not necessarily a bad omen IMO.

larry10s
04-06-2010, 07:18 AM
i appreciate everyones input. keep it coming:). im 56 full tear supraspinatus. still playing tennis not 100% strength but minimal discomfort. still ambivalent on what to do. the docs recommend fix it now.

FastFreddy
04-06-2010, 08:57 AM
I had my right done in 1996 and my left done in 1999. Now I will get my right done for a 2nd time this May 11, 2010. It does take a very good Doctor and PT for 15 weeks and full recover for me was 8 months. For me it was worth every dollar no dull pain, good night's sleep and full rom you can't put a price on that. All 3 of mine were tears in my cuff, bone spurs so I recovered 100 percent, I can't speak for the guys with slap tears.

BMC9670
04-06-2010, 10:12 AM
Bottom line is one only has surgery when needed, but just because one is 50 or older that is not necessarily a bad omen IMO.

I didn't mean to imply that success rates for surgery after 40 are bad. Both OS I saw said that success rates are quite high at most any age. They did both mention the 40 year old mark more to let me know that recovery is generally slower than for younger people. The message I got was "don't wait, cuz it ain't going to get easier."

Drak, I read your long post with danlalane before I had my surgery and your story was encouraging. He didn't fair as well, but seems to be doing better now.

drak
04-06-2010, 10:17 AM
I didn't mean to imply that success rates for surgery after 40 are bad. Both OS I saw said that success rates are quite high at most any age. They did both mention the 40 year old mark more to let me know that recovery is generally slower than for younger people. The message I got was "don't wait, cuz it ain't going to get easier."

Drak, I read your long post with danlalane before I had my surgery and your story was encouraging. He didn't fair as well, but seems to be doing better now.

Thx for explanation. Haven't hear anything form Danalane lately, I hope he is playing again and finally 100%?

Drak

basil J
04-06-2010, 10:28 AM
I am 49, had mine done at 48 and recovered very quickly, but never got back to 100%. maybe 80%, but like others if I don't play tennis, I have no issues at all. i was back on the court in less than 3 months and serving at 5 months and my progress form 6 months to now has been minimal. Dan and I hit every week. he is still not 100% but he is finally serving and his range of motion has improved significantly.

drak
04-06-2010, 10:37 AM
I am 49, had mine done at 48 and recovered very quickly, but never got back to 100%. maybe 80%, but like others if I don't play tennis, I have no issues at all. i was back on the court in less than 3 months and serving at 5 months and my progress form 6 months to now has been minimal. Dan and I hit every week. he is still not 100% but he is finally serving and his range of motion has improved significantly.

I'm curious, would you do it again given your results? and do you think Danalane would (he had to have another as I recall)?

basil J
04-06-2010, 03:22 PM
I cannot speak for Dan. He is alot younger than me ( mid 30's) and he had some unfortunate challenges he had to deal with right after he had surgery with an ice storm and no electricity for the first week after his surgery. I am sure that had a real negaitive impact on his recovery.
I on the other hand was replacing lightbulbs 4 days after surgery. I would probably do it again, but If I could do it over, I probably would not be so eager to get back on the court, opting to let my shoulder heal for a full 6 months before even thinking about hitting a ball. I think I hurt my progress more than helped it because I felt so good so quick.

larry10s
04-06-2010, 04:31 PM
^^^^^^ good stuff guys. keep it coming all of you guys out there that have been thru this

GZim
04-08-2010, 04:33 AM
In my extensive research leading up to my surgery, this question came up a lot, and it's natural and relevant. In most cases, including my own, the answer is usually yes, it's worth it. This is usually AFTER all other methods of treatment are exhausted.

For me, a I waited a year after an MRI showed a partial RC tear. Did therapy and it got to about 80%. I then played tennis while continuing my PT, warming up well before, icing down after, the whole bit. I didn't have a lot of pain, but started to notice a marked and steady decline in strength. I then had a second MRI, with dye injected, and it showed the RC tear plus a SLAP tear. Two different surgeons told me it would not heal without surgery. So after talking to several players who had similar surgery, I went ahead with it.

I'm now 4 months out from surgery and I'll admit, I have questioned my decision many, many times in the last 4 months. It's a tough road. But, with every passing week, I feel less pain, more strength, and have started hitting light groundies again. My doc says I'm on track for a full recovery at around 8 months. The key in keeping me sane was a surgeon who can communicate well and being diligent with rehab.

So, while it was not an easy decision and continues to be a long road back, I'm now glad I'm past it and looking forward to playing without pain or weakness.

Good luck.

I am 5 weeks Post Op (I've posted the details of my full tear 4 anchors, 2 bone spurs here in a few other threads) and I still think I made the right choice, even though it has been a very tuff time for me. The dull ache just won't stop and makes sleep really difficult tho it is slowly improving. ROM is increasing, and I remain hopeful.
Best of lucky with your decision, and as you know, if you are going to have the surgery, the sooner the better as more abuse only makes the recovery more difficult.

Gary

waves2ya
04-08-2010, 06:13 PM
Keeping a journal helps a lot; keep bad days from robbing your good...

Hard to see progress/watch paint dry/grass grow...

Track med's, sleep, progress - vent some...

larry10s
04-09-2010, 03:32 AM
I am 5 weeks Post Op (I've posted the details of my full tear 4 anchors, 2 bone spurs here in a few other threads) and I still think I made the right choice, even though it has been a very tuff time for me. The dull ache just won't stop and makes sleep really difficult tho it is slowly improving. ROM is increasing, and I remain hopeful.
Best of lucky with your decision, and as you know, if you are going to have the surgery, the sooner the better as more abuse only makes the recovery more difficult.

Gary

gary your posts are starting to be more positive:). hopefully each will get better and your over the worst patch.
saw another orthopod. his perspective. surgery is usually indicated when pain and or inability to function is significant and conservative measures(ie physical therapy, maybe cortisone shot ,etc) have failed. to him i do not fall in that category. so surgery is not mandatory at this time.HOWEVER,he did say things will probably progress over time and i shouldnt wait until the muscle atrophies and retracts.
so its still the same dilemma but today im leaning to postpone the surgery.we'll see how i feel tommorrow.

GZim
04-09-2010, 05:40 AM
Larry, thanks for taking note.
Yesterday we sent the medical recliner rental back, so now I have to sleep in bed and that is slowly getting better. In PT yesterday she was able to raise my arm to 140 degrees in front, 120 out to the side, 50 degrees of internal rotation and 40 of external, so I am progressing in every way. Still have a deep ache but only taking Tylenol, which does not take it way.
So I have progress in every way, but I really long to be pain free when at rest ...
My surgery was not mandatory, but needed, and being in a very similar position to you, I was too concerned about playing another season, especially in the outdoor season when I play 4x a week with 3-4 hours of doubles and singles on the weekends. I KNOW I would have caused much more damage to the tears.

I am really looking forward to getting past this first 8 weeks of passive PT and into the active stage.

Gary

BMC9670
04-09-2010, 06:01 AM
Keeping a journal helps a lot; keep bad days from robbing your good...

Hard to see progress/watch paint dry/grass grow...

Track med's, sleep, progress - vent some...

Totally agree. Don't just measure progress in PT because there will be ups and downs. Make mental or written notes of small everyday stuff:

"Hey, I couldn't reach that belt-loop last week... couldn't reach that cupboard, shampoo hair, apply deodorant to the opposite side... etc."

It's hard to imaging as generally fit and athletic people, but it's amazing what kind if mundane things you will appreciate and small victories add up to full recovery.

Good luck!

drak
04-09-2010, 04:17 PM
Totally agree. Don't just measure progress in PT because there will be ups and downs. Make mental or written notes of small everyday stuff:

"Hey, I couldn't reach that belt-loop last week... couldn't reach that cupboard, shampoo hair, apply deodorant to the opposite side... etc."

It's hard to imaging as generally fit and athletic people, but it's amazing what kind if mundane things you will appreciate and small victories add up to full recovery.

Good luck!

Especially certain bathroom duties!

LOL

Drak

kcdtarheel
04-09-2010, 07:16 PM
I'll pipe in on this one as I have had two shoulder surgeries in the last 16 months. To give you some history, I'm a 4.5 player, had a SLAP tear repair with 5 anchors (large tear), posterior labrum repair, and capsulorraphy 11/08. I put off the surgery as long as I could (a few years) but got to a point where serving was very painful and velocity decreased during a match.
After the first surgery, I did return to playing tennis but never felt right. I had pain and extremely limited internal rotation. The second surgery was a harder decision since I could play (groundstrokes were as strong as ever but the serve fairly weak and still painful.) Three doctors confirmed a second surgery was needed. Without their input, I'm not sure I would have done it.
Surgery # 2 was 11/09 and I had a capsular release, subacromial decompression, bursectomy, and removal of adhesions as lots of scar tissue had built up. The rehab has been easier, but not a walk in the park. I have been hitting ground strokes for about a month (~4 months post op) and was just released to serve again (~5 months post op). Thankfully, my groundstrokes have responded well again and I think there will be no effect on them. I am extremely tentative with the serve and have NO endurance. It fatigues really fast which my surgeon told me would be my biggest long term challenge.
Ok - so that's a lot of history to answer the question was it worth it. Even though I've spent 2 years in therapy (some before and then 16 months after the surgeries began), lots of money, been through the awful pain, sleepless nights, and frustrations we have all experienced, I still think the answer is yes. Of course I am still in the middle of rehab and can't declare full recovery/victory yet, but I still think I had to have the surgery if I wanted to play 4.5 tennis for years to come. I REALLY hope I get my old serve back and can rip one when I need to. My PT seems to think it will come with time and a lot of work. It's definitely a long road.

larry10s
04-10-2010, 03:38 AM
it is encouraging to hear from the one who are past the suffering that now looking back it was worth it. listening to those suffering as they go thru it is scary but their courage is motivational:)

pdx_tennisplayer
05-17-2011, 02:10 PM
Good question, Is it worth it??? I am now in that same situation after having seen the Ortho and now knowing that I have a decent size RC tear (he says over 50%, Supraspinatus) + a bicep tendon issue that will probably require a Bicep Tenodesis (relocation). Knowing that it will put me a year out from playing tennis again and knowing there are no guarantees about anything, it makes me ask the same question. However, I cannot live in daily pain like this and I want to compete again (age 47, 4.0 player). So surgery it is!

Say Chi Sin Lo
05-17-2011, 10:39 PM
Thought I'd chime in on this too. 26yrs and have had two surgeries. And from my experiences, surgeries are nothing more than methods that put the body in a better place in order to heal properly. Doesn't necessary "fix" things right off the bat.

1st surgery, partially torn supraspinatus, waited ~6months+rehab, hoping it'll help. Well it didn't, so went into the surgery. So in my mind, rehab prior to a surgery can be a hit-or-miss. 6months later and I was back on the courts.

2nd surgery, same partially torn supraspinatus, and add a partially torn posterior labrum. I basically told my surgeon that I don't want to waste ANY time, and I want to be back on the court ASAP. I was like:

"Alright, it's torn, give me the surgery now because I don't want to waste anytime with another hit-or-miss rehab. I'm 22, I know I can bounce back from this and make another full recovery."

Now 4years later, I'm rocking with 95% of my range of motion and my original strength with interest through all the rehab :).

Would I pick surgery again? Yes.

Would I FAIL to maintain my shoulder and keep it in game-shape again? NO!

Mingo.
05-18-2011, 11:50 AM
I also have gone through a mess of surgery but on my hand not my shoulder! I started with one 'simple' surgery that turned into two more much more major surgeries due to a Dr's error! :evil:

With everything I always try to look on the brightside however, because with how much time I spent with an injured hand (2 years) I switched hand dominance from left to right. My doctor gave me a tennis racket and said 'go learn hand - eye coordination.' I had never played tennis before and now I love it and I play every day!

The trick to surgery is finding a doctor who you trust--not as a friend but as a doctor!--and whenever possible FIND a specialist! I learned my lesson the hard way!

Doulers
06-18-2011, 01:38 PM
In my extensive research leading up to my surgery, this question came up a lot, and it's natural and relevant. In most cases, including my own, the answer is usually yes, it's worth it. This is usually AFTER all other methods of treatment are exhausted.

For me, a I waited a year after an MRI showed a partial RC tear. Did therapy and it got to about 80%. I then played tennis while continuing my PT, warming up well before, icing down after, the whole bit. I didn't have a lot of pain, but started to notice a marked and steady decline in strength. I then had a second MRI, with dye injected, and it showed the RC tear plus a SLAP tear. Two different surgeons told me it would not heal without surgery. So after talking to several players who had similar surgery, I went ahead with it.

I'm now 4 months out from surgery and I'll admit, I have questioned my decision many, many times in the last 4 months. It's a tough road. But, with every passing week, I feel less pain, more strength, and have started hitting light groundies again. My doc says I'm on track for a full recovery at around 8 months. The key in keeping me sane was a surgeon who can communicate well and being diligent with rehab.

So, while it was not an easy decision and continues to be a long road back, I'm now glad I'm past it and looking forward to playing without pain or weakness.

Good luck.

How is your recovery going? I was diagnosed with a SLAP tear this week. After 4 years of living with shoulder issues from playing with tennis I finally learned I have a SLAP tear. I have done all the conservative treatments for four years rest, icing, anti-inflammatories, and massive amounts of shoulder exercises of all kinds. It helped to a point - about 80% like you said. But my only option left is to now have the surgery since it feels like it has gotten worse over the last 8 months or so.

pdx_tennisplayer
06-18-2011, 04:50 PM
Well mine turned out to be a RC tear and I'm 4 days post op...I'm doing great so far and looking forward to PT and getting back to tennis someday

I wish you the best with your decision and make sure your OS is a shoulder specialist.

John

BMC9670
06-20-2011, 06:10 AM
How is your recovery going? I was diagnosed with a SLAP tear this week. After 4 years of living with shoulder issues from playing with tennis I finally learned I have a SLAP tear. I have done all the conservative treatments for four years rest, icing, anti-inflammatories, and massive amounts of shoulder exercises of all kinds. It helped to a point - about 80% like you said. But my only option left is to now have the surgery since it feels like it has gotten worse over the last 8 months or so.

I've finally turned a corner on my recovery. At 18 months now I'm feeling good. Strength is at 100% and ROM is 90+ and probably as good as it's going to get. I continue to do 3 strength and stretching sessions per week and will for the rest of my playing days.

My biggest advice - don't rush the recovery. I felt on track with my docs timeline - full groundies at 6 months, serving at 9 months, 100% at 12 months. BUT... while at 12 months I felt OK, I tried to play competitively and felt insecure, tight, and needed a good week to recover from the soreness. So, I backed off and continued to work on strength, stretching, and technical aspects of my game.

Now, at 18 months, I feel way better than at 12 months. I feel stronger, more flexible, recovery is only a day or two, and I trust the shoulder a lot more. I've played 4 competitive matches in the past month and felt great during play and good the next day(s). I haven't tried to play back to back days yet, but I think I can, just being safe. I typically rotate tennis one day, strength/stretching the next, and rest the next and repeat. I will increase tennis over the next few months gradually and plan to play some tournaments and flex league later this summer.

Bottom line, everyone is different and I just needed the extra 6 months. Good luck and let us know how it goes.

drak
06-28-2011, 12:46 PM
I've finally turned a corner on my recovery. At 18 months now I'm feeling good. Strength is at 100% and ROM is 90+ and probably as good as it's going to get. I continue to do 3 strength and stretching sessions per week and will for the rest of my playing days.

My biggest advice - don't rush the recovery. I felt on track with my docs timeline - full groundies at 6 months, serving at 9 months, 100% at 12 months. BUT... while at 12 months I felt OK, I tried to play competitively and felt insecure, tight, and needed a good week to recover from the soreness. So, I backed off and continued to work on strength, stretching, and technical aspects of my game.

Now, at 18 months, I feel way better than at 12 months. I feel stronger, more flexible, recovery is only a day or two, and I trust the shoulder a lot more. I've played 4 competitive matches in the past month and felt great during play and good the next day(s). I haven't tried to play back to back days yet, but I think I can, just being safe. I typically rotate tennis one day, strength/stretching the next, and rest the next and repeat. I will increase tennis over the next few months gradually and plan to play some tournaments and flex league later this summer.

Bottom line, everyone is different and I just needed the extra 6 months. Good luck and let us know how it goes.

My team just won sectionals last weekend and it's on it to 4.5 senior nationals, shoulder continues 100%. I feel very fortunate and obviously am glad I got it done or I would never have gotten to enjoy and compete at this level again. Way worth it for me.

GZim
06-28-2011, 05:02 PM
I had my RC surgery last march so I am now almost 16 months post op. I agree completely with people saying, do not rush your return to tennis, as I believe I did. Also follow your PT as much as you can.
I have all of my ROM back, though it still does feel tight. sometimes more than others, and I still feel it when sleeping on it. My recovery continues, though I do not do any more PT, other than some rubber band warm up and light stretching before I play.
I serve better than I did before the surgery, I can play as much as I want, and I KNOW if I hadn't had it done, I would be in trouble. I am now 49 and my feet hurt a lot more from playing a lot than my shoulder.

Gary

Say Chi Sin Lo
06-29-2011, 09:00 AM
I think it's important for people who have shoulder issues, and are contemplating about surgeries, to consider these points.

1) Surgery itself is a very traumatic to the joint itself. If surgery can be avoided, then avoid it!
2) Be humble. You want your arm back? Then listen to your physical therapist. Because chances are, they've seen it all and really know your shoulder better than you do.
3) Develop/maintain a good work ethics.
4) Acceptance. Accept the fact that in most cases, a surgically repaired joint will not have the ROM it used to have. I have 95% of my motion, and I'm not missing the remaining 5%.
5) Know your limit. There will come a point in time along your recovery that, the surgically repaired joint is as good as a normal one. But until then, know your limit.
6) Rehab is never over if you plan to remain competitive in your sport.

BMC9670
06-29-2011, 01:40 PM
My team just won sectionals last weekend and it's on it to 4.5 senior nationals, shoulder continues 100%. I feel very fortunate and obviously am glad I got it done or I would never have gotten to enjoy and compete at this level again. Way worth it for me.

Hey, drak! Long time, no read! Glad to hear you're still doing well and kicking @ss! Congrats.

chasmatt
07-01-2011, 06:56 AM
I had a bone spur removed from my right AC joint in 1992. I was never able to get my serve back (which was beginning to become a weapon). this turned into a 18 year layoff. I've been playing since Decamber, but my serve is awful - my shoulder will not cooperate. I'm going to keep playing no matter how bad my serve is. I'll just play doubles.

basil J
07-11-2011, 04:54 PM
2 years post surgery and My range of motion is better than ever. Single best thing I have done is cut Gluten & dairy out of my diet. Gluten can stimulate enzymes in the body that accelerate inflamation in areas prone to getting inflamed. Dairy is the milk of from a cow. Humans don't need to consume that. We can get calcium from much better sources. . I have been Gluten free for 9 weeks, and have not had to Ice or take a pain killer in 7 weeks. I can play back to back matches with minimal discomfort. I still do my shoulder rehab exercises twice a week( I don't think that will ever end). Other benefit is that i lost 6 lbs of body fat without trying. I have a couple other buddies that had shoulder surgery trying the same diet and they too are experiencing fantastic results and much less pain. Anyone still dealing with nagging aches should give it a try. My doctor suggested it and I am glad I listened.