coming back from rotator cuff surgery

Discussion in 'Health & Fitness' started by 10smonkey, Mar 1, 2013.

  1. 10smonkey

    10smonkey Rookie

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    Had arthroscopic surgery for a full tear of my rotator cuff less than 2 weeks ago. Please let me know your experience of coming back. I am a 53 year old fading 5.0 player
     
  2. ollinger

    ollinger Legend

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    The 3 people I play with who've had rotator cuff procedures took between 6 months and a year to come back to playing, plenty of PT in the interim.
     
  3. Relinquis

    Relinquis Hall of Fame

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    good luck... haven't had such surgery/injury... take it easy and keep up with the physio recommended by your doctor.
     
  4. mikeler

    mikeler G.O.A.T.

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    The one guy I know who had it was somewhere in that timeframe too. He religiously ices his shoulder down immediately after every match now.
     
  5. Pacific lefty

    Pacific lefty Rookie

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    Hi 10smonkey, I had a subacromial decompression, lots of ac debridement and a bursectomy on 27 of last April. It took a long time at least 7-8 months to be able to come back comfortably... I am 4.0 hopefully soon to be 3.0 in Ireland. I really had to methodically do the exercises my physio gave me every day and work back into tennis very slowly. Now I still do Thrower's ten 3 times a week and still stretch out thoroughly after tennis. I still get a bit of tightness in the top of shoulder area, but am serving, hitting overheads, and doing everything comfortably...
     
  6. LeeD

    LeeD Bionic Poster

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    Rotator cuff injuries for a tennis player could be the single most career ending injury, unless you really take the time to heal, PT, recover, and LEARN to take it easy on that easily again injured body part.
    A year off tennis is pretty normal, especially if you had a real tennis game to begin with. You can tap the ball around much sooner, for sure, but if you had a serve, it might take even longer.
     
  7. 10smonkey

    10smonkey Rookie

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    Thanks for al of your replies. I guess it is going to be a while before i get back to tennis.
     
  8. millicurie999

    millicurie999 Rookie

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    I had minors tear repairs for supraspinatus and labrum; also bursectomy on Feb 1, 2013. Started PT last week. Will keep you posted. Good luck with your recovery.
     
  9. Say Chi Sin Lo

    Say Chi Sin Lo Legend

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    I had essentially the exact procedure as you. Supraspinatus, posterior labrum, bursectomy (not sure if it was complete or partial, but don't really care at this point).

    I was 22 at the time and I'm 27 and have made a full recovery since.

    A brief overview of my recovery rehab
    - Expect to have full use of your arm by 2nd-3rd month
    - Expect to be able to start hitting groundstrokes by 4th-5th month. I could bang groundstrokes until the end of time by then.
    - However, do NOT expect it to be tennis ready. Once you start incorporating serves, don't expect it to be your normal self for at least a year, and you'll hit many road blocks and setbacks that'll send you back to the stone ages.
    - It really wasn't until 2years that I was able to serve and play with no limits. (as in 7 days a week, 2-3hours+, and not be sore and stiff afterwards).

    Let me know if you have questions and good luck on your recovery!
     
    Last edited: Mar 4, 2013
  10. drak

    drak Professional

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    I was exactly your age a little over 3 yrs ago when I had mine (4.5 player), full tear that required two screws, also had 2 bone spurs and a slap tear. Had to wear the sling for 4-5 weeks. I was a good healer at or a little ahead of schedule thru my recovery. They say 3 months minimal for the tear to heal in my case. I was diligent with my rehab, doing exactly what the PT's asked.
    I started hitting groundstrokes ONLY after 3 1/2-4 months, doing nothing above shoulder - that was fine. I really did not try to serve or overhead for the first 6 months, then I took it very slowly. Started serving 70-80% at 8-9 months and was full bore at about 10 months.
    Everyone heals differently and I had no issues like scar tissue that some have. I was perhaps more cautious then necessary on the serving but full rorator cuff recovery is a ***** and I did not want to take a a chance on anything. Good luck!
     
  11. Surecatch

    Surecatch Semi-Pro

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    I came here to post a similarly motivated thread about my own shoulder but I might as well put it in here.

    I'm going to have to have rotator cuff surgery within the next couple of weeks, which is obviously going to put my career as a brutal, unfeeling tennis bully on hold, but the difference for me is that it's not my racquet arm shoulder....it's the other one. So I'm sure I'll have a healthy recovery time, and lots of PT work for awhile, but I'm really hoping that I can get back to playing by the end of summer..... I haven't even seen the ortho' yet, but I will by the end of the week and there is no question in my mind that surgery is in the cards for me...I've been avoiding this for a long time. At this point, with the amount of pain I'm in and the fact that my left arm is essentially useless, I'd just like to get it done as soon as possible.

    Any idea of what I can expect for a recovery and getting back to playing time given it's my "off" shoulder?
     
  12. drak

    drak Professional

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    the key to start off with is whether it's a partial or full tear? quite a difference in recovery time
     
  13. Say Chi Sin Lo

    Say Chi Sin Lo Legend

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    Depends, since it's your non-playing shoulder, expectations should be low in your recovery (not saying you can't go nuts and rehab it to be as good as before).

    To give you an idea on the range of functionality of the rotator cuff: most people have torn (partial - complete) rotator cuffs. But because their demands for it is lower than a tennis player/baseball player/other athletes, they don't notice it because they never push it enough for it to be symptomatic.
     
  14. Surecatch

    Surecatch Semi-Pro

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    Right. I've had this injury for something like twenty years and I've just "dealt with it." Usually it'll flair up for a few days and then recede again for awhile. I've had cortisone shots for it occasionally over the years (four total), but this time when it flaired up last week, it stayed and deteriorated quickly and badly. Then the unthinkable happened and I did it an injury about an hour after seeing an Urgent care for the pain. I slipped on ice and wrenched it violently and slammed it into my son who was walking next to me. I have never in my left experienced that level of pain. By the next morning I was in such bad shape that I was scared out of my mind and went to an emergency room. Nothing broken or dislocated, but I figured that. I went to my doctor today and he examined me and referred me to an orthopedic specialist/surgeon. I'll get an MRI and I'm sure surgery. For years it's been "managable," but it is no longer. The pain is no joke, man, and my arm is worthless dead weight draggin along with the rest of my body.....at this point I'd just like to get it over with and get back to tennis as quickly as possible, but I know it's going to be awhile, depending on how badly it's torn up in there. I just hope it can be done arthroscopically and not the other way.
     
  15. pdx_tennisplayer

    pdx_tennisplayer New User

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    I had a 70% tear in the Supraspinatus and had surgery in June 2010. I came back to USTA tennis about 9 months later, just playing doubles only. I've been religious about continuing my PT and keeping the entire shoulder structure strong including Scapular Stabilization exercises.

    Plan on a month of horrible sleep while you wear the sling but after that, things will improve.

    John
     
  16. Say Chi Sin Lo

    Say Chi Sin Lo Legend

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    For me, it wasn't the sleep that got to me. It was taking the shower that irritated me. Couldn't really use my right arm, and my left arm simply doesn't bend that way. I felt like half of my body was dirty until I had a decent amount of ROM back.

    Learning how to brush my teeth with my off-arm, you won't believe how many times I jabbed my gums.

    Appreciating the minute tasks done with the harmony of both arms. It annoyed me when the bowl would move along with my use of the utensils. Cutting a steak only to have the plate move with my slicing motion, so I wasn't really cutting the steak. -.-

    Wearing/removing clothes and pants. Especially the pants. You wouldn't think about it, but try pulling up your pants with just one arm.

    Tying shoelaces just didn't happen. I wore slip-ons exclusively. Or I just jammed my foot into an already tied sneakers. Usually works, but when it didn't work, roommates would see my "dance of frustration" trying to get my foot in.
     
  17. drak

    drak Professional

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    word on the lack of sleep, it was me and the Lazy boy for a month, only place I coud even get to sleep.
     
  18. 10smonkey

    10smonkey Rookie

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    just got back from my second session of pt therapist said I have really good range of motion in my shoulder for just two weeks after surgery...felling good that i am going to fully recover from this i know it is going to be a long process
     
  19. pvaudio

    pvaudio Legend

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    Took out my supraspinatus as a teenager and then had an arthroscopy. Missed the entire fall tennis season having done the injury in the summer, but I was playing at normal speed by winter. Even now it still twinges, but that's due to extraneous factors that don't apply to you (i.e. playing with a partial tear for two years when no one could spot it, so my capsule just filled up with scar tissue).
     
  20. hifi heretic

    hifi heretic Rookie

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    I saw an ortho for fairly excruciating shoulder pain and was found to have an impingement, rotator cuff damage and a labrum tear. Not unusual story, I know. But here's what's interesting. ..The surgeon told that many, if not most, guys playing tennis my age (48 at the time) probably have similar damage in their shoulders and that many are able to play relatively symptom free. ..So before even discussing surgery, he urged me to undergo a fairly rigorous course of PT to build up muscles that support the joint. It helped to the point that I can now play with only occasional pain that occurs when I clearly over do it. ..So while I won't 2nd guess the OP's decision, I urge anyone considering surgery to give PT a chance to work.
     
    Last edited: Mar 13, 2013
  21. lendl1986

    lendl1986 Rookie

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    I tore the lower half of my labrum after hitting many serves in a short period of time. The videos I recorded showed that my arm and grip on the racquet was very tight on the follow through and my form was relying on my arm to generate racquet speed.

    So make a long term investment in your tennis career...and buy the best serving lessons/advice you can afford.

    Also, if you've got surgery upcoming (as I do), you can read about the experiences of 50, 100, maybe 200 patients on this site:
    http://slaptear.com/
     
  22. 10smonkey

    10smonkey Rookie

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    thanks for the site ....things are doing well!
     
  23. 10smonkey

    10smonkey Rookie

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    six weeks from my surgery range of motion is good p/t is going well but it still hurts some days no problem other days it still very tired and painful.... but i can hit a 40 yard wedge in my backyard... hoping to play some golf mid may
     
  24. charliefedererer

    charliefedererer Legend

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    Are you sure you have cleared this with your surgeon?

    [​IMG]
     
  25. 10smonkey

    10smonkey Rookie

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    Thanks for the chart ....and the reality check.
     
  26. charliefedererer

    charliefedererer Legend

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    I didn't mean to ruin your day.

    But too early a return to golf or tennis could again tear that tendon.

    But that doesn't mean you can't get out for a nice run/bike ride with the weather getting nicer.


    Ever wish you had better footwork?
    You might try agility drills:
    USTA agility drills http://assets.usta.com/assets/1/USTA_Import/USTA/dps/doc_437_269.pdf

    Also, agility drills with their rapid changes in direction, help prevent the many leg and ankle injures that players face after being off the court for a time.

    And they don't have to be done on a tennis court - they can even be done in your back yard (assuming you have one).
     
  27. Pacific lefty

    Pacific lefty Rookie

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    Looking on the bright side!

    Well, I am really not trying to gloat (I swear I am not) but last week I just played my first tournament since I had surgery last April, and I won it! My main point being two things. Firstly, after just having the decompression no tear, I feel at nearly a year back, really confident and strong and I would say 99% pain free.

    When I was at the six and nine month mark, I would have soreness after playing, and suddenly feel that either the surgery didn't work or that I was pushing too hard. That was a panicky feeling. At nearly a year now, that is totally gone, so I have been playing hard, and feeling totally comfortable with an increased pace and longer, more competitive matches.

    Of course, the second thing, is that I have spent a huge amount of time stretching and on physio, doing the thrower's ten exercises religiously. I am still doing them, and stretches 2-3 times a week and it is paying off. So you will eventually get there, stay optimistic and recognise every little improvement you get each week, time goes by quickly and you'll be back in no time.
     
  28. vegasgt3

    vegasgt3 Rookie

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    I took nine months off and am pain free, I wasn't at six months. The doctor said he thought 3-4 months, but it took much longer and I did all the therapy.
     
  29. corbind

    corbind Professional

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    Reading about this because my shoulder hurt a bit the last couple of weeks.
     
  30. millicurie999

    millicurie999 Rookie

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    Pretty much as you said. 4 months after surgery and PT, both the surgeon and therapist cleared me to hit ground strokes. I had my first session with a pro today; feel great just to be able to run around and hit tennis balls. I now have to do more weights to strengthen the various muscles around the shoulder but am really happy with the outcome.
     
  31. bee

    bee Semi-Pro

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    I will tell you this about my dominant arm rotator cuff surgery about 10 years ago: The PT you can mostly do at home. I was paying for it myself, so I went a total of 3 times. What really helped me the most was about 8 weeks post surgery I began getting in the swimming pool and gently doing the breast stroke. No over head crawl or anything like that. Once I could start breast stroke swimming, my range of motion and general recover was very rapid. I was hitting ground strokes at 4-6 months and within a year was back to serving well. Mine was a complete subscapularis tear. Good luck with it.
     
  32. 10smonkey

    10smonkey Rookie

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    I played golf all summer long....started hitting tennis balls about a week ago shoulder feels good ......no serving yet it is going to be awhile for that
     
  33. 10smonkey

    10smonkey Rookie

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    ok had the surgery on 2/19/13 i have been able to go all on my ground strokes with no pain, still doing pt on my own, started hitting serves the other day, half speed maybe 10 at the most, I am very pleased with my progress!
     
    Last edited: Dec 16, 2013
  34. 10smonkey

    10smonkey Rookie

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    started serving recently maybe 50% effort .. no pain... still doing lots of rehab gonna try to play a doubles match soon feeling good!
     
  35. corbind

    corbind Professional

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    That's a loooooonnnnnng time ago. :) So I looked at the OP and you meant '13. Glad you're feelin' good and almost back into the thick of it. (By the way the Prince EXO3 Tour 100 you gave me a year ago is still going strong. Added two brothers for him this year).
     
  36. Chas Tennis

    Chas Tennis Hall of Fame

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    Todd Ellenbecker Video on Shoulder Anatomy, Injury Risk on the Serve

    Be sure to look at the Ellenbecker video detailing the shoulder anatomy and the shoulder orientation to use to minimize your chances of impingement.
    If the shoulder orientation as described is not correct you increase your chances of impingement. To see what you are doing on the serve requires video. Video yourself from behind looking along the ball's trajectory to check the shoulder angle during the motion leading to impact. To see what you are doing in all detail on the serve requires a high speed video camera. Here's a high speed video camera for well under $200 complete.
    http://tt.tennis-warehouse.com/showpost.php?p=7741038&postcount=47
     
    Last edited: Oct 25, 2013
  37. 10smonkey

    10smonkey Rookie

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    Played my first doubles match a week ago. Still not serving all out but won the match.11-9 match tiebreak. We saved 10 break points in the second set and converted our only break point at 6-5 in the second. Feeling good.
     
  38. corbind

    corbind Professional

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    Right on monkey...glad you're getting back to the woodshed!
     
  39. 10smonkey

    10smonkey Rookie

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    I have been playing dubs once a week. Serving well ...about 3/4 speed...my first serve % is around 85% .... it is amazing how well I have been holding serve recently compared to before my injury when i would try to go big and flat on my first serve. Happy Holidays to all!
     
  40. Zolar

    Zolar New User

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    I had my left shoulder done (biceps tendonesis, subacromial, spur removal) 6 weeks ago (I'm a righty)
    Still hurts most of the time, though they say that my ROM is getting a lot better, and that the pain will decrease when I get 100% ROM. The surgeon didn't tell me he was going to do the biceps thing - just went ahead and did it. Said he attached the biceps tendon to the rotator cuff interval.

    Now, I hate to second guess the surgeon, but has anyone else ever heard of attaching the biceps tendon to the rotator cuff interval? I can't find any info at all doing google searches. If anyone has heard of this, I'd sure appreciate hearing from you! I'm wondering if it will heal just as strong as if he had done the bone screw, or if this will make it perpetually weak.
     

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