Rotator Cuff Tear w/Retraction - Surgery/Rehab Expectations

Discussion in 'Health & Fitness' started by jasoneclow, Jul 14, 2010.

  1. jasoneclow

    jasoneclow New User

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    Just learned this morning (via MRI results) that I have a full-thickness/complete tear supraspinatus tendon (rotator cuff) with 1.2cm retraction (not good). Add to that 2 bone spurs and a cyst. Doc is recommending arthroscopic surgery next week. He expects me to be out of tennis altogether for a minimum of 6 months AND INDICATED THAT HE WOULD SPEND THAT 6 MONTHS TRYING TO CONVINCE ME TO QUIT THE GAME to avoid another tear that could lead to having joint artificially replaced. Is this Doc overreacting in an attempt to manage my expectations? Or, is he serious? I am used to playing competitive singles 4.0 tennis 5-7 days a week. What in the world would I do having to give the game up? At best, what in the world am I going to do for the next 6-9 months without playing? Has anyone gone through the same injury/surgery/rehab? What should I expect?
     
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  2. Say Chi Sin Lo

    Say Chi Sin Lo Legend

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    You obviously don't understand the concept of rest and recovery. 6-9 months of recovery is fairly common for shoulder surgeries. Actually, 6-9 months for a complete tear is optimistic.

    Well for one, tennis 5-7 days a week is overwhelming for any shoulder, operated or not. You need to let muscles to rest and allow the lactate acid to be cleared from the muscles. The lactate acid weakens muscle over time.

    Have the surgery, follow your surgeon and physical therapist's timeline, follow the routine down to a T and allow the shoulder to heal.

    A good part of rehab is to re-learn how to properly use the muscles in the shoulder so you don't put unnecessary stress on the rotator cuff. That process will take a while, just be patient. FOCUS on range of motion, you should regain at least 90% of your range of motion. Only then should you start the strengthening program. As your shoulder heals, your strength should naturally come back. Of course, the rehab exercises will help with the strength.
     
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  3. BMC9670

    BMC9670 Hall of Fame

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    Being 7 months post shoulder surgery (SLAP and partial RC cuff tear with sub acromial decompression), I can tell you that my doc told me 9-12 months recovery, but said I had a good chance of full recovery. At 6 months I was cleared to hit light ground strokes. I'm not able to hit serves yet, probably at 9 months. I've talked to A LOT of people and read A LOT of forums during my ordeal and almost all people say it takes more than a year to feel right again. Most return to their sport, but with varying results. Most of the people I talked to say they are like they were before surgery, but a few say they are never the same. Don't know of anyone who has actually given up tennis or their other sport, just playing with adjustments to level or frequency.

    I think the bottom line is that there are no guarantees and there are a lot of variables (age, body, surgeon, PT, severity of injury, and even luck), but it sounds like you don't have a lot of options with a full tear.
     
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  4. kensan

    kensan Rookie

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    If this happened to me, I would immediately start to practice playing with the opposite arm.
     
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  5. OKUSA

    OKUSA Hall of Fame

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    I'm considering this, I have a lot of problems with my right arm

    Frayed pulleys in 3 of fingers from climbing that never healed correctly
    Wrist tendinitis that never seems to go away
    Elbow that died after pitching too much when I was younger
    Shoulder is pretty much dead now from overworking it compensating for all of the above
     
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  6. kensan

    kensan Rookie

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    Go for it! I was going through a not-as-serious-as-yours shoulder injury and was practicing just serving with the opposite arm. I even got to the point of playing a practice match serving this way, but luckily, rehab, rest, and altering my serve motion did the trick and I haven't had to use the off arm further.
     
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  7. OKUSA

    OKUSA Hall of Fame

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    I did play with my left arm for about 2 months when my wrist got so bad that I couldn't play anymore. The hardest thing is the serve for sure, the toss with my right hand seems so wrong and I'm probably as fluid as a model T
     
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  8. charliefedererer

    charliefedererer Legend

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    Sorry to hear about your shoulder injury. I hope the supraspinatus repair goes well. You may want to check out some of the shoulder threads on Health and Fitness to see the many comments by others who have gone through procedures.

    I would second the push to become a lefty. It sounds like you really love the game, but your right wrist, elbow and shoulder are going to continue to give you more problems. Any chance to spend more time hitting than serving? Serving clearly is the worst on a shoulder, but some precautions and you may be all right.

    Some tossing videos:
    Tennis Serve Toss - How to Hold the Ball http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=M8kynEzufNE
    Tennis Serve Tossing Motion Tempo
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CeZp90h-Ar8&feature=channel
    Federer Murray Hass & more ball toss common threads http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lIF-UaRUd6k

    And three "must" watches to prevent left arm problems:
    Preventing Rotator Cuff Injury http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lTRvxaBMh8s&feature=related
    Rotator cuff injury http://www.tennisresources.com/inde...ail&basicsearch=1&media_name=&rv=1&vidid=3712
    THROWER'S TEN EXERCISE PROGRAM http://www.asmi.org/SportsMed/throwing/thrower10.PDF

    Good luck ... Lefty!
     
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  9. larry10s

    larry10s Hall of Fame

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    this thread will have more than you want to know about what to expect

    http://tt.tennis-warehouse.com/showthread.php?t=179256
     
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  10. jasoneclow

    jasoneclow New User

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    Met with second opinion Ortho today. He is a tennis player. He has had the same surgery himself AND performed 1000s of others. He starts TP day after surgery and says at the 4 mo. mark most are able to return to normal. Especially a very fit and healthy 38 year old. At 4 mo. for tennis he said most likely volley work and forehand ground strokes. By month 6, he indicated full backhands and beginning to serve and hit overheads again. He also said that because mine was injury related (as opposed to degenerative, etc.), that he would be surgically able to return it to nearly new condition leaving me with very little risk of another tear or having to quit game. He also indicated that up to 4 months everyone progresses about the same (assuming you are disciplined with PT, etc.), but months 4-6 and forward is where true athlete types who are dedicated to getting the strength back can swim, resistance train, etc. and speed process of getting back. Needless to say I am much relieved now vs. my visit with Doc 1.
     
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  11. OldButGame

    OldButGame Hall of Fame

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    Jason,.....I experienced something very similar....a little less serious of a tear though,.....but i'm back 100%,....using the same arm,....and i would never know i had a problem with it. However i was religious about the physical therapy,....and it was some months,....I believe You can be hopeful,.....as long as You are patient,....and strict with the phys Rehab.:-|[​IMG]
     
    Last edited: Jul 15, 2010
    #11
  12. charliefedererer

    charliefedererer Legend

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    Glad to hear of the improved prognosis.

    It was smart of you to get that second opinion. It sounds like your tennis playing doc can really guide you in the right direction throughout the rehab period.
     
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  13. drak

    drak Professional

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    Had a full supra RC tear, 2 bone sours and a Slap tear, no retraction on the RC tear as it was hanging by a thread, mine was tennis related. Was hitting liight groundstrokes in 4 months, gradually increased, started serving very lightly in 7th month, full recovery about 9-10 months, I was 53 when I had it done, 19 months later feels great. Key to recovery is GIVE IT TIME and don't rush, and that is hard to do.

    Drak
     
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  14. GZim

    GZim Rookie

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    I am 4 1/2 months post op, full supra tear, 5 anchors, 2 bone spurs plus labrum clean up. I started hitting light groundies a month ago. serving at the 16 week mark. Its stiff when I wake up, but I am starting to gain strength and serve well. I am only playing doubles.
    I did PT 3 days a week for 3 months... also did acupuncture, ART by a chiro and some deep tissue massages.
    I now am doing resistance bands every day, especially when I play, and stretch out and ice after playing.

    There are plenty of us with very good results, I hope you will be ok, and you should know that the chances of a full recovery are strongly in your favor .... make sure you get a very good surgeon and PT.

    Gary
     
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  15. jasoneclow

    jasoneclow New User

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    Gary - Reading this made my day! How old are you?
     
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  16. GZim

    GZim Rookie

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    I am 48. This morning I went to our tennis club early, as singles is played from 7:30a - 8:30, so I played a set of tennis (I won 6-0!) and then played 2 more hours of doubles. This was my first time playing singles since my surgery (I have hit plenty and even played some light 21...) I played 2 hours Friday and Saturday (all dubs) and now today. I am super happy with my results, but I have to say it wasnt easy, I was in pain and had to work hard to get here. You should read the BIG LONG Shoulder thread as it was very helpful to me, understanding what to expect.

    Today, I woke up at 6:15 and did a half hour of abs, and resistance band stuff for my shoulder and rear delts etc. to get the blood flowing. As I am typing this to you, I have a gel ice pack on my shoulder... so I am taking good care of it.

    My surgery was March 2nd at Mt Sinai in NYC.

    I am very happy to hear that reading my post made you feel a bit better, as I think that sharing experiences and knowledge is the best use of sites like this.


    Best,

    Gary
     
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  17. larry10s

    larry10s Hall of Fame

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    heres that link again that gary mentioned.
    gary do you use that shoulder ice thing you used in the beginning to ice down now??
     
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  18. GZim

    GZim Rookie

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    No I just use the ACE Gel packs.. .I think they are great. The machine I used for the first 3 weeks is called Game Ready. They are great, but expensive. they provide ice circulation and compression. Mine was a rental.

    Also I bought some of the elastic velcro bands to help hold ice packs in place ( highly recommended) from Chatanooga (sames ones they use at my PT office).

    I *highly* recommend the Game Ready for imediately following the surgery. I left the hospital with the pouch on my arm under my sling, installed by the surgeon.
     
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  19. West Coast Ace

    West Coast Ace G.O.A.T.

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    Glad you got a more balanced 2nd opinion. I'm going for my appointment tomorrow morning. I have gotten to the point that the equivalent of one set of serving leaves me with intense pain.

    I'm interested in what your symptoms are.
     
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  20. new_tennis_player

    new_tennis_player Banned

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    Get a second opinion.

     
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