Rotator Cuff Surgery

Hi, gang.

Lifting injuries. As they say: There are those who had suffered them and those who will.

I’m back home 24 h after having undergone an acromioplasty on my left shoulder (open surgery, no arthroscopy for me) and now sport 18 staples along a nice 4" scar. For those of you lucky enough not to have experienced, it I’ll say that once the pills wear off it’s fucking painful.

So two years ago an early morning set of front DB raises gave me a flashing pain that I immediately identified as a nasty one. I tried everything, from rest to cryotherapy, even acupuncture, infiltrations and steroid shots given by an MD but to no avail.

Fast forward to today and I finally had the procedure done. Doctor says it was an acromioplasty with bursitis and impingement syndrome. Holy shit, sounds important isn’t it?

The part that freaks me out is that when this morning I asked him about resuming my training he said: “Well, take it easy and we’ll see after the summer…” The hell, after the summer! I haven’t set foot on my Gold’s since October and I’m about to go postal and he has the nerve to tell me to wait another 5 or 6 months? Does he has a death wish or what?

Here is my question: Has any of you undergone the same procedure here? If so, how did you manage the rehab? How long it took before starting to train again and what kind of program did you do? Any tips to improve the recovery or to avoid a new injury?

Thank you guys, it’s hard to be grounded.

I had open surgery back in August of 2006. It sucked. Sleeping is the worst, you have to be propped up and shit.

It takes a long while to get back. The issue isn’t the would healing, it is the stretching and range of motion exercises that need to take place before the strengthening. I hated them. They are boring, but don’t skip out on them. I think they wanted me to do mine 3 times a day. It sucked, but I did it, and now I almost have full ROM. Truthfully, two weeks after my surgery I started a new job that was home based and took up a lot of time. I think if it weren’t for that I would’ve gone crazy, because I’m pretty addicted to lifting and get kinda depressed when I can’t.

Find something to keep yourself busy.

Good luck!

I had a bankhart repair, rotator interval closure, and anterior capsule shift. All three procedures in one surgery on the left shoulder. The pain wasn’t that bad they wanted to give my a morphine drip for 3 days, but said I would have to remove the catheter from my shoulder myself, I said no. Went home with perks.

Took about 9 months before I could bench 30 lbs db’s. It’s gonna suck, and PT is move painful than the surgery. My external rotation was reduced to a tiny 40 degrees, and they had to physically stretch me back out to 90 again.

It’s been a little over 2 years, it only hurts when I bench. It takes time to recover, but it’s better than being in pain everyday.

Thanks Mark.

Indeed it sucks. Last night at the hospital I slept with the bed half rised, semi-seated. I don’t know how I’ll manage tonight at home but I’m definitely not looking forward to it.

I know recovering the ROM is the key here so I plan to do my best. I stopped training a few months back because it affected almost all exercises.

By the way it seems I also had a small tear in the tendon so the Doc gave me a couple of stitches there too. He said otherwise it would have snapped later on. Life is beautiful.

The worst part will be staying away from the gym. We’ll see…

Ahhhh, f**k. That’s rough.

Can you give us any insight into why this happened? Did your shoulder give you any warning signs that it was under stress from previous lifts? Did you warm up properly? Have you had any shoulder problems in the past?

Any advice you can give to avoid such an injury would be useful.

I just finished rehab with my rotator cuff injury due to (what I believe to be) bad bench form. It took me 8 months before my shoulder was 100% and that was without surgery. My only advice to you is to take your rehab serious and don’t jump into the weights too early or you’ll really regret it.

Good luck with the rehab.

Thanks man.

Actually what happened was–obviously–somehow my fault. Early february morning, cold climate, went to the gym riding the bicycle (good for warming up legs but not so much shoulders). Done some warming up, same as usual and I was doing one of the first DB front raises sets with the same light weight I used then when I felt the sudden pain. Done another set and abort the shoulder training for that day.

Now, the worst part is that I was a couple of months back into training after 19 years out of the game. Yep, I’m an asshole but I was easing up and had been lifting more than that regularly during those previous two months without any trouble whatsoever.

I gave it a rest, stayed away from the gym for some weeks a few times but once I lifted anything the pain came back very quickly. I first tried with those belts with ice bags, topic liniments and all that crap but these only provided pain relief and didn’t act upon the symptoms themselves. Living in Japan I also tried acupuncture and it worked wonders… for a week or so. When I finally went to the doctor I got them to make an MRI and they told me that yeah, I was screwed up but they don’t do this kind of surgery in Japan, only reattach tendons that are actually broken. So I sent the MRI to my physician in my hometown and got a relative to go to the appointments for me and the Dr. agreed to do the surgery. So Saturday I flew in 6,000 miles and here I am, awaiting for the initial recovery and rehab to fly back to Kyoto.

Meanwhile I’m typing single-handed and fearing the moment I’ll go to bed in half an hour or so. :o(

Now I’m wondering whether I should cancel my membership to the local Gold’s (the only “hardcore” gym in town) or keep it on idle like I have it now. It’s so freaking expensive that I’ll probably should cancel it and get it going again after the summer but psychologically it’s very hard to do. The pain is nasty but bearable but knowing I won’t train for so long drives me crazy.

Thank you for your support guys. At least we’ll always have The Nation. And what do I do now with all the supplements I have at home? That Alpha Male is so green and tempting…

Yeah, Alpha Male is good shit. I’m 34 years old and I’ve started noticing signs of my test getting lower. Alpha Male seems to help quite a bit.

Keep us posted on your recovery. And don’t let the depression take you over. Like one of the other posters said before, find something to keep your mind occupied while you wait this one out.

I’m 39 and don’t know about my T levels but I do know I don’t recover as easily as I used to 20 years ago.

Plenty of things going on my mind right now but it is still pretty bad wen you are hooked on the iron.

Last order from the store was over $400 (got to buy in bulk when overseas because of shipping and taxes) and there’s still half of it on the shelf.

Thanks guys, I’ll keep you all posted about the evolution of the recovery.

I also had acromioplasty done for a partially torn rotator and partially torn labrum. Pain wasn’t excrucitaing but wasn’t good either. Like Mark said the worse part and the most important is first restoring range of motion. After that I started off with high rep light weights to get the blood flowing and built up slowly from there. I’m 100% healed at the one year point but it will never be the same again. I’m roughly 75-80% of what I used to be strength wise permanently. As luck would have it I now tore my other rotator and labrum even worse then the first one. Trying to hold off of surgery till fall or late summer just out of vanity and appearance for summer lol. Pain is some days unbearable other days livable.

Two strikes in a row, you’re not lucky As. Do you think you screwed up the second because you transferred too much effort on it trying to compensate for the initial injury?

I’d say don’t hold the surgery because of the summer. Doc said my tendon was partially torn out and in a few months I could have broken it completely.

[quote]T-Man in Soyland wrote:
Two strikes in a row, you’re not lucky As. Do you think you screwed up the second because you transferred too much effort on it trying to compensate for the initial injury?

I’d say don’t hold the surgery because of the summer. Doc said my tendon was partially torn out and in a few months I could have broken it completely.[/quote]

More than likely I did overcompensate with the good shoulder. I felt it when trying to go heavy on a set of push presses. Yeah, actually I am afraid of making it worse, but I basically stick to movements that don’t aggravate it and keep my reps in the 15-20 range for pushing excercises. I also incorporate a lot of pre-exhaust and other techniques like drop sets etc., just to keep the intensity up to try to maintain as much size as possible for now. Lot’s of stretching and icing help, and especially the higher doses of Flameout have been really helping me last.

Yep, I’ve tried to avoid this at all costs so I haven’t been pressing with barbells for over a year now. Only DB and often using different loads.

Ice is my friend also but the trouble with it is that it masks the pain but it doesn’t really take care of the causes of the injury.

[quote]T-Man in Soyland wrote:
Yep, I’ve tried to avoid this at all costs so I haven’t been pressing with barbells for over a year now. Only DB and often using different loads.

Ice is my friend also but the trouble with it is that it masks the pain but it doesn’t really take care of the causes of the injury.[/quote]

That’s why I ice it and take anti-inlfammatories only after a pressing workout and never beforehand. It’s just to keep the inflammation down. Good luck with your shoulder.

Thanks, that’s just as I did before the surgery.

I have pec shoulder problems right now myself. No medical, so I’m not sure what the exact deal is…but it’s been 2 weeks since I screwed it up and I still have a little purple on my lower elbow and lower pec. I’ve tried rom type stuff…I have little strength but the sharpness of the pain has decreased a good bit. No pain at all unless I’m pushing something.

I’m learning a good bit here. Starting to think I might have screwed up my rotor cuff and not my pec. First time I ever had a shoulder problem was about 10 years ago. I was playing tug of war with a tenant’s pit bull and I got distracted by conversation and took my eye’s off the dog…with my hand looped around the rope…so the dog gives it one hell of a pull without me being aware of it and I felt something click.

At the time I wasn’t lifting, I was doing calisthenics and heavy bag work and that was over…It took like 6 months before I could do push ups or punch. Fast forward 10 years and the current injury feels much the same. Thing is, there was no bruising the first time. So I dunno…I’m going to keep it light on shoulders and chest…but to tell you the truth I’m crossing my fingers and hoping to be able to train shoulders heavy this week.

I’ve got some pretty good information here reading about other peoples injuries. Hope I don’t come off self absorbed rambling on. Good Luck…I know recovery from surgery is a bitch…Had me a 6 liter pleural effusion a few years back…The Doc stuck the needle in my lung and pulled about a liter of green puss out…I said, “Hey doc, when does the alien pop out of my chest?” He looked at me like I was nuts…I had walked around with an anaerobic pneumonia for 3 months and had to have the abscess(and the lining) scraped off my lung…Worst I’ve ever felt in my life was post surgery…couldn’t believe you could get that thirsty…but once they hit me with a transfusion I walked out of ICU the next day…And all I did was eat for a couple weeks.

GDI, there’s nothing better than the Nation to learn about what we love most. Dig the archives and you’ll be amazed.

It might very well be that you screwed your rotator. I had no bruise at all but the nasty thing is that sometimes the symptoms are this way and disappear altogether when you don’t make any effort. That’s dangerous because if you ignore them the injury can worsen or become persistent.

I’d do an MRI to be on the safe side… And next time, play with a Chihuahua!