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  1. #1
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    Rotator Cuff surgery

    Rotator Cuff surgery, has any one else had this operation,how long before you were able to ride again? I had my operation on 7-16-09 and feel better each day, however this is riding season and I'm getting anxious to get back on my bike soon.
    Thanks for any input,
    Barbarosa

  2. #2
    Bike Junkie roccobike's Avatar
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    Yes, I had it last year in mid-March and was permitted back on my bike in early June. However, my doctor made me promise not to advertise how quickly I healed because he's never seen any other non-athlete, (much less someone over 50) heal that fast. Ditto from my PT guy who said the healing time was exceptionally fast. I don't recommend riding until you are cleared as a young lady I work with did some athletic stuff, screwed up the shoulder and required a second operation. I can't imagine doing that operation on the same shoulder again.
    EDIT: As I recall, I was told it would take 3 months minimum before I would be allowed to ride again.
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  3. #3
    train safe buelito's Avatar
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    me too-- i agree with Rocco-- wait until cleared. I did a lot of the shoulder PT stuff on my own to speed up the recovery-- also found that swimming, which forced my arm to the vertical helped, although at first it was terrible. I don't recall it taking 3 months before riding though-- more like 6 weeks...

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  4. #4
    Senior Member gcottay's Avatar
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    I feel for you missing precious days of riding season and suggest bring your bike with you to your next PT session, talk about your normal riding positions, and get your therapist thinking about how to get you back into the saddle.
    George
    Laissez les bon temps rouler

  5. #5
    Life is good RonH's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Barbarosa View Post
    Rotator Cuff surgery, has any one else had this operation,how long before you were able to ride again?
    I had my right shoulder done (by a Sports Med doc - not a cyclist) after a car-bike accident 30 Nov 2005. Was in PT (twice a week) for 4 months. I started riding the trainer after about 3-4 weeks. Rode to PT for the last 5 weeks of therapy.
    I had my left shoulder done (by another Sports Med doc in the group who is also a cyclist) 6 Jan 2009. Was in PT (again twice a week) for 12 weeks. I started riding the trainer after about 4 weeks. The doc gave his blessing to start riding "very carefully" on the bike path only after about 9 weeks. Started riding with no restrictions the second week of April.
    Both shoulders are doing great.
    Last edited by RonH; 07-26-09 at 07:22 PM.
    My bikes --> 2001 Litespeed Tuscany---2011 Felt Z4

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  6. #6
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    That is a very good idea, I will do that this Tuesday, Thanks.

  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by gcottay View Post
    I feel for you missing precious days of riding season and suggest bring your bike with you to your next PT session, talk about your normal riding positions, and get your therapist thinking about how to get you back into the saddle.
    THIS IS EXCELLENT ADVISE REGARDLESS OF SPORT OR ACTIVITY AND APPLIES TO ALL PEOPLE INVOLVED WITH YOUR TREATMENT.

    Now that I've shouted from the rooftop I'll explain. My experience is that medical folks tend to pigeonhole patients according to age, among other things. But, I'm not, and expect that most who post here are not, the typical person. So, giving the provider good data on you and your activities really helps avoid the Cookbook Medicine Syndrome in favor of Personalized Treatment.

    I let my medical folks know what I do, why I do it, that I'm not satisfied unless I am able to do it, etc. As a result I get far different treatment than the typical person my age. Of course my lab work and physical performance support my claims. If they didn't I suppose I would get far worse attention.


    Tell

  8. #8
    Lance Legweak HIPCHIP's Avatar
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    Rotator cuffs require a longer time to recover, so don't push it. Let your doc and PT know you are chomping at the bit to ride and see what they say. If you ride too early, you'll just irritate the shoulder and it will take longer to heal totally, plus if you irritate it too much, you may get a bunch of scar tissue which will make it harder, or impossible, to completely heal.

  9. #9
    Council of the Elders billydonn's Avatar
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    I had rotator and labrum surgery on May 8, 2008 and was riding carfefully in late June, so it was about six weeks for me... but I was probably pushing it. If you ride so soon, you may want to adjust your riding position to more upright and be extremely careful about trying to catch yourself in a fall. My PT did know I was riding at that point and sanctioned it with a wag of the finger about taking it very easy. YMMV of course but I'm going to say you should most likely wait at least another month.

    There is a time to resign oneself
    to old age and infirmity. You first.
    My Cycling Blogspot

  10. #10
    Senior Member kr32's Avatar
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    I am not liking what I am hearing here. I need it as well but I still play golf and ride bikes all the time. Without either of those two I am bored to death and just start eating and eating to pass the time.
    I had a cortizone shot which masked the pain but I really need to get something done.
    I really can not see why riding a bike would hurt it though? It does not hurt now when I ride but does when I play golf.
    I hate doctors and surgery and PT,tried that before I had a MRI thinking it was pinched nerves but MRI said otherwise.
    Guess I better man up and it taken care of.

  11. #11
    Council of the Elders billydonn's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by kr32 View Post
    I am not liking what I am hearing here. I need it as well but I still play golf and ride bikes all the time. Without either of those two I am bored to death and just start eating and eating to pass the time.
    I had a cortizone shot which masked the pain but I really need to get something done.
    I really can not see why riding a bike would hurt it though? It does not hurt now when I ride but does when I play golf.
    I hate doctors and surgery and PT,tried that before I had a MRI thinking it was pinched nerves but MRI said otherwise.
    Guess I better man up and it taken care of.
    Get surgery done in dead of winter?

    There is a time to resign oneself
    to old age and infirmity. You first.
    My Cycling Blogspot

  12. #12
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    rotator cuff

    I have some great news!!

    My Doc said if I was careful I could ride a cruiser (up-right sitting) during my re-hab and physical therapy time. I need to be careful not to fall on it or reach out etc or I will be back in for more repairs and then no anything for quite some time. I will take it easy and enjoy my rides in town. We have a paved trail through a dry canyon in my city and it's about 4 miles to Starbucks where I can rest up before I return.

    Barbarosa

  13. #13
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    I guess we are not as dedicated as some. Little birdy told me that Levi rode a 60 miler this weekend. With a broken wrist!

  14. #14
    Senior Member gregam's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by billydonn View Post
    Get surgery done in dead of winter?
    Sage advice, just had my left sholder repaired Nov. 11th, 90% tear and had a large bone spur removed at the same time. I just turned 60, I had been hoping that it would heal on its own, been fighting it since April. The Oxycodin made me crazy, could only take it for one day. Started riding the exercise bike yesterday, had to start doing something, sitting on my butt with nothing to do and no pain meds is not good for the mind or body. Can't wait to get out and do some real riding, my doc says 16 weeks min., I sure hope he is wrong.
    1st bike - 1962 Schwinn Varsity (bought new and wish I still had it, left it in Siagon, Viet Nam 1965)
    1962 Schwinn Varsity (could be a twin of my first bike)
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  15. #15
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    Quote Originally Posted by Latitude65 View Post
    My experience is that medical folks tend to pigeonhole patients according to age, among other things. But, I'm not, and expect that most who post here are not, the typical person. So, giving the provider good data on you and your activities really helps avoid the Cookbook Medicine Syndrome in favor of Personalized Treatment.

    I let my medical folks know what I do, why I do it, that I'm not satisfied unless I am able to do it, etc.
    +1 After being launched off my horse, I had surgery for a torn rotator cuff and fractured humerus (though not particularly humorous) in 2006. At the time I was
    53 and significantly overweight, so probably didn't appear to be the active person I am. When my doctor mentioned that we could wait and see for a little while or do surgery, I told him I needed to be as fully functional as possible so that I could return to activities like kayaking and riding and also not be limited with the physical labor required to care for my horse.

    I had the surgery in early September, then had 8 weeks of PT ending in mid-December. They cautioned it may take up to a year for full use of the arm and shoulder. I was very committed to my recovery, did whatever I was told to do, and did not push the advised limitations until I got the ok to resume certain motion/activities.

    My PT was amazed how quickly I progressed, but shared that many patients do not do their exercises between appointments. Of course, everyone's level of injury and recovery rate is different, but discussing your goals and favorite activities with your PT and physician-as Latitude65 advised-is a good place to start.

  16. #16
    Don from Austin Texas
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    I have a torn rotator cuff. Also a collarbone I broke over 20 years ago that healed wrong -- the broken ends never met each other and I have a "fibrous union" in place of re-connected bone. My orthopedic doc, who did a wonderful job fixing my knee, basically told me to let sleeping dogs lie and do PT and stretches etc. I am not exactly doing his recommended program, but I do have a personal trainer and go to the gym 3 days/week. The plan is to strengthen supporting muscles to deal with it. At this time, I am happy with that approach. Its not comfortable to sleep on the side with the torn cuff and the screwed up collarbone, and also I let my young guys do overhead lifting and pulling -- I own an auto repair shop -- but otherwise the situation is more a nuisance than a real pressing problem. Supposedly something like 20% of men over 60 have a torn rotator cuff and many don't even know it!

    Obviously, if one chooses my approach the trainer should be very carefully screened or he/she could easily force surgery that could have been avoided or postponed.

    Don in Austin

  17. #17
    Pedals, Paddles and Poles Daspydyr's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by HIPCHIP View Post
    Rotator cuffs require a longer time to recover, so don't push it. Let your doc and PT know you are chomping at the bit to ride and see what they say. If you ride too early, you'll just irritate the shoulder and it will take longer to heal totally, plus if you irritate it too much, you may get a bunch of scar tissue which will make it harder, or impossible, to completely heal.
    Rotators are unique and so is your physical ability to recover. There are no cookie cutter answers. My wife just had her 6th shoulder surgery since 2002. On top of leaning on your doc and PT, take some extra time, swim, walk a lot, be patient. You don't want to do this over.
    I think its disgusting and terrible how people treat Lance Armstrong, especially after winning 7 Tour de France Titles while on drugs!

    I can't even find my bike when I'm on drugs. -Willie N.

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