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Torn Rotator Cuff

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Old 03-02-18, 01:16 PM
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Wanderer
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Torn Rotator Cuff

I've got a full thickness tear in my Right Rotator Cuff Tendon, and looking at surgery. (Full-thickness tear along the anterior fibers of the supraspinatus tendon with mild associated atrophy of muscle.)

I'm 72.

For any who have already lived thru this, how long will it be before I can get back on the bike, and how long until comfortable on the bike
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Old 03-03-18, 06:20 AM
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I have had both shoulders done separated by a period of about 15 years. It will be about three months before you can function normally. Make sure you stick to the physical therapy regimen, which is VERY, VERY painful at first.
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Old 03-03-18, 10:41 AM
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Originally Posted by Wanderer View Post
I've got a full thickness tear in my Right Rotator Cuff Tendon, and looking at surgery. (Full-thickness tear along the anterior fibers of the supraspinatus tendon with mild associated atrophy of muscle.)

I'm 72.

For any who have already lived thru this, how long will it be before I can get back on the bike, and how long until comfortable on the bike

I had the same injury as you a few years ago (I was 54 at the time). It happened as a result of throwing. Post-op...the doc told me there was a bone spur that had been wearing away at the site of the tear...so it would have eventually happened anyway. If/when you decide to have the surgery...make sure your doc looks for and removes any similar bone spurs (i'm sure he would anyway). Like Artmo said above...the recover and physical therapy is VERY painful. I mean sometimes it really felt like they were going to rip my arm right off. I know that sounds scary, but you'll know what to expect. But if you do what the PTs direct you to do, and work at home on your own (on your range of motion)...you will recover better and quicker. Sleeping will be next to impossible too. My most comfortable place to sleep was in the recliner. With regard to getting back on the bike...for now I'd suggest that you just put that out of your mind. It will come eventually. Stationary bike (recumbent) should be OK. But until you're fully healed...the prospect of a simple fall off the bike (and bracing your fall with the arm on the surgically repaired side)...could actually make things worse than prior to the surgery. My doc didn't even want me doing light jogging on the treadmill while holding on with my good arm. He said that even the slight bouncing of the arm on the surgical side would cause scar tissue to form instead of proper healing. It wouldn't affect me now...but in the future it would for sure. Bottom line...post surgery make sure you have good PTs for this condition, and do exactly what they tell you. Good luck.

Dan
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Old 03-03-18, 11:48 AM
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Good physical therapy is the key. I tore my cuff, waited six months til I finally went to a doctor for a frozen shoulder. No surgery needed since it healed during the six months. But I needed a PT that didn't mind causing me some pain.

The PTA's didn't like causing pain, but when the PT got me on the table and stretched my muscles for my cuff till I felt a snap.... very much like a bunch of rubber bands stuck together in the middle and coming apart when stretched. Then there was noticeable improvement and no lingering pain.

I wasn't 100 percent after the first time I felt the muscle groups come apart. But three such events and I was and still am 100 percent movement and no pains that are not just old age. Don't discount all the menial things they have you do in physical therapy. They all work to get you to that point.

My tear likely was not as bad as yours. I only went to about six or eight weeks, three times a week. It's didn't keep me off the bike.

Last edited by Iride01; 03-03-18 at 11:56 AM.
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Old 03-03-18, 12:01 PM
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Sorry to hear about the injury. I'm sure you'll get back on track.
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Old 03-04-18, 03:26 AM
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I'm primarily a mountain biker. I had my surgery a month after my OTB crash. I couldn't take the pain and limited ROM, so I went for it. After surgery, I was off the bike (except for stationary trainer) for 4.5-5 months. When I was able to do real riding, it was only on paved bike paths in case I didn't have the reaction ability or strength to avoid a hazard. At 6 months, I was cleared to ride trails again as well as participate in all activities. I emphasis this: do what they tell you to do! Don't cheat, think you know better, etc. Do the PT exercises at home like you're supposed to. Wear your sling with the abductor pad in place (if prescribed)--don't remove it because you think it's too bulky. Again, do what they tell you to do to the letter and you'll be good.
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Old 03-09-18, 11:04 PM
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I had surgery for torn rotator cuff, bicep tear, bone spur and torn labraum on 11/6/17. It took several months before walking (bouncing) did not hurt shoulder. I slept in a recliner for 2.5 months. I had to walk on the treadmill at the gym with my arm resting on the side handle to relieve some of the weight of the arm. PT was great, I had full range of motion in 3 months. Today I walked 9 miles, no discomfort. Two weeks ago, I drove to Florida to cycle. Day 1, 20 miles, Day 2, 40 miles (I had to sit up on my road bike and let my shoulder hang several times. Day 3, 60 miles. Too much. I tried to mountain bike, but it was not comfortable on an easy trail for only 8 miles. I came home. It is still too soon to "train". I could ride the recumbant at the gym in about 1 month. I could ride the spin bike at about 3 months. I could not endure a spinning class. I had to keep the speed down, to limit the motion at my shoulder. So... I can cycle, but I did not join my bike club down in Florida. I have to ride my own ride now. Hoping it will be good by spring. I am a 60 year old female.
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Old 03-10-18, 06:54 PM
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Originally Posted by Wanderer View Post
I've got a full thickness tear in my Right Rotator Cuff Tendon...

For any who have already lived thru this, how long will it be before I can get back on the bike, and how long until comfortable on the bike
I've had rotator cuff surgery on both shoulders (2005 and 2009).
My doc for both was a sports medicine doc. He's also is a cyclist. He let me get on the bike, mounted on the trainer, after 2 weeks. Actually I didn't feel like riding for 2 weeks anyway. I was riding to PT and then on to work after 2 months.
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Old 03-10-18, 10:53 PM
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Right rotator cuff repaired 10/16 at age 59. 6 weeks in sling with minimal movement, to allow the tendon a decent chance of healing. Then, as others have said, slow process of what we in Oz call physiotherapy - stretching and strengthening by slow degrees. At 72 I'd be guessing it may be a slow road back, indeed, though the fitter you are to start with the better.
I couldn't ride again at all for about 4-5 months. 18 months later, it still hurts from time to time, but I've a full range of movement and - touch wood - didn't suffer a frozen shoulder during recovery. Some heal well, some don't. I got lucky.
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Old 03-11-18, 12:20 PM
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I've had tendonitis of the right shoulder and then a few years later another shoulder injury on my left shoulder.

Both times went to physiotherapy for about four or five months.

Be wary of the bench press. I've since replaced that exercise with the dumbbell press but pressing the dumbbells together while pressing up.

But lately, I seemed to have developed tennis elbow on my right arm and oncoming golfer's elbow on my left. I'm guessing it may have to do with being too aggressive with progessive resistance on the dumbbell rows.

Now because of the elbows, I have trouble with the deadlift, dumbbell press, shoulder press and pulling exercises (including cables), and the bulgarian split squats.

I'm trying to avoid the exercises that involve my elbows. So I'm doing more legs but I'm back on the bench press but with lighter weights and doing drop sets instead. The bench press is where the arms are assisting each other instead of being isolated like the dumbbells do.
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Old 03-16-18, 01:19 PM
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Talked with my Orthopod Surgeon a couple days ago, and surgery is scheduled for Apr 2. She is very highly recommended for shoulder work!

She says I will be off the bike for somewhere between 6 weeks, and 6 months. Very unlikely I will be on it before July!

On top of that bad news, ------- she is really good lookin!
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Old 03-18-18, 12:46 AM
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... and, to her surprise, she thinks you're kinda cute!
Hope you can be patient with the recovery - we're all too old for re-damaging the newly repaired bits of ourselves unnecessarily.
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