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Discussion: rotator cuff rehab

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Jan. 12, 2013
birdie
Men's 60
680 posts
rotator cuff rehab
I got the sling off the arm on Tuesday and started my new rehab session on Friday. I had one or two new movements to do on Friday which went ok. I was told to do a old movement without using my left arm to help the right. My response was I got nothing. She said use the left arm as little as possible. I did but could not raise the right arm by itself. I needed help from the other arm. I was doing my second set a rehab exercises today and and on about the fifth try I raised and lowered the right arm by itself. I started giggling like a little kid that just got some candy. Strange what little things we find joy in. I just thought that I would share. I cannot wait to play second base again. Thanks Harry
Jan. 12, 2013
AndyA25
16 posts
I had rotator cuff surgery in Dec 2005. It took almost two years before I could throw decently again. I had to play catcher at first because throwing back to the pitcher was about as far as I could throw.

Hope you have better luck.
Jan. 12, 2013
lemons
Men's 65
302 posts
Happy New Year Harry, I hope your rehab continues to go well. I also hope that Jim White will slow down a little at work and come to all of our tournaments. Best wishes to you and Terri, Mel
Jan. 12, 2013
Slowest Pitch
Men's 75
14 posts
The number 1 thing to do is trust your physical therapist, and do your re-hab exercises faithfully.
Do Not rush back to playing the game, no matter how much you want to.
I have had 2 rotator cuff surgeries. Both on my throwing shoulder. 11 years apart. It's hard to repair something that has already been repaired.
Do Not rush back, and do your exercises.
Bill Enos
Jan. 12, 2013
birdie
Men's 60
680 posts
You can use him.He is a great player. wish that I could get him on my team. Thanks for the good wishes and the same to you and yours.

Thanks Andy I have seen both ends of the surgery some good some bad. I will do the best at the rehab and see where everything falls. Thanks Harry
Jan. 12, 2013
TexasTransplant
Men's 70
418 posts
Your physical therapist is your friend, but don't be afraid to challenge him/her if you don't think you're being pushed. I was rehabing alongside a somewhat younger postal employee who was only interested in how long he could stay on workers' comp. After 4 or 5 sessions, I asked my PT what he would do differently if a 30 year old athlete came in wanting to get back to his sport. He got the message that I wanted to get back to softball as soon as possible and got much more aggressive with his treatment, even devising some softball specific exercises.

Don't skimp on your at home work between therapy sessions, either.

I was back to playing outfield in six months, but it took a full year to full strength back. However, may arm was stronger then than it was before the surgery.

Good luck with your rehab.
Jan. 12, 2013
Enviro-Vac
Men's 60
391 posts
http://www.t-nation.com/free_online_article/sports_body_training_performance_repair/cracking_the_rotator_cuff_conundrum
Jan. 12, 2013
Player25
Men's 55
51 posts
Have had 3 rotator cuff tears repaired. Rehabing a tear takes less time then a total separation repair. Tell your PT what your goal is to be playing again. He can generally tailor a program to get you close. My experience has been the longer you put off the surgery the longer the rehab period. My first took about 1 year but I had put it off a long time. The second and third were 4-6 months. In addition to the rehab, I went to "hot" yoga classes. The warmth help to loosen up the muscles and tendons. At first I used the "good" arm to help with the exercises. The main thing I learned was listen to your body.
Jan. 12, 2013
bullet
Men's 55
130 posts
I had surgury in Nov of 2012.I could not throw 20' in April.BUT by Aug i had most of my strehgth back.It did not bother my swing or powe at all.I did rehab for about a month,then just got back in the gym and worked REALLY hard at it.I hope this year to be throwing 100%
Jan. 12, 2013
bullet
Men's 55
130 posts
Let me change smething i had surgury in Nov of 2011.
Jan. 12, 2013
Rainmans
21 posts
I had a total rotator cuff separation and had surgery to repair it 8 months ago. The above advice (i.e., therapy, exercises...) is good and stay with it.
Jan. 13, 2013
missouridave
Men's 55
71 posts
I had my surgery on the 30th of November so am now six weeks post surgery. According to the PT and doctor making good progress and will start strength work next week. In addition to the torn rotator cuff I also had bone spurs and a frayed labrum. Working hard at physical therapy with a goal of being able to hit at the TOC next month. Doc says hitting will probably be OK but doubt that I will be able to throw very much at all. My teammates say it will be a miracle if I can hit after shoulder surgery since I could not hit before! Work had at the PT and let the PT folks know what your goal is.
Jan. 13, 2013
Webbie25
Men's 60
1964 posts
I would like to chime in with an alternative that worked for me. 4 years ago I could not throw a ball 10 feet. I was playing outfield and had to underhand the ball to one of the other outfielders to get it in. I talked to my chiropractor, who knows more about human beings and what makes them tick than anyone I have ever known. He suggested I try ultrasound first on the tear in my rotator cuff. When I started it I could take very little of it, but over about 3 months I could stand it more and more until pretty soon I could take the top setting with no problem. At that time he said it was time to get out and throw. I went slowly at first, and after a few practices decided to open it up a bit. The pain was incredible. every throw I would bend over until the pain subsided. He rechecked it with the ultrasound, which showed no signs of a new tear and told me I was just getting rid of the adhesions in the shoulder. I trust him totally and the pain lessened every time out until I was throwing without pain. Now, at 60 my arm is as strong as a 60 year old could expect. It does not work for everybody, but it sure beat surgery on it for me, and I was back in about 4-5 months total. Michael Pendelton, D.C. is a
miracle worker for sure. I have other things he has fixed, too. He is the main reason I am playing today.
Jan. 13, 2013
Rainmans
21 posts
missouridave, I had the exact same issues/surgery you had and I'd be extremely careful about pushing it too hard and too fast as you could re-injure your shoulder and it could result in having to redo your surgery. The surgeon that performed my surgery is a triathlete (extremely great shape), has performed near 1000 of these operations, and understands the needs and desires of an athlete. He told me several stories of individuals who thought they felt okay and/or wanted to rush the normal healing process only to have it end in disaster (e.g., swinging a golf club striking the ground). I've headed that advice and I'm in better shape than I was before the injury. It was a downer having to wait but I didn't want to re-experience the surgery and lose any progress that I had made.
Jan. 13, 2013
CurtfromKY
39 posts
Thank you Rainman for the insight. I also had almost exactly the same as Dave and am in week #10 after surgery. I had a checkup with surgeon on Friday(11th) and got a great report. I went to rehab that afternoon and he was pleased too. I am down to rehab 1x/week now and actually was able to play basketball this afternoon. Still have a ways to go but I will be ready for softball by March. Good luck to you all.
Jan. 13, 2013
missouridave
Men's 55
71 posts
Rainmans, thanks for the input. I trust my surgeon who was also an athlete and am following his advice. How long before you actually swung a bat or golf club? I had no problem doing either before the surgery, just could not throw a ball more than 15 feet. Pretty sure I injured it at Vegas Worlds. Again, appreciate your insight. I sure don't want to start over again!
Jan. 14, 2013
birdie
Men's 60
680 posts
Rainmans, my first week in rehab and the instructor told me that my Dr. went real slow at this because of the re-injury possibility.I will take it slow.


Dave, I was hoping to be able to hit at the TOC but our team had some issues with guys joining another team ( 7 starters) so we are not going. I will just do what they tell be and hope to be able to throw by April or May. Golf and hit before then. Thanks Harry
Jan. 14, 2013
Wayne 37
192 posts
@Texas Transplant,

I carried mail for the USPS for 25 years, and it pretty much ruined my shoulder. A ton of repetitive motion. I've had to have it scoped out once, and several cortisone shots in it over the years. It really affects what activities or weight training you can participate in. The last time I had it x-rayed, it showed bursitis, arthritis, and tendinitis in it. Been to therapy a few times over the years even after that. I've had times when I couldn't throw the ball back to the pitcher from catcher. I don't know what the guy's motive was for wanting to know how long he could stay on workman's comp was, but I got a butt load of crap for even having to go to therapy even after I had worked my eight hours.. They always want more, more, more. It didn't matter that a doctor had prescribed therapy. That's about half the reason I retired before working thirty years. The other half was I was mentally exhausted from 25 years of bull caca, and harassment. I don't really blame the guy for wanting to stay off as long as possible. That place might not exactly be hell, but it has the same zip code.

Oh yeah, all that constant standing, and walking didn't do my knees any good also. You very seldom sit down in a day's work, no matter how many hours you work that day. I feel lucky to be active as I am today.

Toodles,

Wayne L.
Jan. 14, 2013
TexasTransplant
Men's 70
418 posts
Wayne,

It wasn't my intention to disparage postal workers, but looking back that is exactly what I did. I apologize.

The point I was trying to make is that the effort you put into your physical therapy can greatly speed your recovery time and improve your chance of a successful result. Wanting and trying to recover is a big factor in your outcome.
Jan. 16, 2013
Wayne 37
192 posts
Hey, TT, no apology necessary at all. I was only trying to relay how physical the job can be even for a clerk. The PO has it's fair share of jerk offs. Most of them go into management unfortunately..............I agree 100% about the therapy, especially after you're finished with a therapist. I'm lucky in the fact that I do have a fairly good knowledge on how to exercise properly. Rule 1~If it hurts, don't do it.

Where are you at in Texas? I'm in Grand Prairie.

Don't forget to have a great season. Play it like ya' live it................hard and dirty.......8>)
Jan. 17, 2013
Rainmans
21 posts
After the surgery, I couldnít lift my right hand without help from my left hand. I started PT (was painful) the following week after the surgery and continued for 8 weeks (2 times/week). I also did daily exercises (stretching, elastic bandsÖ) at home. I was fortunate my therapist was a baseball pitcher and he said it would take a year to be at 100%. He stated swinging a bat wouldnít be an issue early in the recovery cycle but my throwing ability would be limited. He warned me to be careful throwing the ball too hard/early as I could reinjure the shoulder (didnít want to relive that pain again) because the tissues soft and are still healing. I began playing catch (approx. 10-20 feet) with my wife after 2 months and began throwing a tennis ball at a wall (40 throws increasing Ė over time - to 100 throws per day). I played in a tournament about 4 months after surgery. Swing the bat was okay but I could tell I didnít have the strength/power I had prior to the injury. I also did not throw the ball hard (lobs and relays). I began lifting light weights (5 lbs.), push-ups (5), and other exercises at 4 months and have slowly increased the weight and repetitions. Itís been 8 months since the surgery and Iím stronger than I was before the injury and I feel Iím 90% recovered (the year timeframe seems accurate).
Jan. 18, 2013
missouridave
Men's 55
71 posts

Rainmans, my recovery is very similar. Today I am at seven weeks and still doing therapy in addition to the work at home. Adding new strength exercises(without weights) every week. I expect to be able to hit at nine weeks but throwing is still a ways off. My surgeon told me the same thing, that throwing will take a year. So I plan on playing at the TOC, either playing first base or DH. Thanks again for sharing your experince.
Jan. 18, 2013
birdie
Men's 60
680 posts
missouridave, I had my surgery done on 11/28. We are at the same stage. I was also planning on trying to hit at the TOC but we are not going.I keep wondering if I would have been able to.According to my Protocol gently swinging a golf club is not until week 14-19 or day 91-132.The TOC is 3 weeks from today which puts it at the start of the 11th week.I hope that you can DH that would be great. Please keep us informed on your progress. I can use you success to judge how I am doing. It still amazes me how excited I get over the little things in this rehab ordeal. Thanks Harry # 20 NV FORCE



Jan. 18, 2013
short11
8 posts
Had surgery 10 years ago, throwing from second to first after 6 months was a painful experience. It took well over a year to be at 80%. I wasn't pain free for 18 months but my velocity returned about 2 years, and that was being very religious about my rehab and exercising faithfully. Of course, being in my 60's and playing at SS all these years at a high level, my arm isn't as strong as years ago, but fellow teammates and friends say I have one of the strongest arms they see among the 60 YR olds. I have had bouts with tendonitis that lasts for a few months here and there over the last few years, but because of the constant exercising I am satisfied with my throwing and can throw out the young guys in league play. By the way, I have retorn my rotator about two years ago and now have 90% tear in the rotator, and arthritic fluid in the shoulder, but has not affected my throwing because of all the exercise work I have done. But the point is, don't stop strengthening your arm, especially all the muscles that make up your shoulder area. I still have lack of strength in certain shoulder functions because of the tear, but tell your therapist what you are trying to accomplish and get the proper techniques to specifically strengthen all areas within the shoulder area concentrating on the YOUR throwing motion.
Good Luck To All

This is definitely one of those "No Pain - No Gain"
Jan. 21, 2013
surf88
Men's 60
869 posts
I had rotator surgery in 09'. I started back a little too quick and set myself back a bit. I use sport cord stretch bands every day and my hitting strength is solid where it was weak for about a year afterward. It takes work and a commitment to keep up the therapy and daily exercise.
Ed
Jan. 23, 2013
Rainmans
21 posts
surf88 - "...commitment to keep up the therapy and daily exercise" -- I agree with your statement.
Jan. 27, 2013
missouridave
Men's 55
71 posts
Harry,
Saw the doctor on Friday at eight weeks from surgery. Although I do not yet have 100% of movement back, he gave me the OK to hit at the TOC and also to try some golf. One of the reasons is that it is my right shoulder and I bat lefthanded so I will have more control since it is my front arm in the swing. Not going to try and hit any home runs or 300 yard drives, just a nice easy swing. I plan on trying to swing some this week (indoors here in St. Louis) in prep for the TOC the following week. Will let you know how practice goes.

Dave
Jan. 28, 2013
birdie
Men's 60
680 posts
Dave, Good news. I hope all goes well indoors for you and you get to swing at the TOC. Thanks Harry
Jan. 31, 2013
missouridave
Men's 55
71 posts
Harry,
Went and hit last night. Only took about 20 swings, no home run cuts. A little sore but no burning pain. The only swing that really hurt was the one when I missed the ball completely! No extra soreness this morning. Definitely no ovehand throwing, underhand will have to do for now. I asked the therapist this morning why they ask if you feel a stretch rather than does it hurt. I told her I looked stretch up in the dictionary and the word pain did not appear. She said to look up theraputic stretch! Hope your rehab goes well and the pain is minimal. So it is a go for the TOC, will let you know how that goes.

Dave
Jan. 31, 2013
birdie
Men's 60
680 posts
Dave, Good news. try not to swing and miss to many. You may have to lay off the high hard one at the TOC. I asked the therapist about a faster rehab and she said everybody has their own approach. My Dr. is cautious and takes things slow. I wish you good fortune at the TOC. Thanks Harry
Jan. 31, 2013
OZZIE#8
12 posts
Birdie,rehab at home between therapy sessions.

Also,keep rehabbing after your therapy sessions

are over....trust me
Feb. 1, 2013
birdie
Men's 60
680 posts
OZZIE#8, I do the rehab at home in between the sessions and I am looking forward to rehabbing after therapy is over. Especial the after part. It is amazing how many people that have gone through this talk about extra rehab. I will be one of those offering the same advice when it is all said and done. Thanks Harry
Feb. 11, 2013
birdie
Men's 60
680 posts
Dave, How did it go at the TOC. Great weather. Hope all went well and you got to play. Thanks Harry
Feb. 13, 2013
missouridave
Men's 55
71 posts
Harry,
Played all three days. Went 0 for 4 to start and my teammates said my swing did not look right. During the 5th bat I swung and missed everything but felt like a better swing. Hit the next pitch off the fence and went 10 for 12 after that. Did end up catching two games but threw back to the pitcher underhanded. Was sore after but muscular and not in the joint. Did PT this morning and everything is good. Also played a round of golf and was pleasantly suprised that hitting the ball for normal distance was not a problem. TOC was tough for our team not having played for 5 months. Plus the winner of the Worlds, the second place from Worlds and a winner of three other major tourneys were in our bracket and they have all been moved up to Major this year. But we were competitive losing two of the games by one run. Glad we went and I was able to play. For anyone who has rotator cuff surgery, you MUST do the physical therapy and the rehab at home. Talked to several guys at the TOC and they all said it won't feel normal for a year. Hope your rehab goes well Harry.

Dave
Feb. 15, 2013
birdie
Men's 60
680 posts
Dave, Glad you got to play and did ok after that first game. I am still a work in progress. No weight or bands yet Just walking the walls and a few other exercises. I see the Dr on the 7th of March and all he wants to see me do is the touchdown sign and not the first down signal. I am getting close. I do not know how you did it so quickly. I will follow Drs. orders and continue on his plan. It is slow but I hope effective. Keep up the good work. Thanks Harry
Feb. 16, 2013
Sisavic
135 posts
Delay Surgery?

I was just diagnosed with a partially torn rotator cuff and I need to decide to do the surgery now and miss the whole season or wait until October. I'm 74.

I have acceptable pain while swinging a bat and in non-softball activities, but unacceptabelpain when attepting to throw.

Any advice?

Feb. 16, 2013
CurtfromKY
39 posts
missouridave..has your doctor or PT said when you can start throwing overhand?? My PT started me at 8 weeks with a light weight ball into a screen just to get my shoulder used to that motion. I am now at 15 wks and am throwing very well playing catch. My arm strength is still about 75% but I can throw from first to second with good velocity. Just takes me a while longer to warm up than b4. I went to the surgeon yesterday and he released me (unless I feel I need to see him) and also the PT. I am doing home rehab and also at the gym and he was good with this. Good luck continuing with yours sir.
Feb. 17, 2013
missouridave
Men's 55
71 posts
Curt,
I am currently at 11 weeks postop. I am not yet throwing a ball. Expect to start at 12 weeks with a tennis ball. The PT company I am using is a sports/physical therapy business so they have a protocol for a throwing program. I had not only rotator cuff but also bone spurs and a frayed labrum. The overhand is going slower than the swining motion. I was able to hit and swing a golf club at 10 weeks but no overhand throwing. I will probably continue PT through 16 weeks and expect the surgeon to release me at that time as well. Everybody I talk to says it took a year to get back to normal throwing. Good luck and keep up the rehab.

Dave
Feb. 17, 2013
chollis
79 posts
Just over two years ago I torn my rotator and labrum swinging on a low inside pitch. The doctor said the labrum tear was 360 degrees and he had to cut through the remaining rotator to fix the labrum, then repaired the rotator.

The surgery was just under two years ago. I rehab hard with an experienced PT that works with pitchers. The arm is just now starting to get strong and it is close to what I had before the tear.

I think your recovery is directly related to the type of injury and your dedication to the rehab process. Get a good PT specialist and don't try to do too much too quick.

Good luck to all you guys currently going through this!!!
curt
Feb. 18, 2013
surf88
Men's 60
869 posts
Dave, My injury was similar to yours. I thought I could accelerate the healing and pulled a rope to start our wood splitter and the pain was tremendous. It took me two full seasons to get back and actually get stronger than I was but as Curt said above, do not go too fast. Do the rehab work religiously and use the bands every day and you will be fine.
Ed
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