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Old 02-23-2011, 04:17 PM
 
Location: Ohio
4,076 posts, read 1,463,584 times
Reputation: 3208

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Hello, Back in December I fell on the ice and jammed a shoulder. (I am 56). Two months later, I got an MRI to discover I had two completely torn rotator cuff tendons.

However even without these tendons, I have regained 90% of the function of the shoulder. A little pain at night, some loss of motion but it is not huge.

Doctor recommends surgery. But, after reading about this I have a number of concerns about it. First, the recurrence rate is pretty high. Secondly, this takes 6 weeks in a sling, then 12 weeks of painful intensive therapy to recover. So, in the end after the surgery and therapy I might end up with LESS mobility than I have now. Or a recurrence...

Has anyone else lived for some time with torn rotator cuff tendons? I think this happens frequently when people have the injury and then do not get an MRI until years later and then find the damage.

Thanks for any info...
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Old 02-23-2011, 04:30 PM
 
Location: Out there somewhere...
38,673 posts, read 45,016,991 times
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Back in 1992 I had a torn rotator cuff and went through all the above said surgery, therapy etc. I would never go through that surgery again if I could help it. I still have daily pain, limited arm mobility and have to take pain medication on a daily basis.
When I complain to the doctor about it still not functioning properly he says the only thing they can do now is shoulder replacement at a cost of over $100,000. So at this stage in life I'm opting out of that idea and will keep on living with what I have.
I know of several people that had the same procedure and agree with me, not again.
And always get a 2nd or 3rd doctor opinion before making a decision.
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Old 02-23-2011, 04:50 PM
 
Location: Ohio
4,076 posts, read 1,463,584 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by nitram View Post
Back in 1992 I had a torn rotator cuff and went through all the above said surgery, therapy etc. I would never go through that surgery again if I could help it. I still have daily pain, limited arm mobility and have to take pain medication on a daily basis.
When I complain to the doctor about it still not functioning properly he says the only thing they can do now is shoulder replacement at a cost of over $100,000. So at this stage in life I'm opting out of that idea and will keep on living with what I have.
I know of several people that had the same procedure and agree with me, not again.
And always get a 2nd or 3rd doctor opinion before making a decision.
Thanks for your insight, nitram. I am hearing the same thing from a number of people. I am definitely planning on getting some other MD opinions before charging into this surgery.
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Old 02-23-2011, 05:14 PM
 
Location: Maryland
421 posts, read 884,649 times
Reputation: 761
Quote:
Originally Posted by GearHeadDave View Post
Hello, Back in December I fell on the ice and jammed a shoulder. (I am 56). Two months later, I got an MRI to discover I had two completely torn rotator cuff tendons.

However even without these tendons, I have regained 90% of the function of the shoulder. A little pain at night, some loss of motion but it is not huge.

Doctor recommends surgery. But, after reading about this I have a number of concerns about it. First, the recurrence rate is pretty high. Secondly, this takes 6 weeks in a sling, then 12 weeks of painful intensive therapy to recover. So, in the end after the surgery and therapy I might end up with LESS mobility than I have now. Or a recurrence...

Has anyone else lived for some time with torn rotator cuff tendons? I think this happens frequently when people have the injury and then do not get an MRI until years later and then find the damage.

Thanks for any info...
a rotator cuff surgery is no big deal at all. I have had over 10 of them, leading to a shoulder replacement, (no big deal) and just last month a reverse shoulder replacement, cost $37k. The cause of my numerous surgeries is osteoporosis. In total I have had just about 30 surgeries and looking back I wouldn't change a thing. When I have pain I get it taken care of, if shown by an MRI that I have a bone on bone situation or a torn something or another.

When I had my rotator cuff repaired I was in a sling for no more than two weeks and the physical therapy could hardly be described as painful intensive therapy. The therapy lasted about a month, and the rest I could do at home. Bascially it was just a bit of a bother.

If you can handle some pain go for it. Don't listen to people that are so negative and probably never had many or any operations.

Last edited by SouthernBelleInUtah; 02-23-2011 at 11:53 PM..
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Old 02-23-2011, 06:16 PM
 
Location: Ohio
4,076 posts, read 1,463,584 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by seethelight View Post
, a rotator cuff surgery is no big deal at all. I have had over 10 of them, leading to a shoulder replacement, (no big deal) and just last month a reverse shoulder replacement, cost $37k. The cause of my numerous surgeries is osteoporosis. In total I have had just about 30 surgeries and looking back I wouldn't change a thing. When I have pain I get it taken care of, if shown by an MRI that I have a bone on bone situation or a torn something or another.

When I had my rotator cuff repaired I was in a sling for no more than two weeks and the physical therapy could hardly be described as painful intensive therapy. The therapy lasted about a month, and the rest I could do at home. Bascially it was just a bit of a bother.

If you can handle some pain go for it. Don't listen to people that are so negative and probably never had many or any operations.
Sounds like a much less serious injury. This is at least 6 weeks immobilized; then 12 weeks of PT. And I have had 15 major operations over the last 5 years, unfortunately. I'm not concerned so much about the pain, more about the outcome. Is it better than what I have now? What are the chance of recurrence?

In this situation it is reattachment of the tendons to the bone. I think that is usually where you get into trouble with recurrence. Less serious rotator cuff injuries seem to be muscle tears.

In any event, I have read enough negative outcomes out there that I want to hear from other MDs about the pros/cons before making a decision. Before I posted here, I found a number of people with similar problem outcomes.

Last edited by SouthernBelleInUtah; 02-23-2011 at 11:53 PM..
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Old 02-23-2011, 07:11 PM
 
Location: Maryland
421 posts, read 884,649 times
Reputation: 761
Quote:
Originally Posted by GearHeadDave View Post
Sounds like a much less serious injury. This is at least 6 weeks immobilized; then 12 weeks of PT. And I have had 15 major operations over the last 5 years, unfortunately. I'm not concerned so much about the pain, more about the outcome. Is it better than what I have now? What are the chance of recurrence?

In this situation it is reattachment of the tendons to the bone. I think that is usually where you get into trouble with recurrence. Less serious rotator cuff injuries seem to be muscle tears.

In any event, I have read enough negative outcomes out there that I want to hear from other MDs about the pros/cons before making a decision. Before I posted here, I found a number of people with similar problem outcomes.
Not sure how to compare injuries, but with my recent reverse total shoulder, including a bone graft I have been in a sling for four weeks. I have had almost no pain, but sleeping is a pain in the butt. I start PT in two weeks after my sling gets off. My Dr. in Baltimore is very highly rated and I find that DRs that are in the Best Docs, most cities have a magazine that rates Drs. and other services, are the ones to concentrate on.

I had both shoulders replaced a year apart six and five years ago by two different doctors, and the results were different. I would never have a surgery by a doctor that I didn't have absolute confidence in. Of course anything can go wrong at anytime.

Hope you find the answers you are looking for.
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Old 02-24-2011, 06:56 AM
 
Location: chicago,Il. USA
55 posts, read 222,537 times
Reputation: 67
Two years ago I tore my shoulder up when a tree fell towards me that I was cutting down. The pain was bad, I went to the doctor he sent me for an mri, a torn rotator cuff and tendens torn also.
After 2 months I had surgery, 6 weeks in a sling and slept in the chair and 5 months of pt 3 times a week, not a big deal. I only have 60% rom in my left arm and sometimes it hurts but I can live with it. Its funny that this happened to me after I retired.
I was a fireman in chicago and had the normal junk happen, and it was'nt a problem but this did me in.
As far as the surgury goes its not bad and the pt not bad either, so go have it done and move on with your life. You'll get thru it ok.
Good luck and hang in there.
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Old 02-24-2011, 07:36 AM
 
Location: Sugar Grove, IL
3,131 posts, read 10,267,569 times
Reputation: 1604
I think that any time you can do physical therapy, get almost all range of motion restored and avoid surgery, that is what you should do. Surgery is never guaranteed and everyone responds differently. Get your second or third opinions, but if you can deal with slight discomfort and only slight decline in ROM, skip the surgery!
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Old 02-25-2011, 05:11 PM
 
Location: Ohio
4,076 posts, read 1,463,584 times
Reputation: 3208
Thanks for all the advice. Not sure what I will do yet but I will keep you posted, in case someone else is going through the same thing.
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Old 02-25-2011, 05:14 PM
 
Location: Ohio
4,076 posts, read 1,463,584 times
Reputation: 3208
Quote:
Originally Posted by sunnydog1 View Post
Two years ago I tore my shoulder up when a tree fell towards me that I was cutting down. The pain was bad, I went to the doctor he sent me for an mri, a torn rotator cuff and tendens torn also.
After 2 months I had surgery, 6 weeks in a sling and slept in the chair and 5 months of pt 3 times a week, not a big deal. I only have 60% rom in my left arm and sometimes it hurts but I can live with it. Its funny that this happened to me after I retired.
I was a fireman in chicago and had the normal junk happen, and it was'nt a problem but this did me in.
As far as the surgury goes its not bad and the pt not bad either, so go have it done and move on with your life. You'll get thru it ok.
Good luck and hang in there.
Thanks for the info sunnydog. You said you have 60% range of motion afterwards. Before the surgery, 2 months after the injury, did you have less range of motion than that? I am at 2 months after the injury and have more than that. I am not scared of the surgery I have had so many abdominal and other surgeries this is nothing. It's the outcome that worries me, that is the one thing I have learned from all those procedures - there are often unintended outcomes (and recurrence risk).
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