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Forum Category: Ask the Doctors, and Other Medical Related Topics
 Originator Date Posted 
   Rotator Cuff - Torn Again 4 Days post Op???  

3/9/2011 15:10
Posted By:  - WAUKESHA, WI  
Date Posted: 3/9/2011 15:10
   If a doc could give me a thought about this, I would really appreciate it.

I had double rotator cuff surgery on 3/1. I am a 40 year old male, 5/8", 195, and I am a very dedicated weight lifter. I began suffering increasingly painful workouts over the past year and especially the past 6 months. As the pain increased, the strength decreased until I finally gave in and set up the surgery.

This was a huge decision for me, and it was one of the most emotionally difficult things I have ever done since it meant giving up lifting for 6 months and probably never being more than 80-90% of what I was. Lifting is very dear to me and to lose it is a nightmare. I have been extremely depressed about this entire thing. But I finally admitted it was necessary. Because of the cost and the pain and the downtime and the lengthy re-hab, I went into this totally committed to being the best rehabbed person ever.

My left bicep tendon and cuff were torn and I had a few other tears as well. They used a tunnel method to reattach the bicep tendon and did a ton of other work. The right was not nearly as bad and went very smoothly.

I was being so careful after I got out of the hospital. I tried to do everything right and focus on the rehab. I was doing really well and got off to a great start. Then, disaster struck.

On 3/6, my Gordon Setter suffered a seizure at 6AM. He has never had them before. I reacted totally on instinct and the need to protect a family member that I love more than I can describe. I sprung out of the recliner and ran to him and held his head in my arms to keep him from hurting himself. My wife and kids were screaming and yelling and trying to get the Vet ER ready for him. I was only focused on keeping my dog safe. As soon as he stopped seizing, I scooped my left arm under his neck and began to lift him. I have no idea what I was thinking. Physically, there was no way I could lift an 80 pound dog in the middle of a seizure 4 days out of shoulder surgery.

Suddenly, my left shoulder just hurt all at once. It was a sharp pain and it hurt like crazy. I think it was located where the bicep tendon was reattached. I instantly let the dog go.

A few things are important to note. I was extremely tender from the surgery, and even moving or twitching wrong caused me the almost same amount of pain. My arm was partially restrained in a sling, although it was loose from sleeping. I had my shoulder tucked into my body and was not lifting with my arms extended awkwardly away from my body. I never managed to actually get him in the air. Since I had two arms under him, the left had to carry 38 pounds and the right had to carry 38 pounds. Since I never got him in the air, I doubt either shoulder ever supported the entire 38 pounds. It was all over in half a second.

Since then, the worst pain I have is centered at the point where the bicep tendon was reattached. It has gotten slowly better since.

My fear, and make no mistake, I am effing terrified, is that I tore the bicep tendon all over again. I am beside myself now and just totally depressed. I have gone through so much to get to this point and I can't believe I was so effing stupid. I just reacted to someone I care about that was suffering.

I explained this to one of my two doctors and he said in the 10 years he has done this repair, he has never seen anyone re-tear the bicep tendon 4 days after surgery. He said I would really have to wrench on it to maybe tear it and he gave doing curls with a 40 pound dumbbell as an example. He thought it was just due to the extent of the repair and upped my prescription of keterolac which is a really kick ass inflammatory to be used with the oxycontin. He hoped the pain would subside. I see the docs on 3/14.

The final thing I can think of to add is that I can still do the Codmanís exercises although that same spot hurts during them. I am also able to use the passive motion chair and I am able to get a really great stretch out of that. And the pain has eased. Also, it is slowly getting harder to make little motions that weak the shoulder and cause sharp pain.

I have 2 questions:
First, what are the chances I tore it and how can I tell?
Secondly, how soon after surgery will it be possible for an MRI or X-Ray to tell me whether I tore it?

I really appreciate it if anyone out there can give me their professional thoughts on this.

I am absolutely just at a huge low now. I was broken up about the scars and the pain and losing my physique I worked so hard on and losing strength and about being 40 and my body breaking down way too young...and then I go and fuck it all up by doing something like this.

Any thoughts you might have will be really appreciated.

Thank you.

Mr. Blondes

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