Caribou Gear

Rotator cuff surgery

Zach

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Oct 1, 2010
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Gods Country, Colorado
Yep this, the ache below my shoulder is a killer. Also, strange as it sounds it takes both hands to put my truck in park. Putting on any pull over shirt, getting my right arm though the sleeve hole is one thing I dread every day.
well, I've been using my opposite arm to shuttle shift my tractor, so there's that. Yeah, I've come up with new ways to put a pullover shirt on so I don't have to lift my left arm or put it in a funky angle.
 

MNElkNut

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Jan 27, 2012
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1,386
Location
Minnesota
I had my surgery in May 21. I did not try to shoot my bow until January 22. I could not pull it back at 65 lbs. I kept trying and was shooting my normal practice routine by the end of May. (Note: living in MN, I didnt exactly practice outside until late April or early May, rather I would just pull my bow back every day). I think this schedule could have been accelerated, but with the time I had to work with, I didnt need to rush it.

As for daily life, recently, I hadn't noticed hardly any difference in strength or mobility for months. then I tried to lift something straight to the side. Noticed right away I didn't have my normal strength.
 

tjones

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Jun 9, 2009
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well, I've been using my opposite arm to shuttle shift my tractor, so there's that. Yeah, I've come up with new ways to put a pullover shirt on so I don't have to lift my left arm or put it in a funky angle.
Sounds like you are headed to surgery. I tore mine last December lifting a tub of elk meat to put through the grinder. I kept thinking it would get better but when August came, and I could only shoot 15 arrows. Then when it came time to put up treestands and I could barely get one hung I knew it was time to see someone.
 
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kansasdad

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Jul 30, 2011
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Wichita
In general the speed of healing of joint replacement surgery, "time to happiness" for a patient is hip faster than knee faster than shoulder which is faster than elbow surgery. This also holds for joint interventions without replacement.

One of the skills of an orthopaedic surgeon (my brother likes the "fancy" spelling) is to properly set the expectation level for the patient. Most patients will regain nearly full function, for other patients, the goal of the surgery is to limit the loss of function to where the patient is now.

@tjones you are smart to have discussed with your surgeon your concerns about archery/shooting. Understanding what is expected with a general case and applying it to your specific situation can help a brain understand what is going on with the body.

Perhaps ask about coyote rifle hunting, shooting opposite shoulder? But just shooting a rifle isn't the only concern on a recently repaired joint. How often does one take an unexpected fall while moving through the woods?

After a very successful gall bladder removal, I told Mrs kansasdad that I was considering an outing to look for morels. She looked at me as if I was nuts.

"What happens if you trip and fall on your incision?"
"Good point, I probably should do stuff that reduces the risk while I'm still in healing mode".
 

tjones

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Jun 9, 2009
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4,391
In general the speed of healing of joint replacement surgery, "time to happiness" for a patient is hip faster than knee faster than shoulder which is faster than elbow surgery. This also holds for joint interventions without replacement.

One of the skills of an orthopaedic surgeon (my brother likes the "fancy" spelling) is to properly set the expectation level for the patient. Most patients will regain nearly full function, for other patients, the goal of the surgery is to limit the loss of function to where the patient is now.

@tjones you are smart to have discussed with your surgeon your concerns about archery/shooting. Understanding what is expected with a general case and applying it to your specific situation can help a brain understand what is going on with the body.

Perhaps ask about coyote rifle hunting, shooting opposite shoulder? But just shooting a rifle isn't the only concern on a recently repaired joint. How often does one take an unexpected fall while moving through the woods?

After a very successful gall bladder removal, I told Mrs kansasdad that I was considering an outing to look for morels. She looked at me as if I was nuts.

"What happens if you trip and fall on your incision?"
"Good point, I probably should do stuff that reduces the risk while I'm still in healing mode".
My surgeon bow hunts too so he gets that part . I'm 62 and, he had said guys my age rarely returning to their current equipment.

When we talked coyote hunting, he mentioned slipping so ya you are probably right there is more too it. Thinking my brain might have shut off after hearing the "no guns for 3 months".

My dad had 2 knees replace and one hip and after every surgery he never got back to where he was. I watched it and I'm not ready to do that.

He did question my tree stand hunting. He said after all the guys he patches up from falls he would never climb up in one.🤷‍♂️
 
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tjones

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Jun 9, 2009
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Surgery tomorrow.
Been working through it since the MRI in Feb of 22, couldn't shut down but decided to have it early Dec, skip our ML season, hopefully able to jump back into work by March.
Let us know how it goes. Good luck.
 

tjones

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Jun 9, 2009
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Thanks, If I can just make it 1 more day without me or my surgeon.... getting the flu or covid
I'm a little more than a month out and I'm ready to get it fixed. The constant ache is getting really old.
 

WyoDoug

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Apr 8, 2019
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Cheyenne, Wyoming
I have had it in both shoulders on top of severing the minor brachii tendon where it joins at the sholder and partially severing the major one. Take your rehab seriously and do what the doctor and the physical therapist tells you and you should be able to handle your bow come hunting season. It took me 5-6 months before I regained full motion with that arm again. Since you have a rotator cuff tear, you will recover faster or should than what I went through. Once you have this type of injury, what pops up now and then is bursitis which is irritation of the bursae. Expect a mix of cold and hot pacs and look into a TENS machine to control the pain. Ask your doctor and physical therapist about it. Better using that than getting addicted to pain meds. That being said, keep in mind that everyone recovers different and some recover fast and some take time. Some have no after affects and some have permanent issues after.
 

Hunting Wife

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Nov 18, 2014
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Almost North Dakota, not quite Canada
Sorry to hear! Hope the surgery at least gets you back to pain free and close to normal function. Like everyone else said, PT is crucial, but religious dedication to the stretching and strengthening work they give you to do at home really speeds the process. Small progress most days, rest when it tells you to. You’ll get there.

Somebody on here recommended the knee version of this to me and it was great. Haven’t used the shoulder version before but might be worth a try.

 

A207X2

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Sep 20, 2020
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352
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SW Florida and N. Georgia
I’ve had both of mine done. Right shoulder 15 years ago, left shoulder 3 years ago. Both were rotator cuff tears, labrum tears, and bicep tendon tears. 6 weeks in the sling with arm bent at 90 degrees (tendon re-attachment has to fuse to the bone and that just takes time), then the PT really begins. Not going to lie to you, it’s very unpleasant but if you commit to the PT your shoulder will come back as good as new.

Lots of ice/frozen peas. Lots of pain meds. Rest when you can. The first 48 hours after the nerve block wears off is the worst. Don’t try to tough it out. Take the pain meds BEFORE the pain kicks in, and just stay stoned for the next 48 hours.

You really must commit to the PT. Do that fox six months and you’ll be fine.
 

IDFireLass

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Sep 11, 2015
Messages
249
Location
Idaho
Ok all you big bad guys. Do you realize how much damage you are doing by NOT getting your shoulder fixed in the right amount of time?
I did a mild frontal dislocation in 2000. Waited the summer to get it repaired. The doc tightened it too much so had to go back in and have the bone ground off some to quit eating the rotator cuff.
I've had 4 scopes done. Last time it was done doc told me that was it. I waited 22 years to do something with it. Shot every 3 months to keep me going. Surgeon said I'd know when it was time. Last year 2021 helping pack out my husbands elk felt the shoulder pull all the scar tissue after that the shoulder started locking up.
February 1 had a total reversed replacement. I've done well all summer waited until August before starting to shoot my 6.5. Doctor told me nothing bigger than that caliber. Fast forward. First day of cow hunt fell going up the mountain and fell when we came down. The second fall could feel it stinging got up shoulder moved with little to no pain. 2 days later in the house stepped on/tripped over the dog and face planted into the floor. I was more worried about getting bit by the dog than the fall. I've done soft tissue damage to the new shoulder. It's been 2 weeks now and still have pain and limited movement. Was hoping to get out on the last weekend to hunt but not sure? I've started doing very easy light P.T. moves on my own and have the ice machine going and using it several times a day to get the fluid/swelling out of the shoulder. It's very weak and can't lift the arm very high up. Now with this new shoulder I can't pull a bow again and will never be able to throw a baseball over hand. I use to play softball and could throw from deep field to home plate. Being old sucks the big one. Totally stay ahead of the pain. 2 knees, 1 hip and 1 shoulder I think I know what I'm talking about.
 

BrentD

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Feb 3, 2018
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5,124
Location
In the middle
I have 2 tears in my right rotator, surgery coming after season. Has anyone been through it? Looking for advice on recovery and time it will take to get back shooting my bow?
Had my right shoulder cut and nailed on Monday. It sucks. Hurts like a bastard too. Recovery looks like a LLLOOONNNGGG way off.
 

Durango Mike

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Jul 25, 2020
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393
Location
Durango, CO
I have 2 tears in my right rotator, surgery coming after season. Has anyone been through it? Looking for advice on recovery and time it will take to get back shooting my bow?
Had both shoulders done, rotator cuff and torn bicep tendon in left, just tear repair in right. Have had a new right knee and hip, probably 3 surgeries on left knee. Just recounting that so when I say the shoulder surgeries were the most painful and slow recoveries of ALL the ortho procedures I have had. Good slow and steady PT is key on the shoulders as the surgeon will tell you that if you damage the repair being too aggressive there is not much that can be done the second time.
 

tjones

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Jun 9, 2009
Messages
4,391
Sorry to hear! Hope the surgery at least gets you back to pain free and close to normal function. Like everyone else said, PT is crucial, but religious dedication to the stretching and strengthening work they give you to do at home really speeds the process. Small progress most days, rest when it tells you to. You’ll get there.

Somebody on here recommended the knee version of this to me and it was great. Haven’t used the shoulder version before but might be worth a try.

Thanks HW. Just ordered one.

Gonna miss that January and February coyote calling but looking forward to working towards recovery.
 

TexAg09

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Joined
Nov 18, 2015
Messages
316
Location
Central Texas
I had reconstructive shoulder surgery right after HS when I tore my rotator cuff and labrum. Keep in mind I was 18 years old, in good shape, and religious about rehab. I had surgery in middle of August and was throwing a baseball again by Christmas. (At significantly reduced strength, but it came back quickly.) I will say the surgery and initial recovery was very painful for me, but I tried to wean myself off the pain meds ASAP. Good luck with your surgery and recovery. I hope it goes well!
 

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