Life After Rotator Cuff Surgery
After rotator cuff surgery the aim is to be free of rotator cuff pain and have greater strength and mobility in the shoulder.
After surgery the aim is simply to recover as quickly as possible and for you to resume your normal life.
As you know I have undergone surgery on my rotator cuff and I know this can be a tough time.
Hopefully by passing on some of what to expect I can remove the uncertainty you may have. If you are in the run up to torn rotator cuff surgery I hope to explain how life will be.
If you are already post op, I hope I can encourage and support through what I know is a difficult time. Remaining positive is a huge factor in maintaining your rotator cuff surgery rehab program after rotator cuff surgery.
I hope therefore that by explaining what you can expect life to be like after rotator cuff surgery it will prepare you and make things easier. What are my memories of life after rotator cuff surgery?
I remember really very little of the rotator cuff pain I remember a little more of the rotator cuff surgery rehab but what I remember most is having real problems sleeping and the boredom. I like to be busy so if you're anything like me this could well be the worst of it.
General guidanceTake the prescribed pain relief! It is amazing how many people try to struggle on without. Torn rotator cuff surgery is painful and requires pain relief.
If it upsets your stomach, as it can do, then go back to the doctor and ask for something different. You went through this, after all, to be rid of your rotator cuff pain.
Try to get someone else involved with your recovery it makes life so much easier to have a level of support available, even if only for encouragement.
You will have to wear a sling for approximately 3 - 4 weeks. It may be uncomfortable but it is vital to your recovery. Even at night the sling will help to support the surgical repair.
You should be able to resume a normal diet fairly quickly. Start slow however and stick to simple and fresh for a day or two.
As soon as possible after rotator cuff surgery you must be prepared to start your rotator cuff surgery rehab, strengthening the rotator cuff is the key to your recovery.
Don't rush things, please be patient. You will not be able to drive for approximately 4 - 6 weeks.
Return to work can be a lot longer, repair of a small tear and with a job that demands nothing of the affected shoulder could be 4 weeks but for manual overhead work absence could be as long as 6 months.
The first few days after rotator cuff surgery
You will have pain after rotator cuff surgery it simply can not be avoided. I remember just sitting and constantly fidgeting with the sling more than anything else in the first few days.
First 6 weeks after rotator cuff surgeryYou will be back and forward to the doctors for check up's, dressing changes, suture removal all kinds of stuff.
Try to get into a set routine for the rehab. It is easy to get down over slow progress, just keep doing the work. The time seems so slow but looking back it really isn't that long a time.
Try to start to set and reach little milestones, off the pain relief, off with the sling, upping the rehab routines, sleeping lying down. Whatever it is; celebrate it as another goal achieved.
For those of you who may be uncertain what a milestone is; England is littered with a series of small stones at the side of the road, dating back hundreds of years. They give the mileage to the next town e.g. London 12.
There is generally one every mile so the next one a mile further on would be London 11. Progress has been made however and there are now signposts but often on rural roads the milestones remain.
If you have a fairly sedentary job you may just be returning to work. I found this seemed to speed my recovery even more.
Possibly it was just that I was picking up anyway but having a different focus really helped. My sense of frustration at being useless certainly began to disappear; I was back in the real world.
Weeks 6 - 12 after rotator cuff surgeryLooking back this period for me flew by really quickly. I had been getting a lift to work but now I could drive myself. That sense of independence was great, certainly one of my major milestones ticked off.
I was by this time in a good routine with the rotator cuff surgery rehab. I was gently pushing myself further; it was almost certainly at this time I realised that strengthening the rotator cuff muscles was the key to a future free of rotator cuff pain.
Most people will be getting back to work by now.
From 12 weeks after rotator cuff surgery
This is often the hardest period after rotator cuff surgery. You've had torn rotator cuff surgery and you've done some rotator cuff surgery rehab now you must begin strengthening the rotator cuff.
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