Rotator Cuff Therapy Exercises

Rotator Cuff Surgery Rehab

Rotator cuff surgery rehab is a vital to ensure the success of any rotator cuff surgery.

No matter if you have had open surgery for a massive rotator cuff tear or a mini rotator cuff repair, surgery rehab is so important.

One of the major reasons cited by orthopaedic surgeons for poor surgical outcomes is poor patient adherence to rotator cuff surgery rehab programs.

The vast majority of rotator cuff surgical repairs are carried out successfully with very few complications. I want to make the assumption therefore that this is exactly how your surgery has or is going to turn out.

Rotator Cuff Surgery RehabThe only remaining variable therefore is you.

So if you want to get the best result you can from surgery then the only person who can guarantee that outcome is you.

My story - part 1

My story is similar to a lot of people that I have talked too. I never had shoulder problems before and suddenly suffered an acute rotator cuff injury.

I was advised quite correctly to do some rotator cuff surgery rehab work. One of my biggest regrets is that I fell short, I just didn't treat it seriously. I was younger and typically thought I knew everything - did I have some growing up to do!

Well I didn't do the rehab and eventually underwent a mini rotator cuff repair. I was then provided with all of the help and support I needed, a thorough rotator cuff protocol to follow, a nice new rotator cuff sling and lots of rotator cuff surgery rehab exercises to do.

Guess what I let myself down again I didn't take it seriously. I thought I've had the op I am cured, few weeks in a rotator cuff sling, few simple exercises and back to life and sports.

The reality was quite different. Yes I regained pretty much full range of movement post op and the tear did heal. Despite knowing I had had a problem; I simply went straight back to doing what I did before the injury.

I was given an expectation of rotator cuff surgery recovery time but I knew better. I made little effort to follow my rotator cuff protocol and strengthen the muscles - result I suffered another tear only eight months after the initial surgery.

I was lucky in some respects as insurance covered me but I think the total cost was around $10k. So there I was, back in pain, with a slightly worse tear than before, having wasted everyone's time and money. I actually remember feeling foolish and embarrassed by my actions or should I say lack of action.

My story - part 2

This time was different, I can't say it was plain sailing it wasn't. I did the rehab and got stronger but the shoulder remained a little painful and was definitely weaker.

I was told that this was mainly as a result of the earlier mini rotator cuff repair. This was disappointing as it meant further surgery.

My approach this time was completely different I was positive from the start. Determined to follow my rotator cuff surgery rehab schedule to the letter and I did.

I was given a complete rotator cuff protocol to follow and follow it I did. My family were a huge help encouraging me if I slowed up.

My absolute number 1 best tip

Get someone to help you, get a mentor and choose someone accessible and who you really respect - some tough love is called for here.

It is no use having a mentor you can overrule, they have to be prepared to bully, cajole and push you all the way. I was in my late twenties and married but mine was my mom - perfect choice! She was ruthless but happily we are now closer than ever.

The results were not immediate; rotator cuff surgery recovery time for me was in the region of six months. I was stronger fitter and free of pain for the first time in three years. I am still doing rotator cuff surgery rehab now over ten years later and remain fitter and stronger than ever before.

Other tips - in my own order

  • . 2. Get involved in your rotator cuff protocol, buy into it, have it explained until your certain you understand what is happening and what is expected of you.

  • . 3. Don't just do rotator cuff exercises. Get fitter do some aerobic work even just walking - it all helps recovery.

  • . 4. Keep a diary - record your experiences and thoughts

  • . 5. Be prepared to push yourself but DO NOT try to get ahead. Yes some exercises should be uncomfortable to your own tolerance levels. Always stop on pain.

  • . 6. Ice - I love ice, use it regularly especially early on to help with pain and swelling.

  • . 7. Get some simple equipment of your own e.g. hand weights and therabands and use them!

  • . 8. Strengthen the surrounding muscles

  • . 9. Be prepared to throw yourself into something else - you're a long time sitting - reading helped me pass the time.

  • . 10. Never stop the program

I will you all the best if you are in the middle of rotator cuff surgey rehab.  It is not easy - but it is a rewarding process when you are all said and done with it!

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