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Riding Outdoors After Rotator Cuff Surgery
 Patrick member offline
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posted 12/28/2007
at 5:08:14 PM
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I just received the results from the MRI and my MD referred me to a surgeon.

The MRI results include:

-- Complete supraspinatus tendon rupture with retraction to the myotendinous junction.

-- Complete infraspinatus tendon rupture with 2.6 cm of retraction, and intramuscular/interstitial tearing.

-- Biceps tendinopathy and small split tearing.

Does anyone have an estimate when I can return to outdoor riding following rotator cuff surgery. I've made certain commitments to some Spring rides.

Thanks!

Pat





 Rob01 member online
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posted 12/28/2007
at 5:40:05 PM
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Pat,

One thing I've learned re: Rotator Cuff recovery - it takes as long as it takes. I've seen some who haven't been able to return to active sports for 8-9 months, others who've been able to get back at it within a relatively short period of time (2 months).

 mary9761 member not displaying online status 
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posted 12/28/2007
at 7:17:29 PM
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Good Luck Patrick, I can't give you any answers, but I hope you're not incapacited very long.

 hootervil_mayor member online
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posted 12/28/2007
at 7:27:26 PM
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I would like to add my hopes for your speedy recovery along with Rob and Mary,
and just one litte tidbit, do what your physical therapist says to do.
Without fail.
Always.
Consistently.
Busy, busy, busy, but STILL; do what your physcial therapist says to do!!!

 OpusthePoet member online 
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posted 12/28/2007
at 7:57:18 PM
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I'm not a doctor, nor did I sleep in a Holiday Inn Express, but I would have to say "It depends." The two biggest factors are how well you heal, and how much stress your riding position places on your upper body. Riding a 'bent that places next to no stress on the upper body would allow you to return to riding much sooner than the stress riding a TT machine places on the upper body.

Not that I'm saying you should ride a 'bent, unless you want to. Just that you could ride sooner if you rode one. Ride what you like, you'll ride more if you like the bike you ride. Like me for instance, I don't do the e word (exercise), I just ride for fun and transportation.

Opus

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posted 12/28/2007
at 8:21:55 PM
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I hope you heal quick1

 ericfoltz member online
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posted 12/28/2007
at 9:12:04 PM
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Not sure how much work they're going to do on you but I had to have a my bicep tendon reattached to my shoulder with staples a couple of years ago.

Six weeks of complete immobilization to allow the tendon to reattach followed by six months of physical therapy 3x a week to regain my range of motion. After the six months I was allowed to resume riding, running, normal activities. It ended up being about a year for it to be fully healed and regain the strength.

I've broken my collarbone 2x and was able to ride again within weeks. The surgery was much worse.

 GT member online
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posted 12/28/2007
at 11:37:54 PM
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It would depend on the extent of the procedure, of course. I had rather extensive rotator cuff surgery in June '04. Doctor said it was almost non-repairable, damage was caused by five bone spurs. I was riding my 'bent in September. I want to try my uprights. I did get back to uprights, I don't remember when, although I wasn't on the 'bent very long though because we didn't get along well.
God's speed for a speedy recovery. I still have some discomfort when I do certain things. Without the surgery I wouldn't be doing anything. The discomfort never lasts, as soon as I stop doing what I'm doing(stirring something on the stove) the discomfort stops. I think the hardest thing to realize is that I'm never going to be young again & this shoulder will never be the same as it was before I let the problem go on & on. I don't say any of this to discourage you, just that you know what the reality is. Yours may be much better, we can hope & pray. Any questions or you just want to talk, buddy list me.

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posted 12/29/2007
at 9:06:14 AM
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I had rotator cuff surgery and bicep tenodisis done last January. I was in a sling for six weeks and went to therapy for 5 months. I started riding my bike in the middle of April with my therapist's OK. My Doctor said I healed amazingly fast. So, it is possible to be on the bike in a few months, but it all depends on how fast you heal. The tendons have to reattach themselves to the bone and that takes time, the pins just hold the tendons in place. The main thing is to listen to your therapist and don't rush it. My shoulder is completely healed and I have full range of motion and strength. Hopefully you will have similar results. Good Luck
Simon

 OrthoBiker member online
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posted 12/29/2007
at 9:52:19 AM
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Pat
How quick you recover depends on a lot of factors.

How did it tear? Did you fall on your shoulder and tear your rotator cuff in the fall or have you had chronic tendonitis in you shoulder a long time? Was there pre-existing problems with the shoulder? The reference to the biceps tendonopathy indicates that there was tendonitis prior to the tear and that might have actually caused the tear if you didn't have a fall.

How old are you? As we age our tendon tissue is not as strong, so the repair is not as strong. Same for the bone that the tendon is repaired back to.

How old was the tear? If caught in the first few weeks the tendon is stronger, there is less scar tissue to deal with and the retraction is not as fixed. (The muscle pulls the tendon back to the shoulder blade and that retraction needs to be pulled back to the original location for the best repair.)

How good is your doctor? See someone who is very good in sports medicine and I mean arthroscopic surgery. Board certified and a member of the AAOS (see aaos.org) and maybe a member of one of the sports medicine societies. There are two schools of thought about the rehab following surgery; one, just work on passive motion for 6 weeks and then begin active motion. The other is more aggressive with earlier active motion encouraged. Which one your doctor goes with depends again on the quality of the repair and which school of thought he subscribes to.

FOLLOW THE PT PROGRAM OUTLINES TO THE LETTER! Most of the time, patients themselves slow down their own rehab more than any other factor by letting the pain of therapy get in the way or not investing the time in getting better.

If the the repair is wonderful and the rehab goes great, you could be back on your bike at 2 months, but you'd be better off upright, not leaning on you shoulder. If things go slow or it is a weak repair it might be 6 months.

How do I know so much? I am a cyclist, orthopaedic surgeon (total joint surgery) who had a traumatic rotator cuff tear the week of Thanksgiving. I had a MRI that Friday and my rotator cuff was repaired by one of my partners the following Wednesday. Despite my age (55) he got a great repair (fresh injury) and I'll be back on the bike in mid to late January (I've been on the trainer and stationary bike since the first week. Check my log. I hate doing that, so the miles have dropped way off!) While my main objective is to get back to the bike ASAP, my partners want me back to operating, doing heavy joint surgery ASAP as well. That is the reason for my accelerated PT program. That is why you see the "red cross" by my name.

GOOD LUCK! I truly hope things go great for you!

OrthoBiker

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posted 12/29/2007
at 11:44:26 AM
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OrthoBiker, first I trust you have a speedy & complete recovery. Second, you answered some questions for me. My injury, from 5 bone spurs, was over a long time period, so I started the surgery with very old tears. Not the best place to start from & being 65 at the time didn't help either. So, what I probably feel now is scar tissue. The real lesson for all of us is see the doctor sooner, rather than later. I had a very good surgeon & I feel fortunate/blessed to have full use of my right arm. Thanks for your input.
post edited on 12/29/2007 at 11:38:37 AM
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