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Upcoming rotator cuff surgery and our Christmas/New Years trip

post #1 of 12
Thread Starter 

Ive got a torn suprasinatus and probably a sublabral tear. No ruptures, but tears. I can't work with them (firefighter) and have laid off swimming and lifting since tearing it at work. Ive done the protocol for industrial by having the cortizone shot (which was nice for about a week) and Im doing the therapy now before they will approve a surgery. I can have the surgery around the first or second week of September. Here's the problem, we already booked and paid for our families almost 2 week trip to Park City over the holidays. Needless to say after all the costs Im in it for over 8K to start. We go every year numerous times to PC and the bird. My therapist about crapped her pants when I told her I was going snowboarding/skiing (I do both) over the holidays 3+ months post surgery. Ive had 5 surgeries in the past and I think Ill be OK...seriously.  Any of you had a rotator cuff repair and hit the slopes after? Ive had 2 wrist, 1 knee and 2 hand surgeries.. I know what to expect...mostly...although Ive never had the shoulder done.. Any thoughts would be helpful

post #2 of 12

I had rotator cuff surgery.  I didn't have tears, however, just nicks and a lot of loose material "floating around in there."  I suspect that your surgery may involve more work and a longer recovery than mine, so don't rely on my experience.  I will tell you, though, that absolute dedication to post-surgery PT is key.  Having had other surgeries I'm guessing that you already know this in spades.  I was back to skiing 3 months after the procedure and I only waited that long because the surgery was in early September. ;)   If it had been scheduled closer to the season, I think I'd have been back on the slopes in 2 months.

 

I hope that your surgery is uneventful and your recovery goes as smoothly as mine.  I can offer little else except to encourage you to get it done sooner rather than later so you can pack in as much recovery time as possible before your trip.

post #3 of 12
Thread Starter 

Thanks for the advice. Since I waterski and snowboard theres no way to avoid missing part of any season. Obviously water sports require the shoulder much more, so waiting until March to have it wipes out the whole summer.. I was hoping a surgery in early Sept meant I could at least board or ski with the should after 3.5 months.  No way to win this game I guess

post #4 of 12

I,m three months post rotator cuff repair. I could probably ski now but I'm glad it isn't winter so I don't have to find out. I skied all last season with my injury and my shoulder  feels  almost as good as it did then. My doctor says I'll be out for six months and since I was able to schedule my surgery I don't have to push the issue. Good luck.

post #5 of 12
Thread Starter 

I think what Im worried about is holding my arm over my head if I fall or etc. Basically laying down on the slope after going down with my arms up.  Were you (or anyone) able to go overhead with your arms after 3.5 months?

post #6 of 12

At 3 months I can raise my arm over my head. It's still stiff and I'm sure it would hurt to fall on. That being said I don't think it would do any damage if I landed on it and if my vacation was paid for I'd go enjoy myself and be careful.  

post #7 of 12
Thread Starter 

Thanks again for the reply.  By the way, what part of the rotator did you get repaired?

post #8 of 12

I have had rotator cuff surgery on both shoulders, about 10 years apart.   Both surgeries took place in mid-to-late October and I was skiing by mid-January.  My post-op experiences were straight-forward and fairly easy compared to the norm - no need for pain meds and after immobilizing the shoulder for the first month, PT progressed as expected.  Regaining strength and range of motion in the arm to be able to ski was a great motivator for PT.  For my second one four years ago I had a 1-inch retraction of the tendon.  It tore ten months before but I decided to hold off on surgery so that I could ski that ski season.

 

In each case I took it easy the first 2-3 weeks of skiing trying to be careful not to fall.  Frankly skiing seemed to help further with the rehab because you push, extend, and pressure the shoulder in ways you normally would not.

 

Good luck with it and I hope your surgery and rehab go well.

post #9 of 12
Quote:
Originally Posted by kurtis500 View Post
 

I think what Im worried about is holding my arm over my head if I fall or etc. Basically laying down on the slope after going down with my arms up.  Were you (or anyone) able to go overhead with your arms after 3.5 months?

 

After my third rotator cuff it took me a full 6 months to extend overhead enough to do a proper catch on a front crawl - but I skied at 4 months without having to extend overhead.    I had one fall on the shoulder and it was screamingly painful but recovered fast and was pain free within 10 days.    Pole plants were jarring, I shifted to composite poles for 100% of that winter.     

Snowboarding with an injury like that would be a bit scary to me.

 


Edited by cantunamunch - 8/10/16 at 9:14am
post #10 of 12
Thread Starter 

After meeting with the doc yesterday i decided to put this off until after the season. He explained the healing process and as much as I love snowboarding and skiing Im pretty sure I wouldn't even want to be on the mountain after 3 months post-op and only a month of therapy. He said no repetitive movements for at least 3 months such as running and etc. and therapy doesn't start until 7-8 weeks. This sounds similar to my 2 separate UCL ruptures in the wrist and the resulting therapy. What a nightmare that experience was, and I would have never thought about flying down a mountain after 3 months then. Looks like Im kicking the can down the road till late winter/spring..

Thanks for all the input guys

post #11 of 12

What are you allowed to do now, and what do you think you will be allowed to do in November/Dec., without surgery?

 

post #12 of 12

I'm sure this guy's moved on, but I wanted to write for posterity:

 

I had surgery Aug. 1 for a massive rotator cuff repair - that means several tendons torn [mountain biking] that need to be reattached. When asked if I could make a ski trip scheduled to begin Dec. 20, the surgeon said yes - but don't take any big falls. I can tell you that now 13 weeks post surgery I'm feeling pretty good. Range of motion is 80% recovered in most directions and trending up. Strength training just started. I've been extremely diligent about PT - as I'm sure most of the posters on this forum would be. I think I will be ready and, luckily, I'm skiing with someone who's intermediate at best, which should force me to take it easy.

 

Thing is, it's pretty well studied that the repair is not at 100% strength until 9 months or so, maybe 80% at 6 months, so maybe 70% at 4.5 months - so you're taking a risk, but there's always some risk in skiing anyway.

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