View Full Version : Rotator Cuff Surgery

11-08-2004, 12:23 PM
Well, after months of pain, I will be having Rotator Cuff surgery in two weeks. I'm told recovery is VERY lengthy. Like 9 months.

Of course, that means no pool. My team is first in our league. Ouch! Has anyone here had this surgery? And, if so, how fast did you return to playing? I think my best option is to find a physical therapist that plays pool.


11-08-2004, 12:37 PM
Good luck in your surgery and recovery. I sometimes have rotator cuff pain, when it flares up I have to bend my bridge arm a little and rest the elbow on the table to take the stress off the shoulder. I get a little closer to the table, square up my stance use my knees more. Kind of a snooker style stance. It really eases the strain on the rotator cuff.

Maybe you could use the recovery period to get some practice with the mechanical bridge? Just think what 9 months of practice would do! Or shoot one handed for a while?

-CM~~~couldn't go 9 months without playing...

11-08-2004, 12:51 PM
Thanks, I've been having pain for several years. Most likely a partial tear. Finally, something happened this year to tear it all the way.

Unfortunately, it's my right shoulder. Years ago, I played a lot one-handed for drinks, but always with my right hand. So last week I began practicing one-handed with my left. Boy, I suck. For now, the plan is to shoot one-handed. I jsut have no idea how fast I can return.

#### leonard
11-08-2004, 01:21 PM
Brad, I had the operation on my left shoulder and for my therapy I shot left handed after a month or so. I had no problems till I went back to work after a month of what they called Work Hardening. I drove truck and it took three weeks of work to put me on SS disability permanently.

Then it took almost two years before I could hit one left handed again.

Phil Simms and I had the operation the same day, he didn't comeback either.####;

11-08-2004, 01:27 PM

You really know how to cheer a guy up.

11-08-2004, 01:35 PM
<blockquote><font class="small">Quote Brad:</font><hr> ####,

You really know how to cheer a guy up. <hr /></blockquote>

I never had a rotator cuff surgery but 3 different other surgerys tennis elbow,spinal neck,and a minicus of the knee, 1 came out fine and the other two didn't my advise is to pick your doctor carefully "BEWARE" there are some bad ones out there and I kid you not, good luck to you

11-08-2004, 02:07 PM
<blockquote><font class="small">Quote justbrake:</font><hr> I never had a rotator cuff surgery but 3 different other surgerys tennis elbow,spinal neck,and a minicus of the knee, 1 came out fine and the other two didn't my advise is to pick your doctor carefully "BEWARE" there are some bad ones out there and I kid you not, good luck to you <hr /></blockquote>I never had a rotator cuff surgery, but I had achilles tendon surgery on my right foot, and it came out fine. So I had it on the left foot, which didn't some out as fine. Same doctor, same procedure, different results. /ccboard/images/graemlins/crazy.gif /ccboard/images/graemlins/frown.gif

11-08-2004, 04:29 PM
Interesting how we can remember the things associated with celeberties.

I had this same procedure as Greg Norman at the same time.
Before my surgery I could hardly lift my toothbrush and anything that requied lifting my right hand above my head was excruiating.
I went from a 20 oz. cue down to an 18 oz. but now that I am well again I am back up to the 20.
I was only playing at home at that time and I guess my table was covered for a month or so.

Golf News: - Posted 22nd April 1998

Norman undergoes shoulder surgery
Vail, Colorado - Greg Norman, who has missed the cut in two of the three tournaments he has entered this year, reportedly will undergo left shoulder surgery today that will sideline him for three months.

ESPN reported Tuesday that Norman will have a torn labrum, bone spurs and some degeneration repaired during the procedure at the Steadman Hawkins Sports Medicine Foundation in Vail, Colorado. The 43-year-old Norman will rehabilitate for 12 weeks and hopes to return for the Presidents Cup in December in his native Australia, ESPN reported.

Norman, golf's all-time leading money-winner, finished 27th at the season-opening Mercedes Championships in January, but missed the cut at the Doral-Ryder Open last month and failed to qualify two weeks ago at The Masters 's, where he was 10-over after two rounds.

11-09-2004, 05:11 AM

I tore my left rotator cuff in January of 1999 while snow blowing. Being right-handed I could not get down low on the cue ball and I like my chin almost touching the shaft. I had to stay more upright while playing. There was no way I could extend my left arm straight enough to get low.

I tried physical therapy for a few months but without success. I eventually had to have surgery in May and it was a long recovery. My tear was considered minor and I was told that I did extremely well. Even so I was in a sling for 4 weeks. I have to be honest with you it hurts like hell. No amount of painkillers seemed to work for me the first 24 hours. I went to physical therapy twice per week (for about 2 months) and exercised at home or work a couple times each day for another 3 months.

I did play some left handed and one handed within a few weeks but it was a good 4 months before I could even attempt getting low over the cue ball. Today I have full mobility but almost constant mild pain. I can live with the pain but I need to be extremely careful with my shoulder. Anything that strains the shoulder must be avoided.

Paul Mon

P.S. Buy a back brush to use in the shower

#### leonard
11-09-2004, 05:58 AM
Does Greg Norman play Golf any more? I never see his name in the papers. ####

11-09-2004, 06:00 AM
well i have had both shoulders operated on at different times. i had what they call acromiaplasty with a distal clavacle resectioning on both... sorta close to rotator cuff i have been told. my recovery time was about 6 months or so before i had full extension of the arms. you just have to do what the therapist and dr's tell you to do. do your exercises at home like they tell you....mike

11-09-2004, 06:59 AM
I play right handed, and had RC surgery on my left shoulder several years ago. My doctor told me I should stretch my arm as much as I could as therapy, and to allow it to heal properly. Every day, I would tell my boss I was going to physical therapy, head to the pool room and stretch my left arm out on the table. At first, I had to "walk" my bridge hand across the table with my fingers, but after about a month, I could reach out normally. Overall, I would say it was about 3 months before I was comfortable, but it can be done.

11-09-2004, 07:35 AM
A good friend of mine had shoulder surgery a couple of years back and was doing full range motion in therapy the next week, but that was not condoned by Doc, the therapist hiccup'd on his logic. Still my friend got well(not a pool player) and in about a year he was fine. My point is that the goof on full range didn't ruin him, and he did continue a level of therapy right after that session. He maybe didn't have rotor surgery, I'll ask. I'm guessing though that stretching during playing could be beneficial...sid

11-09-2004, 08:32 AM

He may be busy with his "toy"...

Greg's Toy (http://www.shark.com/aussierules/photogal/index.php)

It must be tough to be Greg Norman (http://www.billiardsdigest.com/ccboard/showthreaded.php?Cat=&amp;Board=npr&amp;Number=122247&amp;Foru m=All_Forums&amp;Words=Greg%20Norman&amp;Match=Entire%20Ph rase&amp;Searchpage=1&amp;Limit=25&amp;Old=allposts&amp;Main=12224 7&amp;Search=true#Post122247)


11-10-2004, 09:46 AM
Brad, I had a complete tear of the super spanatis in my right shoulder three years ago. I talked to a lot of people before and after the surgery and I got alot of various answers, both good and bad. Do a yahoo search on "rotator cuff" and you can find a lot of info that will help you. To make a long story short I am 100% now. Good luck Brad! I wish you the best. If you want to talk to me directly you can email me at lw879@bellsouth.net or call me at 1-336-214-6602. Lock

11-10-2004, 10:30 AM

Unique name!

Anyway, thank you very much for your encouragement. That's exactly my problem. Right full tear of the supraspinatas(sp?). It's great to hear you're 100%. I also noticed from your bio you lift weights. Me too. Curious how soon you could return to lifting? Also, I did do a google search and learned quite a bit. Helped a lot when I went to the surgeon. I knew what to expect.
When you say you're 100%, are you REALLY 100%? In another words, are you back using that shoulder the same as before? Are there any worries about tearing it again? Have you thrown a football or baseball, let's say, since your surgery. I happen to coach football, and it's inevitable that I'll throw the ball. Since this season is over, I won't have to worry about this until next August.

Your thoughts?

11-10-2004, 12:55 PM
The surgeon I worked with would not let me lift anything heavy for a year. I started physical therapy about three weeks after surgery with some stretching to regain range of motion. Later on(about two months) they started me on some exercises with bungee cords. After my range of motion improved I began doing weight exercises on the cable machine and also some light flys with dbells. I got discouraged with the therapist because of the ongoing stretching therapy. It would take me 3 or 4 days to recover from the pain. I quit going about two months after I got started and did it on my own. I am not saying I am smarter than they are, but I would get somebody different each time and some were better than others. Make sure you specify one therapist. If you aren't satisfied get another one. You pay the bill. I saw major improvements when I took charge of things.

You have to understand that the tissue you have torn is paper thin and has been pulled away from the bone. Your doctor will probably suture the tear and then use composite flathead screws to secure the tissue back to the bone. It takes time for the tissue to grow back to the bone and that is why you don't make sudden moves or lift heavy weights. If you do you can pull the tissue away from the stitches or screws. That's why you keep immobile and in a sling. It took me about six months until I began to feel normal. I am 62 and it probably took me longer to recover. It wasn't easy but I now have the same range of motion as before. My max on bench presses before surgery was 240 lbs on dbells and 275 lbs on the bar. I have been able to get back to where I was, but to err on the side of caution, I have dropped back to 200 and 225. I just always make sure I warm up good and don't make any jerky motions. I don't have any problem with breaking or any pain. As far as throwing a football, I couldn't hit a bull in the a$$ with a bass fiddle before and I sure can't now. /ccboard/images/graemlins/smirk.gif Good Luck, Lock

PS The screws will desolve after a few months. The sling will be your best friend when you go out. People just love to slap you on the shoulder if you don't wear it.

11-10-2004, 01:36 PM

All good things to hear.

My surgeon said he was going to cut back the tendon to a clean edge. Then, scrape the bone clean and carve a trough in the bone. Then, drill some holes through the bone. He will then pull some sutures(sp?) through the bone from the back side, and then attach to the tendon. After that, he would pull the tendon into the trough from the back side.

Also, he's having a motorized chair delivered to my house that will move my arm around while I'm just sitting around. Anything like that for you? Pros? - Cons?

How soon were you back to pool? This giving up pool thing has really driving me crazy. As I'm 43, I'm hoping for a quick recovery.

Thanks for your time,

11-10-2004, 02:21 PM
Hey there - I had rotator cuff decompression surgery in June - basically the trimmed down the tendon - took out part of the bone - yadayadayada - anyway - my suggestion to you is to ask the anesthisiologist(sp?) to do a pain blocker from your neck for that shoulder - I've talked to two other people who had the same surgery as mine, and both of them had severe pain that morphine couldn't even touch for weeks afterwards - I only needed pain meds for 3 days after mine. I also started motion excersices the day I came home from surgery (which I wouldn't have done without the pain blocker) - it helps to break up the scarring before it can really settle in, this makes therapy a lot easier. And...I was back to playing three weeks later. Do the therapy, do the motion that the Dr. recommends - it will shorten your recovery time a great deal. Others have told me that they can't fully use their arms still, and I have to tell you - mine is doing great.
Good luck to you! And remember Pain Blocker!! It will save your life.

11-10-2004, 02:33 PM
I don't know about the pain blocker, hopefully you don't do something your not suppose to. If it worked and you were careful, good deal. I agree with therapy as soon as the doc gives you an ok, for all the same reasons. I did not have this surgery, mine was a ruptured disc. I was back to 95% after 6 months, appx. It's back to normal now with no problems.


11-10-2004, 03:11 PM
A couple of other people told me about that pain blocker. Although they called it something else. I can't remember what it was. But they said they give a shot in the neck before surgery, and it blocks everything from the shoulder down through the arm. Said the surgery is a breeze, PT sucks.

Thanks for your post. Everything helps. I am very excited to hear you were back shooting in 3 weeks. That's awesome! Surgery is Wed., the 24th. My PT starts the following Monday. So, based on that, I would think that he'll use the pain blocker.

Thanks a lot!

11-10-2004, 03:57 PM
I had a bad experience with the pain blocker. They use a device that looks like an electronic multi-meter to probe for a specific nerve. The shot has to be given in exactly the right place. This is done before you are put under. They missed my nerve and when I recovered I went into convulsions from the severe pain. They had to locate the Dr. and try to find the nerve again, which is very difficult after surgery. I know it is probably the way to go, but I would have reservations about going that route again. JMHO. As far as pool, I played but refused to break at about 4 mos.

11-11-2004, 12:35 PM
The block works extremely well and I don't think that any surgeon would not use it. It's when it starts to wear off (about 6 hours later) that you'll be the worst. Have plenty of ice on hand and take the pain pills immediately upon feeling the block wearing off.

Paul Mon

11-11-2004, 12:39 PM
I wish my results had been like yours but except for young people (under 30) everyone I know has residual pain and lengthy recovery. Even the youngsters had long recovery. I believe you to be the exception, your lucky.

11-12-2004, 06:23 AM
Thanks Paul. It sounds like that first night will be the biggest hump to get over. I appreciate your advice.