View Full Version : Surg

Connie Jo
October 6th, 2015, 03:24 PM
I found out this morning that I am going to have to have rotator cuff surgery. It is severely torn and has been for a while. Any idea how long it will be before I can see. Of course it is my right shoulder and I'm right handed

October 6th, 2015, 03:27 PM
A lot of my officers had to have this surgery and were off work for about 3-6 months. I'd venture to guess at least a couple months. Maybe you can precut things now so you don't have to rotary cut while recovering. I'm sure that would aggravate things if you tried to use that! I'm sure your doctor can give you guidelines.

Jean Sewing Machine
October 6th, 2015, 03:27 PM
That takes a while to fully get back to normal. At least 6 weeks with only therapist moving the arm, according to a schedule a friend was on when he had that surgery. Good luck with it!

Connie Jo
October 6th, 2015, 03:29 PM
Ugh. Not sounding good. Good idea to get things cut

Sylvia H
October 6th, 2015, 04:05 PM
I had this surgery just a little over a year ago. If you know how to English Paper Piece, or you want to learn, this is the time to do that. From right after surgery, you will be able to move your wrist and fingers. I was probably back to machine piecing around 2.5 - 3 months, but no machine quilting at that time. In fact, my therapist encouraged me to do the sewing, as he thought it would be helpful in getting my shoulder back to good working order. I finished my PT at 4 months, although there was continued improvement in my shoulder mobility for a long time after that. But, at 4 months, I was about at 90% of my previous mobility, a year later, I am at 100%.

I will pass the best post surgery advice I received: 1) plan to sleep in a recliner for a few weeks, so if you have one that is motorized, that will be wonderful. 2) start using your other hand for things like brushing teeth, combing hair, and toileting.

I didn't have a recliner, but I did sleep sitting up for almost 2 weeks, then it was many more weeks where I could sleep on the opposite side. Since I live alone, and have a large dog, I stayed with my son and daughter-in-law for 2 weeks (although I really could have gone home sooner if needed). My son and some neighbors took turns walking my dog for about 3 months.

The doctor's office arranged for a visiting nurse to come and check on me 2 - 3 times a week for the first 6 weeks. For the first week, my sling was set up so my arm was completely immobile. After the 1st week, the immobility part was removed and I was then able to move my arm from the elbow to fingers. I was given a nerve block before the surgery, and after that wore off, I was on heavy duty pain meds. I learned quickly to take the full dose at the beginning, but it was easy to wean myself off of them. It is important for recovery to manage the pain. My DIL created a check list for me to record my medications (since I was on others in addition to the pain med). This was very helpful because the pain meds can make your mind fuzzy, so I was glad to have that list to refer to.

My PT didn't start until 6 weeks. I know some start sooner than that, but my doc wanted me to wait until that time. I had one complete and two partial tears. I went to PT three times a week, and then also did the exercises at home. I was told it would take 4 - 6 months for recovery, so I did well at 4 months. My arm is so much better now.

Connie Jo
October 6th, 2015, 04:14 PM
Three months. I just got started. I'll forget how by then.

October 6th, 2015, 04:30 PM
I had surgery on my arm several years ago. I am left handed, and yes it was on the left arm. Back then, debit cards did not exist, so I signed several checks. I'd make one of my kids go to the store with me so they could fill out the rest! If you pay anything by check, I'd make sure you had some signed ahead of time.

Another thing I thought of doing, and I'm glad I did, was to buy elastic waisted pants. I was in a cast that kept my arm straight and there was no way I could have fastened jeans or a zipper. Sometimes, I looked like a little kid with the back of my pants all twisted, and if we were out, I'd have to have one of my daughters go in the bathroom with me so they could straighten them out!!

Recliner is almost a must, I agree with that! I had forgotten about sleeping in one for a couple weeks. Ice also was good. If you live alone, or the people you live with don't cook, you may want to even fix meals and throw them in the freezer so you have them.

October 6th, 2015, 04:33 PM
I haven't had this surgery, but my dad and a close friend have. I would say the most important thing to remember is to follow your doctor's instructions as far as timeframe for healing. It will feel like you're being lazy because you can't do much, but it will set you back ALOT if you don't heed those instructions. This surgery needs time to heal with no stress!
Sylvia gave you great advice as well - now would be a good time to look into paper piecing or other similar motion things to keep you occupied :) Ditto to what Pat said on the freezer meals (great book for that is 'Fix, Freeze, Feast') and the recliner if possible. I had surgery for a deviated septum a while back and slept in my recliner for a week.
We'll be praying for you.

October 6th, 2015, 05:36 PM
Hi I'm a retired orthopedic nurse. Rotator cuffs have probably the longest recovery time. But, the good point is the repair is highly successful....as long as you stick to your Dr's restrictions..The entire recovery can take 6-9 months before you are back 100%. As far as sewing...you can probably do what you can do with your elbow close to your body. No reaching or lifting. You will probably be in a sling for several weeks...our's were 6-9 wks.
It is a long recovery, but very important to listen to Dr.....the tendon can retear easily if not allowed to heal completely...and you don't want to do this twice!!!!
Probably a good time to look up future projects in books and videos! Maybe a little easy hand sewing.
Good luck and God bless

Sylvia H
October 6th, 2015, 05:49 PM
Another thing I thought of doing, and I'm glad I did, was to buy elastic waisted pants. ...
Recliner is almost a must, I agree with that! I had forgotten about sleeping in one for a couple weeks. Ice also was good. If you live alone, or the people you live with don't cook, you may want to even fix meals and throw them in the freezer so you have them.

Oh! I forgot about the clothing. I couldn't wear a bra for a few weeks! If you don't have any that close in the front, it would be a good idea to get a few! I bought a few tops that were extra, extra large. The first week, my clothing had to be large enough to fit over a very bulky sling.

Sandy Navas
October 6th, 2015, 06:00 PM
Having had both shoulders rebuilt - beyond rotator cuff, believe me - I can tell you that it is a long healing time. HOWEVER, during the recovery on my right shoulder I managed to do a needle-turn applique on a twin quilt, complete with all the hand quilting, and binding it with a scalloped edge. Make up your mind you are going to do it and I guarantee you can!! And, to the sports physician who performed the surgery and told me emphatically that I'd never be able to raise my arms above my shoulder height again - please come over and watch me clap my hands way over my head.


Connie Jo
October 6th, 2015, 06:09 PM
He did say it was a pretty bad tear. And, I've had it for a while. It may not be able to be reattached. Keep your fingers crossed.

Simply Quilting
October 6th, 2015, 11:35 PM
I helped a lady who had this surgery done. She bought a couple of sponge bath kits and a kit that was a shower cap that had the shampoo that didn't have to be rinsed out. These were a huge help for the first week since she was not suppose to get into the shower. You are young enough that you probably won't need it but she bought a shower seat and a hand held shower so that she could sit and not worry so much about her balance while she was showering once she could shower again.

Instead of just ice packs, the doctor had her use the kind with the ice chest and hoses.

Shoes that you don't have to tie to wear.

Relocate food in the kitchen to reachable height. Stock up on easy to eat (one handed) food.

Have a comfortable height table next to your chair by your good arm side to put things like the phone, water. Have a glass that has a handle and a straw to be able to drink easier.

Above all, obey the doctor's orders. One gentleman had to go through the surgery twice because he tried to do too much to soon.

Praying everything goes smoothy.

October 7th, 2015, 02:52 AM
I had this surgery about 10 years ago. I'd suggest using a recliner (bought, borrowed, etc.), because that's the most comfortable way to sleep. I'm a rightie, and, of course, it was my right shoulder that needed fixing. The physical therapy is so important and is truly the way to getting as good as new. It was suggested to me to take a pain killer about 45 minutes before therapy so that you can fully participate in the activities. Like the others have suggested, get pull up pants (knits are good), and it would be a good idea to get some extra large blouses with buttons so you don't have to pull anything on over your head. An easy to take care of hair cut is helpful, and if it's possible, try to arrange the cabinets and refrigerator so that things are at a easy to get at level for you. A way to imagine what your range of motion will be is to pretend that your elbow is fastened to your waist. An electric tooth brush is helpful, too. I wish you good luck and a complete recovery.