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 Post subject: Rotator Cuff Surgery
PostPosted: Wed Apr 07, 2010 6:07 pm 
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Joined: Mon Oct 03, 2005 12:05 am
Posts: 387
I had my rotator cuff repaired nine weeks ago.

How long did you wait after your surgery before you put a shotgun to your repaired shoulder? How did that go?

Thanks in advance.


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 Post subject: Re: Rotator Cuff Surgery
PostPosted: Wed Apr 07, 2010 8:59 pm 
Shooting Instructor
Shooting Instructor

Joined: Thu May 26, 2005 8:11 am
Posts: 3887
Location: Manhattan Kansas
Jake:
I am always sorry to hear anyone has a RC injury. I had a total detachment of my RC due to several falls during the 05-06 waterfowl season. My surgery was May 1 and I was back shooting a light 20 ga by early August. I shot a 12 two weeks later. I was put on a slow track in Physical Therapy due to my age and being a type 2 diabetic. It helped that both my surgeon and my physical therapist understood that I needed to get back to shooting and hunting as soon as I could.

Just prior to the surgery I mentioned to Michael Brunton (Publisher of ClayShootingUSA) that I was going to be out of touch for a while as I was going to have RC surgery. He emailed me back asking if I would consider writing about it for him. I wrote back that I did not think that it was a common problem of shooters and he fired back that it was more common than I thought. He was right. The article is available at http://www.clayshootingusa.com/html/arc ... urgery.pdf

I hope that you discussed up front with the Doctor and the PT that you wanted to be back shooting when you heal up. It helps if one of them hunts or shoots. Resist testing the shoulder and put yourself in the hands of the professionals. Shoulders are more complex than knees, ankles and elbows and they take more time to heal. RC injuries and tears vary a lot and have several causes. I was very lucky. I have no problems at all with my repaired shoulder and the repair survived a very nasty fall that was hard enough to push a sharp stick almost all of the way through my left palm.

At nine weeks you are probably starting light weights. If you are ask if you can start mounting and swinging exercises with the barrel removed from the gun. The shoulder that had the repair is my left and I shoot from the right. I have shot a few rounds of trap from the left shoulder since the surgery just for fun.

I hope you get a full repair. I still have better range of motion and strength in that shoulder than I have in the other. It was repaired in '67.

I would have taken better care of my self, if I thought I was going to live this long.

Good Luck!

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Spencer
"A man who dares to waste one hour of time has not discovered the value of life."
Charles Darwin


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 Post subject: Re: Rotator Cuff Surgery
PostPosted: Wed Apr 07, 2010 10:21 pm 
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Joined: Fri Dec 14, 2007 5:39 pm
Posts: 103
Jake,
Have not had surgery on my rotator cuff (yet) but have had physical therapy. During therapy sessions I spoke to my PT about when I could go back shooting. After about 12 week layoff I slowly worked my way back to weekly visits to the club to shoot Sporting Clays and 5 Stand with my .410 in hand. Now that is all I shoot any more, and have never had more fun shooting.
You know, that with some practice using a small bore one can actually show some decent scores and not have a sore shoulder from shooting.
Best wishes.


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 Post subject: Re: Rotator Cuff Surgery
PostPosted: Wed Apr 07, 2010 10:54 pm 
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Joined: Mon Apr 05, 2010 9:39 pm
Posts: 40
Hi Jake,

I have not had RC surgery, although I have had 3 Adhesive Capsulitis (Frozen Shoulder) surgeries. So I can relate to the pain and work you are facing. I had my right shoulder fixed about 4 years ago. My left (my shooting side) was worked on twice last year. The first surgery released the shoulder then it froze again! I asked my surgeon when I could go back to shooting. He gave me a puzzled look and then asked what I shoot. I responded .22 handgun, .22 rifle, and 12 ga. shotgun.

He admitted I was the first patient to ever ask him about this. He contemplated for a few moments then answered that I could proceed slowly as the shoulder allowed me. He told me I should be O.K. to start back to my .22's slowly and wait awhile on the shotgun. He told me he wasn't as concerned about my shoulder than if I had been a RC patient because he freed my shoulder rather than repaired it.

I didn't shoot a shotgun for about 3 months after surgery. I didn't have a LH shotgun at the time so the mount wasn't as good of fit as it is now that I have a LH Remington 1100. Anyway, my shoulder let me know I had enough after just 3 shells the first time shooting. The next time I was able to shoot 9 shells, which was about 2 weeks later. I then acquired the 1100, which was about 4 months after surgery and shot 15 shells. About 4 1/2 months after surgery I was able to shoot 25 then 50 rounds of 5-Stand. I haven't been shooting since late last Fall and am anxious to get back at it.

The most important advice I can offer is, work really hard at physical therapy and do all of the home exercises. It is critical that you follow their directions to the letter! Second, let your shoulder guide you. If you push too hard, too soon you will go backwards and loose ground rather than help yourself. I have heard RC surgery is the most painful surgery you can go through with a shoulder. I cried through more than one PT session and let a few bad words slip too. In the end I have regained 99.9% of my right shoulder movement. My left is still healing, they say any shoulder surgery takes at least 1 year to heal fully. I have some rotation issues with the left and am hoping to be 98-99% with it too.

Good luck and follow your PT and surgeon's directions!
Claudia

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 Post subject: Re: Rotator Cuff Surgery
PostPosted: Thu Apr 08, 2010 1:02 am 
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Joined: Mon Oct 03, 2005 12:05 am
Posts: 387
Thanks for the replies. You folks are great.

I was fortunate in that my complete separation of the supraspinatus muscle and SLAP tear was never at all painful after the surgery - provided that I was in my sling.

Once I got out of the sling my shoulder has been "talking" to me every evening, making sleeping in my recliner restless.

I have about 75 percent of the range of motion today up from maybe 50 percent after I got out of the sling at six weeks post-op.

My therapist says that I am making slower-than-normal progress but she's pretty sure that we will get all of it back.

I don't really have to shoot until Sept 1 which is the duck opener and I should be fine by then, but I would like to bust a few clays in some social outings this spring/summer.

I will let my shoulder tell me when it's ready. Plus I will be padded up pretty good.

Jake


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 Post subject: Re: Rotator Cuff Surgery
PostPosted: Thu Apr 08, 2010 9:41 am 
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Joined: Sat Jan 21, 2006 8:25 am
Posts: 117
Location: Central Fla.
I`ve not had it but my son did ( a few years ago) and even after all the therapy, he still does not have full travel in his shoulder. No pain but not full motion either.
He shoots a rifle and has a slight problem getting into position. He`s learned to deal with it.

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 Post subject: Re: Rotator Cuff Surgery
PostPosted: Thu Apr 08, 2010 9:47 am 
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Joined: Wed Mar 31, 2004 3:54 pm
Posts: 10
Location: tennessee
I had RC repair 5 years ago. I took about eight months off from shotgunning, and then slowly moved back into sporting clays after about a year. I still work out with weights two or three times a week, and I still ice down my shoulder after a BIG day of shooting (over 100 targets, or two/three day shoots). Recovery is a slow and hard working process, but my shoulder is better than it had been in years!


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 Post subject: Re: Rotator Cuff Surgery
PostPosted: Thu Apr 08, 2010 10:37 am 
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Joined: Mon Oct 03, 2005 12:05 am
Posts: 387
Quote:
He shoots a rifle and has a slight problem getting into position.


Sorry to hear that he has to accommodate.

The interesting thing about my injury is that before the surgery it bothered me to put a gun to my shoulder. The last bit of motion bringing the butt pad to my shoulder seemed a bit labored and uncomfortable. When I shouldered guns in the sporting goods store to see how they fit none felt right. That was disconcerting.

Now, post-op I notice that bringing a gun to my shoulder feels natural. Granted, my shoulder currently has a constant "level 2" pain but the pain does not increase during in the movement of a gun from rest to my shoulder. That's reassuring.

It will be a while before I pull a trigger, but the "catching" and sharp pains associated with certain movements are gone. I think that my surgeon did a good job.


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 Post subject: Re: Rotator Cuff Surgery
PostPosted: Sun May 16, 2010 10:58 pm 
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Joined: Mon Oct 03, 2005 12:05 am
Posts: 387
It has been a bit over three months since my surgery.

I put three boxes of Remington target loads through my Benelli SBE II today. I even hit an occasional clay bird.

It felt good. No more worse for wear.


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 Post subject: Re: Rotator Cuff Surgery
PostPosted: Mon May 17, 2010 7:56 am 
Shooting Instructor
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Joined: Thu May 26, 2005 8:11 am
Posts: 3887
Location: Manhattan Kansas
Several months off can make you rusty. Continue to do your strengthening exercises and work on your range of motion as per your PT and doctor's orders. I still keep my shoulder range of motion work as a part of my full routine.

I eased back into shooting but remember that it was the shoulder for my front hand. You might want to work on grooving your gun mount and swing. I did not shoot or hunt from the end of January until early August. My surgery was 1 May. I was back shooting 50 target rounds of SC by mid August and hunting on 1 September. Do not rush things and listen to the professionals. I know several shooters that felt well so they started doing things on their own and had to have another surgery.

Glad to hear that you are doing so well. I am having an arthritis flare up in the right shoulder that was operated on back in 1967. It wakes me up at night so it is time to have it looked at.

Good luck!

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"A man who dares to waste one hour of time has not discovered the value of life."
Charles Darwin


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 Post subject: Re: Rotator Cuff Surgery
PostPosted: Mon May 17, 2010 9:21 am 
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Joined: Fri Sep 21, 2007 3:18 pm
Posts: 5082
Location: Mechanicsville IA
Had each cuff done. Once you've made it part way through therapy, push yourself.
If you have a well fitting gun get the ultra light loads and start at a prudent pace.
If the doctor releases you to work then you should be fit to shoot., unless you are very white collar.

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 Post subject: Re: Rotator Cuff Surgery
PostPosted: Mon May 17, 2010 10:45 am 
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Joined: Mon Oct 03, 2005 12:05 am
Posts: 387
I have been fortunate. Two of my buddies have had their shoulders fixed by the same surgeon as me. Both brag up how well they recovered. One buddy claims that his repaired shoulder is better than his other shoulder and his shoulder hasn't felt this good since he was twenty years old.

I have to parrot his comments because when I do my exercises my repaired shoulder goes through the range of motion without pain or any popping or clicking. My so-called "good" shoulder (the one that was not injured) pops a bit and has more discomfort after repetitions. My repaired shoulder is surprising me because it is doing so well. I expected some pain during motion but it is not there.

My range of motion is almost complete. I have some issue trying to tuck in my shirt tail on the repaired side. My therapist has been putting a lot of "body english" into her efforts to regain that last bit of motion. She huffs and puffs and does some serious reefing on my arm.

If I don't get 100 percent of my motion back I won't be too disappointed because I can do pretty much everything I did before the injury. I just can't scratch my back as high on my left side as I can on my right side.


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 Post subject: Re: Rotator Cuff Surgery
PostPosted: Tue May 18, 2010 2:44 pm 
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Joined: Wed Sep 08, 2004 11:45 am
Posts: 390
Location: Olympia, WA
Jake Windemere wrote:
I had my rotator cuff repaired nine weeks ago.

How long did you wait after your surgery before you put a shotgun to your repaired shoulder? How did that go?

Thanks in advance.
I had surgery to repair a rotator cuff tear, and a total shoulder replacement on 09/08/2008. I subsequently had four months of physical therapy. I waited six months before I started shooting again. I was able to start shooting again in April 2009 (Spring Turkey Season). I am nowhere near as tolerant of recoil as I was prior to surgery. I limit all of my shotgunning to a 20ga now and do fine. I've given all of my 12ga guns to my kids and grandkids.

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1. Jesus Christ
2. The American Soldier, Sailor, Airman, & Marine
One died for your soul, the other for your freedom.

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 Post subject: Re: Rotator Cuff Surgery
PostPosted: Thu May 20, 2010 8:29 pm 
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Joined: Wed Dec 28, 2005 9:38 pm
Posts: 279
Location: TEXAS U.S.A.
Here's an informative article about a professional baseball pitcher and his torn rotator cuff. He does not mention all the therapies he underwent to continue his career, but the main one was Rolfing. Folks, Rolfing works. You really should look into it, not just for rotator cuff problems. If you decide on getting Rolfed, consult your physician if you've had the surgery. Your local Rolfer should be willing to provide a free consultation. If you do get Rolfed, give it some time to keep working. The 10 sessions are done in a specific sequence. Ask your Rolfer to work on your problem area after each session.
Click on the video icon at the bottom of the page and check out the testimonials.
http://greenwichrolfing.com/craigswanrolfer.html


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 Post subject: Re: Rotator Cuff Surgery
PostPosted: Thu May 20, 2010 9:26 pm 
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I suffered RC damage in a work accident and after PT/surgery/ more PT, over 8 months had to have it redone because I was pushed to hard to fast. Spent the next 8 months in PT and retired from my career. Waited 3 years before attempting shooting again, plagued by chronic pain, varies with use. Listen to your body, I still shoot a bit but will be a candidate for shoulder replacement eventually.

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 Post subject: Re: Rotator Cuff Surgery
PostPosted: Thu May 20, 2010 9:50 pm 
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Joined: Thu Nov 09, 2006 1:46 pm
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Location: New York
I had a capsul shift done 15 years ago. It took about two years before I could shoot. Then It took another year for for me to fell 100%.
I would say just let it take it take it's own time to heal. You will know when you are ready to shoot.

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 Post subject: Re: Rotator Cuff Surgery
PostPosted: Fri May 21, 2010 12:40 am 
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Joined: Mon Oct 03, 2005 12:05 am
Posts: 387
It has been 15 weeks since my supraspinatus was reattached and my labrum repaired. I went out to the Isaac Walton Range and put five boxes of skeet/trap loads through my 20 gauge Benelli Cordoba.

I wore a Limbsaver Shooting Pad on my shoulder. When all was said and done I feel a little bit of tenderness in my shoulder but it is exactly the same tenderness I would have felt prior to my injury after a trip to the range.

I can proclaim my surgery a complete success with better results than I anticipated.

I am not a clay bird shooter but I managed to bust enough of them to keep me happy.

Now I can't wait until duck season.


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 Post subject: Re: Rotator Cuff Surgery
PostPosted: Mon May 24, 2010 6:40 am 
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Joined: Wed Dec 28, 2005 9:38 pm
Posts: 279
Location: TEXAS U.S.A.
Here's some info about an orthopedic surgeon in Dallas and his opinion about Rolfing. There are many cases that do not involve injuries, or surgery, but folks still suffer from terrible pain, limited mobility, etc (bending without breaking, stretching without tearing). If your doctor cannot help you anymore, and wrote you off as a helpless case and wrote you a prescription of pain meds to take for life, it is time to see a Rolfer. Ideally, it would be so beneficial for your doctor to contact the Dallas, Texas Surgeon and Rolfer who work well as a team. That first link I posted is from a Rolfer who speaks in the 3 videos of his personal experience with a torn rotator cuff.
http://www.rolf.org/press/releases/pr19.htm


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 Post subject: Re: Rotator Cuff Surgery
PostPosted: Mon May 24, 2010 8:08 am 
Shooting Instructor
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Joined: Thu May 26, 2005 8:11 am
Posts: 3887
Location: Manhattan Kansas
Jake:
I am always skeptical of novel treatments. I have no opinion of Rolfing, but I plan to check it out. It sounds like a focused form of massage therapy.

Five rounds of skeet or trap was excessive in my way of thinking. I was on a slow track in my pysical therapy due to my age, type 2 diabetes and the severity of the injury, a complete detachment of the rotator cuff. I returned to shooting a light 20 gauge at 3 months post op but 50 targets was all I shot and it was my "front arm" and not the pocket.

Waiting almost 4 months is probably right, but listen to your doctor and your PT. Keep ice handy for after you finish shooting or working out. Five boxes of shells was a test and not an exercise. Glad it worked out for you. It sounds like the ducks will have you to worry about in the fall.

You want to progressively increase the use of the shoulder as you strengthen the shoulder and the associated muscles around the shoulder. The PT should have given you a program to follow as you were released. I lift three days a week and do my shoulder stretches on both sides several times a day. I am lucky as my physical therapist is my nextdoor neighbor. I never want to go back under the knife for a RC repair again.

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"A man who dares to waste one hour of time has not discovered the value of life."
Charles Darwin


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 Post subject: Re: Rotator Cuff Surgery
PostPosted: Mon May 24, 2010 2:02 pm 
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Joined: Mon Oct 03, 2005 12:05 am
Posts: 387
Thanks for the advice and your experiences. My surgeon is an avid hunter and shooter, so he's cool with my activities.

He's pleased with my progress and reminds me that I will be complete in my healing after a year.

He tells me to take baby steps and to "listen to my body". Good advice. So far I have been getting good "messages" from my body, so I seem to be on a good track.

As for shooting five boxes, I was accompanying four other folks who shoot leagues. They had a cancellation and could use a fifth. Plus, the shoot was not a scored shoot, so I could opt out at any time.

I was having fun and not bothered at all by the gun, so I shot until I ran out of shells.


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