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Old 11-23-2009, 08:34 PM   #21
Wayne Meuir
 
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Re: Rotator Cuff Surgery & Riding

Mick, I wore a sling for 6 weeks. Started Therapy three times a week at the beginning of the third week. They start you out very slowly, (which hurt so badly it made me very sick) and work up. After almost 4 months of 3 X wk, it still hurts like h$ll but no longer makes me sick. There is no other way to get the range of motion back. You just have to grit your teeth and try not to pass out. (My son works for the surgeon that fixed my shoulder and his recommendation was to get a therapist that is about 6'5" tall, about 280with hair 3 inches long on the back of his knuckles. At least then you will have a reason to be crying like a baby. So what did I draw: a 96 lb. pregnant girl, and she still has me writhing in pain using only a couple of fingers.)
I still cannot sleep lying flat in a bed. I sleep in a recliner. I could sleep lying down as long as I had the sling, but not since. The only way I can sleep lying down is to take two vicodin and they will knock me out for several hours, but most of the time I just sleep setting up in a recliner and forget the pain pills. Of all the other folks I have talked to that had this surgery, most had the same problem for several months.
I am probably the best patient they have every had. I do what I am told no matter how badly it hurts. I shoot competitive archery but WILL NOT draw a bow until they say so. It has been 5 months since I had my bow strung up.
As long as my arms are below chest level, everything feels fine, weak, but no pain. Anything over my head is difficult.

Good luck, not trying to scare you, just relating my experience and trying to prepare you. My doc said a minimum of 9 months, possibly 12 to get completely healed but mine was very badly torn.

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Old 11-24-2009, 04:33 AM   #22
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Re: Rotator Cuff Surgery & Riding

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Originally Posted by Wayne Meuir View Post
Good luck, not trying to scare you, just relating my experience and trying to prepare you. My doc said a minimum of 9 months, possibly 12 to get completely healed but mine was very badly torn.

Thanks for relating your experience Wayne. What you're telling me fit's with what I'm hearing elsewhere. Bottom line from everything that I've read is that recovery is not going to be fun and will take a year before I'm back to 100%.
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Old 11-24-2009, 08:34 AM   #23
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Re: Rotator Cuff Surgery & Riding

I had an Anterior Reconstruction 6 weeks with an immoblizer then physical therapy started and 6weeks with a regular sling, 1year before I was back on a bicycle or MC. I'm sure you have heard this enough times already, but "Do what the physical therapist tells you".
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Old 05-12-2010, 05:05 AM   #24
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Re: Rotator Cuff Surgery & Riding

Is there a doctor in the house? I have a question concerning motorcycle riding and itís effect on shoulder healthÖ read on.

Today marked my 6th month since rotator cuff repair surgery and I just had a checkup today with the surgeon. The doc said that the shoulder was healed and that I could return to doing normal activities (I will however continue therapy for a while to keep stretching and loosening things back up). When he told me this I immediately said, does this mean Iím OK enough to ride motorcycles? The reaction on his face was immediate. He went on a tear about how he didnít like motorcycles and mumbled something about how Iíd be right back in his office with the same problems I had before the surgery, especially if I "fall off". I questioned him as to whether there was something inherent in riding a motorcycle that caused rotator cuff problems. He sputtered and mumbled for a few seconds. Then as if grabbing something out of the air he said "the vibration".

I knew from speaking with the physical therapists that he was against motorcycles so I wasnít too surprised but I was a bit surprised at the strength of his reaction. Itís also because of the strength of his reaction and his seeming grasping for words that Iím a bit skeptical about what he said.

If youíre a doc reading this, is there really something about riding motorcycles that is bad enough on the shoulders that it could cause rotator cuff problems?

If youíve had this surgery, what did your doc say when you popped the question to him, "Can I return to riding motorcycles again"?

I look forward to your replies as this is really bothering me. I canít say it never occurred to me that my riding over the last 11 years may have had something to do with my shoulder problems. I did after all make the decision to finally have the operation while returning from a 6000 mile, two week trip last summer. It was on that trip that both my shoulders bothered me for the first time while riding.

My shoulders had been bothering me for several years but when it started affecting my riding, I figured it was time to go under the knife. Now Iím unsure what to do after what the doc said. Riding is my only real passion in life but I absolutely do not want to have to go back through another one of these operations needlessly. The recovery from rotator cuff repair surgery is LONG, painful and eats up every single spare minute of you life. It is not fun.
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Old 05-12-2010, 07:14 AM   #25
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Re: Rotator Cuff Surgery & Riding

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If youíve had this surgery, what did your doc say when you popped the question to him, "Can I return to riding motorcycles again"?
I remember that question, except I was asking about dirt bikes and surfing. Oh, and I was 19 when I had my anterior reconstruction on my right shoulder. My doctor went on a similar tirad about not want me to destroy his hard work and ended with "as long as you don't fall off, avoid jumps, or anything that would jar your body then you will be fine and don't tell my wife (the head nurse in his office)"

He and my now deceased Orthodontist (Dr. Harris) both had it in their heads that dirt bikes were dangerous and that 4wheeler were much safer.
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Old 05-12-2010, 07:24 AM   #26
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Re: Rotator Cuff Surgery & Riding

My problem was detached cartilage, not torn muscles. I've put lots of hours and miles on street bikes since my surgery and my orthopedic surgeon knows I ride. When I went for a checkup a year after surgery, he told me the pain I was having was a function of my age.

Certainly a fall puts more strain on a joint than riding. The shoulder is very flexible and minimally supported. If you fall, do what I did - make it a low-side and hang on to the bike
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Old 05-12-2010, 07:57 AM   #27
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Re: Rotator Cuff Surgery & Riding

I haven't had any problems at all with any physical activity, however I do continue to exercise the shoulder to keep it flexible. Every now and then I do hear the scar tissue crack but I've been told that this is normal.

I'm pretty sure however that a strong enough fall on that side would probably pop the shoulder right out again.
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Old 05-12-2010, 09:08 AM   #28
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Re: Rotator Cuff Surgery & Riding

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Originally Posted by XoZe View Post
I haven't had any problems at all with any physical activity, however I do continue to exercise the shoulder to keep it flexible. Every now and then I do hear the scar tissue crack but I've been told that this is normal.

I'm pretty sure however that a strong enough fall on that side would probably pop the shoulder right out again.

Well, my doc's comments about a "fall" are obvious in that there is the potential for shoulder injury.

What I didn't get out of my doctor was an explanation for his implication that just riding a motorcycle was bad for my shoulder. He said that if I decided to ride I would be back in his office with the same complaints about shoulder pain I had prior to the surgery. I did not get a satisfactory answer as to why just riding would cause that. His comment about vibration after much sputtering made me suspicious that he was just grasping for anything to try to get me not to ride because of his predjudice against motorcycles. He may have been telling the truth but the way he said it made me skeptical. That is why I made my last post, to see what other doctors were saying about this subject.
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Old 05-12-2010, 09:21 AM   #29
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Re: Rotator Cuff Surgery & Riding

I'm no doctor but, that is what it sounds like. IMHO, just keep exercising it to get the muscles around it stronger, and continue with the flexibility exercises you did while in therapy & you should be OK. Just common sense in taking care of it.

And remember MOTGMOTT (most of the gear most of the time) Just be safe with it.
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Old 05-12-2010, 09:39 AM   #30
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Re: Rotator Cuff Surgery & Riding

There are bound to be doctor/riders on this site. Wish one of them would weigh in on this.
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Old 05-12-2010, 12:27 PM   #31
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Re: Rotator Cuff Surgery & Riding

I had a neuro specialist tell me the vibration of the motorcycle coming up through my shoulders could aggravate my pinched neck issues. I told her I didn't ride a Harley.

I poked around some and found this: SNSS pg. 10
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Old 05-12-2010, 01:33 PM   #32
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Re: Rotator Cuff Surgery & Riding

Glad you are back to "normal" for the most part Mick!

As for the vibrations, I call B.S. No, I am not a doctor. However, I have a hard time believing that the high frequency but very low amplitude vibrations felt in a VFR or an ST would have ANY effect on muscles/joints. They just are not that intense. This is especially true for street riding. Now if you were on a KTM thumper and riding off road... Even then I don't think the vibration would be an issue so much as the simple jarring from hitting bumps and hanging on to the bike. Now I have had vibrations cause numbness in nerves, like in the hands/feet, but it stops there and does not go up into the shoulders or legs. But again, that was on a KTM that buzzed like nothing else I've ever ridden. It was so bad my GPS batteries could not maintain contact and it would turn off as soon as I went off idle. After several hours of riding, my hands and feet tingled for about 10 minutes after getting off the bike. I think perhaps your Doctor's anti bike bias may be interfering with his judgment...
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Old 05-12-2010, 06:06 PM   #33
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Re: Rotator Cuff Surgery & Riding

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I think perhaps your Doctor's anti bike bias may be interfering with his judgment...
Methinks you're right!
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Old 06-24-2010, 07:19 AM   #34
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Re: Rotator Cuff Surgery & Riding

Does anyone have personal experience with a shoulder surgeon in Houston that they coud recommend? If I decide to have the other shoulder done, I want to change docs.
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Old 06-24-2010, 07:35 AM   #35
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Re: Rotator Cuff Surgery & Riding

I highly recommend the guy who operated on my shoulder: William M. Hayes - http://www.srosm.com/ 281-364-1122
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Old 06-24-2010, 07:51 AM   #36
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Re: Rotator Cuff Surgery & Riding

My shoulder is a mess has been for nearly 20 years.

I damaged it, a dislocation that took 3 men to put back in. Never did physio never stopped work.... after 2-3 years went in after partial dislocations.

1st surgery Bankhart repair. Sorta followed instructions. Rode an ice race 6 weeks after surgery. Did a bad partial dislocation 2 - 3 years later went for surgery 2.

They built up the area under the rotator with pins/metal did another Bankhart. it was 6 months before I could ride. Nearly a year before I was comfortable. Bear in mind I rode sport bikes which placed my arm in the weakest angle/position.

3 years ago parking lot dump, complete dislocation. Took 2 guys to put it in. I was riding 8-10 weeks later, no confidence for 8 months.

I can't throw a baseball or football anymore, at all. I need some cartilage replaced. 6 months to a year downtime.

Do what the Doctors say, be careful, don't do more than you're comfortable with.
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Old 06-24-2010, 08:17 AM   #37
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Re: Rotator Cuff Surgery & Riding

Mick, my surgery was July 16 last year, so I am coming up on a year. Though my shouylder is still a little weak, the pain is gone, my full range of motion is back, and riding does not aggrivate it at all. I did have a KTM 450 EXC and even that did not bother my shoulder when riding. I still have a trials bike, and KDX 200 and several old street bikes, and none of the bother my shoulder at all. I think the only real danger is crashing, and even then,m it would depend on how you hit the ground.
I think I would take the Docs statements as just being anti-motorcycle comments. Doctors in general see some bad injuries, and I am sure a lot of them from bike crashes, so they just generalize that bikes are bad and become anti-motorcycle becasue of it..

My doc was well aware that I ride all the time and told me I could ride as soon as it no longer hurt to do so. That was pretty close to 6 months.

Wayne
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Old 06-24-2010, 08:32 AM   #38
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Re: Rotator Cuff Surgery & Riding

I'm at 12 weeks from rotator cuff repair and bone spur removal. I'm back to commuting on my Harley, but haven't ventured for more than a 30-minute ride. Physical therapy has restored about 80% of range of motion. One surprise was that I didn't have any atrophy of bicep, tricep or deltoid. My muscle deterioration is all back muscles. My doc said expect to be at least a year to pain-free, full motion. I know better than to ask him when I can ride.
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Old 06-24-2010, 11:22 AM   #39
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Re: Rotator Cuff Surgery & Riding

I have experienced some bicep atrophy, but it is coming around slowly. I don't work on it enough, I guess. The pain that lasted the longest for me was in my back, sorta just above my shoulder blade. I thought that was never going to stop hurting, but it finally did.

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