Slow but Steady

I am 6 weeks post-op and it has been slow but steady. I was unable to drive until 5 weeks post-op, even though my surgeon had a very cavalier attitude about driving. I highly recommend waiting to drive until you have less pain. I have gone without any sling for the first time this week. By the end of a long day at work (teaching), I still have a lot of pain. I am about to begin PT after 5 weeks of OT. I had heard from many that this is a slow, painful process--I am glad that nobody minimized the difficulty of recovery. It is as I expected. It is hard to be patient. Sleep is very difficult. I have only been taking Naproxin, nothing stronger. I hope that I will be in less pain soon, I am less concerned about full range of motion and strength and more concerned with the pain reduction.

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Jun 11, 2011
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how long off work teaching?
by: Anonymous

I think I am headed toward rotator cuff surgery this summer and wondered how many weeks I will not be able to go to work teaching. It is about 7-8 weeks until school starts, but the surgery is not scheduled yet. How many weeks before I can go to work each day and teach do you think it will be? I currently work at Walmart carrying, lifting, etc. I know I will have to stop that for the summer. Thanks for any information. I appreciate it!!! Deb


Hi Deb,

Well, generally following rotator cuff surgery you should not actively move your arm for approximately 6 weeks. You will start physical therapy within the first couple of weeks to work on range of motion. Part of the answer as to how long you will not be able to teach is whether it is your dominant side. If you have to use your arm to write, carry, and lift it will be about 8 weeks. Be very consistent with your physical therapy as getting your range of motion back will be very important. If your shoulder gets stiff it will take longer to recover.

Hope this helps. Good luck to you!

~JTrempe PT, ATC

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