A ball-and-socket joint, the shoulder is the most movable joint in the body, allowing for full rotation of the arm. Composed of three bones, the clavicle, the scapula, and the humerus bone, the area is held together by tendons and ligaments commonly known as the rotator cuff. Unfortunately, the greater mobility of the shoulder also exposes you to a greater risk of injury, especially rotator cuff tears.
A tear in the rotator cuff can occur due to work-related repetitive movements, accidents such as a fall, or sport injuries. Many athletes – especially baseball pitchers – need to take special care of their shoulder to help avoid rotator cuff injuries, especially with a high amount of repetitive and hard movement.
Rotator cuff tears are common and very repairable. Some can be treated with rest, limited movement and pain relievers. Proper imaging of the area will greatly aid in making a diagnosis and a proper treatment plan. Dr. James Talkington may decide that rotator cuff repair surgery and post-op rehab are the best treatment methods to eliminate shoulder pain and restore your function.
At Florida Sportsmedicine and Orthopaedics, we offer several different approaches to repair rotator cuff tears, including open surgical repair, mini-open repair, and arthroscopic rotator cuff repair. The type of surgical repair Dr. Talkington utilizes will be based on your specific injury.
No matter which surgery you are scheduled for, there are a few things you can do before your surgery to prepare.
- Stay healthy! Avoid being around anyone that is ill, eat healthy foods, stay hydrated, and get plenty of sleep. A healthy body heals faster.
- Remove clutter. Ensure you have an unobstructed pathway to the bathroom, bedroom and a chair or sofa. You need to minimize your risk of injury during recovery.
- Use assisting devices. Consider acquiring a shower chair, hand-held showerhead, and tools to grab or pick up things, and extra pillows for supporting the affected arm.
- Have appropriate post-op clothing ready to wear. Avoid over-the-head type clothing, which could strain your arm. Instead, wear button-up shirts and avoid shirts with zippers.
- Plan your meals. Stock your kitchen with easy-to-open and prepare foods and drinks. You may want to prepare meals ahead and freeze them so you don’t have to worry about motions from cooking and cleaning.
During the recovery time, your arm will most likely be in a sling for four to six weeks. This can make many daily regular activities difficult, especially if you live alone.
Following your surgery, you will be spending time with a physical therapist. Rehab therapy is a slow process but vital to your recovery and returning you to your previous lifestyle. They are also your best resource for dealing with any issues you need help with, such as how to put on a shirt or coat.
Along with the physical therapist, you will return for follow-up visits with Dr. Talkington. Board certified by the American Board of Orthopedic Surgeons, Dr. Talkington has helped many athletes and others with rotator cuff injuries in Panama City return to a full range of motion without pain. He will guide you through your pre- and post-op instructions to ensure you have a successful outcome, like his previous rotator cuff patients.