What to do after two failed shoulder cuff repair surgeries

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  • Jena Fairey says:

    The informations I read was very helpful.

  • Tonya Hicklen says:

    Hello my name is tonya hicklen with a nine month period I had a second rotor cuff surgery. I was told that one of the anchors had detected it self. Within four months later I am in the same predicament. I have been to the emergency room because of the pain. I have seen my doctors PA he mentioned something about a ball movement. Know mri to see exactly where its coming from. I hope you can help tired of being in pain. I am a 56 female

  • Jeffrey Troutfetter says:

    Help me

  • Jeffrey Troutfetter says:

    I have two shoulder surgery and failed know what

  • Errol Travers says:

    My Orthopedic surgeon is telling me that my rotator cuff is too thin to repair, he is advising me for a complete shoulder replacement. Do you concur?

  • James says:

    I had a skiing accident and tore the rotator cuff completely out and had my arm dislocate from the socket. The pain was so excruciating that it caused me to scream and moan horribly. It required approximately 1 hr to put my arm back in the socket. The doctor stood on the gurney with his foot in my arm pit with nursing assistants pulling on straps in the opposit direction. You talk about horrible, that is not even the word for it. This happened in 1996 on Feb 17 at 4:22 pm. This pain continues today after two operations on a scale of 7 out of 10. I still remain with maybe 80 percent range use. Horrible pain after three minutes working over my head. The second operation was performed at one of the leading hospitals in th US. After the operation and I was recovering when a piece of operating equipment fell over on me causing third degree burns on the arm that was operated on. Pain clinic procedures were performed twice by injections on my throat to block the nerve center. Second injection I thought almost killed me.

    Procedures and operations failed ! I guess that my problem was continuing to snow ski after 18 yrs of pleasure in the sport.

  • Scott Hunter says:

    I have had two surgeries as well 04/18 and 06/19. I was injured tackling a fleeing suspect on the cement. Partial dislocation, torn rotator cuff and torn bicep tendon. Still having issues with pain and discomfort. I cannot sleep real well, usually wake up every 2 hours from the pain. I went back to full duty in March, I know if I have another altercation the shoulder will go again.

    I am 48, not sure if I am a candidate for a replacement or not? I do have another appointment with the surgeon on Aug. 20th to see what he has to say. It is just no fun being in pain all the time, takes a toll on you mentally when you don’t get proper sleep. Any sudden movement I do it pops and cracks, then the pain comes next. I try to block it out the best I can, but as you all know it HURTS! I am not one to take meds other that Motrin 800 or Tylenol is my limit.

    Just sucks when the surgeon says, “Well the shoulder is sound and intact after the surgeries.” or “There is not much more I can do for you.” Almost like a hopeless feeling. Like WHY am I still having all of these issues??

    • Gena says:

      I had a shoulder debridement done after that surgery, I knew something was still wrong. I asked for an MRI with contrast they found a complete tear, tore muscle, bone spurs. Had to have another debridement, and my clavicle bone removed. I am 51 and I was told that I was too young for a complete shoulder replacement. My surgeon said that he doesn’t like to do them until 60. You are so right about the pain we experience with the shoulder it HURTS!!!!!!! Feels like a Charlie Horse, Contraction, and a donkey kick all at once.

      Stay safe out there and thank you for keeping the crap bags off the street :D

      • Donna says:

        Too young? Please find you an ortho surgeon who WILL help you, no matter your age! A lot want to wait for replacement surgery because they say they “won’t last your lifetime” but they aren’t the one living in pure hell.
        At “only” 54 and after my surgeon did 2 rotator cuff surgeries over the last 6 yrs I had reverse shoulder replacement surgery. I’m still in PT for range of motion but the constant dislocation and stabbing is not there. If I have to have it redone in 10-15 yrs, so be it.

      • Jen'a Fairey says:

        Hello Gena I want to Thank you for this helpful information. Well I am on my second rotater surgery and everything you describe is the same problems I am having. Thank you and Pray that everything goes well for you, me, and anyone that having these issues.

  • Shannon says:

    Hi I am a 59 year old woman that had rotator cuff surgery a year ago. I have torn it again only more severely needing a second surgery. I’m very nervous about the outcome and the chances of tearing it again. My job is very physical I’m a custodian at a school. Will I need a shoulder replacement if this doesn’t work?

  • Joseph Anderson says:

    Ima going in for my 6th or 7th rotator cuff repair on my left shoulder there are 2 major tears in the cull and thiningof the tenden ? do you think it’s time to replace it.

  • Alan Greenberg says:

    I had a torn rotator cuff repair in 2006, 3 months later I fell and tore it again, but in a different area of my shoulder.
    I couldn’t afford to stay out of work again so I deal with the pain, but each year it seems to ache even more. I was told by my Doctor that a shoulder replacement is the only thing to do to repair it.
    About 7 months ago I fell in the shower and partially tore my Right Rotator cuff, so now I need surgeries on both shoulders (Yes, I had PT but it didn’t help much). Should I have the right shoulder tear repaired, then have Left shoulder replaced when I recovered from the first surgery or Vice-versa?
    I will be 70 in two months, I’ve had 4 (L&R) previous knee surgeries and I am also a Left BK amputee.
    Otherwise, I am fairly active & I am not overweight… I still work on cars and ride my motorcycle.
    If I do get both surgeries, will I regain full (Or most of) my strength in both shoulders?

  • Peter says:

    Hi there I had 4 rotary cuffs surgeries but no change always in pain do I consider shoulder replacement

  • Giovanni says:

    I’m a 60 year older man and I had my second cuff-repair October 2018 , after the first physical therapy I noted that I have a muscle pail witch sometimes is so sharp that whatever I have in my hand I’ll drop it , been to a work hardened program with no results and this is my dominant arm , I had a MRI x ray and they can see any problems, my surgeon even give me an needle at only lest 3-4 weeks, and nothing make it better , my arm get weak and numb even though I’ve been out of work for almost 2 year , I’m in the automotive industry as technician, thanks

  • Janette Rozek says:

    I had 2 rotator cuff repairs. The first surgery the Dr. shot me up with novocain. With my arm in a sling, so I thought, I was ok, then I felt something hit my butt, lt was my arm dangling as I walked. I had to tape my arm to the sling. After 2 week of healing, my arm again turned black and blue and my bicep muscle was detached. The pain had gotten worse. I got a second opinion and now I have to have my shoulder replaced. With covid I have to wait. I went to many therapy, did exercises at home and still in therapy. I still have no relief.

  • Jeff says:

    I just came home from my second surgery yesterday, May 14, 2020. My first surgery was on March 3rd of this year. The first tear was 13mm, and about 3 weeks after the surgery, my 1 year got the jump on me, and it ended up tearing 19mm this time. But, because of the way the world currently is with the COVID-19 pandemic, I could not get an MRI until last week. Once they saw how badly is has been torn this whole time, they put me in surgery as soon as they could arrange it. I am curious how bad it will be, and what to expect. Because it was only 2.5 months between surgeries, I wonder now if it was better to do it as soon as they did, or if I should have waiting longer for it heal a little more. Time will tell I suppose.

    • Jerry says:

      I am in the same boat. My surgery was Nov/Dec and went back to work 2 months later and it tore again. This is the third surgery on the shoulder and one on the bicep. I was in the Marine Corps for 22 years and my shoulders are so jacked up.

  • Steve says:

    3 failed shoulder surgeries because of infections still have aspacer bar in for another 6 weeks

  • Steve says:

    My 57 year old son is to have his third operation because of infection in his r. Shoulder after both other surgeries what chance do these next2 surgeries have of success?

  • Mike Welford says:

    Does anyone know if they are still doing WCB surgeries during the pandemic or are they all postponed??

  • Leatrice Keller says:

    Well I stared my first rotator cuff I 2018 now I then had 3 more surgerys since then and now they want to do another surgery in March 2020 on the same left shoulder is that normal

  • Stuart Klein says:

    Had my rotator cuff and torn bicep done once and they both torn again . Had 3 Drs look at Mri on my shoulder and they said now the tendon is up in my shoulder and can not be fixed. I,m a drummer and at 68 years old i guess that does not help either. Are there any new surgery,s or anything that could fix my shoulder like a robot tendon or anything or something expertmental surgery,s that could fix me. Sorry about my spelling please let me know really depressed about this thanks Stuart Klein

  • Richard Allan Dawson says:

    I had two operations on my left rotator cuff two years ago I was 69 at the time and now I find that my
    shoulder gets tired when I lift my shoulder to do any exercises plus I had another operation of the same
    on my right shoulder and it doesn’t feel right also I have played a lot of sports growing up and I fought in
    in the ring for a year I would like to hear what you have to say regarding this I had an ultra sound test done
    my doctor has gone away for a week so I have to wait until she gets back I wait for your response.

  • Jacqueline Birdwell says:

    I had (R) rotator cuff surgery in 2008, which seemed to be fine until in May 2017 when 2 people in a car were being chased by the police for having illegal drugs in the car, well the car ended up hitting my husband and myself in our car which through me into the door and dash of our car and it damaged my right shoulder for the 2nd time tearing my rotator cuff along with other damage. Surgery was finally done in April 2019, I was in a sling for 6 weeks before starting rehab. It wasn’t long after beginning rehab I started having loud POPPING noises in my shoulder. I went back to my Orthopedic Dr who sent me for another MRI, it showed the surgery done in April didn’t hold. The report said I had another tear in my rotator cuff and it was 50% worse than the previous surgery done in April 2019 and was the size and shape of a large slice of pie. So the Orthopedic Dr set me up for my 3rd rotator cuff surgery which was done on January 17th – 2020, and I can already tell by the terrible pain, and stiffness, swelling going on that I believe this 3rd surgery isn’t working out either. So my question is, what should I do now because my Orthopedic Dr said he wasn’t doing anything else to my shoulder if this didn’t work. I don’t know what to do. I live in Missouri. My name is Jacqueline Birdwell. Please send me any advice that would be of any help to me as I am scared, worried and am in extreme pain. I’d appreciate any help you can give me. Thank You,
    Jacqueline (Jackie) Birdwell

  • Mike Welford says:

    Had rotator cuff surgery in Feb 2019. returned to light duty in May. regular duties in June. Re-injured my shoulder and was covered by WCB, but since that time my shoulder feels like it has been deteriorating and my mobility is decreasing and pain level is increasing. I’m going for cortisone injection tomorrow. I will be asking for another MRI. I feel like another surgery is in my future. I hope WCB will cover the recovery of the next surgery.

  • Deborah Coates says:

    Hi , I have a question that my surgeon do not want to answer because it’s through wcb. What are the chances of a full recovery after two rotator-cuff-surgeries with multiple injuries in the left shoulder? I had a slip and fall incident in 2015 but because of my employer not reporting my fall to wcb i’v had the fight of my life trying to get help and because of it I didn’t have my first surgery until February 2019 and the second one in October 2019. Even after both surgeries I am very movement limited and pain restricted , my clavicle was also jutted down into my cuff and very infected by the time I got to have surgery and the surgeon removed the infected area. I have not been able to lift my arm off my body very far and another thing I have been dealing with since the fall is horrible pains in my chest between the breast bone , I have told the surgeon about it but it has not been addressed i have also ended up at emergency with it and in 2017 after a ct scan was told that I had an infection in my sternum. Please any help would be appreciated. My life has fallen apart since 2015. Thank you.

  • Darin Goodrum says:

    I had rotator cuff repair 15 years ago it’s now gone wrong again , tried steroid injection worked for a month now horrendous pain , not sure the answer

  • Deborah crane says:

    I’ve also have had 2 rotator cuff surgeries and I now have more pain then ever. I’m in chronic pain and have limited mobility with that arm/shoulder. I’m completely frustrated as it has changed my life so much and it’s not for the good!

    • Mike Welford says:

      I’m sorry to hear that. I had my first surgery almost a year ago. They just opened up my WCB claim and I am going through the process again to see what needs to be done. If I can’t regain the mobility, I can’t do my job, which I love. This is a hard transition to go through. I know that they will retrain me for another job, but I’m nervous about the whole thing again. This will be my second surgery if they decide to go ahead with it. I’m more scared about it this time than I was last time.
      I hope they get it sorted out for you and that you have no more pain. It is the worst pain….

  • Mark E. Wise says:

    I have had two full shoulder replacements. The first one was back in March of 2017. This was a traditional shoulder replacement. The joint was completely arthritic with bone on bone and no labrum. I was referred to an orthopedic surgeon who did a full replacement. There was 1.25 cm tear in the rotator which I have had repaired on 4 other occassions. The first surgeon re-attached the rotator and I proceded to go through 9 1/2 months of PT. 23 months later I was still in pain. I was referred to a second surgeon who examined me and id xrays and told me that the rotator repair never healed and was not attached. He performed a reverse should replacement on January 9, 2019. I went through 8 weeks of PT. Since then I have been in constant pain. Between 7-8 on the pain scale. I have not been able to sleep in my own bed going on 2 1/2 to 3 years. I have to sleep in a recliner to try and take pressure off of the shoulder. I don’t think I can go through another surgery. The pain is extremely bad. Is there anything that can be done at this point? I am on my last nerve with the constant pain. I need relief.

  • Mike Noble says:

    A good thorough information. You explained everything in short and precise manner. Loved reading it.

  • Adriana says:

    I had a shoulder surgery , rotator cuff. MRI shows a minor tear , that was May 14th 2019, I ‘m in so much pain , I got done a second MRI and it is worse condition than my first MRI,is a retear of 3-1/2 cm , the doc .will do another surgery September 24th do you think it will be ok, I’m not to comfortable with the doctor do you recommend to see another doctor x surgery ? It is probably another doctor would do a surgery?
    What I do? I will lose my job October 1st , I have to decide fast because I will lose my insurance, what I do
    Adriana, Holywood Florida

    • Kathie Monk says:

      I’m Sooo Sorry Jody! I had a rotator cuff repair in 2011. Was out of work for 3 1/2 months, then at 5 months got “frozen shoulder”( right shoulder). I’m a Nurse. Had to do a few more months of intense PT then it slowly resolved. Hurt for a year. For the most part it’s been ok but still gives me trouble at times. I’ve since had Scoliosis and back problems ( DDD) and had to have a Spinal Fusion in July of this year. Ever since that, my OTHER shoulder ( left) has started becoming painful, slowly worse and worse. I’ve been honestly trying to ignore it, but I just know it’s another “rotator cuff “ issue in my other shoulder!! DANGIT!! I refuse to have any surgery on it until I can qualify for Medicare ( 13 more months).!!! Hope I won’t need it! Night time I wake up off and on all night in pain and my upper arm has become throbbing off and on! UGH!!!

  • Jody Ruiter says:

    I was a 48 yr old wife, mom, gramma, and Nurse. I had gastric bypass in 2012 and lost 100lbs. Now I’m active and enjoying life. My horse, no fault of her, spooked and ran. I hit the ground. Tore my rotator cuff. Had surgery, therapy,frozen shoulder. Surgery, therapy, frozen shoulder ….again. My surgeon retires. I go to another surgeon in the same office. He has an excellent reputation. Does another MRI and I went from two tears to three full thickness tears and a sliced bicep from sutures that came undone. Third surgery, therapy. Go to a therapist who specializes in shoulders. By this time I’ve lost all muscle mass so there is no hope after 3 more months of therapy. My medical record states that my left shoulder is permanently dislocated. I am now 50 yrs old. I’m on disability, cause you can’t be a nurse with my issues. Life revolves around how much pain I’m in today. I’m on pain meds just to make it through the day. Sleep….couple hours here and there. And then there is the whole opioid epidemic going on. So, even though I have a legit amend need for pain meds, people treat you like you are an addict. Please, I didn’t run to the streets to get high. I never took meds till this injury. Hate going to the pharmacy every month. You get that look. You just want to say “spend a day in my body, then tell me I don’t need meds” people don’t understand if they haven’t been in your place. And it’s not just the shoulder. My neck muscles hurt from overcompensating for my arm. The back ache from the dangling arm. Sometimes I think it might be less painfull to just amputate the damn arm. We’ll, that’s my story. Thank you all for letting me vent. Like I said, people who haven’t had this, don’t understand.

    • Kathie Monk says:

      I’m Sooo Sorry Jody! I had a rotator cuff repair in 2011. Was out of work for 3 1/2 months, then at 5 months got “frozen shoulder”( right shoulder). I’m a Nurse. Had to do a few more months of intense PT then it slowly resolved. Hurt for a year. For the most part it’s been ok but still gives me trouble at times. I’ve since had Scoliosis and back problems ( DDD) and had to have a Spinal Fusion in July of this year. Ever since that, my OTHER shoulder ( left) has started becoming painful, slowly worse and worse. I’ve been honestly trying to ignore it, but I just know it’s another “rotator cuff “ issue in my other shoulder!! DANGIT!! I refuse to have any surgery on it until I can qualify for Medicare ( 13 more months).!!! Hope I won’t need it! Night time I wake up off and on all night in pain and my upper arm has become throbbing off and on! UGH!!!

    • Carmen Wilfong says:

      I agree with you I have had 2 surgeries one 10/2/18 after 4 weeks went to Pt but still a lot of pain on April 24 2019 had I mRi Arthrogram went back to the surgeon and he send me back to repite a second mRi arthrogram on June 26 2019 to be sure!!! Re torn (rotator cuff tear ) went through another surgery on November 5/20019 still on a lot of pain worse I’m so frustrating and depressed I’m can’t brush my hair or do my daily activities can’t use my right hand cz the right rotator cuff tear tendinitis I was 160 pounds now I’m 200 don’t what to do my life is miserable been out work it will 2 years

    • Willie says:

      I feel your pain Jody. Worrying about what others think about you taking medications should be the least of your concerns. You need to do whatever it takes to stay as comfortable to maintain your livelihood. If it wasn’t for the medication all I would do is sit around, gain weight and complain. When the medication takes affect, I am able to pick a battle to conquer staying ever mindful that I can injure myself further if I don’t take it easy and work safely. Remember Jody, you are the only person you are absolutely, positively sure you can count on. Focus on loving you.

    • Dorothea Mays says:

      Hi I feel the same way you feel they need to be in our shoes I have had 2 knee replacement painful shoulder arthroscopic gout which is painful diagnosis with trigger finger mild carpal tunnel just had a should er replace ment wish they were in my house everytime I go to therapy painful

  • John M. Kirsch MD says:

    Most shoulder surgery is unnecessary. Read my book: “Shoulder Pain? The Solution & Prevention.” The book puts forth an exercise that heals and maintains the shoulder: Hanging from an overhead bar.-

  • Luigi says:

    Had 2 failed rotor cuff surgery’s in 2009 1in January the other in December same year on my donimit left shoulder have adhesive capsules now unable to have full mobility WCB dr said I can still work and that its amassing to him that I still have frozen shoulder and also can drive and work with this condition Family doctor says no I cant work Can you please give me some info

  • Peter says:

    I had 3 shoulder surgeries rotor cuff is shoulder replacement a option

  • Sharon says:

    I had rotator cuff surgery 10/2012, due to a fall. Did well. Recovery time 3 mths top.
    Fell again 4/2018 – 2 bad tears & ligament for biceps left retracted in arm. Surgery 7/2018. One mth later (8/2018) while walking, fell again breaking wrist of the recent surgical shoulder. Could not do MRI until healed from surgery. Stayed in PT 7 months. I complained, but kept being told I was still healing & rehab takes longer the second time around.
    Finally, it’s 5/2019. MRI shows big tear. Doc said if it’s a big tear, he wouldn’t fix it as results could be worse, but I have options. In 3 days I’ll learn what my options are. It’d be nice to get a good night’s sleep again.

  • Patriciaborderd says:

    I had r cuff surgery in2018 now I got had total reviso n shoulder replacement what happened did some part from r cuff went back or what

  • Kim williams says:

    If your rotor cuff tears again after surgery is it my fault?

  • Tim says:

    I feel for a lot of you all.

    Been dealing with issues with my shoulder for well almost 18 years. Initially I was informed I had strained my muscle, (Thanks Military DR) and for 2 years dealt with it subluxating. PCS’d to a new base and get referred for a MRI showing Torn Labrum. Had 2 surgeries almost back to back with little help in stabilizing my shoulder, was medically discharged and continued to have problems with my shoulder. Went 6 years with my shoulder getting progressively worse dislocating/subluxating almost daily (there may have been times I would go a day or 2 with no issue, but never the less it got way worse). 2011 had my 3rd surgery, that was the 1st surgery that in my opinion was successful. Really improved issues with stability on my shoulder. After a while shoulder began feeling loose again. Last year shoulder completely dislocated while reaching out to the side to grab the car door (yea I should have known better) So here I am doing more research as I am sure I am looking at a 4th surgery and possibly shoulder replacement. blah

  • Brenda Hageman says:

    I had my first rotator cuff repair done June 11 2018 n 2nd repair done Dec 27 2018, both surgeries were to fix the massive tears n the last one was 20 mm by 15 mm and a U shaped tear all 3 tendons were torn. I want n need to go to work.

  • JKV says:

    Needing some recommendations, I am 39 yrs old and I had rotator cuff surgery in Sept 2017 to repair at 95% tear & had a 2nd surgery on the same shoulder for the same thing in April 2018. After I continued to have issues with it I was referred to a reconstructive specialist and he tells me that a large amount of my tendon is missing and I do not have many options available considering I am to young for a shoulder replacement. I am in severe pain every day, I can not raise my arm up past my waist, & my life is miserable. I am currently perscrived gabapentin for pain relief but it’s not helping relieve much pain, I am also using an H Wave machine and I am not getting much relief from that either. I have not been able to return to work since my first surgery. Do I have any reasonable options to repair a missing tendon?

    • John M. Kirsch MD says:

      You must read my book, “Shoulder Pain? The Solution & Prevention.” In the book I outline a simple exercise that in most cases heals and maintains the shoulder: hanging by the hands from an overhead bar. The fifth edition will be available in a few weeks. Or write to me at
      Hang in there…..

  • Mark says:

    4th paragraph from bottom, the word decreases is spelled wrong, not unless it was meant to be deceases.

  • Marcie L Santos says:

    I slipped and fell in April 2017 coming out of a freezer at work. My right arm got progressively weaker. Went in August and had an MRI. Showed a tear had surgery in October. Just was feeling like I could function and I slipped on black ice went in for another MRI Retore it. Had surgery end of January. Middle of March started feeling like it was popping in and out of joint. I had lost my balance and fell into a door jam not even really fell but it hurt. Went back for another MRI and it was torn again. Question is can I live with the pain? Do I do another surgery? I’m 59 and healthy.

  • anne millett says:

    thank you, i have just had an ultra sound done and been told i now have 2 torn tendons, and need a steriod injection to help the pain, so that is my next move i do not want any more operations.
    would acupunture help?


    had rotater cuff surgery in june 2017….did the physical therapy for 5 months, was still painful…new mri revealed the inserted screw came loose..another surgery jan 2018 …still recovering 2 months later …still painful….

  • Joyce Chambers says:

    Had shoulderproblems for 2 years 2months had injections , phiso , malipuation opp, keyhole surgery , was waiting to have a shoulder replacement in March 18 , had a phone call today it’s been cancelled I’m deeply upset , have to have help with washing etc,i am nearly 82 my life has become miserable , I am wondering if somewhere something has gone wrong as this started off with a diagnose of a frozen shoulder . I am told I now have to wait until April , but I am now experience pain in my other shoulder of which concerns me , I need to add for the past year I have had the treatment with a private hospital paid for by the NHS date of writing 2/2/18. From Er Indoors

    • Liz says:

      I am going thru the same thing and my dr is a jerk ;( hang in there i had surgery it failed. God bless

    • Suzanne Jackson says:

      Joyce, how difficult this situation must be for you. How are you doing now? Have you been able to achieve a reasonable outcome? When reading your comment, I noticed your age being 82. You must be incredibly brave to endure the pain, as well as, enduring the frustration of a cancelled surgery. I had my first rotator cuff surgery in April 2018, damaged it significanty 6 weeks post surgery. Second surgery was performed July 2018 and, once again, damaged it significantly when traveling to Utah from Oklahoma, where we dropped off two of our daughters at college. Tomorrow, I go back to my doctor to discuss the options of the third attempt at repairing my shoulder. I acknowledge it is incredibly difficult for me to recover as I should and have contributed to the problem. If someone has had a successful outcome with similar history, I would appreciate any information and/or direction.
      Joyce, please let us know how you are doing now?

      • Catherine says:

        I just went to a shoulder dr. Today. I was sure she would send me to get an MRI but didn’t. I had my first rotors cuff surgery in 2005, 2nd one in 2013. The dr. Said instead of doing another rotors cuff surgery I should have a shoulder replacement. Then she made the remark I’m to young for a shoulder replacement. I will be 60 in March. For now she sending me to do PT. I’m scare that only going to make it worse.

  • P. Sobieski says:

    I too have had 2 surgeries and I’m almost positive this 2nd one has failed. I’m getting so frustrated because my arm is pretty much useless to do anything that needs movement above my chest. I could lift my arm overhead before the first surgery and ever since it’s been a nightmare. I’m so bummed out with this experience. I sometimes wish I would have left my rotator cuffs alone. They also cut my bicep tendon but Dr would not stitch it back onto humerus. I’m going to another Dr in a month but I think the arm is just shot. Can’t even change a light bulb myself.

    • Amy says:

      Wow your story is like mine!!!! My first surgery was March of 2016 and my second was April of 2017 and I am still having lots of pain. MR Arthrogram was done and still showing a tear in my subscapularis and my surgeon does not agree with my results. Going Monday for an injection so we will see. Last injections I had did not help me

    • Todd peters says:

      I’m having the same kind of luck I had my surgery about nine weeks ago and I can’t lift my arm over my head the doctor says that I am way behind even though I’m kill myself with the therapy going to therapy twice a week and doing at home twice a day and it just goes up so far locks up tight they’re blaming it on scar tissue but I don’t really know what’s going on and I could almost wish I didn’t even do it my hand strength is diminished are used to be a weightlifter and had real good hand strengthen I have it I have tingling in my forearm. In the palm of my hand it’s just never come back from the nerve block I believe so I’m a little dismayed I waited a long time to get the surgery done like 20 years and thought OK I’ll just go ahead and do it be better off in life and I wish I never did it

    • Alison Garza says:

      What did you find out? I’ve had 2 surgery’s as well! And my arm is shot! Plus my insurance is being difficult and is quoting me 12,000 or more I can’t afford that!

  • Is it possible to get an appointment to see Dr. Rob and Richard's? Thank you Dahlia Barber says:

    Paul Taylor

    I have been suffering with shoulder problems fora year and a half now. My most recent injury I fell in the street and tore my rotator cuff from 6 mm to 14 mm tear full partial tear in the supraspinatus.

    I am doing physiotherapy right now but I’m considering surgery. My doctor would like me to be seen by Dr. Robin Richards as a possible surgery candidate.
    I have had MRIs and ultrasounds scans the most recent one December 27, 2017.
    Is it possible to get an appointment to see Dr. Rob and Richard’s? Thank you Dahlia Barber

  • Marlene taiwhati says:

    Great to know im not the only one ..nearly 10years down the track first op 09..second 2011..
    Veins side elbow has lump..biceps feel like concrete..wrist swollen outerside..tingling numbness aching in ring finger n small..
    Have had mris stating two fragments..ultra sound says same clicking they couldnt find where from.. three orthapaedic surgeons stating cant do anything for me..
    I feel fobbed off n now acc send me to have medical assessment n i tell him everything states not arthiritis but states in notes it is says elbow not related to shoulder..i cant put arm behind back etc let alone turn my forearm..
    Im confused etc frustrated

  • Sidney Starks says:

    I was treated for tennis elbow after getting injured on the job. I told the Dr that the pain was unbearable and it didnt feel like tennis elbow because i had that injury before. I told her I felt a pop with severe pain in my shoulder and my arm felt like i couldnt move it. For one yr i worked with the wrong diagnosis and when someone finally sent me to the orthopedic doctor, the MRI showed a torn rotator cuff. Mind u the firdt one said the same thing as the second. Now i have very little function in my arm and i have had two surgeries. Complete tears. Its sad to not be able to function like u use to. To carry a purse is a challenge. My good arm is over compensating my bad arm, now my good arm feels like my rotator cuff is tirn. Crazy!

  • Sheila Caperton says:

    What is the next step after two failed rotator repair surgeries? I have so much pain I cannot sleep more than an hour two at a time. Should I just exist on pain meds? Is shoulder replacement a consideration even though I don’t want anymore surgery? Daily function is diminishing and pain is increasing. Please help!

    • John M. Kirsch MD says:

      You should read my book, “Shoulder Pain? The Solution & Prevention.” In the book I outline a simple exercise, hanging by the hands from an overhead bar a few times each day. A fifth edition of the book will be out in a few weeks. The exercise heals and maintains the shoulder without the need for pills, therapy or surgery. There are many testimonials in the book and at Amazon books.

  • kareem abdussalam says:

    hello I am 43 years old I had surgery on my left shoulder on 12-3-14 for spurs I went to physical therapy the first month was painful but it seemed like it was getting better but then the shoulder started feeling worse they gave me some injections and it did not work in may I received an MRI with a shot and it showed more spurs so they went back in 6-23-15 all this time was unable to lift my arm without serious pain after the second surgery it was going great in therapy and I felt it once again start going the wrong way I have received a second opinion and they took an x ray and seen nothing in my shoulder had a nerve test done found pinch nerves in my arm by elbow and hand but nothing in neck or shoulder my pain scale stay about a 6 and when I get active sometimes it brings tears in my eyes its 11-2-15 and to move my shoulder hurts worse

    • Liz says:

      I feel ur pain as I too am going through this but they can never see what’s wrong with your shoulder on x-ray only on MRI good luck to you my friend

    • Leatrice Keller says:

      Well I stared my first rotator cuff I 2018 now I then had 3 more surgerys since then and now they want to do another surgery in March 2020 on the same left shoulder is that normal

    • Ricardo Paul Kingland says:

      Ricardo Kingland i got hurt on my job on 02132019 my first operation was 06/03/2019 after PT 1 month felt a lot of pain DR send me for another mri found out the rotor cuff failed i had another operation on 05/27/202 they had tp put patches and implants in and again more serious pain. I would like tp know what i need to do

      • Kelly says:

        I’m in same boat two complete tears in right shoulder, frozen shoulder, reconstruction surgery June 2019, horrible pain after PT tore my surgery. Took one year to prepare my body for next surgery June 2020, I still can’t raise my arm reach grab pull sleep is awful at 1 to -1/2 intervals. Life is miserable because I have a pillow under my arm at all times because arm can’t even lay at a easy position. Physical therapy taped my shoulder to pull it center of the joint to help me with pain. I can reach my mouth to eat, can’t lift a cup to drink! I have to move the bad arm using my god arm. My husband is sick when he watches me. I cant dry my hair or fix my hair. Many many tears I been doing physical therapy twice a week for 15 months! This has consumed our life, not worked in over a year… I can’t! Depression, anxiety life has forever change! I am miserable and nothing they can do to get me usable range of motion from my dominate arm.

        My advice to anyone looking at a quick fix surgery, PHYSICAL THERAPY! go work hard get through it no matter how much you think oh I’ll just have surgery and it’s a quick fix. No NO IT’S NOT! Trust me read reviews these surgeries have a high failure rate, I thought I was miserable before… you should live in my shoes now!


Paul Taylor


Paul Taylor is a health journalist and former Patient Navigation Advisor at Sunnybrook Health Sciences Centre, where he provided advice and answered questions from patients and their families. Paul will continue to write occasional columns for Healthy Debate.

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