We are following up on a patient who had rotator cuff surgery in mid-August at the Avera Surgery Center. Nancy Naeve Brown checks in with her at CORE Orthopedics Physical Therapy Clinic to see how recovery and rehab is going.
Renee Coley from Sioux Falls is on her 7th week of rehabilitation on her right shoulder with Physical Therapist Jill Johannsen at CORE Orthopedics Avera Medical Group. She starts her therapy session with a warm-up on the arm bike.
We were invited to watch in August as CORE Surgeon Dr. Erik Peterson repaired her right torn rotator cuff arthroscopically, it's a less invasive procedure that uses special equipment and small incisions. She also had cartilage damage he cleaned up and removed some bone spurs.
Renee says, "It was tough the first 6 weeks. I slept in a recliner. My husband said don't you think you should come to bed."
Renee started physical therapy a week after post-op.
Jill Johannsen, DPT says, "The main reason (we start them so soon after surgery) is to slow down the stiffness and lack of mobility that develops in the shoulder from the healing process that's going on. The shoulder does tend to get stiff."
Up until now Renee has had a sling on during the day and night. She is happy to have it off.
Renee demonstrates her right arm movement. She says, "Well I can do about that far. I'm trying to get it up there, but I can't."
Up until now Renee was not supposed to use her right arm at all. Now that she's reached the 7 week mark and the sling is off Jill will work more on range of motion.
Jill says, "For the most part we are starting to get the patient to do more at home assisting the shoulder with range of motion with pulleys. We can use a cane or stick to have the other arm help push that arm away from her body."
Even though Renee has had some pain in the recovery process, she did get immediate relief in her neck post surgery.
Renee says, "I couldn't sleep, I couldn't move my head and that was the wonderful thing when I woke up. No more headaches! My neck didn't hurt. It only hurts now if I sleep wrong."
Jill is working hard to make sure Renee isn't developing bad habits to compensate for not having full movement in her arm.
Jill says, "I have to delay active use of the arm because of things like pain control and scapular positioning because they can develop bad habits and strain the shoulder before its ready."
Rehab is a slow process because no matter what progress never comes fast enough, for Renee she is happy to have the surgery on her shoulder behind her and looks forward to what ahead. She knows with continued hard work it will be her arm above her head!
Renee goes to physical therapy twice a week at CORE Orthopedics and does arm exercises at home daily.