Shooting after rotator cuff surgery

blackdog

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Jan 14, 2011
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Portland, OR
I know this is kind of an odd ball question, but I'm curious if any of you have had rotator cuff surgery and when you were able to resume shooting after the surgery. I know that the recovery process can be pretty long and that athletic activities and working out is usually not started until 3 months or so after the surgery but I'm wondering where shooting falls into things. I shoot right handed and it's my right shoulder. I'll find out more when I see the doc next month I guess. Might just have to start looking for a left handed rifle to shoot for a while!! :rolleyes:
 

wyomingblizzard

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Nov 8, 2011
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The high desert of wyoming
With my shoulder surgery, that was sever requireing sevral screws and pins, it was a year before I could shoot a high power rifle. I still have a little pain at times shooting pron and its been sevral years now. One of my shooting budys had his scoped and was shooting in a few months. I guess it will come down to how much work they have to do to you. Good luck.
 

lewwetzel

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Central OH
You gotta be kidding me! I was going to post the same question. I'm seven weeks out from surgery on what the doc said was one of the worst rotator cuff tears he'd seen (fell into tank at work when grate came loose). Just finished my second week of rehab, and my cute therapist said that even though they could not repair all the tendon ends, after six weeks there's nothing (within reason) anybody could attempt that would damage the shoulder. Took the very mild-recoiling .204 Ruger (a LN rare C-Z Kevlar Varmint all that time off in a brutal winter enabled me to score; one bright spot) out on the first warm day in 4 months yesterday. A little stiff maneuvering around on the bench, but didn't feel the slightest pain or shoulder movement. Will stick with rimfire and my .20 to .22 centerfires for a while until moving up to a .243 cal. or larger just to be safe, though. I'd hazard a guess that the motion of shouldering a rifle or even shooting one off bags or bipod might even be considered a form of rehab therapy to regain range, as long as it isn't attempted before those critical few weeks after surgery. I AM NOT A DOCTOR, SO CHECK WITH A MEDICAL PROFESSIONAL FIRST. Just relating my own experience.
BTW, those little C-Z's are shooters: I used some old factory ammo with the intention of just getting on paper after scope mounting. In short order had shots almost touching on the target at what should be a 200 yd. zero. Think I'll keep it!
 
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WildRose

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N. Texas and S. Africa
I've had a whole lot of ortho work including three rotator cuff repairs.

Tendons and ligaments heal much slower than muscle and bone, it will take a full year for them to fully heal. That's why it takes baseball and football players so long to get back up to full strength and many times you end up with limited mobility and rotation if you don't really bust your butt in PT. While you want to be aggressive in PT you sure don't want to reinjure it.

On shooting if you aren't shooting anything with a lot of recoil you can get back at it as soon as you feel like you can tolerate the pain well and learn to recognize what is just stretching and breaking loose adhesions and what is pushing too far.

Pain is a very good guide.

I'd give the heavies about a six month vacation to be safe. I pushed too hard after my first reconstruction (considerably more involved than just the Rotatorr cuff) and really paid for it having to have a second surgery on the same shoulder just four months after the first.

When it comes to this kind of stuff I've learned the hard way to be pretty conservative.
 

LBZ

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Oct 19, 2014
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Let your therapist know that you are a shooter. They can give you some exorsizes to do that will help. It is important to do your PT at home for recovery. I am 6 months out and can pretty much shoot anything I want.
 

FEENIX

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I had a similar surgery in June 2012 (http://www.longrangehunting.com/forums/f22/had-shoulder-surgery-93972/) and by September 2012, I was out bowhunting and shooting all my rifles (mostly braked), including my magnums. :)

BTW, I too am right handed. The recovery process varies from each individual's ability to heal (healing process; most of us old farts don't heal as quickly) and your PT. IMHO, the key is NOT to re-injure it. The Human body is amazing.

I am currently undergoing PT for a left tennis elbow. :(

Good luck!

Ed
 

wwbrown

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Feb 17, 2011
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minneapolis mn
I've had a whole lot of ortho work including three rotator cuff repairs.
.

I am in the same boat 3 shoulder rebuilds on my right side and another 11 ortho surgeries. I agree that give it 6 months before shooting something heavy unless it is braked. Good surgeons are able to do some great work on shoulders allowing the patient to return to previous activity most of the time. Follow through will all PT and accept that there may be some pain with shooting either from recoil or positional reasons and naprosyn is a real good med to help the pain and inflammation.

Long Story Short: Give yourself time to heal get back shooting and forget about the surgery.

wade
 

uka

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Jun 27, 2012
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with most injuries age is a big factor. young guys heal fast old guys heal slow if ever
 

wwbrown

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with most injuries age is a big factor. young guys heal fast old guys heal slow if ever
My last rebuild was at 40.

The surgeon has a tremendous play in the final outcome, I have always used very aggressive sports medicine docs they know how to get you back to what you want to do better.
 

mtwarych

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Aug 16, 2013
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Stevensville MT
I know a man who decided that he had rehabbed enough from his open heart surgery to go out and hunt deer with his 7X57.
I didn't know any better so I went with him.
We got to where we decided to hunt and just sat next to each other and talked and messed around. We had the chance to shoot and Gary took the shot on a legal buck.
When he fired his rifle he separated his sternum and was in bad shape, I ended up pretty much carrying him back to the truck and then driving him 3 hours to the nearest hospital.

The whole thing scared the crap out of both of us.

I got him into the hospital so he was safe but in extreme pain. He did everything he was supposed to do to insure the healing process was carried out to the fullest after that.

Yes, I did go back that night and recovered the animal.
I would suggest that the OP make sure he is beyond the healing process because the second time will be no better. I would think that getting serious about shooting an accurate 22rf will keep the mind bone connected to the trigger bone long enough to ensure healing.
Good luck.
 

antitactical

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Aug 17, 2012
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elmont virginia
It took me a while. I started shooting a 6mm ppc with a brake after about 2-3 months. I am not yet at a year and big boys do tend to leave me a little sore. I would take it easy for a year.
 

uka

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My last rebuild was at 40.

The surgeon has a tremendous play in the final outcome, I have always used very aggressive sports medicine docs they know how to get you back to what you want to do better.
I am glad it worked for you
 
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