HOW LONG UNTIL RETURNING TO WORK POST ROTATOR CUFF SURGERY

Patient

Q: HOW LONG WILL I BE OFF WORK AFTER FULL THICKNESS LEFT SIDE ROTATOR CUFF SURGERY.
SEDENTARY JOB CONSTANT RIGHT ARM MOVEMENT USING MOUSE ON RIGHT HAND.
LEFT HAND NEEDED TO USE KEYBOARD TO HELP WITH SOFTWARE COMMANDS.
SURGERY ON LEFT SHOULDER.
I USE GRAPHIC SOFTWARE TO DRAW INTEGRATED CIRCUITS SO IT'S NOT SIMPLE TYPING.

Symptoms:  LEFT ARM PAIN. SURGERY COMING.
Doctor

A:   Hi.
Thanks for your query and an elucidate history, very specific.
Read it carefully and understood the procedure you are going through and the specific work that your are doing with the specific work that each hand is going.
In general: Rule of 3
first 3 days full rest
First 3 weeks rest to the part
3X3 = 9 weeks recapitulation of the work depending upon many, many factors like your willpower, response to surgery, your tolerance
Hence you will have to strictly follow the principles that your orthopedic surgeon is going to instruct upon.

Please let me know the indication ( if possible tell me about the MRI reports- impression or clinical impression that your Surgeon has given about) for which the surgery is being done so that I can elucidate more and more as per the requirements you have talked about.

And we can formulate in such a way that you can have the best recovery and the can start working at the earliest.
Awaiting for your feedback.

Comments / Follow Ups

Patient: Thank you, Dr. I have an appt this Tuesday to discuss the MRI results with physician, at which time I can elaborate upon my questions for him. So far, the only comment from his office regarding my MRI is "significant for a full thickness tear to the rotator cuff (left side), certainly a surgical issue. We would propose surgery to fix that."
Patient: Oops, I accidentally sent the message before I was done commenting! I believe and this is just a guess that this rotator cuff issue came about due to not moving the left arm as I work. There is heavy computer mouse usage with my right hand/arm, and the left-hand does sometimes use the keyboard for certain keystrokes but most of the time that arm stays quiet still. I am concerned about returning to work and sitting in the exact same position that may have created this over a long period of time. That is why I asked my question "how long before I should return to work. "If you have any further comment after reading this please let me know .
Doctor: No problem, this happens.
Noted : "significant for a full thickness tear to the rotator cuff (left side), on MRI.
Usually the rotator cuff injury is secondary to some accident or trauma in past and noticed now. Other causes being progressive ear and tear or degenerative disorder and so on
Please try to memorize any incidence that would have caused this and I am sure your Doctor will try to find the cause of it.
Computer work causing it or due to stillness of the left arm looks not possible.
Since your work involves the right upper limb and the left is used only for the purpose you have mentioned, I hope you can return back to your job earlier than the others doing some other job, although the standard time of recovery will take the same time.
You will have to wear the sling for 4 to 6 weeks.
If not using the left arm does not stop your work you can certainly return to work earlier. Be very specific with your Orthopedic Surgeon as he can tell you before surgery and after surgery on seeing the actual findings and completing the repair.

Wishing you all the best.

Related Q&A

Q: Lower bak pain and generall shoulder pain

Q: I been having constant neck and head pain for almost 7 months now. Woke up one day with terrible headache and stiffed...

Q: I have been having pain in my neck and shoulder for the past 6 weeks after a work accident and all scans have shown n...

Q: I've had multiple shoulder issues, including my latest MRI showing thickening and bursitis. I also now have straighte...

Q: I had an arthroscopic bankart repair on my shoulder in March 2015 with 2 anchors inserted. Within 4 months it was app...

 
DOCTOR ADVISORY BOARD
218

Dr. James Obaji M.D.

  • 247 Reviews
  • Family Physician
173

Dr. Suneel Sharman M.D.

  • 190 Reviews
  • Family Physician
138

Dr. Pat Golden M.D.

  • 169 Reviews
  • Cardiologist
98

Dr. Kunaal Jindal M.D.

  • 112 Reviews
  • Plastic Surgeon
CNN
BBC
MSNBC
CBS
abcNews
FoxNews