Patient: 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: 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 3first 3 days full restFirst 3 weeks rest to the part3X3 = 9 weeks recapitulation of the work depending upon many, many factors like your willpower, response to surgery, your toleranceHence 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.