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Why am I having pain after surgery for a torn rotator cuff?

Q: I had a shoulder surgery for the pain in my arm 2 months ago. The surgery consisted of bone removal from the collar bone and rotator cuff and deltoid repair. I have been under therapy for it since my surgery but the pain is still there. Now the doctor feels that there may be a problem with my biceps. If my biceps have been damaged, then what can be done about it? Will it ever be fine again? I have tried Cortisone and physical therapy but it hasn't helped. I can hardly lift my arm without pain. It's been this way for over 2 years now. I do repetitive work for a living. Could this be the cause?

A:It appears you have torn rotator cuff repaired. Your surgeon and physiotherapist would have structured a rehabilitation programme for you considering the type of repair and size of tear. Usually I do not advise active movements of the arm for 6 weeks and then assisted active movements. I advise rest in a sling for 3 weeks. Pain is unusual if the surgery has been performed correctly. There may ongoing infection of the suture anchor (unusual but possible), bursitis, or post op stiffness (most common cause). A physical examination and MRI arthrogram may help in clinching the diagnosis.


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