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Rotator cuff surgery and fly rod casting
Posted by: Russell Brunt (---.lightspeed.miamfl.sbcglobal.net)
Date: May 08, 2019 07:28PM

To make a long story short......I was run over by a drunk driver. I was mowing my yard at the time. This occurred the day after Thanksgiving. Pretty much everything on the right side was badly broken.

Turns out one of my physical therapists is a fly rod fisherman. We got talking about building rods and I remembered all those nice fly rod blanks I have. I have bigger things to worry about than fly fishing (like will my house get repossessed before I'm able to walk/work again).

Anyhow, for those of you that might have had shoulder surgery, I was wondering how long it takes to recover enough to fly fish.

Russ in Hollywood, FL.

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Re: Rotator cuff surgery and fly rod casting
Posted by: Mark Talmo (71.147.59.---)
Date: May 08, 2019 07:53PM

Russell,
I am certain I am speaking for all of us on the forum when speaking of how sorry we are to learn of your horrific experience and wishing you a speedy and full recovery. To be mowed-down while mowing is unthinkably unfair. It seems as though you are doing quite well though, considering your priority of when you will be able get back out fly fishing over paying the mortgage lol. I have never been beat-up as bad as you so cannot offer any recovery timeframe. Keep us posted on your recovery. Good luck and God bless.

Mark Talmo
FISHING IS NOT AN ESCAPE FROM LIFE BUT RATHER A DEEPER IMMERSION INTO IT!!!

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Re: Rotator cuff surgery and fly rod casting
Posted by: roger wilson (---.hsd1.mn.comcast.net)
Date: May 08, 2019 07:59PM

2-weeks to 10 years.

It is so very dependent on the extent of the injury, the particular surgery completed and your own rehab effort in conjunction with your physical training doctor.

I had a problem with my shoulder many years go - skiing accident. Although it is healed and have reasonable range of motion, I still have to sleep with my arm down by my side to prevent waking up with pain in the middle of the night.

By the way, my rehab was really helped by my signing up for a work bowling league. When the league first started, I was very tentative with my bowling and had a very limited range of motion. I normally bowl with a 16 lb ball. But, I really enjoyed the competition.

As the year went by and with the help of a few relaxing drinks during the bowling season my average improved. By the following spring, I happened to notice one night at bowling that I was completing my swing with my arm fully extended and over my head as I pushed the ball down the alley. So, at that time, I tested my range of motion and found that it was near 100%. It turned out that swinging the 16 lb ball for a good amount of time when bowling and being relaxed so that I did not feel the pain, that I had actually worked through the pain and the necessary stretching of the muscles to restore the range of motion.

So, little rehab and your recovery will be very long or you will never recover.
A great rehab with a very good trainer will both shorten the rehab as well as improve the amount of improvement.

Best wishes.

p.s.
Most folks who have had extensive surgery and a good rehab normally have a pretty good range of pain free motion in about 2 years.

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Re: Rotator cuff surgery and fly rod casting
Posted by: Norman Miller (---.sub-174-235-135.myvzw.com)
Date: May 08, 2019 09:58PM

A Terrible misfortune,to be mowed down while mowing. I know it’s not funny, and I hope you have a good sense of humor. I really feel for you. Hope you get well sooner rather than later. Best wishes for a speedy recovery.
Norm

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Re: Rotator cuff surgery and fly rod casting
Posted by: Phil Erickson (---.dsl.pltn13.sbcglobal.net)
Date: May 08, 2019 10:16PM

A good therapist is very helpful with rotator cuff recovery, there very specific exercises!

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Re: Rotator cuff surgery and fly rod casting
Posted by: Ray Zarychta (---.ri.ri.cox.net)
Date: May 09, 2019 09:09AM

Sorry to hear about your strange accident. I have had both cuffs torn amongst other shoulder issues with both shoulders arthroscopically repaired. Both were pretty good after only two weeks without therapy but I didn't get full range for about a year after I took aqua therapy sessions. I actually continued the therapy on my own for about two years, therapy pools are nice and warm in the cold New England weather. I was casting sooner than the two years and have not had any shoulder problems since. Highly recommend the aqua therapy.

Ray Zarychta
Glastonbury, CT

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Re: Rotator cuff surgery and fly rod casting
Posted by: Michael Danek (---.alma.mi.frontiernet.net)
Date: May 09, 2019 09:14AM

As Roger said, it depends on a lot of things, including your effort and devotion to doing the right therapy (but no more). By now you should be in pretty good shape if the surgery was successful. But it is not always successful. Some injuries cannot be fixed totally. I have a bad right shoulder, irreparable supraspinatus (I think), but I still fly fish. But it does hurt. It hurts with all fishing, and I'm learning to avoid a lot of motions.

One thing I've found is that one can do a pretty good job of fly casting without using much shoulder, concentrating on using the elbow more with a pure vertical rotation of the forearm from a relatively stationary shoulder.

Another possibility, if your current non-casting shoulder is in good shape, is to switch. This will possibly work if the bad side can do the line handling job OK.

I'm so sorry for what happened to you, and hope you can get back to a relatively normal state. Good luck.

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Re: Rotator cuff surgery and fly rod casting
Posted by: Herb Ladenheim (---.hsd1.ma.comcast.net)
Date: May 09, 2019 12:50PM

Russell,
Terrible story - very sorry.
My wife had two rotator cuff operations on both shoulders.
First the surgeon immobilized her arm for an extended time - bad for rehap. Second shoulder - another surgeon - had her mobile faster - better for rehab.
But - as said before - all situations are different.
But for casting - I encourage you to watch the attached video. start at the 2 minute mark.

[www.youtube.com]

regards,
Herb

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Re: Rotator cuff surgery and fly rod casting
Posted by: Russell Brunt (---.lightspeed.miamfl.sbcglobal.net)
Date: May 09, 2019 02:58PM

Gentlemen, thank you for the kind words. This really is the best forum. While I'm sure Tom has something to do with that, so do all of you guys.

Russ in Hollywood, FL.

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Re: Rotator cuff surgery and fly rod casting
Posted by: Capt. Craig Freeman (---.hampton.k12.va.us)
Date: May 10, 2019 08:44AM

Had both shoulders done. It took 8 months for me to back to "normal" . Best of luck in your recovery.

Capt. Craig Freeman
Grading Scales Sportfishing and Back River Rods

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Re: Rotator cuff surgery and fly rod casting
Posted by: Stan Wasik (---.cluster-n.websense.net)
Date: May 11, 2019 06:14AM

Russel, I've had both shoulders done with full joint replacements. Not at the same time but doing your therapy RELIGIOUSLY is the key to recovery. I was off work for three months each time but worked hard to get back. After that I am good as new and I now fish pain free and it is the most wonderful feeling in the world.

Good Luck

Stan



Edited 2 time(s). Last edit at 05/11/2019 02:53PM by Stan Wasik.

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Re: Rotator cuff surgery and fly rod casting
Posted by: Fred Yarmolowicz (---.hsd1.nj.comcast.net)
Date: May 11, 2019 07:30AM

Recovery for me was not fun. I was injured in a workplace accident in late 2013 and had surgery in December of the same year to repair the torn rotator cuff and severed bicepts tendon. Six months of therapy and no work. I did manage to build three rods that were promised before the accident. But it took forever. I never fully recovered. My care was dictated by the insurance company and I needed a lawyer involved to deal with them when they refused to ok what their dr recommended. Fast forward to late last year when the pain and fatigue was getting too much to handle I attempted to reopen my case. Was denied. Paid out of pocket for an MRI and discovered the repair failed and I have a retorn cuff .
I haven’t put thread to a blank since mid 2014 but stay on top of what’s going on. A few other things stepped in along the way to deter rod building but I plan on putting together a new bench this weekend. One that will ease the pain and keep the wing in a more tolerable position.
It is good therapy. As far as surgery to repair what I have now it doesn’t look good.

Freddwhy (Rapt-Ryte)

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Re: Rotator cuff surgery and fly rod casting
Posted by: Russell Brunt (---.lightspeed.miamfl.sbcglobal.net)
Date: May 11, 2019 11:01AM

Sorry to hear that Fred. I suspect there is a good deal of difference when it is an acute tear due to trauma. A friend at work had the same problem and had to have surgery done again. In his case it was worth it. But then he had the second surgery in under a year IIRC.

I don't know if times have changed.....or if was because of the amount of damage I had......but mine was reattached using suture anchors. They look like those drywall anchors that you screw into the drywall. On the end they have two sutures attached. You might want to check out the following article. It is just something I found real fast but it gives you an idea of some of the advances in the last couple of years. Also that there is more than one way to do things.

[www.healio.com]

Russ in Hollywood, FL.

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Re: Rotator cuff surgery and fly rod casting
Posted by: David Fowler (---.lightspeed.mdsnwi.sbcglobal.net)
Date: May 11, 2019 11:56AM

I had rotator cuff surgery at the end of April 2018. Did rehab for about 6 months. By mid-June, I could do a little fishing with a light fly rod, not trying to push my luck. Really did not do much fishing at all over the summer. In October, I was able to do two straight days of musky fishing with a 10 wt with no pain at all. I'm sure each situation is different. In my case, it was a fall that tore the RC, as opposed to a long-term deteriorating tear, which apparently is harder to repair. Good luck with your rehab. Stay with it.

Dave F.

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Re: Rotator cuff surgery and fly rod casting
Posted by: Russell Brunt (---.lightspeed.miamfl.sbcglobal.net)
Date: May 11, 2019 12:27PM

Wow David, fishing two months later. I wasn't allowed to even have my arm out of a sling for 3 months!

All the P.T. folks thought the doctor was nuts and I'd have a frozen shoulder for sure. Lucky for me, range of motion was never a problem. Making a fist with my hand is another matter though.



PS, Fred if you read that article notice near the end where the doctors are saying if it is outpatient surgery they wouldn't be allowed to use these anchors due to added cost and time.

Russ in Hollywood, FL.

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Re: Rotator cuff surgery and fly rod casting
Posted by: Michael Danek (---.alma.mi.frontiernet.net)
Date: May 11, 2019 04:50PM

Stan, good to hear from you and your success. I'm probably going to have to do the full replacement as I am so hampered, even in the simple stuff, by pain. But I'm torn about when to do it-don't want to miss a season!

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Re: Rotator cuff surgery and fly rod casting
Posted by: Stan Wasik (---.cluster-n.websense.net)
Date: May 12, 2019 09:57AM

Michael, I hear you about missing the season. I had one done in the winter so that worked out good as I was ready for the season to start, but my other was in the spring as I had no choice. I don't know what was harder, having the surgery, doing the therapy, or sitting out the season until August! They all provided pain in their own ways. I see you are compensating your shoulder pain by using other joints more. That may work but I hope its not at the expense of those joints wearing out. The timing is always a tough call but I wish you luck in getting it fixed. You'll be glad you did!

Take Care

Stan

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Re: Rotator cuff surgery and fly rod casting
Posted by: Phil Ewanicki (---.res.spectrum.com)
Date: May 12, 2019 09:58AM

A large number of serious fly casters have taught themselves to fly cast with either arm. This is a great help when fishing big water with lots of wind. The arm holding the line does not move much during the cast - you might even be able to double-haul a bit without stressing the shoulder. When the cast is complete the rod can switch hands, enabling you to use your good arm to strip line and reel.

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Re: Rotator cuff surgery and fly rod casting
Posted by: Michael Danek (---.alma.mi.frontiernet.net)
Date: May 12, 2019 06:08PM

Good comments, Phil.

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