Torn rotator cuff one week before starting first nursing job :(

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    So, I was all ready to head to Texas from California to start my first nursing job in an emergency room... took almost a year to find a job. So long story short I fell on the stairs at home and tore my rotator cuff pretty badly, and I will be having surgery in 5 days. I would like to hear from any nurses that have had surgical repair of rotator cuff, how long was it before you were able to return to bedside nursing? They are willing to hold my position for 8 weeks but I am afraid that I will not be healed on time and I may not be able to withdraw my resignation from my lab job where I am currently employed .
  2. 10 Comments so far...

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    Torn rotator cuff... I did this about 8 years ago.

    How bad and which muscles and/or tendons?

    If it's bad enough to need surgical repair, I do not think 8 weeks is nearly long enough. The physical therapy alone would be that long or longer.

    Maybe they would be willing to put you on light duty till you are ready?
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    I had shoulder surgery at the end of January for impingement syndrome. There was no tendon repair necessary, just surgical shaving of bone spurs. I am still in physical therapy here eleven weeks later. I am not able to carry grocery sacks and would be unable to help move patients in a bed or on a gurney. I can return to light duty.

    My best friend had a complete rotator cuff tear which was surgically repaired. It was her dominant arm. Her arm and shoulder were immobilized for an entire 12 weeks. She couldn't even lift a rubber band. After 12 weeks, she began very light physical therapy progressing as improvement happened.

    Dominant arm? Or not? If there really is tendon repair you may be immobile for at least the 8 weeks. Oh, and is the surgery arthroscopic or not? Arthorscopic repair heals quicker because there is no large open incision.

    I'm so sorry to hear this happened to you.
    B52-H likes this.
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    I had a full thickness repair last July. Eight weeks seems barely do-able, but it may depend upon the type of repair - how extensive it is once they get in there. I do think that 8 weeks might be pushing it for lifting patients, etc.

    What rotten timing!
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    Oh I am so sorry that just sucks!
    I think it takes as long as 12-26 weeks for your arm to go back to 'normal'
    If you cannot keep the 8 week deadline then enjoy the summer and.....

    Keep the hospital updated. Phone with updates=they wont be able to forget you then
    Be as honest as possible
    It wont be the last job they have there and they will remember you for the next job,
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    I am not an RN yet, but I have recovered from a rotator cuff surgery. I had surgery on 3/28/09 and not to scare you, but it was the worst thing I have ever had done. I have had more than my share of surgeries and this was by far the worst. Not having surgery was not an option as it was a full thickness tear, literally shredded off the bone.

    While I did return to work a week later (as a substitute teacher) it was a big mistake and in hindsight I should have stayed out much longer. I did extensive PT, 2X - 3X a week and would say it was a good 8 months before I was 100%. I have a small summer business which requires a lot of heavy lifting and had to hire extra help for that summer as I just could not move things that needed to be moved.

    Keep in mind that this is just my personal experience. I am probably quite a bit older than you and you may heal much faster. I wish you all the best.
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    Wow, I'm so sorry to hear that!! I don't have any personal experiences, just want to wish you the best of luck! <3
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    I had rotator cuff repair, repair of anterior reverse bankart tear and shaving of labrum. 10 weeks and I could move my arm like a pendulum.
    madwife2002 likes this.
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    Quote from janice_c67
    So, I was all ready to head to Texas from California to start my first nursing job in an emergency room... took almost a year to find a job. So long story short I fell on the stairs at home and tore my rotator cuff pretty badly, and I will be having surgery in 5 days. I would like to hear from any nurses that have had surgical repair of rotator cuff, how long was it before you were able to return to bedside nursing? They are willing to hold my position for 8 weeks but I am afraid that I will not be healed on time and I may not be able to withdraw my resignation from my lab job where I am currently employed .
    I may withdraw that resignation, especially if you have built up sick/disability time that you will need to use. So sorry this happened at such a horrible time!
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    Glad I saw your post. Tore my rotator cuff and had surgery 10/18. Start therapy tomorrow. Workers comp called me today and asked why I was not back at work two weeks was plenty of time, and she has had lots of nurses return to work in a sling. Work says no such thing as light duty for nurses. Told her he surgeon said two to three months. Thought she was gonna burst a blood vessel.


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