I am 80 years old and dance four to six times a week. I was diagnosed with a tear in my right shoulder. Surgery was recommended. I have full motion and no serious pain. Surgery is recommended while I am well. But I enjoy my active dancing life now and am worried that surgery Interrupting it at my age could end it.

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I agree, many doctors are in the "just fix it" business an sometimes fail to see the whole picture. If your shoulder isn't causing you much pain and you have full range of motion I'm not sure what benefits surgery would achieve.Have you asked about the possibility of taking a wait and see approach?
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Tears take ages to heal, but they eventually do. How debilitating is your shoulder injury? If it's already stopping you being so commendably active, the surgery's benefits may outweigh the risks.

This is a really tricky decision so take your time and don't be bustled into doing anything you're not confident about.
Helpful Answer (6)

Honey you are wonderful for 80. So go on enjoying your active life style. The main risk for this surgery at your age is the anaesthetic and without knowing your full medical history can't say whether or not you would be at risk. Any surgery at any age in any state of health does carry risks.
I have just had a hip replacement at 78 and even with significant heart problems did very well. Recovery of course takes longer as you age but that happens to everyone.

Personally if it is not hurting and you still have satisfactory motion I would wait and see but try not to stress it. Go about your normal activities but don't strain it by moving heavy furniture or moving heavy rocks in your yard. Common sense should prevail here.
Basically the surgery may or may not help you and it is a fairly debilitating operation which will involve months of recovery, lots of PT and may possibly make your condition worse.
At 80 you are having a good life so try ad keep it that way not matter what your decision. Good luck keep on dancing.
PS I had my hip replaced from a fracture not from choice.
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At any age, I have heard of those who were not satisfied with surgery on the shoulder. Many have said they would not do it again. Consider all the possible choices and do your research before deciding.
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I am going to guess, the rotor cuff?

No, don't have the surgery - younger people don't recover well from that. Instead, ask for Physical Therapy.

I didn't even know I had that problem and I healed it myself with exercise. I was using Walk Away The Pounds at the time and needed my "good" arm to help lift my bad arm.

Recovery from that particular surgery is very hard and not always successful.

Just my opinion of course - but I tell everyone to try Physical Therapy first.

Good Luck and keep on dancing! God Bless you!
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I can only speak for this issue by the experience of my Mom's similar issue (and each person's situation is different) Mom has ALWAYS been active... she is now 82.. & was told 3-4 years ago she needed rotator cuff repair.. by the results shared & what I have witnessed in the recovery period, not everyone has good results with this type of surgery. That being said, I would ask: how well does the doctor know the patient (& vice versa)and their live style? & the most important question: ask the doctor if they were in the same position, would they go under that knife?? Mom refused the surgery & doesn't regret her decision . I wish you luck honey66 in all the things that keep you happy!!
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Ask what risks you incur for not having the surgery. Sometimes it is best to repair something before it gets worse. Do you know how long a recovery period there is? A friend had hip replacement surgery at 75 and went on a canoe trip later that year. Good for you staying so active!
Helpful Answer (3)

Honey, is the "tear" specifically a rotator cuff tear? Has an MRI been done to determine the exact extent and location of the tear?

Going against the trend of the other answers, I'd seriously consider surgery, but learn more about the tear and the extent.

If you were D'X'ed with a tear, I assume you had some pain or other issues. for which you saw a doctor. Or was this D'X'ed as part of an overall wellness exam, or for some other reason and was just discovered as a part of that exam?

I had a rotator cuff tear in late 2010, saw a hand and arm specialist, had PT, but not surgery as there was just too much happening in the family for me at that time and I couldn't devote the required time for stay at home healing (an out of town relative was dying and we were traveling back and forth for several months, then other issues arose with my father's health.)

As I type this, the tear has flared up again and once again I wish I had had surgery then. My upper left shoulder is throbbing and tense. Over time my arm has grown weaker, but that might be remedied with another round of therapy.

The PT was top notch back in 2010, improvements were made, but the tear did not completely heal.

Recovery after rotator cuff surgery is not easy; bear that in mind, but consider also whether you want to live for the rest of your life with whatever limitations existed to prompt you to get a diagnosis.

The only good thing about not getting a tear fixed is that your arm will become a weather prediction device. You'll be able to tell when pressure changes, when storms are coming.
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I am 68 and have a tear in my shoulder ,went to see two doctors
and neither one of them will operate.
They both said as long as I am not in major pain and I can
still use my arm surgery is not recommended .
Had a cortisone shot and it seems to have help somewhat.
If you can avoid surgery then avoid it .
Keep on dancing. Perhaps a couple of tylenol once in awhile will be best.
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Can't wait to hear what you decided! Please update when appropriate
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