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She had a cortizone shot and will need PT. The PT can come to her home. If all this does not work, is it wise to have an 84 yr old have rotator cuff surgery?? Would this cause more complications??

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I would do a lot of research and read here and elsewhere about what to expect. At her age, I would do anything I could to avoid a major surgery. One reason is the anesthesia often affects a senior in a negative way and they often don't come back from it. Often it seems after a major surgery, they don't get their normal focus back and they lose a lot of their stamina. It also seems that dementia can show up after a major surgery.

I would discuss her age and recovery with the orthopaedic surgeon. Do they operate often on seniors? The ones that I dealt with didn't. Find out what their experience has been with this procedure and patients over 80 years old.
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Help, you experience is a cautionary tale. There's a wide range of injuries that are called "tears". As far as I know, an MRI is the only way for the ortho guys to see what's what. I had good results with my first surgery, and ok results with the second. But lots of folks I talk to had no luck at all and wished they had never done it. I think a lot depends on the extent of the injury and the experience and skill of the surgeon.
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Good Lord, no! 84 years old?? I don't care how good of shape she's in. I had rotator cuff surgery when I was 51 and the recovery was horrible. The pain was excruciating. I had to take major pain killers. I also ended up getting "frozen" shoulder so I had to endure a 2nd surgery to clean out the scar tissue. I can't imagine putting an 84-year old through this kind of surgery. My 86-year old mother has a rotator cuff tear because of constantly pushing up on her elbow to lift her 110 lb. body off the couch or out of a chair. She wears one of those self-stick chemical heat pads on her arm daily to relieve her pain. I, of course, took her to an orthopedic surgeon for evaluation and he totally agreed with my decision NOT to put my mother through this kind of painful surgery. Yikes!
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I would say it depends on her health. Some 84 year olds are healthy as can be. Others not so much. My FIL ( 82) had problems in both shoulders but they wouldn't do surgery because of his diabetis.
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Here's another perspective: I tore a rotator cuff when moving, had a cortizone shot which helped for awhile. Had PT which helped the pain and did increase range of motion, but it was still limited after PT ended. There was a lot going on with family health issues, moving and other things, and I'm opposed to surgery if I can heal something with PT, so I opted out of surgery.

A man perhaps in his 50's was working out at the same place I had PT. He looked as if he was training for the Olympics - strong, boundless energy, wonderful enthusiasm. He told me he had rotator cuff surgery 3 times! He also had some type of procedure I'd never heard of - something about replacing cells or something in his rotator cuff with something comparable from either lab grown or bodily parts.

It sounded expensive, not something Medicare would cover.

My tear occurred in November, 2010. I'm still getting pain which I can overlook, but I still have weakness and limited range of motion in my shoulder. The weakness has effects in activity, including things like needing to be able to pull the lawn mower cord, hoist open the garage door, and carry things.

It's unsettling to lose strength and ROM in things that for me are so basic (i.e., mowing the lawn, opening the garage door, etc.). I'm going on 71.

Thinking ahead, if I ever fall or become weak and need arm strength to push out of a chair, as seniors do, I won't have it in my right arm.

Two family members have had the surgery and now have full range of motion.

I realize that tears can be different, some more severe than others, and I only know a few people who've had the surgery, but none of them regretted it.

So I've decided to have the surgery this fall and get it over with. I don't like being limited by what I can't do.

As to your mother, there are negatives to not having the surgery - the pain, continued limitation of motion, lack of support in that arm if she falls, and the depression that might accompany the limitations from the bad tear. There's also what other health issues she may have.

The positives are that it can be done, she will be uncomfortable and need assistance in ADLs for awhile, but she'll have the comfort of knowing that it will be corrected.

As to complications, I think that's a medical issue as to whether that specific tear can be completely repaired.

If her cardiac and ortho doctors think she should have it, and if she understands what's involved and is prepared to face that, then go for it. But help her prepare mentally and physically, ask the ortho doctor what to expect, and make arrangements ahead of time so she doesn't panic when she can't use her arm for awhile as it's healing.

My cousins had to wear ice pack slings for a few days, which helped reduce the swelling, but limited their ROM; that might be something to ask about.
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I'm 60 years old and have had rotator cuff surgery on both shoulders 1 year apart. This is a ver serious procedure, lots of post op pain and a long recovery. If she has a tear no amount of PT is going to help it will just be very painful and make it worse.

Did she have an MRI to confirm the extent of the damage? I think it depends on her overall health and her ability to survive the surgery and get through rehab. You should look at this very carefully. Maybe she can get by with the occasional cortisone shot and light pian meds with out the trauma of surgery.
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