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Why I'll Be Taking a Month Off From Running

Although I am not looking forward to it and am anxious for the procedure, it looks like I will be having Rotator Cuff repair surgery next month. I decided to wait until this semester is over to have the procedure done so that I can use the time off between semesters to recover.

Rotator Cuff Surgery

For several years my right shoulder has off-and-on bothered me a little, in fact I stopped taking boot camp classes last year as any time we lifted weights with our arms, I had discomfort in my shoulder for a week or so after. Since I quit participating in those classes and had been trying to be careful not to overuse or overextend my shoulder, I hadn't really had much pain since. Once in awhile I might sleep on it wrong or throw a baseball too hard, and it'd be sore a few days, but really, the minor occasional pain was something I could definitely live with.

Well, as you recall from my adventure to the ER last May (click here and then here if you have forgotten), my shoulder pain came back with a vengeance this past spring, for no apparent reason. The PT and cortisone shot this summer got me through it, and made me very hopeful that the pain was gone for good. I went almost 3 months with very little pain. Life was great! But then, in early October, right before my "two halfs in one weekend" goal, it came back again, and a repeat cortisone shot has done nothing for the pain.

So... last month I went back to my doctor and after an MRI and discussion with a surgeon, it is recommended I have Rotator Cuff repair (arthroscopic surgery) done. The MRI revealed a small tear that can easily be fixed. There are a number of factors that determine whether or not someone is a good candidate for surgery, and I fit all of them. I am young for this kind of injury, I am very active, I have to care for children, and most determinant for me, I am in a lot of pain and have limited mobility, even after trying noninvasive treatments first. It is also a small tear, which can usually be fixed. Larger tears are harder and have a much higher "re-tear" rate. 

I won't be able to run for 5-6 weeks after, and I hear recovery from this is just awful. No driving for 4 weeks, several PT sessions a week after that, and it can take 4-6 months to be back to normal. But, normal will mean NO PAIN for life after that, and that makes me very happy. I plan to run a half marathon next spring, Garmin: In the Land of Oz in Olathe, so I am sure recovery will impact my training, but I am up for the challenge.

I'll post more as I know more, but I'd love to hear from those of you with experience or expertise in this type of injury or surgery.

Have you had this kind of surgery? Do you know anyone that has? What have you heard about it? What was recovery like?

Comment below- I need information!

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