Starting to shoot again after rotator cuff surgery.

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Starting to shoot again after rotator cuff surgery. Empty Starting to shoot again after rotator cuff surgery.

Post by mikemyers on 2/8/2019, 8:07 am

I have a relative who is recovering from rotator cuff surgery - it was a "full tear".  Long ago, he used to be very involved in rifle shooting, and since the 1980's he has been very involved in handgun shooting.  He doesn't compete - just enjoys the shooting, but a couple of years ago he took some classes in competitive 9mm handgun shooting.  One of his hobbies is target shooting.  The surgery went well, and he is continuing along with the Physical Therapy.  

I know so little about this, but from what I've read, there are two things involved in his starting to shoot again.  The first is simply picking up the weight of a handgun.  He is slowly regaining the ability to raise his arm as before, let along raising his hand/arm plus a handgun.  The second is recoil.  I would imagine that for a 22, recoil would be minimal.  For a 1911 45, it would obviously be more.  

For any of you who have gone through this, how long after the surgery did the doctors allow you to start shooting again?  He shoots two handed, so the weight of the gun would be distributed between both hands/arms/shoulders.  Any advice, or comments, or suggestions?  He doesn't participate here, so I will send him the replies by email.  (He did not ask me to post this - it's just me wondering how others have dealt with it.)
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Post by orpheoet on 2/8/2019, 9:10 am

There are so many variables as far as injury, treatment, and prognosis I would be very reluctant to accept the opinions of anyone other than a ortho familiar with the specifics.
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Post by Chris Miceli on 2/8/2019, 12:31 pm

at the age of 31 my doc let me shoot air and 22 at 3 months and no restrictions at 6 months i had a labrum tear that required 4 anchors.

My limitations to shoot was related more to discomfort more than anything else. My current protocol has no contact sports for 1 year following my repair.
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Post by Aprilian on 2/8/2019, 1:29 pm

Chris Miceli wrote:My current protocol has no contact sports for 1 year following my repair.
Does that mean you can shoot as long as the bullets don't contact the target?   lol!
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Post by saltydog452 on 2/13/2019, 8:50 pm

Three repair surgeries total on buth shoulders.  No way can I hold a firearm steady for a ten second string of Rapid Fire.  It isn't legal for Registered or Approved competition but for me I can still get a taste of what used to be by usibg a reduced fifty yard target center at 25 yards and firing at a Slow Fire cadence.  Scores kept just for grins suck wind but all the lead stays in the berm if not in the black.

Not able to run and gun either but I can play at the plate matches.

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Post by jejajones on 2/14/2019, 7:14 am

I have had both shoulders done.Roughly 5-6 months after operation and physio to be pain free with "normal" use of the arm. Don't push the return to shooting, in case you tear or damage the shoulder.
I shoot RF BE. I would think that CF would be harder on the shoulder.
Time spent healing, means a better shooting experience in the long run. You don't want to red the shoulder

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Post by mikemyers on 2/14/2019, 8:27 am

In another thread, someone posted how they damaged their shoulder by holding a dumbbell out in front of them to build up strength.  That's essentially what I've been doing for a few years now, trying to be able to hold a gun up in front of me without my hand and the gun starting to shake.  I did eventually get there, and then added a 1.5 pound wrist weight.  I need to start doing this again, as I'm more serious than ever at shooting one handed.

Question, if a gun weighs maybe three pounds, and let's add two more to cover the sight, a loaded magazine, etc., that's something under five pounds.  For someone who hasn't yet had rotator cuff injury, but is 75 years old, is holding that much weight out in front of them as training over-doing things?  

I figure the best and safest way to do this is similar to Sgt. Keith Sanderson's holding drills, where one holds the gun out in front for one minute, then takes a two minute rest period, and repeats this ten times, several times a day.  If holding the gun out front for a full minute is to possible, then maybe 30 seconds, eventually working up to what Keith suggested.    https://www.bullseyeforum.net/t4607-keith-sanderson-s-dry-fire-training
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Post by estuck on 2/14/2019, 12:18 pm

After I retired I worked for three years at a physical rehab facility taking patients through their exercises. Rotator cuff surgery was the most difficult to rehabilitate. The shoulder is the only joint in the body that allows for 360 degrees of rotation. Each patient has a different recovery and rehabilitation period. He would be wise to be absolutely recovered before there is any thought of shooting a handgun. This is a conversation he needs with his therapist and surgeon. holding a weighted object (handgun) out at arms length then applying recoil forces no matter how slight, down the arm where it is absorbed by the shoulder structure, upper back, chest , etc.. could be bad. In MHO he should be in no hurry.  If anything, maybe he could start with an air pistol.

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