For my next trick: Rotator Cuff Surgery

Hello folks,

    Been a few but the later half of the year ended up being rather hectic but also rather rewarding.  My wife continues to move up in her job, our son is doing great in kindergarten and I worked on the usual here and there.  With all the hitting, has come some new aches and pains that weren't expected.
    First, around the first of the summer, my first experience with tennis elbow began in my right arm.  To elevate it, I began to wear a compression band around my arm which really helped for the most part.  Not sure how long I wore it, but it seemed to help.  A lot of the drummers in the Nashville Drummers FB group were very helpful in dealing with that, some saying it may actually go away which it has for now.  The tennis elbow went away around the same time the second pain began to surface.
    Second, around middle of October, while either throwing ball or frisbee with my son, I felt a pretty strong "pull" in my right shoulder.  Just attributing it to not being as flexible (or young) as I once was, I pretty much shook it off and went on.  The only problem is it kept hurting but I was fairly busy with gigs, finishing playing on a couple of recording projects plus the upcoming Nashville Drummers Jam event paying tribute to Alex Van Halen, so I just kept at it and tried to keep the pain out of my mind even as it tensed in my shoulder 
     After about a month and a half of that, it didn't seem to be getting any better so made an appointment with our family doctor who then sent me to an orthopedist which led to an MRI.  The test came back showing a pretty severe tear in my front rotator cuff and the doctor wanted to know how I wanted to proceed.  There were two options.  Surgery to repair the torn cuff and recovery time to really fix it or take a chance getting periodic cortisone shots and some physical therapy which would only maybe calm the pain...maybe, but it would have to be dealt with in the long run.  I told the doctor I'd take some time, talk it over with my wife and figure out how to proceed.  
     We decided it would be a good idea to have a sit down with the doctor who's worked on my arms and hands before, Dr. Preston Wakefield.  Preston is friend of many a musician in Nashville and is very well respected through his with our professional sports teams.  If you'd like to learn more about Preston, check out the following episode of the Working Drummer Podcast.  http://www.workingdrummer.net/2015/10/28/037drprestonwakefield/
     Anyway, it's been 2-3 years since I've been into see Preston.  Got in the first available he had (He's a BUSY man) an anticipated his response.  He looked over my MRI with a first response of, "Man, It's BAD. Have you been playing like this?"  I answered affirmative to which he began to explain just how bad it was; only a couple centimeter from being completely torn off.  He suggested I give the Tennessee Titans head physician, Dr. Burton Elrod, and his Elite Sports Medicine group a call because "you want someone like that who works on guys that are, well, as messed up as you are."  While I knew he was sending me the right way, it was going to require surgery to make it right again.
     The surgery is set up for this coming Monday after which time, I will have to be in a sling a few weeks and then start physical therapy to regain strength and mobility.  During that time, I will try to blog about what the surgery and recovery is like in hopes that it benefits players in the future.  Hope you stop in....Until then.

Keep Groovin',
Lee
      

2 comments

  • Rick

    Rick Concord NC

    Alright Brother, this is gonna be about the hardest thing you've done. No, not the surgery . . . . it's you not touching the sticks and listening to the doctor, who, btw, really knows how to help you recover from this serious surgery. You're great at listening to other musicians around you when you're playing, now listen to the doctor, hue knows what's best. Oh, Denay, I'm wishing you the best, too! Good luck Lee.

    Alright Brother, this is gonna be about the hardest thing you've done. No, not the surgery . . . . it's you not touching the sticks and listening to the doctor, who, btw, really knows how to help you recover from this serious surgery. You're great at listening to other musicians around you when you're playing, now listen to the doctor, hue knows what's best. Oh, Denay, I'm wishing you the best, too! Good luck Lee.

  • Lee Kelley

    Lee Kelley

    Thanks bro!! Much appreciated as your support always has been. I'm certainly listening. DeNay is already on me for doing too much around the house. LOL I'm starting the slow road back...physical therapy twice a week at docs and exercises 2-3 daily on my own. tell Art don't be worried it just looks ugly. Hahaha

    Thanks bro!! Much appreciated as your support always has been. I'm certainly listening. DeNay is already on me for doing too much around the house. LOL
    I'm starting the slow road back...physical therapy twice a week at docs and exercises 2-3 daily on my own. tell Art don't be worried it just looks ugly. Hahaha

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