Forgive me for taking so long to respond. Things have been a bit hectic here lately. I wish you all the best with the shoulder, but be prepared for a long haul. Shoulders are notorious for taking a long time to heal and regain strength. You have to be patient.
From what the doctor tells me, my shoulder was in pretty bad shape. Three of the rotator cuff muscles were torn in two, and the gap in the tear was about three centimeters, which is roughly the cutoff point between being reparable and being irreparable.
Fortunately, the rotator cuff was reparable. Unfortunately, it took took three tries. After the first two surgeries, the rotator cuff either did not heal, or I tore it again. At least the hole was getting smaller, and now, finally, after the third surgery, it seems to have healed. However, even after 11 months (since the third surgery) my left shoulder remains very weak, and any excess exertion leaves it pretty sore. However, I diligently do the exercises prescribed by a therapist, and I swim three to four times a week, and the shoulder is making progress. I actually can lift a bow with my left arm now and have been shooting a very light draw weight right-handed -- the first time in three years.
To deal with all of this, I shot left handed with a mouth tab after the first surgery. Then, the past two years, I have shot left-handed. That's because I could not lift a bow with my left arm, but I could pull the bowstring. After three years of shooting left-handed, I'm almost as good on that side as I was shooting right-handed. Still, right-handed is far more natural, so I'm excited about the prospect of switching back to right-handed shooting.
In terms of rehab, here's my advice: Be diligent about physical therapy and exercise, but don't try to progress too fast or you'll only keep hurting yourself. You can progress only as fast as your body will heal. And if your shoulder is anything like mine, that's pretty slow.
Incidentally, if you want to learn more about shooting with one hand and a mouth tab, contact Drew McCartney at (785) 637-5421 or firstname.lastname@example.org. This is no gimmick. It works great and is not hard to learn. Drew has been shooting one-handed this way for many years, and it worked for me to keep me hunting when one of my wings would not flap.
All the best for a complete recovery.
Dwight Schuh, Editor Bowhunter