Results 1 to 19 of 19
  1. #1
    Slow riding mama's boy
    Reputation: Billy Zoom's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2003
    Posts
    157

    Anyone dealt with a rotator cuff injury?

    I went to the doctor last week and she said I had a rotator cuff injury, although she wasn't sure of the extent. They took some x-rays which I guess was to rule anything out like a bone problem, but I think I'm going to have to try to get an MRI. She said it could be a tear, but they don't like to operate unless necessary.

    While I try to get to the heart of that issue, I'm wondering if riding will be a problem. I have pretty much full range of motion, it just aches quite a bit around the shoulder. I rode once and it didn't seem to aggravate it, but haven't ridden since for a few weeks because I thought I needed to let it heal. Now that I know it won't heal for quite some time, I'm thinking of riding some more because I'm going nuts.

    My doctor has tended to be ultra cautious about these things and doesn't seem especially excited about my mountain biking anyway. (Might have something to do with those broken ribs last year and the cactus thorns in my butt the year before.) Ha ha.

    Anyone have stories to share or some idea about what to expect with the healing process, etc.? Thanks.

    Joel

  2. #2
    mtbr member
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Feb 2004
    Posts
    127

    I had to have shoulder surgery

    I had my shoulder reconstructed 14 years ago due to a combination of dislocation and rotator cuff tear. I had the surgery done arthroscopically. I ride just about everyday now. For the first 10 or 11 years after the surgery I never even felt it. The last couple of years I sometimes have stiffness in the shoulder and a little pain. It usually goes away after I start moving. I spoke to my Dr. about it and it seems I am starting to develop very minor arthtritis in my shoulder. If it is just a minor tear they will probably start off with PT. Do the exercises they help.

    As for recovery if you need surgery, mine was really quick. My wife almost killed me when she drove home from work to find me pulling into the driveway on my bike 1 week after surgery while I was still in a sling. While I do not recommend riding till the doctor says its OK. Mine allowed me to ride within a month but only on the road. He was afraid I would fall on the shulder and damage it if I rode offroad.

    Good Luck with your recovery

    Quote Originally Posted by Billy Zoom
    I went to the doctor last week and she said I had a rotator cuff injury, although she wasn't sure of the extent. They took some x-rays which I guess was to rule anything out like a bone problem, but I think I'm going to have to try to get an MRI. She said it could be a tear, but they don't like to operate unless necessary.

    While I try to get to the heart of that issue, I'm wondering if riding will be a problem. I have pretty much full range of motion, it just aches quite a bit around the shoulder. I rode once and it didn't seem to aggravate it, but haven't ridden since for a few weeks because I thought I needed to let it heal. Now that I know it won't heal for quite some time, I'm thinking of riding some more because I'm going nuts.

    My doctor has tended to be ultra cautious about these things and doesn't seem especially excited about my mountain biking anyway. (Might have something to do with those broken ribs last year and the cactus thorns in my butt the year before.) Ha ha.

    Anyone have stories to share or some idea about what to expect with the healing process, etc.? Thanks.

    Joel

  3. #3
    Salad Days
    Reputation: jparker164's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2004
    Posts
    754
    I hurt mine last year. I never went to a doctor, but probably should have. I just started doing shoulder exercise 4 times a week. At first I could only lift 5lb barbells without pain and I worked it up. Whle the injury is still there, and I can feel it when I rotate my arm just so, It hasn't been a problem since. I would definately recommend weights, Your doc can probably recommend what to do with them.

    My injury seemed pretty bad, at first it hurt to move my arm from my side. After a couple of weeks I started the rehab. After a couple more I could resume regular activities without pain. Hasn't bothered me since.

  4. #4
    mtbr dismember
    Reputation: Wherewolf's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2004
    Posts
    6,334

    Had one for about 10 years now

    I've had a rotator cuff problem for 10 years, sometimes very seriously. I'm surprised it hurts while biking so perhaps there may be more to it. Keeping up physical therapy exercises has kept mine "under control": the typical light weights/rubber band exercises combined with a shoulder horn. There are cheaper places than the site I linked to so look around.

  5. #5
    Am I getting too bulky?
    Reputation: Bikehigh's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2004
    Posts
    801
    That shoulder horn site was pretty cool! I've been suffering for quite a while with pain in both shoulders. I varies from a dull ache to downright painfull, and it's in the same place in both shoulders, on the back side, basically at the top of the tricep. I've been thinking that it might be a muscle overuse or imbalance injury. I might just order me up one of those. Wish I could afford to go to the doctor, but I'd rather eat and asprin is cheap.
    I gotta roll, can't stand still, got a flame in my heart, can't get my fill.

  6. #6
    the bomb
    Reputation: pfunk's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2004
    Posts
    531

    I've had pain in that area for 4 months now

    Quote Originally Posted by Bikehigh
    That shoulder horn site was pretty cool! I've been suffering for quite a while with pain in both shoulders. I varies from a dull ache to downright painfull, and it's in the same place in both shoulders, on the back side, basically at the top of the tricep. I've been thinking that it might be a muscle overuse or imbalance injury. I might just order me up one of those. Wish I could afford to go to the doctor, but I'd rather eat and asprin is cheap.
    I've been to a few different doctors (chiropractor/accupunturist, massage, excercises all that) and mine still hurts, so maybe you're not so bad off without going to the dr. After all the money I've spent, it still hurts! I might have to consider one of those too.
    Womanhood ain't for sissies.- oldbroad

  7. #7
    the cool nerd
    Reputation: sportsman's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2004
    Posts
    8,637

    good news/bad news

    I went through this two years ago. I injured my shoulder playing ultimate (what a silly way to lose cycling time), about a month after the injury, followinf x-rays, mri, a shot, and some light PT, the dr decided that I definitely had a tear, but he thought it was minor, and decided to scope it and just clean it up. When he got inside, the tear was much more extensive than he'd expected, so he had to do a full repair. so, when I went under, I expected to be back on the bike (and other activities) within a week, when I came to, the new directions were..".do not move your arm at the shoulder for 12-16 weeks. If you do move it prematurely, you risk tearing the repair. I will then have to remove the damaged and repair it again, at which time you will begin to lose the potential for a full recovery." So much for snowboarding, the repair was performed the first week of November. I went through passive pt, where I just lay there and the therapist moved my arm for me, and I tried not to use my arm until I was given approval. It was pretty painful (pt kicked my a$$ for the first 6 weeks) at first, and I discovered that sitting up on a trainer and trying to ride with one hand was a waste of effort. When I was permitted to begin moving my arm again (after ~16 weeks), I had to begin another type of pt, just because my shoulder was so tight from inactivity, which of course meant more pain, but the light at the end of the tunnel was getting pretty close. It took me a few weeks of riding just to build up the strength to support my upper body again, all told, I was less than 100% for a total of 6 months or so (but I did have a pretty bad tear) and I haven't had any problems since

    scott

  8. #8
    mtbr member
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Mar 2004
    Posts
    37
    I tore my rotator cuff playing hockey. Didn't let it heal because we were in the playoffs...bad move. At the end I couldn't even shoot. I couldn't throw a ball overhand for about 10 months. I was thinking surgery but my doctor recommended cautious excercise and healing time. I kept working out with weights (always been a gym rat anyway) doing some light weights in rotator cuff specific movements.

    I was careful not to overdo it and not to try and increase strength too quickly. I avoided any movements that caused pain (duh). I was 98% in a little over a year. I still feel that I can injure my rotator cuff more easily than before. I'd say avoid surgery if possible and either get a PT or do a google on rotator cuff injuries and what workouts can be done for faster recovery.

  9. #9
    mtbr member
    Reputation: JRUSHE's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2004
    Posts
    189
    Although I'm not sure if it was a rotator cuff tear or what...but I really messed up my shoulder big time playing racquetball, of all things. I couldn't play for over 3 months. Could barely lift my right arm...and sleeping wasn't fun at all.

    Because I am so stubborn I never went to the doctors, even though I really should have!

    It started to feel better after a few months until I tweaked it again just playing with my friends dog around the 4th of July. I was out of action for only a couple weeks or so that time around and it's felt GREAT ever since. Very strange...but I'm not complaining!

    Just go to the doctors and save yourself the time...and pain!

  10. #10
    Probably drunk right now
    Reputation: Ken in KC's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2004
    Posts
    6,766

    Two weeks away from first surgery....

    Quote Originally Posted by Billy Zoom
    I went to the doctor last week and she said I had a rotator cuff injury, although she wasn't sure of the extent. They took some x-rays which I guess was to rule anything out like a bone problem, but I think I'm going to have to try to get an MRI. She said it could be a tear, but they don't like to operate unless necessary.

    While I try to get to the heart of that issue, I'm wondering if riding will be a problem. I have pretty much full range of motion, it just aches quite a bit around the shoulder. I rode once and it didn't seem to aggravate it, but haven't ridden since for a few weeks because I thought I needed to let it heal. Now that I know it won't heal for quite some time, I'm thinking of riding some more because I'm going nuts.

    My doctor has tended to be ultra cautious about these things and doesn't seem especially excited about my mountain biking anyway. (Might have something to do with those broken ribs last year and the cactus thorns in my butt the year before.) Ha ha.

    Anyone have stories to share or some idea about what to expect with the healing process, etc.? Thanks.

    Joel
    This year I'm having my left shoulder done because it's the worst. One completely torn and another partially torn tendon on two out of the four that comprises the rotator cuff. The surgeon will also clean up my labrium from a shoulder separation and remove bone spurs from a collarbone fracture that didn't set properly while he's sewing up my tendons.

    Next November, I'll have the right shoudler sewn up. YaaHoo!!!!

    I'll keep you posted on how my recovery goes. The doctor told me to expect a 3-6 month recovery. No mountain biking after the surgery until he give his OK, so I'll be on a cross bike all winter.

    Ken

  11. #11
    mtbr member since 1997
    Reputation: Mary Ann's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2004
    Posts
    354

    You don't mention how you hurt it

    I've had rotator cuff issues on and off for the last 8 years due both to injury (falls from mtb'ing) and overuse (I'm also a swimmer). I've learned the hard way that going back too soon makes an injury chronic. If you get physical therapy and follow the advice of the therapist, you probably should be able to tolerate short rides within 4 to 6 weeks after the onset of your injury/pain. Keep your rides short and conservative and listen to your body.

    BUT, and this is a big BUT, this is just general rule kind of information. You haven't said how or when you hurt yourself, or if you're receiving PT, and I'm not a doctor (I don't even play one on TV!) So I would weigh the advice of your own doctor much higher. Talk to her about the possible consquences of riding too soon, and make your decision from there.

    Good luck!

    Mary Ann (currently off the bike with a bum neck)

  12. #12
    Tig
    Tig is offline
    I ride, therefore I am.
    Reputation: Tig's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2004
    Posts
    232
    I'm glad you didn't dislocate it. Make sure you don't while it is healing or you'll have to type your "shoulder story" like me! LOL

    Too many years ago as a skateboarding surfer in high school, I crashed hard and dislocated my left shoulder at a skate park. Like a typical young male idiot, I didn't go to the doctor. About 6 years later, after over 400 repeat dislocations, I decided to get it fixed since I had good medical insurance at work. It dislocated while surfing and even during a skydive, which could have easily killed me. Besides, it hurt like a mo-fo until I rotated it back into the socket.

    Surgery followed by a few months of slow rebuilding and the shoulder was great. 1 year later and it had about 90-95% mobility, but sometimes it felt like it would dislocate if I pushed it too far extending overhead and posterior.

    Now for my Tyler Hamilton story: 14 years later at an MTB race (1 year ago) I crashed on the left side with the elbow smacking down hard while my hands were still on the grips. I knew immediately by the popping sound and pain that I just ripped apart the surgery. This one hurt bad! After a minute of pain, I relaxed enough to pop it back in and started pushing the bike. The pain faded enough so I finished that last 5 miles of the race, passing a few that passed me earlier. It dislocated when I rolled over a big bump, but I wasn't going to give in that easily. I had the re-location manuever down. I lost 6 places total but finished the race.

    In the last year it has dislocated about 8 times, usually during a crash. 2 weeks ago, just 4 days before a race, it dislocated hard. It was in good shape by the time the race came along, but it cost me at least 1 place due to not being able to pull hard on that side during climbs. It hurts a little even now. I'll get it fixed again some day, but can't afford it with my current health insurance.

    So, don't go down my road of pain! Take care of it and you should be alright.
    __________________

    The early bird gets the worm,
    but the second mouse gets the cheese.

  13. #13
    Probably drunk right now
    Reputation: Ken in KC's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2004
    Posts
    6,766

    Ummm....

    Quote Originally Posted by pfunk
    I've been to a few different doctors (chiropractor/accupunturist, massage, excercises all that) and mine still hurts, so maybe you're not so bad off without going to the dr. After all the money I've spent, it still hurts! I might have to consider one of those too.
    Maybe you would be better off by going to an orthopedist to determine the exact nature of your injury and then use a holistic approach for recovery vs. relying on holisitc approaches to diagnose and rehab?

    Ken

  14. #14
    the bomb
    Reputation: pfunk's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2004
    Posts
    531

    yeah I guess you have a point.

    Quote Originally Posted by Ken in KC
    Maybe you would be better off by going to an orthopedist to determine the exact nature of your injury and then use a holistic approach for recovery vs. relying on holisitc approaches to diagnose and rehab?

    Ken
    You're probably right. It's a long story, but I started our seeking treatment for stress related tension and pain in my neck. This was also related to a whiplash injury (auto accident) 4 years ago.

    During the course of trying to treat that (which did get a bit better), the shoulder pain started. It was hard to determine what happened and if it was related to the other issue or the treatment or my job. Now insurance is tapped out because orthopedist and pt are similar to chiropractic under the plan and i'm screwed until the new year. Then it might be considered work related and that opens a whole new can of worms. I go to the orthopedist and say "my sholder hurts when I work" and now I have to open a worker's comp claim. I really don't want to go there.

    I do think that orthopedists tend to be a little surgery happy and hoped to take care of it with stress management, etc. I may need to re-evaluate that though. I did see an orthopedist for the original whiplas injury, and they did very little for me.

    gaaaaaaaaah
    Womanhood ain't for sissies.- oldbroad

  15. #15
    cask conditioned
    Reputation: endo verendo's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2004
    Posts
    625
    Don't ride! You might feel fine at first until your arms are forced to move suddenly in a direction that will cause intense pain and further damage. If your Dr. recommends rotator cuff exercises, which he/she probably will do, you should continue doing them forever. Yes, forever. Just a minimum of maintenance like once a week, every other week, or whenever you can remember to. Once you stop working out your weakened and strained rotators they are prone to injury again. I re-strained mine just by flinching when I lost my balance walking on a sidewalk (ok, so I was walking home from a bar). And this happened just after a short period of not going to the gym every other week to work on them. Hope this helps.

  16. #16
    Steep Hill
    Reputation: AZClydesdale's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2004
    Posts
    1,486
    Billy Zoom, Sorry to hear about your RC injury.

    The morning of July 14, I endo'd into a steep rocky wash breaking my clavical, scapula, and gave myself a minor tear in my rotator cuff. I was most concerned about my RC pain as bone heals, but shoulder injuries are often for life. Undergo the MRI which is the only way to determine the extent of your injuries.

    My doctor suggested I do surgery only as a last resort, if PT is not an option. I did not suffer a bad tear, so 6-7 weeks of intense PT was all I needed. As of today, I am stronger than I was before the crash and have full use of my shoulder....just like it never happened.

    Everyone heals differently....but I was on the indoor trainer the same week as the accident and riding streets (against Dr. orders) by week 4. Eased myself into MTBing after week 6 or 7. Do as I say not as I do, and follow the direction of Doctors you trust. Good luck!

    Steve
    Last edited by AZClydesdale; 11-02-2004 at 01:10 PM.
    ** Obey gravity. It's the law. **

  17. #17
    mtbr member
    Reputation: Atomik Carbon's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2004
    Posts
    1,272

    Tore mine 3 1/2 years ago and now ok......

    I tore mine real bad about 3 1/2 years ago. Ended up going to physical therapist for 3 days a week for 9 months. It hurt like hell what that woman did to me. It was so bad I could not bring my arm above level with the ground.

    Anyways, I did not see any improvements and was becoming depressed because it was difficult to ride.

    One day I was talking to someone and they were going to an accupuncturist. I did not believe in this and thought it was right up there with voodoo doctoring. What did I have to lose ?? Well believe me or not, I did a double session and came out of that office with the biggest black and blue on my shoulder. BUT, I was able to bring my arm above my head that afternoon. I went back a few times and am now completely cured. Once in a blue moon, I get a slight shoulder pain like someone is pulling on my arm. It does not last too long.

    What do you have to lose ??? Surgery should be a last alternative. Any doctor will tell you that.

    Hope it turns out ok. Ride Hard !!!!

  18. #18
    bicyclist
    Reputation: fish man's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2004
    Posts
    1,001
    Quote Originally Posted by Billy Zoom
    I went to the doctor last week and she said I had a rotator cuff injury, although she wasn't sure of the extent. They took some x-rays which I guess was to rule anything out like a bone problem, but I think I'm going to have to try to get an MRI. She said it could be a tear, but they don't like to operate unless necessary.

    While I try to get to the heart of that issue, I'm wondering if riding will be a problem. I have pretty much full range of motion, it just aches quite a bit around the shoulder. I rode once and it didn't seem to aggravate it, but haven't ridden since for a few weeks because I thought I needed to let it heal. Now that I know it won't heal for quite some time, I'm thinking of riding some more because I'm going nuts.

    My doctor has tended to be ultra cautious about these things and doesn't seem especially excited about my mountain biking anyway. (Might have something to do with those broken ribs last year and the cactus thorns in my butt the year before.) Ha ha.

    Anyone have stories to share or some idea about what to expect with the healing process, etc.? Thanks.

    Joel
    take ibuprofen, stop doing anything that hurts, and avoid moving. most of all, stop whitewater kayaking (trust me). i don't think it affected my riding much, but i can't really remember. i think it made it hurt to steer, but not much else. good fycking luck man!
    People who really know what happened aren't talking. And the people who don't have a clue, you can't shut them up.
    Tom Waits

  19. #19
    mtbr member
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Apr 2004
    Posts
    2,495
    I feel your pain. I have had an on-going shoulder problem for two years after an accident on a oil rig. After everyride, especially after I have been hucking I have really bad shoulder pain. I went to Nelson B.C. for some riding on the weekend and now I am suffering the consequences. I am going to get an MRI soon and hopefully some corrective surgery to correct the problem. I have the same problem as you, with some rotator cuff damage among other things. I hope that we both have a riding season next year.

    Good luck.

Similar Threads

  1. $%@^%$^(*&^^)*^)*&%^$^%$^&$# Injury
    By ghr7891 in forum Rider Down, injuries and recovery
    Replies: 4
    Last Post: 10-02-2006, 11:06 AM
  2. another injury to add to my list
    By konabiker in forum Rider Down, injuries and recovery
    Replies: 13
    Last Post: 09-29-2004, 06:05 PM
  3. Cycling is highest on the injury list!
    By K'Endo in forum Rider Down, injuries and recovery
    Replies: 16
    Last Post: 08-12-2004, 06:28 PM
  4. Hip to knee running injury...
    By DCepp in forum Rider Down, injuries and recovery
    Replies: 4
    Last Post: 03-22-2004, 11:17 AM

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •