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Thread: torn rotator

  1. #1
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    torn rotator

    hey all, just seeing if anyone of you have had a similar injury and the time frame for healing. Doc told me around 6 weeks of physical therapy before everything would be back to normal. then again he said i would be in alot less pain by the end of the week. 4 days later and i can barely drive a car or zip my own pants.

    my darwin award came from playing at the bmx track with my son showing him how to pump the whoops section. we were rolling along and next thing i knew i woke up on the ground. friend said i was out for a few minutes but was babbling the whole time. i don't remember a single thing about the incident and broke my helmet to boot. went to the doc and was told concussion, bruised jaw, bruised ribs, possible torn rotator and a bit of whiplash. nothing broken in the xrays. face and ear are hamburger from my glasses.

    so is this type of pain normal? recovery time sound about right?

    Thanks for the input.

  2. #2
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    I had a similar incident. Manualed the last jump at the BMX track and over backwards. Minor concussion and broke my helmet. Not knocked out though. Had a sore shoulder but didn't get it looked at and kept going as normal. 6 weeks later no better so got scans. Found an impact fracture to the greater tuberosity which is where the tendon attaches and some damage to the rotator cuff tendon. Took it easy, but still keep up aggressive mountain biking but stopped using that shoulder properly because of the pain. I had no medication though. Bad mistake. This all in February and now its October. Have been getting physio for the last 8 weeks because it wasn't improving on it's own and I decided to get help. The doc has had me off work for 6 weeks so far. Had scans 6 weeks ago. Tendon has repaired but due to not using my shoulder properly due to pain, has caused impingement and a winging shoulder blade and bursitis which is a viscous cycle. Due to see the specialist in 2 weeks. My advice - It will mend but keep doing the physio. Take it easy for 6 weeks but don't stop using it like I did.
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    Work on your range of motion

    Don't worry about strength. If you don't work your rotator cuff through it's entire range you lose that range! A PT person can give you proper moves you can do on your own (like walking your fingers up a wall to extend your arm overhead) but you need to keep at this or you will lose it.
    A blind man searches in a dark room for a black hat that isn't there. Dashiell Hammett

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    thanks for the replys. i start pt monday 3x a week for 6 weeks. after a week of ice/heat i am still at a point where i can't do anything. i injured the left shoulder but still can't do anything with the right arm because of the pain it causes to the left. i've been working on the shoulder as told by the doctor to keep things loose. i'm just not seeing any improvment or less pain. i can hardly pick up a coffee mug with my right hand still. what really stinks is that i am out of sick days and have to go back to work monday. i am a mechanic and i can't even raise a hood at this point. here's to hoping things improve vastly this weekend....

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    Well, I'm a carpenter and

    Quote Originally Posted by buconine
    thanks for the replys. i start pt monday 3x a week for 6 weeks. after a week of ice/heat i am still at a point where i can't do anything. i injured the left shoulder but still can't do anything with the right arm because of the pain it causes to the left. i've been working on the shoulder as told by the doctor to keep things loose. i'm just not seeing any improvment or less pain. i can hardly pick up a coffee mug with my right hand still. what really stinks is that i am out of sick days and have to go back to work monday. i am a mechanic and i can't even raise a hood at this point. here's to hoping things improve vastly this weekend....
    I tried to just keep working through it. But pushing a nailgun overhead, without doing it the proper way--you know, not fully using my rotator cuffs motion--was not the solution at all. It just sucks but you have to keep working at it. I let mine go for months before I finally went to a doc who just wanted to cut me open to see what's up in there. I did some research and decided I was going to try to just pt my way out of it (because tests didn't reveal any actual tears in there--the doc wanted to snoop around in there and see what he could find, but I'd be coming back from the snooping around longer than I would for what he might find).

    Of course your situation could be completely different. There could be some structural damage that needs to be fixed. I'm just saying that "successfully" going back to work and just using your shoulders differently to do some mechanical task isn't going forward, it's just training your shoulders to do things wrong and you'll pay for it later if you continue moving your shoulders wrong. Get educated about shoulders and how they work (they're actually the most complex joint in the body, having to move in all directions) and bombard your pt person with questions. They'll be able to to get you doing things to get you moving forward that you'd never think of yourself. Good luck.
    A blind man searches in a dark room for a black hat that isn't there. Dashiell Hammett

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    went and saw the pt yesterday for some measurements and a plan of attack. She noticed a lump on my shoulder that had sprouted this weekend. So i get to add a shoulder separation to the list. I have home exercises to do and she is going to work me over 3x a week. She felt that my whiplash was causing alot of my shoulder and chest pain and is working on that as well. She also said your advice was correct. Go to work and keep moving it, just don't get stupid trying to push/pull much weight. Guess we will see where it ends up in a couple of weeks....

    Thanks
    Chris

  7. #7
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    Mine hasn't healed but I don't want surgery. Hopefully yours will get better. Try not to overuse that shoulder in the future by lifting for example, if that is, it's still weak like mine.

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    Torn rotator cuff 30 tears ago when I slipped on some ice while holding a railing with my left hand. Took 20 years of first pain, then weakness in the left shoulder. One prolotherpy treatment and in a month weakness and pain, gone.

    The rotator cuff has a poor blood supply and is comprised mostly of ligaments. Research has shown NSAIDs, like ibuprofen, temporarily kill the pain but apparently prevented healing. I only wish that I had known about prolotherapy 30 years ago. The doctors (university/med school professors) I saw then had trouble making the diagnosis.

    20 years later I find out that prolotherapy was invented by an orthopedic surgeon from Canton, Ohio in the 1940's. Ouch! Simple, safe, inexpensive,no down time. Doesn't pay as well as surgery. So guess what your orthopedist will recommend.

  9. #9
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    therapy is working, i am getting alot of my flexability back and am not near as sore. The doc is questioning some pain i am having in my arm right below the shoulder. He is thinking i might have damaged a muscle that goes across the shoulder and connects to the arm. He feels that the continued therapy will fix everything so we will see how it goes. He and the therapist both wish they knew the specifics of the crash as it would help explain some of the pain and injuries. Got out for a short ride this weekend and was no more sore afterwards than normal. Doc said it was fine but if i crash and hit it again i will screw up everything i have done...

  10. #10
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    Don Duende

    I'm glad your shoulder got better but your preachy, know-it-all sales-pitch tone is made worse by your mangling of the facts which sort of undermines everything you have to say.
    It's very difficult to know which one of your statements to pick out to correct first, but I'll have to go with your statement that the rotator cuff is a ligament. 2 minutes on google will show you what a ligament is, and what a rotator cuff is, and the difference between them.

    Quote Originally Posted by Don Duende
    Torn rotator cuff 30 tears ago when I slipped on some ice while holding a railing with my left hand. Took 20 years of first pain, then weakness in the left shoulder. One prolotherpy treatment and in a month weakness and pain, gone.

    The rotator cuff has a poor blood supply and is comprised mostly of ligaments. Research has shown NSAIDs, like ibuprofen, temporarily kill the pain but apparently prevented healing. I only wish that I had known about prolotherapy 30 years ago. The doctors (university/med school professors) I saw then had trouble making the diagnosis.

    20 years later I find out that prolotherapy was invented by an orthopedic surgeon from Canton, Ohio in the 1940's. Ouch! Simple, safe, inexpensive,no down time. Doesn't pay as well as surgery. So guess what your orthopedist will recommend.

    I never apologize. I'm sorry, but that's just the way I am.

  11. #11
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    buconine,

    If you had a bad tear, you need a surgical repair. I am typing this with both hands 4 days after rotator cuff repair surgery, my shoulder hurts less than it did before the surgery and I only took 1 vicadin today, that was 8 hours ago.

    I got a 2nd opinion from an MD before having surgey, because I thought I could do physio. But the bottom line is if you want to be at 100% surgery is the only option because tendons do not self-repair i.e. they never grow back.

    The part of the tendon that did not tear off the head of the arm bone you can strengthen the muscle close to that with physio and get back to 85% at best but it's a long hard road. This was talking to one of the best physio places in Los Angeles (westlake village).

    My MRI showed 10mm of retraction on the full thickness tear. I've posted my shots in this forum in the last few days I'm sure you've all seen them. If you can afford it get an MRI. PS the MRI hurts like hell.

    I never apologize. I'm sorry, but that's just the way I am.

  12. #12
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    MRI? I think you may mean Arthoscopy! MRI is just a magnetic scan. I must admit the MRI was uncomfortable because they strap you down to you cant move and you have to breathe with your belly instead of your chest and keep super still.
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  13. #13
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    Really?

    Don Quixote, although you are fairly well versed in the medical area, there have been many instances across these boards where you have been inaccurate and misleading.

    I am not sure what your actual profession is, but "Healer" doesn't tell me much as to your background.

    Just to correct you on a couple of things:

    Quote Originally Posted by Don Duende
    Torn rotator cuff 30 tears ago when I slipped on some ice while holding a railing with my left hand. Took 20 years of first pain, then weakness in the left shoulder. One prolotherpy treatment and in a month weakness and pain, gone.

    The rotator cuff has a poor blood supply and is comprised mostly of ligaments.[/B]

    Parts of the Rotator Cuff have a poor blood supply such as a portion of the Supraspinatus.

    The actual Rotator Cuff does not have a single ligament in it. The RC is comprised of 4 muscles, no less, no more. The shoulder complex contains numerous ligaments, however the Rotator Cuff does not have a single ligament in it.
    [/B]



    Research has shown NSAIDs, like ibuprofen, temporarily kill the pain but apparently prevented healing. I only wish that I had known about prolotherapy 30 years ago. The doctors (university/med school professors) I saw then had trouble making the diagnosis.

    20 years later I find out that prolotherapy was invented by an orthopedic surgeon from Canton, Ohio in the 1940's. Ouch! Simple, safe, inexpensive,no down time. Doesn't pay as well as surgery. So guess what your orthopedist will recommend.
    Orthopedists will recommend what they believe to be the best course of action for YOU.
    With a significant tear or a significant amount of damage to the shoulder complex, surgery is likely the correct step. Prolo can help to scar down/tighten ligaments but only in certain cases and in specific instances for the shoulder will you have a better outcome.

    Buconine, I am glad to hear that you are doing well, keep up with your PT and keep us abreast on how the shoulder is coming along.
    BoiseBoy

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