Any advice torn rotator cuff? - Mountain Buzz
 



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Old 12-16-2009   #1
 
Taos, New Mexico
Paddling Since: 12
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Any advice torn rotator cuff?

Looks like I have a partial torn rotator cuff that happened about 4 months ago paddling I've been doing alot of research on the injury and I'm trying to heal this baby. Accupuncture, chiropractor, stretching, strenghtening, ice, rest, you name it! Surgery is something I would rather not do.
Interestingly someone ask me the other day why in the world would I stretch a already stretched/torn ligament? And I must say that hit home. All the research I have seen says to stretch & strengthen the rotator muscles and supporting muscles if it does not hurt.
Anyhow, this IS a frustrating injury and would love to hear if somebody has had good healing success themselves....thanks, d

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Old 12-16-2009   #2
 
Join Date: Oct 2003
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yes, stretch stretch stretch and then stretch some more. Find a PT that will show you some stretching to do. Been there done that
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Old 12-17-2009   #3
 
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SUrg

First get a rubber band from a PT office and start using the rubber band like its the crack and you're the hoar. If it goes again, you're lookin at surgery. Buy insurance, wait 3 months for it to kick in and then have surgery. It's only 3-4 months for the initial recovery, but afterwards you have to continue to be on band like it's the meth and you're the head. Twice a day, every day.
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Old 12-17-2009   #4
 
placerville, Colorado
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i have done one and am about to do the other shoulder due to torn rotator cuffs, among other things. tears do not re-attach themselves. Therapy will help make you better able to cope and stronger, but will not fix the problem, and if you keep paddling you are delaying the inevitable, especially if you want to be 100%. Good luck
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Old 12-17-2009   #5
 
Fort Collins, Colorado
Paddling Since: 1997
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About 10 years ago I tore cartilage in my right shoulder. The result was a sort of "catch" in my shoulder movement, and a continual strain in my rotator cuff. Doc said I'd probably need surgery eventually, to fix the tear and "tighten" up the shoulder. I asked if I put a lot of effort into PT if I could avoid surgery. He said maybe, but wasn't too optimistic.

I'm happy to say that I never had the surgery and have paddled a lot more and a lot harder than I ever did pre-injury. I have done a lot of strengthening, and learned an offside roll to lessen the stress on my right shoulder. I didn't put any focus on stretching. My injury was caused by movement beyond my normal range of motion...I certainly didn't want to increase my range of motion. The problem with the shoulder joint is that it has too much range of motion, to the point that it is unstable.

Your injuries sound different, but some of the same things might apply. Get some good advice from a doc, work on strength training, perfect your paddling and rolling form, and perfect your offside roll so you never have to force a roll in the wrong direction.
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Old 12-20-2009   #6
 
Horserump, Colorado
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I work with a bunch of guys who have torn their rotator cuff. Most have had surgury and it was succesful. However it is impairative that you follow the rehab program to the letter. It will take a long time to heal and you will be tempted to push it because it's feeling better. Don't. It will just lead to another surgury. I know one guy who has been cut on 4 times and it can't be fixed now. Others who felt better and had to go back under the knife. Best bet keep you braces low and don't be afraid to fall over. Good luck
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Old 12-20-2009   #7
 
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santa fe, New Mexico
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love2,

rotator cuff tears do not heal. with time and therapy they may become asymptomatic, but the tear will persist. not all partial tears require surgery, but if the tear is large enough (high grade partial tear or greater than 50% of the thickness of the tendon) the chance of the tear progressing to a larger tear without treatment can be significant. you should really see an orthopaedic surgeon so he/she can look at your mri and talk to you about whether therapy or other options make the most sense. i'm down here in santa fe if you want to talk.

Phil Forno, MD
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Old 12-20-2009   #8
 
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Rotator cuff

I have 2 torn rotator cuffs from a construction injury and various paddling whipeouts. I was suposed to have surgury and then the workmans comp fell through. All I can say now is, Thank God that I never went under the knife. It has been 8 years and my shoulders feel great. I did and still do lots of shoulder excercises and have learned to roll differently and never do a high brace paddling. Surgeons want to do surgery, that is there job. I think you are doing the right things to help heal it with out surgery. I had to take almost 9 months off from paddling and tele skiing (good rest break), but now I would never know my shoulders have been hurt and it has been 8 years. Good luck. Atom....


Quote:
Originally Posted by love2boat29 View Post
Looks like I have a partial torn rotator cuff that happened about 4 months ago paddling I've been doing alot of research on the injury and I'm trying to heal this baby. Accupuncture, chiropractor, stretching, strenghtening, ice, rest, you name it! Surgery is something I would rather not do.
Interestingly someone ask me the other day why in the world would I stretch a already stretched/torn ligament? And I must say that hit home. All the research I have seen says to stretch & strengthen the rotator muscles and supporting muscles if it does not hurt.
Anyhow, this IS a frustrating injury and would love to hear if somebody has had good healing success themselves....thanks, d
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Old 12-20-2009   #9
 
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atom - i'm glad your shoulders feel better. good surgeons don't just want to do surgery. they want to get their patients better. the majority of people i see in my office do not require surgery, and that is a good thing. but when it is appropriate surgery can make the difference between a bum body part and one that works. not trying to get into a debate, just saying... most docs care about their patients and aren't just hammers thinking everything is a nail. (i don't think you were necessarily implying this either - i just dont like people to be scared of docs thinking that all we want to do is cut)

Phil
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Old 12-20-2009   #10
 
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surgery

Glad to hear that you explore all options for your patients Phil. You sound like a great doctor and I have the utmost respect for that. I also agree surgery can make the difference between a bum body part and one that works. I went to 3 different shoulder specialists and they all said my life would be miserable without surgery. I was scheduled for surgery when my insurence fell through. My only option was to do the rehab as though I had had the surgery, and now my arms feel awesome. So I am a little wary of Rotator cuff surgery. Atom....


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Originally Posted by bonedoc View Post
atom - i'm glad your shoulders feel better. good surgeons don't just want to do surgery. they want to get their patients better. the majority of people i see in my office do not require surgery, and that is a good thing. but when it is appropriate surgery can make the difference between a bum body part and one that works. not trying to get into a debate, just saying... most docs care about their patients and aren't just hammers thinking everything is a nail. (i don't think you were necessarily implying this either - i just dont like people to be scared of docs thinking that all we want to do is cut)

Phil
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