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Rotator cuff injury

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Rotator cuff injury

Old 07-25-21, 10:37 AM
  #1  
Carbonated
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Rotator cuff injury

I had a freak accident in the parking lot on my bike when returning to my car three weeks ago. There was some damp moss and as I pulled up to my car to brake the wheels slid out.
As I was falling I was able to partially catch myself by extending my arm and using the back bumper to break the fall.
That was 3 weeks ago. I have some pain when in bed but during the day it is OK unless I try to lift my arm above shoulder height.
From what I have read, it's probably a tear in the rotator cuff. I am seeing an orthopedist tomorrow.
Of course I don't want surgery unless absolutely necessary.
Any advice for rehabbing it?
Thanks in advance.
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Old 07-26-21, 05:57 AM
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Artmo
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Originally Posted by Carbonated View Post
I had a freak accident in the parking lot on my bike when returning to my car three weeks ago. There was some damp moss and as I pulled up to my car to brake the wheels slid out.
As I was falling I was able to partially catch myself by extending my arm and using the back bumper to break the fall.
That was 3 weeks ago. I have some pain when in bed but during the day it is OK unless I try to lift my arm above shoulder height.
From what I have read, it's probably a tear in the rotator cuff. I am seeing an orthopedist tomorrow.
Of course I don't want surgery unless absolutely necessary.
Any advice for rehabbing it?
Thanks in advance.
if there is a tear, I don’t think it will repair itself. I have had rotator cuff surgeries on both shoulders, 15 years apart, and both were successful, but the rehab, especially at the beginning is extremely painful. Full recovery took about 3 months while rigidly sticking to the physio. Good luck!
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Old 07-26-21, 11:36 AM
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As @Artmo notes, a torn rotator cuff will not repair itself. That said, there may be non-surgical interventions (e.g. physical therapy) that can help. I've managed to get grade III acromioclavicular separations in both my shoulders. The orthopedic surgeon told me he could do surgery, but long term outcomes of surgery were virtually the same as non-surgical physical therapy. I opted for the physical therapy, and while not "good as new," both shoulders have full strength and range of motion. They both get sore, like after 2-3 hours of riding, but I can live with that.

But rotator cuff tear is not the same as acromioclavicular separation, so YMMV. It can't hurt to ask if a referral to a sports medicine physical therapist might be appropriate.
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Old 07-27-21, 12:06 PM
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I had torn RC repaired about 10 years ago. I will also concur that it is about the worst surgery to recover from. But…it ain’t gonna heal itself. In fact…it could get worse. Scar tissue will continue to build up and eventually make it almost impossible to repair. If it is torn…I would encourage you to have it surgically repaired. The sooner the better. And my first piece of advice if you do plan on surgery…practice doing things that you do with the surgical-side hand with the OTHER hand. You’ll be glad you did when it’s time to wipe you butt.
Also…follow the physical therapist’s directions to a T! I am an avid swimmer. Obviously swimming was tough while the RC was torn. But I came back and actually swam faster after full recovery.
Good luck.

Dan
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Old 08-05-21, 05:02 AM
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Add me to the list - I had a total full thickness tear back in 2012. Tried PT before an MRI - PT won't help a total tear. At its worst, I couldn't raise my right arm high enough to adjust the radio while driving, let alone lift any weight above my head.

Surgery in 1Q 2013, no biking that year - the surgeon said something that stuck with me "You can ride your bike the rest of your life, this is only time that repair has to heal."

Definitely a big deal surgery - couple of weeks with my right arm strapped to my body, a month or so in a sling, 3 months of PT, then many limitations until 6 months and it wasn't really until a few year that it felt close to "normal." I have recovered full range of motion, but not full strength - he said repairs of partial tears are much easier, much more likely to get close to full strength back.

The surgeon I chose walked me thru the decision process, surgery or not - age (I was 55 at the time), activity (much), potential for PT to develop muscles around it (low for complete full thinckness tear) etc.

Within a year, it was a non-factor for cycling - other than a healthier fear of falling! I have slipped on ice and hit that arm, no damage.

If I had to do it again, I'd probably have the surgery again. If it had been a partial thickness tear, maybe not.
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Old 08-05-21, 11:36 AM
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I had 3 tears; rotator cuff, bicep and the muscle that runs along the clavicle, surgically repaired in 2011. As stated above, it is a long, painful recovery process. That was my right shoulder, and it is ok, not great. My left shoulder has issues, but it is usually more of a nuisance than a handicap. It does flare up sometimes. I also have chronic spinal issues, 1 of 4 surgeries being a fusion of C5/C6, I have a mechanical disc at L5/S1, and while that was a long, hard rehab, the shoulder was considerably worse. The neck and shoulder issues feed off of each other. About the worse thing I can do now, for comfort level anyway. is get lazy and lay around doing nothing for more than a couple of days at a time. I am more prone to overexertion and the price that comes from that. At this stage, I rarely ride a bike more than an hour without stopping at least once. Even just a minute or two to lightly stretch and ease my bladder makes a large difference for me on longer rides.
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