Senior Veteran (female)
Join Date: Dec 2003
Re: Full Supraspinatus Tendon Tear Help
boy you sure have suffered with rotators, and you GF now. the one thing about a full thickness tear involving esp that supraspinatus, you only have that surgical way to go to even GET those ends back together. so if you doid not have actual surgery back then and did have a full vs partial, it would still be torn. once that supra and any real tendon "gives/tears" in that way, it will also retract. so it does have to be pulled back together to even resew it, ya know what i mean? mine had retracted, just days after that full tear occured 11mms. so there would be NO touching of the ends TO heal on its own. that is something you need to figure out.
the bigger thing is kind of what i mentioned above regarding that supra, they ARE just soo used and abused over time, esp if you play or played sports where the rotaters are really much more involved too. sports like baseball, softball and bowling among many others REALLY do wear and tear the heck out of our whole shoulders,let alone that main top tendon that is in most cases the first kind of "hit up' to 'do' tendon in just about anything we do with our hands too over time. i played softball for about 13 years while going thru late grade and high school then other leagues later and then bowled on leagues from around 7th grade on thru my senoir year and way beyond that then along with the hubby, so i KNOW i did alot. plus i was also a FF/emt for 14 years many years later(and older too) which required alot of really straining types of lifting in odd kinda ways there too(also messed up my c spine with THAT job). it just took alot of overall wear and tear with mostly the R shoulder, tho my L is affected, just have not yeat had THAT side checked with way too many other medical crappy things to deal with.
i too got some serious ongoing bicep pain in my R bicep and it was pretty sore as well(really sore when pushed into but not so bad otherwise? strange) for about a whole year right before i tore that main supra right in half. the thing is, when alot of ongoing tearing is simply occuring at the very top supra tendon, that one directly underneath that i do believe is referred to as the infraspinatus, also attaches in certain ways TO the bicep as well(thus my 'soreness" pain?). also will start(kind of that domino effect?), as i mentioned above, begin compensating for the one that is down/torn and will also begin a slower tear that can be felt within that bicep too. i cannot tell you just exactly what that connection is anymore since my crap all happened back in 07, but there IS most definetly a real connection that can show itself, in that way.
i really do think that your GF is looking at a total reattachment type of surgery at that supra total tear site to get it all back together, and also, depending upon how bad that infra is(directly below it), that should seriously just be done since he/surgeon will simply 'be in there' anyways? and depending upon any other lil findings that decided to show themselves upon MRI and also what any surgeon would see in there that may NOT have actually showen upon MRI too, there just could be a bit more going on(an MRI is NOT a full actual "picture" of a given area, but only a 'scan" of an area. always keep that in mind with ANY type of scan. it may NOT always show everything). mine had a few things extra too like tendonitis and bursitus along with that main shoulder joint also needing some reaming out, among other stuff. almost anyone that also has that full type of tear would also 'tend' to have tendonitis too, which just is in reality, inflammation of the tendons considering, ya know? and others who simply have "shoulder joint issue" too can easily end up with both of what i had as the inflammed tendons along with the bursa sac too, as bursitus.
i really don't know alot about actual muscle tears themselves or bicep tears, so sorry i cannot give you better info there. but any good surgeon would be able to tell you what exactly needed for 'your' particular type of tear. not all are simply created equal, and that pretty much goes for most injuries as well. but i would kind of imagine, that like wi8th tendons, since muscles just have a lower blood supply, they would not heal well without possibly requireing at least some form of arthroscopic(where they only use that scope and very small incisions) type of surgey if not more? just guessin there.
the one thing i am wondering here is did you have ANY surgery at all previously with any part of your rotator? it is really kind of odd to actuall;y end up with what is truely a 'frozen shoulder' if the PT is being done by the 'appropriate" type of rehab therepist. i know it took ALOT of ongoing PT for me and the use of that wonderful CPM(stands for continuous passive motion. they use this for knee replacment surgeries too only it lays under the leg and is NOT a chair at all, just keeps that knee joint moving like with the CPM chair and rotator) with this one being specifically made for rotator or from keeping joints from freezing up while tendons just do not get used so they can heal. once that gets done in a few weeks(they actually deliver this chair to your home if Rxed by your surgeon. and i would very highly recommend that she use this since it will help more than you know now), that is about the time they try starting you with the actual therepist, but very slowly, just to begin that process of regaining all normal ROMS again.
as far as that wondeful sling goes? she WILL be wearing it for a while(i do believe i was still wearing it while even thru mid PT). the ones they use specifically for rotator repairs are a bit different than 'normal" slings you are used to seeing. tho the upper part is more 'clothlike", that about mid to bottom is made of pretty heavy duty and pretty solid type of a foam stuff with along the bottom, another long piece(like 3"x3" or 4x4,cannot recall exactly) that has to stay til the pt gets beyond a certain point(it is attached just with a long strip of velcro). it is rather awkward to get used to but also protects that very hypersensitive arm/shoulder from the bigger bumps too. i kept hitting the bottom cushion on every doorknob we have, and the counter top too, so she WILL get to know her own limitations after a few lil jolts onto the sling. hopefully she is much taller than i am, lol.
what i would do for you right now just so YOU know without a doubt in your mind as to what any past MRIs stated and esp obtaining any surgeons notes from evals/progress visits and if you DID happen to have any types of surgical procedures, get those surgeons 'op notes" as well from the hosp you were in(do all this for her after hers so SHE will have ALL records,esp of any surgery. whatever you can simply get your hands on now, even from another state, is still on record somewhere and will let you just know what the findings were and how things went for you overall. getting any and ALL of anyones medical records, including any hosp/surgical op notes that every surgeon just by law has to make following ANY surgery, will really allow you to have her very own transcript of the surgery,or any other things that may pop up along the way of life as well. just always request your own copies. it only takes filling out a release of information sheet and your signature and then your records get sent out to you, even if it was done in another state.
i keep everything, trust me. and it has helped ME out many many times over the six surgeries i have had to have with one done directly into my spinal cord that rocked my world. and i have it all in my big old expandable folder. this is just always a good idea ro obtain YOUR own copies of every test, procedure or surgery done on you. i just really would try and track down what you cannot seem to clearly recall since it does/can matter for many reasons for you.
anyone who just has this level of rotator cuff surgery also definitely needs to have a very good top notch PT person as well post op to get the very BEST possible results in regaining all those needed ROMS. hope this helped the both of you. i just really don't understand how you ended up with that frozen shoulder. was that sling on for too long without them initating your needed PT as soon as they should have? if i were you, i WOULD obtain every single record from before/out of state up til now just to see/read thru everything that did and did not take place. someone could be potentially liable. just what i would do. good luck. **
11-20-01,placement of hardware for failed fusion
9-22-03,removal of cavernous hemangioma that was inside spinal cord. Neuro damage to L hand L leg and R leg.