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Old 03-27-2008, 08:01 PM   #1
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Rotator Cuff Question

Hi there...last summer I fell off a bike (dont laugh) and onto my shoulder. It killed for days, could not move it, lift or do anything basically. Finally went to my doctor and he said I strained the rotator....he took Xrays to make sure I didnt do bone damage. (I dont think the rotator injury would have shown up on an Xray--just an MRI correct??)

Anyway I did 2-3 months of PT....got some movement, flexibility back and was discharged.

Now...8 months later, it really hurts when I run. Sometimes I want to put a sling on while I run.....I dont think it should still be bothering me considering I strained it not tore it. I am a healthy, active 25 year old...I should heal quickly! Sometimes if I am swimming I I get a "dead arm"...when doing the freestyle my arm wont lift it kind of drags in the water.

Same story after a kickboxing class, the shoulder hurts, it is not as strong as it was last summer before I fell, etc. etc. What do I do??? I feel like it is a waste to go back to therapy or the doctors because he is just going to send me to therapy.....but should I go back? I feel like it should have corrected the problem the first time. Is there anything else it could be?

It's just frustrating and painful and its a constant throbbing in my back and when I rotate the arm, it clicks. Help! Thanks

 
Old 03-27-2008, 08:09 PM   #2
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Re: Rotator Cuff Question

Hey i just had an injury kinda like yours. I did some pushups and boom . it's been about 1 week and 1/2 and it still hurts. Now, it's much less than the first few days but it's still there and although the pain is light.. it feels like more because it's just there nagging..

Have you gone to the chiropractor? Try massage too. Someone told me to baby it, dont even do any pushpus or anything till it gets better.

You are not doing that. its seems, you're starting kickboxing and all kinds of activities. These injuries last long so i would advise you not to do that much physical activity.

 
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Old 03-27-2008, 08:17 PM   #3
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Re: Rotator Cuff Question

It would be a good idea to go see an orthopedic specialist. You may have an undiagnosed tear or tendonitis. A co-worker of mine had had a similar thing happen to him and a year later was diagnosed with a couple small tears and a large one. He ended up needing surgery.

I went the Dr, PT route for an injured rotator cuff about a year ago and finally ended up at an orthopedic surgeon to get a good diagnosis. He then talked over my options with me. It was good to finally know what was really wrong with my shoulder.

 
Old 03-28-2008, 04:10 AM   #4
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Re: Rotator Cuff Question

One of the first things you are asked by any doctor is " did you injure your shoulder?"
"How long ago"? you know & I know that is not normal, not to be able to use your shoulder/arm doing normal activites so get it looked into. At times you have to be your own advocate when going to see your doctor. You went the PT route so you let them know that. x-rays are only going to show bone. MRI's show surrounding tissue/soft mass. I had the clicking in the shoulder, at times more of a snap when lifting or putting the arm behind me.

Took me almost three years from the beginning to get this shoulder diagnosed & surgery, if I had to go back & do it again I would have been much more insistant. It only bothered me now & again but it began causing what they call secondary symptoms, muscle spasms in my chest & ribs & neck so on, the surrounding areas became effected & inflamed. I just kept on using it & using it until one day the pain sent me into ER, from that day forward I had chronic pain & I am not talking about pain that would go away with motrin.
Went to pt route twice, injections into the bone & muscle, steroids,chiropracter...
Depending on what they think is wrong they will exhaust all options before surgery.
I would imagine if you had an MRI & there was a big tear showing up then they would just opt for surgery, but there are other problems that can occur with the shoulder.
For me it was the tendonitis/bursitis/arthritis & it was not going away with anything.
I will tell you what it took my rehab doc. forever to tell me but I heard on other boards hear, sometimes even getting the MRI's & all those tests we think can show everything, not everything shows. On my MRI they thought it was pretty minor, but when they got in there for surgery it was another story. I was in a sling 6mths before surgery.

Go & get it looked into, by the way it sounds it's getting worse & let me tell you it can get a whole lot worse. I had days to move that arm an inch caused me agony & I am not kidding. There is no way any doc. can tell whats going on in there with out the right tests & lots of times you will see them try to by pass the MRI's because of insurance companies. In fact insurance companies can dictate your treatment. For example they wont cover this until the doc. tries this & so on...I believe the longer you let this type of thing go it can interfer with your recovery.
My surgeon did an injection in the back area, I believe like under the scapula before deciding on surgery. If this injection gave relief & allowed more movement then you were a good canidate for surgery. He said he never did one surrgery with out doing that injection, its a dianostic test to see if indeed the shoulder is causing all the problems. It kind of numbs inside the shoulder & allows you more movement & less pain.
It most definantly sounds like you have problem in there, so as I said get it looked into, you doc should send you for an MRI or to an ortho.
I have spoke to several people who have had surgery on the shoulder, most of then come out of it when they are fully recovered like new. Especially the rotater cuff. I had some major decompression done. I have a feeling your age can effect the recovery to, makes sense the younger you are the faster you will heal.
It is along recovery for the shoulder but the sooner you have it looked into the better off you will be, it can't get better on its own & then you will tend to use the other more, like me & really end up in trouble. In the mean time if it is bothering you try moist heat, thermacare patches, biofreeze (which is what Feelsbad uses) or ice. Ice did wonders for me. If any of you have surgery you will be icing like crazy, it keeps the inflammation down. Good luck, Sammy

Last edited by sammyo1; 03-28-2008 at 04:13 AM.

 
Old 03-28-2008, 06:25 AM   #5
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Re: Rotator Cuff Question

wow sammy,there isn't too much left to say there,lol. sammy kind of covered all the highlights here. i cannot stress enough just how crucial it is for you to at least obtain that MRI. like sammy said,an x ray only shows bone not the really important stuff like the inside of that rotator cuff area. you have alot running into any given joint in your body,tendons,cartledge,muscle and nerve. any of these things could be injured considering the mechanism of your injury. the MRI will kind of dictate your next step here. its just a very important type of test that you need in order to find out the full extent of your damage. i had no clue my damage was as bad as it was. i knew i had some "problem" in there but not the actual full thickness tears and a bunch of other stuff all wrong. i also have tendonitis and fluid in places where it is not supposed to be. there were like five major issues all in that one shoulder area.

i had my rotator shoulder surgery at the beginning of last month and overall,i think i am doing pretty well considering. i start hands on PT this week as well as sammy starting hers too. we both had our surgeries around the same time but we are both healing at different rates. and in different ways. it all depends on extent of damage and what actually needs to be done during your surgery. some people recover very quickly and others take a bit longer. but the one thing i can tell you is if you DO have anything wrong that needs to be fixed surgically,get it done sooner vs later. the longer you wait,the worse the overall damage will get too which would require a much more in depth surgery than you could have gotten by with had you just gotten it done and over with right away. i know i waited way too long. just getting that MRI done will show just what your particular issues are. it just needs to be done in your case.

i wish you lots of luck with this and hope things are not too bad for you. please let us know what you find out after the MRI gets done. FB
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Old 03-28-2008, 07:31 AM   #6
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Re: Rotator Cuff Question

i just want to say thanks for your helpful advice! my dad tells me to suck it up and "work through the pain". but since its been about 8 or 9 months now....I'm beginning to think it needs something more serious so its nice to know I am not crazy....I am going to call the ortho dr. today.....much appreciated to all!

 
Old 03-29-2008, 08:47 AM   #7
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Re: Rotator Cuff Question

just an FYI for ya but dads have been known to be completley wrong at at times ya know? the old 'just suck it up' kind of additude really doesn't help a child who is suffering. just DO what YOU think is right. seeing a doc for an eval and getting an MRI will just show for sure wheteher its okay to just 'suck it up' or not ya know? let us know how things go,K? good luck, FB
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Old 04-04-2008, 03:43 PM   #8
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Re: Rotator Cuff Question

Hi,
I would suggest you find some good exercises for that shoulder. My sister and niece injured their rotator cuffs 3 yrs. ago. My sister's Dr. told her she absolutely needed surgery. She opted for exercising her shoulder for a good yr. and has not had any recurring problems. Ditto for my niece. They have a personal trainer who works wonders all around. Clip

 
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