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Old 05-19-2011, 11:46 AM   #1
Join Date: May 2011
Location: San Mateo, CA, San Mateo
Posts: 2
Jseams HB User
Rotator Cuff Tear?

A week ago I took a fall from about 10 feet and was able to catch myself on the way down with my right arm. There was significant bruising and abrasion to my forearm but the problem is in my shoulder.

I went to doctor and was told that I had a rotator cuff tear... but I'm still waiting on an MRI - the VA is notoriously slow with non-critical care.

There is little to no pain (maybe a vague ache at the top of the deltoid area) when sitting or walking - although when I wake in the morning my shoulder is quite sore.

However, if I keep my arm straight and try to lift it forward of my body it is extremely difficult but I can sometime get it past 90 degrees.

If I keep my arm straight and try to lift it away from my body to the side it locks up before 90 degrees and is very hard to get it go any higher without assistance.

If I add even an insignificant amount of weight I cannot lift my arm either forward or to the side from the shoulder even a little. (I tried a 3 pound weight and I couldn't budge it from the table straight armed)

I can move it straight behind my body with zero pain (like drawing a bowling ball back before release)

An intersting note:

Last night as I was trying to "exercise" my shoulder and found that if I turn my hand so that my thumb is pointing to the floor, I can move my arm fully up and forward and to the side **BUT** if I then turn my hand so that my thumb is up I get about half way there and a very sharp shooting pain happens at the shoulder and my arm drops to the side.. a very peculiar experience.

Is this going to start to heal on it's own?

How long before I see noticable improvement?

I work at a job that requires quite a bit of overhead work, and although I am back at the job I'm restricted to desk duty because of the physical limitations on my right shoulder.

Our HR guy is out for the week, but when he returns I'm going to find out if I can just find a private orthopedic doctor that can handle this a bit more proactively than the VA has done so far... but in the meantime this is literally driving me crazy.

Last edited by Jseams; 05-19-2011 at 11:50 AM.

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