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Torn Tendon

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Old 06-17-2004, 11:00 PM   #1
Join Date: May 2004
Location: Australia
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angelsalive HB User
Thumbs up Torn Tendon

After an X Ray and scan I was told that I have torn a tendon in my right shoulder. How? I do not know. Anyway when I asked what I could do the Doctor said go for pain injections, and he gave me Digesic till then. I hate needles. Anyone got any other ideas.

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Old 06-18-2004, 02:49 AM   #2
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zuzu8 HB Userzuzu8 HB Userzuzu8 HB Userzuzu8 HB Userzuzu8 HB Userzuzu8 HB User
Re: Torn Tendon


Is your doctor an orthopedist? And is this a rotator cuff injury?

Usually, the first priority is to control the pain.
Over-the-counter medicines or prescription medication is given to help to relieve pain. In addition, cold therapy (cryotherapy) can help to decrease the pain and local swelling. Did the doc tell you to avoid activities that can worsen your pain - particularly overhead activities, repetitive motions, and heavy lifting? Do not put your arm in one position for a long time - keep it as mobile as possible...although if your range of motion is severely limited, this is easier said than done!

When he mentioned "pain injections" did he mean steroid(cortisone) injections into your shoulder area to also help improve the pain? Most orthopedic surgeons recommend that you get no more than one or two of these a year, as they do have the potential to weaken your tendons (every person is different, however - so if this is what he means, double check with him about it.)
Presumably you've lost some range of motion with this tear. So it's critical to start shoulder therapy exercises to regain full range of motion. Usually, a doc will recommend a physical therapist who can work with you initially, who will then give you simple "homework" exercises to do. Physical therapy helps strenghten the other muscles of the rotator cuff that aren't torn. There are 4 muscles in the rotator cuff, so usually when only one is torn, stengthening the others is all you need to return to pain-free motion.

Physical therapy can be time consuming and sometimes a long process, (I've been there) but it sure works if you are vigilent and follow the therapist's instructions to a tee.

LAST RESORT, if all this fails to relieve your pain, rotator cuff repair surgery might be needed to re-attach the torn tendon. There are lots of pros and cons to surgery, and different people need surgery for different reasons - be sure to discuss this with your doctor. The bottom line is that not everyone with a rotator cuff tear needs surgery to feel better.

Your doc is taking a conservative approach for now, which is good, but I'm a bit puzzled as to why he hasn't discussed physical therapy for you. And what he means by "pain" injections unless he's hoping a one-time steroid injection will help the pain. But more than one is usually not recommended.

zuzu xxx

Old 06-19-2004, 08:01 PM   #3
Join Date: May 2004
Location: Australia
Posts: 70
angelsalive HB User
Re: Torn Tendon

Hi Zuzu
Thanks for all the info. Yes he meant Steroid injection. As I was writing I had a blank spell, so just said pain. I don't know if it is a rotator cuff injury. I don't even know for sure what muscle is missing. I had throat cancer 2 years ago and as a part of the operation muscles were removed from my throat, shoulder and chest. My Doctor just says "It was a part of the procedure", when ever you ask any questions.
My left shoulder ached and when they scaned it, they found a SPUR. I thought this pain in my right was going to be the same, but wasn't. I have to go back in a month. I will see what he says.

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