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gaderob18 10-04-2012 06:38 PM

Full Supraspinatus Tendon Tear Help
My girlfriend has a full supraspinatus tendon tear in her left shoulder according to the MRI report we got from the hospital. We haven't been to see the surgery to make sure of everything as I know on the report sometimes they miss things, so we will see what the surgeon says in 2 weeks to see if the report is accurate. If it is accurate and it is a full tear what is recover like? I have had mine partially torn but never fully so I ma not sure how much things are different with a full tear. I was in a sling for 4-6 weeks, did therapy for 4 months or so and things like that. How long are you in a sling with a full tear and anything else you can tell me that may help her out?

feelbad 10-05-2012 10:57 AM

Re: Full Supraspinatus Tendon Tear Help
unfortunetly a full supra tear can ONLY be fixed surgically. she will have to have that particular tendon reattached by a good ortho surgeon. i had the very same tendon just snap on me out of the blue one day while simply attempting to lift my purse up from on top of my stupid refrigerator. i felt kind of what felt like a "pull' along with sudden loss of that ROM too. my hand just opened up and i HAD to drop the purse.

once she sees an actual orthosurgeon for the full eval, he or she will also run that whole rotator thru the many many different ROMS it just has to 'do" the many many different things it does for us, like daily(the supra seriously is the most used and abused shoulder tendon we have). i knew when my primary ran me thru the ROMS that things were bad since the pain, only when moving that shoulder in certain ways was horrid, or i could just NOT do certain ones. that primary eval was followed with the MRI just to see how bad things actually were. and not only had my supra snapped and retracted, but the tendon directly underneath that one also had started to tear as well just due to haveing to take over some of the duties of the tearing supra(compensation). but simply seeing any ortho would most certainly be able to tell her level of ROM loss. i personally had to have both tendons reattached/sewen back together. the lower one would have continued over time to also keep tearing a little bit at a time and would have eventually also snapped given the right circumstances, so we had it all done, among a few other issues that were also found upon MRI all fixed in my R rotator.

one thing i am wondering is you actually did manage to tear YOUR supra, did they follow up with an MRI just to see how things were after the PT and slinging you mentioned? i am only asking since as i mentioned above, that supra seriously IS used over and over and over agin in just about anything we just 'do' that requires even raising our arms(or pretty much all real 'movements') as well. i am just simply wondering if this DID actually somehow heal or is still torn, but the PT helped to bulid up muscle so it is not as noticable? the thing about tendons is with just about any types of tearing going on, in almost every case, it is ususally impossible for 'it(esp that almost constantly used supra) to reattach itself even with good immobilization with that sling? tendons really do not have a rally great level of blood supply either which would also slow any real 'healing,as in actual reattachment goes? if you have not had tyhat follow up MRI, now is the time to find out for certain since from what you stated, it appears that NO actual even arthoscopic surgery TO reatach that tendon was even done on you? or DID you have at least 'some' type of surgical fix? you just really DO always need to know what your either post op staus is, or with only slinging and PT done over time, it really DOES up that need to know just how things are in there for you at this point.

do you happen to have a copy, or your GF have a copy of that MRI that was done? if not, always obtain all copies of any types of tests and esp scans that ever get done on you or her. these ARE availiable with no probl;ems once you fill out a release of information from either the ordering doc or even faster is going directly to the facility that did the testing/MRI. this way you will always have your very own copies of very important info. i keep all my important medical testing and info(22 MRIs alone now) in a folder so i do not lose this stuff.

but if she has one, if you could type out what is on that very last page as in the 'conclusion/summary' part where the interpretting radiologist simply places all pertinent findings, it would help me to help you both in a much more well informed way.

but i really cannot see any other possible way for your GF to have THAT tendon repaired without an actual surgery that sews it all back together. not with any type of actual full tear. but she does need to get an appt with a good ortho who actually specializes in doing the rotator cuff repair surgeries. not all orthos simply 'do' every type of surgery out there. they do tend to specialize in certain types of surgerys. you simply WANT and need an ortho who has ALOT of overall experience vs one that does not,ya know? i wish her lots of luck with this. it is not an 'easy' suregery to recover from and absolutely DOES require full PT about around six weeks or so post op. but they DO have other ways to help to keep that joint from freezing up while the tendons heal. the best thing i used was called a CPM chair that moves that joint without ANY actual tendon movement. and at home excercises to do just to help ease into the more fuller/in depth PT that will follow. please let me know if you have that MRI, or simply get one. it really will reveal alot as far as what I would know to help you both in the very best ways. hope all goes well with the both of you. **

gaderob18 10-05-2012 07:45 PM

Re: Full Supraspinatus Tendon Tear Help
Thank you for your reply. I will first answer your question about my supra tendon repair. I actually had two. The first one was about 5 years ago and now that I am thinking it was a full supra tear along with another partial tear is another area, but can't remember what it was since it was that long ago and it was in another state. Anyway I can't remember if they did a follow up MRI or not, but the most recent one was 2 years ago and a partial supra tear with a partial clavicle removal because of repeated bone spurs and they did a follow up MRI of that shoulder which showed everything was fine but also had to unfreeze my shoulder since it froze(long story but the 2nd surgery was work comp related). I just had an MRI on the shoulder once again last week and the MRI showed mild tendonitis of the shoulder. I am getting sharp pain here and there and they just come whenever and go away. Even with 6 months of therapy i don't have much strength. Really not sure what else I can do for it. I have been told that when I am old enough(only 34 now) I may need to have the shoulder replaced. I am now dealing with a full bicep tear in my other shoulder, which I am trying to learn about and just had my labrum repaired on that shoulder 9 months ago, so if you know anything about full bicep tears I will listen lol.

As for my GF she is gonna see the same ortho that repaired my labrum. He is a great surgeon. I have asked him lots of question before my last surgery and he answered them all and showed me pics when he opened my shoulder up, pics of what he did while fixing it, and pics of after it was done. He has been doing it for 15 years or so and is very good. I figured with a full tear she would need the surgery to repair the supra but I could not remember how long you have to be in a sling for that and everything that comes with it.

feelbad 10-06-2012 10:24 AM

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. **

gaderob18 10-08-2012 10:36 AM

Re: Full Supraspinatus Tendon Tear Help
With my bicep surgery it will be my 13th overall at age 34 or 35 depending when I have it done, but still have a high possibility of both shoulders and my right knee all replaced when old enough, plus was told I need neck surgery for a herniated disc, but trying to hold out as long as I can for the neck. As for my left shoulder that was frozen it was bad, because work comp didnt approve therapy until 8 weeks after surgery and finally got to therapy for 2 months but had no improvement at all, so with work comp made it worse and I still don't have full mobility or strength in it, so I am pretty much screwed with the shoulder especially with the latest MRI showing mild tendonitis in it and can't get rid of, so not sure what else to do for that shoulder.

As for my GF the MRI report said it was a full distal supra thickness tear with no significant retraction and type 1 distal acromial process is exactly what came from the report. Liek

gaderob18 10-08-2012 10:38 AM

Re: Full Supraspinatus Tendon Tear Help
sorry hit the wrong button while typing, but any way like I was saying is she is going to go see the surgeon that I have had success with on my other shoulder, but just have to wait a few weeks for the appnt.

noevr 10-08-2012 10:46 AM

Re: Full Supraspinatus Tendon Tear Help
hi, you've gotten some great advice here. I just had rot. cuff surgery along w/ some spur removal and clean done May 14 and am looking at replacement down the road due to severe osteo.

what I wanted to add was that your GF may want to set up an acct and get some "girlfriend" advice before she goes into surgey. There are a lot of threads out here already w/ some info in it. such as what to wear to and after surgery, your hair, bathing, things like that. Its a whole new world as you know. I know w/ my first rot cuff surgery in 99 I had long hair and had it braided every other day at a salon after work. (I was working on y2k project and had to go back to work 2 weeks later w/ one arm, left handed!)

Just a thought. Cathy

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