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OT- Torn rotator cuff- any words of wisdom?

I went to see a Dr due to severe pain in my right shoulder as well about 7-8 yrs ago. Severe pain came up early on Sat after doing hundreds of pushups over a couple previous days of a "boot camp" class I was in. I believe I just overdid it, my fault.

After advil over Sat & Sun pain was mostly subsided by the time I had my appt a few days later. Dr diagnosed (in office) as rotator cuff injury, but wanted an MRI to be certain and to be able to diagnose how bad the injury was. Of course insurance had to approve MRI, and they denied it. Telling me to go to phys therapy for 6-8 weeks, then re-evaluate.

PT helped, but the issue has always dogged me since. Not bad enough to consider surgery, that is about all that can be done for it other than PT, exercise, & stretching. It has never been bad enough for me that I'd consider surgery.

I have had 3 broken collarbones as an adult (I was a MC racer in a former lifetime) and my shoulders since then are not aligned well. My right shoulder sits about 2 inches lower than the other while standing upright. I believe that is the root cause of my issue. What really has helped was stretching and weight lifting. Don't overdue it. But after awhile it did improve. Most recently, in a group exercise class, all these years later, I discovered certain arm exercises w/ 3 lb weights made a big improvement in strength & flexibility. After some time I started using 5# weights, then 7.5#. A very noticeable improvement all of a sudden all these years later.

Thanks for posting that. I'm about 2wks into the same ordeal.
I had a torn rotator cuff about twenty years ago. I took it to my osteopath (I presume you have them in the US - it's where osteopathy started!) who treated it with massage and such like - they don't only do joint manipulation - and over the course of a couple of months it got better. Obviously, if the damage involves broken muscle attachments and the like it would need surgery, but a registered osteopath would be able to diagnose that and refer you on.

I avoid chiropractors like the plague. My family's experience of them is that they treat you according to the depth of your wallet, whereas I have never met an osteopath (and I have been treated by many over the last fifty years) who is motivated by money.

I think I've got a torn rotator cuff on my right shoulder. Trying to get a appointment with the doc. I know it's a popular machinist injury due to the location of controls on the mill and down feed on the grinder. It's bad enough I don't think I can shift my car and sleep is, no pun intended, a nightmare. A machinist friend had surgery for it and the recovery seemed to take forever. Any words of wisdom?
You may want to go to the ER as you might have other issues as I did. My humerus bone was broken. Also if they tell you to exercise do it. I didn't exercise enough and my arm is sore and shorter. After you run out of pain pills try some CBD gummies 300 MG as they help with the pain. I also got a cortisone shot that helped too. They put a plate and screws in im shoulder.
I think I've got a torn rotator cuff on my right shoulder. Trying to get a appointment with the doc. I know it's a popular machinist injury due to the location of controls on the mill and down feed on the grinder. It's bad enough I don't think I can shift my car and sleep is, no pun intended, a nightmare. A machinist friend had surgery for it and the recovery seemed to take forever. Any words of wisdom?
Yeah, don't do that.
I did the shoulder brace and limited (doc said no, bosses say just this once....) overhead work as my doc suggested as early/first and only chance of self healing. That was just over a year ago. 3 months ago I stopped wearing brace. Still less mobility than before but no *knock on wood* pain.
She didn’t advise pt, which says a lot because she is all about prescribing that.
Shoulder injuries usually do take a long time, as in multiple years to recover and regain most of the motion and feel normal again. You have get the inflammation down first and not aggravate it, at the time I had some arthrotec-50's which helped with that some but they're a bit rough on the intestines... once the inflammation is down and healing is under way, small light physio to strengthen the other muscles around it and keep the shoulder where it's supposed to be helps a lot.
Mostly the back muscles, as the tendency for most is to roll their shoulder forward mostly when it's hurting.

Good luck.
Please, no laughing at me for this.
In the middle of the night I sit to pee because I only need the night light and do not need to aim. Plus I don't need to wake up so much and once in a while I fall asleep on the toilet.
So in 2012 I woke up to pee and was very groggy as I planted my butt on the seat. Right had behind me to steady and locate my butt to ease it down. But groggy and was slewing sideways as my right hand made contact with the seat. Fancy terlet seat with some easy clean feature where you could give it a good yank and remove it. Well as my right hand made contact my butt had a lot of sideways momentum and the sideways arm push disconnected the seat. I went sideways falling into the un finished shower stall and broke my fall with my right arm. Also broke a chandelier that was stored there (don't ask). Loud noise that woke up wifey. On with the lights to assess my damage. Cuts on hand from broken glass, but not too bad. But seriously fakked up shoulder that made it very hard to sleep for many nights. Terlet seat just snapped back in place.
Next morning my right arm would not raise up to adjust shower head. So used left arm until the pain went away. Right arm would go only upper chest high after that. To adjust shower head I would wind up my torso and fling my arm up with a quick unwind. I sorta got used to that but not having a full right arm was a problem. Had another stupid fall in 2018 (there are no smart falls) while welding and right arm was toast. Needed to finish my project so started welding left handed. Had to hold something in place head high to tack, but how? Used left hand to get my right hand up to the part and hand clamp, welded with the left. Release grip and hand fell back to my side.
Anyhow, had to see ortho doc and he said there were doubts it could be re attached because it had been so long since the injury and muscle had atrophy. But he did manage to get it attached, but also had replacement shoulder parts on hand just in case. 8 weeks in a sling and PT started some weeks after surgery. But not allowed out of sling until last visit. Got the ALL CLEAR to travel and next we flew to Barbados for two weeks. I kept sling to travel (and board plane first) and struggled with carry on stuff. So first day out of the sling I could not even drink a beer with right arm. But usability came back fairly quick.
Prepare your home if you do get surgery. Yo will need some hand grabs in a few places to steady yourself, like near the terlet. I also hunted around several furniture stores for a power reclining chair of the type that also can stand you up. Most had control buttons on the right side that were useless to me. But I did find one that had a remote control thingy wired in so it could be used with either hand.
Get your bed set up. I got a strip of 4" foam about half width of the bed. I folded it sort of like a number 9 shape laying on its side so I slept sitting up slightly. Makes it easier to get out of bed and not inclined to roll on your side while asleep.
One of the keys to my eventual recovery - and not having surgery - was training myself to not do the things that antagonized the injury. That was avoiding certain movements and motions. That was very difficult. My shoulder was extremely weak. Little mistakes would set my lengthy recovery back days - or longer. Just reaching for something the wrong way - and not even grabbing it or lifting it. This actually gets more difficult as you get better, because you start feeling pretty good.

One of the worst things for my injury was pulling on something with my arm extended so I was not using my muscles, but the joint to tug. Regular motions, like pulling open the bottom freezer drawer on the fridge. Grab it with the hand, and pull with the body, etc. Even just finding ways to roll out of bed, roll over, not sleep on it, shirts on and off, shower (and especially wash your hair), eating, etc.

One of those shoulder braces might help you remember not to do things that cause further injury, and it might also give some more support. I'm pretty sure part of my injury was tendon strain due to the other damage. But that was secondary and not discussed much by the ortho. Tendon strain takes a long time to heal - 6 mos or so.

And ibuprofen. I took it regularly, to help with sleep, inflamation, etc. I kept track of how much. Hopefully I didn't do any/much damage. I quit the stuff completely back in March and feel a lot better since quitting.

After I was done with my MRI, and still not sure of the specifics of my injury - because it is against the rules for them to tell you anything - one of the MRI nurses told me in the hallway, out of earshot, "My Dad had a torn labrum. It is one of the most painful surgeries there is. But he's doing well now." And I'm thinking, did she just tell me that because my labrum is torn (whatever that is) and it is the most painful surgery?

Fwiw, the labrum is cartilage betwen the ball and socket. Cartilage does not heal well because it gets very little blood flow. Imagine trying to repair a damaged teflon liner to a spherical bearing/rod end joint.

In your case surgery may be mandatory or optional. It might speed up your recovery. Another thought, better to get a surgery repair at 50 or 65 than at 75. The older we get, the slower and worse we heal.

It is a miracle any of this stuff in our bodies works at all.
Ton of good info here- thanks! FWIW, my cardiologist won't let me take ibuprofen or any relative of it (like diclofenac.) Not even the rub on stuff. They come with a not insignificant heart attack risk and if you're older or have other risk factors it's probably something to avoid. That leaves acetaminophen, which isn't terribly effective and does nothing for inflammation, but it is what it is. I've actually improved a bit. Pain is down and I can shift the car, though 5th is a bit of a stretch, no pun intended. A lot of times you can skip 5th anyway. Home already has a lot of hand-holds and useful surfaces because of knee and other issues.