Patient Comments: Rotator Cuff - Injury

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How did you injure your rotator cuff? Submit Your Comment

Comment from: bone spur patient, 55-64 Male (Patient) Published: May 12

Physical therapy is in my experience the last treatment for bone spurs. I had rotator cuff severe pain and went through all of the steps ending with physical therapy that made it worse. I stopped physical therapy, demanded surgery to shave the bone spur and with that simple procedure ended the pain, suffering and waste of money. I was told by the surgeon that it was a good thing I stopped physical therapy for it was cutting the muscle/sheath across the rotator cuff. Physical therapy for bone spurs is good after the surgery, not before.

Comment from: Baygen, 75 or over Male (Caregiver) Published: October 13

After a fall in our kitchen floor 4/25/14 my brother (who had childhood polio) dislocated his right shoulder. After the first emergency room (ER) doctor tried to reset the shoulder twice with no luck, he was sent to another ER location and a different ER doctor was finally able to reset the shoulder and he was released wearing an immobilizer. After wearing the immobilizer a few days and seeing an orthopedic doctor he was suggested therapy. After numerous therapy sessions and not improving as the therapist said he should be, he saw another orthopedic doctor who suggested an MRI and return to him. Upon return to the last orthopedic doctor who ordered the MRI, that doctor said as per the MRI, it appeared as if the shoulder ball was jammed into the shoulder socket and the rotator cuff looked damaged beyond repair, but the doctor said the rotator cuff damage appeared to be an old injury. That's not possible because he was able to use the right shoulder/arm as he did his left with no problem before his fall. He said he would not do surgery on him for fear he wouldn't pull through. As long as he doesn't do the exercises he was given to do, he doesn't hurt even though he was given pain medicines. He's not able to use his right arm as he does his left. He can't raise it out to his right at all and when he raises it forward, he has to help with his left. He's right- handed and this has really been difficult on him as it has on me, his sister. Every doctor that sees him asks if he's getting over a stroke, and I say no, he's never had a stroke, but childhood polio which left him handicapped. He walks with the aid of a cane.

Comment from: kim, 45-54 Female (Patient) Published: February 04

I woke up (morning before 51th birthday) with sharp searing pain down left arm. I was first checked for heart attack, then follow-up with doctor, and MRI which showed partial tear and possible bicep tear. I was involved in exercise class 3 times per week, interval training with cardio and weights. I may have aggravated the rotator cuff area to the point of now having surgery.

Comment from: Fibi, 45-54 Female (Patient) Published: December 06

I went to a chiropractor for my back and he tried to sell me 10 sessions of treatments which I said no to. I also insisted I didn't want any manipulation. After 2 sessions I mentioned I had a bit of a tendonitis and he did manipulation on my shoulder. The next day I was paralyzed from neck down to my shoulder and fingers. Three months later I am still in pain and cannot use my left arm. I have had MRI scan and I have been told I have a rotator cuff injury and bursitis. I am suffering every day and my life has changed because of my injury.

Comment from: Roberto, 55-64 Female (Patient) Published: December 05

I entered a hospital for back surgery. A day later, at home, I experienced terrible pain in my left shoulder. I went to my doctor and an x-ray revealed that I had a torn rotator cuff. While in the hospital, the nurses kept giving me pain medications even when I told them I didn't need them. I feel I was somehow injured in the hospital. It took me about 9 months to recover.

Comment from: Quillinan, 65-74 Female (Patient) Published: February 07

I had a massive rotator cuff repaired using 4 anchors. The doctor was surprised that it was repaired. I was not allowed therapy for 8 weeks to avoid damage. On the 9th week when I started therapy my usual therapist with 15 years on the job was off and I got a very young inexperienced therapist. She moved my arm up almost to the top of my head and I yelled out in excruciating pain and she proceeded again. The shoulder and upper arm were swollen and bruising was extensive past my elbow. A repeat MRI revealed a tear worse than the initial tear and I was advised no surgery would help. Now I am experiencing tremors and shakes in hand severe after I do anything that requires some strength in the shoulder.

Comment from: jhc1115, 55-64 Male (Patient) Published: December 05

I had an auto accident where a car spun out of control in a snow storm and struck the tow hitch on my SUV. The next morning while getting into the car, I could not adjust the seat belt which was loose and I also noticed difficulty bending my right knee to get into the car. I saw an orthopedic surgeon about the knee and had one surgery and then a month later still another to clean an infection which lingered. I was assigned two crutches to use by the hospital physiotherapist and my left shoulder hurt badly although it was not the weak side weighing down on the crutch. After a few fumbles in getting this checked out, a pain management doctor ordered three MRIs which were done a full year after the accident and then another doctor told me I had a "full tear of the rotator cuff". It should be known that if the pain is dull or slight or, as in my case a secondary injury, it does not follow that a minor injury is being felt. I am now waiting on the auto insurer's decision on coverage for the surgery my doctor said is needed.

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Comment from: Gracie, 45-54 Female (Patient) Published: October 15

I fell off one of my horses, landing on the point of my right shoulder. Rest and gradual resumption of use seemed to take care of things. I was re-injured 18 months later when taking a kayak down from overhead storage straps and a buckle snapped. Both the injuries hurt now.

Comment from: bluesky7, 45-54 Male (Patient) Published: November 06

About sixteen years ago I was wrestling around with friends when i was thrown down on my right shoulder. I went to the hospital after not being able to sleep all night and was told that my tendons had been overextended and I would need to wear my arm in a sling for a week.

Comment from: nmurph, 45-54 Male (Patient) Published: June 05

I have both shoulders repaired. I think my right shoulder cuff was a repetitive use from years of racquetball. I can't identify what happened with the left shoulder. Both shoulders were done by the same OS. The R was done 5/07 and the left was done 12/09. The right shoulder was also operated on 12/10 for a rotator tear (my son hyper-extended it in the pool the labrum repair was far more painful but a quicker recovery to regular activities). I have two very good shoulders though the right gets sore if I throw the baseball hard for long. It doesn't trouble me enough to seek advice or treatment. The left doesn't give me any problems.

Comment from: liv2ryt, 55-64 Female (Patient) Published: September 08

Waterskiing, a year ago, the tremendous pull of the boat on an aging (60 year old) body! It seemed to heal, but in late December, I fell in slippery snow and landed on my upper spine and shoulders--and pain arrived shortly thereafter. I went to therapy, practiced the exercises given (about 6 weeks). Pain returned in the right shoulder, neck and arm. In June, I finally received 2 cortisone shots which helped for about 2-3 weeks. Pain has returned and sometimes extends to the right elbow and hand. Today I go back to my GP for suggestions as to how (or if?) to proceed.

Comment from: 65-74 Male (Patient) Published: October 10

I injured my rotator cuff lifting a wardrobe going up a flight of stairs. I was at the top and had to lift the furniture using just my right arm. Have had pain for the past 9 months.

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