Rotator cuff tear

Discussion in 'Random Ramblings' started by EweSheep, Apr 14, 2009.

  1. EweSheep

    EweSheep Flock Mistress

    Jan 12, 2007
    Land of Lincoln
    Doc Mohammed called us this morning after reading the MRI scan that I have a tear of the rotator cuff muscle and would need to call my family doctor for follow up. He didnt not indicate any treatments or surgery but need to call my doc as soon as I can. Dr Mohammed is one of the PA doctors at a ER clinic here in town (one of those clinics that you dont need to go to the ER for a bad cold, flu coughs or anything minor that your own family doc can not be contacted). my own family doctor's nurse staff kept telling me to take Tyenol and keep increasing it up to four pills every four to six hours. Had an xray ordered from my MD and found nothing, no bone spurs or anything that would cause the pain. I dont think the nurse staff and my own family doc ever communicated with each other whats been going on. Three times I've been over to my doc's office to find out what they heard on the xray and the one gal kept saying, they havent got it and the phone call was that morning that they had the xrays in and needed to make an appt. Well i did ask for an appt but all they said you dont need an appt, just take the pain killers and continue doing your swimming at the Y. jeez, I can not swim without screaming in pain thinking it would go away like a muscle sore. So a week went by, I had enough and went to Dr Mohammed on a Saturday along with my hubby which he was coughing so bad for a week (he had brochitis). So both of us got treated that day and got MD order for MRI for my pain in joint.

    How I got the pain, it might be due to the old horse injury back in 1993 (trying to load a horse in the trailer and she bolted so fast that she yanked me off my feet in the trailer, bodily slammed my shoulder on the divider part of the tailgate and rope burns on my hands as well) OR left something heavy like a feed bag into the garbage can. I really dont know but it has been off and on since the horse accident which I was sore but not broken LOL! But never in this intesity of pain though. So it has been going on for a month and two weeks now.

    Now I am dreading to find out if it will HURT. It hurts more than it ever did and sometimes I lose sleep every night for the past month. No amount painkillers over the counter can take it away permently.

    For those who experienced it, how was it like, how long they treat you or brush you off before they found out what it really was. how was the surgery and how long would it take for you to recover back to your usual duties? I love swimming and wanted to go back swimming now but can not do any strokes except float or power walking but need to get the arms swinging!

    I looked it up on WebMD but not enough information to satisfy me.

    And I can not change doctors but I love my family doctor but its the nurse and doctor communication is what it is broken down.
  2. Rusty Hills Farm

    Rusty Hills Farm Chillin' With My Peeps

    Apr 3, 2008
    Up at the barn
    As a medical transcriptionist I do notes about this all the time. A rotator cuff tear is treated by an orthopedist and a physiatrist, rather than by a GP. Surgical repair is not always necessary. Conservative treatment is long but does work and generally means physical therapy 3 x a week for several months. Flexeril and Vicodin are generally (but not always) the drugs of choice.

    Either find yourself an orthopedist or get a referral to one.



    edited to add that if you opt for surgical repair you will still need a course of physical therapy afterwards.
    Last edited: Apr 14, 2009
  3. debilorrah

    debilorrah The Great Guru of Yap Premium Member

    First of all, go get the results from the Mohammed guy, then take them to your primary and DEMAND a referral to an Orthopedic doctor. A torn rotator cuff is extremely painful, and it will not better on it's own. You will experience massive relief after the surgery to repair it and it isn't a rough one either. If your primary doc gets to slow on getting a referral, call your member services department of your health insurance. GET IT DONE!!!! [​IMG]
  4. EweSheep

    EweSheep Flock Mistress

    Jan 12, 2007
    Land of Lincoln
    the problem with my insurance, its Medicare and All Family Care (like Medicaid but have to pay some premium deductibles to it).

    Yeah, its PAINFUL! I do not like surgery, had too many and slow recovery. I do NOT like PT, but I know its to the road of recovery but imagine the PAIN!! Give me swimming instructions and I will go thru it at my own pace!

    I am not going to drag this crap of pain any much longer, its causing me headaches big time while my body is trying to recover but can not. I told my hubby that I will go bonkers if I dont get the treatment or sleep a good eight hours without pain stabbing me everytime on the hour or minutes. Enough to drive anyone insane!

    I will call my family doctor in the morning and get the treatments I need. I am glad that Dr Mohammed had his thoughts about my nurses were saying and he said, you do not need to be IN pain, your body is telling you something IS wrong and giveing you pain killers are not the way to go if muscles are torn or something needed surgery. All the nurses doing is "masking" the problem instead of making you another appt to see if something else needed to be done instead of relying on solely on an xray.

    Pain, is what I dont need!
  5. beak

    beak On vacation

    Dec 12, 2008
    Kiowa, Colorado
    I had a torn rotator cuff. I tripped on a step and put my hand out to stop the fall. It hurt real bad at the time. Didn't go away, so after 2 weeks I went to the GP. They took x-rays and recommended cotizone. Had the cortizone and it helped a little then wore off. Got a referral to a ortho surgeon. He had an MRI done and it was a torn rotator cuff. Did vicodin waiting for the surgery for 3 weeks. Surgery took about 1 hr. They screwed the rotator cuff back in place. Gave me a nerve block so when I got out of recovery it wasn't bad at all. Next morning I got up and felt normal. 6 hours later I was in incredible pain. About 8 or 9 on a 10 scale. Took the max on percoset and it didn't touch it. Went to the emergency room and they gave me a shot of diladid which helped. My arm was useless for about 2 weeks. Like there were no muscles in it. Couldn't sleep in bed. Had to sleep in a recliner. At 2 weeks went to a physical therapy clinic 3x a week. They start out having you hold a rope in each hand that goes up over a pulley and use your good arm to pull the other up.

    The whole thing was a real blast. Took about 4 months to get back to 80% or so. 4 years later I'm at about 90%. Most people I've talked to that had the same injury get back to 70 to 95%. Depends on how much PT you do. My doctor was real happy with my range of motion. Made it sound like a lot of people don't recover that far.

    Good luck. Hopefully you can get through it with PT if the tear isn't that bad.

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