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Discussion: Rotator Cuff Advice

Posted Discussion
Jan. 11, 2012
Larry S
44 posts
Rotator Cuff Advice
Right arm pain since last July 7 games in Dalton. MRI in Mid Dec. Official results: partial thickness tearing involving the supraspinstus, infraspinatus and subscapularis tendons (3 of the 4 rotator cuff tendons). prominent biceps tendinopathy (chronic tendonitis with scarring) without tearing.
Had arm physical therapy. 1st steroid shot lasted 10 days. Last week shot lasted 6 days. Blue pills no help. Dr has me on lite exercise with hopes steroid shot & exercise will ease pain with operation final choice. I am 69 yrs old outfielder & don't need sling shot arm. Want to play into 80's. Do I keep exercising & hoping pain will subside to livable, or get operation??
Jan. 11, 2012
Men's 70
499 posts
Having gone through rotator cuff surgery twice (once right, once left), I can tell you that it is possible to get good results from the surgery if you get a good therapist and convince him/her that you want to return to your sports activities at a high level. I found that, long term, surgery was the answer for me.

That being said, if you do the surgery now, count on missing most of the coming season. When I had my right shoulder (throwing arm) done at age 55, I had the Surgery on 12/31 and played a tournament in mid-June. It took a full year to get my arm back to it's previous strength, however. The left shoulder was done (at age 66) in January and I played in mid-August.

I think the rehab and recovery on the second one may have been a little harder, but then I was 11 years older.

If you can stand the pain, my suggestion would be to ask the doc if you're going to do any more damage by playing with it this year. If not, enjoy the season and get your surgery scheduled as soon as possible after the season.

Jan. 11, 2012
277 posts

Had it both ways. Three years ago had my right shoulder tendon (throwing arm) diagnosed at 80% due to fraying (result I guess of over 3,000 softball games since I was 15).

Went with therapy on that one. Had to alter my throwing to more of a sidearm or 3/4 which meant no more outfield play. Forgot to mention I'm 72 and still playing with no pain.

Last April I dove for a ball and felt pain in my left shoulder but didn't think much more about it. However, after being able to hit the ball 290-310 on a good swing, it was now 250-260. Thought it must be in my swing but never got the pop back. Lived on advil the rest of the year also...lots of pain in the morning.

Finished the season in September and had an MRI...result two of the four tendons out of the rotato were completely severed.

With severed tendons you have no choice, needed an operation to have them repaired if I wanted to continue playing softball.

Operation was a 3 1/2 job in October and am now going through therapy and expect to be playing again in April (according to my surgeon).

Would vote for the surgery for you and with therapy you could make it back by JUNE. Really think that is the way to go.

Anyway good luck

Jan. 11, 2012
Easy E
Men's 55
45 posts
I had the same problem that you had but I didn't get any treatment and tried to be careful for about a year. I went back to mr Dr. this past Oct. to set up for the surgery. I got my surgery on Dec 22nd. I would advise you not to wait because you can have more damage there than the MRI shows. In my case it showed just the small tear in one tendon, but after he got in there my rotator had pushed into my labrum and it was frayed. I'm glad now that I got the surgery, but I won't start anr thearpy until Feb. I'm only 56yrs so I hope that I'll be back without any problems. Good luck with your decision because it's yours to make.

Eric Overstreet-DoublePlay 55's.
Jan. 11, 2012
Men's 70
291 posts
Was diagnosed with a 90% rotator cuff tear, a slight tear in the labrum, and a bone spur that was irritating the area ... Dr. advised surgery ... Went to a physical therapist ... Played all last year with no pain ... I continue to perform my PT exercises to this day.
Jan. 11, 2012
425 posts
Wow you guys must have great surgeons, granted I had a complete tear...Took me at least a entire year to be able to throw with any strength and probably two years to fully recover. My arm never got to full strength but strong enough to make most throws from the six hole. Another thing is the accuracy of the throws took sometime also. I still have some discomfort but I can deal with it. Good luck.
Jan. 11, 2012
277 posts
I'll tell you why my surgeon is so of the players on our team is the biggest malpractice lawyer in this area.

If anybody on our team has to see a heart doctor or surgeon, he always says, "Check with me first because I sue all the quacks, so I know who the good ones are."

So we all go to the same surgeon and heart doctor he goes pretty good

Jan. 11, 2012
mad dog
Men's 65
4153 posts
had mine left rotator(complete tear) done back in feb 98,was able to swing a bat(right handed batter) by july.didn't get all my power back for about a year tho.i can put my arm all the way up,but at times it seems to only want to go up(above the head) in just doesn't go up automatically at times.i would get the surgery if it feels that bad.

i was in therapy 3 days after surgery also(to make sure there would be no adhesion's from surgery),therapist assisted only tho.i wasn't allowed to move it on my own for about 3 weeks or better,they didn't want me popping stitches inside like i did the first time the doc cut me(popped them 5 days after being done)he wasn't to happy with me,yes i had to have mine done twice.
Jan. 12, 2012
266 posts
I have had both shoulders fixed (complete tears) one shoulder one year and then the other the next and never missed a game.
I scheduled it for the monday after the Nationals in Sept and was back on the field playing in March two years in a row.
I pitch so it was easier to come back faster but I had no pain whatsoever when I came back.
I worked extra hard at home with theraphy and puched recover as hard as I could.
It was probably a full year before I had all the strength back, but I only had to throw it from the mound to first so it didn't effect me any.
If you can take shots and get you through the year, just plan it right after nationals and maybe you wont miss much the next year.
Brett Cooper
Jan. 12, 2012
Men's 65
2237 posts
I have had partial tears twice in my throwing arm-once so bad I could not throw the ball 10 feet and both times ultrasound from my chiropractor worked and healed it without surgery. I would suggest trying that first.
Jan. 12, 2012
24 posts
I fell off a roof 6/27/11 and crushed my right shoulder among other injuries.Throwing shoulder was so bad bone needed to be removed as well as some muscle,all ligaments and tendons were so severely tore-mashed surgeon did the best they could to fix.I was told I would never raise my arm above my head let alone throw a ball.Well worst thing to tell a diehard baller is he can't.Went to Winter Worlds with new team(Metro All Stars)in November and managed to get in 5 ABS.I started throwing last month and feel I'll be playing the field come WTOC in Tampa.Just remember work hard and pain don't hurt!
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