Torn Rotator Cuff No So Much Fun

Been dealing with a torn rotator cuff for the last 6-8 weeks. I can tell you that even though I live by Rule V ( it’s my license plate) and IWBMATTKYAT it’s been a little hard the last few week to train to finish the next month of the track racing season. I’m getting side-eye looks from the Laser Goat so gotta go…

That definitely sucks and is no fun at all.

I had an impingement/tore something in my shoulder about 11 years ago. Took me almost 6 months before deciding it wasn’t going away and I needed to get to a doctor by which time it had “healed” itself and there was no obvious sign of what I had done. It really hobbled my running, but I kept powering on through my training and multiple half marathons. And now I have a definite reduced range of mobility in that arm/shoulder.

Take good care of yourself. Don’t do too much to aggravate it while recovering. And if your PT gives you exercises to do, do them religiously. Otherwise, you could end up with some permanent reduction/impingement in your shoulder.

Thank you…I have a great PT guy and was improving until about 2 weeks ago when I must have done something to worsen it and then last Saturday I was finishing a workout (I had been able to ride and race up to that point) and dropped my chain and when I stood up the pedal dropped of course and that caused my arms to straighten and lock out to catch my body weight. Well that jammed my left arm back into the should and really worsened it. An X-ray shows no bone damage i.e. chips or fractures and now I am waiting for my referral to an ortho doc to see if we can can an mri or ultrasound to see whats really going on. I have full mobility back (it took 24 hours) but with pain when I lift and lower my arm. Going to try a very “chill” ride this morning with a buddy and see how it goes. I have been off the bike for 4 days and skipped the racing on Tuesday night. I am mentally preparing for this too take a few months and may have to just ride in my Suffer Cave for awhile.

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Ouch! That sounds like what happens to me and my back. I try to be nice to it, but then I move awkwardly just one time and BAM! I’m out of commission for a week or two.

Wishing you a quick and full recovery!

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Thanks!

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Best of luck @ScottyCycles62. I massively tore two of my rotator tendons 5 years ago. After surgery and PT, I mostly have range of motion, yet, lever strength will never be there. PT, massage and chiropractor were godsends on my recovery. Be well.

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@ScottyCycles62 I feel your pain. I’m coming up to 6 weeks post surgery for a tear of my right rotator cuff following a fall 6 weeks before the surgery (I saw someone initially, had an in-rooms ultrasound and it was thought on that to be relatively minor; an MRI 3 weeks later revealed a different story!)

It’s a long road, and as I fell and felt the “unzipping” of my dominant side rotator cuff I kept muttering to myself - with a few expletives thrown in - that I had a long road ahead. Everyone will have a slightly different path, but everyone with a significant rotator cuff injury will usually be looking at minimum 6 months but more likely 9-12 (some longer). That said it’s better than having a whole lot of alternatives and at times when I’m really feeling sorry for myself I look around me and see people with a whole lot of conditions that aren’t “fixable” - I’ll take the rotator cuff.

Other than you being on the way to see an ortho/ get an MRI which is really important - conservative management or surgery - I hope you don’t mind if I suggest the following:
Take the time you need now to care for that shoulder - rather have it right in 6 months or a year’s time than have it crook for the rest of your life.
Chances are you’re not sleeping - read up on it and find a way/position to sleep. Being unable to sleep well is almost universal with a rotator cuff tear.

Hang in there and I hope you have an answer and plan soon. If it is a significant tear chances are you’ll need a bit of time and you’ll feel pretty shitty some of that time - feel free to reach out and DM me if you want to chat to a fellow SUFferer who’s starting to see some light at the end of the tunnel.

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Thanks Craig, Yea sleeping has been a problem. I wake up every few hours to move my arm into another position. I have an appointment with the ortho doc Sept 20th (specialists always seem to be booked 4-6 weeks out) and hopefully he will request an mri as my insurance doesn’t like it when my GP tries to order one. The mobility isn’t bad today I can lift my arm above my shoulder repeatedly without only minor pain and no real sense of weakness but tomorrow is another day and it might be quite painful again. I’m being “sensible” about it right now and took 4 days off the bike including skipping Tuesday Night Racing at the Velodrome and I will skip Keirin Racing tomorrow (that’s not an easy thing to skip!) and just see how it goes from here!

The only thing I can add here, based on my own experience with a totally torn rotator cuff (along with a broken collarbone) is that pain can be your friendly guide. I moved my arm a little bit every day, a little bit past the pain point. Eventually, I got full use of my rotator cuff back.

Everybody’s experience is different depending on their injury and their body’s recovery ability. Nonetheless, I think turning pain into a positive is helpful.

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If you haven’t tried yet, try sleeping with a pillow to support your shoulder/ upper arm (if sleeping on your back the shoulder falling back causes pain) and another pillow to rest your forearm/ hand on - I put that on my belly. If you need more then create a “pillow fort” that allows you to sleep with your upper body at an incline (pillow wedge is an alternative). Take care.

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@Craig.Quarmby Sir Craig, now I know what surgery you had! So familiar injury. Mine was wearing socks on hard floors, rounding a corner too fast. My arm felt like it came out of its socket. I still do sleeper stretch even now. Best of luck on the recovery!

Thanks @RoseYarrow. So simple fall too! OUCH!!! Mine was simple slip on wet decking. Just fell wrong and knew immediately I had done something significant. Coming along but long road as you well know. I read somewhere that rehab post rotator cuff repair is more an exercise in character building than a series of physical exercises. I concur!!

While I’ve never chased a SUF badge before I thought now would be a good time to use that as motivation as I stick with low intensity workouts for now - All Inspiration. Yesterday I did Alla Vita - gee, did that put things in perspective … (I won’t spoil it if you have not done it yet). One to go …

Talking about motivation, how is your planning going for your Knighthood Quest?

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Thanks I’ll give it a try. I woke up at 4am today :frowning:

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I do not know if you would agree, but I have found that when I wake up at 4 or 5 AM, and cannot go back to sleep, I find it better to get up and get something done than lie around frustrated in bed.

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Ah yes, the quest is inching slowly. Began back with a training plan for August with yoga, weights, cycle and mental training. Will repeat that plan for a few months then head into full-on training November-ish, when gulp, winter approaches. Thanks for remembering!

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Yep. I also find that I need to get up for just a short while to get the ache from the shoulder - leaning forwards doing pendulum swings with affected arm is usually all it takes before hopping back into bed.

Sounds good. Enjoy the prep!

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