Scared And Depressed: Have Torn Rotator Cuff

Lounge By handymama Updated 6 Mar 2011 , 11:57pm by pburgess68

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handymama Posted 6 Mar 2011 , 2:04pm
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Two years ago I dove in and "went professional", sinking all of my inheritance from my mother into building my bakery. It's been slow, and I'm a long way from breaking even. I've had trouble with both shoulders for awhile, but the dominant one has been getting progressively worse. I completely lost the use of it a couple of weeks ago, and the pain was bad. A few visits to a chiropractor fixed the neck/shoulder blade pain, but not the shoulder. Then I bent over to give a LIGHT pull on the top of my boot and BAM!! -- searing pain through my shoulder and upper arm. The chiropractor believes that at best I have a torn rotator cuff, and possibly ligaments and tendons, too. It aches all of the time, even with a sling, and any slight movement is painful.
So here's my question: have you been where I am and successfully recovered to decorate another day? Am I finished as a cake decorator? My only daughter's wedding is in July and I'm concerned that I won't even be able to do her cake. Right now I feel horribly useless, and so tired of hurting. I have pretty high pain tolerance and am not usually a whiner, but this has shaken me pretty bad and I actually cried myself to sleep last night.

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genevieveyum Posted 6 Mar 2011 , 2:17pm
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I am so sorry! I know what it's like to be in pain- I have had multiple surgeries on my wrists for chronic tendinitis and the recovery can feel endless. My only advice is to follow your doctor's orders to the letter and really let yourself rest and recover or you may do permanent damage. I'd also find a good osteopath- they are trained in pain management and both traditional and alternative therapies. Best of luck to you!

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allycatt Posted 6 Mar 2011 , 2:25pm
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I have been through shoulder surgery and I can tell you it is not easy. I would have a back up plan for that cake in July. My experience was after surgery to be immobilized for 1 month. Once you're sling free it takes about 3 months of physical therapy to get everything moving again. It's tough.

Maybe your experience will be different, either way I think it's going to be difficult for you to make that cake. Good luck! icon_smile.gif

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artscallion Posted 6 Mar 2011 , 2:29pm
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Originally Posted by handymama

...The chiropractor believes that at best I have a torn rotator cuff, and possibly ligaments and tendons, too...

I would see a physician who can accurately diagnose and treat your problem. It may be easily treatable. And at the least, you'll know more specifically what you're dealing with and what your options are. Hope it all works out for you.

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Price Posted 6 Mar 2011 , 2:30pm
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I had surgery on my left shoulder about 8 years ago. The rotator cuff wasn't torn, but frayed and I had bone spurs. It was out patient surgery. The most important thing after surgery is the physical threapy. Stick with it and do the exercises they give you to do. I now have full use of my shoulder. It's not a strong as it used to be. I can feel it pull if I try to carry something heavy on that side, but for the most part it's normal. Good luck to you.

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LindaF144a Posted 6 Mar 2011 , 2:32pm
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I would go to a doctor and find out what is wrong rather than a chiropractor. It sounds like they have done all they can. You need to go where they can take the proper pictures (MRI or something) to see what it wrong. But to go this long and this far without getting medical help probably made it worse.

Honestly, you may be too late for just rest and need surgery.

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handymama Posted 6 Mar 2011 , 4:29pm
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My MD is on vacation for another week, so I'm deciding whether to wait for him or go to one of his associates who have never seen me.

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Occther Posted 6 Mar 2011 , 4:46pm
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I tore my left rotator cuff about 8 years ago. I am an occupational therapist and knew that I needed to do something because it affected my work. I was lucky to go to a local orthopedic surgeon (he & his wife were great customers of my second business - my coffee shop and catering.) He managed to do the surgery all arthoscopically - only 4 holes with 8 stitches. Minimal pain afterwards but immobilized 8 weeks. I did most of my own therapy - with some help from a physical therapy friend. I have minimal residual effects. If you opt for surgery, do thorough research. Fortunately, my surgeon knew I lived alone and what kind of work that I did, so he went to the extra effort to prove that it could be done with a scope instead of the traditional (and faster) "cut open" method. Really glad I didn't wait too long because if I had, he wouldn't have been able to repair it by scope.

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pburgess68 Posted 6 Mar 2011 , 11:57pm
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Go to a real doctor, not a chiropractor for a diagnosis. I tore mine 2 years ago and at the time I didn't have health insurance (it literally lapsed right after I got the diagnosis) to take care of it. Because of this, I got "frozen shoulder". I assure you, it STINKS as it's very painful due to severe use limitations.

My dad tore his twice and had to have surgery to repair it. He said it was a painful recovery, but no where as bad as his knee replacements. All I know is, I would have preferred to have the surgery compared to living in 1 1/2 years of pain. I now have far more use of it due to intense stretching and physical therapy. It was a very very very long and horrifically (is that even a word?!) painful recovery. Don't go that route...take care of it, even if it means you can't make the cake. Your health is far more important. Good luck!!!

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