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  • Shoulder injury advise....

    Two months ago to the day I injured my shoulder pretty bad when I fell through some rotten deck boards at home. It was two feet down to the ground and it happened fast. So fast that before I even knew what happend I was picking myself out of the hole....one leg up and one leg down, caught by my shoulder. The boards just gave way immediately, not bend and break like some will do.

    Anyway, my daughter works for a chiropractor so I went to see him for, not so much adjustment, but for PT....which he did. Helped immensly the first few days, enough that I could move my around around pretty good. He was happy with my range of motion, and because of where I was describing the pain, he really didn't think I had torn my rotator cuff. But the pain persisted. Last time seeing him, the 6th time, he said that by what I was explaining to him, that I could in fact have a small tear. He said we could go for an mri now or later. That was a couple weeks ago.

    A few days ago my daughter told the doc that I was still in pain so he put me in for the mri, but I haven't had one yet. As of the last couple days it finally seems to be getting better, albeit the fairly consistent dull ache. I've been told by many that these things can take a long, LONG time to heal, and at my age even longer. I wouldn't mind having the mri to know exactly what's going on in there, but man, at $5k, even with insurance my portion will still be about $1k to have it done!

    What I would like to know from others that have injured their shoulder, like they say, did it just take a real long time to heal, but now you're good? That, I can do, because the pain is now tolerable. Or, should I not mess around any longer and get the mri done even at that crazy price tag? I'm just fighting the mri because I really don't want to do something, at that price, that I really don't need. Especially if just means that they can't do anything but watch me slowly heal.

    Of course I realize none of you can really tell me what to do. I just wanted some input from those of you that have gone through this.

    Thanks...
    Sheep hunting...... the pain goes away, but the stupidity remains...!!!

  • #2
    Not a Doc so take this medical advice with a grain of salt. But, when I was in the service I hurt my shoulder doing bench presses,, had a MRI, even though it showed a tear,, they said this type of damage was best healed on its own. Took 6 months to a year to heal all the way.
    "I refuse to let the things I can't do stop me from doing the things I can"

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    • #3
      Thanks Steve....that's the kind of input I was hoping to get.....6 months to a year and you were what....in your 20s? So in my 60s now I can probably triple that!.....lol. I take it no lingering effects in subsequent years?
      Sheep hunting...... the pain goes away, but the stupidity remains...!!!

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      • #4
        I've dislocated both of mine. Last one was on a sheep hunt. They snap and pop at times. I went through some physical therapy which helped.

        Go to a doctor! An Ortho or a Sports Medicine doc and get a diagnosis. They will probably prescribe some physical therapy from an actual physical therapist. Like I said, the last dislocation I had, the physical therapy helped. They get in there and work muscles/tendons, etc. to loosen things up and also give specific exercises for strength, flexibility, etc.
        A gun is like a parachute. If you need one, and donít have one, youíll probably never need one again

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        • #5
          One thing you can try is to go and see a massage therapist, one that knows what they're doing. My shoulder is in bad shape and will need a replacement in the near future so mine never stops hurting but one thing that helps is to have a real massage on it. When something is injured you tend to guard it and the muscles will become incredibly tight causing pain. A good massus can release those muscles. It helps me a lot but it's not a feel good massage and isn't very enjoyable but for me is worth it.

          Sent from my SM-G950U1 using Tapatalk

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          • #6
            My husband had a fall about 4 years ago while hunting, tore his rotator cuff. MRI never done, it was physical therapy all the way. He did well.
            I have a mild, chronic rotator cuff injury, my doctor not worried about looking at MRI, says physical therapy the way to go.
            Say you get the MRI. They find a tear in your rotator cuff. Whatís the trearment? Physical therapy.
            Uncommon to have surgery anymore, unless it is a severe tear.
            if you do the MRI and they do not find a tear, whatís the treatment? Physical therapy.
            See a trend?
            luckily insurance does pay for PT in most cases.
            i am not a human doctor. Take my opinion for what itís worth.
            Go see an orthopedic doctor for a second opinion. Nothing against chiros but you need an orthopedistís or sports medicine drs opinion.
            If you are remote and will have trouble going to PT 2-3 times a week, there are some excellent online PT exercises you can follow. Just make sure you go to a respected website, preferably one from a university or associated with a hospital system.
            Order some exercise bands from Amazon.

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            • #7
              Originally posted by 0321Tony View Post
              One thing you can try is to go and see a massage therapist, one that knows what they're doing. My shoulder is in bad shape and will need a replacement in the near future so mine never stops hurting but one thing that helps is to have a real massage on it. When something is injured you tend to guard it and the muscles will become incredibly tight causing pain. A good massus can release those muscles. It helps me a lot but it's not a feel good massage and isn't very enjoyable but for me is worth it.

              Sent from my SM-G950U1 using Tapatalk
              Forgot to mention that a couple years ago I also "damaged" my left shoulder from a few long days snow plowing. I went to see the same gal that your wife and my stepdaughter went to school with....you probably know who I'm talking about, and may be the same gal you saw? She worked me over pretty good for sure. I saw her twice back then. But I ended up going to see that chiro/sports injury guy that pretty much just did deep tissue pt on me. Saw him/them for a month or so and it fixed me up. That guy has moved now but I hear is still around. May need to track him down again.

              Thanks for the input everybody....
              Sheep hunting...... the pain goes away, but the stupidity remains...!!!

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              • #8
                I have torn both of my rotator cuffs and have not needed surgery. I did therapy, swam, did acupuncture, and took time to heal both times.
                Chances are- if you have decent range of motion- it is only a small injury (which can persist for months). As others have said, it is wise to see an ortho provider and see a good physical therapist.
                I obviously can't diagnose you over the screen, but I have treated lots of shoulders and starting with an exam and PT is the best way to start (unless you can't move it much).
                An MRI is helpful for diagnosis but can be quite expensive as you said. Lots of insurance won't cover the MRI unless you do PT for 6 weeks anyway, so good place to start. There are great physical therapists all around and some specialize in sports medicine.
                If you can't get a referral to an orthopedic provider, both OPA and AFOC have walk in clinics which are hugely beneficial to avoid the ER.
                Good luck healing up and keep your elbow close to your body when lifting anything!

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                • #9
                  Originally posted by AKBEE View Post
                  I have torn both of my rotator cuffs and have not needed surgery. I did therapy, swam, did acupuncture, and took time to heal both times.
                  Chances are- if you have decent range of motion- it is only a small injury (which can persist for months). As others have said, it is wise to see an ortho provider and see a good physical therapist.
                  I obviously can't diagnose you over the screen, but I have treated lots of shoulders and starting with an exam and PT is the best way to start (unless you can't move it much).
                  An MRI is helpful for diagnosis but can be quite expensive as you said. Lots of insurance won't cover the MRI unless you do PT for 6 weeks anyway, so good place to start. There are great physical therapists all around and some specialize in sports medicine.
                  If you can't get a referral to an orthopedic provider, both OPA and AFOC have walk in clinics which are hugely beneficial to avoid the ER.
                  Good luck healing up and keep your elbow close to your body when lifting anything!
                  Thanks doc....:topjob:
                  Sheep hunting...... the pain goes away, but the stupidity remains...!!!

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                  • #10
                    Hope things heal up for you Dave. It's a bummer to have to hold back due to pain or fear of it. But give it time and baby it, and you thank yourself next fall. Get someone else to shovel your snow. If you need help, I can get some students together to come help you (they always need volunteer hours :-)

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                    • #11
                      Due to the fact that I am having my 3rd shoulder surgery tomorrow I'll chime in here. There are times when resting and physical therapy will do wonders for a shoulder injury there are also times when surgery should not be put off. I fell and injured my left shoulder and assumed that I would be able to allow it to heal and that I would be able to strengthen it back to an acceptable condition. That was not the case and looking back I sort of wish it had been a little bit more severe injury because I would have had it repaired sooner.
                      Seems I have shoulders that are problematic, that may be my issue but I I'd rather not hear of someone else suffering the way I did for 16 months before getting mine repaired. Unfortunately MRIs seem to be the best diagnostic tool.
                      Just my $0.02 I hope you have a good outcome regardless of which path you choose.

                      Sent from my Pixel using Tapatalk

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                      • #12
                        Idbuckaroo
                        Good luck with your surgery! It is usually a long recovery so now is a good time to be ready for summer. Keep your chin up!

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                        • #13
                          "Unfortunately MRIs seem to be the best diagnostic tool."

                          ^^^^This


                          Had both shoulders injured playing club football too long into my 30's.....different injuries (I think) from what the OP is describing. However, the treatment was long (6-8 months) and involved rest, regular PT, range of motion stretching, some steroidal shots, etc. FWIW, the latest one was at 39, and although there was an 8-month treatment regimen, it took about 12-14 months before it was "healed"...and that didn't / doesn't mean "as good as new".

                          ...BUT, had MRI's done after both injuries and the MRI's helped determine that surgery was not necessary and other protocols could work. I'd suggest the MRI strictly for the diagnostic certainty.....and a bit of peace of mind at least knowing what you're facing for injury/treatment.

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                          • #14
                            The best diagnostic tool is an orthopedic Doctor/PA that is properly trained. A proper history and physical exam will give you 90 percent of the information you need. The correct X-rays come next. The MRI is only needed for the insurance company in case of surgery or if history does not match the exam. I was in the medical field for 40 years so I am kind of old school. The key is to get to the right people before you spend a lot of dollars on stuff that won't help you. In general Physical Therapy is never a bad thing and most Physical therapist refer you to a surgeon if you need one. I was an Orthopedic P.A. for 20 years, I never wanted a patient to get a X-RAY or MRI before I saw them because it may not be needed and often the wrong exam was ordered. Save your money and go see an Orthopedic Doc/PA!!! He/she will get the tests they want and you really need.
                            DENNY

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                            • #15
                              What boneguy said....Beyond that, I heartily suggest that anyone with a painful old nagging injury research serrapeptase. It is 1 of a few supplements that has profoundly changed my life for the better after my 2008 spinal injury that profoundly changed my life for the worse. It's a proteolytic enzyme that is highly anti inflammatory. It digests scare tissue and excess fibrin as well as mucks out your arteries. If I ever want to remember what the bad old days were like all I have to do is not take it for a week. A year's supply costs considerably less than a single Dr. visit.

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