Rotator cuff tear.

General discussions about getting and staying fit that don't relate directly to your indoor rower
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iron1200!
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Rotator cuff tear.

Post by iron1200! » March 7th, 2023, 9:12 am

Been rowing with a rotator cuff tear for several weeks now. Actually rowing is one activity that does not seem to aggravate this. Anyone with experience with this type of injury and rowing? Wondering if I should continue as long as it doesn't aggravate the shoulder at all.

Dangerscouse
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Re: Rotator cuff tear.

Post by Dangerscouse » March 7th, 2023, 11:40 am

I hesitate to give medical advice, but I'd imagine that if it doesn't hurt then you'll be fine.

I slightly herniated a disc in my neck about 12 years ago when I wasn't rowing very much at all, and I found rowing didn't effect it like a lot of other movements did. So, I'm generally of the opinion that your body will not be shy in telling you if it's a bad idea.
50 HWT; 6' 4"; 1k= 3:09; 2k= 6:36; 5k= 17:19; 6k= 20:47; 10k= 35:46 30mins= 8,488m 60mins= 16,618m HM= 1:16.47; FM= 2:40:41; 50k= 3:16:09; 100k= 7:52:44; 12hrs = 153km

"You reap what you row"

Instagram: stuwenman

Tsnor
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Re: Rotator cuff tear.

Post by Tsnor » March 7th, 2023, 2:50 pm

You self diagnose or see a doctor ?

If you saw a doctor they probably suggested physical therapy. Suggest you take at least one visit there and get a plan. Have them include your rowing in the plan. Your PT plan should build the muscles you need to mitigate the tear while maintaining range of motion, etc.

Plenty of google-able resources out there, like this one "...Is the Rowing Machine Bad for the Rotator Cuff?
The quick answer is that rowing exercises are typically good for the shoulder because they increase strength around the shoulder blade, which helps stabilize the shoulder. It is important to keep the elbows down near your side when performing rows to avoid pinching the rotator cuff. Also, maintain an erect posture while using the rowing machine to avoid irritating the back and shoulders. " https://www.joionline.net/trending/cont ... 20shoulder.

If it was me, I'd be working with Doctors/PT rather than self help. Not all rotator cuff injuries heal. You don't want to experiment, you want to harvest best practices.

iron1200!
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Re: Rotator cuff tear.

Post by iron1200! » March 7th, 2023, 3:18 pm

Thanks for the replies. Yes diagnosed by doctor and start PT in two weeks. Can't repair with surgery because of a previous staph infection in that area.
Too risky for re-occurrence according to Dr. Hopefully I can use the rowing as a big part of the PT

Sandeman
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Re: Rotator cuff tear.

Post by Sandeman » March 8th, 2023, 2:38 am

iron1200! wrote:
March 7th, 2023, 3:18 pm
Thanks for the replies. Yes diagnosed by doctor and start PT in two weeks. Can't repair with surgery because of a previous staph infection in that area.
Too risky for re-occurrence according to Dr. Hopefully I can use the rowing as a big part of the PT
I read "according to Dr. Hopefully" and thought: "What a strange name for a doctor".
Took me a bit too long to realize what went wrong :mrgreen:
1976 male from the Netherlands; 1m98 , 110kg, started RowErging in 03/2022
PB's: 100m=0:18.6, 500m=1:44.3; 1k=3:51.6, 2k=8:01.8, 5k=21:29.3, 6k=26:29.0, 10k=42:44.6, 30min=7,022m, 60min=13,304m (latest improvement in bold)

Dangerscouse
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Re: Rotator cuff tear.

Post by Dangerscouse » March 8th, 2023, 4:07 am

Sandeman wrote:
March 8th, 2023, 2:38 am
I read "according to Dr. Hopefully" and thought: "What a strange name for a doctor".
Took me a bit too long to realize what went wrong :mrgreen:
Hahaha
50 HWT; 6' 4"; 1k= 3:09; 2k= 6:36; 5k= 17:19; 6k= 20:47; 10k= 35:46 30mins= 8,488m 60mins= 16,618m HM= 1:16.47; FM= 2:40:41; 50k= 3:16:09; 100k= 7:52:44; 12hrs = 153km

"You reap what you row"

Instagram: stuwenman

Cyclist2
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Re: Rotator cuff tear.

Post by Cyclist2 » March 8th, 2023, 10:48 pm

iron1200! wrote:
March 7th, 2023, 9:12 am
Anyone with experience with this type of injury and rowing?
I'm into month 5 of rotator cuff surgery recovery and PT. This is my second shoulder, the other one was exactly the same and got repaired two years ago. My shoulder is currently stiff and tight, but getting looser and stronger with the PT and I've started up slowly on the rowerg again with no pain. The two-year repair is fine, no pain, strong, and I rowed a lot both indoor and OTW before I went in for the second surgery.

You're right, the rowing didn't hurt with the tears, and I finished the Holiday Challenge with a 2cm supraspinatus tear before the first surgery. The link that Tsnor posted is good. All those exercises they list to be avoided SHOULD be avoided. My rotator cuff tears were just me wearing out but pushups were the last straw that started this whole 2+ year ordeal. I tried PT for a while but the pain never went away so I talked them into an MRI that revealed the tears.

I hope the PT helps you more than it did for me initially. As those small muscles get stronger with the PT, the pain should subside. Best of luck.
Mark Underwood. Rower first, cyclist too.

mtabereaux
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Re: Rotator cuff tear.

Post by mtabereaux » March 9th, 2023, 6:53 pm

I started having severe pain in shoulder about 7 weeks ago..subsequent f/u with p.t. with no relief ...just had an mri which revealed a

"There is a focal complete tear of the distal supraspinatus tendon with thickening and increased fluid signal intensity within the tendon substance. The tendon is minimally retracted along the bursal surface. The subscapularis and infraspinatus tendons are intact."

I am super reluctant to get surgery and am wondering about the chances it will resolve without surgery. My range of motion is limited and I have pain when rowing.

Cyclist 2 can you give me a brief review of how your surgery went and recovery to date?

Thanks all!

Cyclist2
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Re: Rotator cuff tear.

Post by Cyclist2 » March 10th, 2023, 1:37 pm

mtabereaux wrote:
March 9th, 2023, 6:53 pm
I am super reluctant to get surgery and am wondering about the chances it will resolve without surgery. My range of motion is limited and I have pain when rowing.
Unfortunately, a tear can't heal on its own. It sounds like you have a pretty significant tear, with some retraction. Talk with your surgeon, but it looks like surgery is in your future, sorry. On my second shoulder, now with some experience, I asked if I could forego surgery. He said yes, but the pain would be there, my range of motion to avoid that pain would be limited, and there was a good chance the tear would get worse. I decided to go ahead, sacrifice another year with, hopefully, longer term benefits. The first shoulder feels great, and the second is progressing well.

Both tears were "partial-thickness", with some impingement and a SLAP lesion (labrum tear). You can search the myriad internet sites for all sorts of shoulder anatomy, surgery, recovery, etc. I found YouTube video journals that follow peoples' recovery for a year.

Both surgeries were arthroscopic for the tear repair, but I had a bicep tenodesis at the same time that involved an incision in my deltoid. Both surgeries went well.

The recovery takes about 6 months to get back to "functional", when the doctor usually stops prescribing PT. The actual recovery, where I felt like I was back to normal (start handling my shell and back to OTW rowing) takes about 9 months, and I kept doing my home PT routine during that time. I didn't have much post operative pain, and the pains during recovery came and went, depending on what I was doing. It is just mostly stiff and tight. Most of the early PT is stretching and mobility, with the strengthening coming midway through the program.

That's the abbreviated version, from one person. Talk with your doctor(s), scour the internet, get as much information as you can. You'll figure out what is best for you. Good luck!
Mark Underwood. Rower first, cyclist too.

mtabereaux
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Re: Rotator cuff tear.

Post by mtabereaux » March 11th, 2023, 1:43 am

Thanks so much for the feedback Cyclist2... Glad to hear your recovery has gone well ....and I think you're right, surgery is probably necessary.

I had a knee replacement 5 years ago that didn't go that well so I am just reluctant generally when it comes to surgery.

Hopefully this will go well and I can get back to rowing which is about all I can do with my knee issue.

Thanks again!

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