T Nation

bone spur

About a week ago i noticed a slight aching in my right shoulder as i was doing my speed sets on bench that got worse at the workout progressed so i stopped. My back and shoulder day went fine, very minor pain that i worked through but on my max effort day my shoulder began hurting more than ever. That night i went to the team trainer and he diagnosed it as a bone spur. Anyone else have one of these and what did you do for it? He told me to go see an orthopedic surgeon…

he told you to see a foot doctor for your shoulder?

podiatrist=foot doctor, orthopedic surgeon=guy who works with bones

I had the same problem and let it go for years. I tried all the “7 minute rotator cuff solution” and ART(sp?) therapy, but if you’ve got a spur it’s not going to do any good. By the time I went to the doctor, my spur had cut throw my rotator cuff (which he didn’t find out until he had started the arthoscopic surgery). Removing the spur and cleaning up the joint arthoscopicly has a short recovery time (I just had done on my right shoulder and wasn’t a big deal since you can move your arm immediately after surgery). If you let go and it cuts the rotator cuff (like I did with my left shoulder), then you’ll have to have rotator cuff reconstruction. This has an extensive recovery. My arm was strapped to my side in an imobilizer for 6 weeks. It tooks months and some pretty intensive therapy to get back the full range of motion and functionality.

My advice is get it taken care of early.

Lee

good stuff obiwan, thanks. After i did legs today i picked up a 2.5 lb plate and tried some rotator cuff exercises and they didn’t hurt at all, its just when i do pulling and pressing movements that makes it hurt. any thoughts on this?

oh guess im a moron.

Obiwan,

I had a pretty serious impingement problem starting in the spring of 2002 that ART couldn’t help. I eventually had X-rays and an MRI done, and found that I had a bone spur in my right shoulder and a minor rotator cuff (supraspinatus) tear. I stopped benching and doing shoulder work for about a year, and have recently been slowly getting back into it, after having been doing the 7-minute rotator cuff routine, which seems to have at least helped. Although my shoulder is much better than it was, and I can sleep on that side with no pain, for example, I still have to be a little careful with it.

My benching strength has been slowly going back up, and I seem to be progressing ok, provided I keep doing the rotator cuff exercises. The only direct delt work I’ve been doing is Arnold presses, though. Do you think I should still consider getting the spur shaved off? Exactly how long did it take you to get back to full activity with your shoulder after you had yours shaved off? Thanks for your help.

Damici, I’m not in a position to advise you one way or the other on the bone spur, but I can share my experience(s).

I had surgery on my left shoulder a year and a half ago; impingement syndrome, partially detached infraspinatus and suprspinatus due to a bone spur. Surgery was done, I went through rehab, and that shoulder has lived happily every after.

Due to the partially detached rotator cuff muscles, there’s no way I would have ever been completely functional without the surgery.

Lately (actually for a while) I’ve been struggling with my right shoulder. Overhead pressing and bench presses caused pain at higher weight, along with pullups and side lateral raises.

I finally got tired of working around all the upper body stuff I couldn’t do. But intead of going to a DO/surgeon this time around, I went to a physical therapist who did a full assesment, ROM, muscular balance/imbalance, etc. My pecs are/were shortened. Lats were weak compared to traps. Internal rotators were weaker than external rotators, which he said he has rarely seen (usually the other way around).

The long and the short of it is that he put together a program to correct my weaknesses, imbalances, etc., and in two weeks I can already see a difference, a reduction in pain. I do it every other day (two programs; A & B), in between CW’s ABBH. I’m bench pressing pain free again (Ya-hoo!!!) and going up in my weight.

Re the bone spur, I was told, bone spur formation is/was an arthritic response. My belief is that my form was something less than perfect (incorrect biomechanics), which is what caused the arthritic response in the first place. My plan is to go to my PT once a month to keep things moving in a positive direction and to correct any developing imbalances before they cause a problem.

Thanks Tampa-Terry. I have a feeling that that kind of rehab/balancing out business would probably help me a lot, but I literally don’t have the time to add that to my life right now. If I could, I would definately look into it, because I bet there’s “balancing” that could be done on me.

With regard to surgery, if I were to merely have the spur shaved, and not have the cuff repaired (as it might not even need it, according to my doc), how long would it be before I were lifting at full speed again? Would I be in pain for a couple days, a couple weeks, would I need someone to “babysit” me for a few days (I live alone), etc.? Thanks again for all your help.

I’d also like to hear an answer to damici’s question. It sucks because this is my first real injury in my entire lifting life and would not like to take too much time off

Damici, I started rehab at about 2 weeks (gentle ROM stuff) and started back to the gym at about 6 weeks. You need someone the day OF surgery to look out for you and get you back home. I slept on the couch for a week because that’s the only way I could get comfortable. You could probably start driving and puttering around the house a couple of days after the surgery. That’s worse case scenario because my surgery was not arthroscopic, and I had 2 RC muscles resected (reattached). Your doc may be able to give you a better idea.

Your schedule may be busy, but the stuff I do for rehab could be done in between sets, when you’d normally sit around breathing heavy, trying to recover.

Where there’s a will, there’s a way. I just don’t want to go the surgery route again if I can help it.

Best of luck to you!!!