T Nation

Ouch! What Could Have Torn?

riding my bike to work the other day i clipped a rear view mirror with my handlebar at a pretty good speed. My arm stayed in the same place most likely slightly extended while my body continued to fly forward. i am pretty sure i felt a something tear in my left rear deltoid/upper back area as i immediatly ducked onto my right side before i hit the floor as to not do any more damage (i have gotten good at crashing over the years :).

I stood up and immediatly thought to myslef; "oh man, i just tore my rotator cuff. I was able to abduct my arm to the side, get it behind my back and rotate it internally and externally but raising anteriorly ablove shoulder level was not going to happen. i made a sling, popped some advil got some frozen veggies on that sucka and hit the ER.

no fractures or dislocations (which i could have told them) and i was luckt enought to see a specialist the same day. he said it was pretty hard to tell what might me wrong since the injury just occurred that morning and any ROM test would be hard to gauge considering the inflammation present.

He said a RC tear was slim, most likely a strain, although he did not seem to really wat to investigate as to what execatly may have been damged as it related to my description of the crash, what i felt upon impact and immediatley after it he threw in a posible labrum tear but did not elaborate on whether it could be posterior, anterior etc. he said he would have not evn have bothered with and MRI (hope he is right) at this point but since i came down we schedualed one for Friday.

So here i sit, unable to move my left arm and trying to get a better understanding of the muscles/tendons invovled and what may be damaged. Considering the impact most closely resembled,say, going to low on a dip too fast what could most likely be going on? Has anyone had a similar experience getting hurt like this?

Could you tweak your shoulder to the point where you must immobilze it but NOT have torn anything?
I have been icing it routine kyand taking some anti-inflammatories since yesterday middaay in hoped of avoding further damage.
Any thoughts are appreciated and sorry for any typos

I had a severe shoulder injury after a high speed mountain bike crash. It took a long time to heal, and for a long time afterward I was convince I tore my rotator cuff. For almost a week afterward I could hardly move my shoulder at all.

After ample rest and proper rehab (weeks to months), I eventually got myself back to 100% ROM and am stronger than ever in my shoulders.

It is entirely possible that you just sprained or strained something and will eventually return to full functionality.

An MRI is probably premature at this point, but it won’t harm you in any way. I think the most important thing for you is to be patient, give things time to heal, and take it slow at the beginning.

If you’ve seen a specialist (who I hope is an MD or DO orthopedic surgeon), you’re in good hands.

I’ve been down that road before, and everything turned out fine in the end without any tears and no surgery required. Let’s hope the same holds true for you!