T Nation

Shoulder Injury Recovery Time, Experiences?


#1

I posted a little while ago about my shoulder injury. I’ve now been unable to workout for about 5 months and a couple weeks probably.
There are a LOT of ups and downs, it gets better, then worse, then better, and worse, weekly it seems.
But after moving, the issues flared up a little bit more, which was about a month ago, now they’re finally starting to get a little bit better again.
My goal is that, by January, I can workout with just a barbell as a form of extended physiotherapy, and go from there.
What are your experiences with recovering from an AC-joint/rotator cuff related injury? How long did it take for you guys to get back into the gym?


#2

Hey flip! I haven’t had any issues with my rotator cuff. I had both shoulder labrums repaired and my recovery was pretty quick.

Have you consulted an orthopedic surgeon? Have you had surgery?


#3

I suggest you see a good ortho. It could be an impinged nerve, a bone spur, or a torn tendon.


#4

Nope, I’ve never had surgery, but my physiotherapist and I were talking last time I was there.
We said that we should look into it if it hasn’t gotten better after like a year, which I think is still a pretty long time…


#5

You’re right, I will bring this up with the doctor I’m going to later this month, hopefully he can refer me right away.


#6

One issue that I have had is Long Thoracic Nerve Damage. Take that into account when considering surgery.


#7

Can you work through that with physiotherapy or other forms of rehabilitation?
I’m going to call the orthopedics in 2 hours when they open, hopefully I can book an appointment without being referred by a doctor first, since I have a lot of paper work to show for my injury.


#8

I don’t think that you need a referral to see a specialist. Your insurance might say you need one, but legally, I don’t think that is a requirement. It might be different where you live, though. I am trying to work through it. I can’t even see my lat. I am going to post some more videos tomorrow so you can see the issues associated with a damaged long thoracic nerve.


#9

If it’s a torn tendon, then no, you would need surgery to repair it. Tendons do not heal themselves.

FYI, I’ve had both rotator cuff tendons repaired and my info comes from the orthos I’ve seen


#10

Turns out I do have to be referred by a doctor, it’s a lot quicker then, I have an appointment the 19th, but I’ll keep calling in during the week to see if they’ve had any cancellations for an earlier appointment. Fingers crossed!

Tickletackletock: I’d appreciate that!
Is your injury a complications after a surgery?

Studhammer:
Hmmm, are there any indicators at all that would hint to a torn tendon?
I’m pretty tight in my chest and upper trap area, usually either my front or lateral delt will hurt a bit when it’s directly the shoulder, and it might go down a little bit to the bicep or triceps, it’s like a dull ache.

Ever since I moved it’s been a bit worse and more in my chest area, it’s so hard to gauge when I need to let it rest and when physiotherapy would be beneficial, I used to do my physiotherapy twice a day with pretty good success.
I’m at a loss now though and it’s very frustrating. Hope the doctor can come with some good news in a couple weeks!


#11

That stinks! I hate that you can’t do what you want… Anywho, I think you need to get an MRI to see what is going on. Only then, will you be able to make a good decision on how to move forward. Your symptoms sound a little like mine except my chest doesn’t really hurt and my bicep very rarely has a dull ache, but sometimes it does.

Good luck! I’ll get those videos up tonight.


#12

Yeah, I suggested getting an x-ray a couple months ago, but my physiotherapist said there was no need right now as it was more than like just the AC-joint and rotator cuff and it kept getting better back then.
But I’ll definitely bring it up with the doctor. I can’t wait to be done with this lol it sucks

Thank you! Alright!


#13

A couple weeks ago I went to the doctor, he gave me a strong anti inflammatory cream to put on twice a day for a month, so far I do feel a lot better and have made a lot of progress. I’m not sure if it has to do with the cream or what.

I’ve been able to up my physiotherapy to doing extremely light compound lifts 3 times a week, I’m really happy about that! Things are finally starting to move in the right direction!


#14

I hope you are back better than ever real soon. I was told I have a slight tear in my rotator-cuff many years ago, but I don’t think that’s was the problem. Right shoulder has never been the same and it’s been over a decade. Now I can’t do squats because my hands cannot reach the bar when it’s behind my head. If I sleep with my arm over my head it takes 10 minutes to get it back down (Painful). I’m really bummed b-cuz I’m just getting back into lifting at 59 yrs old. I suppose my point is that we should always get several opinions from physicians. Just wish I had contact with a good therapist, and hoping it’s not too late. Apologies for not have anything better to offer for your situation.


#15

Any kind of shoulder injury will be a royal pain in the arse. It took months to heal whatever it was that tore in my right side…but that’s now the good side as the left is reliably cranky.

One thing that helped - and made me stronger and leaner! - was doing antagonist work - pull-ups on press days.

But it’s a pain in the arse. Shoulder joints are incredibly complicated and there’s a lot that can go wrong.


#16

I had torn both of my labrums. I was in the same spot as you. I had surgery and it really made it better for me. Is Surgery not an option?

Edit: By same spot, I mean that I couldn’t really do a lot because I was stopped by ROM or pain.


#17

I can’t seem to find a doctor who’s worth his weight in sand. I don’t have
the funds or else I would consult someone who really knows their stuff,
like the doctors that fix up professional athletes when they get bunged up.
That just gave me an idea though, Peyton Manning sort of knows me—we talked
twice. Maybe if I could get in contact he’d help me out. He has the
connections and the money.


#18

So my current situation is this;
I am now able to do extremely light, or just an empty barbell for compound lifts. It’s obviously not enough to exhaust my muscles, but I see it as just another form of physiotherapy for now.
Still having some ups and downs but it’s definitely a huge step as far as progress goes imo.

I had an x-ray done last Wednesday, if I haven’t heard anything tomorrow, I’ll call them after lunch. I doubt they’ll find anything though since there hasn’t been any trauma to my shoulder.
But who knows, hopefully he’ll at least send me over to the orthopedics this time!