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Old 17-11-2011, 12:04   #31
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Re: Rotator Cuff Tear - Now What ?!

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Originally Posted by Southern Star View Post
Macbeth, I had a partial rotator cuff tear several years ago. It was, as you are aware, extremely painful - I couldn't even swim without significant pain. I chose not to have surgery, started on some physio therapy and avoided strenuous use of my right arm. In terms of starting your outboard, use your left arm. The same for sheets and halyards - reverse your usual procedure. Yes, it is awkward, but not impossible. In time it will heal sufficiently that you will be able to revert to right-handedness.

Good luck!

Brad
A partial tear will heal, but with a full tear it's less likely . I had a completely detached supraspinatus tendon. Without surgery I wouldn't have been able to lift my elbow away from my side. Ever.

The recovery - 12 months of physiotherapy - was no fun whatsoever, but worth it.
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Old 17-11-2011, 12:05   #32
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Re: Rotator Cuff Tear - Now What ?!

Macbeth,
In my former occupation - shipyard steelworker - I tore up my tendons in both arms & shoulders. In 2007, my right arm was the worst from swinging a 12lb sledge for about 3 weeks straight. I'm left handed, so I took the summer off, then "sucked it up" & kept going. By the end of 2007 both shoulders were toast, started taking more days off to rest them. In May, 2008, I reached a point where I couldn't lift my arms above my belt-line without severe pain & had to stop work. Worker's comp has been a nightmare since then & they made me have surgury on my left shoulder & bicep(shredded) in Dec/2009. The orthroscopic surgery only made the shoulder worse & I also ended up with 1/2 of a bicep - biceps long is detached("popeye" syndrome). Still, the spirit is willing, so here we are in Ensenada, heading south. The trip from L.A. was painful, rowing the dinghy is painful, but I pop tylenol3 & keep going. Sorry for the long story, just wanted to give you another perspective. As others are saying, do what you can to make things easier; if you can't pull the cord on the outboard you need an electric start or electric motor, use your winches when you can - don't know how I'll hand-over-hand my anchor rode going down south but will manage somehow - use blocks to increase your leverage & try not to put yourself into a situation you can't handle. You'll find that you start compensating with other muscles & joints & that'll create other issues, as it did for me. Before you jump into physio you need 6-8 weeks, minimum, of complete rest. Best of luck with this, I know it sucks, but it could always be worse.
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Old 17-11-2011, 12:06   #33
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Re: Rotator cuff tear - now what ??!!

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Electric start, but surely you knew that.
The electric start works for us ... plus, our dinghy is always dry! (i.e., small starter battery fits under the seat or in the corner & don't forget to install that tiny bilge pump )
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Old 17-11-2011, 18:11   #34
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Re: Rotator Cuff Tear - Now What ?!

I had shoulder replacement surgery and it was dramatic the next few months. Range of motion was slow in coming back, strength was slow in coming back. It was important to rehabilitate and follow their advice. I ended up rowing a bit and thought, well if I can row and drive and do everything else, why do I need anymore PT? It worked out OK, but I should have continued the PT. They build you up beyond what you think is necessary so that you are capable even after your shoulder or arm regress due to no PT. Now I don't even think about my surgery, but when I go through an airport...
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Old 17-11-2011, 19:36   #35
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Re: Rotator Cuff Tear - Now What ?!

I took Ibuphofin twice a day for one year. 800mg morning and night. Have gained full use now. If it hurts don't do it....Michael..
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Old 17-11-2011, 20:11   #36
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Use a drill undo the pull cord there. Should be a 22 mm socket conect them and you have electric start
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Old 17-11-2011, 20:14   #37
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Re: Rotator Cuff Tear - Now What ?!

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I've completely torn my rotator cuff, so that even if I do get it fixed with surgery, I probably should never again pull a cord on an outboard motor.

I currently have an 8' inflatable with a 2 stroke 4HP OB which we use occasionally to mostly take the dog to shore. It's a beast to start, probably contributed to my shoulder problem.

The question is: Now what do we do in the future ?

Any suggestions would be appreciated before next summer. Thanks.

Sell that outboard and get one with an electric start.
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Old 17-11-2011, 20:33   #38
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Re: Rotator Cuff Tear - Now What ?!

I tore my rotator cuff a couple of years ago and I've also herniated discs in my back (in addition to other lower back problems). It might seem counter productive but a solid weight training regiment will really help you. I have zero body pains any more and I'm in much better shape. I'd start here:

Amazon.com: Starting Strength (2nd edition) (9780976805427): Mark Rippetoe, Lon Kilgore: Books

One of the most important things I've learned in fitness is that the human body evolved by repairing and fixing itself under stress. Minus the first couple of days following an injury, every human being for millions of years needed to keep walking/running/lifting/throwing/bending no matter what happened, so our bodies heal faster when you stress them correctly. That of course is in addition to the obvious injury prevention and health aspects of increased muscular power and endurance.
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Old 18-11-2011, 16:02   #39
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Re: Rotator Cuff Tear - Now What ?!

I tore my rotator cuff in two places. Hiking accident. My experience was similar to the ones reported here: long, painful rehab after surgery and my sholulder was still not 100% after several years. Now I have full range of motion, but it still hurts from time to time. Fortunately it was my left shoulder and I'm right handed.

I agree with Rebel Heart. Weight training really helps. So does swimming, but you needc to wait for the Dr. to give the go ahead before doing the crawl.
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Old 18-11-2011, 18:58   #40
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Re: Rotator Cuff Tear - Now What ?!

Get the surgery done and so give up boating for a year and friends that had it done say it's the best thing they ever did and they can now plat tennis and golf after less than a year PT.
I had the surgery this past August and yes it is hell of 4 weeks of sleeping in a recliner and pain killers but it got better 4 weeks after surgery but now more than 10 weeks it hurts again and only 75% motion but don't use pain killers every day,4 screws were put into my shoulder.
I am 65 and a close women friend had it done in May and she was not happy until just last week she Kayaked for 2 days and no pain so yes it will take a slow long time to feel better.
Nick
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Old 18-11-2011, 19:14   #41
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Re: Rotator Cuff Tear - Now What ?!

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Just got home from my Physio for the same problem. Only thing I would add is, don't ask a surgeon if surgery is required.
*****Bingo******

Been there done that. Just don't be real quick to opt. for the knife. It also took me 2 years to recover from that but did it with exercise. I've known too many folks that have gotten talked into surgery and have little to show for it.
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Old 19-11-2011, 02:49   #42
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Re: Rotator Cuff Tear - Now What ?!

I here you yes the knife is not always best,Good Luck
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Old 19-11-2011, 09:57   #43
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Re: Rotator Cuff Tear - Now What ?!

Well, for a torn rotator cuff the surgery, which in my case was arthroscopic, is almost always the best choice. The tear won't heal by itself.
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Old 19-11-2011, 10:33   #44
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Re: Rotator Cuff Tear - Now What ?!

My MRI said I had a bad tare and only surgery would get it back and after talking freinds that did it and said it did get better after a year and so I did not wait.
I am waiting to see what happens after 4 months at this point and not getting any younger so wanted to keep enjoying retired with out giving up doing sailing,Kayaking,tennis and staying active.
I am keeping my fingers crossed after 6 months it should be much better and another 6 months even better and all good hoping for the best out come.
Nick
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Old 19-11-2011, 13:19   #45
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Re: Rotator Cuff Tear - Now What ?!

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Well, for a torn rotator cuff the surgery, which in my case was arthroscopic, is almost always the best choice. The tear won't heal by itself.
The assembly consists of what?--5 muscles IIRC. Depends on were the damage is. I guess. And of course, the surgeon's ability.
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