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Whopharded

Riding with a torn rotator cuff

23 posts in this topic

I'm riding with about a 70-80% tear in my rotator cuff (hard to tell since my last fall).  Oddly it doesn't give me a lot of pain unless I aggravate it.  I've been wearing KT tape which adds a little support.  Curious if other riders in the same situation use anything different.   Or just as curious how many other riders continue to ride even with such an injury.

Whop

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I wouldn't ride with it. If it's already 3/4 apart, it wouldn't take much at all to finish it off, then you're screwed. I know a couple guys who've had completely torn rotator cuff muscles, surgeries, etc.., neither one of them have ever gotten back to how they were before the injury. Pretty much constant lingering pain and problems with them.

I'm sure some can recover them better than others, but I wouldn't think twice about taking a month or two off to completely heal rather than risking a possibly permanent significant loss of use of that arm.

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I rode with a 15% percent rotator cuff tear. Also had a pretty good size but not a massive labral tear. I made it about a year and a half and said enough is enough. Had it fixed in February. Like you I didn't have much pain and I still had good strength in the shoulder. My problem was with it coming out of place. If I got out of shape and jerked the bars hard it would come out, didn't even had to go down. 

My suggestion is to go ahead and get it fixed. That big of a tear is probably 6 months before you are cleared to ride again. I was cleared in 4 months but I didn't have that much damage. I'm back riding the same level as before and feel great now. Surgery was not that bad. Recovery wasn't that bad either. It was a long process and I was slowly moved through the stages in PT. Well worth it in my opinion. My surgeon said we fixed it just in time and I was starting to do more damage to it the more I rode. 

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I've done both my right and last year my left side. You are going to pay dearly if you don't get appropriate care... 

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I was in a pretty gnarly accident last October, I was intentionally slammed into on the freeway by this turd in an SUV...resulted in me having to have my left shoulder replaced and I just recently found out that my rotator cuff has completely dissolved! WTF?! Orthopedic surgeon showed me the latest X-ray, and pointed that out..as far as riding goes, I just have to go easy on the dirt, which sucks, but I'm just grateful I am able to ride.

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23 hours ago, ka24s14am said:

I rode with a 15% percent rotator cuff tear. Also had a pretty good size but not a massive labral tear. I made it about a year and a half and said enough is enough. Had it fixed in February. Like you I didn't have much pain and I still had good strength in the shoulder. My problem was with it coming out of place. If I got out of shape and jerked the bars hard it would come out, didn't even had to go down. 

My suggestion is to go ahead and get it fixed. That big of a tear is probably 6 months before you are cleared to ride again. I was cleared in 4 months but I didn't have that much damage. I'm back riding the same level as before and feel great now. Surgery was not that bad. Recovery wasn't that bad either. It was a long process and I was slowly moved through the stages in PT. Well worth it in my opinion. My surgeon said we fixed it just in time and I was starting to do more damage to it the more I rode. 

Wow! So many pro-surgery suggestions but certainly convincing by almost pure majority.  I am inclined to get it fixed and take off next year.  Hate that since I'm 55 and just got back into it and just re-acquired everything...   The bike is a 2008 CRF-450R, last of it's kind so at least I don't see it dropping in value or appraisement.    I will say the last (most senior) surgeon I saw, he said "Everyone your age and older has tearing of some sorts.  I can fix you but as active as you are, avid bow hunter and down hill skier, I'm going to wreck your world in the prime time that you have left to do those things".  He said, "Go ski. Go shoot your bow and when you are at a point in your life when you are ready, come see me and I'll fix you up."  I asked him, "So I can't do any more damage to it".  He said, "You've already torn it all to shit.  You shouldn't even be able to move at all but you are that 1% that still has full capability".  It was all very encouraging but I feel that I need to rely on public ruling of those of you that have actually been there.   Only a few months left of the year.  I'll lightly trail ride here and there and schedule surgery for first thing next year.

Edited by Whopharded
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15 hours ago, OLHILLBILLY said:

I wouldn't ride with it. If it's already 3/4 apart, it wouldn't take much at all to finish it off, then you're screwed. I know a couple guys who've had completely torn rotator cuff muscles, surgeries, etc.., neither one of them have ever gotten back to how they were before the injury. Pretty much constant lingering pain and problems with them.

I'm sure some can recover them better than others, but I wouldn't think twice about taking a month or two off to completely heal rather than risking a possibly permanent significant loss of use of that arm.

This! Be smart.  Done right that injury can be re-habed much quicker than in years past, just be smart and follow the Doc and rehab protocols. I keep repeating "be smart", pay attention. Good luck.

Edited by YHGEORGE
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6 hours ago, Whopharded said:

Wow! So many pro-surgery suggestions but certainly convincing by almost pure majority.  I am inclined to get it fixed and take off next year.  Hate that since I'm 55 and just got back into it and just re-acquired everything...   The bike is a 2008 CRF-450R, last of it's kind so at least I don't see it dropping in value or appraisement.    I will saw say the last (most senior) surgeon I saw, he said "Everyone your age and older has tearing of some sorts.  I can fix you but as active as you are, avid bow hunter and down hill skier, I'm going to wreck your world in the prime time that you have left to do those things".  He said, "Go ski. Go shoot your bow and when you are at a point in your life when you are ready, come see me and I'll fix you up."  I asked him, "So I can't do any more damage to it".  He said, "You've already torn it all to shit.  You shouldn't even be able to move at all but you are that 1% that still has full capability".  It was all very encouraging but I feel that I need to rely on public ruling of those of you that have actually been there.   Only a few months left of the year.  I'll lightly trail ride here and there and schedule surgery for first thing next year.

Talk to your surgeon and see what he thinks about starting physical therapy now. It could help build the shoulder up and speed up recovery time. You might even be able to strengthen the shoulder enough to make it without surgery. I heard some horror stories about shoulder surgery before mine but I was very glad I had it done. When it is all said and done I don't think you will regret it. One think I was told was not to rush the recovery. That was the hardest part for me. At 8 weeks I probably could have really used my arm to do a lot but I didn't. I waited till 2 1/2 to 3 months before I started to use it. I hope it goes well for you

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2 hours ago, ka24s14am said:

Talk to your surgeon and see what he thinks about starting physical therapy now. It could help build the shoulder up and speed up recovery time. You might even be able to strengthen the shoulder enough to make it without surgery. I heard some horror stories about shoulder surgery before mine but I was very glad I had it done. When it is all said and done I don't think you will regret it. One think I was told was not to rush the recovery. That was the hardest part for me. At 8 weeks I probably could have really used my arm to do a lot but I didn't. I waited till 2 1/2 to 3 months before I started to use it. I hope it goes well for you

II did the physical therapy and it was a great benefit to the point that I didn't really need surgery.  It helped that the girl giving me PT was very easy on the eyes.  I just let her wrench on me all she wanted. LOL.  I can still shoot my bow and downhill ski but I got the MX fever again bad and after listening to the masses here, that may be a bit too much.   So now I'm inclined to ask you guys whom had the surgery.  What is riding like now?   Can you fall on the injury and expect it to hold within reason?

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Riding after surgery has been great. I can ride just as hard before the injury. One of my concerns was shooting a rifle. The area of repair was right where the butt sits. I was able to shot a 300 win mag no problem. My surgeon did say that my shoulder is now pretty much the same strength as my other shoulder. So if I was to have another hard crash like what damaged it before I could be right back where I was before. I still do alot of rotator work outs to prevent anymore problems

Sent from my SM-G900V using ThumperTalk mobile app

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I decided to come over here and take a look around.  Glad I did!! I've got an upcoming shoulder surgery this Winter,  and I wanted to see what everyone was saying about recovery,  rehab, and return to riding!!!

I've been living with pain for quite some time,  so that doesn't bother me,  but the thought of not riding ever again scares the Hell out of me!!!

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You want regret it. Just follow the rehab orders

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On ‎9‎/‎10‎/‎2017 at 9:27 AM, ka24s14am said:

Riding after surgery has been great. I can ride just as hard before the injury. One of my concerns was shooting a rifle. The area of repair was right where the butt sits. I was able to shot a 300 win mag no problem. My surgeon did say that my shoulder is now pretty much the same strength as my other shoulder. So if I was to have another hard crash like what damaged it before I could be right back where I was before. I still do alot of rotator work outs to prevent anymore problems

Sent from my SM-G900V using ThumperTalk mobile app
 

 

On ‎9‎/‎10‎/‎2017 at 9:27 AM, ka24s14am said:

Riding after surgery has been great. I can ride just as hard before the injury. One of my concerns was shooting a rifle. The area of repair was right where the butt sits. I was able to shot a 300 win mag no problem. My surgeon did say that my shoulder is now pretty much the same strength as my other shoulder. So if I was to have another hard crash like what damaged it before I could be right back where I was before. I still do alot of rotator work outs to prevent anymore problems

Sent from my SM-G900V using ThumperTalk mobile app
 

 

On ‎10‎/‎27‎/‎2017 at 1:59 PM, MANIAC998 said:

I decided to come over here and take a look around.  Glad I did!! I've got an upcoming shoulder surgery this Winter,  and I wanted to see what everyone was saying about recovery,  rehab, and return to riding!!!

I've been living with pain for quite some time,  so that doesn't bother me,  but the thought of not riding ever again scares the Hell out of me!!!

You may have to change some of your habits.  Sitting opposed to standing is a big help.  Bad form, but it puts most all the stress on your butt.  I only stand in the chop and on the jump faces.   I gotta say that after a day's riding everything is loosened up nicely for a couple days.  I swear the worse damage I do is working on the bike. Turning a wrench in the wrong position sends a lightning bolt and I drop the wrench into the oil pan.  I'm looking at stem cell therapy.  Insurance doesn't pick up anything but the injections but I hear great things about it.

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Going thru same thing. MRI last Jan showed 11 mm complete tear of supra spinatus muscle. That is to say the tear is all the way thru the thickness of the muscle but not all the way thru the attachment or insertion onto the humerus. I sold my bike and got PRP and stem cell injections as I could not afford the down time from surgery. Now just got another MRI last week and it does show some healing and I meet with the Ortho Doctor yesterday and he said go ahead and ride but if it hurts don't do it and if I injure it further then lets talk surgery. My fear is one bad crash and I tear thru the whole thing. My father did this 20 years ago and never got full use of his rt arm back after surgery. I am 55 and am looking at getting something light weight, not to powerful with an auto clutch. I primarily ride gnarly 2 and 3 gear single track.Which is not probably the best thing but it's what I love. My question for any Doctors here is: how reliable are the mri's? do you ever get films that say one thing but when you get in there it is complety different? 

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On ‎10‎/‎31‎/‎2017 at 6:16 AM, whatrocks said:

Going thru same thing. MRI last Jan showed 11 mm complete tear of supra spinatus muscle. That is to say the tear is all the way thru the thickness of the muscle but not all the way thru the attachment or insertion onto the humerus. I sold my bike and got PRP and stem cell injections as I could not afford the down time from surgery. Now just got another MRI last week and it does show some healing and I meet with the Ortho Doctor yesterday and he said go ahead and ride but if it hurts don't do it and if I injure it further then lets talk surgery. My fear is one bad crash and I tear thru the whole thing. My father did this 20 years ago and never got full use of his rt arm back after surgery. I am 55 and am looking at getting something light weight, not to powerful with an auto clutch. I primarily ride gnarly 2 and 3 gear single track.Which is not probably the best thing but it's what I love. My question for any Doctors here is: how reliable are the mri's? do you ever get films that say one thing but when you get in there it is complety different? 

Where did you go for stem cell treatment?  PRP so they synthesized cells from your own blood?   As for riding. There are a couple of things I've been researching.  #1 is fall technique.  I watched the Netflix program on freestyle mx (post crusty demons, enter Pastrana) paying very close attention on how these guys would fall.  Not a single one of them I saw crashed with their arms at outreach.... so they obviously have to know and prepare to avoid that.  #2 I mentioned that I sit a lot which takes a bit of the load off the shoulder but there are some stresses going on there, even so.  So I found these things on youtube and they've been out there a while called Stegz Pegz that are apparently excellent for relieving arm pump and inadvertently upper arm joint stresses.  I'm seriously considering installing these before next MX season.

I work in the field of joint replacement and other implant designs, I've been around some MRI.  The images vary some if you go through the 'vertical or stand up' methods of MRI.  In fact most Drs. stress against using them, if you are going to shop on your own, because of clarity issues.  However, MRI to MRI will vary little between prone or lateral method.  All and all, you are pretty much as the mercy of the technician whom has orders for particular image arrangements.  These guys know what they are looking for and take care to arrange the angle for the slices showing the greatest material.  So if you have your MRI done as the same place as before and more-so the same technician.... even if not, improvements should be easy to see.

Edited by Whopharded
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Stem cells were,placental good but not great but to harvest and grow your own is $17000.00 which includes 3 injections. ouch but I still spent 5000.00 on stem and prp came from my own blood. I used a company called revive but regenexx is also well known. Post mri does show some healing but not as much as was hoped for. For me it is not the fall but just the hours of punishment from technical single track. Going on my first ride this Sunday.  We will see how it goes.

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Going for my MRI Friday, then return consultation Monday. All current tests indicate I'll be needing surgery very soon. I just hope they can repair the years of abuse that I've done to her.

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Well, it seems the two Doctor's disagree on the degree of ligament/tendon tear. One says 100%, and the other claims 50%. So the way I see it, is it's probably somewhere in the middle,  75%.

Now, the one that claims 50%, he wants to do Cortisone and therapy until January,  then reevaluate. 

And seeing as how that's what Big Insurance wants 1st, that's where we start I guess.

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10 hours ago, MANIAC998 said:

Well, it seems the two Doctor's disagree on the degree of ligament/tendon tear. One says 100%, and the other claims 50%. So the way I see it, is it's probably somewhere in the middle,  75%.

Now, the one that claims 50%, he wants to do Cortisone and therapy until January,  then reevaluate. 

And seeing as how that's what Big Insurance wants 1st, that's where we start I guess.

I'm not surprised.  I'd bet Dr #1 claiming 100% torn was 50% the age of Dr #2.   The young guys look to the # of procedures they've done to up their perceived experience, so they take on every surgery they can and quite possibly at your expense.   The old guys have had time to see the renderings of their works and to evaluate the results and tradeoffs of the things they have done to people over the years.   Since you've paid for the MRI go get a third opinion and pick a surgeon whom is at least 55 years old.

I'm fairly bulky in the injured area which I'm told has had a lot to do with the success I've had letting it rebuild itself.  A frail type of person may do better to have surgery from the 'get go'. 

My injury was a year ago, almost to the date and to the same degree as you.  I went from not being able to raise my arm halfway in any direction and sleepless nights to... Sleeping all night while laying on that shoulder. Full mobility any direction.  I can even reach behind my back half way up and over the top, hang my sunglasses on the back collar of my shirt (great exercise for recovery, by the way).  Most recently I've discovered I can throw things again. 

There is yet some weakness and slight discomfort.   I'm still looking a stem cell.  It could be enough to polish things off.

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11 minutes ago, Whopharded said:

I'm not surprised.  I'd bet Dr #1 claiming 100% torn was 50% the age of Dr #2.   The young guys look to the # of procedures they've done to up their perceived experience, so they take on every surgery they can and quite possibly at your expense.   The old guys have had time to see the renderings of their works and to evaluate the results and tradeoffs of the things they have done to people over the years.   Since you've paid for the MRI go get a third opinion and pick a surgeon whom is at least 55 years old.

I'm fairly bulky in the injured area which I'm told has had a lot to do with the success I've had letting it rebuild itself.  A frail type of person may do better to have surgery from the 'get go'. 

My injury was a year ago, almost to the date and to the same degree as you.  I went from not being able to raise my arm halfway in any direction and sleepless nights to... Sleeping all night while laying on that shoulder. Full mobility any direction.  I can even reach behind my back half way up and over the top, hang my sunglasses on the back collar of my shirt (great exercise for recovery, by the way).  Most recently I've discovered I can throw things again. 

There is yet some weakness and slight discomfort.   I'm still looking a stem cell.  It could be enough to polish things off.

Jesus!!! You give me hope!!

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