Suspected rotator cuff injury..

Posted , 7 users are following.

hi guys.

I'm a care assistant and my injury happened at work it's quite long winded to explain what exactly happened but it involved my arm being pulled downwards! it didn't hurt until the next evening when I tried to lay on that side in bed. however I continued to work for 2 weeks as I thought it was just a pulled muscle and would get better soon. how ever after those 2 weeks I booked a docs appointment and was told it was a suspected rotator cuff tear.

so far I have seen two doctors and the second sent me for an xray and my bones appear fine, but I understand this cant show the muscles?

I have now been signed off work for two weeks my last day sick was today but I'm going back to the doctors as I'm still in pain through certain movements and feel weakness in that arm.

obviously work cant offer me light duties due to the kind of job it is I'm just really worried about how much time I will end up being off for as I'm currently in probabtion!!

my question is how long have other people been off work for?

sorry for the long winded explanation.

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9 Replies

  • Posted

    The only way to see if you tore a ligament is with an MRI. Did you see an Orthopedic doctor? If not you should. Hopefully you just pulled something in your shoulder but without the MRI you wont know. But if you tore something and you decide to go through surgery it can be 6 months to a year to recover. If you hurt at work will work mens comp cover it? Hope this helped! Good luck.

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    • Posted

      I just saw my normal gp. I dont know how to go about seeing an orthopedic doctor?

      I would of thought a torn muscle would of healed by now considering it has been 1 month now since I done it?

      unfortunately I didn't fill out an accident form as it didnt hurt at the time and we cant back date them if that makes sense.

      thankyou for your reply

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    • Posted

      Yes, you will need to see an orthapedic specialist doctor and/or surgeon for anything related to soft tissue injury. I’m not sure if you can make an appointment with one directly, or if you will need to get a referral from a general doctor to do so. I am not living in a country that requires referrals. So I can just make an appointment with a specialist at the hospital where I am whenever I want to, but maybe things are different where you are. You will have to look into that. Also, the orthopedist will be the one to order the MRI, if you able to get one done, and the orthopedist will also be the person who will present you with the results of the MRI diagnostic test. And just to clarify, an x-ray or CT scan is only good for bones but an MRI is able to scan soft tissue. Muscles, tendons and ligaments are all soft tissue. So if you believe you have a problem with any of those types of body parts then an MRI is the only diagnostic test that can provide any sort of visual image of the actual condition.

      As for how long a sprained muscle may take to recover, it can vary. It could be a couple of weeks or maybe a couple of months, depending on the severity. But if a month has gone by, and the condition doesn’t seem to be improving at all, then it could be more than a sprain. I hope this helps. Best wishes.

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    • Posted

      I am not living in a country that requires referrals. So I can just make an appointment with a specialist at the hospital where I am whenever I want to, but maybe things are different where you are.

      Lucky you! If you don't mind, what country are you in where you don't need a referral from a primary care to see a specialist? And is your healthcare free?

      You see Rick, that's the problem in the USA. Manytimes serious issues or even suspected serious issues are ignored or under-treated by doctors , such as this case. leaving the patients such as aimee, to fend for themselves and as a result they have to come online to seek opinions from strangers.

      Can you imagine being injured and turning to someone you don't even know for expert medical opinion? Yet, that is what happens in America.

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    • Posted

      I am in Asia and the only care available to foreigners is at private hospitals. You can basically go and see any doctor you like, and from any department or specialty, and there are plenty to choose from, as long as you are able to pay either in cash or provide them with an insurance company guarantee of payment. I have private health insurance that pays for any inpatient treatment. The rest I pay for by myself and is still affordable fir most outpatient stuff. Medicine is also very inexpensive by comparison to the Western world.

      Yes, it’s a sad situation in the USA from what I’ve heard. Lots of people don’t get treated for things they need because they can’t afford the doctors or the medicine. So they go through life suffering or in pain. The other problem is many people don’t get diagnostic tests done regularly that could prevent treatable diseases from becoming life threatening if detected early. I hope things there will change in the future, but it doesn’t look too promising at this point. People in European countries are much better off with health care there. Even in the poorer ones.

      Best wishes...

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  • Posted

    As the other poster mentioned, only an MRI can show definitively if you have a rotator cuff tendon tear or not or if it’s something else. There are some tests you can do using certain movements of the shoulder to determine the likelihood of a tear, but still won’t be conclusive. Most of the self tests involve determining if there is a loss of strength and range of motion in the injured shoulder.

    There is a Useful YouTube video put up by a couple of physical therapists. The channel is called Bob and Brad and the video is called “Top 3 signs of a rotator cuff tear”. Worth a watch.

    I had a medium sized full detachment rotator cuff tendon tear and eventually had surgery after 8 months of trying to live with it. I am now about 14 months post surgery and still have a little bit of pain at times, but am nearly fully recovered. Plan on a full year for recovery from rotator cuff repair surgery in general. Also, living with the rotator cuff tear can have long term disadvantages if left unrepaired. They include muscle atrophy and permanent fat buildup and loss of strength in the shoulder and the affected rotator cuff muscle. In your case it doesn’t really sound like something you can live with though because of the pain you mentioned.

    You can also trying taking some anti-inflammatory medicine like Celebrex for 2 weeks first and see if the pain goes away. But this will only work if the pain is purely from inflammation. If you got a tear then the medicine might reduce pain, but not resolve it. Best wishes and hope you are able to get a clearer diagnosis very soon.

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  • Posted

    sorry to hear about your problem. like everyone is saying here, get MRI scan which shows all the structure of shoulder with soft tissues (tendons and ligaments) . rather than going to normal GP, try seeing sport medicine doctors as they are mainly qualified with these type of joints issues and they will refer you to Specialist if required. normal GPs are useless when it comes to joints problem. good luck.

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    • Posted

      You mentioned joints, which reminded me that it could also be an AC Joint injury and perhaps not a rotator cuff tendon tear. Ligaments are less likely to get damaged in that part of the body though. It’s mostly joints and tendons that develop issues in the shoulders or that get torn in that area. A physical therapist once told me that women who aren’t very athletic, or who don't have much upper body muscularity very often tear their rotator cuffs when they have children by quickly picking up their child (after the child has gotten heavier) and then end up tearing a rotator cuff tendon from a lack of strength. It’s those sudden movements that result in a jerking motion with force that often causes a tendon to tear. I tore mine attempting a one handed push-up, but perhaps I had some partial tearing already before the event from years of weight training.

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  • Posted

    hi again guys...

    unfortunately I live in the UK and dont have the money to go private for scans. I did see another gp today who refused to send me for an MRI or any other scan they could send me for as she 'knew' what it was and said that it's not a tear but another injury involving the rotator cuff and I'm to be off for another 2 weeks that's a month off sick from work so far and she has written to physio for me!! what I don't get is why one doctor was able to send me for an xray but this one had no options available for me! there is obviously something wrong with my shoulder so youd think they would do some more investigating? its infuriating really because she didnt even give a definite diagnosis as to the type of injury that it is just that she doesnt think it's a tear!... so now it's probably a month to wait for physio ans when I go back to work I have to be on strict light duties I dont know how I'm supposed to do that as care assistant... I'm just extremely fed up of having no definite answer.

    thankyou so much for your replies and allowing me to ramble on 😂

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