Serious Rotator Cuff Injury?

Discussion in 'Health & Fitness' started by zzzbrianxxx, Jun 5, 2007.

  1. zzzbrianxxx

    zzzbrianxxx Rookie

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    I'm almost 100% certain that I have a rotator cuff injury in my left shoulder (I'm a lefty) caused by all of the tennis I play. I play about 5 times a week for my high school team and have a big serve. Lately, my serve has been off and I'm slicing the ball way too much, and I don't mean to be. It's put a lot of strain on my shoulder. The movement and flexibility is noticably different than that of my right shoulder. I wouldn't call it painful, but I would say that I can feel a hinderance.

    My question is, will rotator cuff exercises make my already injured cuff worse, or will it improve it? Also, I have no intention of quitting tennis at this point because my high school team is in the state tourney (we're going all the way, btw :) ) and I realize this will only make it worse. I of course will tone down my serve (maybe even serve underhand), but is it ok to still hit my groundstrokes with authority? How damaging would that be?
     
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  2. tennis-n-sc

    tennis-n-sc Professional

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    The only way my orthopaedic doc says the severity of a rotator cuff injury can be diagnosed is by an MRI. If you have a complete rupture, no amount of excercise or layoff will help, according to him. If you have a slight tear, which can be very painful, the excercises may help, but rest is better to complete the healing process, according to him. Mine was a complete rupture that had to be surgically repaired accompanied by major rehab time, mine was 12 months. Yours may be just swelling or bursitis or something like that. I'd see a doc.
     
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  3. zapvor

    zapvor Legend

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    ouch. you need to get it checked out. your tennis career could be on the line.
     
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  4. zzzbrianxxx

    zzzbrianxxx Rookie

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    I've continued the external/internal exercises that I've done in the past, but this time I've noticed considerable pain + impingement during the external exercises. This is bad...

    There is this..."mushy" sound when I rotate my shoulder (during this "external rotation" exercise
    HTML:
    http://www.orthoassociates.com/shoulder1.htm
    . Obviously, I already have problems with this shoulder. Should I continue these exercises? Will it hurt or help?

    There is zero pain and almost no impingement during the internal rotation exercise. What does this mean?

    And yes, I promise to see a doctor once I royally F@!# my shoulder up after this state tourney I'm in.
     
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  5. tennis-n-sc

    tennis-n-sc Professional

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    First, never seek serious medical advice from a bunch of amateur tennis players on a website.

    Second, go see a qualified doctor, preferrably a specialist.

    Third, see above. Do it now.
     
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  6. zzzbrianxxx

    zzzbrianxxx Rookie

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    well...point taken, but there are many people on this board who have experience with this exact injury and could give me useful information now before I have time to see a doc.
     
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  7. princess bossass

    princess bossass Semi-Pro

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    First, I'm not a doctor, so take anything I say like we were in a bar talking over drinks. Wait, you're in high school? Like we're at Dairy Queen talking over slushies.

    Second, go to the doctor. Rotator cuff injuries can become permanent issues that can end your love affair with tennis. Ask any swimmer, pitcher, paddler, or other athlete who's injured theirs.

    Third, I had a noisy shoulder that caused pain on my serve for a while too, and my doctor said I needed lathroscopic surgery to remove the tissue that had built up around my joint--a nice slurry of cartilage, bone fragments, etc. I never got the surgery, and the pain comes in several-month stretches and disappears completely in others, but the junk in there remains. If the same kind of thing is causing the noise in your shoulder, it's possible that the pain will come and go--when the junk gets into a location that causes you pain, it will hurt, then it will stop hurting for a while, etc. The problem can't be solved by any amount of training or rehab, though--only surgery is a permanent fix.

    However, that "mushy sounds" sounds much scarier than the snap-crackle-pop I had going on. Go. To. Doctor.
     
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  8. tennis-n-sc

    tennis-n-sc Professional

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    That's true and I'm one of them. And my advice is go to the doc, quickly. Of course, you can stay around here and wait until someone tells you what you want to hear. Good luck.
     
    #8
  9. RedKat

    RedKat Rookie

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    Go see the doctor. And preferentially a shoulder specialist. I have had a similar problem. In my case it turned to be the labrum, a sort of cartilage cup that holds the bone head. It was torn from the shoulder blade. There was no other option but to have it surgically repaired. Rehab took me about 9 months. Hopefully you have only inflammation of the rotator and PT will help. You should definitely stop playing now. Otherwise, it may get much worse
     
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  10. richw76

    richw76 Rookie

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    I'd say like EVERYONE else said go to the doctor ASAP. If it's not serious you'll know your not hurting yourself too much and you cna just work through the pain. Or else you'll be so distracted you'll probably lose all your matches anyway. Not trying to be a jerk but it's true. If it IS serious you need to talk to your parents, and figure out what's best for you in the long term.

    I mean if you are a senior, and not playing in college, and you're willing to risk an extended recovery go for it, but atleast know the facts.

    I injured my rotator cuff a few years back. It was a very slight tear, but still hurt significantly. Turned out I could have had surgery but didn't need it. I'm good as new now but it took every second of 6 months before I could raise my arm over my head with out pain, let alone play tennis.
     
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  11. Forehand Forever

    Forehand Forever Professional

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    GO UNDERHAND! I used underhand for my high school season this year and I think I had a winning record playing at #2 singles. Hopefully my next 3 years will be overhand this year (freshman) will be my last year serving underhand.
     
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  12. zzzbrianxxx

    zzzbrianxxx Rookie

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    Unfortunately you can't serve underhand and hope to win in a state tourney.
     
    #12

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