Forums General Partial Tear of Supraspinatus – Rehab Protocol

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    • #70786
      AvatarChristopher Sheehan

        I began having anterior shoulder pain on my right side about one year ago. After months of time off from heavy lifting (which caused pain) and work on mobilization (which significantly improved my range of motion), the pain persisted. I finally saw a doctor, who prescribed some PT. They had me do external rotation strengthening and stabilization exercises, but the pain did not materially improve. Finally i saw an orthopedist. Gave me a cortisone injection, which improved things, but not completely. Several months later i had another, which helped again, and also had an MRI done. MRI showed I have an undersurface partial tear of the supraspinatus. Ortho is not recommending surgery at this time, but rather waiting to see if it heals. Any advice on what I should be doing to help it heal?

      • #74104
        AvatarMatt Buchholz

          Im am sure that i will not heal by itselfe. I was in a similar situation. MRI of the shoulder are not always very meaningful. I was diagnosed to have a partial tear of the supraspinatus and the subscapularis . After wasting almost a year i went from my orthopedist to a surgeon. He recommended surgery. Surgery was 5 weeks ago. The subscapularis, supraspinatus and infraspinatus were torn. The supscapularis couldn’t be rearached. It was already too much degenerated. But this shouldn’t be that much of a problem. Rehab plan i as follows:

          Weeks 1-6: 2 hours / day of continious passiv movement shoulder machine
          Weeks 7-8: passiv PT
          Weeks 9-12: aktiv PT

          After 12 weeks i should be able to slowly and carefully start lifting again.

          I would advise you to get the opinion of a shoulder surgeon.

        • #74111

            Was the cause of the pain identified?
            The cortisone injection is a temporary fix as it goes after the symptom of pain, but doesn’t to anything to stop what is causing the pain. Without addressing the cause of the pain it will show back up.
            Has anyone addressed your technique/mechanics with movements that cause pain or impact the area?

          • #74133
            AvatarChristopher Sheehan

              Kaitlin, I am pretty sure that my pain was caused my bad position/mechanics and limited mobility. I’ve done a lot of work in those areas and improved greatly. But the damage to my supraspinatus is done at this point. The pain is caused by something as simple as lifting my arm in front of me, with or without weight.

            • #74150

                Good to hear you are seeing improvements where you have been doing work.
                The damage is done so there may be skills/elements that are no longer able to do based on the changed situation.

              • #74217
                AvatarERIC HOPKINS

                  strongly consider Prolotherapy or PRP to heal the tendon. it works without surgery. and it definitely works. will make a lot of ortho procedures obsolete. do NOT get more cortisone—it is antiquated garbage which actually can lead to more damage.

                • #74274

                  I had same issue with my right shoulder.  Docs said it was partial tear and didn’t want surgery.  So I spent a lot of time on here addressing internal rotation and has improved the majority of my pain symptoms.  It has taken a long time and I am still not 100% but I don’t have much pain.  This was back in 2010.  Nagging injuries are the most frustrating because you never seem to get the answer or fix you want.  I’d start seeing if your a 1 or 0 on internal rotation and start there. 

                • #76573
                  AvatarChris Hintz

                    I just had an MRI a few days ago and was told I have a partial tear of my supraspinatus tendon.  I haven’t seen an ortho yet, but was wondering about the reality of surgery vs exercises in terms of total healing.  I injured myself while in school for massage therapy and although it is much better than it was initially, I still have difficulty when I try to do deep tissue massages.  Just want to know the pros and cons of each, with/without surgery.  Also, can anyone give me the approximate “down time” if you do have the surgery?  Thanks

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