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Torn Rotator Cuff #1227725
07/06/09 01:09 PM
07/06/09 01:09 PM
Joined: Aug 2005
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SC Mountains
-Frycek Offline OP
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Anyone have any experience with this? Apparently I have one.


Slow down and do it right.
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Re: Torn Rotator Cuff [Re: -Frycek] #1227729
07/06/09 01:18 PM
07/06/09 01:18 PM
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Oakland
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BDB Offline
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Well, there goes your career as a major league pitcher!


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Re: Torn Rotator Cuff [Re: BDB] #1227746
07/06/09 01:53 PM
07/06/09 01:53 PM
Joined: Mar 2005
Posts: 2,047
Minneapolis, Minnesota
tomasino Offline
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I don't know for sure that my rotator cuff was "torn," but I did have difficulty with it about five years ago. I found myself unable to lift my left arm much above my head. As a practical matter, I was unable to use my left arm to remove luggage from the compartments in an airplane. It didn't get to the point of affecting piano playing.

The doctor prescribed physical therapy. I went for a half an hour twice a month for six months. I was given exercises to do every day, which took about a half an hour. My shoulder got better and better. At the end of the physical therapy, I was given four exercises to do every day, which takes less than ten minutes. my shoulder has been fine ever since.

So if the damage hasn't gone too far, I think you can overcome it without much difficulty.

Tomasino




"Whatsoever thy hand findeth to do, do so with all thy might." Ecclesiastes 9:10

Re: Torn Rotator Cuff [Re: tomasino] #1227778
07/06/09 02:50 PM
07/06/09 02:50 PM
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SC Mountains
-Frycek Offline OP
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I hope I have your same experience. I apparently haven't lost any mobility. It's just very painful. I don't like the idea of surgery. I'm supposed to be evaulated for physical therapy later this week. So far it hasn't affected my playing.


Slow down and do it right.
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Re: Torn Rotator Cuff [Re: -Frycek] #1227793
07/06/09 03:43 PM
07/06/09 03:43 PM
Joined: Oct 2008
Posts: 4,811
San Jose, CA
Jeff Clef Offline
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I'm sorry about your pain, Frycek--- that alone can affect playing and a lot of other things. But what you report is very hopeful: you've seen the doc, they're trying PT first which means, for one thing, they think it could help, and for another, they're not rushing you into surgery.

But if it comes to that, the outcomes are very good, and the surgical procedures have gotten a lot better.

I've enjoyed your posts on the Chopin thread. Best wishes on your recovery.


Clef

Re: Torn Rotator Cuff [Re: -Frycek] #1227812
07/06/09 04:40 PM
07/06/09 04:40 PM
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ecthelion Offline
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Yiikes.

Rotator cuff injury was a particularly painful time of my life. Was pretty severe, and took about 7 months till I could use my right arm with confidence for everyday activities like brushing my teeth.

I couldn't raise my arm above shoulder level, even to flip switches.

However it won't affect your playing if the piano is at a slightly low position. Jumps may be slightly hard if your shoulder is the same state was mine was.

I doubt you could get it playing the piano. You probably play basketball (like I did) or baseball or you must be really old.

EDIT: The pain, excruciating though it may be, goes in a week or two.

Last edited by ecthelion; 07/06/09 04:41 PM.
Re: Torn Rotator Cuff [Re: Jeff Clef] #1227844
07/06/09 06:30 PM
07/06/09 06:30 PM
Joined: May 2007
Posts: 6,232
Down Under
currawong Offline
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Frycek, sorry to hear this. But I think what Jeff says is worth repeating.
Originally Posted by Jeff Clef
But what you report is very hopeful: you've seen the doc, they're trying PT first which means, for one thing, they think it could help, and for another, they're not rushing you into surgery.

Two of my friends have recently had to deal with this, and have had surgery. Both report that it wasn't as bad as they'd thought, and one (18 months on) raves about the difference it's made to her life (for the better smile ). Best wishes to you.


Du holde Kunst...
Re: Torn Rotator Cuff [Re: currawong] #1227877
07/06/09 07:41 PM
07/06/09 07:41 PM
Joined: Dec 2001
Posts: 3,918
Chicago, IL USA
Palindrome Offline
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I had a tear in my left rotator cuff requiring surgical repair. It's perfect now.

My main problem was that I'd wake up in the morning with pain in the left shoulder, and be unable to move it myself, having to put my body in a position to get gravity to pull the arm down into a more comfortable place. I went on with that for years, thinking it was normal aging. My orthopod had to put in an anchor to tie down some wayward muscle, and the arm was totally unable to abduct for a month, when I started physical therapy. But, as I said, it's fixed.

There are 4 muscles in the rotator cuff, and the remedy needed will depend upon the muscle damaged, as well as the degree of damage, but I know very little about the problem. I wil say, though, that it had no effect on my piano playing which was just as bad after the repair as before.


There is no end of learning. -Robert Schumann Rules for Young Musicians
Re: Torn Rotator Cuff [Re: Palindrome] #1227894
07/06/09 08:22 PM
07/06/09 08:22 PM
Joined: Apr 2007
Posts: 16,642
Boynton Beach, FL
Morodiene Offline
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Also consider visiting the chiropractor as well. They can do things that can help the healing faster like ultrasound or electrical muscle stimulation and massage therapy.


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Re: Torn Rotator Cuff [Re: tomasino] #1227934
07/06/09 09:46 PM
07/06/09 09:46 PM
Joined: Nov 2007
Posts: 9,063
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wr Offline
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Originally Posted by tomasino
I don't know for sure that my rotator cuff was "torn," but I did have difficulty with it about five years ago. I found myself unable to lift my left arm much above my head. As a practical matter, I was unable to use my left arm to remove luggage from the compartments in an airplane. It didn't get to the point of affecting piano playing.

The doctor prescribed physical therapy. I went for a half an hour twice a month for six months. I was given exercises to do every day, which took about a half an hour. My shoulder got better and better. At the end of the physical therapy, I was given four exercises to do every day, which takes less than ten minutes. my shoulder has been fine ever since.

So if the damage hasn't gone too far, I think you can overcome it without much difficulty.




This sounds a lot like adhesive capsulitis, also known as "frozen shoulder".


Re: Torn Rotator Cuff [Re: wr] #1227986
07/07/09 03:27 AM
07/07/09 03:27 AM
Joined: Dec 2007
Posts: 1,443
Land of Enchantment
Elene Offline
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Gosh, Frycek, what next? Which muscle of the rotator cuff? Was there an obvious injury or did it just creep up gradually?

I hope you get a good PT. If so there should be a good deal that they can do. I have had some patients get aggravations of their pain by overenthusiastic PTs who prescribed aggressive exercises, so use your judgment.

Of course you should get acupuncture, but I don't know if you have it available. I wonder if there is an osteopath who does manipulations in your area, or a good chiropractor who avoids high-force adjustments and pays attention to soft tissue. And as Morodiene said, electrical stimulation or ultrasound may be helpful; they are likely to do these things at PT.

You may benefit by getting the book "Pain Free" by Pete Egoscue, which explains a lot about muscle imbalances, how we get these injuries, and what to do.

Elene

Re: Torn Rotator Cuff [Re: Elene] #1227997
07/07/09 04:51 AM
07/07/09 04:51 AM
Joined: Aug 2006
Posts: 45
Melbourne, Australia
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PlayWellOneDay Offline
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I'm a little puzzled by mention of muscles here. Torn muscles in various parts of the body are common in physically active people and generally heal in a week or so - provided they are exercised.

My tear was to the cartilage/tendons and those heal slowly. This was before the laser surgery became available. Although physiotherapy was offered I could not fit it into my schedule. I joined the gym and strengthened the muscles, which helped to support the joint. I also swam daily for two years and carried on with my normal endurance sporting activities.

So it is possible to fix it without surgery, but I was and remain very physically active. It may or may not be possible for the average person. It may or may not come back as a problem for me if I get too old and frail to exercise as I do.

Based on my own need to lay off using computers for six weeks (my job involved heavy use of them) I would say you will need to avoid the piano for some time. The fact that the keyboard height cannot be adjusted may be a problem.

Re: Torn Rotator Cuff [Re: PlayWellOneDay] #1228151
07/07/09 02:23 PM
07/07/09 02:23 PM
Joined: Dec 2008
Posts: 1,082
California
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Nikalette Offline
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California
Originally Posted by PlayWellOneDay
I'm a little puzzled by mention of muscles here. Torn muscles in various parts of the body are common in physically active people and generally heal in a week or so - provided they are exercised.

My tear was to the cartilage/tendons and those heal slowly. This was before the laser surgery became available. Although physiotherapy was offered I could not fit it into my schedule. I joined the gym and strengthened the muscles, which helped to support the joint. I also swam daily for two years and carried on with my normal endurance sporting activities.

So it is possible to fix it without surgery, but I was and remain very physically active. It may or may not be possible for the average person. It may or may not come back as a problem for me if I get too old and frail to exercise as I do.

Based on my own need to lay off using computers for six weeks (my job involved heavy use of them) I would say you will need to avoid the piano for some time. The fact that the keyboard height cannot be adjusted may be a problem.


I'm sorry but I have to put in a few words. Torn muscles are not that common, and certainly don't heal in a week or two with exercise! Sprained, strained muscles are common and can heal within several weeks with ice, elevation, rest and gentle exercise after some healing has occured.

I'm not a sports medical professional but I only encountered one torn (ruptured) muscle in a patient, it was a calf muscle, and that was a serious injury that requires surgery.

The stuff about ligaments/cartilage sounds right.

Re: Torn Rotator Cuff [Re: Elene] #1228178
07/07/09 03:34 PM
07/07/09 03:34 PM
Joined: Aug 2005
Posts: 5,921
SC Mountains
-Frycek Offline OP
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SC Mountains
Originally Posted by Elene
Gosh, Frycek, what next? Which muscle of the rotator cuff? Was there an obvious injury or did it just creep up gradually?


I woke up with it. It didn't come on gradually. I had pneumonia at the time and it just blended in with the other aches and misery. It's been a month and it does seem perhaps to be getting a bit better.


Slow down and do it right.
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Re: Torn Rotator Cuff [Re: -Frycek] #1228213
07/07/09 04:43 PM
07/07/09 04:43 PM
Joined: Feb 2009
Posts: 72
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ecthelion Offline
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Originally Posted by -Frycek
Originally Posted by Elene
Gosh, Frycek, what next? Which muscle of the rotator cuff? Was there an obvious injury or did it just creep up gradually?


I woke up with it. It didn't come on gradually. I had pneumonia at the time and it just blended in with the other aches and misery. It's been a month and it does seem perhaps to be getting a bit better.


Doctors told me that viral illness (and such) can bring about a rotator cuff tear situation. Viral illness apparently can attack nerves anywhere in the body for no reason at all, one of my diagnoses. Not very clear about it, but being sick can mess things up.

Just curious, did you have a sort throat anytime before?

Re: Torn Rotator Cuff [Re: ecthelion] #1228217
07/07/09 04:48 PM
07/07/09 04:48 PM
Joined: Aug 2005
Posts: 5,921
SC Mountains
-Frycek Offline OP
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SC Mountains
Yes, I did have a sore throat to start with.


Slow down and do it right.
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Re: Torn Rotator Cuff [Re: -Frycek] #1228220
07/07/09 05:00 PM
07/07/09 05:00 PM
Joined: Feb 2009
Posts: 72
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ecthelion Offline
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Sore throats could possibly indicate viral illness. I had a bad sore throat about a month before it happened.

My rotator cuff injury, too was very random and sudden. I was completely o.k one day and the next I was effectively disabled.

Re: Torn Rotator Cuff [Re: ecthelion] #1228221
07/07/09 05:08 PM
07/07/09 05:08 PM
Joined: Aug 2005
Posts: 5,921
SC Mountains
-Frycek Offline OP
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SC Mountains
This is very interesting. I suspected a connection and kept telling myself it was just a coincidence. I also had very painful cramps in my legs when I was sickest.


Slow down and do it right.
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Re: Torn Rotator Cuff [Re: -Frycek] #2122973
07/25/13 07:26 PM
07/25/13 07:26 PM
Joined: Apr 2005
Posts: 154
Grand Junction CO
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DavidWB Offline
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[Opps. I meant this to go on the piano technicians forum! Perhaps it is relevant to pianists too.]

I don't know if piano techs are particularly prone to a torn rotator cuff, but regardless of the cause, I imagine it would be an unwelcome disruption to one's work and income. I recently learned of the following potential alternative to surgery. Perhaps it will benefit someone.

In a study of 452 rotator cuff tear patients, this exercise program spared an impressive 85% of them from surgery. The Rotator Cuff Home Exercise Program information is free:

http://moonshoulder.com

http://moonshoulder.com/booklets/060109PatientRehabBooklet.pdf

http://moonshoulder.com/booklets/Therapist%20Directed%20Cuff%20Rehab%208.12.pdf

http://moonshoulder.com/MOONRotatorCuffRehab.mp4

David Bauguess

Last edited by DavidWB; 07/25/13 08:03 PM.

David Bauguess
Re: Torn Rotator Cuff [Re: -Frycek] #2122982
07/25/13 07:43 PM
07/25/13 07:43 PM
Joined: Apr 2013
Posts: 1,033
NH
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dynamobt Online content
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NH
You weren't by any chance takin Levaquin for your pneumonia? Levaquin and all fluroqinolone antibiotics can and do cause tendon failure. It's a known side effect and doctors should warn of this possibility. While taking Levaquin 7 years ago I ruptured the bicep tendon of my left shoulder. I susequently had surgery. Then seven weeks out from surgery I tore my rotator cuff in the same shoulder. Had more surgery. My shoulder never returned to its original ability. Not saying it isn't as bad as it was with tendons torn. It's just weaker and I don't have the capability to strengthen it. Luckily, I can still play the piano.


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