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Dr. Brims
Dr. Brims, U.S. Licensed Physician
Category: Health
Satisfied Customers: 9605
Experience:  U.S. Licensed Physician, general surgery and internal medicine experience
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2 yrs ago I was diagnosed with a small tear in my rotator cuff

Customer Question

2 yrs ago I was diagnosed with a small tear in my rotator cuff and bursitis. The doctor started me on some stretching exercises and said we would do an MRI and surgery if necessary. The pain went away for about a year (without doing the exercises. Now, in the last 3 months, it has returned. My PCP says to rest it and we'll see in 2 weeks. Doing the exercises the specialist recco, makes the pain far worse. I'm looking for a second opinion.
Submitted: 3 years ago.
Category: Health
Expert:  Dr. Brims replied 3 years ago.

Dr Brims :

Hello, welcome to Justanswer, I will try to assist you with your medical question, and any medical information you seek

Dr Brims :

I'm sorry to hear this pain has returned

Dr Brims :

Did they ever had an MRI for this?

Dr Brims :

Is the pain exactly the same pain as 2 years ago?

Customer : I think they did. My memory isn't the greatest but the letter from the specialist says it is a tear. I remember the specialist telling me after the MRI that it was NOT a tear, it was something else (equivalent to like a sprain vs breaking the bone). Yes the pain is the same.
Dr Brims :

Okay, this is most likely a strained rotator cuff muscle, and these heal with time, I think it is wise to give it 3-4 weeks to heal, and also to avoid stressing it

Customer : So is that what happened 2 yrs ago? It healed and now somehow I've aggrevated it again? What types of things aggrevate it?
Dr Brims :

That is likely what happened 2 years ago, and you likely aggravated it again, many different movements or exercises can aggravate it, or heavy lifting

Customer : BTW, when you are a woman that works with her hands a lot, how is it you rest a shoulder for a month?
Dr Brims :

You can try to avoid movements that cause pain, it is not easy, but it is possible, you will learn to adapt

Customer : Is this something I'm going to have to be careful of for the rest of my life?
Dr Brims :

Yes, you will likely have to be careful of it for the rest of your life to avoid damage in the future and subsequent surgery

Customer : Ok, what about the bursitis? The pain seems to subside some when I put something over my shoulder, just enough to block the drafts of air. Is there anything I can do to help this?
Dr Brims :

The bursitis may require an anti-inflammatory drug like ibuprofen, and if that does not help, then you may require a steroid injection into the bursa

Customer : If I lift heavy things (sometimes my job requires it) what is the likelihood that 1) my left cuff will actually tear and 2) that damage could happen to my right cuff?
Dr Brims :

If you don't learn to lift these object without causing pain then it will eventually tear, if you learn , then you may avoid pain and damage and a tear

Dr Brims :

Are you there?

Customer : Once my month is done, how many pounds would you say would be the max to put my shoulders thru?
Dr Brims :

Try 5 pounds to start, and then you may work your way up from there

Customer : Wow!!! Ok!! I need to learn like you said. Thank you for the input and your patience.
Dr Brims :

You're quite welcome

Dr Brims :

If you have any questions in the future, to request me you may start them with "Dr Brims" and I will answer them

Customer : Thank you. I'm off to rest my shoulder and figure out how to do things one handed. Ha ha
Dr Brims :

You're very welcome

Dr Brims :

Are you still there?

Dr Brims :

If you still have question on this topic, please feel free to ask,If you have no other questions, please remember to click a rating button prior to exiting the chat session

Expert:  Dr. Brims replied 3 years ago.
Were you able to see my replies in the chat session?