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  1. #1
    lulz killer CaptainSquatz's Avatar
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    Need advice. Getting rotator cuff surgery based on MRI from nearly 4 years ago...

    Heya folks... I have a pre-surgery meeting tomorrow for a torn rotator cuff tear (supraspinatus), I'm in a position where I could really use some advice as a lot of the doctors/surgeons I've seen seem quite ignorant on this topic...

    A bit of a background:
    Had an MRI back in March 2016, and it wasn't even a full MRI check, but the shorter 8 minute version, although I have no idea if that matters much. The diagnosis was that I have a partial tear (turned out it was a full tear actually later on!) on my supraspinatus and the shoulder specialist at the time said it's too early for me to get a surgery at this point, so I ended up getting a cortisone shot, and then another one down the road.
    Forward 2 years around 2018 I went to another shoulder specialist, telling him my shoulder is just messed up and there's no way it's just a partial tear as I couldn't bench an empty barbell or do any overhead presses (I mean I COULD, but it was painful) and he looked at same MRI from 2016 and said that I actually a full tear and I require surgery and he explained why they missed the proper diagnosis on their part. I agreed to having a surgery and he said the dates would take a long time anyway and it will be at the end of 2019 or 2020.

    Forward to now:
    So basically I kept lifting (heavy) up until 2018, even tho apparently I already had a full tear that was mis-diagnosed as a partial tear. For all I know I may have caused further damage and maybe even tore more than just the surpraspinatus ? Somewhere around 2018 I just quit the gym and moved on to doing cardio, body weight exercises and doing rotator cuff physiotherapy and also took a 4 month break from doing any upper body exercises but it didn't help at all...

    My main question now:
    So let's say I do get the surgery, will the surgeon be able to see during the surgery if I've torn more than just the surpraspinatus and 'fix' that as well? I need to know if I should ask for another MRI... Back in 2018 the surgeon didn't wanna give me another MRI but the thing is I had to wait nearly 2 years for that surgery. After all, I got cortisone shots over the span of a year and went back to lifting weights when I in fact already had a full tear.

    I could really use some feedback. Thanks a lot!
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  2. #2
    I'm the beast Iceman1800's Avatar
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    Not a surgeon but I can't imagine one doing any type of orthopedic surgery without a recent mri first. The doc needs to know what's there and to see the tendon length. Do you live outside the US or have insurance issues? Mri's are quick and easy to schedule so I'd guess you'll need one prior to surgery
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    Registered User Garage Rat's Avatar
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    Agreed ^^^.
    You need as well as your surgeon to go in with as much knowledge as possible before hand about your issue.
    You need to ask all these questions to your doctor.
    If he is not willing to do another MRI or answer questions to satisfy you get a new doctor one that works with athletes would probably be best.
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    The doc will need a new MRI no surgeon will perform surgery without seeing what is a miss.

    Also, if you could go without surgery I would recommend you do so, I had two surgeries on my shoulder and I would have been better off never getting the surgeries I am worse off now.
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    Originally Posted by Iceman1800 View Post
    Mri's are quick and easy to schedule so I'd guess you'll need one prior to surgery
    Depends where you live I guess. Up here I'd need to wait at least 3 months for an mri if it wasn't an emergency and may be asked to do it in the middle of the night
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    Originally Posted by CaptainSquatz View Post
    Heya folks... I have a pre-surgery meeting tomorrow for a torn rotator cuff tear (supraspinatus), I'm in a position where I could really use some advice as a lot of the doctors/surgeons I've seen seem quite ignorant on this topic...

    A bit of a background:
    Had an MRI back in March 2016, and it wasn't even a full MRI check, but the shorter 8 minute version, although I have no idea if that matters much. The diagnosis was that I have a partial tear (turned out it was a full tear actually later on!) on my supraspinatus and the shoulder specialist at the time said it's too early for me to get a surgery at this point, so I ended up getting a cortisone shot, and then another one down the road.
    Forward 2 years around 2018 I went to another shoulder specialist, telling him my shoulder is just messed up and there's no way it's just a partial tear as I couldn't bench an empty barbell or do any overhead presses (I mean I COULD, but it was painful) and he looked at same MRI from 2016 and said that I actually a full tear and I require surgery and he explained why they missed the proper diagnosis on their part. I agreed to having a surgery and he said the dates would take a long time anyway and it will be at the end of 2019 or 2020.

    Forward to now:
    So basically I kept lifting (heavy) up until 2018, even tho apparently I already had a full tear that was mis-diagnosed as a partial tear. For all I know I may have caused further damage and maybe even tore more than just the surpraspinatus ? Somewhere around 2018 I just quit the gym and moved on to doing cardio, body weight exercises and doing rotator cuff physiotherapy and also took a 4 month break from doing any upper body exercises but it didn't help at all...

    My main question now:
    So let's say I do get the surgery, will the surgeon be able to see during the surgery if I've torn more than just the surpraspinatus and 'fix' that as well? I need to know if I should ask for another MRI... Back in 2018 the surgeon didn't wanna give me another MRI but the thing is I had to wait nearly 2 years for that surgery. After all, I got cortisone shots over the span of a year and went back to lifting weights when I in fact already had a full tear.

    I could really use some feedback. Thanks a lot!
    You need a new MRI or at least x-rays. It's been that long...things could have changed and they should be prepped in advance BEFORE finding surprises when you're sedated.

    I would try to find a shoulder specialist that is also a specialist in sports medicine. If you are anywhere near New York I can give you the name of a good one that has done excellent surgery on me many times... and the incisions are so well done you can barely see them.
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