There was big entertainment news this week when pop-rocker Rick Springfield announced on a talk show that he had to suspend his current performances because he suffered a torn rotator cuff in a recent motorcycle wreck.
Why am I writing about this? Two reasons.
First, I don’t think we do a good enough job educating people about the types of injuries they might sustain in wrecks. It goes without saying that most of the injuries we see from motorcycle wrecks are horrific. When a motorcycle rider collides with a several thousand pound vehicle, the result is almost never good for the bike rider. And riders should think about that. If you’re out there, be mindful of the other crazy drivers.
But second, I didn’t want to pass up an opportunity to talk about rotator cuff injuries. I’ve worked on these cases before (and have one now) and these are painful injuries. In many cases, conservative care (rest, ice and strengthening) are enough to treat the problem.
But in many other cases, surgery is required. Surgery can be in the form of a full open repair or through arthroscopic means. In either case, you’ll probably be in a sling for four to six weeks following the surgery and then start with some physical therapy to regain range of motion and to strengthen the shoulder.
In most cases, your prognosis is good. Depending on the studies you look at, between 80 and 95% of those having surgery are happy with the outcome. Of course, if you’re in that small minority, these can be painful injuries to endure.
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