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-   -   Partial Subscapularis Tear (

Erik Davis 08-02-2005 12:23 PM

So I just got back from the Orthopedist and it turns out I have a partial thickness tear of my subscapularis (well, the MRI guys say so). He recommended that I undergo surgery because of this. I plan on getting a second opinion before I make any decisions regarding surgery.

I'm particularly bugged about the fact that I have full range of motion now and I also dont experience any pain. Pretty much the only symptom left is that I feel there is some instability, for example I would not be comfortable military pressing with working weight (I havent tried it, but this is just a guess).

I really really want to try to rehab this without surgery. The orthopedist seemed pretty quick to say "see you in the operating room", but he is also motivated by the fact that he will be the surgeon, so that is also on my mind. Has anyone experienced a similar injury, or been in a similar situation? Or if you just have any advice, thats fine as well ;)

Paul Siatczynski 08-02-2005 06:43 PM


I'm an orthopod, and here are my 2 cents. Don't pursue surgery if you're happy with the way things are, or a least seem to be on the road to recovery. If you have full range of motion, and no pain, how is surgery going to make you feel any better? The other issues are strength and stability, which per your note, might still be a concern, and might lead to surgery if they are not solved.
Another thing which raised a red flag for me was the comment, "well, the MRI guys say so." If your doc didn't read the films himself, be sceptical. My first rule of orthopedics is to never trust a radiologist. No offense to any radiologists who may read this. The subscapularis in particular can be difficult to evaluate well on MRI. Good luck.

Rene Renteria 08-02-2005 07:23 PM

Would you mind commenting on how you got this injury? Just wondering and would add some data to the board. For example, that thread about CrossFit over on (or whatever it is...) was specifically accusing overhead lifts of being bad for the shoulder girdle.

Best of luck with your decision and recovery!

Erik Davis 08-02-2005 07:57 PM

Hey, thanks for the replies:

Paul: Externally things were appearing to be pretty OK, so I was sort of shocked when he said I needed surgery. My #1 goal is to have the injury heal properly, and if I can do that through rest and rehab then I would much rather choose that route over surgery.

Rene: I was practicing OHS for the first time with a grip that was too narrow, and weight definitely too heavy. My arms were extended and I lost balance/stability in my right shoulder and I dropped the bar right in front of me. I kept holding on for some reason and it twisted my right arm around very quickly. I never experienced pain before on overhead lifts, and I am pretty sure that this injury is do to me not letting go of the bar like I should have. The moral of the story, for me at least, is to always practice with a light weight to ensure both good form (balance) and to have experience dropping the bar when stuff goes wrong.

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