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Author Topic: Shoulder. Dangit.  (Read 1032 times)

Offline Tim Wescott

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Shoulder. Dangit.
« on: December 08, 2017, 10:21:59 AM »
You uninjured guys can talk about what you did in the field or at the shop.  For us special few, however...

Just got back from the Sports Doc.  I had been making good progress on my shoulder -- not lightning-fast, but steady.  Then, Thanksgiving morning, I had a fall on my driveway stairs that would fit in an animated cartoon -- I slipped, was entirely in the air (just long enough to think "this is gonna hurt"), then I landed, hooking the bottom of my bad shoulder blade on the tread of the stair.  It stopped.  I didn't.  Last week my recovery from the fall started going backwards, so I went to the doc.

So now I'm to be scheduled for an MRI, and another doc. appointment NEXT Friday, at which point I either get another cortisone shot to knock down the swelling and do more PT, or I go under the knife (the itty-bitty arthroscopic knife, no doubt, but still).

Howard, I hope you're on track for whatever hot-rod gizmos are going into your legs in place of your knees.  It's the first step to being the six million dollar man, y'know.
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Offline john e. holliday

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Re: Shoulder. Dangit.
« Reply #1 on: December 08, 2017, 10:37:23 AM »
Tim sorry to hear of your set back.   I know my left arm has given me fits and warnings this past year.  To start was when I couldn't get it or my hand to work back in March, diagnosis was TIA.   Then later while getting the B-25 ready for first test flight I stopped the in board Fox 25 with my left hand.  Surgery required to tie two tendons for index finger back together.   Last was I was in back yard with dogs.   Coming into the house I stubbed my toe, yes left foot,  and couldn't catch myself.   Left arm black and blue between elbow and wrist  with blood blister on tips of fingers, left hand of course.   At least the ribs didn't hurt this time.  Also glad I have a hard head as I got a bump from cement patio block.   Its been over a month now since that happened and people now look at me funny as I walk because I now some times call cadence.  You know pick up feet, hup one, two, three and etc.   So take care of your self and be more careful.   Maybe we will meet one of these days. D>K
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Offline Will Hinton

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Re: Shoulder. Dangit.
« Reply #2 on: December 08, 2017, 10:37:56 AM »
Wow, Tim, I'd say something wiseacre about your fall, except these bodies just plain weren't designed to be invaded by sharp metallic objects.  :-[ I'm sorry about your fall and injury, especially at this time of year when family stuff tries to keep you so blamed busy!
Heal fast and at least TRY to have a great Christmas!!
John 5:24   www.fcmodelers.com

Offline Randy Cuberly

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Re: Shoulder. Dangit.
« Reply #3 on: December 08, 2017, 10:49:03 AM »
Sorry to hear about your fall Tim.

I think shoulder injuries are the toughest to recover from.  I broke my left shoulder and elbow in a Motorcycle racing crash in 1974 (Mile flat track) and the recovery took about 1 year.  Now that I'm 76 it feels like I broke it yesterday every morning when I get out of bed.  Fortunately it's my left shoulder and I'm right handed or I likely would not be able to fly.

I'm sure surgical procedures and medical treatment for injuries like that have improved since the 70's but how much I'm not sure.  I have a couple of friends who have had shoulder replacements and both are nightmares...bad news!
Not at all like the hip or knee replacement surgeries that seem to work very well.  My wife had both knee and hip and they were very successful.  In fact about half the guys I fly with have had knee or hip replacements and all were very successful!  Shoulders however are another story.  My orthopedic guy told me that he could probably only make mine worse!  Exercise according to a regimen seems to help most, and I assume you are doing that already.

Anyway, hang in there, and you have my best wishes for a recovery.  I definitely understand the pain and disability associated.

Oh yeah..., STOP falling down ya' klutz  LL~....

Randy Cuberly
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Offline Russell Shaffer

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Re: Shoulder. Dangit.
« Reply #4 on: December 08, 2017, 12:22:21 PM »
Dang, Tim.  It's starting to look like RC might be in your future.  Get well for Christmas.
Russell Shaffer
Klamath Falls, Oregon
Just North of the California border

Offline Jim Svitko

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Re: Shoulder. Dangit.
« Reply #5 on: December 08, 2017, 12:46:17 PM »
I suppose the treatment for you depends on what the MRI reveals.

I am paying the price for being active.  We either rot away on a couch, eating junk food while watching the tube, or we try to do it right and stay active.  In the latter case, wear and tear takes a toll.  In the former, you just wither away.

I just went thru a torn rotator cuff repair.  Thankfully, it was my left shoulder as I am right handed.  Nevertheless, it was quite a shock to be so adversely affected by what I thought was a minor injury.  I had severe pain during workouts.  I tried rest but no luck there.  I went to the doc and he said it was probably rotator cuff and prescribed physical therapy.  That just made it worse.  I could not even roll down the window on my truck.  (It is an old truck and at that time manual windows were still available).  I could not raise my arm to reach the light switch on the wall or scratch my head.  There was no way I could live like this.

The doc recommended an MRI.  The MRI showed a 4mm tear, then a good spot, then another 4mm tear. To me, that did not sound so bad but the damage was in the worst possible spot.  It was that top tendon, over the top of the shoulder, used to raise the arm.  I don't know the medical name for that tendon.  I opted for surgery since tears of this type do not improve by themselves and might only tear more as time goes on.

It has been three months since the surgery.  The doc was able to repair it with arthroscopic surgery, re-attaching the tendon to the bone and sewing the tendon back together.  He also found cartilage bits, wandering loosely in the joint, and cleaned those out.

I had to wear a special sling for a month, holding the arm immobile at a certain position and I was not allowed to lift the arm with my own power.  After getting out of the sling, I could not believe how weak I was.  The arm felt dead, I could barely move it, and I had to be very careful what I did or I risked additional injury. 

Starting the day after surgery, and every day for the next three weeks, I was told to remove the sling and use this special chair that I strapped my arm into.  The motorized linkage raised and lowered my arm for me.  Every day I increased the range of motion.  I was told if I did not do this, I might not be able to move the arm at all later.

A month after surgery, physical therapy continued.  The therapist had to lift my arm for me.  I was not allowed to use my own muscle power.  Little by little, more stretching allowed more range of motion.  At first, I could barely button my shirt.

Improvement is slow but steady.  I still have some pain when I move a certain way but I was told that is due to collateral damage from the surgical repair.  Scar tissue will form and there will be lingering inflammation for many months.

I have prescribed exercises to do at home and they help.  I can now lift my arm straight out, level with the ground, with a whopping one pound weight held in my hand.  That may not sound like much but two months ago I could not put on my glasses with the injured arm.  Even that slight effort was too much for the recovering shoulder to bear.

I was told that it will be a year before I can get back into my normal exercise routine and even then I will not regain the strength I once had.  I heard from some who tried to come back too fast and had to do the surgery all over again.  Some have said it is easier to get over knee or hip replacements than a rotator cuff repair.  They may be right about that. 





Offline Tim Wescott

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Re: Shoulder. Dangit.
« Reply #6 on: December 08, 2017, 01:00:10 PM »
Dang, Tim.  It's starting to look like RC might be in your future.

Noooo!

Get well for Christmas.

Yessir!

I suppose the treatment for you depends on what the MRI reveals.

That's my understanding.  In September or whatever I got a cortisone shot which made things so that the physical therapy would work -- if all I've done is bruise things in there then I'll probably get another one.  If there's torn tendons, then it'll have to be repaired.

I'm pretty sure my doc is crackerjack -- he's the team physician for the Portland Timbers, and inasmuch as I can tell that someone who's an expert in something I'm not knows what they're talking about -- he knows what he's talking about.

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The problem with electric is that once you get the smoke generator and sound system installed, the plane is too heavy.

Offline Fredvon4

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Re: Shoulder. Dangit.
« Reply #7 on: December 08, 2017, 02:03:51 PM »
Tim I have NO profound advice for you

If you insist on doing dumb stuff at 55...I can only assume as you get near to 62 like me or 80 like others here, it will just get worse

you went lefty for a bit
you went carrier for a bit
you judge some
I think high end tether cars or boats might be your future

Find Don McKay and chat about slot cars a bit
Offer to help Jeff Rein with next bladder grabber
Go hang out with Howard and between you 2 design the perfect, no twist, very stiff 1/4" profile fuselage with no Helmick weirdness
"A good scare teaches more than good advice"

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Offline Preston Briggs

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Re: Shoulder. Dangit.
« Reply #8 on: December 08, 2017, 04:32:56 PM »
Y'all better hope the "Builder of Body" proposal doesn't pass.

Glad you didn't damage a plane while falling.

Preston

Offline Motorman

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Re: Shoulder. Dangit.
« Reply #9 on: December 08, 2017, 05:46:06 PM »
If you don't like MRI machines you can get a skeletal ultrasound which I understand is actually a better test.
There will be a sunny day and we will fly our airplanes.

Offline Fred Underwood

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Re: Shoulder. Dangit.
« Reply #10 on: December 08, 2017, 06:02:55 PM »
Pardon my opinion, but you might want to Google MRI or US for shoulder pain.  I don't think shoulder radiography is as simple as your statement.  Fortunately the sports medicine doctor will decide  :) 
Fred
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Offline Russell Shaffer

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Re: Shoulder. Dangit.
« Reply #11 on: December 08, 2017, 07:53:23 PM »
I think you should listen to both Freds.
Russell Shaffer
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Offline Allan Perret

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Re: Shoulder. Dangit.
« Reply #12 on: December 08, 2017, 10:08:30 PM »
Hang in there Tim.  If you have surgery, follow Svitko's example which is pretty impressive..   He came to our Baton Rouge contest this past Fall with arm in sling just to help us with judging..  Thanks Jim..
Allan Perret
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Offline Motorman

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Re: Shoulder. Dangit.
« Reply #13 on: December 09, 2017, 08:27:02 AM »
Fred, it's a different kind of US.
There will be a sunny day and we will fly our airplanes.

Offline Tim Wescott

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Re: Shoulder. Dangit.
« Reply #14 on: December 09, 2017, 01:05:15 PM »
Hang in there Tim.  If you have surgery, follow Svitko's example which is pretty impressive..   He came to our Baton Rouge contest this past Fall with arm in sling just to help us with judging..  Thanks Jim..

I can judge with my arm in a sling.  I'm still trying to get my average awarded scores down to match Joan "The Dragon Lady" Cox and Bruce Hunt, so there's overhead to reward near-perfect maneuvers by the top guys*.  Judging when I can't fly helps -- before the first flight I just dwell for a bit on the fact that they can fly and I can't, and those scores go right down.

* Because if I judge the medium-good guys too high, then the scores bunch up getting close to the Really Good guys, or I have to put down more than 40 points, which is frowned upon.
AMA 64232

The problem with electric is that once you get the smoke generator and sound system installed, the plane is too heavy.

Offline Motorman

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Re: Shoulder. Dangit.
« Reply #15 on: December 09, 2017, 01:28:15 PM »
before the first flight I just dwell for a bit on the fact that they can fly and I can't, and those scores go right down.

LOL ;D  Get well soon.
There will be a sunny day and we will fly our airplanes.

Offline Jason Greer

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Re: Shoulder. Dangit.
« Reply #16 on: December 09, 2017, 05:21:19 PM »
Sorry to hear of your set back. I hope you can find some relief soon.

Jason
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Offline Steve Helmick

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Re: Shoulder. Dangit.
« Reply #17 on: December 09, 2017, 06:32:04 PM »
Latest research suggests that low Gluten levels cause shoulder injuries.  VD~ Well, that and using a gas powered chainsaw at 72 years of age. My right shoulder has been bothering me this week also. Hopefully, it will be self-healing, but I'll complain about it when I see my GP on Tuesday.  H^^ Steve
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Offline Tim Wescott

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Re: Shoulder. Dangit.
« Reply #18 on: January 01, 2018, 05:31:52 PM »
Update, as of a week ago: the MRI came back showing one spot that may be a slight tear, but the sports doc didn't think it'd be worth the 6-month recovery to cut into me.  I'm to give the shoulder a rest for four weeks (three more to go!) and then he sees me again.  I try not to push on my doctors, but when I pushed about whether I should do exercise he told me I could, lightly, after two weeks (I think there may have been an eye-roll in there about overly ambitious patients, but I'm not sure -- he's got a good poker face).

MRI machines are remarkably good places to fall asleep, except that you're not supposed to move around, and one of the features that I came with from the factory is a hypnic jerk https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hypnic_jerk.  So I had to lie there for 30 minutes, nice and warm and cuddled by a machine, while trying to doze just enough to fend off boredom, but not enough to fall asleep.  (Oh woe, cue the violins, etc.)
AMA 64232

The problem with electric is that once you get the smoke generator and sound system installed, the plane is too heavy.

Offline Howard Rush

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Re: Shoulder. Dangit.
« Reply #19 on: January 01, 2018, 09:41:43 PM »
Look at them guys lookin' at me like I'm cryptic.
But deep down inside they know I'm hypnic.

Can you do it, can you do it, can you do it?
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Offline Mike Griffin

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Re: Shoulder. Dangit.
« Reply #20 on: January 01, 2018, 09:44:26 PM »
I hope you mend quickly Tim.

Mike

Offline john e. holliday

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Re: Shoulder. Dangit.
« Reply #21 on: January 02, 2018, 11:35:26 AM »
Tim, how could you go to sleep?  When I went through the MRI, the nurse/attendant stuffed my ears with cotton, put pads on each side of my head and pillows.   Then she strapped my arms down with a squeeze bulb in my hand and told me if I had trouble to squeeze it.  Also told me not to move for 20 minutes.  I closed my eyes as she started the table moving into the tube.  Decided this was not going to work so I opened them,  thought I was claustrophobic but it didn't bother me.  Once the table stopped I closed my eyes and then the sounds started.   Sounded like close encounters and star trek.  Then the various rythyms which I was beginning to be at a hard rock concert.   Just about the time I was getting bored the sounds stopped and the table moved out of the tube.   The attendant ask if I was okay and I said yes.  Claims she was yelling at me during that time.  Don't want to experience it again.  I did fall asleep while an attendant was doing scans of my heart.   

Any way you need to start taking care kid as maybe we can meet some time. H^^
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Today I broke my personal record for most consecutive days lived.
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Offline Tim Wescott

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Re: Shoulder. Dangit.
« Reply #22 on: February 13, 2018, 06:16:58 PM »
Le Update:

After eight weeks, I'm cleared for physical therapy again, and the doc says I can try flying.  "Try" is the operative word -- we'll see if getting up on the flexibility & strength will keep me from bunging it up.

Of course, I'm working 55 hour weeks these days, on the end of a one-hour commute, so I may not actually get any chance to practice -- but that's a separate issue.
AMA 64232

The problem with electric is that once you get the smoke generator and sound system installed, the plane is too heavy.

Offline Phil Spillman

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Re: Shoulder. Dangit.
« Reply #23 on: February 19, 2018, 07:58:48 PM »
Hi Tim, I had to have my right shoulder completely replaced twice! Talk about ouch! Just do your rehab as faithfully as you can especially at home and you'll be fine! I had to interview 4 surgeons before I found one who was willing to touch me! Get and use those colored rubber bands and a rope set up in a door way to move your arms AND HANDS up and down! There's a pulley at the top of the door or door jam. These things work wonders! The first one I saw said" I only do Virgin Shoulders"! Well the third after him did the job and I have been most grateful ever since. The second rebuild was in February 2010 I was flying back in competition that very summer! Avoid any heavy lifting until the man says OK! Also consider the supplement called L-Lysine found over the counter at Wall Mart!

Phil Spillman
Phil Spillman


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