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Injury Report – Torn Rotator Cuff, Separated Shoulder

Written by: Tony Korologos | Thursday, November 1st, 2018
Categories: GolfLifeMiscellaneous

About a week before the HOG World Tour trip to Bandon Dunes this summer I had some fun at the lake with some friends wake-boarding.  Good times and I did fairly well, but didn’t know when to let go of the rope when I was not getting up on the board. I was thus being dragged through the water.  At the time I thought the only problem with that was cleaning out my sinuses with dirty lake water, but the next morning I couldn’t move my right arm.  I knew something was very wrong.  Two days after boating I played a gross match at one of my clubs, and managed to win but had to fight through some pretty bad pain.  I was very worried because a week or so later I was heading to Bandon Dunes for five days.

I tried to get into my orthopedic doctor prior to Bandon, but he wasn’t “available” for six weeks. Hell with that. Luckily I had a regular checkup with my family doc a few days before the Bandon trip.  He diagnosed my injury as tendonitis in my bicep and gave me a steroid shot.  That instantly helped and I was able to do the Bandon trip with no pain.

Months later I started waking up in the night yelping in pain, and my shoulder mobility started to tank.  I guessed that the shot was wearing off.  It got to where I couldn’t even throw a ball to my 5-year old boy. In fact, just getting into a throwing position was no longer possible. Bad.  I saw a new orthopedic doctor who checked me out and estimated that I had a torn rotator cuff.  After getting an MRI that diagnosis was confirmed, and more.

I have a 75-80% tear in my rotator cuff, which a set of muscles that helps keep the shoulder in position and helps the arm/shoulder move up and down and in certain directions.  On top of that I have a separated shoulder as well as a bone spur under the separation.  I’ve been getting myself mentally ready for shoulder surgery and the up to SIX months of recovery time, but the doc suggested we try a non-surgical approach first.  That was surprising, considering he is a surgeon.  I got another steroid shot.  This time it was right in the rotator cuff.  Brutal needle.

So today I had my first day of physical therapy.  The goal is to build up the muscle around the area to help support the tear.  The tear apparently will not heal much.  I was not thrilled to hear that part.  But I’m going to give it a shot first.  There are people who do succeed in this situation without surgery.

That’s the hope.  The good news is I can swing a golf club and only a swing or two during a round hurts.  The doc told me that’s mostly due to the rotator cuff helping slow down the inertia of the swing.

So there it is.  Winter is coming and I have work to do with my shoulder to hopefully get it strengthened enough to support the damage, keep me golfing, skiing, and hopefully soon able to toss a ball to my boy.

Let us pray.


2 responses to “Injury Report – Torn Rotator Cuff, Separated Shoulder”

  1. golf4me says:

    Sorry to hear about your injury – been there done that….3 times! Might want to ask how much the bone spur contributes to the RC damage.

    Surgery the first time took about 4-5 months recovery. Discovering the Cryocuff (a cuff and beverage cooler with pump that keeps ice water circulating over the shoulder) reduced recovery time to about 6-8 weeks. Can’t recommend it enough.

    Either decision is tough duty. Surgery should get you ready for start of golf season. Rehab is brutal but must be consistent. Hope you recover well…typing with one hand really sucks!

  2. Boynie says:

    Goodness Tony!

    I am liking the news that you are not going under the knife. Give the treatment a chance, our love J&L xx

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