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View Full Version : Not shoulder instability after all



scyfreestyler
December 2nd, 2004, 12:06 PM
I wish it was because that can be quickly remedied. The doctor seems to think that I have a loose/torn piece of cartilage that is causing the popping and clicking and is probably also causing the discomfort by contacting a nerve. My guess is that this happened back in my weightlifting days a few years ago. The swimming has just aggravated the problem. He has ordered an MRI and based upon those results I may see an orthopaedist for surgery. Until we know more I was advised to lay off the swimming to reduce the damage done to my shoulder. Further damage might warrant much more extensive means of repair. This is the ****tiest day of my year without question. I am trying to convince myself that several months out of the pool will be okay but as with everything else today, I have not been succesful.

Seagurl51
December 2nd, 2004, 12:58 PM
I'm really sorry to hear about your shoulder. That's horrible. Hopefully you won't have to have surgery and you'll be back in the pool in no time. Best of luck!

~Kyra

scyfreestyler
December 2nd, 2004, 01:21 PM
Originally posted by Seagurl51
I'm really sorry to hear about your shoulder. That's horrible. Hopefully you won't have to have surgery and you'll be back in the pool in no time. Best of luck!

~Kyra

I am hoping for the no surgery route as well. Maybe the MRI will look good and just a week's rest will get me back in the water. No more excessive stretching for me.

bckstrker
December 2nd, 2004, 01:47 PM
Sorry to hear about your shoulder and having to stay out of the pool. I try to look at "bad events" from a positive angle. Maybe there is something you need work on that you can do dryland? Maybe some leg plyometrics to improve "explosive power" in your legs for improving turns? That's always a good one that I like to go back to when I can't swim. Or, join a Pilates class for a while to work on core stability? Another important aspect to fast swimming...
Also, if you indeed "just" have a piece of loose cartilage - your rehab and recovery will be fairly short and uneventful and you will be in the water soon :)
I wish you lots of positive thoughts for the day and days to come - good luck!

scyfreestyler
December 2nd, 2004, 02:19 PM
Originally posted by bckstrker
Sorry to hear about your shoulder and having to stay out of the pool. I try to look at "bad events" from a positive angle. Maybe there is something you need work on that you can do dryland? Maybe some leg plyometrics to improve "explosive power" in your legs for improving turns? That's always a good one that I like to go back to when I can't swim. Or, join a Pilates class for a while to work on core stability? Another important aspect to fast swimming...
Also, if you indeed "just" have a piece of loose cartilage - your rehab and recovery will be fairly short and uneventful and you will be in the water soon :)
I wish you lots of positive thoughts for the day and days to come - good luck!

Thanks for your words of encouragement. I have never been a member of a forum with such supportive people. I am trying to make this a learning experience which will make me much more aware of my joints and muscles. I want to maintain my level of cardiovascular fitness and the easiest way for me to do that is to run a couple times a week. I don't really care for running but at least I can do it without having to go to the gym. Perhaps a few months of running will only make me appreciate my swimming even more.

Johnathon
December 2nd, 2004, 05:08 PM
So sorry to hear about your shoulder problem 330man and that you will be unable to swim for a while. I also experience pain in my shoulder that I have been trying to overcome for some time. Have you explained the problem in a previous thread that I have not read. If so can you point me to it as I am interested to know what sort of pain you were experiencing. If not can you include a description in this thread. It would be good if you could keep us informed of how you go with the MRI and the recovery as it may help others in a similar position. It makes swimmers aware how important it is to look after our shoulder. Good luck to you.
Regards - Johnathon.

scyfreestyler
December 2nd, 2004, 05:52 PM
My shoulder has bothered me on and off for some time now in the form of dull pain and occasional clicking and popping. Tuesday night I was stretching before my swim and I began a propeller like twirling of my arms to stretch my shoulders out; bad idea if you did not already know. This made my minor shoulder problem into something a little less minor and a little more major. It was not really painful but I could feel it popping around more than I ever had before. I swam about 600 yards that night and I could feel a tiny pinch or pain in my shoulder on most every pull. I am not really concerned about the MRI or the surgery since I am a veteran of surgery. At the age of 30 I have now been in an OR 3 times, once for a bladder tumor that was benign. My primary concern is the time I must spend out of the pool. Needless to say, I am in a hurry to get the recovery started.

Seagurl51
December 2nd, 2004, 06:06 PM
I was having the same problem with my shoulder ever since I dislocated it. Dull aching and occasional popping. Turns out the popping in my shoulder was caused by my shoulder actually coming out of place (not all the way but kinda like a golf ball on a tee that's how the doc explained it) because my rotator cuff wasn't strong enough to hold it in. The pinching that I was feeling (like you on the recovery of my strokes) was because the top of humerous and the acromium (sp) were banging together and pinching the liagment and muslces in between, causing a dull ache and occasional surge of pain when it hit something just right. I can't do breaststroke or butterfly for three weeks, but I can still swim. Hopefully nothing major is causing the popping and clicking and it's just something "minor" like bones clashing with each other. Good luck with a speedy recovery whether you have surgery or not. I'll keep a good thought for you.

~Kyra

p.s. Don't forget that whatever happens...do you rotator cuff exercises to keep it from happening again!! I never realized how important they were until I started having problems.

USMSarah
December 2nd, 2004, 06:33 PM
oooh... i had the clicking and popping! i know EXACTLY what you are talking about. i had that in college... what had happened to me is that my rotator cuff had bulged and moved and my ligaments were stretched out. i don't want to worry you but i'm telling you to keep you informed... i had arthroscopic (spell?) surgery, and he went in there and cleaned up my RC and shrunk the ligaments with heat. doing much better now.

(we lifted weights in college too, and i think that was a major attribute to my injury)

keep us updated!

scyfreestyler
December 2nd, 2004, 07:37 PM
Originally posted by USMSarah
oooh... i had the clicking and popping! i know EXACTLY what you are talking about. i had that in college... what had happened to me is that my rotator cuff had bulged and moved and my ligaments were stretched out. i don't want to worry you but i'm telling you to keep you informed... i had arthroscopic (spell?) surgery, and he went in there and cleaned up my RC and shrunk the ligaments with heat. doing much better now.

(we lifted weights in college too, and i think that was a major attribute to my injury)

keep us updated! I am expecting to need surgery but if I don't that would be fine. Given the symptoms I just don't see how it can be resolved without an invasive procedure. Anyhow, I will keep you all posted as things move along.

gull
December 3rd, 2004, 03:52 PM
I doubt that the MRI will show "loose cartilage." More likely you have so-called swimmer's shoulder with impingement leading to tendinitis (the tendons become trapped between the head of the humerus and the ac joint like Kyra said). The MRI will exclude a rotator cuff or labrum tear. If it's not a surgical problem like a tear, exercises to stabilize the scapula (shoulder blade) and strengthen the rotator cuff are needed to reduce the impingement. I had an MRI showing arthritis of the ac joint but no tears, and the clicking and popping that I was experiencing improved with PT, as well as ice and antiinflammatory agents. My orthopedist recommended a six month trial of PT before considering decompression of the ac joint. Even with surgery, the problem will recur without PT exercises to address the underlying problem.

Johnathon
December 5th, 2004, 04:31 PM
Just wondering whether any of you experience a delayed ache in the shoulder? I rarely experience problems when I swim but about 24 - 36 hours later I get a dull ache in my shoulder blade. Have been to the doctors, had mytherapy and I am doing various excercises. I also swim more carefully focusing on the techniques in Laughliin's Total Immersion book. It seems to have helped but at this stage the pain still recurs. Keep us informed of your progress 330 man.
Regards Johnathon.

scyfreestyler
December 5th, 2004, 07:54 PM
My onset of pain was delayed by about 24 hours. I am also finding that my pain is going away and that every day brings improvement in my shoulder. At this rate I will be up and running again within the next 7-10 days. Now my problem is determining whether or not to get an MRI if I can manage to keep this problem under control.

msgrupp
December 5th, 2004, 11:36 PM
MRI for THIS year. If you've already met your deductible for 2004--it won't cost as much as paying for it in 2005 as PART of your deductible!!!

Just because the shoulder is starting to feel better doesn't mean you won't have trouble down the road. Find out what is going on INSIDE now. If it's something easy that can be taken care of by resting and exercise--you're ahead of the game. If it's a major problem and requires surgery--at least you can schedule surgery for after the first of the year unless you can get it in before the 31st.

scyfreestyler
December 6th, 2004, 10:50 AM
Originally posted by msgrupp
MRI for THIS year. If you've already met your deductible for 2004--it won't cost as much as paying for it in 2005 as PART of your deductible!!!

Just because the shoulder is starting to feel better doesn't mean you won't have trouble down the road. Find out what is going on INSIDE now. If it's something easy that can be taken care of by resting and exercise--you're ahead of the game. If it's a major problem and requires surgery--at least you can schedule surgery for after the first of the year unless you can get it in before the 31st. Yeah, you're right. I plan on getting the MRI. I am just a little disgusted because the doctor's office has yet to call me back with an MRI appt.. If I don't hear something this AM I am going straight to an Ortho that many have suggested in my area. The doctor I am currently seeing is a soft tissue specialist who said he will most likely wind up sending me to an Ortho anyhow. If I could get the MRI and surgery done before 2005 that would be excellent. I had the same problem last year with another surgery of mine. I spoke to the Dr. in late November but the earliest surgery slot was in January.

scyfreestyler
December 7th, 2004, 06:16 PM
Okay, I just finished the MRI and the tech said that my doctor should get a preliminary diagnosis from the radiologist tonight or tomorrow AM. Not to jump the gun but that leaves me with about 2 weeks to get my shoulder fixed if it requires surgery. I am trying to get the whole deal taken care of before 2005 for insurance reasons. Well, I am going to hope for no surgery and just a bit more rest.