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Skiing with a torn rotator cuff

ESPNSkierESPNSkier Posts: 176 Baller
Any advice for skiing with a partially torn rotator cuff? I had to take a month off due to business travel and during that time my shoulder seemed to get worse (hard to do PT in a hotel room). I skied today for the first time in a month and felt pain (manageable but noticeable) in that shoulder for the first time while skiing. Stop while I'm ahead or is skiing at 15 to 28 off not likely to make it worse as long as I don't take any big hits? BTW: 60 years old and currently skiing at 32 mph.


  • IlivetoskiIlivetoski Posts: 1,187 Crazy Baller
    DONT DO IT. My dad tore his and had the surgery. He skis about 28 mph and he tore it skiing. So much slower and easier hits than you take. That surgery completely changed how he skis. Very cautious, does not want to do that again because the PT from the surgery hurt so bad (so did the shoulder immediately after surgery). Get it healed then ski
  • skiinxsskiinxs Posts: 596 ★★★Triple Panda Award Recipient ★★★
    I agree with @Ilivetosk don't make it worse. If it is only a partial tear, get a PRP injection and rest it, maybe a second a few weeks later, some more rest, then physical therapy. I have had three rotator cuff surgeries and the year until 95% recovery is tough. Let it heal if it can with only PRP and avoid the surgery. (PRP is Platelet Rich Plasma)
  • SteveoSteveo Posts: 62 Baller
    STOP SKIING. I had a partial tear that did not bother me so I kept skiing and going to the gym. It finally let go and a partial tear turned into according to my surgeon a massive tear. Surgery last April and presently in PT. Get it taken care of now before it becomes a more serious injury.
  • ESPNSkierESPNSkier Posts: 176 Baller
    Thanks, sounds like good advice. I stopped bench press and other pushing exercises at the gym last month as that seemed to aggravate it the most but pulling movements like in skiing did not seem to bother me....until now. Going back for more PT today and trying to avoid surgery.
  • jipster43jipster43 Posts: 1,436 Crazy Baller
    I've had a partial tear for two years now. It feels fairly strong but has been aggravated by skiing. I've been terrible about doing the exercises that my PT has given me, so I've committed to doing those every day. We'll see if that makes a difference. But he's given me the green light to waterski. After two years of constant pain, I am seriously considering surgery at the end of this season.

    Good luck @ESPNSkier !
  • ESPNSkierESPNSkier Posts: 176 Baller
    Thanks for the advice! I just returned from another round of PT and plan to back off for a bit to see if the PT will work for me.

    Good luck to you too @jipster43
  • TeamWallyTeamWally Posts: 121 Baller
    I feel your pain, took out my left 2 years ago, OTF at wake did shoulder in and broke a tooth. Had do stem cell repair instead of surgery. Blew right one in Feb snow ski crash. No skiing for 6 weeks after stem cells. BTW this using my own stem cells. NO Planned Parenthood Baby Parts involved. Some speculation that antibiotics for sinus infection weakend tendons. Horton thinks I'm too fat and overload my 65yo body parts.
  • OldboyIIOldboyII Posts: 609 Solid Baller
    edited June 2016
    I would add my vote to #DO-NOT-DO-IT team.
    Some years in Alps I got broken shoulder with torn rotator.
    And after surgery I was too hectic to start skiing again and received secondary trauma.
    Secondary one is much more difficult to deal with. And there is a big risk to make it recurent.
    All I would advise you (If I'm allowed to) is to swim and be moderately active in order to keep full range of motion in damaged area. At least one season off.
    Keep smile!

  • ESPNSkierESPNSkier Posts: 176 Baller
    Thanks, all good advice! I'll have to look into the Regenexx procedure.
  • GAJ0004GAJ0004 Posts: 1,095 Baller
    Don't go back on the water until your doctor clears you to go.
    Gary Janzig Streetsboro Ohio, skis at Lake Latonka, Mercer Pennsylvania slalom,trick,kneeboard,barefoot
  • JohnbrannanJohnbrannan Posts: 36 Baller
    I agree with the Regenexx option, we have been using it in our clinic for years.
  • SteveoSteveo Posts: 62 Baller
    Back on the water today four months post shoulder surgery. Went out for a free ski keeping both hands on the handle while making turns. I definitely favored my right side letting my right arm handle more load (left shoulder injured). Was wondering how any baller progressed getting back into the course. Good news is no pain!
  • ISP6ballISP6ball Posts: 199 Baller
    I'm 7 months post op on my rotator and ACL reconstruction (2 weeks apart). I started back skiing late May. Most of June I would notice a little bit of soreness, but nothing alarming. The month of July felt really strong. Coming into August, I'm not even thinking about my shoulder or my knee.
    I would enjoy free skiing, and go relatively easy until you get closer to 5½-6 month mark.
    Glad to hear you're back on the water!
  • parkerc2112parkerc2112 Posts: 127 Baller
    Partial tear, very painful, didn't require surgery. Sleeping was the worse part. Started skiing again after pain subsided and mobility increased. 8weeks
  • jipster43jipster43 Posts: 1,436 Crazy Baller
    My torn rotator cuff resulted in a torn bicep tendon. I'm awaiting my powervest and my surgeon's advice. I'm actually looking forward to surgery to finally put all of this behind me.
  • GlydonGlydon Posts: 230 Baller
    I skied an entire summer and no PT and my shoulder is totally healed. It is a common misconception to "rest" an injury. Joints , Muscles all need blood to heal . To get blood to pump to these areas requires exercise.
  • eddie_roberts_jreddie_roberts_jr Posts: 450 Water Ski Industry Professional
    I have a partial tear in the rotator cuff of my right shoulder which has already had surgery for a torn labrum and bicep tendon. Definitely challenged throwing anything but we play ping pong at lunch every day and I feel like the exercise helps to keep the shoulder healthy.
  • BdeckerBdecker Posts: 316 Crazy Baller
    I partially tore mine in a dislocation just over a year ago. If it isn't too bad, aggressive PT should get you back on the water. I have been wearing a shock doctor brace this season for a little extra piece of mind and I'm skiing as well as I ever have. I saw 3 surgeons and in my case they all agreed that surgery wasn't necessary.

    @cragginshred sent me some exercises that really helped. I also bought one of those Shoulder Sphere devices at nationals and that seemed to really help as well. Good luck getting back in the water.
  • RLWRLW Posts: 69 Baller
    My advice is to see an orthopedic shoulder specialist. Treatment should depend on the magnitude of the tear and generally involves nonoperative treatment unless the tear is high grade or you fail to respond to conservative treatment (PT, meds, possible injection). You should know that PRP and stem cells remain experimental and controversial for the shoulder at this time; some studies even show detrimental effects. It's easy to find someone to inject PRP or stem cells though since you'll pay them $$$ out of pocket.
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