Results and Request for Medical Advice

One of the problems with having a blog is that you have to report the losses as well as the wins. Oh, did I leak “the end of the story?” But first, a request from a tennis buddy who is suffering with a torn rotator cuff…

What to do with a torn rotator cuff?
Hi George, I tore my rotator cuff 2 weeks ago during a match here in Tucson. Saw a highly recommended orthopedic specialist on shoulder issues, and had an MRI indicating a full tear. Choices are living with it (with some limited physical therapy) along with its limitations or having arthroscopic surgery to repair. I am looking for any downsides to surgery, recent experiences, and any comments by members of your tennis playing blogosphere! I think I have been building up to this for several years. Any input would be appreciated. Bob Drent

Pls comment below if you have experience and opinions. tks

Now to my story, if you believe what counts is the Process, not the Results, I did fine today. According to friends watching, I played as well today against #1 seed Evert Jonnson as I did in the previous days. But according to his analysis after the match, he “was just a little bit more consistent” than I was.

We played great points and close games for nearly an hour and a half; but he won almost all of the games for an “easy” straight set victory. If you really MUST know the score (and any others from today), you can click HERE.

THE MATCH OF THE DAY: Was Mike Dahm, #2 seed in the 60s, playing #5 seed John Davis from central Pennsylvania. A great match. Davis won the first set 6-4; but Dahm surged back, taking the second set at love. The third set, as you would have it watching from the bench (as I was) went to a tie-breaker. Mike Dahm saved three match points, but Davis prevailed 7-5 in the breaker.

7 thoughts on “Results and Request for Medical Advice

  1. Hi Bob, I was diagnosed with a torn rotator cuff 4 yrs ago. My doctor recommended surgery. I decided against it. I kept going for a new MRI every year for the last 4 yrs. I still kept playing tennis 3-4 days a week, icing my arm after playing and usng a TENS System 3-4 hrs a day. When I went back to doctor last yr, he told me my arm was healing it self. We moved to Florida and I don’t really have a problem any more, but I still ice down after each match. I guess I am just saying go slow with havng surgery. My 2 best friends had it done and the doctor told them after surgery not to play anymore. What a bummer. I developed a swinging volley instead of overheads. I am a happy camper

  2. I had a 5mm tear nine years ago. In contrast with Barbara’s experience, after a few months of unsuccessful rest/PT, I had surgery. I took a conservative approach to my recovery, not playing for 6 months, then gradually increasing my play. I was fully recovered after 9 months, though full strength took about 15 months. After that my shoulder was 100%. Not 99%, 100%. After 9 years it’s still 100%. I believe the secret to a successful outcome is rigid adherence to the PT regimen. The poor outcomes I’m aware of were a result of shirking the full PT program.

  3. if you want to continue to play at your current level , have the surgery , do the rehab and you will be at 80 % after 8 months and 100 % in a year . it worked that way for me and five years later i am still completely pain free and have zero restrictions , serving well . good luck !

  4. I had rotator cuff surgery 4 years ago. I could not lift my right arm over my shoulder and if I tried i was in severe pain. My problem was the result of a bone spur that eventually weaken the rotator cuff. After talking to my surgeon, I elected to have immediate surgery. The recovery process was slow and initially painfull but after 7 months I was hitting tennis balls and at around 15 months I felt that I was at 100%. If you have surgery, I would recomend a good PT with plenty of strenghtening exercises. You will not be able to rush the healing process and if you do could face another tear or worse.

  5. I reported for rotator cuff surgery in 2006. My doctor inserted a scope to access the best way to approach the surgery. He could find no good rotator cuff material to sow back together, so he discontinued the rotator cuff repair. Today my serve is 90% of it’s pre injury best and my overhead remains stronger then most. The rotator cuff muscle group in not well understood. BTW, I throw a softball for exercise as often as possible.

  6. I had rotator cuff surgery 14 years ago and a second time last July. I am currently in rehab. I have lots of experience with this problem and am willing to share them with you. My phone number is 941-351-8098 and my e-mail is I have a phone that is over the internet.

  7. Sounds like most of you opted for surgery,which makes me feel better. In my case, I tried PT for a “slight tear” back in 2007, so my current full tear leaves me with the one choice of surgery, I believe. My question is how often did your doctors “qualify” their forecasts for a successful surgery?

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