You and Me

bicep tendonsHad an MRI of my shoulder last night and saw the ortho this morning. And this episode has really brought to light something important…

Our Tennis Community

Thanks to all the dozens of friends who have commented, advised, consoled yesterday and today via phone, email, FaceBook and blog. It all has been very, very helpful to me.

It has become apparent that we have developed among us a strong “Tennis Community” that provides a forum for asking for help and sharing common histories. In 2007 when I had my challenge with prostate cancer, it was incredibly helpful to talk with people who had already gone through the process and told me what to expect.

Our forum is like that. It takes away the “fear of the unknown.”

My Diagnosis

Great news … the MRI shows that my bicep tendon is fully torn off the shoulder! Why is that “good news”? Because this surgeon does NOT operate to repair that; and says that I will be good to be back on the court in four weeks!

The American Association of Orthopedic surgeons write that “Surgical treatment for a long head of the biceps tendon tear is rarely needed.” I understand that some surgeons doing rotator cuff repair surgery will actually cut off a frayed bicep tendon while they are in there!

It appears that the short tendon will hold enough in place and I can live with the Popeye muscle. For a great article on the subject from them, click HERE

So, I feel 100% better (both physically and mentally) today and am now packing the van so The Wachtel Family Traveling Circus can hit the road tomorrow morning to Savannah / Connecticut / and then New Hampshire. Thanks again to all my tennis friends.

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17 thoughts on “You and Me

  1. Great news…..I know two guys who have the Popeye muscle, and they both have POWERFUL forehands.
    Everything will be fine, George.

  2. Hi George
    Glad it has worked out for you. You are an inspiration to everyone who reads your blogs

    Hope you are back on court very soon.


  3. George; I suppose now you will be wearing the “wife beater” tee shirts showing off your “popeye” muscle on the court for initimidation? Good luck with the rehab. See you in Quechee.
    Just an additional thought//comment/free advice for the the senior tennis players who may have knee replacements or partial rotator injuries ( I have all four). My advice is to beware of jumping into pickleball. I played tennis all winter about 4 times a week including 30 league matches on soft courts. No problem. Then about a month ago played some pickleball in Fort Myers and hurt my knee and right shoulder. Seeing the Doc soon. I have been told that orthopedic docs down in FL are seeing many injuries from playing PB on hard courts with the quick turns/stops and starts etc So, it is a fun game but be careful.

    Jim, great advice. see you in VT. george

  4. Sounds like good news, George. With that free Popeye muscle, you’ll be strong to the finish without having to eat all that spinach. See you in October.

  5. I have know others that have gone through the same situation and have done well. I am on my way today, lunch in J’ville.

  6. Great news! As a massage therapist working with tennis players, I’ve seen a lot of torn biceps (sometimes literally right after it happened!). Almost all report no big long-term deficits. The popeye bulge becomes just another “oh, yeah…well check this out.” to talk about over beers 🙂

    Joann, great idea to win some beers! thanks, george

  7. So, I guess you won’t be looking to hit whilst in Savannah this trip. 🙂

    Kevin, right! George

  8. Thanks for excellent info. I’m hoping that I can play 3 weeks after my injury…
    I a trying to get an MRI before I see the orthopedist June 1. See you soon, Nick

  9. Great news George. Your NH friends were volunteering for suicide watch! Speedy recovery. Bill

    Bill, and my wife was checking out divorce lawyers! Thanks, George

  10. Although it is not the best diagnosis, it is a definitive and precise diagnosis that is totally rehabilitatable. The only reason to repair this would be cosmetic reasons – i.e. body builder that needs to have a good looking bicep. So, I don’t think you are worried about having a beautiful bicep! Good luck on your rehab – you should have a complete recovery. Don’t forget to continue to work on rotator cuff and scapular stabilizers! Larry

    But Larry, my new bicep is “beautiful “! George

  11. Have a great summer. Hope to get back on the court with I in the fall.

  12. George,

    I always like your optimistic look at life. If you think it is beautiful, great!


    Larry, if you look closely, the glass is usually more than half full! Thanks. George

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