Alright so after two years of problems, I finally went to see a DPT. After hearing my symptoms and cranking my arm in ways that made it hurt for three days, he said he is 90% certain I have a SLAP tear, and that I will be needing surgery. So here goes:
1. How accurately can one be diagnosed without actually looking into my shoulder?
2. I have an MRA scheduled. How bad does the needle suck? I hate needles.
3. I'm a weightlifter, runner, soldier, and I drive a stick shift muscle car. How long can I be expected to be down and out if I end up getting the surgery?
A good OS and certain tears will show up very positive in the office. In your case it sounds like a SLAP. I am assuming you are also getting an MRI(MRA?) with dye which may or may not show the tear. I actually did not have such positive signs and had a tear(discovered with the operation) that got repaired 4 1/2 weeks ago. I was driving with one hand in about two weeks, very slowly and carefully in an automatic. I cannot imagine using a stick, even now or another month, so if you want some freedom you may want to consider trading with someone and using an automatic. Your OS may have some very specific instructions about your brace and driving so ask. Everyone is so different in their recovery, generally if pain is under control and ROM comes easily the strength cannot be worked on for at least 6 weeks. What kind of work will you be doing? If you are returning to a desk job, the return can be sooner. Getting back to some sporting activities can at the bestbe 4 months and for more extreme sports 6-9 months. Your commitment to rehab is essential. I'm sure some other posters can give you their experiences. Most on this site are still rehabing. Hope this helps.
I appreciate the response. I have always had pain when throwing a football, and turning steaks on a grill gets tiring and painful pretty quickly. The pronating and supenating pain is what really clued him into it. I work in bomb disposal, so I need my hands. I don't really do a lot of desk work. My wife has an automatic car, so I guess it's time to teach her to drive my car.
I am scheduled for the MRI arthrogram on the 22nd. Unfortunately nothing is fast in the military. I hear the painkiller is the only shot you feel, and it's like a shot at the dentist, which I have had all too many of.
If the radiologist is skilled, the Arthrogram shouldn't be too bad. My advice, if you hate needles, do not look at this one. You will feel slight discomfort as the needle progresses but it's nothing serious. Good luck. From your symptoms though, it's easy to see how the doc said you have a SLAP tear. You have all the classic symptoms. Keep us updated.