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Dr. Andrew Rynne
Dr. Andrew Rynne

Family Physician

Exp 50 years

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Is restricted arm movement due to rotator cuff injury?

I am 61 years old and fell hard on ice . I slammed my shoulder when I went down. I went to the doctor and he said because I could raise my arms straight upward, to my sides and in back and could push against his hands that it was unlikely to be a rotator cuff tear, that it could be stretched tendons or muscles. I applied ice for 2 days and heat for the next few days and took ibuprofen but something doesn’t feel right. I went to the dr again and had an X-ray taken. There were no broken bones or bone spurs. The doctor said that he doesn’t think it’s a rotator cuff injury but if I did it might be a partial tear or a sprain. He prescribed Naproxen sodium twice a day every 12 hours yesterday for 10 days and if it’s still hurting I should go for physical therapy. My shoulder aches and although I can raise my hands to the sides my right arm, the one that was injured feels hard to keep up and I can’t do a large backward circle with that arm. It starts to hurt when I reach my arm up and backward so I can’t complete the circle. It feels like something is wrong with the rotation. Do you think it’s the rotator cuff?
Fri, 6 Jul 2018
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General & Family Physician 's  Response
Hello and Welcome to ‘Ask A Doctor’ service. I have reviewed your query and here is my advice.

Considering your symptoms , it's normal to have that pain for some times after the trauma that you had, I don't think about any serious rottator cuff damage. You can continue using naproxen twice daily, and aslo you can add paracetamol+codeine (twice daily) not at the same time as naproxen.
If after this treatment you still have pain , it's ok to start some physical therapy.

Hope I have answered your query. Let me know if I can assist you further.
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