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Dr. Thomas, MD
Dr. Thomas, MD, Board Certified MD
Category: Medical
Satisfied Customers: 63757
Experience:  Board certified Internal medicine and Integrative medicine. Many years of experience all areas.
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I was attacked with a knife. The knife wound is superficial

Customer Question

I was attacked with a knife.
The knife wound is superficial but I sustained a shoulder injury in the struggle.
I can only speculate that this occurred when I dragged my assailant off his feet using only my left arm.
The following day I found mobility was restricted to (in my estimation) approximately 25%.
Lateral and anterior movements were severely compromised, approximately 15-20º of movement.
If I brought my left hand to my shoulder and tried to raise my elbow, I had approximately 30º of movement.
There was a lot of pain but as an ache as opposed to stabbing pain.
There was no deformity around the shoulder. No deformity of the bicep muscle.
I experienced no tingling in my left hand or arm.
I was returning to Afghanistan just two days after the incident and it was obvious that mobility was slowly returning.
I surmised that heavy swelling of the tendons and ligaments were probably to blame for the restricted movement and that complete mobility would return as the swelling eased.
For this reason I returned to work as normal.
I have been careful to rest my shoulder and mobility has returned greatly and the pain has also significantly lessened.
After three weeks I have found that I have minimal pain but my shoulder seems to lock when I attempt certain movements.
If I raise my elbow to be laterally in line with me shoulder, making my upper arm horizontal and then raise my hand vertically I find I need to move my elbow forward out of line with my shoulder and even then I can only raise to a 45º angle.
I am concerned that there could be lasting damage.
I do have a small video if it is possible to post which shows clearly the restriction in movement.
Submitted: 3 years ago.
Category: Medical
Expert:  Dr. Thomas, MD replied 3 years ago.
Hello
there is no way to view a video on this post but in fact you have described this very well and you have typical rotator cuff damage.

Without the correct physical therapy you might have permanent damage or develop the need for surgery.

You need to see a sports medicine or physical medicine specialist MD at this point, and an MRI might need to be done if PT does not have rapid effects and resolution.

Use reply to let me know if you have further questions.
Please do not forget a positive rating when done.
Customer: replied 3 years ago.


Naturally I don't want to force the movement past the point of discomfort and I assume the tear is only partial with the rapid initial recovery.


Is there and exercises I can attempt in order to strengthen the muscle or improve the mobility along the restricted angle?

Expert:  Dr. Thomas, MD replied 3 years ago.
No
In fact you should not be doing that until assessed. Hands on. Depending on what is found you might need more extension v. flexion, rotation, etc....do not try self help on this, or you are subject to further injury.
Use reply to let me know if you have further questions.
Please do not forget a positive rating when done.
Customer: replied 3 years ago.


I appreciate that you can't give anything more than a basic answer without examination but in your experience, does this sound like a surgery case or rest and recuperation?

Expert:  Dr. Thomas, MD replied 3 years ago.
NO, neither.

It sounds like a physical medicine case, and if that fails, surgery.

It is unlikely o require surgery.
Use reply to let me know if you have further questions.
Please do not forget a positive rating when done.

Customer: replied 3 years ago.


Doctor, thank you very much for your professional opinion. You time and help have been very much appreciated.

Customer: replied 3 years ago.


Doctor, thank you very much for your professional opinion. You time and help have been very much appreciated.

Expert:  Dr. Thomas, MD replied 3 years ago.
You are in fact welcome anytime for any questions.

Find me as needed.
Let me know how it goes.

Use reply to let me know if you have further questions.
Please do not forget a positive rating when done.

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