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We drove back to Kansas from Madison most of the day yesterday. I should probably be writing something about Lance’s doping confession or my thoughts about the Elite races on Sunday, in Madison, but I’m pretty preoccupied by my own injury issues.

I went by the hospital and got a copy of the MRI and the written report of the findings. I really hadn’t heard the particulars about what was exactly wrong with me and I was mildly surprised, maybe more like startled, when I read the report.

It stated- ROTATOR CUFF: Full-thickness full-width tear of the supraspinatus tendon with approximately 6.7 cm medial and Proximal retraction. There is also a full-thickness near full with tear of the infraspinatus tendon intact fibers with retraction of most of the fibers medial and proximally by approximately 3.9 cm. The teres minor and subscapularis tendons are intact.

In layman terms, this means that two out of four of the tendons/muscles in my shoulder are completely disconnected/severed. That isn’t a good thing.

I called a friend, Stacy, an orthopedic surgeon that happens to live in Louisville, and talked for a while on the drive home. She is actually working at the Cyclocross Worlds, which I didn’t know. Anyway, she gave me some good advice on things I should do to try to race in Louisville in a couple weeks. I also have an appointment Wednesday, with the orthopedic surgeon that works on the pitchers of the Kansas City Royals. I know he see some jacked up shoulders. My shoulder is pretty common. Stacy said she does about surgery on about 400 of them a year. That number seems gigantic to me.

So, this morning I’m heading over to Lawrence to see a sports PT doctor about my left leg, but am going to try to get him to focus more on my shoulder, trying to get some of the swelling and inflammation to subside. Then Wednesday, in Kansas City, and hopefully I’ll be riding outside soon.

I’ve crashed on my bike a lot of times. And broken a lot of things. This injury is pretty debilitating. It is very hard to find the “sweet spot”, where the shoulder feels in alignment and there isn’t much pain. Especially at night. Stacy suggested I sleep in a recliner. I’m not to that point yet, but if I don’t sleep some soon, I might have to go out and buy one, just to try it. I slept some on Friday night, but Thursday, Saturday, Sunday and now Monday, I didn’t hardly sleep at all. It is getting a little old.

Okay, I have an early appointment in Lawrence, so have to head out. I’m not sure if I’m optimistic or not yet. I’m too beat to figure it out. Hopefully that will change soon.

I drove nearly all the way home, but a couple hours out, I laid down in the backseat with Bromont.  I couldn't really get comfortable, but finally fell asleep about 10 minutes before we got back to Topeka.  Go figure.

I drove nearly all the way home, but a couple hours out, I laid down in the backseat with Bromont. I couldn’t really get comfortable, but finally fell asleep about 10 minutes before we got back to Topeka. Go figure.

Image of a Rotator Cuff.

Image of a Rotator Cuff.

9 thoughts on “Preoccupied

  1. Beaster

    A wise Physical Therapist once told me “Athletes train, compete & suffer set-backs” – A good lesson to learn early in one’s athletic career. I work with athlete’s post-rehab and I have had many sports injuries and recovered very nicely everytime. You might be suprised but many times an injury allows overuse issues in other areas of our anatomy to get some rest………………… I have seen many athlete’s reappreciate their sports lifestyle after an injury and attain some of their BEST results post-rehab!!!

    In fact, I just had minor umbilical hernia repair…………………. crap, but I now realize more than ever just how important core strength is – both basic functionally & sports performance. I will now commit myself to MORE core work than ever before and am next to POSITIVE my cycling this year will be more FUN!!!!!

  2. Max

    Performing self surgery that was pretty impressive but arm wrestling with a torn up shoulder? That’s a new level of making Chuck Norris cry and then vote Democrat.

  3. Skippy

    Well , if you are still not sleeping Thursday night , you will be able to watch the FIRST segment of the “Lance JOKE Show ” , since Oprah thinks she struck GOLD and now is about to start a series , well it is definitely TWO episodes !

    Her comment on CBS , this AM , ” He did not come CLEAN in the manner I expected ” & ” I was Satisfied ” !

    More is revealed by heinous of the phats of Aigle tag team :

    HOPE the injuries heal enough to allow you to make a choice that suits you !

  4. Denny Thiel

    I’m glad you’re preoccupied with your own concerns! Take care of yourself first!

    If you feel that you can compete at worlds, go for it. Schedule getting your shoulder fixed as soon as practical. My Physical Therapist got me back to work and I avoided the surgery for years when I had shoulder problems. I couldn’t get a full nights sleep. I remember talking to the Physical Therapist about the fact that many of her patients watch TV all night. Before surgery I’d learned to do many common things left handed. Ambidexterity by necessity. I should have gotten my injury repaired sooner.

    As long as I’ve known you I feel this is the first time that my experience (unfortunate as it is) is greater than yours. You may be able to pursue your immediate plans, but you’ll likely need to amend the long term to get back to where you want to be.

  5. jp

    it looks like you have tape on the shoulder that helps alot until you can get it taken care of, i used this tape called leukotape P for planters faciitis, while looking for ways to tape on you tube, i saw lots of videos for taping shoulders, it helps tremendously until you can get fixed properly, you just need somebody that can do it it for you, which trudi probably can. body hair could be an issue though for when you take it off. the spider tech tape and rock tape sites have some videos on how to, but it was really helpful to see how many ways shoulders can be taped beyond those sites, check out the leukotape.

  6. Murry

    In the words of the Kenny Rodgers song, The Gambler,

    “If you’re gonna play the game, boy, ya gotta learn to play it right.

    You got to know when to hold ’em, know when to fold ’em,
    Know when to walk away and know when to run.”

    Go get’em next year Steve! Louisville may just have to go on without you. Good luck and take care.

  7. bz

    Its nice to go to a cycling site and not see lance crap. I was personally hoping for a pie baking story, but injuries are an ok second.

    Page looked impressive.
    Compton was away, but the race behind her was really entertaining. I was happy to see Mo get a high place. Yay, for the 9-5ers.

  8. Ben Upchurch

    Suffered from this for about 13 years. It got unbearable. To get you to worlds ask for a ‘depomedrol’ shot directly into affected shoulder. This has worked wonders for me from months to years.

    Unfortunately I had some goofy mtb crash in oct that wrecked my shoulder and resorted in worsening my 2 tears. Was scheduled for surgery in December but that was cancelled due to in increase in comfort from a crazy weight lifting routine I started on my upper body! What? Upper body weight lifting for a cyclist? I thought I would never do it cause of the gain I’m mass but it has changed my shoulder through muscle support.

    Dr park here in Fayetteville has done all the razorbacks and told me point blank – no surgery – keep lifting weights since its helping.

    So, depomedrol for relief and upper body weights for support. It’s working.

    Feel free to call me or email me to talk about it.


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