Round and round and round she goes, and where she stops, nobody knows!
Opinion #1: I have a little rotator cuff tear, no frozen shoulder and only need PT.
Opinion #2: I have a serious rotator cuff tear, a frozen shoulder and a bone spur that is damaging my tendon, and I need surgery right now or I will never get any better. The surgery would be to sew up the tear and cut the adhesions of the frozen shoulder to release it.
Opinion #3: I have a moderate rotator cuff tear, a frozen shoulder and a tiny bone spur that is not doing any damage, and surgery should only be considered after the frozen shoulder has been completely healed through PT, anti-inflammatory drugs and possible cortisone shots. If that does not heal the frozen shoulder, manipulation under anesthesia would be an option, and surgery would only be a last resort. The torn rotator cuff may never need surgery, but if it does, it could be six months to a year in the future.
Dr. #3 does not understand opinions #1 and #2. He says that surgery like Dr. #2 suggested is risky and I could end up with a frozen shoulder that is even worse than the one I have now.
He said that the post-op treatment for a frozen shoulder is mobilization, and the post-op treatment for a rotator cuff tear is immoblization, so it is not smart to do both of those surgeries at the same time.
I left my new doctor's office and went straight to schedule PT and drop off my prescription at the drug store. I guess time will tell if this has been the right decision.
By the way, one thing I liked about this doctor is that he has my identical injury on his own right shoulder, and he chose not to have surgery, and healed his frozen shoulder with physical therapy. If it was good enough for him, maybe it will be good enough for me.