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Torn Rotator Cuff- Years of Being a Good Sport: October 9, 2012

Craig Moorehead spent years being a good sport.

“Baseball. High school. That was pretty much my main sport in high school. I was a catcher. After high school just pretty much men’s softball and occasionally men’s baseball,” says Craig Moorehead, rehabbing a torn rotator cuff.

Eventually the continual throwing motion caught up with him.

“When it really bothered me is when I couldn’t sleep anymore. I knew I had to get something done. Then I had Dr. Reynolds check it out,” says Moorehead.

“It’s the older athlete or the mature athletes because their tissues aren’t as strong and they’ve been doing it a lot longerĀ  - who tend to come in with complete rotator cuff tears,” says Dr. Fletcher Reynolds, orthopedic surgeon with Lee Memorial Health System’s medical staff.

Throw in the likelihood of arthritis, on top of years of use and you have a situation that requires action. Repairs are often done arthroscopically, fixing the tear without cutting into the shoulder.

“Two or three poke holes are made in very specific spots in the shoulder so we can gain access. Special instruments are used to place sutures, place what we call suture anchors that go into the bone the help hold the sutures to the bone,” says Dr. Reynolds.

That brought Moorehead to halftime in his recovery. He spent weeks in therapy, strengthening surrounding muscles.

“The tendency for a lot of athletes is to go into the weight room and put on heavy heavy weights. And that only compounds the problem, so a lot of it is education on using light weights and isolating rotator cuff muscle groups and strengthening them to balance with the large muscle groups around the shoulder,” says Dr. Reynolds.

With new ground rules, Moorehead is back to enjoying the sport he loves.

“They ease you back into your normal self. And my arm feels great,” says Moorehead.