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Pipefitters shoulder

M Lane
M Lane Member Posts: 123
30 years of swinging wrenches has left me with a type 3 acromion bone spur. I need to get it ground off, its called a subacromial decompression. Any you guys had this done? I'm wondering how long before I can use that arm for work again.


  • Bob Gagnon plumbing and heating
    Have you tried

    Ice and exercise?

    Thanks, Bob Gagnon
    To learn more about this professional, click here to visit their ad in Find A Contractor.
  • heatpro02920
    heatpro02920 Member Posts: 991
    Sorry to hear that,

    I have crushed my hand {removed 1 and a half digits, thanks to a oil fired 4 section WM boiler, but they put them back on, a little crooked, but they're on there...}, broke my collar bone, ect ect ect ..................and had shoulder surgery, shoulder was the longest recovery time, and by far the most painful, but I had a j hook tear in the muscle so it may be different recovery times. Make sure a good dr is doing it, follow his directions and I'm sure all will be well.. When I was younger I would beat myself up and run rite back to work, now my shoulders hurt {both}, hands hurt, neck hurts, and that is on a good day, when it rains its even worse...

    good luck, maybe if its a long recovery time, you can plan a vacation...
  • bob_46
    bob_46 Member Posts: 813

    I'm a retired fitter, just received my 50 year pin from the UA . I hate to tell you this but they won't let you retire until you're 80% scar tissue .

    There was an error rendering this rich post.

  • JohnNY
    JohnNY Member Posts: 3,231
    Don't get me started.

    For the last 3 years I've been dealing with my shoulder and elbow.

    I got a cortisone shot in my shoulder and two in my elbow and while they both offered some temporary relief, it wasn't until I actually listened to my doctor and physical therapist and started doing light dumbbell lifts at the gym.

    3 sets starting with 2.5 lbs and working up to 7.5 lbs, as many as I can comfortably do gets it done.

    I lift straight forward, then straight out to the sides, then lean over forward and lift backward.

    I do that anywhere from 1-3 times a week and my shoulder is good.

    If I skip a week it's ok, but if I skip two, my shoulder starts to hurt again.

    That's how I know it works.

    My elbow healed by doing tricep push downs and other tricep extension repetitions.

    The key is to resist the urge to lift a lot of weight.

    If you can do 10-12 reps comfortably, then you're using the right weight. You'll know when you can lift more, but don't push it.

    My doctor is Chief of Orthopedic Surgery at a big deal hospital in New York and he strongly advised me to do these exercises and see how I feel before we even consider talking about surgery.

    As far as I'm concerned, no one's cutting me open until I'm out of options.

    Good luck to you.
    Contact John "JohnNY" Cataneo, NYC Master Plumber, Lic 1784
    Consulting & Troubleshooting
    Heating in NYC or NJ.
  • Bob Gagnon plumbing and heating
    Couldn't Agree More

    JohnNY, that's whatI did, very light weights, starting at about 9 o'clock, which is toward my side, and lifting over my head, rotate your arm to 10 o'clock, lift over your head, etc. etc. until you can't get anymore, about 2 o'clock, then I would do small rotations with the weight up high directly over my head, gradually making bigger circles, until the weights were about head level, it took a surprisingly short amount of time to fix my shoulder, it lasted for a couple of years, it's coming back and I just started doing them again. Don't let em cut you unless you have too.

    Thanks, Bob Gagnon
    To learn more about this professional, click here to visit their ad in Find A Contractor.
  • Tinman
    Tinman Member Posts: 2,808
    33 years

    in the trenches and I've had almost every surgical procedure there is including shoulder, 2 neck surgeries, 2 knees, both hands, hip, etc. Shoulder and neck were the toughest. They cut off an inch of collar bone. Fit as ever now, just sore each morning. Hands never want to open and close early in the morning. Too much cortisone is destructive and never worked well for me. You'll do fine.
    Steve Minnich
  • M Lane
    M Lane Member Posts: 123
    Well down the road on this

    I've had this pain now for many years, it is called impingement syndrome. I have done thera-band and regular weight lifting therapies, taken lots of anti-inflammatories, so on. Most recently I've had one cortisone shot, it worked really well for about 5 months.

    I am also a rock climber, so I live a athletic lifestyle, that is when the demands of our profession allow that sort of free time.

    I believe that hydrocortisone will lead to damage, so I will consider only one more shot. I know guys who have had many.

    My problem appears on an x-ray: the bone spur is so large it is like an eagle beak pinching into the tissue of the rotator cuff underneath it.

    I have a really high threshold for pain, but am a huge baby when it comes to needles and knives; so I will try everything first before considering surgery.

    Here is a video that explains it:


    I know that many of you out there have this same problem.