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Discussion Starter #1
^^^Question in the title.

I'm certain I have a torn rotator cuff, but have avoided having it looked at to assess how seriously it's been damaged because...

1) my last experience with a doctor "assessing" my physical injury (injured knees before) wasn't a good one.
2) if it's determined i will need surgery on it, and i don't have the cash to pay for it, i can't afford to have the doctor require me to get it before he gives me a pass on future physical exams.
3) i've rehabbed it enough on my own to where the pain/discomfort is not at an alarming level. edit: although i've rehabbed it, it's definitely not fixed/healed completely.

...the reason I bring it up - I've been easing into a weightlifting routine as part of my regular workout, but I've been hesitant to bench that much because I'm not sure if and/or how much damage will further be done to my shoulder.

Any thoughts on this from people who know what they're talking about would be appreciated.
 

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I'd avoid the lifting for now.

If it doesn't hurt a lot from normal use and seems to be getting better, you can go without surgery most likely.

However, there's a good chance that your shoulder is permanently weakened, even if it doesn't hurt, and if you do weights without having it looked at, you could tear it again even worse.

Tissue damage may heal but the rotator cuff itself typically does not heal back to the bone by itself. If it is a small tear you may be able to get by fine just normally but if you want to lift weights, I would see a doctor. Surgery may be necessary for that.

Edit:
Or think of it as the tendons holding onto the bone. With a partial tear, you still have some tendon holding the bone, but it is probably going to stay that way. Less tendon holding the bone means less work it can do before you injure it again. It can possibly get progressively worse this way with each injury making it weaker and weaker, and more prone to injury.
 
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