Red circle shows my partial thickness rotator cuff tear. It's highlighted in white on account of the contrasting agent (gadolinium) migrating towards it.
And the answer is... I have a small partial thickness tear of my rotator cuff due to traumatic injury.
I'm now faced with the decision of whether to undergo surgery or not. I could try ‘activity-directed’ physiotherapy, but this did not work before. The surgeon said if it was him that he would go for the surgery.
Surgery would of course involve having to keep my arm in a sling for up to a month and no climbing for 3-6 months, however I should be back to normal in 1 year and full recovery seems likely due to my age and the size of the tear.
I'm in two minds about the surgery. With physio I had a significant reduction of pain, however I was never 'normal' and shortly after stopping, the pain came back. As pointed out by my physiotherapist, I can't do physio exercises for the rest of my life. However, I really don't want to have that long off of climbing. Equally the prospect of being in pain for the rest of my life doesn't sound appealing either. Also my tear might worsen.
Even if I stopped climbing all together, it’s highly likely that I’ll have day to day pain for a long time; possibly for the rest of my life.
I think I’m leaning more towards surgery but I need to find out more about it.