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No major rotator cuff damage for Schill

Posted by Amalie Benjamin  June 23, 2008 04:39 PM

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Just got off the phone with Dr. Craig Morgan, the doctor who performed Curt Schilling's surgery this afternoon. He got finished with the procedure about 45 minutes ago (just before 4 p.m.). He said the surgery, and what was found inside the shoulder, was about as good as they could have hoped.

Morgan was planning on performing biceps tenodesis surgery, in which the biceps is moved outside the the shoulder into a hole in the bone where the diseased tendon can repair itself. That surgery went as planned.

But the major questions were about the labrum and, especially, the rotator cuff. Morgan said the rotator cuff had an usual tear, but not a major one.

"The status of the rotator cuff was much better than was predicted," Morgan said. "He did have disease in the biceps tendon, that was his major problem. We transferred the biceps tendon.

"[He had an] unusual tear of the rotator cuff, small partial thickness, no separation from the bone. Small undersurface tear.

"What we didn't want to find is a big rotator cuff tear, because that's a long rehab."

That was fixed, with just a single stitch. The labrum tear was also repaired.

As for his prognosis, it could be as soon as four months until Schilling can pick up a baseball again, Morgan said. The rehab for the labrum tear is very similar to the one for the biceps issue, which means that his rehab won't be significantly altered, even though they had to repair an additional problem during today's surgery.

"About four months to a throwing program, if he decides he wants to pursue that," Morgan said. "The rehab after this will be very similar to the rehab that he went through in 1995 when he had the SLAP [surgery to repair a labral tear and to remove a bone spur]. But he was 28 then, he's 41 now. We don't have anything to fix that one."

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