Trumpeter rotator-cuff surgery and right-hand tremor

Discussion in 'Trumpet Discussion' started by Mark Green, Mar 8, 2010.

  1. Mark Green

    Mark Green New Friend

    Mar 3, 2010
    Anchorage, Alaska USA
    My wife, a trumpet player, recently had rotor-cuff surgery on her right shoulder. She won't be able to even pick up a horn for many weeks; in the mean time she's thinking about her trumpet playing more abstractly than she could while playing regularly. One surprise we saw on the video recording of the arthroscopic surgery was a hole in a rotator-cuff tendon that the body had filled-in with fat. The doctor removed the fat deposit and bound the two major strands together so the weakened tendon would heal back into one strong tendon. There was much more damage to her RC that had weakened her right arm, and we are convinced her arm will become stronger than it has been in many years.

    The degree of weakness her shoulder reached over many years of progressive injury has made her reconsider the cause of the right-hand tremor she has experienced for a couple of years. Debilitating conditions like Parkinson's have already been ruled out by the doctors. The tremor has only been in her hand -- ESPECIALLY when in trumpet-playing position.

    Has anyone heard of shoulder weakness being related to arm or hand tremor in trumpet players?
  2. Brian H. Smout

    Brian H. Smout Piano User


    It may be that your wife's shoulder muscles are simply "fatiguing" out thus causing the tremor. That would similarly be true of her legs if she was deconditioned to stand for a four hour dance band gig.
    With some of the aids for trumpeters on the net why should she need to be off the horn? The Schulman system for example removes all the weight of the horn. There is another product on Ebay that mimics that system with an adjustable monopod to take the weight of the instrument.

    I am sure that some of the wags will chime in about whether or not your wife plays a Monette. So the way forward would seem to point to either using a brace of some kind for the horn, switching to lighter equipment or finding a good book on Russian kettlebells.
    The solution might include all three but I do wish her a speedy recovery.


  3. Jarrett

    Jarrett Piano User

    Nov 11, 2003
    Richland, MO
    Yes, I suggest a Monette. It will cure the wife's tremors, lower her blood pressure and her hair will have more body and sheen.

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