The good news: It's not a torn rotator cuff… but the bad news is I will be receiving a Cortizone shot in my right arm biceps tendon. Just wondering, has anybody been through this before. How long afterwards before I can start fiddling again. Or for that matter play mandolin or banjo?
I would ask the doctor or a physical therapist if you have access. Explain to the dr what types motions you'll be doing and see what s/he says. Congrats that it's not a torn r. cuff...that sounds like something not good to deal with. Is it tendonitis?
A lot depends on how you play.. I can only relate my experience.. I've learned, with shoulder injuries (not tendonitis), that fiddling can be done with the elbow to one's side and lots of wrist action......My fiddling has survived two serious rotator cuff injuries and I leaned to play with a limp, hanging elbow..In the long run that may have improved my wrist action!!! Whoda' thought..!! Good luck with your problem.. Tendonitis usually ( I'm not a doctor)...heals quicker than does a serious cuff injury..but every person/injury is Different so none of us can accurately gauge how your healing will progress... What did your doctor say??
After four rotator cuff surgeries for my bowing (right) shoulder, the last of which failed. I learned that more doctors are prescribing therapy instead of surgery. With therapy I am back to playing. If I stop the therapy it is not long before my shoulder complains, so I keep doing it.
I expect the rewards extend even to other, less important areas in life than fiddling. Getting in and out of cars, pulling or shoving on heavy doors, recovering during a slip on ice, just lots of stuff.
I think GP's in the UK are getting a bit "Blas'e" about folk with tendon/muscle type symptoms, even if you tell them that it is at least 30% of your physical and mental well being. i went down to the surgery years ago with pain in my wrist and elbow, told the doctor i was a fiddler and needed to get this sorted, he just said " That's just typical" or words to that effect....Probably inviting/telling me to go private.