Over the past three months, doctors have offered various opinions and treatments for the mixture of pain, numbness and tingling inflicting my right arm: tendinitis, trapped nerves or just plain old age.

A long stint on the MRI table Tuesday brought a new diagnosis: a "through and through muscle tear" at the rotator cuff as the primary cause along with arthritis as a contributing factor and, of course, age.

In other words, a torn rotator cuff — or a variation.  Of course, this means bringing in an orthopedist and an evaluation on whether we can fix the thing through surgery, physical therapy, anti-inflammatory meds or that classic orthopedic standby: Cortisone.

Some years ago, I messed up the rotator cuff on my left arm and an orthepedist in Arlington promised to fix it. After he finished, I couldn’t raise my left arm above my head. Still can’t.

Amputation appears to be off the table — for the moment at least.

Good thing I’m left-handed.