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Date of last update: 10/01/2017.

Forum Name: Joint surgery

Question: Diagnosis for shoulder pain

 hawkjm73 - Tue Sep 20, 2005 1:26 pm


I am a 25 year old female who, about a year and a half ago, fell onto outstretched arms and damaged my left shoulder. Pain results from any overhead force, weight on outstreched arms, or the arm simply being in a position above the level of the shoulder, even if it is otherwise supported. I was initially sent to PT and did painfull exercises for about four weeks. After that, I was refered to an othopedic speciallist who commissioned x-rays and an MRI. The MRI showed a very small protusion on the acromion, but the ortho did not think this was the cause of the pain. I was basically told to wait a year, avoid motions that cause pain, and see if it improved. Now, with new insurance, I have had to start over with a new general practitioner. He initially estimated a seperated shoulder and sent me off with anti-inflamitories, drawing the alphabet and circles in the air with my hand. He commissioned an x-ray to look for seperation and this came back clean. He wrote a script to a physical therapist, but I still have no diagnosis. Do any of you have any thoughts on the possible cause? Can PT do harm when the cause is unknown?

Thank you!
 sinnertonr - Wed Dec 06, 2006 10:29 am

Can you move your arm everywhere you want to? ie lying on your back on the floor can you put both arms straight up over your head until the back of your hands hit the floor and if not is there a differance between your good and bad arm? Also, keeping your elbow tucked firmly into your side and your forearm pointing up (still on the flor!), do your forarms rotate out equally towrads the floor? If not you probably have a post-traumatic frozen shoulder - especially in the presence of a normal MRI
 hawkjm73 - Wed Dec 06, 2006 11:15 am

Yeah, I have almost complete freedom of motion. There is pain in those manuvers, but no sticking. The only difference I note is pulling the hand up behind my back, like trying to scratch my shoulderblades. I get my uninjured hand about an inch higher then the injured one. Since the prior posting, I have had another MRI which noted a feature on the labrum, but the otho specialist made no mention of it and suspected a torn or stressed biceps tendon. He did a cortizone injection to no effect.

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