Mass in AC joint, what are the possibilities?

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I have had a lump on my shoulder since June, I saw a doctor in August who barely felt it and told me it was my bone. Life went on and I forgot it was there until a week or two ago, I noticed that my shoulder was achey. I was in the shower and ran my hand over the area and was shocked at the size of the lump. I also noticed that the proximal humerus on that shoulder looks larger than the other side. I made an appointment with an orthopedic who took an x-ray before he even saw me and told me that there is a prominent area lighting up on the x-ray in the AC joint at the end of my clavicle and then while we were talking he randomly compared the sizes of the top of my shoulders (proximal humerus) which I had not mentioned to him. I was scheduled for an MRI last Friday and I was supposed to have my results on Monday morning, but they had to cancel my scan because their machine went down. I had my MRI this morning with and w/o contrast, and it took about an hour. She had the radiologist come look at my pictures before giving me the contrast and he wanted to do another set of pictures first, I am not sure if that means that he saw something or not (they had my x-ray pictures prior to scan). I am supposed to call my doctor in the morning for my results (With other doctors I have usually been told to wait a week and if I don't hear from them to call them for my results, I have never been told to call the next day). I am very axious about the possibilites and I don't really know what to expect. He said that the x-ray is indicating a soft tissue mass but he cannot tell me if it is a cystic lesion or a solid mass, but from the internet I read that most cysts in that area happen from a rotator cuff tear, which I don't think is what happened. Also, in June when it was the size of a pea (literally) there was no pain associated, now that it has grown there is always a dull ache and it will hurt if i try and do an activity involving my shoulder. 

Does anyone have any idea of what this could be? I know that I will (hopefully) hear my results in the morning, but the unknown is killing me! It feels like a million light years away right now! 

Any thoughts or comments about it?

I am paranoid that nothing will show up on the MRI (even though the x-ray was showing a prominence where the lump is) and he said that if there is no mass than there is something wrong with my joint. 

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4 Replies

  • Posted

    Oh my gosh how scarey for you - I hope by now you have a diagnosis? I'm sorry but I wouldn't know what it could be but I hope it gets sorted quickly........
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    • Posted

      Thanks Linda, 

      I was pretty shocked by the diagnosis, he had previously told me that if a mass didn't show up on the MRI then it was a joint problem. They said that the prominence showing on the x-ray is actually severe inflammation coming from my AC joint, and that the capsule has "hardened". I am going into the office on Monday to discuss my results further and to get a steroid shot into my joint. If this does not work, then she said I will need to have the joint resected. I am pretty surprised, I am a 23 year old who does not play sports and was not expecting to have a degenerative joint diagnosis (not sure what it is going to be called yet, and still don't know what the lump is)

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    • Posted

      Oh no! So you still really don't know anymore? I'm recoving from a frozen shoulder or adhesive capsulitis sad  Have been in pain since july 2014 & I've had x2 ops sad  You are only 23 & to have such problems with your shoulder must be quite scarey sad  I do hope hope its sorted quickly for you smile Sending gentle hugs smile
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    • Posted

      Well i saw my doctor today and I am even more confused! MRI shows definite arthritis in my AC joint with degeneration changes, a bone spur over my joint, and a small tear in my sublaberal forearm,and there is a lot of fluid and imflammation in my joint. I had a corticosteroid shot into the joint today (ow...my shoulder is still sore). I asked him how a 23 year old could have arthitis and he said he doesn't know and he only sees it in people this young who are weight lifters, which I am not. I have had a lengthy medical history current and past, and have often wondered if they could all be autoimmune related. I called around to reumatoligsts and no one would book me an appointment, even though I have an MRI showing arthritis, because I have no blood work that has been done. I am stuck on where to go from here. 
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