Real Life Advice Needed on MRI results/Ortho appointment

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I have had constant throbbing pain in my right shoulder that shoots down my arm for almost 2 years.  I am young and active and not being able to use my right arm for everyday tasks such as brushing teeth, washing hair, getting dressed, carrying purse etc. and not being able to do workouts with arm has been beyond frustrating, not to mention the pain is unbearable, ecspecially when I sleep.

I have done 4 months of PT, ice, rest, ibuprofen.  PT and Doctor suggested an MRI and Arthogram.  Here are results:

mild tendinosis and low grade interstitial tear of infraspinatus- rotator cuff

extensive tear throughout superior labrum, extends into postersuperior and posterior labram.  additional tear of anterinferior labrum from 3:00-6:00

The first Ortho who specialized in spine said he thought I would need surgery as did 2 PT's but the shoulder ortho completly dismissed the labral tears, he wouldn't even discuss those, he focused on the small rotator cuff tear and said he believes that is where my pain is coming from.  He wants me to do 4 more weeks of PT and gave a steroid shot.

Does this sound right to anyone?  Anyone else have a diagnosis like this?  I respect the conservative approach but am concerned at the dismissal of the labral tears and just want my arm back and for this pain to stop.

Any real life advice on helping me understand what these results mean would be much appreciated!


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5 Replies

  • Posted

    Go and see another surgeon. Labral tears are a cause of pain.
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  • Posted

    You should address both pain and underlying issues. SLAP tears are common and infraspinatus tears can linger for a while. I would see a really well qualified sports therapist to put you on a regimen to give yourself the best chance at healing without surgery. Four weeks is not enough IMO.

    I personally would give it 8-12 weeks to see if PT is helping to make it better as it often does. If not then consider alternatives.

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  • Posted

    Wow, sounds awful. You have already done so much therapy. I don't understand why this ortho wants you to do more. Unless he thinks the injection will settle things down. Don't know what to say about the labral tears, my mri showed I had one as well although not near as extensive as yours. I did have surgery done and the surgeon said it was a supraspinatis tear, not the labrum as the mri showed. So???? It must feel like your arm wants to fall "off" sometimes huh? I'm so sorry for your pain, it's terrible not being abe to sleep at night. Wishing you the best. Having surgery requires a very long healing process. Keep us posted.

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  • Posted

    Your story is very similar to mine except I had a muscle tear in the subscapularis that after 6 months of treatment it didnt respond so they did a MRI.

    My results were that the labrum had degenerated probably as a result from tears

    My ortho also dismissed the MRI results said I had Frozen shoulder

    Refused to discuss the MRI results sent me off to do hydrodilation and cortisone

    12 Months later still in pain, limited movement

    I sugest you get a second opinion

    Especially if this is a workers compensation case

    I wish I had

    Labrum tears need surgery they dont get better on there own

    I recently had to go back to the ortho now he wants to surgery

    Wishing you all the best mzb

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  • Posted

    Hi they will always try the injection first before any surgery is discussed. If you feel that what they have suggested is not what you feel will help you. Please tell your consultant that at least you wish to try the injection now you have tried everything else. Its quite odd really cause they sent me for an mri to see if i had any tears for surgery
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