Shoulder pain persists 6 months after a fall.

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Febuary 1st I fell on some ice and all of my body weight landed on my right arm, hyperextending it back and injuring my shoulder, my head didn't even hit the pavement. The pain from the fall was so intense that I blacked out for a few seconds and came to with family rushing around to help me stand up. They were all concerned with the gash on my elbow and all I cared about was the pain in my shoulder. I didn't even notice the blood until my husband was bandaging it up. 

I did not have health insurance so when I assumed it wasn't broken I just figured that all I had was a sore muscle and it would resolve itself on its own. The first week I had NO motion in my arm. I could not dress myself, do my hair, etc. I kept my arm clutched to my stomach as if I had it in a sling. I debated going to the ER, but a the treat of a 10k+ hospital bill kept me away.

Slowly I worked on ROM exercises and 6 months later most of the time my shoulder doesn't hurt at all. I've never taken anything for the pain (outside of the first week). However, certain movements hurt enough to take my breath away: I can not raise my arm above my head, lift things over ~30 pounds, reach my arm behind my back, sleep on my right side, and my shoulder often feels 'tired'. Sometimes if I'm not 'supporting' my arm with accessory muscles it almost feels as if my shoulder is going to come loose from the socket, and if that happens it throbs for nearly an hour.  The last thing I can think of is occasionally my shoulder will make a 'popping' sound with certain movements, and that is extremely uncomfortable. 

I've tried to read up online and see what my 'symptoms' match up with, but I can't seem to land on anything. I was wondering if anyone had any ideas to help me pin-point what might be wrong with my shoulder. I want to figure out if there is anything I can do about it before I try to see a doctor for such an old injury. 

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7 Replies

  • Posted

    Sorry to hear about your problems. It sounds very much to me like you've done some damage to your rotator cuff tendons. I fell off my motorbike 6 weeks ago and ruptured several of my rotator cuff tendons and have similar symptoms. An ultrasound or mri scan will confirm it. See an orthopaedic specialist as soon as possible. Good luck
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  • Posted

    Poor u. Can u arrange health insurance or a charity donation to help u (eg Bill Gates Foundation USA). I have same problem and see my consultant 2. U need health advice before physio treatment. God bless. Sue (-:
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  • Posted

    Was wondering what happened, what you found out at the doctor's.
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  • Posted

    What sort of diagnosis/relief/treatment did you get?  I have had a shoulder injury now for 3 mos and since it was work related I have been in physical therapy but nothing else.  It feels okay but the pain gets worse/then better/then worse.  Range of motion is still no good.  I cannot reach to the left or right or behind me without horrible pain.. 
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