Upcoming MRI

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Hi All,

I have been dealing with left shoulder pain since April of 2019. I was diagnosed with shoulder impingement. I have had two injections and have done physical therapy since May of 2019 and nothing has worked. I typically respond very well to cortisone injections. If anything, the shoulder has gotten worse since these treatments were administered. Yesterday I finally went to a different orthopedic doctor for a second opinion. Some of the tests they did on my shoulder was very painful and they determined there was weakness in some of the resisting I had to do. They scheduled me for an MRI next week. Has anyone ever be diagnosed with shoulder impingement and it be something else? I feel that the original impingement diagnoses was determined for me incorrectly and now I have wasted time with this injury that has just gotten worse.

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  • Posted

    Hi,

    Welcome to the forum. You're amongst fellow patients and some people in the healthcare industry even who have been struggling with problems similar to yours.

    I'm sorry you are having such issues. Frustration, pain, and problems such as yours seem pretty common. I'm a shoulder patient having had 2 surgery on bothy my shoulders for rotator cuff impingement issues. I'd say you have to let the science and data and a competent specialist show you what is wrong and what needs to be done.

    If they determined weakness, it might be rotator cuff issues and the MRI will show what is wrong. Seems like you already did the physical therapy which is always good pre-surgery and post-surgery, so I wouldn't say you wasted all your time. Oftentimes the orthopedic doctors will send patients to therapy pre-surgery to get them ready for what is to come.

    Depending on what the MRI reveals your ortho may suggest surgery to you. Personally, I'm against cortisone shots as I've read that it can cause trouble (pain and weakness). So, considering what you've been through I suggest you patiently wait for the MRI results and consult with your orthopedic what is the best next step.

    Please share what the MRI findings are and what your orthopedic suggests.

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    • Posted

      Thanks Mike. I will share those on here next week. I go next Wednesday and get the results on Friday (1/31). I am anticipating that the MRI will determine what the issue is. I really can't pinpoint where the pain is exactly at in my shoulder, it feels like it is deep pain. They did do x-rays yesterday and those were good, just normal arthritis for an over 40 male.

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    • Posted

      Keep us posted cause Im also going for MRI soon for impingement

      They did Xrays and I took cortisone shot which did help somewhat but still slight pain but at least I can sleep

      He did order couple weeks PT which I havent started yet only cause at $35 per session Im waiting until beginning of the month when I get my social security check!

      Christmas killed me financially!!!!

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    • Posted

      If it helps you, it seems the more pain, it might likely be a smaller tear. Nothing is hard and fast but that's the way mine was. Initially after I hurt it, there was a lot of pain but that went away but I didn't have full ROM. I did tons of research trying to figure it out myself. The mental anguish is very difficult with this: worrying, not knowing, depending on whatever you can gather from the internet.

      MRI gives a bit more clearer picture of what's going on. And even then if they do exploratory surgery they may find other things. Whatever the MRI shows and whatever the specialist recommends, I'd suggest getting it fixed or rehabbed so you can move on with your life.

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    • Posted

      Thanks Mike

      Yes I will get it all checked out thoroughly and do PT

      The whole shoulder issue is a result of recovering from a fractured ankle over the summer

      To get from floor to couch and up and down few stairs I had to scooch on my rear and use my shoukders/arms to bear weigh to gett up and down for close to 7 weeks while my ankle healed after surgery

      I thought once I began walking the shoulder pain would pass but it didnt

      So as you can imagine Im not looking to have surgery and hoping PT will help. The cortisone shot did help

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    • Posted

      That's what can be frustrating when it comes to PT. You have to pay for each session at a time where I go. My last doctor wanted me to go 3 days a week. The problem is that the PT is only open when I have to work. I will miss out on money to pay for the service. I like to go to the PT learn the exercises I need and do the rest myself from home. I had a biceps tendon rupture 7 years ago, and I did all the PT from home myself and have had no issues with it at all. Last year, I had a pinched nerve in my neck and I went to PT multiple times to learn the exercises for home. It helped tremendously. So, I would recommend going a time or two and learn the exercises and do them from home. Some doctors don't like it, but you have to do what you have to do. I have always been very successful with doing that, except for this time with my shoulder.

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    • Posted

      PHYSICAL THERAPY...

      I went to physical therapy 3x a week. I am retired. And that went on for months. Eventually it cut down to 2x a week. I did the exercises daily as well at home.

      It's very difficult to do the exercises by yourself unless you are disciplined. I was an athlete I was accustomed to regular exercise. Most people cheat or skip the exercises...which may be ok. However, everyone is different and depending on the severity of your injury and recovery you may need that one on one/therapist on patient attention more or less than others. Remember, physical therapy also is about the electro-stim, massage, the emotional support and detailed instructions. Those things helped and even then, in my case it was difficult at times.

      So, I'd say, if you are disciplined enough you may be able to get away with less physical therapy visits, do your own electro-stim (tens machine although those aren't as powerful as the ones the use at therapy), biofreeze, and exercises, but you should prepare ahead of time, get the equipment: exercise bands, pulleys, fitness ball, dumbells, or whatever it takes to duplicate what they teach you at PT.

      The first few days and weeks may be the most crucial as it's very difficult if you're in a lot of pain or lacking ROM, you really feel vulnerable and need that support from someone - a therapist preferrably who can instruct and assure you that you are headed in the right direction and what you need to do.

      All I can say is when you experience those knots in your muscles and pains it sure helped to have a therapist literally massage them out with their hands. A good therapist can relieve alot of that pain.

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    • Posted

      Hi, Sandra:

      Your injury was a result of placing stress on one part of your body to compensate for lack of mobility in another part of your body.

      If you do have surgery your arm will be immobilized. This immobilization will cause the same situation here you will have to rely more on your other arm/shoulder and other parts of your body to compensate for lack of use of that repaired body part. In my other post about physical therapy I mention that recovering patients oftentimes have aches and pains, knots in their muscles and alot of it may have to do with this imbalance in use of muscles. I had alot of pain in my back sometimes and my neck. That's because my repaired shoulder placed a lot of stress on other parts of my body. You can't even sleep like you used to when you are immobilized. (Tip: if you get surgery get 2-3 small pillows to place under your arm and other parts for support so you can sleep, rest, sit, comfortably.)

      You got to take it one step at a time...lets see what the MRI shows and what your specialist recommends.

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    • Posted

      I got the results of the MRI and there is a small partial thickness tear in my rotator cuff at the supraspinatus tendon. It is 25% torn (.5MM) and the doctor wants to try a cortisone injection one last time. If that don't work, they will go in and clean up the area of the shoulder. The doctor also gave me exercises to do 5 days a week. They are mostly the same exercises I have been doing everyday since November, but there are others to try. I go for a follow up appointment in March.

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    • Posted

      Hi...

      I'm glad they finally ID'ed what's going on. There may be other issues as well.

      Did he give you a choice: surgery now or cortisone, exercise and wait and see what happens?

      The reason I ask is that .55 mm is only 2/100 of an inch...that's miniscule. Now if you meant .55 cm which is a little less than a quarter of an inch it might be something to address with surgery. Classification of tears is roughly up to 1cm is a small tear. If you use that measurement standard yours is very very very small if it's only .55 mm. Even if it is .55cm it is still small.

      That's why I'm wondering what's going on, maybe there are other issues that they may find upon doing an arthoscopic surgery. That's the way it was with boy my shoulders because when the surgeon actually goes in he may find other issues.

      I assume they are trying to address your complaints of pain and lack of ROM. Therapy may help.

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    • Posted

      Hi Mike,

      He said it was 5 mm (not .5). Sorry for the confusion on that. He wanted to go this route first and then consider doing the surgery if this don't work out. It hurts pretty bad sometimes and I have trouble lifting things that were usually easy for me before (i.e. milk jugs, ream of paper, etc.). So it is certainly possible something else is going on.

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    • Posted

      Hi, thanks for the clarification that's still small less than a quarter of an inch.

      Your complaints about pain and lack of ROM are worth addressing for sure. Do the therapy it will prepare you in any event.

      All the best!

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