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shoulder/ shoulder blade pain/muscle weakness
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shoulder/ shoulder blade pain/muscle weakness

for about a year now, i have experienced severe pain in left shoulder, shoulder blade, left forearm muscles, some tightness in neck. mri's of entire spine done- all show mild degenerative disc disease, but no pinched nerves. arthrogram of left shoulder showed tear in supraspinitis tendon but surgeon said it would heal on its own. physical therapy tried twice with no results(seemed to make it worse) shoulder pops when moved at all and pain down under shoulder blade is excruciating (burning sensation) after any use of left arm. i have experienced numbness in left arm on occasion - especially at night.  bone scan, and myelogram both normal. emg showed tendonitis in left elbow and mild carpal tunnel in left hand.  could it be that i have developed micro-tears in rotator cuff from original tear not being fixed. have seen many doctors with no real results. one said i had "snapping scapular"(?).  any help PLEASE!
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Avatar_n_tn
Your question seems to be more in the realm of Rehabiliation/Orthopedics rather than Neurology, so I'm not sure if I can give you the answers that you want

Comprssion of the C5 nerve root can give pain in the same area but would be picked up by MRI or the EMG. With normal EMG and MRI findings the problem is likely to be muskuloskeletal

Make sure that the EMG you had done looked at the C5 muscles - supra or infraspinatus, deltoid, brachioradialis, biceps
Have you had an MRI of the shoulder region (as opposed to the neck) this can be senstive to picking up soft tissue injuries
Try a good Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation doctor if you have not already

Good luck
5 Comments
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Avatar_n_tn
i had an arthrogram about 4 monthes ago which showed a tear in the supraspinitis tendon, but the surgeon i saw regarding this said it would heal on its own in time and to try physical therapy, which i did with no results. it only seemed to make me hurt worse. also tried cortisone injections on inside of left shoulder blade (about halfway down) but that made it increasingly worse. now the worst of the pain comes from that area, with moderate pain in the upper shoulder. it feels as if something just under the inside edge of my shoulder blade is swollen and pinching on nerves. what is in that area that could swell enough to cause this? (tendon, nerve?)  any help is greatly appreciated!!!
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Avatar_n_tn
Your symptoms sound similar to a problem I had about a year ago.  I also have tears in my left shoulder from a decade old waterskiing injury, but that turned out not to be the real problem at all.  It was a cervical disk issue that caused many downstream problems, I would have never guess it, nor did my GP.

My symptoms were a "knot" between my spine and inside edge of the shoulder blade that could be easily felt, extreme pain at the lower edge of my left shoulder blade like how a muscle tear feels, pain in my left lat, armpit, shoulder, tricep, elbow, upper forarm and wrist.  Also weakness in my tricep, chest muscle, and hand, especially thumb and 4th and 5th fingers.  My left arm was often "asleep" when I'd wake up in the middle of the night.  I finally also started experiencing tingling in my left face and leg.

A cervical spine MRI showed impingment of the nerve roots at C4/5, 5/6, 6/7, buldging into my spinal cord.  I had a double disk disection which aleviated all of these problems, although my running and waterskiing days are over.  But no more pain or tingling to report one year after surgery, and my strength is coming back.

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Avatar_n_tn
If you could answer these two questions I would be grateful. Just a few years ago I had a CT scan of my cervical spine and Lumbar spine.(I am 56). Since I was a young woman I have experienced problems with carrying heavy items in front of me, reaching over head and when I sit upright, say at a desk for any length of time or even sweeping or moping the floor. In 82 I was diagnosed with Fibromyalgia after exhaustive testing and finding nothing "significient" on Xrays, scans, etc. I had burning in the shoulder blade, back of neck and spasm like pain that seemed to move around the upper back and sometimes in the Sac area. The last CT scans(2003) came back and I was told I have two fused vertebrae in the cervical spine that I most likely was born with, some deterioration of the discs in my neck and lower back due to degeneration. I am unclear as to why no one told me about the fusion before. Still I was told the real problem is the Fibromyalgia. Hence my questions: Why do doctors insist on pinning a giant red F on us and clumping all other problems under the Fibro title making this a misunderstood wastebasket disease? Secondly, does having fused vertebrae make that area of the spine stronger or cause it to be unstable and susceptible to movements someone with a "normal" spine wouldn't have? I hope I have explained this in a way that you can understand. I know there are others out there who suffer much more than I do but my pain is getting worse and I am not having the breaks from the Fibromyalgia flairs like before.

Thank you so much for your time.

yorkshirepoet
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Avatar_n_tn
Boy oh Boy,
While I have never the big red F, I certainly can sympathize with your problem.  I was diagnosed with cervical ddd 1 year ago, and had problems like yours. my pain specialist doc ordered an mri for shoulder and found out labrum was torn as well as bicep muscle.  I am still mending from surgery on the 18 of april.  Still dont understand why no mri was ordered for neck......
take care
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Avatar_n_tn
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