After a week of what I thought was bursitis, I woke up with the pain absolutely gone, but I was unable to lift my arm forward beyond about 20 degrees. That part has improved (range of motion) but my scapula wings badly and the serratus anterior muscle is not working (I know this much because I saw two therapists). Still there is no pain at all unless I try to list my arm forward too quickly or beyond the comfortable range (still about 45 degrees).
By all accounts it looks like nerve damage. I am going to see an orthopedist Friday and would like to be educated before I go (because I have a suspicion he is going to default to the surgery fix). So my question is, do nerves heal on their own? Assuming I am doing exercises (and I definitely am) then is it just a matter of time for the nerve to come back on line?
A winged scapula is caused due to damage to the nerves supplying the serratus anterior or trapezius. The treatment options differ depending on the cause of the winging. A minimally damaged nerve might get healed by itself and you need to go for regular physical therapy. But if the nerve is badly damaged, surgery might be the only option. Each case is different and you need to discuss the cause and options with your doctor.
Do keep us posted and feel free ask any other queries that you have
I've now seen an orthopoedist specializing in shoulders. He told me after a very brief examination I do NOT need surgery. Apparently the serratus and latissimus are firing but are very much weakened. From what, he couldn't say, but they are firing and should respond to PT.
This is VERY good news.
Winged Scapula's, and inability to lift arms over head can also be due to a muscular dystrophy called FSHD, which i was just diagnosed with at age 50. I saw several doctors over the last several years who were clueless, and didnt take 5 minutes out of there day to look up my symptoms in a medical book. They blamed it on a poss injury, or just shrugged it off. Finally I found help at U of M hospital, who specialize in Muscular Dystrophy cases. I may be way off base, but hope my suffering helps someone else out
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