I'm having some painful issues with my shoulder and would like a bit of advice.
History - I'm a 32 year old female who has been active up most of my life, up until the last couple of years. I had knee surgery 2 years for a torn meniscus and have random problems with gout.
I'm scheduled for arthroscopic surgery on my right shoulder in 9 days. I have had worsening pain, loss of range of motion, stiffness, popping, and crackling in my right shoulder for about 6 months. I tried conservative therapy (steroid injections, rest, ice, exercises), but had no luck with pain relief. I saw my ortho surgeon who told me he suspects rotator cuff tendinitis/tear. I didn't have an MRI, but did get an x-ray a couple of weeks ago. He said something about my rotator cuff calcifying and told me the x-ray showed enough to convince him I needed the scope.
Last week my left shoulder suddenly started to give me problems. I'm now having just as much, if not more, pain in the left shoulder. The pain at night is so severe in both shoulders it causes me to wake up dozens of times throughout the night.
What could cause my left shoulder to all of a sudden start having the same problems as my right shoulder? I'm pretty scared by the thought of going through surgery on my right shoulder and not being able to use my left shoulder at all during the recovery because of the pain.
Is it possible that I could have rotator cuff issues with both of my shoulders? Should I bring this up with my surgeon or just keep quiet and get the scope as planned?
I have had right shoulder pain with popping for 6 months too, I get slight relief from stretching but it doesn't last long and my left shoulder occassionally gives me problems, especially when I use it a lot.
I think you should get the scope done and tell him that your left shoulder has started to bug you and keep doing stretches.
I told my surgeon about the left shoulder. He had an idea that I think will work great for me. While I'm under anesthesia he's going to give me a steroid injection in my left shoulder joint (I'm so glad I won't have to feel it!). The injection should give me pain relief for about a month so I can use my left shoulder while I recover from the scope. If at a later date the left shoulder becomes an issue again, we'll deal with it at that time.
Have you seen an ortho and had a steroid injection in your shoulder yet? I think a family doctor would even give you the shot if you asked him or her for it. If you've been in pain for 6 months, you're pretty much near the end of the conservative treatment time period. Usually a surgeon will just go ahead and do surgery if you've been in pain for that long. The steroid injection will most likely give you pain-free relief for about a month. I had one a few months ago. It took away 99% of my pain, but it came right back about 5 weeks later. It was a nice break, but I knew something had to have been going on in my shoulder. They are fairly painful to get, but the pain relief is well worth it.
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