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Avatar universal

Dull ache below right shoulder blade


I have a dull ache below my right shoulder blade, that radiates at times to the bottom right of my ribs.
My dr took an xray to ensure no growths etc in lung.

Could this be gallbladder? I had an ultrasound in March for some GI issues, but that scan didn't identify stones. Could stones appear within such a short period of time? Could I have a different issue besides gallbladder? Or how common are gallbladder issues without stones?

What should the next steps be?

For context, I'm a male, mid 40's. Non smoking, normal body weight / height (170 lbs, around 5 ft 11 inches tall).

Thank you.
7 Responses
Avatar universal
This could be a possibly gallbladder issue. I would suggest  getting a gallbladder ultrasound. Gallbladder symtoms sometimes show up as pain in the right upper stomach or rib, also in your back. So this is an ideal test for you.
329165 tn?1515475590
Hi there,

From my experience with severe Gallbladder issues, this does not sound like Gallbladder and a ultrasound would pick up gallstones or abnormalities in bile ducts, etc.

Typical Gallbladder pain from stones passing:  severe abdominal discomfort and pain on the left side, underneath the ribs.  Nausea when this happens, is very common for gallstones.  Some foods trigger it.

Could this be muscular?  have you tried going to a Chiropractor?
Avatar universal
Hi - I've been to the chiro, no change. It's not muscular, I can feel it deeper inside, and sometimes to the side and front, as well as to the back under the right shoulder blade.

I had an xray - will see if I can follow up with an ultrasound too.

Do gallstone issues cause steady discomfort though, or is it more of an 'attack'? Mine is sort of mildly sore, almost all the time.
Avatar universal
A constant pain could be due to gallbladder inflammation (cholecystitis), along with or without the stones. This can present as referred pain as well.
329165 tn?1515475590
From my experience it is more of an attack and nothing relieves it!  Once that stone pass, the area is tender to touch and the attack is VERY painful and makes you nauseous.

I've heard about a HIDA test that can either confirm or rule out Gallbladder issues.  Ask your Doctor about that.
Avatar universal
Thank you. This is useful. I will look more into this.
Avatar universal
A quick follow-up. I had my GI appointment. Lots of blood word, exam and so on. No issues found. So maybe just IBS or something else, that's (hopefully) not an issue.

A summary of work I've had done for GI issues (in addition to the one noted here) over the past yr (I had like 6 months of diarrhea out of the blue):
* ultrasound
* endoscope
* colonoscopy
* celiac test
* lactose test
* lots of blood work looking at liver / kidney / etc etc. Maybe 10 or so tests
* Some poop tests for random stuff like parasites, bacteria issues, blood in stool, fat malabsorption etc.

Anyway, weirds stuff the GI world. Very complicated and temperamental.

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