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Recurring Shoulder Injury - Desperate

  • 21-08-2017 3:28pm
    Registered Users Posts: 314 ✭✭

    Hi all,

    I am at my wits end here.

    I have a right shoulder injury which have been ongoing on and off for 4 years. best described as dull ache, impingement, cracking/clunking, instability, lack of motion, and weakness in the shoulder, which can manifest itself anywhere from pain and stiffness in the rhomboids, tenderness and trigger points along the line of the scapula, and stiffness/pain in the levators up into my neck, with sometimes spasms below the ear.

    Without going into it too much more, I have tried numerous physios (including 8 week rehab sessions), anti-inflammatory medication and laser treatment with Pat Leahy in Hume Street, but the injury keeps recurring. Its soul-destroying at this stage, and I am losing more and more muscle mass/strength every year because i can't lift or swim properly. My day job doesn't help, posture wise, but while my posture is not perfect, it is not bad either, and I don't think its a major contributory factor.

    It's actually the least painful when i am back from a run/cycle/hike, when my body is warm and blood is flowing, but at work (desk job), its a continuous ache all day, every day. Sometimes I go out and run just before bed, so i can go to bed pain free.

    Anyone ever been in a similar boat. What did you do? Is an appointment with an orthopedic surgeon the next logical step? I am based in Waterford, and have heard Greg Heffernan in the Whitfield Clinic is good on shoulder injury. Anyone dealt with him?


  • Closed Accounts Posts: 16,115 ✭✭✭✭Nervous Wreck

    Next step is probably MRI. Get it done.

  • Registered Users Posts: 5,413 ✭✭✭caviardreams

    You have been putting up with this for 4 years? :eek: I would go do an ortho ASAP tbh if only to rule out anything significant/differential diagnosis with an MRI.

  • Registered Users Posts: 364 ✭✭LincolnHawk

    Sorry about your pain pal.
    Can't give ya medical advice, but worth going that route and getting the scans and analysis...might need surgery who knows.
    Apart from that, try DDP Yoga...supposed to be beast.

  • Registered Users Posts: 314 ✭✭burly

    Thanks for the replies.

    I actually had an MRI 2.5 years ago, which only showed up minor bone odema and no tears. But I'm not sure who assessed the MRI scan, it could have just been a radiologist, and maybe having a Surgeon look a new MRI at it might cast a new light on the problem.

    An ultrasound with Pat Leahy in Hume Street only showed up some minor bursitis.

    The injury can ease for periods of 2-4 months, the pain goes but the range of motion never returns. Then if I try any sort of minor weight traiing (I'm talking 3kg lateral raises, 8kg overhead press etc here, minor stuff) it will flare up again. Its demoralizing.

    I think an Ortho is the next logical step alright.

  • Registered Users Posts: 462 ✭✭john kinsella

    Sorry to hear that OP. Shoulder pain is horrific.

    I had problems similar to yourself and ended up under the knife in the Sports Surgery Clinic with Hannan Mullett and had a Bankart Repair done. Along with the instability mine was popping out too so maybe my issue was a little more open and shut than yours.

    He is based in Dublin but from my experience a consultation with him would be well worth it, he knows his stuff.

    Bear in mind a surgeon does surgery so they will typically err on the side of going under the knife if they believe in their opinion it will be beneficial.

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  • Registered Users Posts: 2,048 ✭✭✭thehamo

    Where are you based? Look for an NKT practitioner preferably level 3. See if they can help. Don't always look to the site of pain for the answers!

  • Banned (with Prison Access) Posts: 1,648 ✭✭✭Autochange

    Any tingling or numbness down the arms or into the fingers?

  • Registered Users Posts: 17,371 ✭✭✭✭Zillah

    burly wrote: »
    laser treatment

    For a joint issue? What on earth is that supposed to do?

  • Registered Users Posts: 9,554 ✭✭✭Pat Mustard

    I'd agree with Nervous Wreck but with a variation on what he said.

    I'd suggest asking your GP to refer you to a good orthopaedic surgeon. The orthopaedic surgeon could order the appropriate MRIs and may be able to advise further.

    It is important that the MRIs would be ordered by a consultant so that the correct scans are carried out. Additionally, he should be able to read the scans afterwards and advise you.

    EDIT: I see that you have had scans carried out previously so perhaps they will be of use to an orthopaedic surgeon - I don't know.

  • Registered Users Posts: 314 ✭✭burly

    Hi all,

    An update on this.

    Saw Orthopedic Consultant in Whitfield Waterford, Suspected Labral tear (SLAP) in the shoulder joint. Being sent for Arthrogram (dye-injected MRI essentially) with a view to confirming diagnosis. Not sure if I agree with the diagnosis, as my pain is not necessarily in the joint itself, it in the muscles of the shoulder (levators/rhomboids, supraspinatus) but the Consultant is saying labral tears can cause shoulder instability, which pulls on any one or more of the muscles in the rotator cuff/back/neck. He is the expert after all. Hopefully the MRI Arthrogram will be clear.

    Thereafter I'm looking at weighing up whether I want to try a Cortisone shot (research online tells me this is usually ineffective for labral tears) or go for full arthroscopic surgery to repair the tear.

    I don't have Health Insurance, so would be self paying. The cost of the surgery (about €4500) is not necessarily an issue, as I have money put aside for things like these.


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  • Banned (with Prison Access) Posts: 1,648 ✭✭✭Autochange

    Cortisone is a steroid injection. It may just mask the inflammation for a short time. It wont repair the tear. Get the mri to find out for sure for starters

  • Registered Users Posts: 314 ✭✭burly


    MRI Arthrogram confirmed the Consultant's suspicion of a 1.5cm labral tear in the glenoid head, with some subacromial impingement which would also tally with all the research I've done myself over the past few years, and self-tests/physio tests. Injection will be useless.

    Choice is to do nothing or go for the arthroscopic surgery, with estimated 85% chance of success.

    Has anyone on here had arthroscopic shoulder surgery, and any advice?

  • Registered Users Posts: 1 Jessi_cat

    Hey Burly,

    I'm a bit late seeing this thread. How did you get on with Greg Heffernan in Whitfield? Did you end up getting surgery?

    I have similar symptoms that you were describing. I was orginally told I had Rotator Cuff partial tear, impingement and a lot of tendinitis from an ortho in Galway. But latest MRI showed it has healed, and yet I'm still in a lot of pain with shoulder flare ups as soon as I start lifting more than 3kg. How was your experience with the surgery? Hope it sorted the problem! I was thinking of getting a second opinion in Whitfield...

  • Registered Users Posts: 246 ✭✭mct1

    I saw Greg Heffernan with a hand problem 5 or 6 years ago. He's excellent, very thorough, and has a nice manner. Someone else who does arthroscopic shoulder surgery is Imran Sharif at the Hermitage. He made a fantastic job of repairing my shattered elbow.

  • Registered Users Posts: 4,737 ✭✭✭Augme

    Would highly recommend doing some online research on youtube first. Prescion Movement is excellent and even the below video is well worth a watch.