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Dr. Chip
Dr. Chip, Doctor (MD)
Category: Health
Satisfied Customers: 32221
Experience:  Over 20 yrs of Family Practice
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DR. PHIL-: Do you have any advice for a painful shoulder

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Do you have any advice for a painful shoulder caused by
Hi--can I ask if you've had an MRI of the shoulder and, if so, what it showed? Also--what therapy for this have you had so far?
Customer: replied 4 years ago.
I have seen a surgeon about my shoulder. He told me that it was a small bone spur and arthritis. An MRI was not suggested.
OK--how long have you had problems with it and again have you had any therapy for it? And can you tell me in more detail what kinds of problems you have with it?
Customer: replied 4 years ago.

I've had shoulder probs on and off since 1994-at that time, was diagnosed w/an inpingement.The latest came after i had a hip replacement and so i could arise and get about, i think i "pulled" my shoulder out of joint(very professional-sounding, huh?!?) i returned to the hip surgeon, who gave me sev. tests to see if i had strength and mobility, which i DO have-and plenty OF it....It hurts when i do stuff like reach in back of me to get something from the back seat of my car:that is a good example....I've tried exwecises which only exacerbate the pain...and i AM taking Advil.Heat helps....but you can't walk around w/a heating pad on!

OK--I take it you've never had a cortisone injection for this?
Customer: replied 4 years ago.

OOOOPS!! Dunno how i could have left this out! I had one in the front part of the shoulder, which helped a LITTLE, and another a month later from the back, which helped more.....Do you think another shot from the back would help at this point?

Well, cortisone injections can help for a while but they don't actually "cure" the problem. To answer your question above, a bone spur is an extra growth of bone on the surface of a bone--a little like a comma coming up from the surface. That said, you need the MRI to look at the soft tissues of the shoulder since you may have what's called entrapment syndrome where one or more tendons are caught on the spur and have become inflamed and "stuck." If that's the case and the exercises and injections don't help, you need to be referred to an orthopedic shoulder specialist for consideration of surgery to excise the bone spur and to free up the tendons.
Customer: replied 4 years ago.

This is wonderful answer, Dr. Chip: not one i especially wanted to hear, but very comprehensive and knowldgeable.

I don't mind an MRI, but the surgeon has not recommended it-is it "professional" on MY side to ask for one to rule out entrapment? Or would he come to that eventually?

I KNOW the shots do not cure, but........

I'm not sure why the surgeon hasn't recommended the MRI--perhaps he first wanted to try the therapy and injections to see if conservative therapy would work and for that no immediate MRI would be needed. At this point, though, it's time for the rubber to meet the road and the MRI will show if there is a surgical problem. Sorry for the mention of surgery but at this point I think that's where you're probably headed.
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