21,721 members25,374 posts

Rotator cuff tear !! Why wasn't i told ?

Hi all, hope you are all having a better day than me.

Having had to come off MTX twice this year because of breathing issues and then shingles i wasn't suprised to be having flare ups in most joints and my right shoulder being the most painful.Have been back on my injections for 3/4 weeks now the flare ups seem to be subsiding a little apart from the said shoulder.Last week i realised that i couldn't even hold my arm up long enough to change a light bulb without being in agony, so gave up and asked my son to do it ( felt a tad pathetic at that point ).My rheummy app. is at the end of sep. so i rang the rheummy sister and after explaining it all to her she put me in to see the consultant this morning.I was expecting to be given a pain killing injection or steroid to tide me over until the MTX kicks in fully, but he didn't seem at all concerned about my pain level or my shoulder.

By this time i was getting a bit annoyed and said i cant even change a light bulb and it's keeps me awake at night .Unconcerned he said well i suppose we could try a shoulder injec. again, when was the last one done ? I said on the 1st of may this year using ultra sound !!

Looking through my notes he said, oh yes it showed you have a tear !! bit stunned, i said do you mean a rotator cuff tear . The very same he said !! So thats the reason i'm in pain then i said, when i really wanted to say WHY THE HELL WASN'T I TOLD THEN !!

Think the look on my face jolted him into action and he offered to refer me to the surgeon to discuss my options but said that he thinks we should try another inj. first.I agreed to that and asked if i could see how i go until my app. at the end of the month, he said well i've cancelled that,so see the the sister in 3 months and me in 6 !!

I walked out of the the hospital thinking, well rotator cuff tears must be so trivial that it's not worth mentioning,but the pain is telling me otherwise :/

Am i right in thinking that i should have been told ? If i hadn't have insisted i wouldn't even know and there would be no plan of action, if you can call it that !!

The wait for ultra sound injections is about 6 weeks ,so i think an app. with a gp might be a good idea for a bit of advice.

Hope you are all as well and pain free as possible, :)

Beth 48 xx

10 Replies

Beth, thats not a nice thing to have. My neighbour has had that op done. He was in a splint for six weeks afterwards. Then he had to do exercises to help him. He is a lot better now. I hope you get some relief soon. xxxx


Thanks Sylvi, i just think that i should have been told, it's hardly a trivial thing that's not worth mentioning is it.



Hi Beth. Sorry you've found out something that might have been useful to learn a while ago and sorry you can't just have your injection and get some relief asap. There was a programme - Dr Mark Porter on medicine matters or something a while back on Radio 4. On it there was a whole feature on shoulder pain and they said that it's one of the areas of joint pain that is very operable with a great success rate. I'm not sure if it was rotator cuff or not although these were definitely mentioned too. Might be worth googling? Tilda x


Thanks Tilda, have done a bit of research this afternoon but still a bit too angry to really take it all in. I plan on making a gp app. tues. and asking him/her for advice.

Beth x


Keeping patients informed about findings, conclusions and results seems all too often to be haphazard at best. I've never had a chronic condition before and am getting the strong impression that I'm likely to produce information overload i.e. there is too much stuff wrong with me for the doctors to attend to every 'little' thing.

It angers me that your consultant did not seem concerned about your pain and the difficulty it is causing you. But also that you are going to have to wait 6 weeks for an injection. Having read lots of blogs etc. over the past few months I'm sure that not all consultants would take such a lackadaisical approach to their patient's suffering. Is their any chance of your GP intervening to speed things up? I really do think you've got very good grounds for asking for - (demanding?) - better treatment.

You can't be expected to be infinitely patient. Hope your GP can help,

Christina x


Thanks for your concern Christina, my worry is that i may have made it worse simply because i didn't know it was a tear rather than the useual aches and pains .I think the least he should have done was to ask the nurse to give me a butt injection of steroid or painkiller.Anyway will see what the gp has to say.

Take care Beth x


Hi Beth, after mentioning pain in my right shoulder plus having a squidgy lump on my shoulder I eventually got an MRI scan and was put in for an op. it was then that I found out that I had a rotator cuff tear. Then the lump disappeared before the op so I cancelled it.

I thought the pain in my right shoulder was due to the lump or just RA in general, didn't realise that I had a tear as I had had it for so long. I generally now don't get much more than an ache and a sudden pain if I move my arm into the wrong position (as in trying to put something into a cupboard above my head, I now stand on a stool so that I dont need to lift my arm up too far). In my case the pain/ache has eventually eased off so I feel that for the time being I can manage without an op.

I am having steroid injections and also on tramadol for RA in general but the pain from my rotator tear had already mostly gone before starting the tramadol and injections. (It was described as a complete tear supraspinatus right shoulder). I do wonder if it can repair itself.

Anyway, back to you, I hope you manage to get something to help

Judi xxxx


Hello Judi,sorry to hear that you have the same shoulder injury,haven't been on here much lately so don't know if you blogged about it or not.From what i have read on several sites i don't think it can repair itself and the amount of pain you get depends on the severity of damage and on how it's managed.This is why i would have liked to have been told so that i could adjust my daily activities accordingly,some of the things i can manage to do ( despite RA) i don't think i would have attempted knowing that there was a tear.

Anyway do hope you manage ok with yours

Take good care of yourself :)

Beth xx


Hi Beth, I'm sure that I've read on some site that it can be made worse by over use so I understand where you are coming from. Can't remember the site unfortunately.

Mine was at it's worst when I was working (getting loads of heavy files down from high shelves didn't help mine, in fact I think that is what caused it) but being retired now life's a lot easier. The only repetative actions I do are sitting reading my kindle !

I do hope that your pain improves.

Judi xxxxxxx


Thank you :)


You may also like...