Traumatic shoulder injury 14 months ago, constant pain and discomfort ever since :-(

Hi everyone,

I hope you are all well. I thought I would tell my story, for reassurance, information and for support.

14 months ago I stupidly injured my left shoulder whilst at work, lifting a heavy piece of equipment one handed. I lifted the equipment in a sharp, upwards jerking motion and heard a crack/click in my shoulder. Ever since that day, I have been unable to swim, lift weights, run for prolonged lengths of time, exercise in any measure longer than 15 minutes without suffering for days afterwards. Driving, putting a coat on, using a mouse, drying my hair, combing my hair, everything that involves any rotation or jerking of the shoulder is now so painful. This injury and the pain I suffer really is affecting the quality of my life massively, and has done for the last 12 months.

I sought medical advice from my GP 2 months after the injury occurred. I was given physiotherapy for 6 months to no avail. Stretches, ultrasound, exercise, NSAIDS were prescribed to no avail. I have seen chiropractors and orthopaedic specialists and no one had a clue what I had done until last month when I finally succeeded in getting an MRI scan on the NHS and was forwarded to a private shoulder specialist.

The scan results were given to me last week by my shoulder specialist, I have a slight depression in my labrum, no tear. The main issue is that I have severely inflamed cartilage around the head of my humerus. Unusually, I also have a large 'humeral lip' on the end of my humerus, apparently we all have humeral lips, mine is just larger than normal. This is then grinding onto the inflamed cartilage surrounding the head of the bone and causing further inflammation. The doctor gave me a corticosteroid shot there and then - straight into the joint and told me to keep exercising over the next 3 weeks gently. I am then returning to see him the last week in January. He also briefly mentioned that if this shot does not work, I may have to have surgery to shave part of my humerus down.

Unfortunately, so far, the injection has made no difference, I have been to the gym and gently ran for 20 minutes every other day since the injection last Friday. I am having to ice my shoulder as often as possible to manage the pain and discomfort I am in.

I apologise for the huge essay I have written here. But it really is getting a bit too much for me at the moment. I wonder, have any of you been in the same scenario, experienced the same injury, had a similar operation? Any thoughts, comments or information would be wonderful, and gratefully received.

Thank you for taking the time to read :-)

4 Replies

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  • some years ago I had a bad fall, and did a cuff tear on my right shoulder. l had an operation keyhole a few years ago to repair it but it failed. Was taking a lot of pain relief for ages, so masked the pain a lot. Now off a lot of pain relief, my shoulder is so bad Ihave limited movement in arm. Was going to have a new shoulder , but found lukemia, so put it off. Now I do not want the trauma of a new shoulder. I am seeing orphopediac surgeon in a few weeks , and he mentioned putting a ballon in the joint to ease it. I will let you know more info when I have it xx

  • The shoulder joint is a very complex joint. An operation may or may not give you the results you need.

    Another route to follow is to see an Alexander Technique teacher. They may be able to help you do things with the arm that causes less pain. An Alexander teacher will show you how to bring your mind to bear on avoiding pulling the two joints together when moving. Unfortunately the medical profession have very little knowledge on how to use muscles the way they are designed to move.

    It may be worth persuading your Gp to put you on a course of erythromycin to see if this makes a difference. Google "erythromycin anti inflammatory".

    Hope this helps.

  • I can sympathize very much with you I am in same position with my shoulder, as the first injection did not work they do not give any more. After a lot of talking on and off with my Dr. I am now awaiting for a physiotherapist appointment and an ultrasound, apparently, I have to go through these first before an orthopaedic surgeon will even take a look, if only I could afford to go private, the nights ate the worst and I am awake most of the night with the pain, I hope yours can get sroted

  • Hi you could be lucky with ultrasound ,they found my rotator cuff problem ,after every other test i had said it was in my head ,oh boy ,3 years of exploratry examinations,,physio (this did more damage as i hadnt been diagnosed at that point)) GP just offered physio to get rid of me,endless pain killers injections m r i .well being clinic IBS clinic for a year !! anger management,yes I was offered anger management .It is so sad while im writing this ,the frustration at nobody believing that i know my own body .Oh yes i paid for course of chiro while endlessly waiting for appointments,and many tears,eventually i was allowed an appointment for ultrasound & this lovely young lady patiently searched ,found three burrs ,lost them ,went to get assistance to find them again to take pictures ,The older guy got me to make certain moves & located them again,& boom pictures taken, appointment made for surgery,yes endless wait for surgery ,but im on week 9/10 of recovery eg physio ,yes its a long haul even now .loads more muscle building to do & still cant drive,But that dreadful hopeless pain & hypocondriac label has been lifted,Hang on in there I do so hope you get a young person who wants to find your problem with the ultrasound machine ,mine was very hard to locate ,even the MRI had missed it ,or they had perhaps read hypocondriac on my file.Good luck ,I truly truly understand your pain,dont give up ,keep going back and someone will listen.

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