I've had shoulder pain for a couple of years now. I've been playing fastpitch softball my entire life at a high level of intensity. The first time the pain started was in my junior year of high school. I went to the orthopedic and he said I had impingement. I did the exercises but it never truly went away. It got bad again my senior year and I did the same, he gave me more exercises. I did them and it partially went away. About 8 months ago is when it got REALLY really bad. I'm going into my 4th and final year as a division I softball player. I played through it last year but I have been on summer vacation (haven't really thrown since May) and my pain is still very bad and hasn't gone away at all. Oh, and I did all of my rehab and strengthening with my trainer throughout the season as well and that didn't seem to help. At this point, the pain is a regular occurrence in my daily living: the way I sleep, getting dressed, etc. I read this on another site and it pretty much described my symptoms:
Typically, you will feel pain in the front of your shoulder which radiates down the side of your arm. It may be present with overhead activities such as lifting or reaching. You may feel pain when you try to sleep on the affected side. You may note weakness of your arm and difficulty with routine activities such as combing your hair or reaching behind your back.
I have an appointment with the orthopedic again on August 15th, but I was wondering what any doctors on here think. Thanks!
I'm not a doctor, but I had a shoulder imingement earlier this year and wanted to say I'm sorry you have one too!
Have they tried injecting steroids into the joint? They did that for mine, allowing it to go down in swelling and heal. However, if it comes back, we may have to do surgery to repair the leision in the joint.
Good luck! The injection helped a lot. Yeah, it was scary having a giant-arse needle stuck into my shoulder, but the fact it made the pain stop more then made up for it.
Well. I'm no dr. but I had similar syptoms and it was diagnosed as impingement. I did the cortizone shots, and therapy, but ended up having surgery where they ground down a piece of my collar bone to give the joint room to move. I did the therapy again, but was scarred too much and developed frozen shoulder. They put me under again and manually broke the joint loose again. The pain was sooo much worse than the original surgery, and therapy was only doable with pain killers. Its fine now, but it was a long haul. I wish you luck!
quick update: had an MRI on tuesday afternoon, still waiting to hear the results back from the doctor. he said he doesn't believe impingement exists in anyone under 30. he thinks it could be instability. based upon the pain i get, i think it is more than that. it actually feels like there's something going on in there that shouldn't be..something wrong. anyways, he wanted to check for a labrum problem (which my dad was just diagnosed with two weeks ago and will be getting surgery) or a small rotator cuff tear. hopefully i'll get results back tomorrow.
edit: on a positive note, i got my tonsils out yesterday afternoon so all the drugs i'm hopped up on from that take away my shoulder pain! lol
Last edited by fourtyoneantz; 08-17-2007 at 04:22 AM.
How are you doing now? I have shoulder impingement in both my shoulders, along with bone spurs, acromian type 2 and arthritis. I have tried PT, cortisone shot and am now scheduled for surgery next month on my left shoulder first.
I had arthroscopic subacromial decompression surgery for my shoulder impingement 7 weeks ago. I can't tell you how happy I am that I had the surgery. Although I still have some pain from the inflammation that hasn't completely gone away yet, I my pain is significantly less than it was before my surgery. I am also regaining range of movement that I haven't had for over a year. My Ortho and PT both say I should be back to 'normal' by fall.
When I started having the pain, my doc just said ice and tylenol. Eventually, I was sent to a PT who diagnosed that I have subluxation with shoulder impingement as a result. I tried the PT exercises for 6-7 months with no success. I then referred myself to an Ortho with an excellent reputation in my area. He did some testing and confirmed the impingement. The Cortizone helped alot, but eventually started wearing off. At that point, he recommended the surgery. I had bone removed and the area cleaned of 'debris'. I started PT a few days after surgery and went 2x/week for the first 5 weeks, then once a week for a couple weeks. I now have 2 appointments left per my insurance. I have gained front and side ROM and I am working on the ROM in the back. My PT is very pleased with how smooth my ROM has gotten. Both my Ortho and PT have stressed that I will have to continue building the muscle in the shoulder to keep it healthy since my subluxation will be there for life.
When I go to PT at 7a.m. I am in "shoulder row" with alot of other people who have had shoulder surgery. Most of the ones I talk to are extremely pleased with the outcomes of their surgery. I also think having a REALLY good PT has helped with my success as well.
Hi Mountain Reader,
I am so glad to hear from someone who has had this surgery and is happy with the results. Was the immediate post op pain bad? I feel like I have a pretty high pain tolerance, but then, I have never had Orthopaedic surgery before, so am a little apprehensive. Did you just use oral pain meds, or did you have one of those pain pumps?
Hope you keep recovering well.
This was a first surgery for me. It was less painful than I expected. I took Lortab for a couple days after the surgery then I reduced to taking Tylenol. Later, on bad days, I took a Lortab at night if I needed it. Overall, the pain wasn't that bad. Honestly, I was in a lot of pain for the past year as the impingement got worse. After the surgery, there was pain, but it was a different kind of pain. When I started PT about 5 days in, my pain level was about a "4". Soon after that, I went down to a regular level of "2". I found that the pain reduced when in resting position after a while. I would trigger pain when I moved my arm wrong or in a position my shoulder wasn't ready for (like when sleeping). Even during PT, my therapist would push and it would be uncomfortable at times, but he didn't want me in pain so I only pushed as far as I could without the pain. At this point, about 8 weeks out, I still have pain and some cramping with certain movements, but when resting it is generally a "0". My PT says it just takes the bone a long time to heal and I still have a bit of inflammation. I am gaining alot of ROM back that I haven't had for a while. The surgery was definately worth it. I also am convinced that my recovery went so well because I had an incredible PT this time around.
By the way, I had bone removed from my jaw twice in the last 1 1/2 years. Immediately after, that pain was much worse than the pain from the shoulder decompression surgery.
Good luck with your surgery. Let me know if you have any further questions.
Hi Mountain Reader,
Thanks for all the valuable information and your encouraging words. I do have another question. How long before you were able to drive and return to work? With your surgery, did you have the Decompression and Clavicle excision?
I had the bone shaved down and some bursa and debris removed. (Got the pictures to prove it.) Thankfully I had the surgery before things were extremly bad and I didn't have any tendon repairs that were needed. I had lots of bicep pain last fall from my shoulder being out of wack, but the Cortizone shot I had last December helped to reduce my inflammation and heal it up enough that I didn't need any work done on it.
The doctor told me I could drive as soon as I felt I could do so safely. He also told me I could go back to work a couple days later, but that I would be pretty miserable. In essence, he (and his PA) both left it up to me. I took 7 days off work and waited until about day about 10 to drive. I could have driven and worked much sooner since I was out of the sling in several days, but I was much more comfortable waiting. I would say try to give it 5 or 6 days if you can. You certainly want to be off of the narcotic pain killers before you drive. While I was able to drive sooner, I wouldn't recommend driving for long periods because it will still be sore.
According to the DR and PT, you really can't damage the shoulder that has decompression, but it can certainly hurt more.
By the way, my surgery was on my right dominate arm. I might have gone back to work a bit sooner if it had been the left. The pain was managable, but I use my right hand too much and I didn't want to overdo it.
FYI. The scars are healing up very nicely. I plan on being careful not to get too much sun this summer, but I think eventually they will be barely noticable.
Let me know if you have any more questions. I know a few that I had answered in advance made me feel better. That and knowing I was going to an EXPERT surgeon who was extremely nice.