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Old 10-03-2009, 08:59 PM   #1
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any idea what is wrong with my arm?

Hello. I'm not seeking medical advice, just opinions. and I am planning on calling my clinic Monday to see a doc. My upper left arm has been aching for several months now and only in the last week or so has it gotten worse. The pain was barely noticeable before, but now it's nearly constant. I've googled all kinds of things trying to see what it might be, to no avail. just wondering if anyone here might have an idea. I have no other symptoms. The ache seems to be in the muscle and I can barely bring my arm around to scratch anywhere above my rib cage, which I used to be able to do.

thanks for any help......

 
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Old 10-03-2009, 11:42 PM   #2
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Re: any idea what is wrong with my arm?

My opinion would be, Arthritis and their are hundreds forms (types)of Arthritis


Wish you well
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Old 10-04-2009, 09:43 AM   #3
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Re: any idea what is wrong with my arm?

depending upon just how really active you were or are in certain types of sports, or past injuries that impacted that shoulder in some way,or just depending upon your age, you could possibly be dealing with some level of a real rotator cuff issue. do you have ANY actual neck pain or any symptoms that appear like they are "running down your arm' to any particular fingers? its just the two most likely 'places" that could generate this type of symptom would be either a rotator cuff(the tendons,ligaments and muscle and joint that simply make up that whole shoulder area) or a spinal, in the c spine/neck area type of problem.

when you see your doc,he or she will more than likely try and run that whole shoulder area theu all ofthe possible ROMS that it just has the abilitys to go to. what you are describing right now is kind of a loss of a particular type of ROM just so you know? the very best way to really rule in or out any area of true involvement would be with a good contrasdted MRI just done on that body area. they could look at both that c spine and that shoulder with one referred MRI. that would simply show both more possible areas that could produce this type of symptom the best.

there are just SOOO many different types of problems that you can have in your rotator cuff and also the c spine too that need to try and be sorted out as to what the actual underlying problem is and where it is stemming from. that MRI really would kind of dictate your very next step. just having had my own rotator cuff tendon tears and a few other odds and ends also found within my shoulder upon MRI, believe me, this really does sound much more like a rotator cuff type of issue to me.

either way, i seriously would be pushing your doc for an MRI on at the very LEAST, that whole rotator cuff area within that shoulder right now. like i mentioned above, you also can have that c sppine done too at the very same time which would just take out alot of hassle and direct the doc in the right direction immediately too. but merely settling for ONLY an x ray of any kind wont show the very much needed deeper structures(the soft tissue areas?),so that MRI either way would defintiely be a needed thing to fully see the inside where this type of real damage occurs. but at some point, that MRI just needs to be done just to see inside it before ANY true and solid type of Dx can be made and the more appropriate types of treatment options can be told to you. you just really DO need that rotaor looked at the sooner the better since any actual tearing of any of those tendons would progress not get better. this was my case.

my supraspinatus which is that very top running tendon across from the base of our necks and to the very top of that humorus(upper arm bone) was at one point merely 'torn", just did not know it. up til the day when all i did was try and lift my purse up from off our refrigerator and it just totally snapped the rest of the way on me, i could have, if i had gotten that MRI earlier when i first started getting alot more pain there, prevented it from snapping at all. i just did NOT think things in there were even close to as bad as what actually showed up on that very revealing MRI i had to have done since i immediately lost ROM with the lifting thing as soon as it occured. rotator cuff injuries are just one of the most common out there that orthos even do surgeries for. that area/joint just moves in sooo many different directions and gets pretty abused over time that alot of people actually ending up with the very same tendon i snapped being their bigger problem too. it takes the most use and abuse in just our daily living. and if you play sports that use that shouler joint at all like i had for many years too, it REALLY gets used alot more than the norm would cause too.

just really push your doc for the MRIs to be done on that shoulder espescially and the c spine just as another possible source of the problem. that way you now have both done with very in depth views. this would just cover the possibles in the very best way for you. hopefully your doc will just do the right thing and also want to know where this is stemming from too. please let me know what you find out, FB
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9-22-03,removal of cavernous hemangioma that was inside spinal cord. Neuro damage to L hand L leg and R leg.

 
Old 10-04-2009, 02:40 PM   #4
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Re: any idea what is wrong with my arm?

I had that for about 3 months. I couldnt lie on my arm at all i couldnt scratch my back or stretch it in any position really.

I work in a hospital and i let the radiologist scan it, as it was top of my arm radiating into my shoulder. He could see some calcium along my shoulder blade, so he injected it with cortisone and a pain killer. Well he hit the spot because the pain when he put this fluid in almost made me faint. It was excruitiating, i had to lie down afterwards as i was so light headed.

But after about a week, the pain was 90% better, and has been like that for last 6 months. I still cant get 100% movement in that arm, but its a whole lot better.

Get it scanned but DO NOT have the cortisone jab without ultrasound, they cannot hit the right spot unless they see it on the screen. I had 3 cortisones before this one with ultrasound and they made no difference whatsoever, and funnily enough didnt hurt a bit when the Doctor did them,which suggests he didnt get to the bad spot.

Good luck, i understand your pain, its awful.

 
Old 10-05-2009, 11:04 AM   #5
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Re: any idea what is wrong with my arm?

thanks for all the replies. I kinda wondered about arthritis too but isn't that primarily in the joints? this started in the middle of my arm, but now I do feel it a teeny bit in my shoulder. I also have no injuries to that arm that would explain a flare up like this. if it was my right arm, sure. I did break my elbow in 3 places in 1992 and have all sorts of pains that come and go, usually when it's about to rain or is raining. but, again, this is my left arm with the new pains...

MRI? hmmm, yea kinda doubt my doc will go that route. my guess is she'll start with an xray and then possibly move to MRI if nothing shows up on the xray. my experience has been that they try to avoid MRIs if at all possible due to the cost.....

well, appt is set for Thursday. I hope to find out something then!

thanks again for all the information. I appreciate it!

Last edited by roseyone60; 10-05-2009 at 11:05 AM.

 
Old 10-06-2009, 09:39 AM   #6
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Re: any idea what is wrong with my arm?

i see you live in roseville? i live in MN too(so. metro) so if you should need a really excellent ortho surgeon have i ever got one for you. the whole 'group' has really excellent surgeons which is like 19 different orthos that all kind of have their own specialty? they only take the best. of course alot would also depend upon ins too.

honestly hon, if your own doc is not doing for you what is just the basics here, i would seriously find another who actually cares about their patients and does the advocating they are supposed to also be doing too ya know? while their IS a certain 'process' that some ins co require before okaying an MRI. if nothing actually shows on that x ray, the that soft tissue needs to be looked into next with a good contrasted MRI. that IS the only way to even see the rotator cuff and the things that make it up and could become injured other than the bones and joint. x rays only show the harder more boney structures and not anything like tears within a particular tendon needed for movement? just see what she has to say. good luck, FB
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3-22-01,herniated C-6-7
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Old 10-06-2009, 04:04 PM   #7
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Re: any idea what is wrong with my arm?

You might have a frozen shoulder also? If you hurt your arm somehow and pulled something then you start using it less and less because it hurts and soon you aren't really moving it at all.
I did that, I thought it would heal, I finally went to a doc and he they gave me a shot and sent me to therapy for three months for, said it was frozen. Man it did hurt I remember that. Good luck with your appt. I suggest you get a new Doc too.ne that cares about you.

 
Old 10-06-2009, 06:49 PM   #8
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Re: any idea what is wrong with my arm?

hmmm, I didn't mean to imply that my doc doesn't care about me. I think she does. and I've actually had an MRI that was, in the end, a waste of time (and money I spose). but that doc was trying to rule out stroke, so I guess he got that answer (it was TMJ stuff that the doc apparently was unaware of....)...but I digress!!

I'm sure if nothing shows on the xray, assuming I have one and there's a good chance I will, then she will likely send me for an MRI if that's the only way to identify whatever is wrong. not to worry! really

but I appreciate all the great info I've gotten. I reall appreciate it!

 
Old 10-07-2009, 09:52 AM   #9
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Re: any idea what is wrong with my arm?

believe me, i was not in any way telling you your doc was doing anything wrong here or not a good doc(i think i should have explained better,my bad,lol). just letting you know, with past primary doc issues with others i know and see on here too, that you always have that option hon. there are sooo many people who post on this site who have docs that are plain lazy or plain lacking in common sense to actually do the best things for their patients. and it IS a really sick thing to do when your primary is supposed to be your advocate too ya know?

i have been just plain lucky with mine. thru all six surgeries and an aneurysm coiling and an ongoing liver and kidney disease, he just listens to what my needs are since i just know my body much better than he does kind of thing? he has always done right by me. and gotten me to the right type of doc asap and done the needed tests when simply needed too, and i AM thankful, trust me.

just see your doc and go from there. please let us kno what you find out,K? good luck rose, FB
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3-22-01,herniated C-6-7
11-20-01,placement of hardware for failed fusion
9-22-03,removal of cavernous hemangioma that was inside spinal cord. Neuro damage to L hand L leg and R leg.

 
Old 10-09-2009, 09:16 PM   #10
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Re: any idea what is wrong with my arm?

oh no worries. there was another one that said I should get a new doc. I think I brought it on myself with my comment about MRIs? perhaps.

anyway, it turns out to be tendonitis in the rotator cuff. and she prescribed PT. saw my therapist for the first time today and she said I also had a bit of bursitis! ah....I love getting older. NOT!!! anyhoo, doc thinks I should be feeling alot better in a couple of weeks and good as new in 4-6 weeks. she also said that if it gets worse she would give me a shot of cortisone. rather not do that but I guess we'll see.

I appreciate all the replies so much. thanks!

 
Old 10-10-2009, 08:21 AM   #11
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Re: any idea what is wrong with my arm?

sounds like a plan. just remember one thing tho hon. if this gets ANY worse or you have no real improvement with PT, make darn certain you get that MRI done. what you have going on right now i also had ALONG with my tendon tears too, so ya just never really know til that soft tissue gets better looked into, ya know? good luck with the PT and please keep me posted, FB
__________________
3-22-01,herniated C-6-7
11-20-01,placement of hardware for failed fusion
9-22-03,removal of cavernous hemangioma that was inside spinal cord. Neuro damage to L hand L leg and R leg.

 
Old 10-11-2009, 09:08 AM   #12
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Re: any idea what is wrong with my arm?

oh yea, doc did say to let her know if it gets worse. and I've already seen a slight improvement today! so, fingies crossed for full recovery

thanks!

 
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