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Old 01-02-2015, 07:18 AM   #2
Taylor446
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Join Date: Dec 2014
Posts: 9
Taylor446 HB User
Re: Shoulder problems led to cervical DX

I think I need to explain my shoulder problems.

A year ago I had to have my ovaries removed. Tumors on both, thankfully benign. 2 weeks before that surgery I went to a pharmacy to get a flu shot so that I would be guarded as much as possible in a hospital environment. The person that gave me the injection placed the needle very high on my arm, and she even used both thumbs to push the fluid in. I was sitting, she was standing. I now know that is a big no-no.

Within 7 or so days I was in the ER because I could not move/use my arm without screaming like a banshee. They determined the needle went into my shoulder bursa instead of fully into the deltoid. Here is a chronological timeline since that shot and the onset of what I thought was only shoulder problems:

- Jan 14 appt with my ortho as follow up for synvisc series 6 weeks before (knee osteoarthritis). I presented my new shoulder problem and he DX'd me with bursitis and possible frozen shoulder. Prescribed PT.

- Jan to Feb PT until I fell getting out of bed one day. Landed on my knee and face planted as well. Dislocated patella, head and neck seemed fine. Shoulder didn't feel any worse (landed primarily on my right knee and braced with right hand, it is my left shoulder with the problems). Now PT on left shoulder AND right knee.

- Feb to Apr PT continued, knee much better, no progress with shoulder. Had an MRI, referred to a shoulder specialist.

- May per MRI had a labrum tear, severe bursa inflammation, possible bicep tendon impingement. Had surgery to clean up labrum and relocate bicep tendon to the front, also inflamed bursa removed.

- May to Aug PT, deltoid abduction very little improvement, all other areas good improvement. Released to home (self)PT.

- October follow up on progress. Still no improvement on deltoid. MRI ordered.

- Oct results, possible small rotator cuff tear, not large enough to warrant surgery. Surgeon advised me to 'hit the gym hard, you will be back if it is worse'.

Never did he ask about my neck, and I didn't have pain enough to bring it up. I felt my discomfort was coming from having to shift so often with my seating because of the shoulder discomfort.

I tried to get a second opinion at the only other practice in town, and was denied. I was told there was nothing they felt they could do for me from reading the MRI. I was stuck with nowhere to go.

- Dec called the original practice and begged to have a different shoulder Ortho give me a second opinion. The original shoulder ortho finally agreed to let me see one of his colleagues. 10 minutes into my appt with him I was having my neck xrayed and then knew I have a crappy neck! He asked if I had pain in it and I said it was sore sometimes but I contributed it to compensating for my shoulder, and possibly iNeck from my tablet and phone. He had me rotate my neck and asked if I felt it crunching. I said yes, doesn't everyone? He said Nooooooo!

MRI Results:

Findings: CSF signal is unremarkable. Noise artifacts are present. Artifacts lower the diagnostic sensitivity of this study. No suspicious vertebral body marrow lesions are seen. The cervical cord is not enlarged. Artifacts limit evaluation for cord lesions. CSF flow artifacts limit evaluation of the CSF

C2-C3: no disc herniation.

C3-C4: 0.1 cm anterior spondylolisthesis of C3 and C4 is present. No focal disc herniation.

C4-C5: Degenerative disc disease is present. 0.1 cm anterior spondylolisthesis of C4 on C5 is present. No focal disc hernia tin at this level.

C5-C6: Disc space narrowing is present. DDD is present. A mild to moderate broad-based disc spur complex is present impinging the cord ventrally slightly more prominent on the left side. Degenerative joint disease of the uncovertebral joints is present. There is a slight reversal of the physiologic cervical curvature centered at C5-C6.

C6-C7: Disc space narrowing is present. DDD is present. A mild to moderate broad-based disc spur complex is present slightly more prominent on the right. Degenerative joint disease of the uncovertebral joints is present.

C7-T1: No focal disc herniation. Degenerative changes are present in the upper thoracic spine.

Impression: There are advanced changes of degenerative disc disease at C5-C6 and C6-C7.

So, since then, as I wait to consult with a spine orthopedist, my neck does now hurt. And I am also really angry that my first shoulder ortho didn't rule out my neck. Such a simple task could have saved so much time and heartache, and pain!

With all of that in mind, I am so perplexed as to why my neck has exponentially become very sore now. Why wasn't it sore before my diagnosis was confirmed? I have 3 more weeks before my spine consult, and I have only ibuprofen to help me through. Is this pain all in my head, or was it there all along and my brain dismissed it?

What should I look for by way of symptoms to make sure I am safe until my appt?

Sorry to ramble. I am so nervous/scared of what lies ahead.

Last edited by Taylor446; 01-02-2015 at 10:57 AM. Reason: Added mri report verbatim.