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  • Gunshot wound to shoulder a year ago, still experience frequent high amounts of pain

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    Old 03-05-2010, 10:22 PM   #1
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    Gunshot wound to shoulder a year ago, still experience frequent high amounts of pain

    Hi everyone. I did not see a specific board where this would fit correctly, so I apologize if missed one.

    Anyway. I'll try to keep this short. A little over one year ago I was shot in the shoulder by a .45 caliber handgun. The bullet hit my clavicle and fragmented, which also shattered the bone. According to my x-rays there are still pieces of the bullet deep in the bone which were left in because it would have caused more damage to chisel them out than to just leave them. I was told I'd experience pain for quite some time and was prescribed pain medication (hydrocodone) after the surgery which I used during the healing process when I still had sutures and a sling. After my shoulder was well enough to be removed from the sling and the sutures were out, I still experienced a lot of pain but figured that, like they said, it would go away in time.

    Present day, I still get high amounts of pain (not blinding pain, but still quite a lot) and I am able to use my left arm, even though I can't really lift it more than a little over halfway and it's very weak.

    Getting to my question: Is it possible to be prescribed pain medication again to deal with this? I'm 23 years old, which may not look like it matters, but doctors (I live in the US) are very wary of younger people and will assume they are trying to scam for pills. I have my general doctor who I could talk to about it, but I'd like some info or experience going in. I don't know how else the pain could be managed... it gets especially worse when I'm standing for long periods of time due to the stress just plain gravity puts on it, and when I work out.

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    Old 03-06-2010, 10:26 AM   #2
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    Re: Gunshot wound to shoulder a year ago, still experience frequent high amounts of p

    the one area you may want to just get 'cleared" that could also possibly be contributing to the pain "process' here would be ANY possible real damage done to that very crucial rotator cuff area too(not to mention that highly mobile joint that was also immobilized during your recoveries)? considering the overall velocity of of what a bullet going into that bone would do(it would tend to kind of dissipate the overall energies itself thru the bone and also more than likely anything attached to it like the tendons, ligaments and muscles that actually are what give us the major ROMS espescially given your inability to actually lift(that is usually a tendon issue or frozen shoulder too)? that very easliy could be,espescially since that tendon just IS the most commonly torn tendon of them all called the supraspinatus? it actually runs along that clavicle too from the top of the shoulder on over to kind of the very base of your neck? this would be the area that got hit with the most force as well?

    believe me, i had no real clue that i had already at least partially torn my supra tendon til it just snapped in half one morning as i was simply attempting to just lift up my purse off the top of my fridge? i felt a horrid 'pull' in the middle of the supra area in mid between the top of shoulder and my neck, and immediately lost that ROM that would even allow me to continue the upward lift. i had to just drop that purse right there. it was just gone in a freaking heartbeat that very second it snapped. i also felt an immediate increase in my pain that i kind of already had there for years, just did not have the slightest clue til that happened and it prompted the MRI that showed the real underlying mess that was my R rotator cuff area.

    while any level of deep bone damage can cause pain itself,and for many years too,i seriously would get that good look into your rotator on that shoulder there too. any lifting we do and any other stuff that just creates alot more wear and tear upon our shoulders and the main joint there within it can and does become kind of a cummlative type of damage over time. thats what mine was. any sports you have palyed or still play espescially like softball or baseball that very heavily utilize that joint and all of the tendons there just could be a potential for the symptoms you have right now too. just another area that could be either the only real generator or part of your overall pain process components. and just having ANY real joint simply not utilized like for injury reasons alone or surgeries that just require non use, can create what is called frozen shoulder in your case too? the joint just is not usuing all the very big ROMS of its true capibility for too long that in some cases,real scar tissue can develop there too. its just a consequecne when we do not or cannot move any joint to its fullest extent.

    if this turns out to be only the impacted area that originally created the injury for you you DO have an option of seeing a really good pain clinic to help you to come up with a good treatment plan specifically geared for YOUR type of pain process too. but i would most defintiely get that rotator checked out. its really amazing at just how much real underlying damage a person can really have anywhere within their own bodies but since other tendons in this case would at least attempt to try and compensate with a torn or even partially torn supra, it hit my tendon right underneath the supra with a partial tear there too just from the extensive tearing the top one had that the one directly under it kind of took over for in a certain way? you also just need a good look at how much possible 'freezing' fronm adhesions or even bone spurring could also just be within that very highly mobile joint too at this point. any real dx comes down to testing everything that just 'could' be involved in what it is that is casueing the symptoms,and for yours,that rotator cuff area would be the next best place to look for any possible damage you could have already had going on that just became worse or new damage too(that bullet could have very easily also hit that supra since it runs right thru that area too). if they just did an MRI and espescially if it was without contrast only on that injured area at first, it would NOT have taken in that whole rotator cuff area like one done specifically ordered WITH a contrasting agent added, would really be able to see when its ordered ON any given area of our bodies. given everthing here it just really NEEDS to be cleared if nothing else. at least by ruling it out,you would KNOW much more clearly just what that true generator actually is, ya know what i mean? the mere fact that your ability to even 'lift' being compromised in any real way actually there at all is what really bothers ME, just knowing what the supra does after mine snapped and i completely lost that ability right then and there on the spot. or just that very real possibility of having that frozen shoulder from non use fully of that joint too thing? a simple MRI with contrast would just show you and your docs ALOT. our shoulders and the joints just take sooo freaking much abuse like on a daily basis that we really don't even realize since it just 'works'? it is not until we just 'can't do anymore that we really see that part. hopefully something will show itrself here in some way that can better pinpoint potential pain generators there. please keep me posted as to what you find out, K? good luck with this, **
    3-22-01,herniated C-6-7
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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.

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