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  1. #1
    Registered User biglifter10140's Avatar
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    Strange shoulder injury

    About 7 weeks ago, i was lifting for the first time in a long time. No injury that day or the next day. 2 days later, out of nowhere when I woke up, I couldn't pick up a tooth brush past a few inches, and had lots of pain and swelling. The only other thing I can think of that may have caused this is that I slept on that same side the night before I woke up with the injury.

    4 weeks after just hoping the injury would go away, I had an orthopedic doctor test for rotator cuff injuries, he couldn't find anything using the diagnostic tests. Then I had x rays and ultrasounds, nothing; shoulder bones looked normal, muscles normal, all ligaments and tendons looked healthy. So he just told me I have a strained tendon, and it'll eventually go away with rest. But I'm starting to get worried.

    7 weeks later, there's no more pain or swelling. No more loss of strength. But i still have some range of motion issues. Specifically, if my arm is bent like in this video, I can't do this rotation externally past about 45 degrees. At the 45 degree point, my shoulder kind of juts up about 2 inches higher than normal.

    So, I get can my arm out to about 135 degrees (90 degrees + 45 degree external rotation).

    I have some small range of motion in other motions in a much smaller way, but whatever's causing that range of motion loss is what's causing the other smaller ones too.

    Here's the video: Since I can't post links or videos yet, please remove the spaces to watch it.

    htt ps: //w ww.youtube.c om/watch?v=PVdgjHqAes8

    If I hold my arm straight out in front of me, I can't completely turn my palm up facing the sky. I can only get about half that rotation in my forearm/ palm. There's no issue rotating my palm to face the floor. There's no issue rotating my palm in either direction if I hold my arm out to the side.

    So... I think I'm going to go get a second opinion from a doctor that specializes in sports injuries.. but any ideas on what's going on?
    Last edited by biglifter10140; 01-05-2021 at 06:02 PM.
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  2. #2
    Registered User sowilson's Avatar
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    Find a better ortho, preferably one who works with athletes (hint pro sports team doctors are usually ortho's), can't find soft tissue injuries with an x-ray. Range of motion issues need to be addressed, through a PT but under the direction of an ortho.
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    Registered User biglifter10140's Avatar
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    biglifter10140 is offline
    Originally Posted by sowilson View Post
    Find a better ortho, preferably one who works with athletes (hint pro sports team doctors are usually ortho's), can't find soft tissue injuries with an x-ray. Range of motion issues need to be addressed, through a PT but under the direction of an ortho.
    The x-ray was for bones/ joints, and the ultrasound was for soft tissue. Definitely going to a sports focused ortho, I think the one I went to specialized in helping old people recover from old age related injuries. I was hoping someone here had some ideas on if they think it's a tendon, maybe inflammation somewhere, whatever it may be?
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    Registered User biglifter10140's Avatar
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    biglifter10140 is offline
    What tendon controls the external rotation when your arm is bent like in the youtube video?
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    Registered User foresail's Avatar
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    foresail is offline
    Originally Posted by biglifter10140 View Post
    What tendon controls the external rotation when your arm is bent like in the youtube video?
    A tendon attaches a muscle to a bone. Muscles powered by the nervous system control movement. For shoulder external rotation, the infrapinatus, teres minor, and posterior deltoid muscles are involved.

    The ortho allegedly said your tendons looked healthy then claimed one of them was sprained. He or the radiologist should have written down in the diagnosis which one. Suggest looking at what was written. If it doesn't specify, probably best to avoid this doctor in the future.

    Whenever a muscle or joint swells and immediate medical care is deemed not necessary, one should practice RICE (rest, ice, compression, elevation). The latter three help bring down inflammation usually within a few days. Ice should not be applied directly on the skin. Some body parts such as shoulders can't be compressed or elevated.

    The only time I experienced something similar to you (i.e. delayed and extended swelling with significantly reduced ROM) was in a foot once. The cause was a tiny hairline fracture in a cuneiform bone. I was referred to nuclear medicine to find it. If hairlines are too small, they can't been seen in an x-ray. Don't remember how long before ROM was restored. If your issue was a tendon injury, suggest seeing a physical therapist to help restore ROM.
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