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Anyone w/ neck/shoulder pain been diagnosed w/ torn labrum when it was actually a cerv. disc issue?

BackAttack9BackAttack9 AddingtonPosts: 34
edited 01/07/2019 - 1:03 PM in Neck Pain: Cervical

Hello SpineHealthers,

I'm 4+ years out of an L4/L5 micro-D and L5/S1 fusion. Happy to report the back is doing pretty well all things considered. 

BUT now my right shoulder and neck have been giving me pain. I've heard horror stories of people getting shoulder surgeries when in reality it was a cervical spine issue. I've gone through the medical hoops of x-ray (no issues), physical therapy for about 3 months (not helping), cortisone injection (helped for 1 week before the pain returned) and finally, I got an MRI. There is a significant tear in my labrum and shoulder impingement. I can't do much with my right arm beside basic living/getting dressed. I have little range of motion and lots of pain if I go outside my limited range. I'm getting a second opinion this week for peace of mind.

Has anyone had a similar issue/prognosis/ or even the operation on their shoulder? I'd love to hear your perspective. After the nightmare of 2 lumbar back surgeries, I have lost most of my faith in the success rate of surgery. 

I know the only real way to know would be to get a cervical MRI. But I imagine that this would require starting the process over and jumping through all the same hoops again for several months before they approve another MRI. 

Thanks! Looking forward to any feedback.



  • dilaurodilauro ConnecticutPosts: 13,265

    Many times its hard to distinguish between cervical issues vs shoulder issues.   Clinical examinations sometime show similar symptoms so diagnostic tests are probably the only way to identify the root of the problem.

    The tear in your shoulder along with impingement does seem like part of your problem.  One thing that I would want to know is if any of the shoulder problems is arthritis in nature.   Simple X-rays would be able to identify that.

    I would go back to your doctor, an orthopedic or spinal specialist.  See, if after they examine you, that it would warrant further diagnostic tests.

    I've been through multiple cervical surgeries (1994 and 2000) and had both of my shoulders totally replaced (2010) due to arthritis.
    The shoulder surgery is pretty straight forward but the recovery phase and exercise you need to put in can be brutal.  It took almost 18 months of daily exercises, stretches, etc to get my shoulders back.  In fact, I know have more range of motion after surgery then I did before.  But it is a difficult and hard recovery period, you need to be dedicated.

    At times prior to my shoulder surgery, my physical and aqua therapists were thinking that I had another cervical issue, basically because the way I hunched my shoulders and held my neck.  The problem did turn out to be my shoulders.

    Here are some sets of medical articles that I think you should read

    All about diagnosing cervical issues

    All about cervical surgery

    All about Osteoarthritis

    Ron DiLauro Veritas-Health Forums Manager
    I am not a medical professional. I comment on personal experiences 
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