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Shoulder pain - Physical examination detects SLAP tear, but MRI/Arthogram normal. Planning surgery,

SudeshchandraSSudeshchandra Posts: 1
edited 05/06/2015 - 9:06 AM in Chronic Pain
Hello, I am looking for some help with my shoulder pain.

It all started on a day 3 months ago, where I played badminton for about 4 hours in the evening continuously and very next day I went for bowling. I started feeling slight pain on my right shoulder joint but It didn't stop from from doing workout in gym (I used to workout daily from past 20 months). After 3 weeks pain slowly started aggravating and I went to an orthopedist who asked me to take a MRI. The MRI results were absolutely normal, and I was advised to undergo physiotherapy for 3 weeks.
As the pain started aggravating with physio, I met a shoulder surgeon after 3 weeks. He did a physical examination - Jobe Relocation Test, which turned positive. He said its a SLAP lesion that MRI could not detect and recommended arthroscopic surgery.

I went to a different doctor for second opinion who initially diagnosed my condition as SLAP tear but asked me get arthogram to confirm it. I went ahead with Arthogram, but the reports didn't reveal any evidence of tear or any other abnormalities. He said its impingement and asked me to undergo physiotherapy(different physio) for 3 more weeks. now I am completing the physio, but no improvement. I still continue to have the pain even when I am at rest, sleep. Now doctors think its SLAP tear and are asking to undergo arthroscopy to find out/ fix.

My condition is worsening by day and I am not being able to manage day to day activities.
Now my question is, Should I go for surgery even though MRI/Arthogram are normal? If not why I am getting this shoulder pain? Please advise.


  • LizLiz Posts: 9,760
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  • PlumbTuckeredOutPlumbTuckeredOut Philadelphia, PAPosts: 325
    From my most recent travails with pain, the pain started with my shoulder. My left shoulder was very painful and I was sent for an MRI. MRI came back with some inflammation and I was seeing a shoulder surgeon who was already to go for surgery. I was slowly realizing that turning my head in different directions lessened the pain in my shoulder so I went for another MRI of my neck and more inflammation came up. At this point the MRI was misread and I was sent to a pain center. Another doc at the Pain Clinic found a difference between my cervical MRI and the report.

    But anyway, what I initially thought was my shoulder was my spine but my left shoulder was always under my head when I was sleeping to lessen the pain of my neck bending toward the pillow. So, I was to PT, physio as you call it, first for my shoulder, then neck, and now for my entire spine.

    My best suggestion is to consider all possibilities. My shoulder is now fine but it was initially the pain that lead the doctors to finding a massive amount of damage in my spine and tissues. My shoulder was just being protective.

    Two roads diverged in a wood, and I took the one less traveled by...... (Robert Frost)
    I still don't know if I should have taken the one that said, "Caution! Dead End" (Me)
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  • Motor1MMotor1 Pittsburgh, PaPosts: 606
    When I first injured myself at work, I immediately complained of neck & left shoulder pain. My work comp doctors ordered therapy for both areas. I was told that my shoulder pain was coming from my C 4/5 herniation. I had a MRI of shoulder & that doctor said there was nothing wrong with it. Two years later & two neck surgeries later, my shoulder is getting worse & my neck doctor & pain doctor still say the pain is from my neck. I decided to find a new shoulder surgeon & he looked at my old MRI & did a bunch of tests & range of motion on my shoulder & told me he suspected I had a labral tear. I went for an Arthrogram. My new pain doctor was able to read the report off of his computer & he said its a rotator cuff tear?
    I go back to shoulder doctor on Monday. So it looks like I'll be facing my 3rd surgery.
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