Shoulder Injuries

Shoulder X-Ray 2 Shoulder X-Ray 1

I’ve been dealing with a bit of pain in my right shoulder most of this year, possibly brought on by strenuous playing of Wii Sports on our last vacation. I [literally] shrugged it off, thinking it would go away, but it hasn’t and the joint pain has instead ramped up over the summer to the point that I can’t raise my right arm above horizontal without feeling stabby sensations — and now my left shoulder is beginning to show signs of similar pain and limited mobility.

Shoulder X-Ray 3 So I’ve been to my primary care physician twice in the past month; the diagnosis: rotator cuff injuries. On the first visit she prescribed diclofenac and shoulder-strengthening exercises. These helped somewhat — until a wall-leaning incident a week ago caused renewed pain, further limiting my right arm’s range of motion and making the exercises more agony than help. Second visit to the doctor ended with an X-ray and a referral to an orthopedic specialist, whom I shall be seeing in October.

I was fitted for a sling but found that a sling position just made my shoulder hurt more, so I get to let my arm hang loose as long as I don’t lift heavy things with it or lean or sleep on that side. As it is, I’ve gotten very good at moving my right arm only from the elbow or with help from non-rotator cuff muscles. Otherwise my arm is limited to a very narrow cone of painful mobility, which I joke makes me not unlike John McCain. (He can’t raise his arms far above his shoulders because of injuries received while being beaten by his North Vietnamese captors.)

We’ll see what the orthopedic specialist’s recommendations will be in a couple of weeks. Whether I get surgery or not, I can most likely look forward to months of therapy for both shoulders. In the meantime, enjoy the X-rays. They’ve got bones in them.

Update: Triamcinolone acetonide!