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Orthopedics/scapula muscle pain


m3 wrote at 2008-11-27 04:21:40
I read your blog b/c I am having similar problems of continual muscle pain.  I have been working out with weights, yoga, and cardio.  The cardio is the only thing that does not cause continual pain.  Some days its almost unbearable. For a few months I blew it off as "I am getting old", but being active should not be this painful.  I did have back surgery a year ago b/c of a ruptured disc (L5/S1).I have permanent nerve damage down my left leg from it..but I can see no relation to the pain in my scapula/shoulders/neck. I also had shoulder surgery 8 years ago and was told I had "loose joints" meaning the tendons stretch out and no long support the joints.  I am real careful with my weights and do not over train or doing anything that causes jolts.  I am pretty tired of the pain and it certainly wears at you.  My "main point" is to be careful with going with Pain Management.  I did that for my back and received cortisone epidurals, pain blocks, mind altering drugs to trick the brain so it does not receive the nerve signal of pain, steroids, etc... That medication messed with my head and I did not realize how bad some of it was b/c I was desperate to stop the pain from the ruptured disc. I gained 30 lbs and it took almost a year to get it off.  If you go in that direction, do the research on the meds that they give you.  I wish I had.  Anyway, hope you feel sucks hurting especially when you are trying to be healthy.  Good luck.

lou wrote at 2009-02-16 11:06:00
my boyfriend is suffering from similar problems, with pain in the same area. he rock climbs a lot and was told to stop, at which point it got worse, and felt better when he took it up again. he has had several rounds of physio and acupuncture, and eventually a shoulder specialist, who did an ultrasound on his shoulder, which showed the muscle attached to his shoulderblade had torn it's connection to the shoulderblade at some point and never healed and reconnected. he was given a steroid injection and told surgery is a possible in the future, but not for the moment while it is flared up. he was advised to put a cold pack on it if it was hurting to reduce the swelling.

ask for an ultrasound. a healthy attachment should be a thick white line, whereas a torn section will appear fainter.

HURTSHOULDER wrote at 2009-09-10 23:10:47
You may have a detached muscle from your scapula.  I am currently dealing with the same issues you are.  I've been to ortho, mri's and xrays fine.  I'll be going to a neurologists soon.  I've been dealing with this 3 years, after 3 yrs, i decided to seek treatment.  There is one doctor that I know of that deals with detached muscles, that is Dr. Kibler is Lexington. I have an appointment coming up. A friend of mine went 1 1/2 yrs, 6 ortho doctors, and neck surgery at a well respected university, they never could diagnose him.  He went to Dr. Kibler, was diagnosed w/in 5 minutes, had surgery where it was reattached and it is doing good now.  With this, his mri's were completely normal as were his xrays; this injury will not show up.  I mentioned this to my normal ortho doctor, he did not know much about it, it's a very new surgery, and at the time my friend had it, only 70 had been performed and only by this doctor.

MMM wrote at 2010-10-29 18:16:32
Look up S.I.C.K scapula > i have been suffering the same thing for 3-4 years. no sports but worked on computers with mouses doing spreadsheets, worked in restaurants carrying trays above my head for 2 . had surgerys for torn rotator, torn bicep , impinged shoulder etc and still having problems, doc says to take a doorway in your hand and lean back to get a good stretch from shoulder to back where scapula muscle attaches. trying it now so we will see..............  

dallas1 wrote at 2010-12-07 01:48:34
To Hurt Shoulder: I had the Scapular Muscle Reattachment surgery in Lexington and I can tell you if the muscle is detached you will have horrible pain in the scapular area and really bad headaches. Also the opposite shoulder will start winging too. It is true it does not show up on any tests and I too suffered a long time and went through many doctors. Dr Kibler saved me and he is a fabulous doctor. I hope this helps anyone suffering.

Rob Poe wrote at 2011-07-03 20:42:59
I have been suffering for 17 years. After two surgeries fixing the aftermath if the problem and then being turned down by over 50 doctors I saw a doctor in northern Ky that referred me to Dr Ben Kibler. I was diagnosed in 1 minute. Dr Ben Kibler reattached my Scapular Muscle this past Tuesday and reattached my Labrum Tendon. I know the recovery is lengthy but am very thankful for Dr Ben Kibler. Obviously I am still feeling the initial pain of the surgery. 4 different spots and 23 staples in my dominate shoulder.  

nd wrote at 2011-11-28 09:41:47
i have had problems for three years three different shoulder surgeries.injections pain medications therapy ect referred to the mayo clinic then to dr. ben kibler. i am having the scapular mussel reattached and the ac joint reconstructed .sounds like he has a great success rate .hope this all goeas well and i can get back to a normal life and back to work.wuld like to hear on anyones progress.

bcvb11 wrote at 2011-12-26 19:10:06
I just had surgery done by Dr. Kibler in Lexington a couple of months ago. It turns out now that I had completely ripped two muscles and a tendon off and partially ripped another. I was his youngest patient(17) and the only one who had broken off a piece of bone with this injury. The result was 4 pairs of holes drilled and all my muscles reattached and my scapular spine chiseled down. This was very painful, but in the long end I will have my shoulder back. Please see him you have shoulder problems.

dallas1 wrote at 2012-02-09 02:23:40
ND , you wanted people who have had the muscle-reattachment surgery to give follow up on their surgery. I had it in 2008 and no more severe stabbing pain however my chest muscle on the side I had surgery has bothered me since even before the surgery. Also my shoulders still ache (both) if I do too much. I believe this is the dyskenisia. Would love to know if anyone else feels this too.

Kresta wrote at 2012-09-30 04:58:27
I had scapular muscle reattachment surgery performed by Dr. Kibler in Lexington in 2007.  I spent 20 long months going to numerous other doctors only to be told there was nothing wrong.  The pain is horrible and the headaches resulting from the spasms are nearly unbearable.  I have recently restorn the same muscles again, but nothing because of my prior surgery.  I would recommend anyone who is suffering from winging scapula to see Dr. Kibler.  He is a phenomenal doctor and has a wonderful bedside manner.  He gave me my life back in 2007 and I am awaiting my surgery date for the reattachment.

Fro wrote at 2013-01-06 20:01:59
I had the scapular reattachment surgery done 8-22-2012 by Dr. Killer in Lexington. I'm going into my 20th week of recovery since the surgery. I had a lot of scar tissue that had to be cut away in order to reattach the 2 muscles that were torn away. He had to drill 5 pairs of holes in my scapula and 1 pair in the spine. As of now I am still going to physical therapy and I have muscles hurting that I didn't know existed. I have good strength in the closed chain motions but very poor strength in open chain motions. I'm 37yrs old and the doc said I will probably only gain about 80% strength in my arm. So far the surgery fixed my original issues but I seem to have developed other ones. There is not a lot of people or information out there about this surgery and I'm curious to know of others progress. Thanks

Dallas1 wrote at 2013-01-21 01:32:35
Wow Fro you are just beginning the journey. I had the surgery in 2008 and that awful pain from the detached muscle is gone but like you I have other issues. My chest muscles bother me and I can't stand straps putting pressure on my shoulders. I also believe i am still using my neck instead of my shoulders. I have awful creases of skin on my back under my scapulas where I believe my muscles aren't working properly thus the dyskenesia. What are you feeling?

sle48 wrote at 2013-02-04 23:03:24
I am having the scapular muscle reattachment surgery 03-05-13. I would love to hear from others who have had the surgery, and hope that knowing about my experience will help others. My full story is at please fell free to comment on any of the past or future posts.  

jeff wrote at 2013-02-16 00:07:29

I havent had any problems with my chest muscles hurting but like you I feel like Im using my neck more than my shoulder. I finally returned to work 3 weeks ago and it seems to be a BIG challenge. I do fiberglass boat repair and refinishing so Im constantly moving my arms. Its not to bad if I keep them close to my body but its a total different ball game if I try to lift any kind of weight away from my body. Dr. Kibler thought maybe my rotator cuff or my bicep was torn also but on my last appointment in late Jan.2013 I had a MRI done  and it showed that there was a lot of fluid and some scar tissue  built up around the cuff so that will be my next hurdle. I still have a lot of deep muscle pain around my shoulder blade. I kinda came to terms that it will probably be there for a long time. The one thing I dont have are the creases of skin. The scar is about 10" long and had 20 staples. It is VERY hypersensitive!! Not as bad now but its still there, I dont like anybody to touch it lol

dallas1 wrote at 2013-02-23 03:36:23
I am so glad to see everyone with scapula muscle detachment commenting on this site. Only people like me can know how it feels. Unfortunately for all of us this condition does not show up on any tests. My advice to my friends and family is to trust your body. Thank God I found Dr. Kibler and he figured out what was wrong with me.

Fro wrote at 2013-03-26 22:39:53
If it weren't for Dr. Kibler I would to be able to do the type work that I do. After 7 months of doctors telling me there was nothing wrong; it only took him 5 minutes to figure out what was going on. I'm now almost 32 weeks out and I feel 100% better. I still have the aches and pains from the surgery and I've one to terms that I probably always have them. I still have the fluid and scar tissue around my rotator cuff that cause me to have limited movement in the same arm. I was schedule for another surgery 4-2-2013 but on my dat visit with Dr. Kibler he gave me a cortisone injection to see if it would help any and maybe delay the surgery. As of today I called his office and cancelled it because the injection seems to be working. If it comes down to me having to get the surgery anyways then I trust Dr. Kibler to do it. He is a great surgeon and its worth the 75 mile drive to see him!!

Meg19 wrote at 2013-07-21 22:31:49
I've had 18 shoulder surgeries. 7 of which were scapular muscle reattachments by Dr. Kibler. Before being diagnosed in 07 I was put in a pain program, had every test known to man, saw too many drs to count and hurt so bad. I was at Mayo clinic and was told to go to Lexington, KY. I was diagnosed within minutes by Dr. Kibler. I had 5 scapular reattachment surgeries on my left and 2 on my right (obviously there were issues in between) I had the first one in 2007 and I was the 50 something patient. I have multidirectional instability along with a long list of other problems in both shoulder joints so things got a bit tricky. From 2008-beginning of 2010, I continued to have scapular pain symptoms; scapular winging, neck pain, muscle spasms, inability to use arms away from body, snapping, headaches etc. When I saw Dr. Kibler again in 2010 I was informed the procedure had changed. So in 2010 and 2011 I had both my shoulder blades done again. Since the new procedure, my shoulder blades have been much better compared to what they were, but I still have issues. My pec muscles are overly tight and my skin sensation is different than it was prior. My proprioception is so off and I'm working on retraining my shoulder blade movements now. When you move your arms in front of you, your shoulder blades should move out to the side but mine move in (downward rotation) towards my spine. I wonder if anyone else has this issue. I've been blogging about my shoulder issues. Blog is titled My "Impossible" Medical Journey. You might find useful info in there with what to expect from scapular surgery, the incision size, scarring, bracing, rehab etc as well as info about a ton of other shoulder conditions.

Meg19 wrote at 2013-08-01 14:59:56
This blog post has pictures and information about my personal experience with scapular muscle reattachment surgery. In 2010 and 2011 I had the procedure redone on both scapulas because the procedure changed and I continued to have symptoms. There are pictures of the new incision vs. the old incision and it shows what brace you will wear for several weeks. I think it is a good resource for people who are getting diagnosed with scapular injuries. I know I would have loved having something to go to in 2007 when I was first diagnosed. It would have been nice to see what type of incision I would end up with.

Alora wrote at 2013-09-23 07:47:56
So I was reading everyone's post and I had surgery to attach my sculpa muscles by Dr.kibler from Lexington. I had surgery April 3 2013 and as of now I am still in therapy. Therapy is a long process and it's painful, I get sore a lot and my muscles get in knots causing pain. I am hoping by the end that I will be apst back to normal.  

fro wrote at 2013-12-29 01:45:16
I am 16 month out of my surgery now. I still have scapular pains and muscles I never knew I had that hurt. I was off of work for 5 months and months of therapy. Dr. Kibler told me the other day that 80% is the best I will probably recover to. He has to do surgery on my rotator cuff in February due to fluid and scar tissue from the scapular surgery causing a pinch in my cuff. Will post updates post-op

Gail wrote at 2014-01-12 07:42:11
Hi everyone,

I found this thread through another blog about scapular muscle reattachment surgery.  I had my surgery in Feb 2012 by Dr Kibler in Lexington.  As far as the trapezius and rhomboid repair, surgically that went well; but I had a whole load of other associated issues that they hoped would just fix themselves when my scapula was back in its right position.  It hasn't quite been that simple... (of course not - nobody with this issue seems to have a simple story!).  So I'm almost 2 years post-surgery, I AM making progress, although it's constantly 2 steps forward 1 step back.  More recently I had some new ultrasound nerve tests and I'm hoping that is the final answer - I have a lot of scarring around my nerves, inflammed nerves and tissue and small patches of scarred muscle, so I have to let my nerves heal before I will be able to really use the shoulder functionally.  As a result, my 'exercises' really haven't progressed much, I have managed to do enough for my rhomboids to be visible again, but they are still very weak, my scapula is (/ was, it's easing a bit) stuck to the back of my thorax with scar tissue, so my focus just now with my own exercises, and passive movement from physio is to very gently stretch - stretch my nerves, muscles, and attempt to stretch it so the scar tissue doesn't compress everything so much and cause so much pain.  It's a long journey, I still have a log way to go, but I am moving forward... very, very, very, slowly.  Nobody knows how much function I'll get back though - I caused a lot of damage when I fell and swung my entire body weight from my hyperflexible shoulder.  I write a blog: (yes, it was supposed to document my recovery from Lyme disease and help increase awareness, while also being a personal blog; now it's all about this surgery too - it was just easier with the 10 minute an hour rule to update everyone at once, and it just kept going that way!) I hope everyone is recovering well; always interested to hear from anyone going through this - it's one hell of a journey. I can be contacted through my blog. gBest wishes. Gail

shellebelle wrote at 2014-05-17 12:15:57
I suffered with excruciating pain in my right shoulder for almost 10 years. I had seen 16 different doctors from 1999 - 2008, and was told the pain was in my head, not real, that I should get married and have kids.  Honestly I began doubting myself, I fell in to a deep depression b/c one of my doctors made me go to detox which was horrible b/c they said it was in my head too and they treated me like some street junkie.  That the pain I felt was not real.  In July 2008, I saw a ortho doctor from the Mayo Clinic who referred me to Dr. Kibler.  I was diagnosed Immediately with muscle detachment and scheduled for surgery for January 2009.  Turns out I had two muscles torn from the bone, and part of the lower trapezious muscle was too atrophied to be saved.  So I ended up with four holes drilled in to my right scapula bone for the muscles to be reattached.  It's been 5 years since my last surgery and I have more good days than bad.  I can't exercise with free weights, but I swim a lot and that seems to help. If it wasn't for Dr. Kibler I'D still be in terrible pain today.  After 10 years of doctors telling me I was imagining the pain, I truly began to believe them.  I'm so thankful to Dr. Kibler for giving me my life back.

Dallas1 wrote at 2014-06-09 23:48:59
Shellebelle, I am so glad you are doing better. I also suffered depression and still have a lot of anxiety to this day. It is hard to be in pain and feel like you are not believed. I tell people to trust their gut and don't give up. I also believe the medical community needs to not rely on tests so much since like our condition everything might not show up on a test. Good luck with your progress. I believe I will always have muscle issues but will have to try and live with it.

Fro wrote at 2014-11-16 00:03:26
Hey everyone. I am almost 3 1/2yrs out of scapular reattachment surgery and it has still been a long and hard road. I have had one surgery since due to scar tissue and fluid that moved around and had my rotator cuff in a pinch. 7 months later the scar tissue has made a return so I will probably have to get it cleaned out again. I try to explain the issues I am still having with people and to my other doctors, but it's kinda hard to explain. It seems like the only people that know what I'm going thru are the ones that have had the surgery. I was at Dr. Killers office last week and there was a lady there that just had the surgery and she was referred to Dr. K by her orthopedic docs in Michigan. Her situation is similar to mine; car accident. She asked me questions about what to expect during recovery. All I could tell her is that it will be a long road ahead. It took 7 months for my orthopedic to send me to see Dr. K and within minutes he knew what it was. They drilled 12 holes in my shoulder blade to reattach my muscles. I wish everyone the best of luck in recovery!!

Sweetdenali wrote at 2014-11-21 04:25:36
i was involved in an auto accident many years ago. I've had many surgeries with not much success. No doctors in my area could figure out my scapular pain so I did my research and found Dr Kibler. I am 2 weeks out of surgery. I had more then just the scapular muscle reattachement done. Some days are better than others but in general it is very painful. I know it's still early so it's way too soon to tell. I do love Dr Kibler and his staff. They are one of a kind and that's why I drive 500 miles to come see him. I would not hesitate to refer him to anyone who may need shoulder intervention! I still have a long road ahead of me and I am hopeful for a good outcome!

Lake girl wrote at 2015-03-20 19:19:22
I had Scapular Reattatchment  Surgery performed by Dr. Kibbler in Dec. 2013. It took 5 years to get my diagnosis! The Physical Therapist who was working with me off and on over the 5 years, had attended a Seminar of Dr. Kibblers, and after trying many ways to reduce my severe left scapula pain, and neck spasms, suggested I could have possibly detatched my scapula stabilizing muscles. I am now 15 months post-op, and continue to have problems with muscle spasms in my neck and the top of my shoulder. I am wondering if anyone else has had this problem, and what may have helped. I am progressing well with my exercises, so this is very frustrating!

Fro wrote at 2015-06-17 23:46:29
Hi Lake girl,

I had the surgery in August of 2012. I still have muscle spasms in my shoulder and they sometimes go down my arm. Certain things that I do still cause pain. Besides the spasms and triggered pains, I am doing better. Hope you get better also!

DubDr wrote at 2015-08-07 00:23:58
I am happy I found this forum. I have been dealing with scapular winging and TOS with severe pain after 6 mo my 6th Dr til me this might be the issue. They are planning on 4 weeks of PT before sending me to KY. I am an auto tech by trade and a working arm/shoulder is crutial so km hoping for a speedy diagnosis and optimal recovery ill share what the end result is as soon as I know.

Joe wrote at 2015-12-01 18:49:52
I was just diagnosed with Scapular Detatchment from Dr Kibler. . Like everyone else I've been going through this over a year after a car accident at work in which I was hit, and knocked unconscious. I was wondering if anyone could reach out to me that's had the surgery. I'm 36 and can't fathom the idea I will never be fully healed or back to 100%. A lot of you guys that have had the surgery seem to still be reeling from the injury. Any help would be greatly appreciated. You can reach me at


Joe wrote at 2015-12-01 18:51:48
I was just diagnosed with Scapular Detatchment from Dr Kibler. . Like everyone else I've been going through this over a year after a car accident at work in which I was hit, and knocked unconscious. I was wondering if anyone could reach out to me that's had the surgery. I'm 36 and can't fathom the idea I will never be fully healed or back to 100%. A lot of you guys that have had the surgery seem to still be reeling from the injury. Any help would be greatly appreciated. You can reach me at Thestackhouse at hotmail . c o m


Justin wrote at 2016-03-29 17:26:43
I too suffered this crazy injury, and spent years going to specialists in Iowa and Mayo Clinic.  Every test I went through showed nothing.  MRI, CT, Ultra Sound, X-Ray were taken many times.  I went to many physical therapists, chiropractors, did cortisone injections, needle stimulation, electronic muscle stimulation.  Doctors gave me all sorts of meds, and ideas what it could be.  Nothing helped, and the pain was horrible, as you all know.  That intense deep burning, aching pain that radiated not only in my back and shoulder, but ribs, and my mind.  It was the first thing I was aware of when I woke up, and it was the last thing on my mind when I went to bed.  It was there with me perpetually through the day, and all I thought of was having just 5 minutes without it, just a moment of relief.  I would go through intense muscle spasms too.  The worst part was I continued working out very strenuously with this injury, as I had a contract with the Navy and was preparing for BUD/S.  I did so because every specialist told me there was nothing wrong with me.  As my friends and family enjoyed doing activities I was with them for, I had a constant burden, and could not live in the moment, lest I became more aware of just how much pain I was in.  It was so emotionally exhausting to act normal, smile and function, that I became numb almost. Doctors just wanted to send me to a pain clinic.  I almost agreed because I was so desperate and loosing hope.  I began to wonder if I was just crazy, because no doctor saw anything wrong with me, and even my own mother questioned whether I really had an injury. Which hurt, but not as bad as my back and shoulder.

Anyway, was I eventually sent to Dr. Kibler by Dr. OíDriscoll at Mayo Clinic.  He was my last hope, and I have to say, I was ready for the same routine I was used to.  It's almost crazy to think about, it took him 5 minutes with me standing with my shirt off to diagnose me.  When he did, I couldn't believe it, and what I mean by that is I honestly didn't believe he figured it out.  I thought to myself that he thinks he knows.  Of course he was correct though.  I had the surgery 9/11/2012.  Yes, on the anniversary of 9/11Ö  It was an extremely rough couples of weeks after the surgery.  I had to go to the emergency room several times when I was back home.  It had nothing to do with the surgery itself, but the anesthesia I received during surgery.  The following months were no much easier, but it got better.  My whole arm and shoulder was a dead limb, like it was attached to my body but had zero strength in it.  Physical therapy was slow going, but it did help with strength and mobility.  Recovery was expected to be 8 months, meaning getting pretty much full use.  That didn't mean the pain would completely go away.  The pain didnít seem to get much better until recently.  However, it can be fairly bad still.  While Iím told I will never be pain free, I am able to workout, play hockey, and live an overall active lifestyle.  I just have to deal with more pain than most my age. (Iím almost 29), had the injury when I was 22.  And Iím sure I have some type of psychological traumaÖ. Which I would recommend getting help with.  I havenít and regret it.  I might soon though.   I am very thankful for Dr. Kibler and what he was able to do for me.  He did his best, and genuinely cares about his patients.


I decided to write this today because I am having a hard day again, and this in a way is therapeutic.  I donít share my story with much of anyone.  I donít want to be all doom and gloom, but it was and is my experience, and only those who have been through it could understand it.  So I guess thatís why Iím posting here.  On the upside, I do find those moments, and even days, when the pain is so minimal that it doesnít weigh on me.  

Good luck to all on your recoveries, and know that you will see an improvement.  It may not be as much as you want, but it's something.  


Emmy wrote at 2016-08-17 00:41:43
This is a post I made publicly on Facebook last night talking (in laymen terms) about my experience with Scalular Reattachment Surgery.  I am a very positive person with a type A personality so I did not go into very much detail regarding the severe pain I was in prior to this surgery, but my story is so identical to Joe's in the last post that my own mother could not believe it wasn't me who wrote it.  Here's what I wrote along with the link to my Facebook post which includes pictures.  I am currently working on a blog site to feature my entire experience and would love to hear from any of you, as I am now seeing a counselor regarding my future as I continue to try to cope with this devastating injury.  Here's the post:


I want to take a moment to celebrate a small, but incredibly impactful victory in my life.  I know so many of you have prayed for me and I think it's time I share an update.

Nearly 3 years ago, I was rear-ended by a drunk driver.  It seemed minor at the time, but the accident left me in pain that is almost indescribable.  I tried to convince myself for months (then years) that I would eventually get better, but my symptoms only worsened with time.  I saw many, many specialists - I was desperate to find a solution that would make my life more tolerable to live - but not one of them could figure out what was causing my severe pain and swelling.  

Finally, last summer, I decided I was throwing in the towel.  My life had become desolate.  It was getting incredibly tough to fake smiles as I attempted to make it through each day.  Just getting out of bed every morning was a challenge for me because any movement at all caused more pain than I could mentally cope with.  There was no such thing as a social life.  I struggled to keep my career.  There was literally NOTHING that could be done to make my pain better, and trust me- I tried EVERYTHING. Prayer was genuinely the ONLY thing I could turn to.  

That's when something remarkable happened.  As a last resort, I made an appointment with a shoulder specialist - Dr. Ben Kibler at the Lexington Clinic - after an old friend highly recommended his clinic to me.  By this time I was over seeing doctors in general and I was sick of being prescribed medications as a solution.  Therefore I had no faith, whatsoever, in ANY doctor helping me.  It was going to be 4 months before I could be seen, but I reluctantly made the appointment anyway and went on with my "life."

When my appointment finally arrived, my Mom, who had put her life on hold to help take care of me full time, accompanied me for support.  We held hands and prayed for an answer before Dr. Kibler entered the room.  Just as I had experienced so many times before, I was asked to explain what had brought me in for the appointment.  

Within 10 mins of Dr. Kibler hearing my story and the struggles I had faced - for what seemed like an eternity - he asked me to stand up.  He lifted my arm up and exclaimed, "I know exactly what is wrong with you."  

He went on to explain that my trapezius was 100% detached from my scapula and that he had INVENTED a surgery to fix the injury.  Not only did I finally have a diagnosis, but I also had a SOLUTION and he is the ONLY doctor in the world practicing this procedure.  There's not a word in the dictionary to describe the utter joy and relief I experienced in this moment.  God answered our prayers.

Less than a month later, I had Scapular Reattachment Surgery.  Dr. Kibler found that not only was my trapezius muscle detached, but my rhomboid muscle had also detached from my spine and my scapula.  No wonder I had been in so much pain!  He was able to "fix" both injuries by drilling holes into my scapula and spine and sewing my muscles back onto the bones.   He couldn't guarantee a full recovery and said my pain would be, on my best day, a 2 out of 10.  There would be an intense recovery period followed by many lifelong limitations on my activities, but this surgery alone and the thought of any type of recovery was music to my ears.  

Fast forward to nearly a year later.  The only way I know how to describe my life now is that I'm living in a whole new reality.  Today, I can workout with my fiancť as we get "fit" for our big wedding day.  I did more in my workouts today than I ever imagined would be possible in my wildest dreams - and as I sit here and write this, my pain is at a tolerable level of 4 - and that's after a long workout!   Every now and again, I forget about my injury altogether - and I am living a life that seems like a dream.  To say I'm grateful would be an understatement.

I may have a long road ahead of me, but I've already overcome more adversity than I thought was humanly possible.  I'm very grateful to have so many wonderful people supporting me through this journey.  Thanks again for the thoughts and prayers.  God is so good.  Please continue praying for Dr Kibler and all of the others out there suffering from this injury.

Heather wrote at 2016-10-18 19:03:04
Hi Everyone..

  I as well had (L) scapular muscle reattachment surgery on March 9,2016. I'm 7.5 months into recovery. I am very interested in knowing if anyone has experienced a burning sensation on their spine between the shoulder blades? I experienced that symptom before the surgery but it was more in between the scapula and spine. This feels like a hot poker laying right on top of my spine and radiates out. Nerve damage? I'm absolutely Thankful to Dr. Kibler for fixing the major problem, but I don't know what to think when these new issues arise. I also have impingement on my left shoulder and suffer from horrible migraines. If it seems like I'm complaining.. sorry! I'm mentally and emotionally exhausted from this. I have been to physical therapy over 100x's within a year, tried massage therapy, dry needling, Tens.. injections.  If anyone can share any information on their recovery would be so helpful and I would be very grateful. We all know this is not an ordinary injury, getting and giving information is crucial for myself and hopefully others. Thanks please feel free to contact me through my email. I'm from Michigan  


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Joe A Shaw PA-C


Most general questions that have to do with orthopedic and /or occupational medicine or ergonomics. With a focus on upper extremity disorders such as carpal tunnel syndrome. After many years of treating and diagnosing carpal tunnel syndrome I have developed a detailed website about carpal tunnel syndrome at


I have been a board certified Physician Assistant for 17 years, in the fields of occupational and orthopedic medicine.

American Academy of Physician Assistants, State Academy of Physician Assistants.

Physician Assistant degree from the University of Florida College of Medicine PA program. Bachelor of Health and Science degree. Board Certified Physician Assistant, Ergonomic certification, University of Michigan ergonomics certification. Associate Science degree in Emergency Medical Technology. Former Paramedic, EMT and Firefighter.

Awards and Honors
Current certifications in Advanced Cardiac Life support, and Basic life support, and CPR certification. University of Michigan Ergonomic training and certification.

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