Sports Medicine/Shouler Pain

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Question
Hello,
I really hope that you can help me.

[Background]
So 3 weeks ago while at work (fast food restaurant)i had a large box dropped on my left shoulder and side of my neck. This caused deep bruising and pinched nerves. An Xray was done and i was told to wear a sling for a week.
During that week i returned to work, and tried to work one-armed. At first it was simple. But the more i did, repetitive movements, a lot of reaching above my head and across my body. And also lifting things i would have had trouble lifting with two hands.

[Current]
After the third day of working using only my right arm. I woke up to a slightly sore shoulder and noticed a popping sound & sensation whenever i lifted my arm above shoulder level. I found that the more i moved my arm (and more specifically my shoulder) the more it would pop, and the more pain it would cause.
Before the end of the day i was in tears because of the pain. Constant pain that worsened with movement.

I returned to my doctor, he was in some hurry, barely listened and told me it was just a muscle spasm. He prescribed me Norflex and sent me on my way.
The pain has not subsided at all. The medication is useless.
I am now unable raise my arm above shoulder level, at all. I get to shoulder level and cannot physically raise it higher.

A friend suggested that it could be a rotator cuff injury. I have no clue what that is. ANY help would be amazing.

Thank you!

Answer
Hi Keyra,

Sorry to hear about all that you've been through with your shoulder and neck. It sounds as though you need to get some facts.  I would suggest that you be seen by an orthopaedic physician. An MRI is likely needed to look at the soft tissue. There are 4 rotator cuff tendons that are involved with your shoulder movement.  Tendons connect muscle to bone which is why your friend might have thought you could have tore one of your rotator cuff tendons. Sometimes you can get what's called a frozen shoulder after a traumatic event to the shoulder. With a frozen shoulder, as the name denotes, you have very limited motion which can be addressed with physical therapy.  In any case, I think you need a better exam and a more aggressive thorough approach to finding out what is going on.  I am guessing it is a worker's compensation claim (which is sounds like it should be).  In that case, you can ask who your case worker is (there is one assigned to every one who files a case) and he or she can be an advocate for you to help progress things along.

I hope all goes well.

Kind regards,
Hope

Sports Medicine

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Hope T. Horton, RN, BSN

Expertise

Questions related to knee, shoulder, hip and ankle injuries, including treatment options and what is involved in recovery from injuries including surgical and non surgical interventions.

Experience

I an a registered nurse and have worked in orthopaedics and sports medicine for over twenty years (since 1993).

Education/Credentials
Graduated summa cum laude as the valedictorian from Regis University in Denver, CO with my BSN. Prior to that I was an EMT working in emergency rooms in Vail, CO and Denver, CO as well as on an ambulance in Vail, CO.

Awards and Honors
Elected Valedictorian of my class and awarded to Regent Award for excellence in academics. Elected to Phi Beta Kappa.

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