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Shoulder pain after an accident. Ultrasound came normal

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General & Family Physician
Practicing since : 2009
Answered : 5166 Questions
I had an accident at work last year and have had shoulder pain since. I cant lift my arm out to the side/over head etc. I have pain at the back of the neck, shoulder and down the arm. I have had an ultrasound today and was told that there appeared to be no tear. Can you tell me what it could be?
Posted Fri, 25 Oct 2013 in Bones, Muscles and Joints
Answered by Dr. Chobufo Ditah 51 minutes later
Brief Answer:
You need a detailed investigation

Detailed Answer:
Hi and thank you so much for this query.

I am so sorry to hear about this accident and the pains you have been having since ten, i can understand how frustrating it is to be unable to move your arm freely to the side or over head. I truly hope and wish we get to find the problem and propose solutions to you.

From the information you have provided, there is definitely some damaged that was done at the moment of this accident. If there were no pain, then I could have thought of a nerve problem but this is not the exact case with you.

Please, the best test to evaluate the joint, muscles and bones is a CT scan and MRI. An ultrasound is so limited in the extend and depth of information that we can obtain. it is rarely used in diseases like these. Check out for the above options with your doctor~

I will like too suggest that consult an orthopedic surgeon who would do a proper exam and ask for informative tests so as to map out what the exact problem is. unless we know the problem, we can not adequately manage it. Hope you understand the need and importance of these tests despite their prices!

For now, because you are unable to move the shoulder joint and it hurts so badly, this problem is most likely going to be with either the muscle, tendons, ligaments or bones of this joint.

Also, taking adequate pain medications while we figure out what the problem is would be of great help in improving your quality of life. Please, talk to your doctor.

I wish you well and hope this addresses your query. Thank you for using our services and do feel free to ask for clarifications if need be.
Dr. Ditah, MD
Above answer was peer-reviewed by
Follow-up: Shoulder pain after an accident. Ultrasound came normal 25 minutes later
Thank you for your prompt reply. I have had 9 months of physio last/this year and this is obviously the next step. It is so frustrating and debilitating I need something done!! I can't take a lot of painkillers as I have a stomach ulcer so painkillers aggravate me something bad!!

Do you have any idea what they might do now?


Answered by Dr. Chobufo Ditah 42 hours later
Brief Answer:
Try powerul painkillers which are stomach friendly

Detailed Answer:
Hi and thank you for following up with me.

I am afraid you have been trying just the very simple pain medications that can cause stomach ulcer. I personally think the description of your symptoms warrant more powerful pain medications that have nothing to do with stomach ulcer like tramadol, morphine, etc. Besides, there are other doctor and get a befitting pain management while you gain time and continue the investigations to figure out what the exact problem is.

For now I am suggesting the following:
1. Let them evaluate your pain adequately and control it to permit you live an acceptable life without or with minimal pain.
2. Let them do more informative tests like MRI and CT scans to try and map out the problem.

I hope this helps and addresses your query. I wish you well and feel free to ask for further clarifications. Thank you so much for using our services.
Dr. Ditah, MD
Above answer was peer-reviewed by
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