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Have sore upper back injury. MRI showed mild subacromial bursitis, Had cortisone injection. Any ideas?

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Posted on Thu, 26 Jul 2012
Question: Hi, I have a sore upper back injury on my lefthand side, i ach up my neck and just under my shoulder blade. I have had a x-ray on the shoulder and upper back area which came back clear. I have had an MRI on my left shoulder which showed mild subacromial bursitis and had a cortisone injection for that. My shoulder aches more than usual. My doctor said that it is all muscular and that physio therapy is the best remedy and that there is no need to MRI the upperback area because that would have shown on the Shoulder MRI
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Answered by Dr. Praveen Tayal (2 hours later)
Hello,
Thanks for posting your query.
From the symptoms that you have described, it seems to be a bursitis of the shoulder joint with referred pain to the upper back. Shoulder MRI does not cover the area of spine adequately. In case the injury is near the spine then a separate MRI is recommended to know the extent of injury.
Here are some general treatment measures which you can follow:

1) Provide complete rest and avoid overhead activities.
2) Apply cold compresses and take some anti inflammatory pain killer after consulting your doctor.
A combination of pain killers and good muscle relaxant is needed for complete relief.
If the symptoms are severe then after confirming the diagnosis by MRI, you may need steroid injections or surgical arthroscopic technique (kept as last resort).

I hope this answers your query.
In case you have additional questions or doubts, you can forward them to me, and I shall be glad to help you out.
Please accept my answer in case you do not have further queries.
Wishing you good health.
Regards.
Dr. Praveen Tayal.
Above answer was peer-reviewed by : Dr. Chakravarthy Mazumdar
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Answered by
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Dr. Praveen Tayal

Orthopaedic Surgeon

Practicing since :1994

Answered : 12182 Questions

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Have sore upper back injury. MRI showed mild subacromial bursitis, Had cortisone injection. Any ideas?

Hello,
Thanks for posting your query.
From the symptoms that you have described, it seems to be a bursitis of the shoulder joint with referred pain to the upper back. Shoulder MRI does not cover the area of spine adequately. In case the injury is near the spine then a separate MRI is recommended to know the extent of injury.
Here are some general treatment measures which you can follow:

1) Provide complete rest and avoid overhead activities.
2) Apply cold compresses and take some anti inflammatory pain killer after consulting your doctor.
A combination of pain killers and good muscle relaxant is needed for complete relief.
If the symptoms are severe then after confirming the diagnosis by MRI, you may need steroid injections or surgical arthroscopic technique (kept as last resort).

I hope this answers your query.
In case you have additional questions or doubts, you can forward them to me, and I shall be glad to help you out.
Please accept my answer in case you do not have further queries.
Wishing you good health.
Regards.
Dr. Praveen Tayal.