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MRI showed metallic artifact debris in right shoulder from prior surgical intervention. What does this mean?

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Orthopaedic Surgeon
Practicing since : 2000
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My second MRI stated, "extensive metallic artifact debris thoughout the right shoulder from prior surgical intervention, particularly at the insertion of the suprespinatus and infraspinatus. this renders evaluation of the two rotator cuff tendons limited, however there is no appreciable muscle edema or atrophy to suggest retraction. Could you tell me what this means other than I'll have pain in my shoulder for my remainding days. Thank you very much
Posted Thu, 3 May 2012 in Bones, Muscles and Joints
Answered by Dr. Atul Wankhede 1 hour later

Thanks for posting your query.

The report says metal used during previous surgery is posing interference with computers reading the scan. Nevertheless you have nothing to worry. I read the report you attached and there are some minor problems, nothing major physically present in muscles, tendons, joint or bones. And definitely does not say you will have pain for remaining days, it will go soon.

There are many reasons for pain in shoulder, and its important to diagnose correctly to treat it. It would help us to reach a diagnosis, if you could describe what your current status is (onset, duration, progress) and your past history of surgery in terms of what was done and in what circumstances. Meanwhile, I hope, your doctor has put you on proper medications and physiotherapy.

Hope, this answer was informative. Please accept my answer in case you have no follow up queries.

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Follow-up: MRI showed metallic artifact debris in right shoulder from prior surgical intervention. What does this mean? 51 minutes later
This surgery was performed 9 months ago and I currently am not receiving any medication or have been for approx. 5 months. I am active duty military and can not continue because of the pain. Any guidance would be appriciated. Thank you
Answered by Dr. Atul Wankhede 1 hour later

Thanks for replying back.

I'm still not clear as to what surgery was done and for what purpose, I mean fracture/ dislocation/ muscle tear etc. If it was a major procedure then the pain might be its complication. But if interferes with your routine and work, then it definitely needs proper evaluation and a firm diagnosis.

I suggest you provide me full details and soft copies of xrays/mri for us to help you further. Meanwhile ask your physician for medications and physiotherapy for early rehabilitation.

Awaiting your response.

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