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Dr. Andrew Rynne
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Dr. Andrew Rynne

Family Physician

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Suggest treatment for pain under shoulder blade

Answered by
Dr.
Dr. Dariush Saghafi

Neurologist

Practicing since :1988

Answered : 2429 Questions

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Posted on Mon, 6 Jun 2016 in Brain and Spine
Question: My girlfriend has had pain under her shoulder blade for a few days. It's moved to under her arm, under her left breast and is numb and tingly when she touches it
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Answered by Dr. Dariush Saghafi 41 minutes later
Brief Answer:
Possible nerve root impingement vs. brachial plexitis

Detailed Answer:
Good afternoon. This presentation could be a nerve root entrapped in the neck on the left side. Specifically, the C6-7 root would be most likely to cause this type of pain in the location you've described. There could be also something called a brachial plexitis which would be a better explanation for a larger territory that you say she is now reporting after the initial pain that started a few days ago.

That diagnosis would also embrace symptoms of numbness and tingling but pain would be the predominant feature. If she develops weakness in elevation the arm or shoulder then, the diagnosis of a plexitis may even be more appropriate compared to a single nerve root being pinched.

Other things that can cause pain to radiate to the shoulder blade and especially in women would be a gall bladder problem such as gallstones.

If I were working up your GF for her problem I would first do a very meticulous neurological examination to narrow down deficits in terms of either dermatomes or radicular zones of affectation. Next, I would send her to get an MRI of the neck as well as consider getting the BRACHIAL PLEXUS (with gadolinium contrast) at the same time. Then , I would get an electrical study called an EMG/NCV to correlate whatever I found in the imaging study with actual nerve conduction or neuromuscular junction deficiencies.

I would also get labwork to check for the possibility of gallbladder problems looking at liver and gall bladder enzymes in the blood and I'd throw in a urine analysis for good measure.

If she's got any respiratory symptoms such as a headcold, cough that won't quit, or just suffering from sudden and inexplicable fatigue or lethargy as well as back pain then, I'd also do a Chest X-ray.

If I have satisfactorily addressed your questions or concerns would you do the kind favor of CLOSING THIS QUERY and be sure to include some fine words of feedback on your opinion as to our transaction?

Many thanks for posing your question to our attention on this network and do not forget to recontact me in the future at: www.bit.ly/drdariushsaghafi for additional questions, comments, or concerns having to do with this topic or others.

This query has utilized a total of 17 minutes of professional time in research, review, and synthesis for the purpose of formulating a return statement.
Above answer was peer-reviewed by : Dr. Chakravarthy Mazumdar
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