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What causes pain in left shoulder blade and difficulty breathing?

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Posted on Tue, 24 May 2016
Question: pain in the left shoulder blade; difficulty breathing
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Answered by Dr. Albana Sejdini (1 hour later)
Brief Answer:
Cardio-vascular/lungs/spondyloarthrosis to rule out ASAP in ER...

Detailed Answer:
Hi,

I am sorry for the current painful health situation the patient is going through.

As the pain in the left shoulder blade is accompanied by difficulty in breathing, I highly recommend to go to ER as immediate evaluation of the heart is required through ECG, echocardiogram.

If everything is ok and as per chest x-ray result, lung issues should be ruled out then.

If still nothing is found with lungs, then, the pain is muscular skeletal due to osteoarthrosis of the spinal cord.

However, I repeat again, heart and lungs should be checked out first.

For the moment, until you see a doctor, I advise to increase fluids intake, and take OTC pain killers.

Wish fast recovery!
Dr.Albana
Above answer was peer-reviewed by : Dr. Chakravarthy Mazumdar
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Follow up: Dr. Albana Sejdini (43 minutes later)
Thank you Dr Sejdini,

The heart has been checked out and cleared of repsonsibility. The lungs, too, are fine on X-ray. Because of the strong association with breathing and speaking problems I am wondering about damage to the phrenic nerve. The patient - my husband - is very tall and deaf and so has a hunched neck as he has leaned forward to hear people all his life. He also had a fall recently and fell onto his left side. He has a raised left lung in the latest X-ray.

Am I way off, do you think?

Thanks
XXXXXXX
doctor
Answered by Dr. Albana Sejdini (9 minutes later)
Brief Answer:
Muscular skeletal pain after falling...

Detailed Answer:
Hi back dear XXXXXXX

Thank you for providing additional details regarding the current health problems of your husband.

Now, if heart and lungs are all fine, and taking into account his recent history of falling on left side (which is also aching right now); my thoughts go for muscular skeletal pain.

At his age, the pain might be unbearable, so, if I was his caring doctor would give stronger pain-killers (perhaps shots) to make him feel more comfortable. So, if you can manage to consult with his physician to prescribe the shots, that could be fine. Otherwise, continue giving OTC pain killers, and apply warm clothing to the affected area; if no improvement, and still in pain and difficulty in breathing, should send to ER.

Wish fast recovery!
Dr.Albana
Above answer was peer-reviewed by : Dr. Chakravarthy Mazumdar
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Answered by
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Dr. Albana Sejdini

General & Family Physician

Practicing since :2006

Answered : 7198 Questions

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What causes pain in left shoulder blade and difficulty breathing?

Brief Answer: Cardio-vascular/lungs/spondyloarthrosis to rule out ASAP in ER... Detailed Answer: Hi, I am sorry for the current painful health situation the patient is going through. As the pain in the left shoulder blade is accompanied by difficulty in breathing, I highly recommend to go to ER as immediate evaluation of the heart is required through ECG, echocardiogram. If everything is ok and as per chest x-ray result, lung issues should be ruled out then. If still nothing is found with lungs, then, the pain is muscular skeletal due to osteoarthrosis of the spinal cord. However, I repeat again, heart and lungs should be checked out first. For the moment, until you see a doctor, I advise to increase fluids intake, and take OTC pain killers. Wish fast recovery! Dr.Albana