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What causes swelling on the shoulder?

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Orthopaedic Surgeon
Practicing since : 1994
Answered : 10441 Questions
I had been told I that a lump (size of a golf ball) that formed on top of my shoulder was a fatty lymphoma. The doctor scheduled surgery to remove it a week later. Within that week the lump grew smaller and disappeared all except a small hard lump (size of a dime) on top of my shoulder. Day of surgery, Surgeon looked at and cancelled surgery. He could not understand where the lump went to sp scheduled a MRI. The results of the MRI was relayed to me by the doctor's office calling to set up an appointment and that I had a rotator cuff tear. I have read about rotator cuff tears but none of the articles mentioned any large swelling nor mentioned anything about it disappearing. Is this normal fro rotator cuff tears to have such a swelling that disappears?
Posted Fri, 21 Feb 2014 in Bones, Muscles and Joints
Answered by Dr. Praveen Tayal 55 minutes later
Brief Answer: Swelling is not related to tear. Detailed Answer: Hello, Thanks for posting your query. The rotator cuff tear is not associated with swelling on the shoulder. It is associated with a pain in the shoulder specially on doing over head activities. Physiotherapy, anti inflammatory pain medication and steroid injections are given to reduce the inflammation and strengthen the uninjured muscle around the shoulder to compensate for the torn muscle. The swelling that you had was likely to be a soft tissue swelling that is not related to the tear that has been detected now. 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. Wishing you good health. Regards. Dr. Praveen Tayal. For future query, you can directly approach me through my profile URL
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