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having bad shoulder pain into bicep and pectoral muscles

By May 25, 2010 - 7:09am
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I've been experiencing bad shoulder pain that radiates into my pectoral muscle and bicep. Even with ice/heat/rest, taking Tylenol, it doesn't let up.

I've been diagnosed with a SLAP Tear II. I've been going for PT but it doesn't seem to be helping. I know the ortho has said that he recommends surgery at this point to repair the tear.

I am unsure that a SLAP Tear should be causing this much pain - anyone have any thoughts or have this condition?


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EmpowHER Guest

I also have a tear. I am reluctant to get this surgerically repaired. I play water polo and and 16. I hate unnatural things and don't want any anchor or pin inside me. I also would not like to spend my entire summer disabled. If I do not play this year, my school is quite competitive, I will not play next year or make even close to varsity. Should i get it done?

May 21, 2011 - 10:17pm

I'm happy to help. Please let us know how you do!

May 25, 2010 - 11:45am

Hi GeOrgette-

I'm sorry about your injury. A SLAP (superior labrum anterior to posterior) tear can be extremely painful, and often involves bicep tendonitis as well. If therapy does not help, it is not uncommon to have this repaired by arthroscopic surgery.

For those who aren't familiar, this is an injury to the shoulder joint in which the labrum, which is the fibrous tissue that makes a cup to help hold the top of your arm in the shoulder socket, is torn from front to back, often involving injury to the bicep as well as sometimes rotator cuff injury. It can be quite painful. Even professional athletes can end up on the disabled list from this type of injury.

This injury is often caused by repetitive throwing, or falling onto your outstretched arm. It can leave a loose flap of tissue in the shoulder socket that will "catch" when you try to go through full range of motion with your arm. Not treating an injury like this can lead to a frozen shoulder, and loss of function in that arm. The pain from one of these tears can make it difficult to sleep.

Luckily, surgery can often be done arthroscopically now. While there will be physical therapy afterward, the procedure is much better than it used to be, and recovery can be really great. Surgery will involve cleaning out any loose tissue, repairing tears, checking the rotator cuff area for further injury as well.

My husband has had both shoulders done (ex-athlete) and I have seen many pre and post-op patients with this issue. Your pain is probably very frustrating but not uncommon. Here is a link to the American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons: http://orthoinfo.aaos.org/topic.cfm?topic=A00426 and we have information as well: https://www.empowher.com/condition/search/slap-tear-or-frozen-shoulder

Thank you for writing. Please let us know how you do.

May 25, 2010 - 10:14am
EmpowHER Guest
Anonymous (reply to Cary Cook BSN RN)

Thanks very much Cary for the explanation.

I, too, am an ex-athlete - I saw during my teenage years, into my early 20's, I'm 42 now, that's why I'm confused as to why it would creep up on me now, 15 plus years later. I was a butterflier and of course you know that it requires alot of upper body and shoulder movement.

I know that I do sleep with my BAD shoulder underneath the pillow. If I tell myself not too, I end up there anyways during the course of the night time. My husband yells at me all the time.

I also find myself hunched over the kitchen table while on the laptop - putting strain on my shoulders and upper back - I'm sure adding more pressure to this injury/condition.

When I go for physical therapy - it's more like a massage sessions right now. The pain hasn't been this bad, seems to be worse over the past week.

I was giving myself panic attacks over this and thought I was dying of a heart attack, i've been to ER twice along with my cardiologist - who says all tests are clear, besides some elevation of by blood pressure, which would not cause these issues. ( In the past I had chestpain/shoulder issues - turning out to be my gallbladder, which they removed last May).

I will read up on the links that you provided.. Once again, THANKS! for the help and support ;)
I'm so very glad that I posted here .. maybe I'll get some answers and put my mind to rest.

Thanks again!
Georgette xo

May 25, 2010 - 11:23am
EmpowHER Guest
Anonymous (reply to Anonymous)

Thats, I swam!!! lmao, i hit the button to save too fast and didn't re-read my message! :)

May 25, 2010 - 11:24am
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