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Thread: Shoulder impingement...cortisone shot?

  1. #1

    Shoulder impingement...cortisone shot?

    I've been experiencing pain in my right shoulder since last fall. A lot of popping and cracking. I went to go see a specialist to make sure nothing major was wrong. Took an x-ray, nothing as I expected. Did an MRI and he says my shoulder blade is pressing downward slightly, causing pain during movement, especially above the head.

    No risk of a tear or anything serious but it isn't really getting better. He suggested a cortisone shot and see what happens, might work and might not. Anybody had one before? How did it go?
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  2. #2
    Senior Member wheeliecoach's Avatar
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    I did..really did not help me any. It made it hurt worse for a bit (while the shot was working into the joint) but after that...if I had any relief it was minor. That is just me though.
    "Unless someone like you cares a whole awful lot nothing's going to get better. It's not." - Dr. Seuss

  3. #3
    During the past few years I have had cortisone shots in both shoulders. I got good pain relief with them. If the physician is well experienced giving the shots, your chances of it working are improved. Most physicians will not do more than two a year in one shoulder because there is some evidence that too many will weaken tendons. Read the manual at the SOS link below. There are a number of things you can do to preserve shoulder function.
    You will find a guide to preserving shoulder function @
    http://www.rstce.pitt.edu/RSTCE_Reso...imb_Injury.pdf

    See my personal webpage @
    http://cccforum55.freehostia.com/

  4. #4
    Senior Member
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    I agree with Sci55. I have both shoulders done every three months. They feel like a million dollars. after the shots I rest for two days and ice them. I then can go back to bench pressing and lifting weights with no problem or pain. They do start to wear off after about eight to ten weeks for me. I would give it a try. It can't hurt. Best of luck

  5. #5
    Responses here, as typical, are anecdotal and may or may not bear on your sitch. Years ago I had a very small but very painful rotator cuff tear. I had a great response to a single cortisone (actually, Kenalog) injection. But there's likely an infinite source of clinical presentations that result in shoulder pain, some of which may respond to injection, others not. The risk of further harm from an injection or two is pretty remote, so it's probably a reasonable approach. But Joe's every-three-month routine goes against every caution I've ever heard. Cortisone DOES weaken tendons and repeated injections are pretty much guaranteed to result in a worsening of your condition.
    Last edited by stephen212; 06-11-2015 at 12:39 PM. Reason: readability

  6. #6
    Totally agree with the above post. Did your X-ry show any arthritic changes? That would not be surprising if it did. That would more likely respond to cortisone than some of the other issues.
    ckf

  7. #7
    I had good results from a targeted cortisone injection performed by the shoulder clinic at the Palo Alto VA. By targeted, they used ultrasound to identify where to inject. This outcome was very good and much improved from the first experience. My diagnosis is osteoarthritis and cortisone reduced the pain level. Hope you have good results.
    In the dime stores and bus stations, people talk of situations, read books, repeat quotations, draw conclusions on the wall. ......Bob Dylan


  8. #8
    Re: "Did an MRI and he says my shoulder blade is pressing downward slightly, causing pain during movement, especially above the head."

    The part of your shoulder blade pressing on the rotator cuff is called the acromion. Figure 2 in the article link illustrates how different types of of curved acromions can increase your risk for rotator cuff impingement. If this is what you have, the cause of the impingement is structural and cortisone injection effects will be temporary.

    http://www.aafp.org/afp/1998/0215/p667.html
    Last edited by 2drwhofans; 06-09-2015 at 08:58 PM.

  9. #9
    Quote Originally Posted by 2drwhofans View Post
    Re: "Did an MRI and he says my shoulder blade is pressing downward slightly, causing pain during movement, especially above the head."

    The part of your shoulder blade pressing on the rotator cuff is called the acromion. Figure 2 in the article link illustrates how different types of of curved acromions can increase your risk for rotator cuff impingement. If this is what you have, the cause of the impingement is structural and cortisone injection effects will be temporary.

    http://www.aafp.org/afp/1998/0215/p667.html

    This is likely correct. If that is the case pushups while in the wheelchair and transfer activities cause of and/or aggravate the problem. Pushing downward forces the head of the humerus upward along with the ligaments under the acrimion. As a result the pinched ligaments become inflamed.
    You will find a guide to preserving shoulder function @
    http://www.rstce.pitt.edu/RSTCE_Reso...imb_Injury.pdf

    See my personal webpage @
    http://cccforum55.freehostia.com/

  10. #10
    Let us know how the cortisone works, if you decide to do it. And seriously work on saving your shoulders by limiting the number of transfers, if you can and other activities that cause you to work them harder. You may want to consider seeing a PT to learn other techniques of doing some of your mobility activities.
    ckf

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