Labral tears can be really hard to see on MRI's. When I tore my labrum my first orthopedist told me that I may have a slight tear, but he didn't think so. He also told me that I just had bursitis. After 6 mo of home PT & no improvement I fired my orthopedist (many reasons why I didn't like/trust the guy) & instead saw a surgeon at the Hospital for Special Surgery in NYC who is one of the top shoulder surgeons in the country. I loved him. Him & his PA are two of my favorite doctors I've even seen (and I ended up having to see them for a good 4+ yrs). He had his radiologist re-read my MRI films & they basically told me that those films were worthless. I had had my original MRI w/contrast done at a local hospital. The surgeon said that the machines they used at that hospital were like something from the Stone Age compared to the ones they had at HSS (they don't even need to use contrast -- which is a huge relief, especially when you have 5 or 6 shoulder MRIs done). They redid my MRI at HSS & found that yes, I had a moderate sized tear in my labrum. BUT, what they didn't realize until they got into the shoulder that actually 80% of the labrum was torn, so even that MRI didn't tell all.
Of course I'm no doctor & I wouldn't presume to diagnose you, but I'd definitely have someone else take a look at that shoulder. Yes you can have normal but cliquey joints like your doc suggested, but your descript
ion of your injury & symptoms really scream labrum to me - especially since one of the most common ways to tear your labrum is by falling on an outstreched are (it's also a very common injury in baseball pitchers. not so much in swimmers, but I guess I was one of the lucky few). You really need someone to at least feel & manipulate your shoulder before they tell you what you do or don't have going on inside.
Oh, and I also wanted to say that I understand exactly what you mean when you say that you think you could deal with your pain/situation better if you had a diagnosis. I feel the same way! Three years and still no diagnosis for me, yet things keep getting worse. I keep getting told that I'm one for the medical journals (once they finally figure out what the heck is going on)! It is so FRUSTRATING to say the very least!!
Hope you get some sleep tonight! I'm usually awake, but not often online because it's too hard for me to read.
Post Edited (skeye) : 12/12/2009 9:55:54 PM (GMT-7)