AC arthropathy (shoulder joint problems)

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Regular Member

Date Joined Aug 2005
Total Posts : 194
   Posted 11/9/2007 5:52 AM (GMT -6)   
Apparently, you can get in quite a bit of trouble without having to do anything to get there.  My shoulder has been hurting me consistently and quite painfully now for the last 6 months or so.  I went to my PCP and he took X rays, everything looked fine.  I mentioned it to my rheumatologist and he gave me exercises for bursitis.  I have back problems and when I found out I had three severely herniated discs in my cervical spine, I assumed that was causing my shoulder pain.  I asked the spine specialist if that was the case and he sent me for an MRI of my shoulder.  The results of the MRI made the spine specialist send me to a sports dr who specializes in shoulder and joint problems.  He said that the lupus or sjogrens syndrome was the culprit.  I have moderate to severe AC arthropathy: moderate interstitial tendinopathy of supraspinatus and infraspinatus due to lateral outlet encroachment; and subscapularis tendenopathy without macrotear.
I can just tell you it hurts.  He did give me a steroid injection into the joint today for some relief, but said that surgery was imminent. 
I have been doing a little research on the web just thought I would leave a note here to give you guys a "heads up" on some problems that some of you may have to face or may not have any answers for.  Also, apparently these problems don't show up on a regular X ray.  Even the sports dr took an x ray and looked at it before he looked at the MRI results and said that everything looked normal.  So if you are having any joint pain that just won't go away and worsens under certain conditions, don't give up on it.  Endeavor to pursue!  Remember we basically have a disease that tears down the connective tissues and anything else it can get hold of.  lol 
I am up at 4 am in the morning because I can't sleep at night due to the pain.  We build a tolerance to pain and because we don't go to the dr weeping when we discuss a problem, I think sometimes they don't understand just how badly it can hurt.  I believe that lupus sufferers are some of the toughest people alive.  That's  physically, emotionally, and spiritually tough.  We HAVE to be.  And if we went to the dr. with every little ache and pain, we would be there 24/7.  You know, I think I should say that to my rheumy next visit.  That if I mention I hurt, he should pursue it cause I am not a common complainer.  I rarely complain and when I do ... it hurts.  This shoulder problem has put me on the ground two or three times and that is saying something. 
You guys hang tough and hang with each other. 
Reflection and experience supply us with wisdom; study and labor supply us with learning; but wit seizes with an eagle eye that which escapes the notice of the deep thinker and elicits truths which are in vain sought for with any severe efforts.

Veteran Member

Date Joined Jan 2005
Total Posts : 8616
   Posted 11/9/2007 8:40 AM (GMT -6)   
Hi Rhonda . . . you summed that up nicely! Sorry you are having such pain with your shoulder. I'm really hoping it disapears for you. My first real pain was in my hands, but the next pain was in the hips and then shoulder. I thought I would be stuck with those issues for life . . . the shoulder then became both arms and both wrists . . . yada yada yada . . . but now the shoulders and the arms, wrists, hands are doing really well confused then I did a couple years with waist-down issues . . . mostly gone now too. My remaining issue is hip pain when I overdo. I keep hoping that my recent entry into the world of menopause will be my ticket out of flares and pain!! A girl can only hope!!

Thanks for the pep talk . . . yes! we ARE a strong bunch!!


In His Grip

AlwaysRosie           "We can't control the waves, but we can learn how to surf!!"

Psalms 139

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UCTD, Hashimotos, Inflammatory Bowel, Inflammatory Arthritis

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Regular Member

Date Joined Aug 2007
Total Posts : 171
   Posted 11/10/2007 11:03 PM (GMT -6)   
I don't think my doctor took me serious until one day the end of August I walked into his office and could not move any joint in my body without crying out in pain. It's amazing what happens when they finally start believing you! The doctor has finally quit saying to me "you need to exercise". I'd tell him, yes I know I do, I wish I could, but etc ... After seeing him that day when I literally couldn't move without crying out in pain he doesn't tell me that anymore, now he asks if the pain meds are helping control my pain issues.

We are strong people, we have to be, because we fight for years a lot of times to get someone to believe us when we tell them something is wrong. Maybe that's one good thing that comes out of having a chronic illness, it makes us stronger mentally.

SLE 9/07, FMS '90's, Spinal Stenosis, Osteoarthritis, Sinus Tach, PVC's, Kidney Stones, RLS, Parotid Neurofibroma 8/04, Cervical Cancer 9/06
Clinoril, Toprol XL, Prozac, Zyrtec-D, Zocor, Vitamins B6 & B12, Folic Acid, Loratab ,Percoset, Toradol
There is no psychiatrist in the world like a puppy licking your face.

Veteran Member

Date Joined Dec 2005
Total Posts : 1950
   Posted 11/12/2007 10:52 PM (GMT -6)   
Hi Rhonda--
Thanks for the heads up. So sorry to hear about your shoulder. Its good they found the problem, but surgery, ow. I've had spinal surgery on my neck twice and have a plate and four screws and my neck keeps getting worse. I understand that the sports docs can be better in a way and that the joint surgery can help alot. My sister had some on her knees and used to run marathons but can't anymore and she said she'd never get them done again, but she wasn't in the pain and her expectations of her recovery and all were pretty high. My grandfather had bad rheumatoid arthritis and had his knees, hands and fingers joints all replaced and he loved it and felt alot better and was much better and more active, it really made a huge difference for him and he healed really well. I mean, you wouldn't know he ever had a problem. I have knee pains, but all they ever do is xray and they tell me I have mild arthritis and that's it. I think my pain is from the spine anyway.

Sorry for the ramble, I wish you the best and hope everything goes ok and sounds like your docs are on the ball about the dx and tx anyway. I hope they give you good stuff for the pain and keep us up to date!
Love, Marji
--Doctors are men who prescribe medicines of which they know little, to cure diseases of which they know less in human beings of whom they know nothing.--Voltaire (1694-1778)
Ills--Sjogrens-Lupus-like AI Disease, Hashis, Vitiligo, spinal stenosis/fusion with plate, salivary/lymphectomies, Diabetes, NAFLD, COPD, RLS, neuropathy, trigonitis, hystero, diffuse brain atrophy
Meds--Plaquenil, Evoxac, Metformin, Synthroid, HCTZ, Estradiol patch, Prosed, Klonopin, Soma, Ultram, Vicodin, Restasis, Albuterol,steroid injections, Protopic & Triamcinolone Acetonide ointments

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