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amywood20 (@amywood20)

C5-C6 issue affecting my shoulder?

Spine Health | Last Active: Feb 29, 2020 | Replies (42)

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Hello @amywood20. I'd like to share my own brief experience with shoulder pain, an MRI and what happened after. I would like to add I am not a medical professional and am speaking strictly from my own experience. Although I don't have back issues, I had been having a lot of shoulder pain with specific movements and was experiencing some loss of strength as a result. I had an initial exam that deemed it was likely a pinched or irritated nerve, so I did have an injection which helped mildly but caused more discomfort than anything. I then had an MRI that showed a pinched nerve. Based on my own manipulation test and strength test they deemed I also did not have damage. However, during my operation for a nerve release they found a pretty extensive rotator repair. It surprised them because of my strength and mobility, but they thought it was a possibility as an MRI doesn't always conclusively show everything.

@jenniferhunter had issues with her C5-C6 area as well. Perhaps she could share her experience with this and whether or not it caused any shoulder issues. I'd also like to invite @grandmar and @jkgraham393 who also talked about cervical issues and may be able to share if they affected their shoulders.

@amywood20, your providers said your issues may be caused by your back, but have they discussed any other possible causes like a pinched nerve or the possibility of a more extensive tear? Was there a possible specific incident that caused the shoulder pain to start? In my own experience, I was told that I likely tore my shoulder in small increments as I couldn't remember a specific time of extreme discomfort or pain.

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Replies to "Hello @amywood20. I'd like to share my own brief experience with shoulder pain, an MRI and..."

Hi Justin – thanks for the response. In terms of other possible issues the shoulder orthopedic doc has not discussed anything else other than it's most likely from the neck. I do have a low grade partial rotator cuff tear but neither him or the PA thought that is was causing any issues. They weren't concerned about it. The MRA did not show anything else. There was not a specific incident leading to this. I have had neck issues in the past but they tend to come and go. This time seems a bit different though. I believe the reason the cervical spine is being pointed at as being the issue is because of the hand tingles I get. It is mostly in the left hand but I do get it on occasion in the right. I am seeing a neurosurgeon the first week in November, as it takes quite a while to get into this neuroscience center. I do not plan to have any surgery on the cervical spine though; just trying to figure out what is going on and other solutions. I actually tried to make an appointment with a spine doc at Mayo since I will be there on the 1st but because I am seeing a kidney and liver doc, those are the two allowed doctors per visit. Coming up there for my PKD/PLD is more important than my spine, as people here aren't as in-tune with the disease. But yeah, I do agree that MRIs don't always tell the whole story. A good test of that will be when the other shoulder has surgery to repair the full rotator cuff tear it has. Will be interesting to see if that's all they find. That surgery will not happen until the neck issue is resolved though.