Why does my shoulder still hurt 3 months after a fall, especially when I raise my arm? (photo)
I’m a 22 years old male. I fell on my shoulders 3 months ago while skateboarding. Since then, I've felt discomfort around my shoulder joint. The pain gets worse when I raise my arm above my chest, or over my head.
Thank you for your question. I can fully empathise with you having fallen off bikes and scooters in the past.
There can be many causes for shoulder pain following trauma including an injury to the rotator cuff, a frozen shoulder, AC joint disruption and more. From your symptoms alone, the active movements might suggest an injury to the former (rotator cuff). Significant symptoms are limitation in movement, night pain and impact on your function.
In the first instance, I would suggest seeing an MSK/Sports Physician who is able to provide a clinical assessment and ultrasound examination - often this is enough before initial management as the ultrasound can provide a good assessment of the tendons.
The clinician can then decide if a conservative or surgical approach is required and arrange further investigations or treatments as needed. Often, things can heal with simple interventions. An MRI provides more information about the joint, including the cartilage and labrum.
I hope this helps.
Sorry to hear that your shoulder still hurts after 3 months.
That may mean that something may have been damaged inside the shoulder joint. It could be a tendon, or part of the capsule that supports the shoulder joint. Having pain for 3 months is not normal.
I would advise you to see a doctor/orthopaedic surgeon. A thorough shoulder examination, followed by an MRI scan is usually necessary. Management of the problem would then be dependent on what the pathology is.
Hope this helps,
Dr Sean Ng