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    What does an MRI scan of the shoulder show?

    Posted by Ravi Sohal on Sun, Mar 22, 2009

    mri_shoulder_remakehealthMRI scans are frequently used to evaluate the internal structures of the shoulder. A variety of trends have increased the use of MRI in evaluating the shoulder - more sports activity, repetitive motion injuries, and we've remained much more active into our later years than previous generations.

    If you've injured your shoulder or have chronic shoulder pain, your doctor will probably first order an x-ray. After an x-ray, an MRI may be needed to evaluate the internal structures of the shoulder. On your doctor's order for the MRI you might see:

    "r/o rotator cuff tear" -  the rotator cuff is a group of muscles, ligaments and tendons that stabilize and move your shoulder. These structures are frequently injured or damaged over time. The most commonly injured tendon is that of the supraspinatus muscle.

    "r/o labral tear"- this refers to injury to the cartilage in your shoulder joint. The labrum stabilizes the shoulder and can be torn. Labral tears cause pain and "catching."

    "r/o djd" - djd is short for degenerative joint disease. It is a generic term that is used to look for a number of shoulder problems including chronic changes to the tendons, ligaments, and bones. 

    (FYI - "r/o" is short for "rule out")

    An MRI of the shoulder will evaluate:


    A shoulder MRI will include the ball and joint socket of the shoulder (humerus and glenoid), parts of the scapula and upper arm. The shoulder MRI can detect bone fractures, tumors, infection and evaluate post-surgical changes. An MRI can also determine the extent of degenerative changes (arthritis) and be used for pre-operative planning for surgery.

    Cartilage and Labrum

    Shoulder MRIs can also evaluate the cartilage of the shoulder joint and the labrum. The labrum is a stabilizing piece of cartilage which can be torn or irritated and cause pain.

    Tendons and Ligaments

    Your shoulder is stabilized and moves via complex set of tendons and ligaments. These can be frequently torn, partially torn or exhibit signs of age (degeneration) that leads to pain or difficulty in moving the shoulder joint. The rotator cuff includes the group of tendons around the shoulder joint.

    Soft Tissues

    Soft tissues visualized include muscles such as the supraspinatus, infraspinatus, deltoid, subscapularis, and teres minor. MRI can detect muscle tears, strain, atrophy, tumors and infection. Shoulder MRI can also detect joint fluid, lymph nodes in the axilla (armpit) tumors or cysts in the suprascapular notch (this is a small pathway through which a nerve passes to supply muscles of the back of your shoulder).

    Your Shoulder MRI Scan

    A shoulder MRI generally takes about 30 minutes or so to complete. If you are going for one, wear loose comfortable clothing and remember to remove all metal (jewelry, phones, rings, etc) before going into the MRI scan room. If you've had surgery or have a history of cancer, you'll probably have the test done with IV MRI contrast. Some shoulder MRIs are done after a direct injection of contrast into the joint. This is called an MR Arthrogram of the Shoulder.

    If you're insured, you may need to have your test authorized (approved) by your insurance company first. If you're uninsured and need to look up prices and buy an MRI scan of the shoulder, you can use our website to look up MRI scan costs.

    Have you had a Shoulder MRI scan? What was it like? Please leave your comments below.

    Tags: , ,


    I had an MRI with arthrogram on my left shoulder yesterday. The process of entry into the shoulder joint to inject the dye, saltwater solution etc. was a bit painful and a somewhat unnerving sensation. The MRI itself was about 25-30 minutes long, but being a bit claustrophobic, it was uncomfortable being headfirst past my waist in the MRI tube. For an hour or two afterwards, my shoulder throbbed from the inside out and felt swollen from the injection of fluids into it.

    posted @ Wednesday, May 27, 2009 8:03 AM by Matt

    I had an mri of the shoulder with contast dye. For most of the mri, my arms were at my side. However, for the part of the scan, I was told to put my hand behind my head with my arm raised and elbow bent. This position was excrutiatingly painful, and I had to hold it for about a minute. Afterwards, it was painful to make any shoulder movement. This improved the next day, but I wonder if putting my shoulder in this painful position may have damaged the joint in some way. The week after the scan, I noticed my range of motion was decreased. Did anyone else have this experience or know where I can find out more about this? 

    posted @ Wednesday, July 15, 2009 9:16 PM by Chris Kielb

    i had an mri done with the dye 12 days ago on my shoulder i could not move my arm out from the side,now i;m in agony ever since, icant even do anything like i could before,i;m on painkillers but they don;t help much,i lost 10 lbs in less then a week thats how much pain i;m in i can;t even eat.

    posted @ Sunday, August 30, 2009 12:09 PM by nancy

    Chris, I had an MRI yesterday, and had the exact same thing happen. I can't move my arm without pain now. Did you find anything out yet?

    posted @ Thursday, September 24, 2009 8:52 PM by Jason

    Does anyone have any experience with malpractice claims for this situation? I am considering consulting a lawyer to see if I can recover damages. My range of motion went way down, and I was diagnosed with adhesive capsulitis (frozen shoulder). Now my pt visits have run out and I have to pay on my own because my insurance only covers 30 visits per calendar year. I believe the frozen shoulder was caused at least in part by this stressful scan with my arm in stress position with extra fluid in joint from the injection. When I told technician it was painful, she wanted me to go ahead anyway, and even pushed my elbow up so I could get it into the mri scannin chamber! I thought I didn't have any choice, but if I had to do it over again I would refuse that position. The contrast injection, while not pleasant, was not in itself a souce of extreme pain, just when I had to hold that position in the MRI.

    posted @ Friday, September 25, 2009 7:58 AM by Chris

    I am going for a mri arthrogram and i just to know how much pain i will be in when they inject me.

    posted @ Sunday, October 18, 2009 11:48 PM by Kadams

    I did not find the injection itself particularly painful. However, with the extra fluid in you joint, it is harder to move your arm without pain. I strongly suggest that you refuse any requests by the MRI technician to place your arm in a painful position for the MRI scan. I was placed into such a position (see previous post), and the pain was lterrible, with aftereffects.

    posted @ Tuesday, October 20, 2009 11:41 AM by Chris

    This kind of article is worth spending a lot of time. It is not just an article it will surely going teach a lesson about anything. Wish that you post more blog just like this.

    posted @ Monday, January 18, 2010 2:04 AM by Shoulder Exercises

    I have to go in for an MRI scan on my shoulder. The doc said they would inhect dye directly into my shoulder joint. Ouch. I'm hoping someone will write back and reassure me that it's not that painful!

    posted @ Tuesday, February 23, 2010 7:37 AM by JennM

    I just had an MRI done on my shoulder last Wednesday (2/24/10). The initial injection was somewhat painful especially as the needle went deep into the joint (ouch!). After that it was ok, just felt kind of strange having the contrast solution fill up my shoulder joint. MRI was ok except for raising my arm above my head. I had pain afterwards for 2 days and felt my range of motion had diminished. Today It feels better and my motion is the same as before the test. Now waiting for my dr. appt. to see what the problem is.

    posted @ Sunday, February 28, 2010 9:19 PM by Susan

    Interesting comments. I didn't have to have the dye injection. I wondered why I didn't but I am pretty glad at this point I wasn't required to. I will see what kind of results my doc sees today when I go in. I am hoping, after reading some of these experiences, that I don't have to go the route of the dye, my shoulder is in such pain as it is, I don't think I could tolerate much more.

    posted @ Thursday, April 08, 2010 2:00 PM by Cristie

    I have right shoulder and upper arm pain. I'm not sure why this started a year ago. I tried the first MRI Thanksgving Eve 2009. The pain in my shoulder was so severe I was screaming to be let out of the MRI tube. Second MRI Feb 10th 2010. I took pain meds before and had designated driver. The MRI was still painful and I almost didn't get through it. I thought I would pass out in the tube. Unfortunately, the orthopedic doc said "not enough info" so we went back for the third MRI two days ago, this one with the dye first. I had taken three Valium , prescribed by doc, not sure of the strength. Then after dye injection, took two pain meds. I got through this 3rd MRI without any trouble, no pain, and am awaiting the results next Thursday April 15th. I am really sad about all of this. Surgery? OH MY GOD. I just don't want surgery but neither do I want another year of living with pain. I fear the surgery wont' work. And I also fear that the doc will tell me that I've got a bad case of arthritis, that there's nothing he can do, that I've got this to live with the rest of my life. I am 57.

    posted @ Sunday, April 11, 2010 5:49 PM by Marianne

    I want to suggest that anyone who is fearful or claustrophobic, please tell your doc. Get some valium or something to relax you, take pain pills first, even if you have to get a designated driver. It makes this whole experience easier for you and the people who are trying to get the job done.

    posted @ Sunday, April 11, 2010 5:54 PM by Marianne

    I'm not an expert on this procedure or the different types of shoulder problems, but my sense from my own experience and those of others on this blog is this: The MRI with contrast dye is not necessarily painful if you have your arms at your side, but becomes painful if you have to put your arm up while in the MRI machine due to excess fluid in your joint. This may result in a few days of reduced range of motion and pain and the shoulder returns to "normal" after that. In my case, this event was a contributing factor in me developing a frozen shoulder, where the capsule that surrounds the arm/shoulder joint shrinks down and becomes stuck together. So the bottom line as far as I can see is this: if you fit the risk profile for getting a frozen shoulder, beware of putting yourself into a painful position through this test. The risk factors for a frozen shoulder are: 
    female age 50-65, previous trauma, diabetes or thyroid disorder.

    posted @ Thursday, April 15, 2010 8:52 PM by chris

    Last Friday I had an MRI with dye. I started to panic about three hours before procedure so I took Valium. Then procedure was not bad at all. I got results today: the news is not good , need total shoulder replacement but I will get through this. I am living alone that's the hard part for me, but the MRI w/ dye was nothing once I took Valium. One step at a time, kid.

    posted @ Thursday, April 15, 2010 8:58 PM by Marianne

    14 months ago I fell heavily on my right shoulder. Loas of pain. Had an op. No improvement. Had mri before op. Now dr tells me I have osteoporosis which I doubt!! Am headed for another mri without dye, I hope. May have to go for shoulder replacement. I am 70.

    posted @ Saturday, April 17, 2010 5:52 AM by Paul

    I had to hold my right arm up sort of crooked when I had the dye. I had the valium first, not a lot of pain, some when it was going into the joint, but nothing all that terrible just a few seconds of OH MY GOD and then it was over.  
    Right now I'm facing surgery for torn tendons, then after they repair I am told I need a shoulder replacement. I am 57. I am about ready to call it all off and live with the pain. I am single, I have no support system in place. I have lived alone and independent all of my life, no family near, the only brother I had died eight days ago, so I'm here without help. If I can get through the tendon surgery and come home to an empty house, I'll do it, but if I have to have help, then I cannot get it done. As for the shoulder replacement, I guess I'll never have it because that's MAJOR surgery and I have no support and I refuse to go to a rehab hospital, nope, not gonna do that.

    posted @ Sunday, April 18, 2010 9:11 PM by Marianne

    Had surgery on left shoulder in 1996 with Arthoscopic Bankarts'. Had minor discloation 4 days back, surgeon recommended Arthoscopic Bankarts' repair. I am planning to get MRI done on left shoulder and take alternative opinion. Unable to figure out why did it recur after 14 years & if no surgery is done, will I have more regular recurrence of dislocation. I am 42 yrs old male and was major sports buff & athelete till I was 25 yrs.

    posted @ Friday, June 04, 2010 10:43 PM by Shankar Chelluri

    I had MRI done on my left shoulder in May and believe me I am very claustrophobic and wasn't sure I could do it but my key was to keep my eyes closed and think of happy things. Haha. I found I have 2 torn tendons and now seeing orthopedic doctor on Wednesday of this next week. I am really in a lot of pain and don't know what to expect. I don't know whether I will have surgery or PT...I just know I want something to stop the pain. Good luck to anyone having an MRI...I hope I don't have to have another one!

    posted @ Sunday, June 13, 2010 3:20 AM by Debbie Carroll

    I had an MRI with anthrogram (dye injected into the joint) on my left shoulder. I would definitely recommend taking something for pain prior to the procedure. A cuff-like sleeve was put over my shoulder during the MRI. I did not have to move my shoulder into different positions, but it was uncomfortable because of the pain from the injection (the lidocaine didn't last that long). I am 24 hours post-procedure, and my shoulder joint hurts. The worst part was having the dye injected. It was not comfortable. I am slightly claustrophobic...but I made it through the MRI session without having to use the "panic button". The techs I had did a great job of making sure that I was okay and telling me that I was doing fine. I am glad that I had the procedure (no results as of yet), but I am not so sure I would go through that again.

    posted @ Saturday, July 10, 2010 4:07 PM by S. Gonsalves

    After having the MRI and getting results....torn Rotary Cuff...I am in physical therapy trying to build my arm up so I can face surgery....I have already been told its a tough surgery...If anyone has any thoyughts on this please let me know...I am not looking forward to this at all. Thanks.

    posted @ Sunday, July 11, 2010 2:32 AM by Debbie Carroll

    Re: Debbie Carroll 
    I am going through the same thing. I am currently going through physical therapy to build up my shoulder prior to my surgery. It is supposed to help with the recovery and healing process. I'm not sure what will happen...but I would be interested on others experiences too. 
    Good luck to you!

    posted @ Sunday, July 18, 2010 12:25 AM by S. Gonsalves

    On 20 December 2007, I underwent surgery for a frozen left shoulder due to torn rotator cuff. This did not stop the pain but alleviated most of it and allowed movement in my shoulder which I had not had for months. After a few months of physical therapy I had almost full range of motion and - more importantly - no pain. Today I have full range of motion. I am writing to let people know that surgery is THE way to go and not to be afraid of it. I am now scheduled for an MRI on my right shoulder for the same thing -- another frozen shoulder due to torn rotator cuff. I am more apprehensive about them manipulating my arm for the MRI. I KNOW I need surgery and am just waiting and hoping the VA will approve it.

    posted @ Tuesday, August 03, 2010 3:14 PM by Christine

    Had MRI today Aug 4 2010 with dye the shot felt like a bee sting but was not bad, ,ake sure you turn your face away when they are putting in the dye the tube came off and the dye went on my face and in my mouth.

    posted @ Wednesday, August 04, 2010 7:12 PM by

    I had MRI scan on 6th,Aug. and the doctor advised me to go for a physiotherapy for 15 days and ultra sound treatment which will reduce the pain and the mobility of the shoulder. Only thing not to take strain while doing the exercise.

    posted @ Saturday, August 07, 2010 11:03 AM by ajith

    I am 13 and injured my shoulder swimming. I have to get dye injected to my sohulder this friday to find out why it is clicking. Doctor thinks it is a laboral tear. Im hoping not though. I have heard that the dye injection is painfull but I plan on taking pain meds before it, hopefully it helps and the MRI isnt too bad.

    posted @ Wednesday, September 01, 2010 11:01 AM by Ryli

    Well, the time has come for surgery. I am really not looking forward to this. I go today for my pre op tests and I hope to find out some answers to some questions that I have. The pain I have had lately has been really bad and I can't seem to do the things I want to do so I am hoping this surgery will help me. Good luck to all that are facing MRI's or surgery, I know for a fact its a long road to recovery. My surgery is scheduled on Tuesday, Sept 7th, and I will let you all know how things go. Thanks!

    posted @ Friday, September 03, 2010 5:36 AM by Debbie Carroll

    Thanks for sharing. Good luck on your surgery and let us know how you do.

    posted @ Saturday, September 04, 2010 5:50 AM by Ravi Sohal

    I had my shoulder surgery on June 16th. It turns out that I had much, MUCH more wrong than just torn rotary cuff. I had abnormal bone growth, spurs, torn tendons, torn rotary cuffs. It was a mess. The aftermath of the surgery, the post op period, was far worse than I expected. It's been almost three months now. I can only now begin to feel halfway normal. I am one of those who will need the full eight months to a year to heal. I'm 61 and Type Insulin I diabetic. Plus, can you believe this, I live alone and had to get through this myself. It's been really hard, but I'm going back to work part-time in mid Sept.

    posted @ Saturday, September 04, 2010 2:52 PM by Marianne in Arkansas

    I have had all the above-mri; dye injection;panicked in the Mri-i will never have another. my injury began with a bad fall landing me sideways on the kitchen floor with full impact to my shoulder-excrutiating pain. This was nov 2009 and it is now sept 2010. my rotator cuff is completely destroyed all 4 muscle torn and un-operational. for the past 2 weeks since i went to my dr and he was winging my arm around.i have been in constant aching;nerve shooting agony. i had an x-ray the other day & my shoulder was dislocated again!! i was told my shoulder is set where it should be but for how long the dr shook his head and told i am not to move my right arm in any way & must wear sling fot 6 weeks & then reassessed. my shoulder is not supported by anything-i am stressed knowing it could pop out at any time. the emerg dr told me he had to reset it twice because with all the tissue damage it kept popping out. i just can't believe what i have done to myself. i am diabetic so he will not risk an operation-nice. i am typing with my left hand so excuse the use of only lower case letter's. i am not angry about it just disappointed i suppose. i am taking tridural; tramadol; flexerill; aleve for pain sometimes it helps enough so i can sleep because i didn't know it was dislocated again i laid in bed unable to sleep-just cried and rubbed my arm and took too many pills in hopes of easing the pain. so here i am with a pretty useless sling and will be for six weeks. i have ordered a shoulder support that is like a sleeve and covers my shoulder and does up with velcro. good luck you all.

    posted @ Saturday, September 04, 2010 10:38 PM by Patti

    How does rule out labral tear on an MRI prescription effect the test and what they image? Will they still image the whole shoulder, tendons and muscles and cartilage?

    posted @ Wednesday, September 08, 2010 5:13 AM by Matt

    Yes the whole shoulder is still included. Are you going for a standard noncontrast MRI or one with dye?  
    Keep in mind that some shoulder MRIs especially for labral tears are done with a direct injection into the shoulder aka MR Arthrogram.

    posted @ Wednesday, September 08, 2010 11:32 AM by Ravi Sohal

    I don't know about dye injection or not. Just wanted to make sure the labrum as well as the rotator cuff would still be imaged. I've had the dye injection for my wrist and I remember almost passing out when I tried to sit up. It doesn't say arthrogram on my prescrip so I assume its regular.

    posted @ Wednesday, September 08, 2010 11:36 AM by Matt

    When they say "rule out labral tear" it means they are going to do the MRI with the emphasis being to determine if there is or is not a labral tear. They should do a complete MRI on the entire shoulder to get a look at the entire shoulder. However, their primary area of emphasis will be that specific area indicated to determine if there is a tear where they think it is or not.

    posted @ Wednesday, September 08, 2010 10:56 PM by Christine

    Hi Christine, Matt 
    Just to clarify - an MRI of the shoulder will include the entire shoulder so that not only is the labrum evaluated but also the rotator cuff tendons and ligaments, nearby muscles and bones.  
    The exam is done that way so that other issues which could be related to a labral tear or mimic the symptoms of a tear aren't missed or overlooked. 
    That said, a MR Arthrogram of the shoulder is tailored to looking at structures like the labrum and certain ligaments but even in that exam the field of view includes the entire shoulder.

    posted @ Thursday, September 09, 2010 12:15 PM by Ravi Sohal

    one week ago, tomorrow i had rotator cuff repair. i had to be opened up and this has been a nightmare. i had complications from anesthesia an dcouldn't wake up,,,stopped breathing....bp dropped,,,,then nausea set in....which meant admit to hospital,,,left arm was put into a sling like apparatis appearibg to be from another planet.....iv in r hand along with o2 monitor,,,o2 in nose......horrible,,,,thank God for morphine,,, any way i keep this brace on for another week...until staples are removed...sorry 4 the typing but i can only use one hand...if i had known it would have been this bad not sure i would have done this. be sure to have someone lined up 2 be with you if you have this done. as 4 me i pray this gets better soon,,,,no more surgery 4 me....first week has been horrible.. good luck 2 anyone facing this.

    posted @ Monday, September 13, 2010 9:40 PM by Debbie Carroll

    RE: Shoulder surgery - cuff repair. 
    Prepare your home before surgery. 
    Put in easy to fix foods, prepare 
    a bed (a wedge pillow is so helpful), 
    put your 'necessaries' in a easy 
    to reach spot - mail, bills, food, 
    tv control, etc. Have someone 
    be with you or schedule home help. 
    Just get organize with everything in 
    easy reach. One can get thru it if one 
    follows the after surgery instructions. 

    posted @ Thursday, September 23, 2010 10:35 AM by B. W. Green

    Have had pain in Rt shoulder for almost 20 yrs. Finally went for opinion and had an MRI w/o injection. Was told (radiologist report) that I had a rotator cuff tear and needed surgery to repair so I would not have more problems. Consulted w/ 2 other Drs - same diagnosis. The 3rd Dr did surgery and now tells me there was no tear, but he manipulated (frozen) shoulder and removed scar tissue, but I have severe arthritis and will probably need a replacement. I'm having PT 3x/wk, have lots of pain and less range of motion than before, but it's been 4wks so I'm hoping this is temporary. Has anyone ever heard of an MRI showing a tear and there wasn't one? Husband thinks I should consult w/attorney.

    posted @ Wednesday, October 06, 2010 9:49 PM by MET

    I kinda had the same thing happen to me...I had MRI and it showed 2 tears. Consult with orthopedic surgeon and suggested surgery to repair. I had the surgery Sept 7 and was then told no tear, just a lot of bursa, and bone spurs on the rotater cuff and they had to clean it all up in there...this was done by an incision NOT arthoscopic like I was told. Had to wear a sling and it was velcroed to my body with a wrap around device for 2 weeks without removing it...This in itself was horrible....I am 4 weeks out of surgery and still have pain....I am terapy 2x a week and it causes excruciating pain...I also hope this will be temporary. I can tell shoulder is getting better but I still wish I would have never had it done. This has been a horrible ordeal and the other shoulder will stay the same.....I will NEVER go thru this again.....They keep telling me it will take TIME for me to heal.......well this is moving too slow for me.....a thousand times I wish I had never had this done......I still wear sling to keep the arm from aching......sigh

    posted @ Saturday, October 09, 2010 6:10 AM by Debbie

    I'm a basket case right now knowing i need to go in an MRI tomorrow. When I read someone wrote head first, I almost fainted. My shoulder just doesn't work. No range of motion what so ever. It's my left side, and I also have cubital tunnel which doesn't help with the pain. The EMG was also very painful. I let this go on too long out of fear. Not sure if i have a frozen shoulder, rotary cuff tear, etc - but i will find out tomorrow. I want to thank the person who wrote: wear loose clothing, no jewelry, and take a sedative.

    posted @ Thursday, October 28, 2010 6:53 PM by judi k

    Hope everything went well today for you judi k! I have always told myself that if I had to do it all over again...I wouldn't. But I have changed my mind about that. I have been struggling with this for about 11 months now (left shoulder; surgery in July 2010). I now have to use what is called a JAS brace 3x a day. Does anyone else use this contraption? Anyway, I can at least sleep pain free for the most part, and I am VERY thankful for that! 
    Take Care!

    posted @ Friday, October 29, 2010 12:43 PM by S. Gonsalves

    i had a mri with the die injected in my shoulder wasnt that painfull until she got done in my shoulder the mri was uncomfortable i have broad shoulders so i could barley fit into the tub tight fit but after it was all over my shoulder hurts pretty bad i go to the doctor today to find out what wrong with my shoulder

    posted @ Thursday, November 18, 2010 11:04 AM by jonathon crump

    recently had mri on right shoulder, although i had full movement in was painfull. Scan revealed several tears, one muscle nearly through and one snapped plus other damage. Had surgery, 19th Oct 2010, in hospital over night, had to keep arm in sling 24/7 for 4 weeks and even though i have started pysio still have to use sling most of the time. Have been told recovery will take at least 3 months, can not work, no money sick pay rubbish. But come on you wimps the end result will be better than the pain before the operation, yes physio is slightly painfull, and it is uncomfortable having to wear a sling, but like i said its not as painfull as before the operation. Would i have the operation again YES. The whole process is not that bad. So anyone faceing a similar procedure think positive, you will be ok, and much better after as a result.

    posted @ Sunday, November 21, 2010 12:20 PM by Phil Hales

    Well, I had shoulder surgery on Sept 7 and if you read my blogs you can tell I have had a horrible time. I am still in pain and it is NO better than before surgery. I go to therapy 2 times a week and its very painful. If I am a wimp then so be it. I would NEVER have gone thru this if I had been told about the bad and LONG recuperation is. I think there is still something wrong with my shoulder but I will live with it.....never again another MRI or surgery. For someone to sit and call others a wimp is not nice. He has no idea what other people have gone thru. I think my shoulder is going to give me problems forever, after all this. I am glad he had good results as others have. I just hate all the pain i am still in.

    posted @ Monday, November 22, 2010 3:59 AM by Debbie

    well i went to the doc for my mri results and he told me i needed ac surgery but my workmans comp wont pay for it till i have physical therapy on my shoulder im so ready to get this over with its getting very hard to sleep at night w my shoulder and painpills arent workin anymore so now im waiting to start physical therapy let yall know more later

    posted @ Sunday, November 28, 2010 10:17 PM by jonathon crump

    Well, I go in for surgery tomorrow on my frozen right shoulder. Hope everyone is doing better by now. Wish me luck! Happy Holidays.

    posted @ Thursday, December 02, 2010 12:48 PM by Christine

    Jonathon -- That figures -- Worker's Comp wants to get out of it as cheaply as possible. They refused to pay any of my surgery on left shoulder although it was caused by a fall at work. Thank goodness I had good insurance. They don't care for the pain YOU are in. And, they are soooo much smarter than your doctor. Can you tell I despise Worker's Comp. Maybe you can get stronger pain pills to help you sleep at night. Good luck with the physical therapy.

    posted @ Thursday, December 02, 2010 3:10 PM by Christine

    I just had the dye injection last week it was a little painful.sore the next day had a hard time moving my right shoulder.the mri I had was in a bigger one where you don't feel to enclosed it hurt the way mt arm was positioed.I just listion to music and closed my eyes.waiting for results

    posted @ Sunday, December 26, 2010 11:36 AM by gloria

    I have to get a MRI in 4 days. Had been putting off going to the doctor for over a year. Hurt it throwing a softball form outfield to home (heard a pop then pain).It went away then came back this summer playing ball again. Stupid insurance company actually has had me going to 6 weeks of theropy before they would even let me get MRI. Theropy helped strenghtened it up but pain still there. I am hopeing MRI will show something. Anybody know what could be wrong? After reading everybody elses comments, don't know if I want the surgery. It seems the pain before is better than the results.

    posted @ Thursday, January 06, 2011 7:44 PM by Harley

    I'm a 46yo mom, kayaker and stand-up paddle boarder. I also have a stupidly high tolerance for pain. I fell on my outstretched arm 2 years ago, and have been doing my activities anyway. I can see the muscle in my neck taking over for the shoulder. Given lots of useless unrelated tests, too. Until...pain so bad I couldn't sleep, or move, or sit still. Painkillers are almost as bad as the pain. I also wish the doctors could feel the pain so they'd act human about it. MRI was a breeze though (no dye.) I want to be able to lift my arm again. You guys make surgery sound awful.

    posted @ Thursday, January 20, 2011 11:07 AM by Elizabeth

    10 months ago i injured my shoulder, i will go for my 1st mri tomorrow because the right arm strength did not return to normal. is it too late for an mri now to show what damage was done ?

    posted @ Thursday, January 20, 2011 11:58 AM by ron

    Have frozen shoulder diagnosis from office visit. No improvement after month of PT. Scheduled for Arthrogram MRI. Not sure this is necessary. Thinking of refusing and having standard MRI first. Any experience with frozen shoulder diagnosis and improvement without Arthrogram MRI with dye? Seems MRI without dye should be tried first?

    posted @ Saturday, January 22, 2011 9:04 AM by Lala

    To ELIZABETH, RON and LALA: I have had TWO frozen shoulders (aka Adhesive Capsilitis) in the last 4 years. (I am 59yo.) Here is what I can tell you from my experience only. Go with whatever doctor recommends...he/she is the expert. MRI's show various things that could be wrong with shoulder (e.g., torn rotator cuff) but it will not show Adhesive Capsilitis. So, they diagnose that by process of elimination, sypmtoms and touch. If it is Adhesive Capsilitis, they will not normally do surgery until after 10-12 months have gone by from original date of injury as the surgery usually won't correct it completely and may make it worse if done earlier (according to what my dr. told me last month). I have had standard MRI's without the dye so don't know anything about the ones with the dye and how much pain they cause as standard MRI is painless. The pain from surgery in my case was a lot less than before surgery (until I started Physical Therapy two weeks ago). The big difference after surgery was I had more range of motion and could live without Hydrocodone pills which I needed to kill the pain so I could sleep at night (I lived w/the pain during the day w/o meds cause I hate taking pills and have high pain tolerance). Six months after surgery on left shoulder, I had complete range of motion in arm and shoulder and have been pain free ever since (summer 2008). I am currently going through physical therapy for right shoulder. Surgery was Dec 3, 2010 for that one. Pain is worse than what I remember because bicep has atrophied...or at least that is what they think has happened...from lack of use. Frozen shoulder/Adhesive Capsilitis is one of the worst injuries to get (per physical therapist) as it is one of the few times that you HAVE to work through the pain (and there will be pain and a lot of it) in order to get better. BUT, if all goes well, within 6-8 months you are usually back to normal and pain free. So, there is light at the end of the tunnel. In case you are wondering, I have a matching set of scars....three on each shoulder that are about 1/2 inch wide. The older ones I have to look really hard to even find. They look like a cat scratch. lol Hope you all have as positive an experience as I have had in the past and hope to have with my right arm over the next few months. If you want, you can e-mail me at

    posted @ Saturday, January 22, 2011 1:29 PM by Christine

    I developed frozen shoulder after having MRI with dye. The problem was not with the dye injection, but having to position my arm in the back of my head, which was extremely painful with the joint full of contrast fluid. Since you already have a FS, you won't be able to put your arm in that position anyway, so maybe the contrast dye would be ok. Personally I would never get another with the dye injection again. I think they can inject the dye into a vein and do it that way, if contrast is seen as necessary. But I wonder, why do they want to do the MRI in the first place?

    posted @ Saturday, January 22, 2011 2:03 PM by Chris

    Elizabeth, I had FS and it was awful. I went through 3 PTs before I found one that got me better. He manipulated the arm to stretch out the adhesions and I saw immediate and steady progress. In fairness, the other 3 therapists were dealing with it when I couldn't move my arm more than 30 degrees, or even wash under my other armpit with the affected arm. It may be that you need to get it to a certain level of mobility before a lot more progress can be made. It took me about 8 months to recover. 
    Hope this helps.

    posted @ Saturday, January 22, 2011 2:06 PM by Chris

    After I had a MRI with contrast dye, an orthopedic surgeon told me that it was overly invasive, that it had not been needed to determine what was going on in my shoulder. Your situation may be different, but I developed FS after this very painful MRI, possibly as a result of having to put my arm in a very painful position in the scanner-painful due to the fluid in my joint from the dye injection.

    posted @ Sunday, January 23, 2011 8:17 AM by Chris

    WOW...glad I never had to have an MRI with the dye. It sounds AWFUL and dangerous. IF the problem is indeed a frozen shoulder OR adhesive capsilitis (they are similar but not exactly the same), I have been told by both my Orthopedic surgeons that they will "thaw" on their own...the kicker is, it usually takes about two years for it to do that. When you consider that they won't operate on a frozen shoulder until a minimum of 10-11 months after initial injury and then it take another 6-8 months of physical therapy (at least in my case).....I wonder which is the lesser of two evils. AGAIN, this is all just from my personal experience. ALWAYS listen to your doctor(s).

    posted @ Monday, January 24, 2011 3:50 PM by Christine

    Marianne...I hope you are still following this blog and I sincerely hope you are better by now. I was just re-reading some of the posts. I, too, was alone for the surgery on my left shoulder. No support system whatsoever. Check into the possibility of a home nurse or home health care worker coming to your home for a few days or weeks. That is what I did. Some insurances will pay for them even. Some helped me with the exercises; others with helping me to shower, fix meals, etc. Worth checking into at least.

    posted @ Monday, January 24, 2011 3:55 PM by Christine

    I had a shoulder MRI w/ contrast today. Have had no major problems. Just a lil pain but nothing Advil hasn't fixed. However I did look at my results and can see a huge pool of the dye. Will be interesting in hearing my orthos interpretation of it on Thursday. I cant move my arm past a 15 degree angle, been that way for almost 6 months, due to a head on car wreck.  
    Anyone know what the pool of dye could/does represent??

    posted @ Wednesday, January 26, 2011 1:04 AM by Sasha

    Chris and others, Family dr first thought I had torn rotator cuff sent me to Ortho. Ortho thinks Frozen shoulder. PT thinks classic Frozen Shoulder. I am 56 but other than age don't have any other reason why have Frozen Shoulder. Not an athlete, no injury, not diabetic, etc. Healthy up til this diagnosis, was doing yoga up til summer. Now Ortho wants to do MRI with Dye, to determine if tear or frozen. Says without dye cannot tell if cartilage might have tear. I feel regular MRI should be done first before going through risk of injection with substance being introduced to body unnecessarily. I prefer to avoid risks of this seemingly invasive procedure if regular MRI will suffice.

    posted @ Saturday, January 29, 2011 12:53 PM by Lala

    I had rotator cuff surgery on my right shoulder in 2003. Had MRI without dye then. excellent results after therapy. My tennis serve is as good as ever. Full range of motion and no pain. 2 1/2 years (June 2008) ago went to same doc(he is the best shoulder surgeon in town) with pain in left shoulder, especially in biceps. Had an MRI, no dye. Confirmed small tear in the supraspindus tendon(the most common tear), small tear in the infraspinadus tendon (back of rotator cuff area) and small tear in the biceps tendon. He suggested therapy as a conservative approach and see how I do. Had P.T. for 2 months and it didn't help much. Then talked to a Chiropractor that I play tennis with. He suggested we try a new therapy he had. 10-12 treatments of 5 min. each over a 6 week period. It was "Cold Pulse Laser" therapy with a machine made by a company called Terraquant. After 6 treatments pain was subsided and range of motion was better. By the 10th treatment I had almost no pain except in extreme reach positions. After 12 treatments, no pain, full range of motion. I thought it was like a miracle. I do not work for this company, nor do I have any financial interest in it, just a consumer that wants to share a great experience. Since the laser reduces inflammation in the early stages and then is set for healing in the later treatments, I would think it would help frozen shoulder too. 
    I began a training program with a personal trainer in 2009. Some of the exercises he had me doing caused some minor discomfort in the same (left) shoulder. He decided I needed to warm the shoulder up good before starting to work out. This helped. Then in Nov. 2010 on a cold rainy day, I did something stupid. I loaded 3 50-lb bags of concrete over the side of my pickup truck. My body was cold too. First bag fine, second bag ouch. 3rd bag almost impossible to get over the side of the truck. I had the shoulder pain again & I knew I had screwed up. Went back to the Chiro with the laser & tried to rehab again. It helped some, but not enough, so back to the doctor I went, knowing full well that this time I was going to schedule surgery. Having to cover all his bases for the insurance company. I had to have another MRI, No dye. This time the MRI showed full tear in supraspinadus tendon and same two small tears in the other 2. I just had surgery Feb. 3rd. I know that the initial pain is a lot better than the ongoing pain and lack of sleep due to the same. Bottom line... If this excellent Dr. did not see a need for an MRI with contrast (dye). I can't imagine why anyone would have to go through the pain and post dye issues with their MRI. I would either ask the doctor to do the MRI without dye or go for another opinion. From my experiences, I would also suggest the conservative approach of therapy before surgery and also to find a therapist that uses the Terraquant Machine for therapy. Best of luck with your shoulder issues! 

    posted @ Friday, February 11, 2011 12:49 PM by Richard

    I have a friend who is getting an MRI tomorrow and he's only 12 years old. I really like him and care what he has to go through. It sounds really scary... and I dont know if he's clausterphobic, but I just hope he doesnt have a shoulder tumor. =(

    posted @ Friday, February 11, 2011 5:06 PM by K

    I'm on the list for an MRI with an injection of dye first, I don't have a problem with the MRI it's the injection that is freaking me out. I have a needle phobia.. Do you reckon they'll sedate me if I ask, or will it end up with me losing the plot just before the needle comes and I'll start running around the place like a demon posessed, anything that comes at me with a needle is going to regret it... HELP!

    posted @ Monday, February 21, 2011 4:30 AM by Tee

    Sounds like you're scheduled for an MRI Arthrogram of the Shoulder. If that is the case, then you'll have dye injected directly into your shoulder joint before going into the MRI room.  
    The exam is not done with sedation as you need to be able to move around and walk to the MRI room after the injection.

    posted @ Wednesday, February 23, 2011 12:14 PM by Ravi Sohal

    Had a MRI w/contrast yesterday. Pain is worst now than before. Afraid that the Dr. will come back and say he can't find anything wrong. I just can't imagine going through this pain day in and day out with my shoulder. I have an appointment tomorrow with my Dr. to get my results - hope it is something that can be fixed because I can't pick up or hold anything with my left hand, my arm will not raise to the side or to the front except for a couple of inches. This could be really depressing.

    posted @ Wednesday, February 23, 2011 12:44 PM by Lyn

    Had the MRI Arthrogram of the Shoulder and found it not too bad. The initial injection was not that painful, but the sensation of the needle going into the joint made my heart flutter with nervous energy as its such an unusual feeling, asides from that all was ok. The scan was uncomfortable, as many here have said, and the position where you have to put you arm behind your head was painful indeed. After the scan, my arm grew progressivly stiffer with movement massivly restricted for a couple of days afterwards, but the pain was controlled easily with ibuprofen gel directly on the shoulder. I would describe the whole procedure as uncomfortable and unusual, but in no way prohibitive due to pain. The main source of pain is the injury i currently have which i hope this will identify so it can be rectified.

    posted @ Wednesday, March 02, 2011 12:44 PM by Mike

    Had an MRI with die injected into my shoulder. I already had frozen shoulder going in and yes it all hurt inside the MRI tube because of the positions I had to get into.A week later, most of the pain has been where the needle actually was, not the tear. I am still waiting for this new pain to go away, throbs at night. Just hope it's all not in vain- it's been 5 months since the initial tear in my shoulder.

    posted @ Tuesday, March 15, 2011 1:04 PM by Bruce

    Had an MRI done today on my right shoulder. I didn't require an injection and found the procedure quite easy. 20 minutes being in a confined area is a small price to pay for such beneficial technology.

    posted @ Friday, April 01, 2011 12:06 AM by Don

    Can I insist on a MRI shoulder scan, who has the final say i.e. budgets, what if my GP says no, can I appeal and if so who to?  
    Had 16 weks of physio, not convinced physio knows what is wrong, had injection in shoulder 3 weeks ago, no better in fact my shoulder/mobility feels more restricted and painful

    posted @ Wednesday, April 20, 2011 10:26 AM by ANNE TRACEY

    Observations from my experience and advice of physical therapists: 1)If you are raising your arm and the shoulder hurts, pay attention to that pain and don't repeat the action. Unlike with other joints such as the knee, it is not a good idea to "work through" shoulder pain. You could be tearing tendons in the rotator cuff. 2)Pain in the front (on the upper arm) usually signifies something wrong in the BACK of the shoulder such as the superspinatus or infraspinatus. The pain you feel in the front is usually referred pain. Pain occurring as a result of an assisted manipulation by a PT is probably ok.

    posted @ Wednesday, April 20, 2011 11:48 AM by Chris

    Anne - A lot of it depends on the type of insurance you have. If you have a really great plan, insist that you be referred to an Orthopedic Surgeon. I have had two frozen shoulders since 2006 (surgery Dec 2007 on left; Dec 2010 on right). The Orthopedic Surgeon most likely will require an MRI of the shoulder -- especially if your insurance will pay for it.  
    Whatever is causing it, if it is left untreated, it is only going to get worse with the pain and restrictive movement.  
    To the best of my knowledge, if GP says no, then the only thing you can do is switch doctors. GOOD LUCK to you. 

    posted @ Thursday, April 21, 2011 11:15 PM by Christine

    i need the die injection and was told it was painfull want to know if it is true can someone let me know if the injection is the painfull part or the days after? does it fell the same as the cortison (steroid) shot  

    posted @ Friday, April 22, 2011 3:56 PM by john

    I have a partial tear of the subrinatus tendon shown by 2 MRI's however my GP says no surgery is required. I am now into 7.5 months of the injury , had laser light treatments, physio therapy (still) and still have frozen shoulder and bad shoulder joint pain. Wondering if I should pursue surgery or wait it out til a year has passed?

    posted @ Monday, April 25, 2011 10:38 AM by Bruce

    The die injection needle hurts for about a week after. They freeze your injection area so the die shot is bearable, but it does hurt for sure. I would not reccommend it unless you are definetly headed for surgery as the regular MRI shows a tear.

    posted @ Monday, April 25, 2011 10:42 AM by Bruce Brown

    On Nov. 28, 2010 I was hit by a drunk driver causing pain in my shoulder and feels like its dislocating, also back and neck issues, about a week or so ago my chiro sent me to get an MRI of my Left Dominant shoulder. I got the results back and it said everything was normal( i had just a normal MRI, no dye or any injections) but something is causing my shoulder to pop in and out of place.....i can hear it pop. limited movement, and severe pain when it pops. i do not know what else to do or where to go from here. I do have an appointment to go see an orthopedic but my dr says if he cant find anything then thats just gonna be that. so im stuck and not sure where to turn to because i know something is wrong in my shoulder but no one is able to give me answers and what makes it qorse is that it is in my dominant arm.....please any advise????

    posted @ Sunday, May 01, 2011 5:44 PM by jarrett

    Bruce -- According to my orthopedic surgeon, no surgery will be done until the injury is at least 11 months old as surgery prior to that time may make it worse and not be as effective. So, after having two frozen shoulders since 2007, I would suggest that you follow all exercise programs established by your doctor or physical therapist until at least the 11 month mark and THEN talk to your doctor about surgery. Understand that even after surgery, there will be a LOT of pain and still limited movement. You will require additional physical therapy to help get the movement back and reduce/eliminate the pain. GOOD LUCK to you.

    posted @ Sunday, May 01, 2011 6:30 PM by Christine

    Jarrett -- Listen to and do whatever your orthopedic surgeon recommends. That is why he is the SPECIALIST. I know it sux, been there done that, twice. It might just be as simple as strengthening exercises to keep it from popping in and out. Might be as serious as surgery. GOOD LUCK to you and keep us informed.

    posted @ Sunday, May 01, 2011 6:33 PM by Christine

    I've been having pain in my right shoulder and upper arm. It hurts to cross my arm to do anything on the upper part of my left arm. I have some range of motion so I'm not sure if I should just deal with the pain or what. I'm 42, almost 43yrs. old, type II diabetic, along with other medical problems. I'm recently widowed, and I don't know how I can pay my bills if I have to have surgery and be off work for a long time (especially since I'm right handed). Any suggestions?

    posted @ Sunday, July 10, 2011 2:47 AM by Claire

    I have had shoulder pain for awhile now. My left shoulder hurts when i golf and put it across my body. I can also feel pain all of the time. X-rays showed possible arthritis. The doctor scheduled an MRI with dye. I had it done today. I thought for sure the dye would hurt to put in but i was surprised, i didn't feel a thing. The doctor numbed it first with my arm on my side while i was laying face down. I was sitiing there wondering when he was going to put in dye and all of a sudden he said its almost done. i was relieved since i felt no pain. I went to the MRI tube and they put me in with my shoulder at my side. At first i was feeling a little claustrophobic but i just closed my eyes and tried not to think about it. If you are claustrophobic you want to make sure you have something to calm you down. 20-30 minutes later i was out. They gave me some film and now i have to wait for the results. I looked at the film but i have no idea what i am looking at. I am actually hoping they find something wrong and the pain i feel isn't from arthritis. i will update as soon as i get the news.

    posted @ Monday, August 01, 2011 11:15 PM by John Wattenbarger


    posted @ Thursday, August 25, 2011 12:16 PM by jjatech

    had a dye injection into the shoulder joint yesterday so that I could get an MRI done. Had I known how painful the injection was goint to be, I would have requested some sort of painkiller first. I screamed like a baby. but thanks to the surgeon who just apologized and walked away after giving me the shot, leaving me in agony.

    posted @ Thursday, September 01, 2011 11:48 AM by baldwin tyler

    I have the most horrendous shoulder and arm pain, movement has become extremely restricted over the last 2 months. I have been going to the doctors for the past 7 years (with shoulder, back and neck pain)and always come away feeling that i'm being 'fobbed' off. I have had am MRI scan on my neck and been told i have cervical stonosis and i have fractured vertebrae T4 twice in the last 10 years but it is and always has been the pain in my shoulder that consumes my every thought. I barely sleep. I teach a class of year 1 children (5/6 year olds)and have 4 of my own children. Went to docs the other day and i asked about having my arm removed as i can't see any other way of living a pain free life. Have had loads of different types of medication and spent £100's on physio therapy. I am such an unhappy 38yr old. How many more times must i visit my GP?

    posted @ Thursday, September 01, 2011 4:57 PM by alex lewis

    I have a brain aneurysm & is due for CT Angiogram either this Sept or Oct of this year. This procedure uses dye.On Sept 22, 2010 I will undergo MRI for my left shoulder. Is there an MRI procedure for my shoulder that doesn't use dye? If there is, what is that procedure? I know that injecting dye twice a year would adversely affect my kidney. Please advise

    posted @ Sunday, September 18, 2011 1:09 PM by Angelo Ladislao

    I had an MRI done today on my right shoulder with dye injection. I hurt it playing hockey a few years ago. The dye injection part had to be one of the most painful things ive ever experienced and i've experienced a lot of pain. It's been 7 hours and I still can't move it and can feel a new aching/throbbing pain. I hope this injection does not continue to hurt being that I have football practice twice a week. The doctor said I was really slim and young(19 years old) for a labral tear but it is what is suspected. Hope it isn't, i'm not down to be out of hockey for the season

    posted @ Tuesday, September 20, 2011 10:25 PM by Heather

    I had an MRI on wednesday, and they did not use a dye in my shoulder just the MRI went to the doctor and he didn't get any results back by my appointment, but said he saw enough MRI's to know what he is looking for. And there was no tears in my rotaotr cuff, that if must be just sore muscles and tendons. What can I do now cause I don't feel that I have been diganosed right, if anyone has any ideas please let me know.

    posted @ Thursday, September 22, 2011 2:15 PM by Darlene

    I hope someone might shed some light or help soemone who has been struggling for at least 8 months or longer. 
    I had a motorcycle accident in July 2010 that may have caused my injury but not sure...2 months after coming home from my rehab stay my right shoulder was starting ti hurt in the joint area and soemtimes cause it to ache in the hunerus bone, but only the top 3" or so...I aslo was having numbness and tingling in right hand and once in while my forearm muscle would feel weak. Those sysmptoms may be a quirk and have nothing to do with shoulder pain..I advised my dr that had at the time (before i lost insuarance) of this and she thought maybe getting some carpal....but nothing else time went on it would let up but never really went away...There are times (not all the time) that the shoulder would her so bad i would have to have help to move it, as it felt dislocated...i know it is not, but that is just how it would feel and would last for a day sometimes a few days...but mostly hurts consistantly and worst trying to go bove head, push outward, especially with feels in the joint...but thats a guess....months would pass and lost my dr for lack of insuarnce, not being able to work yet...anyway few months ago got a new dr that i recived financial assiatnce and he sent me to an orth and said my shoulder was extremelu unstable and had crepitus. I finally got inot ortho and from get go he made me fell little, he took xray and no fratcures, so he ordered CT arthorgram because i can not have MRI because i have pacemaker...I am 42y.o. female...while waiting for test still hurts and been in therapy for couple months and shoulder getting worse, finally got in to see ortho for results, right of bat he still makes me fell small, almost like he doesnt believe me, he said CT arthorgram was fine except small tear (forgot where) but he said that wouldnt be causing the pain cause its nothing major says its something that happens.. I said ok what next..i know soemthing is wrong and has been getting worse for last 8 motns or so....he said well dont know what to tell ya go see a pain management place i dont see anythign that would caus eyou problems...and he said only other thing is could try a cortisone shot....having already on my recorde i am allergic to prednisone, he actually suggested having stating well it might not have an affect sine not really getting aborbed into system just your shoulder, but maybe it nmight, but said, your call, i give it if think might help..i said absolutely not, i cant have that im allergic..and for him to even recooomend it knowing i cant have it bothered me, and it went down hill after that.. i said am i to do i cant figure this out im hurting and its afffecting my driving i am right hand dominat and its my right shoulder....he said well could do exploroatory, but i dont think i would even do it because i dont think theres anything wrong... 
    so please help what should i do and is there anything that a CT Athrogram WILL or DOES NOT show or xrays, that an MRI would show, if i could have one???? i told my orthor i wish i could have MRI cause i know somethings wrong, he stated wouldnt do any good anyways, the CT athrogram shows nothing and an MRI wouldnt show anything differant.... 
    PLEASE HELP......Thank you.

    posted @ Friday, October 14, 2011 9:58 PM by Diana

    I'm scheduled for a shoulder mri w/o contrast this Friday. Some of you mention having saline injected for the mri. Is this standard procedure. I can't have contrast dye because of chronic kidney disease, so was wondering whether saline is used instead. TIA  

    posted @ Monday, November 28, 2011 6:46 PM by Janet

    I have had several MRIs, I'm a little claustraphobic, so the techs put a small cloth over my face, which kind of tricks me into not feeling like the top of the scanner is not cm's away from my face. Works every time. I had open shoulder surgery 4 years ago, then a couple of months ago i hurt my shoulder again. The pain is excrutiating, so off I toddle for an MRI. The results come back and show NOTHING wrong, I cant believe that this amount of pain is in my head. There has to be something wrong. I had a steroid injection, but it hasnt helped. I searching for what might be wrong, all I can come up with is mild arthritis that wouldnt show on an MRI (it doesnt feel mild at all).

    posted @ Tuesday, December 27, 2011 1:46 AM by Nzbyrd

    I had an MRI with dye injected into my shoulder today. The injection wasPAINFUL and uncomfortable. Now I have limited ROM and it still hurts 11 hours later. Does this pain go away?

    posted @ Monday, February 13, 2012 11:30 PM by FitREV

    I had an MRI with dye and my whole arm is numb and hurts... I hope this subsides :(

    posted @ Tuesday, February 14, 2012 12:28 PM by QueDee

    I had a MRI today with the dye injection. I won't lie, after reading some of these comments I was freaked out. Went out for a beer before the procedure. I had a great doctor who explained everything and it didn't hurt nearly as bad as I though it would. Did it hurt? Yeah a bit but not as bad as a needle stuck into your joint capsule should. Lol. I'm a few hour after me procedure and it's getting sore but between some alive I should be fine. Just hoping to hear good news from the ortho now.

    posted @ Tuesday, February 14, 2012 8:09 PM by Kevin

    This is to anyone getting ready to have a MRI W/ DYE injected in the shoulder. First of all let me tell you I was a basket case...really stressed out for nothing. When you go into the xray department you will have your shoulder marked and xrayed where they will inject the dye. They explain everything to you while doing it. Then you will be given an injection of Lidocaine ( with a very small needle ) to numb the area for the injection of dye. So of course when they put the needle in you do not feel it. My radiologist even said if I do feel anything they will give me more lidocaine. The injection was over in two to three minutes. then I was taken to the MRI and that took about twenty minutes. I was never ask to move my arm at all. Now I must admit it was painless. There is shoulder soreness the next day...but nothing you can not handle. Just think about it you had fluid pushed inside your shoulder. It's normal. I can honestly say not bad at all. i should find out if I have some kind of a tear tomorrow. Hopes this helps with anyone having fear of this test.

    posted @ Sunday, February 19, 2012 5:54 PM by Kathy

    I have had so many MRI's that I should purchase stock in them! I can say that I have never had a problem with the dye before and the procedure wasn't that uncomfortable for me, maybe because I've been through so many, both of my shoulders and my knee which was just replaced in 2010. Don't lose sleep over it if your worried about the pain, I think it's not painful and actually quite relaxing once it starts (other than the noise)

    posted @ Monday, March 05, 2012 12:07 PM by Chris

    March 5, 2012 
    My MRI that I had a couple of weeks ago showed a small Rotator Cuff Tear. I like the fact that my Orthopedic Doctor said lets try one more cortizone injection in my shoulder...wait a month and see how it's doing before thinking of surgery. The first injection I had was done by a GP 6 months ago and did nothing. This injection done last week by my Orthopedic was put in a different area of my shoulder. 
    I must say that it is feeling better. I was told that maybe the tear would heal on it's own. We will just have to wait and see. I am not doing any physical therapy at this time...want it to heal first. 

    posted @ Monday, March 05, 2012 5:48 PM by aleithia alicea

    I tore my rotater cuff Nov 2010 pain was horrible no surgery Jus got better now here feb 10th 2012 I've tore it again...and pain still as bad gotta have mri done I'm scared they gonna wanna do surgery I'm only 27 shouldn't be having this many shoulder problems...but I've lost range of motion, no strength in it, its numb half the time and when its not numb it feels like its on fire idk whether its the cuff or something worse...any suggestions?

    posted @ Monday, March 05, 2012 10:56 PM by shelly

    Hi Shelly...I'm sorry to hear about your shoulder pain. Do like I did, try one more time with a cortizone injection to for go surgery as long as possible. If surgery is the answer do so with a positive attitude and I hope all goes well. 

    posted @ Tuesday, March 06, 2012 7:44 PM by aleithia (Kathy) alicea

    My MRI was today. Even though I work in a medical office, I didn't think about the process of having a shoulder MRI. I was told there was no prep involved. First of all, I didn't realize that I would have to take my bra off. Ok, came into the room and didn't ask how long it would take. I was given ear plugs and told not to move during test ...didn't even think about the noise factor. I was asked if I wanted a wash cloth for my face. I said I will just close my eyes if needed. The tech was very nice though. They gave me a cushion for my knees which felt good. I then put my ear plugs in before I was slid in and was given a squeeze bulb if I needed the tech. All of the sudden, I realized how tiny of a space it was. I didn't realize how much noise there would be. I tried to open my eyes, but couldn't for more than a couple of seconds. It felt like I was in a casket. I closed my eyes and realized my ear plugs should've been pushed in further. About the time that I thought this should be over, the tech come over the intercom and said we're about half done....WHAT the **** was going through my head. I thought if I freak out, the test will just take longer. I forced myself to try and move my jaw joint some so that my left ear plug cushioned as much of the noise as possible. I have to admit my breathing increased after this and I was almost in freak out mode. I kept much longer, squeeze eyes shut. My shoulder began hurting from stiffness by the end of the test. I believe the entire MRI lasted about 25 to 30 minutes.  
    I take Xanax on a very limited basis...just for occasional anxiety attacks a handful of times per year. I didn't even think about taking it. I would suggest that persons who are slightly claustrophobic requests some type of calming med from their doctor.

    posted @ Monday, April 16, 2012 10:31 PM by Carol

    Hi Carol...sorry about the stress with your MRI. I'm surprised you were not told to take something before hand to calm you. Too bad, that would have helped. Well the update to my last cortizone injection, still doing fine. No pain at all and i almost have full range of motion back. I'm just watching what I do.

    posted @ Tuesday, April 17, 2012 11:13 PM by Aleithia (Kathy) Alicea

    i have a kmri tmrw on my shoulder. and they said i need the dye injection and i had it in my wrist and it was painful is it worse in the shouler im scared because everyone said they cant move there shoulder for a while and it gets worse. please someone reply im only 12 and im very scared..

    posted @ Thursday, May 10, 2012 5:46 PM by chelsea

    Had an MRI with contrast for my shoulder this afternoon. I've had MRI's prior and am totally cool with the whole process. I am also fine with needles and injections but was not fine with the way my shoulder felt after receiving the injection. I physically could not lift my arm up and had trouble doing so for a few hours afterwards. I am still in ridiculous amounts of pain and have decreased ROM but am much better than I was earlier. One year ago I had 3 anchors put into my shoulder as part of a labral repair. Although my pain level is less than it was prior to surgery, it is still pretty bad. I am relieved to see that I am not the only person who experienced such great pain from the contrast injection, I was getting nervous!

    posted @ Tuesday, June 05, 2012 8:49 PM by Angela

    Hi Angela...I'm glad the whole ordeal is over now for you. That is normal to have pain after the injection. The pain should only last a day or two. Keep the good work up...this also helps other patient's that are newcomers to MRI'S with dye injection. 
    Good Luck, 
    Kathy Alicea

    posted @ Tuesday, June 05, 2012 10:13 PM by Kathy

    l have been having should pain since nov 2011. This has got worse as my shoulder has become stiff and l hardly sleep at night coz of pain. The phsio has given up on my case and referred me back to the doctor. Have been waiting for a scan for 5 weeks now. feel neglected as l had blood tests and no one got back to me. the pain is so severe sometimes l cant even perform my primary roles. Have booked myself an MRI scan to prove the physio wrong as he thinks l have stress. Is this the best way forward or is there another way of dealing with it? Any suggestions? Thanx

    posted @ Thursday, July 19, 2012 5:13 AM by Kathryn


    posted @ Thursday, July 19, 2012 1:46 PM by KATHY ALICEA

    This is for Debbie and the other person who is going through PT before surgery. It dosen't help. I had surgery on my right shoulder 6-4-2012 on a slap lesion type 2. I had 6 PT visits and they did no good. I also have a bone spur in my shoulder that was supposed to be removed. It wasn't removed during surgery because I was informed by my nurse that a different doctor was doing my surgery. I still have the same problem after surgery. The sever pain in my shoulder, the heat sensation from neck to finger tips, and now a new symptom after the surgery muscle spasms from my neck to my elbow. So I don't think PT will help you guys at all. But then again I believe they botched my surgery too. I hope this was of some help to you. but it is just my experience. Everyone's will be different.

    posted @ Thursday, August 09, 2012 6:44 PM by Jeanie Wehunt

    I am 77 yrs old and have been playing social tennis for years. My shoulder developed pain. I went to my orthopedic doctor in February 2012. Doctor ordered MRI for my right shoulder. Radialogist report said the shoulder muscles , tendons and lagiments were all in good shape . There was no tear of rotator cuff tendon, etc. Thus my doctor injected cortison on my shoulder. It did not help and still I could not play tennis. Meantime I went on a three month vacation in Europe. In July 2012 I went ot my orthopedic doctor again. He gave me another cortizone shot on my shoulder. Stil no help. On August 17, 2012 I went to a sports medicine doctor. He reviwed the MRI and made me move my right shoulder different positions and then decided to do ultasound scan of my shoulder. He discovered that there was a rotator cuff tendon tear. He suggested physical therapy for two months. If the therapy does not help, then he will do orthoscopic surgery. THE thing I don't understand why MRI did not show the tear. Thanks for any comments---GIL OZATALAR

    posted @ Thursday, August 30, 2012 12:26 AM by Gil Ozatalar

    Well, I had always thought I could take a lot of pain, two natural childbirths, a nerve test with needles directly into the nerves - but the test yesterday was the first time I almost stopped the whole procedure of the MRI with dye. 
    After reading all the comments, pain shot first and then dye injected, I think where I had the test was the major problem and the guy injecting the dye didn't know what he was doing. 
    Seven times he injected me and had to walk away to look at a screen to see if it was in the right place! I have never felt such bad pain in my life up to including childbirth! It felt as through he was scrapping my bone and the pain killer he injected first just numbed the area where the needle went in which wouldn't have bothered me. Then when he finally found the right spot - the MRI where I couldn't move, while crying at this point - lasted over 1/2 hour! 1/2 hour not moving!!! Then the Tech. complained to me, like it was my fault I had a muscle spasm! Therefore he had to do one test AGAIN! I have had many MRI's and usually they stop the test several times so you can relax and move a little if you have to. Not this place! It was the worst pain and experience of my life. Never again!

    posted @ Saturday, January 12, 2013 11:25 AM by Bobbi

    Injured my r shoulder playing squash. Labral tear 3/4 of joint, x2 rot cuff tendons torn , bone spur and bursa inflamed. MRI arthrogram all ok- injection was a cause of some anxiety but in practice felt like an insect sting with some pressure on the area. Joint felt stiff and bit sore.MRI was ok.Follow up surgery was well managed and caused few issues- 6 weeks in fixed sling, 12 weeks of PT and was back hitting up 3 months after surgery. Frozen shoulder hit x2 over next two years causing pain, loss of motion and limited mobility- very frustrating with no let up in pain or signs of improvement. Not sure what caused my issues I think it may be my body's reaction of scarring up surgically repaired sites so may be an inflammatory response which I have not intervention for so will just wait it out- have got some relief from massage sessions but no quick easy options for my shoulder. Much sympathy for all those suffering and good luck in your battles

    posted @ Saturday, January 19, 2013 9:19 AM by Leith

    My shoulder has always seemed to dislocate when I move it backwards or sideways. It has progressively gotten extremely uncomfortable. And one day at swim practice my shoulder locked into place. It was extremely scary and painful. I have been doing phyiscal therapy with my schools trainer, and it's not quite working. I have gone to an orthopedic, and I have had an MRI. With the MRI, there was no result to this shoulder "clicking" and dislocating. I am sixteen years old, and I have a busy life style. I softball coming up soon, and my bad shoulder is my throwing arm. I was really hoping to have my shoulder healed by now. I really don't want to get another expensive MRI or even an X-ray, because I feel bad about my parents paying for that stuff. I really need help, I also experience upper and lower back pain, the pain is to the right of my back, where my shoulder is. I'm not sure how long I can keep up with this. I really could use some advice or anything you guys know about with this shoulder pain. Constant popping out of place, back pain and I can only move it o a certain point without it moving out of place. Thanks so much.

    posted @ Wednesday, February 20, 2013 8:30 PM by Amy.

    I have had right shoulder pain off and on for 3 years. Last cortisone shot helped only for 3 weeks. Had MRI two days ago without the dye. Since then my shoulder pain has been much worse. Did the MRI cause my pain to be worse? How long will this last? I can't sleep for the pain. Tramadol doesn't touch it.

    posted @ Thursday, February 28, 2013 10:18 AM by sistersinhim

    hi I have had arthroscopy on both shoulders in the past ten years then in July of last year was in a serious car accident from which I had to be cut out of the passenger seat I have had MRI scan with the dye injection didn't find it too bad just really uncomfortable for a couple of days now turns out I have a huge muscle tear and am due yet more surgery in about eight weeks surgeon says I will be strapped up for about 6 weeks when will it end just hope this is the last time I have to go through this as I am severe pain on a daily basis as it is as I suffer from dystonia and get muscle spasms in my neck which leave me in excruciating pain so wish me luck guys and fingers crossed all goes well 

    posted @ Friday, March 01, 2013 7:24 PM by elisabeth

    I have bee experiencing extreme pain in my right shoulder and neck since Jan. yesterday I had MRI with the shot, I came on here looking for answers because my pain is awful. I even had friends tell me it looked stiff and like I was in pain. I understand this is due to fluids but hope it passes soon cause hurts worst than before. I will however be very glad if they find something fixable, that will make it all worth it to not hurt anymore. Sucks that dye feels like it is amplifying my shoulder and my neck. It was placed in shoulder joint, initial shot wasnt AWFUL dr informed me of feeling two "stings" going through the skin and joint and I did, but its been the aftermath that has kicked my butt. 

    posted @ Thursday, April 18, 2013 1:34 AM by nicole

    Well had MRI done on rt. shoulder and I was literally shocked. Doctor says I need a shoulder replacement at 63 years of age.Here is what he revealed to me.. Findings indicative of massive rotator cuff tear. Atrophy with fatty fat infiltration of the supraspinatus and infraspinatus 
    2. Insertional full-thickness tear of superior portion of the subscapularis with medial dislocation of the biceps tendon. Severe tendinosis of the inferior portion of the subscapularis tendon.  
    3. Moderate glenohumeral joint effusion communicating with subacromial/subdeltoid bursa. 
    4. Moderate acromioclavicular osteoarthritis. Small joint effusion. 
    5. Degenerative tearing of the labrum. Still working on what all this means. I know I want to opt out of shoulder replacement. Anymore have that done with good results?

    posted @ Thursday, May 02, 2013 8:46 AM by Terry Keener

    I have had two shoulder surgeries due to a car accident shattered my shoulder put a plate and screws couldn't move my shoulder much went to another orthopedic dr had a x ray found out my ball part was jagged he req a partial shoulder replacment it's been a yr I have very little movment went thru physical therapy and manipulation for the shoulder stiffness well went to dr he wants to do a full replacment I requested a second opinion went to see dr e wants a MRI of shoulder to see why I'm hiring and can't move my arm he thinks they put the ball part is to big and causing pain wants to open he shoulder and fix it with a total replacment I'm scared its a tough recovery but I hate that I can't comb my hair wash my hair it's awful

    posted @ Wednesday, May 08, 2013 3:55 AM by Julia

    I went to my FP a few months back for shoulder pain. It was mainly on the top would shoot to the front then go around to the back. Went through PT didn't help, had follow up and did X-ray. They figured out have shoulder impingement syndrome and sent me to ortho. Ortho dr believes it could be either a rotator cuff tear, a tear in my labrum or both and believes they could be caused by the impingement. Today I went for my MRI and don't have a follow up for 2 weeks so needless to say I'm concerned and want to know what's going on. Ortho said if there is more than one tear definitely need to have surgery.

    posted @ Friday, May 10, 2013 4:16 PM by Chelsea

    I had a shoulder injury in kickboxing 18 months ago and only now had an athrogram and MRI scan. i have lived with the pain and still participate in karate to the best of my ability. I am a 48 year old female. Today I had the scan. i was not advised to take a painkiller before or not to drive. The injections of anethsetic and dye were tolerable but strange. the MRI scan was uncomfortable but following that I could not get myself dressed due to the pain in my shoulder!. i was not expecting that. I had to drive home one handed and couldnt even turn keys or take them out of the ignition! 
    on arriving home i took painkillers but couldnt even lift my arm to open kitchen drawer. 8 hours on still in pain but it has eased slightly. Im back training tomorrow so hope all feeling comes back as my duff shoulder is better than nothing. i have a 3rd Dan grading in four weeks and I dont get my scan results for 6 weeks! i know i will need rotator cuff surgery but i also am aware that surgery will possibly make matters worse or no improvement so I may just carry on and live with a duff shoulder rather than put myself through surgery and recovery etc....I am an oldie in sport know and these years are precious to me........fingers crossed...

    posted @ Tuesday, May 14, 2013 3:49 PM by Jackie Mariani

    I had a MRI yesterday I did't make it only lasted about 15 mins in tube could not breathe was sweating and so thirsty she acted a little peaved but said it happens today I have a stand up MRI I am a little nervous but hope it is a lot easier  

    posted @ Wednesday, June 12, 2013 12:27 PM by sandy

    Due to shoulder pain for the past eight months I finally visited an ortho surgeon. The X-rays showed nothing except a small bone spur on the front of something, but he didn't believe that was causing the pain. Doctor ordered an MRI with contrast which I had performed yesterday. The injection into the shoulder really wasn't that painful to me, it just felt odd with all that fluid inside the joint. The MRI took about 45 minutes with my hand on my stomach for the first half, then they positioned it to the side of my body for the last half. Yes, the MRI is tiny and I am a 47 year old male with broad shoulders, but they squeezed me in there somehow. My doctor doesn't believe in giving any pain killers until after a surgery, so it still hurts, and I would like it to just stop and be normal again. I get the results in one week, and I hope it shows a reason for this pain. I will be upset if they can't find a reason, because something inside there just isn't right. We shall see.

    posted @ Tuesday, July 02, 2013 9:20 PM by Michael

    I suffered a grade 4 A/C joint separation in june 2010, I have since had 2 operations on it, the first repair lasted less than a year before failing, the 2nd operation lasted 6 months before a part failure left the joint out of position but partly held by the repair, I was eventually sent for an MRI scan to assess the condition of the shoulder mechanisms and await the results at the end of this month. 
    The MRI was fine for me, no issues at all but I can see how people may feel about being uncomfortable with the procedure, sadly for those people it seems it is a necessary evil to try get to a long term solution. I was very active in martial arts and a bit of an adrenalin junkie,(smashed the shoulder white water rafting)and for me the biggest challenge was adjusting to a slower pace of life, but what I would say to everyone feeling frustrated by their progress to recovery is to simply accept the situation and take life one step at a time. Easy to say I know, but to stress is to simply torment yourself. I had a lot of nerve damage during my 2 operations and I am in constant pain at a high level, coupled with the latest issues with the shoulder joint, I could be excused for feeling a bit sorry for myself, but I feel that would be counterproductive to my health so I simply accept things for what they are until the solution (if there is one) comes along. If there is no medical solution then at least I will be more prepared to face that should it arise.  
    My message to everyone here is to try, however difficult it is, to stay positive.  

    posted @ Wednesday, August 21, 2013 7:53 AM by gordon

    I had my first MRI today. After reading all the messages today before I went, I was scared out of my mind. Not only did I not know what I was in for, they had an emergency exercise and I had to wait in the dark with the young ladies. I can tell you all went well. The shot in my shoulder was not bad at all because they numb it first. I was very relaxed in the tube because both ends are open. After the MRI I came home and mowed my back yard and got in the shower and shampooed my hair.

    posted @ Thursday, August 28, 2014 1:39 PM by katie

    I sprained/injured my right shoulder while moving something very heavy at work, and then lifting something right after. I had an uh-oh moment after the first heavy object, but thought I was okay to help life a tree in to someone's truck. I was wrong. I couldn't move it for three months after, yet my doctor ignored me, and only after three months of immobility, did she bother ordering an MRi. After reading all of the posts here, I was never injected with anything before the mri, I had to be in a very uncomfortable position with my arm painfully raised over my head for 30 minutes in the tube, awful! and so I am wondering if they even examined me correctly? Any thoughts? I just want to find out before my L&I claim closes. I can't hardly lift over 10 pounds anymore, and if I do, I pay for days after. Going to get it checked again.

    posted @ Friday, June 26, 2015 7:51 PM by Rj Ryen

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