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Shoulder impingement: what do I ask for when I see GP?

(7 Posts)
Sundayafternoonblues Sat 31-Dec-16 20:14:37

Have posted about shoulder problem before, but thought I would start a new thread as asking a slightly different question. Via an ultrasound scan I have been diagnosed as having a subacromial impingement. Although the symptoms started relatively mild, since early November (following a physio session) the problem has been bad enough to significantly impact day to day life. I can't reach up for things with my right arm (I am v right-handed); I have to be careful to avoid various movements which in a healthy functioning shoulder would be completely normal movements and I have to avoid moving my arm quickly, otherwise the result is sharp pain. After almost two months with no significant improvement, I have concluded that shoulder is not going to get better simply by taking care over movements and using ice packs + ibuprofen (or, more recently, Naproxen). The GP I originally saw has suggested I see another GP at the practice who is qualified to give steroid injections, so I have made an appointment to see him. However, I am now wondering whether I should decline a steroid injection from GP and push for a referral to a shoulder specialist. (I have some private medical insurance which I think would cover most of the cost.)

Can anyone reassure me that I'm not being OTT in asking for a referral at this stage rather than having trying a steroid injection from GP first?

Corneliussnitch Sat 31-Dec-16 20:27:30

I've had this in both shoulders and had a few injections from the GP, I was later referred to the hospital and had a guided injection with contrast dye and lots of physio, however only had a limited improvement even with this. I ended up with subacromial decompression surgery which really did help. It seem to be notoriously difficult to treat long term without surgery. If you have some joiny hypermobility you are more likely to have ongoing problems

babyinthacorner Sat 31-Dec-16 20:37:03

I had this, although coupled with a calcium deposit which exacerbated the problem. I loved with it for about 10 years until it started to affect my care of my daughter - couldn't lift her as she got heavier etc. I tried a steroid injection ad it was great - full use of my arm back again, but odd side effects. My knees started to randomly give way.
They referred me for surgery with no fuss at all and I've never looked back. Super quick recovery and no pain whatsoever a year on. I'd go for it, if I were you. Just explain how it's affecting your day to day life. Good luck!

Sundayafternoonblues Sat 31-Dec-16 20:45:56

Thank you for the replies. Babyinthacorner was the knee side effect a lasting problem or did it stop happening after a while?

babyinthacorner Sat 31-Dec-16 21:12:28

Well I only had one steroid injection but it happened about 4-5 times afterwards. So it did stop eventually, yes.

RoseDore Mon 02-Jan-17 23:44:42

I have had/have this in both my shoulders and would ask for a guided steroid injection under ultrasound at your local hospital. They can see what they are doing and you get a consultant doing the injection. If it doesn't help, you can have surgery. I've had surgery in one of my shoulders and it's helped a lot but the recovery time is much longer than I was lead to be believe so definitely try the steroid injection first.

Sundayafternoonblues Tue 03-Jan-17 22:02:28

Thank you. I am certainly in no hurry to undergo surgery. I'll ask about guided steroid injection.

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