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Old 04-08-2009, 09:37 PM   #10
Ahmad Sharif
Member Ahmad Sharif is offline
Join Date: Dec 2007
Location: Atlanta  GA
Posts: 7
Re: Shoulder popping/cracking/clicking sound

I have a long story to narrate, and an MRI result to show.

This problem started off with clicking/popping/grinding in the shoulder when I did weighted or unweighted lateral raises. The popping would be more prominent with the thumbs pointed down. I have been strengthening the RC muscles by doing external/internal rotations and other band exercises for the past few months.

I showed this to a couple of doctors and they ordered x-rays to make sure there was no bone-on-bone grinding, which there wasn't, thankfully.

Then a doctor ordered a supraspinatus outlet-view x-ray and that revealed a bone spur on the acromion. I also got an MRI done without contrast. Here is the report of the MRI, which I'd appreciate if someone could comment on:


Study: MRI of the left shoulder without contrast
Findings: The acromioclavicular joint is unremarkable.

There is diffuse thickening of the posterior aspect of the supraspinatus tendon, without focal tearing. The remaining portions of the supraspinatus tendon are unremarkable. The infraspinatus, teres minor and subscapularis tendons are unremarkable. No muscle atrophy of the rotator cuff is identified.

The biceps tenon is unremarkable. There is abnormal increased signal within the anterior labrum (axial sequence, images 12, 15) of unclear etiology. Further evaluation is limited owing to lack of significant joint effusion. There is no associated Hill-Sachs deformity.

The humeral head is normally situated. Normal marrow signal intensity is seen.

1. Abnormal signal intensity within the anterior labrum of unclear etiology. Further evaluation is limited owing to lack of significant joint effusion. An MR arthrogram is recommended for further evaulation.
2. Mild tendinosis of the posterior aspect of the supraspinatus tendon, without tearing.


According to the ortho, I have a tear in the labrum on the anterior side. He gave me a cortisone shot, to see if that reduces the thickening of the supraspinatus and told me that further evaluation will be done after a few weeks (to let the cortisone take it's effect).

Currently when I do normal activity (office work, etc.), there is no pain. When I do lateral raises there is a click at around 90 - 110 degrees abduction, especially audible when the thumbs are pointed down. Even with this click if it is unweighted, there is no pain. But the shoulder feels unstable if abducted at around 90 degrees in a lateral position. Moving the arm back and forth in this position produces clicking sounds and a slight pain if loaded. Wide grip chin-ups will also pain a bit at the lowest fully-extended position (along with the grind/click).

What I want to know is this:

Has anyone experienced something like this? What do you think of the ortho's conclusion? How much does an anterior labrum tear hurt? Could this just be the RC strumming against the bone spur? I am going to another ortho to get a second opinion in a few weeks.
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