Thanks for the reply! I had taken a few years off from tennis and noticed that my old, heavy Head racquet was getting a little long in the tooth. Figured I'd try what all the whippersnappers were using these days. A year ago, I started back at 4.0 level and gradually worked my way up.
Initially, I went to a general practitioner (prescription of NSAIDs of course). Then, I went to a hand and upper extremity specialist three times. At the time of the first visit, all I had was a fairly mild pain on the outside of my shoulder/upper arm area. After doing various resistance exercises with the doc, he suggested that I had an inflamed bursa and should give it rest and do various exercises to strenghten the muscles surrounding the bursa. He offered to give me a cortisone shot and I accepted. One shot is my limit as I've heard what repeated shots can do.
After the second session with the hand/upper extremity specialist, he referred me to a sports surgeon that has good experience with shoulder sports injuries. Both of these specialists are with Resurgens Orthopaedics in Lawrenceville GA. Upon examining the me, the MRI, and arthogram xray, he said I had two options. I could give it time, rest more, do non-paining exercises, and see if it improves. Or I could have an arthroscopy done where they poke a few holes in my shoulder and shave a little bit of bone to give the inflamed tendons room to move and room to heal. Since I had already gone through 2 months of physical therapy while avoiding tennis with no favorable result, I'm seriously considering the surgery.
Unfortunately, it's hard to tell what exactly triggered my problem. Around the same time, I dove heavily into tennis, did a good amount of heavy yard work (120 40lb bags of stone), and did some strength training on the home gym. I'm convinced the racquets had something to do with it, but my vigorous return to activity may have contributed as well.
But, yes, the pain was gradual until it got to the point that serving and overheads are fairly excruciating. Fortunately, I won't have to worry about using my current racquets (Wilson KSurge) as I have 'dispatched' them in frustration.
So far, I've had 3 doctors look at the MRI (all from Resurgens however). Their impression is that I have mild tendinosis of the supraspinatus tendon, no partial or full thickness rotator cuff tear and an intact labrum and biceps tendon. The sports specialist believes that the cyst that shows up on the MRI is from chronic rubbing of a tendon on that area.
Nothing is stopping me from taking a break for 2 months and postponing any decision about surgery until then. I'm just an impatient person lol.
Thanks again for the feedback/questions. Definitely something I need to think about.