Hey folks! Well, it's been a whirlwind so far and I see no light at the end of the tunnel yet. Here's a little update as pertains to my shoulder issues/remedies.
After waiting about 5 weeks to see the shoulder specialist for the Atlanta Braves, he studied my MRIs and took another set of xrays for giggles. According to him, the bone that they normally shave off during the arthroscopic surgery is 'perfect' in my case (the underside of the bone that's on top of your shoulder). I have no abnormality that would be contributing to tendon impingement and the Doc recommended physical therapy instead of surgery at this point.
As a test, he injected me with a diagnostic fluid into the bursa that duplicates the results of a cortisone shot but only for a few minutes. For this doctor, a determining factor whether or not to do surgery is to see if there is less pain after the injection. In my case, there was no change in the pain whatsoever - still felt stabbing on the outer arm when raising it laterally away from my body and a dull pain on the inner right shoulder when reaching across my body to scratch my left shoulder. He prescribed some PT with the specialists that do the PT for the Atlanta Braves pitchers. (The only reason I mention these folks deal with the Braves is that they ought to know what they're doing)
I had my first appointment with them this last Thursday. I had explained to the therapist that I had 6 weeks of 3x/week PT in November and December with no improvement and actual worsening of symptoms. After doing various tests and having my range of motion measured, he had some interesting tidbits of information regarding my situation.
It seems that the muscles in the front of my arm (pecs, front of right shoulder, above shoulder) are overdeveloped in comparison with the girly muscles around my shoulder blade. This problem is causing my entire scapula (the shoulder blade and the boney 'roof' above your shoulder - will call the roof 'upper scapula' from now on) to pivot forward since the rear muscles aren't able to compensate properly for the pull that the front ones have on it. This pivoting is forcing the forward edge of the upper scapula to dip closer to the humerus (upper arm bone) and squeezing the tendons that slide inbetween the two.
So, I am doing various exercises to strengthen the muscles that surround my right shoulder blade at the moment. I've only been doing it for a few days now, but I *think* I can already sense a difference as to where my shoulder rests. I'll be doing 2 weeks of this type of exercise and then progressing to more weight, I assume. I'm told it will still be several weeks before my symptoms start to disappear.
I certainly hope these doctors are on the right track with me. After my first bout of PT, I'm a bit skeptical that MORE of it will do me any good. But, I'm willing to give it the old college try! Thanks again for all the great tips and recommendations from those on the board.
I did have one quick question: Can anyone recommend a good cold/ice shoulder wrap? I'm looking for something that will totally surround the shoulder with icy goodness for after exercises and, eventually, tennis. Thanks!