Ok this is long so I will keep it short here on top and go into greater detail below. I am 28 and have severe shoulder pain. Both shoulders for about 8 years (increasing about 1 pain level per year and is about always 7 now). My humeral head of both arms has severe cartilage degeneration. The pictures actually look like the cartilage was wiped away with fine sand paper over the long term. No chunks gone, but down to the bone in several spots. I am supposed to have bilateral hemiarthroplasty starting with the right next month. No stem, just capped in order to save bone. Glenoid is fine. Cartilage in my right ankle is fine, (scoped this year) but all my joints hurt.
Why is this happening? I have seen 4 ortho doctors over this who all states this is strange (my favorite diagnosis) and I appear to have my grandpa’s shoulders.
No HS sports, but did do rigorous infantry training in early 20’s.
I hate vegetables so have ate very little of them.
All joints hurt but right ankle cartilage is fine. (hips, wrists, knees)
Both shoulders have severe cartilage degeneration and osteoarthritis. Right worse than left.
Scapulas point away from back on certain arm movements.
Popping clicking and catch points in many ranges of arm movement.
4-5 trips to physical therapy have never helped.
Diagnosed with bursitis, impingement and finally cartilage degeneration without cause.
Side sleeper on tempur-pedic mattress.
Ok the long story. It is boring, but I want to include it in the random chance it sparks the interest of someone who can help.
History. Born 1980 in S. California and lived there until 5 yrs old. Moved to N. Arizona for 2 years. Lived in Las Vegas since then. No high school sports. I don’t eat vegetables. I ate a lot of fast food growing up and still do a few times per week. I joined the US Marines at 18 and the problems started soon after that. I was in great shape and was an infantryman. I could do over 50 pushups anytime I wanted and did 20 pull-ups on every fitness test. I could run 3 miles in under 23 minutes for the 4 years I served. I could also do 80-100 crunches in the allotted time. So I was strong but my shoulders were always my weak link. I did my first 2 years in Camp Pendleton S. California and deployed on a US Navy ship to the entire western pacific for 6 months. I stopped in Australia, Hawaii, Hong Kong, Thailand, Bahrain, Kuwait and Qatar. Maybe a few others but since my pain really started the previous year, I don’t believe this could have been a factor. On this deployment I did however work out a lot. I gained about 20 pounds of muscle but really nothing on my shoulders. Whenever I move my arms I have catch points in certain movements. My shoulders hurt a lot, but these catch points are unbearable. I can feel a lot of grinding and clicking in most other movements as well. Another thing that caused pain was uncomfortable mattresses and even more sleeping on the ground. Whenever it was cold I also felt more flair ups of pain. I had seen doctors a few times by then and was given Motrin or naproxen and told to ice it up when I could (couldn’t find ice most of the time in the infantry). I also took Aleve at times which nothing really helped besides just letting my arms rest and not moving them. I was diagnosed a few times with bursitis.
My last 2 years in the Marines, I was in 29 palms CA near Palm Springs. Same game, infantry and one deployment to Okinawa Japan for 6 months. I was still able to do all the physical requirements, but by this time both my knees were hurting also. In Japan I rolled my ankle with all of my weight while hopping down a four foot cliff. I had to hike several miles back to our base camp but was forced to stay the rest of the week in the field and our corpsman just wrapped it up extra tight for me. This was x-rayed the following week and I was told I was ok. I had to wear an ankle support the rest of my remaining 8 months until I was separated. Just before I was honorably discharged I pulled a muscle (maybe) in my middle back that hurts every couple of days and worse if I twist just right (or is that just wrong).
When I left the Marines, I filed for VA compensation and was initially denied (I love the games). The VA gave me x-rays which was inconclusive. They gave me MRI’s and x-rays of both shoulders and I was told were inconclusive. (Last year 6 years after those were done I found they did show minor spacing issues and some minor tearing of the rotator cuff, so they were lying to me). I also Joined the Air Force reserve and have been living in Las Vegas since (June of 2002) The next few years were not too bad. I was a Realtor and didn’t do too much to aggravate my body. And at the time the AF reserves did not require running. Just a 3 mile walk once a year. So the hardest thing I would do to my body was snowboard a few times a month in the winter. The boots had good support so it didn’t bother my ankle too bad, but it smoked my knees. In 2004 my back and shoulders had bothered me enough into buying a tempur-pedic mattress to alleviate some pain. It helped to a point but no miracles.
In 2005 the Air Force decided we needed to be in better shape and we had to run a mile and a half do pushups and crunches. So I would also occasionally run on my own besides the once a month on base. Then In 2006 the real estate market tanked (like I had to tell you all that) and I took a job in private security. This job made me workout 3 days per week on the clock and I had to be able to run 1 mile in 8.5 minutes. So I was back to having to stay in shape again. This didn’t bother my shoulders too much, but they hurt on their own without any help from me. This did however bother my knees and ankle. I would use the elliptical machine or walk on the treadmill for most of it, but I still had to keep my real running skills up also.
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