Shoulder pain after a fall and broken ribs

Patient

Q: I fell and broke 2 ribs 8 weeks ago, but still have some pretty sharp constant pain in my shoulder near my spine on that side. One doctor wants to treat me for facet joint pain, but from what I'm reading I'm wondering if it will be a waste of time?

Doctor

A:    With your previous history of two broken ribs eight weeks ago, you may have experiencing an Intercostal Neuritis, which is not a serious condition but very annoying indeed and slow healing. By a spasm or a direct trauma the intercostals nerve got injured, and possibly that’s why you are feeling that pain radiated to your shoulder. The suggested strategy would be: please, try to be patient and do not expect an overnight improvement, take anti inflammatory medication (“Aleve”, “Motrin”), and also Vitamin B12 supplement. Local moist heat helps to ease the pain. Try to avoid activities that worsen the pain. If you do not improve with these measures, then I advise you to get a re-evaluation clinical and imaging (MRI) of your cervical spine.

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