Pain in right shoulder blade?


I had a Lumpectomy, SNB and then a full clearance on my right side in Dec/Jan, since then on and off I have had this pain and tender bruised feeling on my right shoulder blade, when I first felt it I just thought it was from the surgery and I actually mentioned it to my surgeon and he said it was from the surgery, I have had a bone scan and ct scan a few months ago now and they showed no evidence of disease, but my question is I still have this pain? I can only feel it if I touch it as it just feels bruised and tender?? I cant stop thinking about it??? And thinking the worst!! Has anyone else experienced this after surgery and for this length of time??



Hi Donna,

Yes I have exactly that after SNB and WLE. I asked if it was disturbed nerves, no one seems sure. They said possibly it was because of the angle I was lying in during surgery. Still twinges occasionally but getting better but my surgery was three months ago so it has certainly hung around for a while. I think we are all going to be worried about mystery aches and pains now but it makes sense that surgery has probably caused these things

Hi Donna. I have a similar thing, though mine is a bit lower down near where my drain came out. I had the same as you - SNB and WLE in Dec then full clearance in Jan and the pain had gone away but now it feels bruised, esp when i lie on it. I haven’t had any scans so also a bit paranoid. Your pain is maybe just damaged nerves. Perhaps the nerves are now healing so the pain is still there? I’m not sure how long nerves take to sort themselves out… I thought mine might be the start of shingles (which I’ve had before, in the same place).

Try not to worry about it. Easier said than done I know - I think once you have a BC diagnosis, every twinge you would previously have ignored becomes something sinister. It does to me anyway.

Al x

hi donna i have had shoulder pain since mx in sept ,have had scans too and were ok but of course we worry x

Hi everyone,

Thankyou so much for your responses x All I seem to do at the moment is worry and panic about all this! The pain is weird because it only hurts when I touch it?

Thanks again & best wishes

Donna xx

I’m no expert but if it only hurts when you touch it then it doesn’t sound like too much to be worried about. I say this because my Onc said that if it hurts when you touch it it’s probably a soft tissue problem (eg muscle). From what I gather from my Onc, what concerns them more is constant pain that worsens over time.
Also you need to think that you didn’t have the pain prior to the surgery so that tells you something.

What’s really important is to keep doing your exercises everyday so things don’t tighten too much. Keep your Onc/surgeon informed of how the shoulder feels at your next appointment. Obviously if it gets worse let someone know before. I’ve had to have physio for my shoulder pain.

It’s still early days in terms of your body’s healing. Hope it all improves, Elinda x

Bump just wondering if anyone else has had this?

I think there are a few of us who have had shoulder pain since our ops. Mine was nearly two years ago and I still have pain unfortunately. I also had a full axillary clearance. The pain is quite bad and I’m going to a specialist clinic for it this week. I’ll tell you what they say.

As you’ve had a CT scan I’m wondering what is causing you anxiety? Don’t you feel reassured by the scan or is it concern that you don’t understand what is causing the pain? Elinda x

You are right, should I worry cause I have had a ct/bone scan back in Feb, but I’m a complete worrier and I am debating in my mind "did I or did I not have this pain before the scans? I think I make the pain worse by worrying all the time!! Sorry about keep posting this I must sound silly!!
Thank you for your posts Elinda

Donna xx

Donna - you don’t sound silly in the slightest. It’s so difficult not to keep worrying. Since my diagnosis in 2009 I’ve found I periods when I do nothing but worry. Other times I can put it aside.

Have you actually spoken to your Oncologist about the pain? I think sometimes there is nothing else to do but to voice our fears. He/she may decide to do a specific scan of the shoulder or will be able to say to you it’s not something to be concerned about. I think that he/she is probably the only person that will be able to reassure you. When’s your next appointment? Elinda x

I drive myself silly with worry, and get so upset about it, I have spoken to the BCN she told me to see my GP which I did he had me doing exercises by putting arms above head etc… and thinks it’s muscular??
You are right I think my Onc is the only one who could reassure me, I mentioned it to my chemo nurse yesterday and she was going to mention it to my Onc, I have my next appt with her after my radiotherapy which doesn’t start till the 11th July? Will speak to the nurses tomorrow as have my last Chemo to see if they mentioned it to my Onc.

This BC just scares you so much doesn’t it!!
Thank you again for posting, I hope you are doing okay?

Best wishes to you

Donna xx

Yes, I’m doing okay but will be glad to see these specialist physios next week.

When you go for chemo say that you need to speak to your Onc about the pain in the shoulder. YOu never know, she may come and see you tomorrow. I was lucky becuase I saw my Onc before every chemo session. If not, get an earlier appointment arranged. You don’t want to be getting yourself more and more anxious over the next couple of months. Elinda x