Shoulder Pain, Brachial Plexopathy and Quadrilateral Space Syndrome – Difficult Diagnoses to Solve

While many injured workers with shoulder or neck pain do truly suffer from the initial diagnosis they are given, some have a more rare condition. Sure, a strain or sprain of the shoulder or neck is quite common, and the torn rotator cuff or labral tear in the shoulder, or disc herniation with radicular symptoms in the neck, is seen fairly often, but other conditions are seen on occasion as well.

In the September 2011 issue of the newsletter from Mink Radiologic Imaging, there is discussion of Parsonage-Turner syndrome (PTS), also known as acute brachial plexopathy. Additionally, this article mentions Quadrilateral Space Syndrome (QSS), another condition that could be considered in the presence of shoulder pain. The difficulty in clarifying a diagnosis in such a case is reflected in this article from The American Journal of Roentgenology.

These are things an injured worker, and, of course, his or her physician, should keep in mind if a presumed shoulder strain or sprain is not healing as would be expected. The continued presence of symptoms in the injured shoulder could be an indication of another, undiagnosed, condition.