Shoulder Surgeries?

Eight years ago I hurt my shoulder in an accident at the same time I hit my head causing unknown head trauma and the beginning of Chiari symptoms. The right shoulder and arm was severely injured and repaired surgically although I did not have complete function return and had many unusual recovery nerve issues for over 2 years. I now have two significant tears in my other shoulder which most likely will again require surgery and this time can not identify anytime the injury occurred. So my question is: are the tears to the shoulder (rotator cuff) Chiari related and/or have others had similar incidents? Anyone have any special advice for a Chiari patient undergoing orthopedic surgery?

I have had two shoulder surgeries. Don’t know how I injured my labrum. I saw Dr Heffez and I have a small Chiari.

Ouch. Have you been screened for EDS?

I have Chiari and have also had R shoulder surgery (bone spur removal, arthroscopically). I injured my shoulder playing tennis and with the work I do (I am a physical therapist). The only relation I can find with my Chiari and my shoulder is that I also have scoliosis and my curvature is to the R, therefore this can cause more impingement on the rotator cuff on the R. I have not read any other material that suggests an orthopedic link between Chiari and shoulder problems. If you have a syrinx and pressure on nerves, this can cause a great deal of shoulder/arm pain. Shoulder/rotator cuff surgery would not help that pain.

Hope this helps.


I have Chiari as well as significant shoulder pain (left). The shoulder pain became noticeably worse after correction of my scoliosis (60 deg curve to the right). I tore my tricep at my shoulder summer before last lifting very light weight, which I still think is strange, but I had never thought of it being connected to the Chiari. They checked for a syrinx around 2 yrs ago, but did not see one. Very uncomfortable up into my neck, down to the base of my shoulder blade, and into my arm, pretty much daily.

My only thoughts are these: make sure that you invest as much effort in finding a really good orthopedic doc, as much s you would for a NS. Not all surgeons are created equally. I would look for one who specializes in major joints or mainly does shoulders. If you have any friends who are nurses, or in the medical field ask them who they would recommend or who they wouldn't go see. I know some great docs in the DC area if that helps-I forgot too check your location.