Odd finding on shoulder X-ray

Tue, 04/13/2021 - 16:36
Confused 12

Hello everyone,

Thanks for giving a place to ask a question when I'm totally confused and nervous. I'm a 45 year old male. I have pain in my shoulder that has continued to get worse over the past three months. Yesterday I went to an urgent care thinking it was bursitis. I have been working alot! The x-ray came back showing a lytic and sclerotic mass on my scapula. The chest x-ray was clean and they strongly encouraged me to go directly to the er for a CT. I had the CT and the Dr said they found extensive arthritis and previous damage and follow up with orthopedics. It was a scary night to say the least and the pain continues with no real answers. I understand the ct I the gold standard for diagnosing masses. In your opinions should I be concerned and quickly follow up or can I treat this as arthritis and take my time? I'm lost.

JanineT GRACE …
Posts: 570
GRACE Community Outreach Team

So sorry for the delay.  I responded yesterday but didn't to publish it.  The mods have to publish new threads after we make sure you're not a bot and I forgot. 




I'm sorry you're in such pain and worry.  We're not equipped to suggest that the radiology report is wrong, have no reason to believe it's not correct.  An x-ray resolution is extremely low compared to a CT so you don't want to bank on the xray reading and shouldn't be compared.  With that said go see an ortho if you can and have them explain, with pictures the findings on the CT. 


Arthritis can be brutal but it is better than cancer.  I hope you get relief soon. 

All the best,


I joined GRACE as a caregiver for my husband who had a Pancoast tumor, NSCLC stage III in 2009. He had curative chemo/rads then it was believed he had a recurrence in the spine/oligometastasis that was radiated. He's 10 years out from treatment.

In reply to by JanineT GRACE …

Confused 12
Posts: 2

Thanks so much for the quick response. Hearing the line "large mass in your scapula with probable neoplastic properties" threw me through a loop. I really expected bursitis. I'm hopeful it's arthritis and should have a better idea this Tuesday when I consult with my GP. I figure he's the best one to decipher what the actual results are and a course of action. I'm thinking good thoughts and hopefully it's just arthritis. I was shocked looking in the mirror and seeing the difference in size of my scapula. The x-ray did lie. Thanks for the response and providing somewhere to ask questions.