Acute pain presentations

Acute nontraumatic shoulder pain

Liam Ring



A 46-year-old abattoir worker develops shoulder pain while lifting carcasses at work. How should he be assessed and managed?

Article Extract

John is a 46-year-old abattoir worker who presents to your urban general practice complaining of moderate to severe mechanical right shoulder pain and weakness. This developed gradually while he was lifting carcasses onto a conveyor belt at work yesterday. Aside from smoking a packet of cigarettes a day for the past 30 years and often consuming two standard alcoholic drinks per day, his past medical history is unremarkable. 

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