My doctor says the pain in my shoulder is from a cyst pressing on the a nerve over the shoulder blade. How is this treated?

Generally, this kind of problem is treated with surgery to remove the cyst. Doctors can either do open surgery, in which they actually open the shoulder to get at the cyst, or arthroscopy. With arthroscopy, a small TV-camera is used to help visualize the shoulder area without making big incisions in the skin. In some cases, cysts may go away without surgery.

Another treatment method was recently presented. Rather than removing the cyst, doctors used a large needle to suction out the contents of the cyst. The patient, a 33-year-old male, regained full strength in his shoulder within six months of treatment. He resumed playing tennis without problems. At last check, the cyst had not come back a year after treatment.

Discuss these treatment options with your doctor. He or she will help you decide which treatment is right for you.