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Old 02-14-2009, 03:24 PM   #1
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Shoulder/Arm pain

My mom has this problem where it hurt to move her shoulders and arms around. She can't even lift her arms up without experiencing excruciating pain. At night when she tries to sleeps her arms hurt and usually can't sleep because of that. She only finds a way to sleep when she's in a deep trance and whenever the shoulder doesn't give her pain. If she moves her arms too fast she experiences pain as well. She can't even put on or take off a jacket, shirts or whatever without my assistance.
Sometimes when she wakes up, usually due to pain, she says her hands and parts of her arm are swollen and her veins are popping.
In a nutshell, her arms hurt whenever it moves or is against something, like a bed.
She started having this problem ever since November of last year where she did a CT scan and they told her to keep her arms up and hands on her head while doing the scan. They also injected an isotope too as part of the scan. After that her arms started getting sore and every week it seems to get worse. Of course, we went to seek a physicians help and our regular family doctor said it was nothing, which is complete BS. We're going to find another physician to diagnose her problem but I wanted to ask here as well since this is such a popular and open forums, all input would be nice.

Also, she's noticed that the pain isn't at one place on her arm, it moves around different parts of her arm but generally they are on her wrist, which is where it is swollen in the morning too, and in brachial part (the joint where she flexes up or down).
She's a 64 year old women, asian. Any help would be nice, thanks in advanced.

 
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Old 02-15-2009, 10:24 AM   #2
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Re: Shoulder/Arm pain

These symptoms sound like Bursitis and/or Tendonitis. A spur on the bone in the shoulder can also create rotator cuff and arm symptoms as you describe. I'm actually scheduled for surgery now for the exact same symptoms you describe, except for the wrist and swelling problems.

 
Old 02-16-2009, 08:01 AM   #3
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Re: Shoulder/Arm pain

My pain is mainly the upper left arm and i am being sent to pysiotherapy next month by my GP. I've had this (or noticed it) since just after xmas so it'll be about 8 weeks now. I can sleep at night so it's not causing me that much pain where i can't sleep but i have tried rubbing Ibuleve on it several times but it isn't doing anything, i'm assuming it's a muscular problem, i don't know. It's been a while now since i went to the gym but i don't think i had this problem when i last visited the gym which was before xmas (i'm sure i would have noticed it)

 
Old 02-16-2009, 01:07 PM   #4
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Re: Shoulder/Arm pain

Quote:
Originally Posted by jenj770 View Post
These symptoms sound like Bursitis and/or Tendonitis. A spur on the bone in the shoulder can also create rotator cuff and arm symptoms as you describe. I'm actually scheduled for surgery now for the exact same symptoms you describe, except for the wrist and swelling problems.
Maybe it is but how could she have gotten it through a CT scan though? Her arms are getting a little better now (start yesterday) where she attempted to close the car door and she didn't receive as much pain as she anticipated like before. Is the only way to treat those is with surgery?
I hope everything goes well with your surgery and good luck. Thanks for your reply.

 
Old 02-17-2009, 06:44 AM   #5
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Re: Shoulder/Arm pain

chances are that this was already there, but nothing had set it off til she was forced to keep those arms up like that. it was the 'thing' that set it off,you know what i mean? it kind of inflammed an area that probably already had some level of problems. the thing is,most people,just becasue of natural wear and tear,do have some level of actual rotator cuff problems somewhere up in their shoulders(this is according to my ortho). i just went thru a repair last feb for a complete tear in that very top tendon? it just snapped after years of wear and tear doing some pretty heavy lifting in the course of jobs,life. all i did one morning was try and lift my purse off the top of my fridge,and snap,instant agony. the tendon went right there, i am only 47.

given your moms age, she probably over the years has developed some issues up there at this point. it wouldn't hurt to have some MRIs done,or at least one on the more dominant side just to see how that one actually is(or whatever side is just more painful/problematic). there are just alot of different structures within that shoulder area that can have problems over time. i had a big mess up in my shoulder,i had no clue it was that bad til the MRI was done. the only other area that would need defining would be her c spine. a herniation,among other possibilities, espescially if it would be more centrally located,could affect both arms to some degree.

just what was that original CT done for? what reason,and exactly where was it done on her body? she really does need to get to the root of the problem. an MRI would be the best place to start. if her actual doc wont take this seriously,move onto another primary who will. she deserves that much. please keep us posted, FB
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Old 02-17-2009, 07:00 AM   #6
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Re: Shoulder/Arm pain

Quote:
Originally Posted by Deviatorz View Post
. Is the only way to treat those is with surgery?
I hope everything goes well with your surgery and good luck. Thanks for your reply.
No, surgery is the last choice after trying PT, ice, anti-inflammatories,then cortisone shots (usually just 2). If there is no resolotuion after this then surgery is often recommended. I went through all the above and had 70% resolution but it still bothers me sleeping and lifting things enough that the arthroscopic surgery was recommended. It is out-patient surgery. I agree with the previous poster that an MRI would be useful.

 
Old 02-18-2009, 11:14 PM   #7
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Re: Shoulder/Arm pain

Quote:
Originally Posted by feelbad View Post
chances are that this was already there, but nothing had set it off til she was forced to keep those arms up like that. it was the 'thing' that set it off,you know what i mean? it kind of inflammed an area that probably already had some level of problems. the thing is,most people,just becasue of natural wear and tear,do have some level of actual rotator cuff problems somewhere up in their shoulders(this is according to my ortho). i just went thru a repair last feb for a complete tear in that very top tendon? it just snapped after years of wear and tear doing some pretty heavy lifting in the course of jobs,life. all i did one morning was try and lift my purse off the top of my fridge,and snap,instant agony. the tendon went right there, i am only 47.

given your moms age, she probably over the years has developed some issues up there at this point. it wouldn't hurt to have some MRIs done,or at least one on the more dominant side just to see how that one actually is(or whatever side is just more painful/problematic). there are just alot of different structures within that shoulder area that can have problems over time. i had a big mess up in my shoulder,i had no clue it was that bad til the MRI was done. the only other area that would need defining would be her c spine. a herniation,among other possibilities, espescially if it would be more centrally located,could affect both arms to some degree.

just what was that original CT done for? what reason,and exactly where was it done on her body? she really does need to get to the root of the problem. an MRI would be the best place to start. if her actual doc wont take this seriously,move onto another primary who will. she deserves that much. please keep us posted, FB
Thank you for your reply. My mom should definitely do an MRI and she's thought about it because however the complication she has is that she has dentures installed with metallic joints so she must remove them before she can take an MRI test. I think you are right about that part where she strained herself while doing the CT and set off whatever it was needed to be set off to have her in this condition. We will definitely find another physician however those dentures must be removed before anything can really happen. Good news is is that she's somewhat getting better, as in she's not experiencing as much pain as she has before from all her movements.

As for the CT scan, to tell you the truth it was completely useless. They wanted to find any abnormality in her stomach area as she was experience pain from a gall bladder removal surgery. The CT scan was done in China and we do regret doing such as scan. She spends most of her time there so had no choice. Ironic how the CT scan is what caused her to have this problem when all we wanted to do was to check out problem originally. Call us ignorant but there are some personal issues associated with this CT scan as well.

I will report back here with new results as we try to get everything sorted out. More replies would be grateful but I think I have an idea of the big picture. Thanks to all those replied and again,more replies and suggestions are always welcome as I will check here often. Thanks again.

Quote:
Originally Posted by jenj770
No, surgery is the last choice after trying PT, ice, anti-inflammatories,then cortisone shots (usually just 2). If there is no resolotuion after this then surgery is often recommended. I went through all the above and had 70% resolution but it still bothers me sleeping and lifting things enough that the arthroscopic surgery was recommended. It is out-patient surgery. I agree with the previous poster that an MRI would be useful.
First off I don't know how to properly double quote if it's quoted incorrectly you'll know why.

Surgery would probably be our last option however even if it comes to it, we might decline such an offer. Trying the things that you recommended seems ideal. We will mention those to another physician once we find on and set up an appointment. We will also asked about the MRI scan. Thanks for the advice. Again, hope everything goes well on your surgery!

 
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