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Old 05-22-2011, 10:55 AM   #1
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Unhappy Help! 7 months after surgery more pain!

It's been 7 months since my rotator cuff surgery. They repaired a small tear and took out a bone spur arthroscopically. I am in even more pain and discomfort than before the surgery. I do the PT excercises and rest for a few days when I feel more pain. I don't have the pain when I do some of the exceises. I took out the ones that cause pain like the holding the bands in both arms and pulling them apart move. I am so upset and cry. I feel pain when I pull the covers on me at night or even extend my arm up to my side like a T. I avoid some things because of the pain. My quality of life has gone down the drain. Does anyone know why I am having this much pain? What is going on? I'm going to see the doctor next week, but I would like to hear from others that have gone through this please! It's very depressing. Any advice or thoughts?

 
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Old 05-22-2011, 07:41 PM   #2
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Re: Help! 7 months after surgery more pain!

i have no clue, but i hate to hear this. post what your dr says. i am almost 9 weeks post-op

 
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Old 05-27-2011, 05:18 PM   #3
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Re: Help! 7 months after surgery more pain!

I had my RC surgery about 7 1/2 months ago (October) and your current symptoms sound exactly like mine. (I swear I read this thinking - did I post this after I took Ambien one night and forget. ) I had an MRI with imaging dye and nothing shows wrong. Tried Medrol dosepak and steroid injection. Dr. won't consider any further surgery until it has been at least a year. He said to be patient. It can take up to a year to heal from RC repair. (Tear was "moderate" he said. Also had decompression/removal of bursa/bone spurs, etc.)

I just started going to a chiropractor who uses the Stim machine, heat and does rehab exercises with me. I can say it has helped with regaining some motion (I have only gone for 2 weeks.) Not sure it is going to take away all the pain, but at least I feel like someone else is helping and keeping an eye on me. Today he pressed on the outside tip of my shoulder and I grabbed his hand. It startled him but the sharp pain had startled me! He thinks mine may be neck issues, but I'm not so sure about that.

I had 3 surgeries on my other shoulder 10 years ago (none of them Rotator Cuff repair though), and I can tell you it takes a long time to heal, but I have no pain in my other shoulder at all. (It sounds pretty gross with some movements as it grinds together - but it doesn't hurt and I have full use of it.)

The worst part is feeling like I am crazy because no one believes you that it still hurts. Well, I believe you and frankly I feel great relief to find someone else with the EXACT same issues. Perhaps your dr or mine will give us a good answer evenutally. In the meantime, know that you aren't crazy. Your pain is real. Lots of heat, lots of ice, keep moving it and try to be patient. (Trust me I know how hard that is.) If you can find a good chiropractor, try that. Please let us know what the dr says.

Last edited by moderator2; 05-27-2011 at 06:47 PM.

 
Old 05-28-2011, 12:15 PM   #4
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Re: Help! 7 months after surgery more pain!

i am glad the pt is somewhat working, but this does not sound normal to me. i have improved so much, but i still feel some pain. the dr is right-you would have to wait a year for another surgery. can you dress and put on make up? i can now use my surgical shoulder hand to put on make up. i can put on over the head shirts with minimal pain. i dont take any meds and the only time i really feel pain is in the morning when i just wake up. keep taking pain pills the pain you are having at this time does not sound normal. can you take your mri to another dr? maybe that would help clear up some things. keep posting and good luck

 
Old 05-28-2011, 05:10 PM   #5
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Re: Help! 7 months after surgery more pain!

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Originally Posted by debbie g View Post
i am glad the pt is somewhat working, but this does not sound normal to me. i have improved so much, but i still feel some pain. the dr is right-you would have to wait a year for another surgery. can you dress and put on make up? i can now use my surgical shoulder hand to put on make up. i can put on over the head shirts with minimal pain. i dont take any meds and the only time i really feel pain is in the morning when i just wake up. keep taking pain pills the pain you are having at this time does not sound normal. can you take your mri to another dr? maybe that would help clear up some things. keep posting and good luck
I can dress & do makeup / dry hair with minimal pain though there is some. At this point, it isn't unbearable pain - but it is frustrating - it hurts every single day with every single motion. I want it to be "normal" and I think there is still something wrong (especially given it took 3 surgeries on my right shoulder to get it "fixed"). Sharp pain at strange times - like reached to turn my blinker on in the car, turning over a piece of paper, leaning on my hand (i.e. elbow on the arm of my chair), pulling my blankets over me, trying to stretch... I had a massage today and they worked 1 1/2 hours on my bad shoulder. Lots and lots of knots. Not sure they are all gone, but I am going to keep doing that every couple of weeks. I want to make a good faith effort to do everything in my power before I go back to the surgeon and see if it is something I can learn to live with. My chiropractor said he would look at the MRI if I can get it transferred over, so maybe he will see something different. This chiro actually works with my surgeon (coincidence I found him) and he will refer me back to the surgeon if needed. I don't think the pain is "normal" at this stage either, but at least I can live with it for now. It's not debilitating but I just hate the thought of living with the pain forever. I am only 43 and while I don't have children, I have wonderful nieces and nephews and can't really hold them on the affected side without being weak and afraid I will drop them. I know from experience that at some point I have to decide if I am getting what I decide is quality of life and if not, then pursue further. Glad you are doing better. I know my experience is unusual, and that most don't go this way. Glad to hear yours may be one of the success stories - sooner rather than later!

 
Old 05-29-2011, 01:02 PM   #6
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Re: Help! 7 months after surgery more pain!

the massages are a great idea. we get so tight back there. dont you have a disc of your mri and if so i would only trust another shoulder ortho.

 
Old 08-18-2011, 02:45 AM   #7
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Re: Help! 7 months after surgery more pain!

Quote:
Originally Posted by Hellokitty2011 View Post
It's been 7 months since my rotator cuff surgery. They repaired a small tear and took out a bone spur arthroscopically. I am in even more pain and discomfort than before the surgery. I do the PT excercises and rest for a few days when I feel more pain. I don't have the pain when I do some of the exceises. I took out the ones that cause pain like the holding the bands in both arms and pulling them apart move. I am so upset and cry. I feel pain when I pull the covers on me at night or even extend my arm up to my side like a T. I avoid some things because of the pain. My quality of life has gone down the drain. Does anyone know why I am having this much pain? What is going on? I'm going to see the doctor next week, but I would like to hear from others that have gone through this please! It's very depressing. Any advice or thoughts?

Hi HelloKitty
I am very sorry to hear of your pain. I am in the UK, I had exactly the same done as you back in April.
Things started bad for me when they missed the spot 4 times with the nerve block before putting me out then when i woke up in extreme pain it turns out they still missed the correct spot so my face was numb and I could feel every bit of pain in the shoulder, so much so they kept me on a drip and in for an extra day to help control the pain.
The pain for the month following the operation was unbearable but did begin to die down but only for a while. In June it began to get more and more painful to the poin now like yourself I am beside myself, the pain affects my neck and chest as well and no one seems to know why it still hurts.
I have been offered a further operation but this would be the 3rd one and I don't know if it is worth it as the first two have been so useless.

You are correct, it does affect the quality of life and I have no real position in bed I can sleep without pain, I just have to hope I doze off quickly.

My Arm is for the most part numb with pins and needles in my fingers and I really am worried this may have longer term effects and wonder if I may actually lose the use of my Arm.
I take Tramadol 3 times a day and that just about makes it bearable to live with.
I had 4 level fusion on my Spine 4 years ago and have far less trouble from that.

How is your pain now, what did your GP say ?

 
Old 09-13-2011, 06:10 PM   #8
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Re: Help! 7 months after surgery more pain!

Sorry you are still having pain, however, that is normal after shoulder surgery.

I had surgery on left shoulder 3-18-2010 and on the right shoulder 8-9-2011. Recovery took the length of time the doctor said. You feel better at 6 months, better at 9 months and close to normal in 12 months. I still have sore spots and discomfort now, however, the left shoulder is having to do everything since right shoulder surgery.

Please have patience, it will get better over time, can't rush it. Shoulder recovery is a very long process.

The best relief will come from changing your attitude, resolve yourself to misery for a long time and go on with your life.

Think of the alternative had you not had the surgery.

 
Old 09-17-2011, 11:17 PM   #9
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Re: Help! 7 months after surgery more pain!

To Amyinnc, Hellokitty, Debbie G, Daisee 68, Rhiddn, Misty 800, and Jenj 770. You all seem to have the same common dominators. You have a much slower recovery than expected, continuing pain, in cases some increasing, and lack of full range. Some have had extensive therapy and with little avail. Should any of you be having pain now?, I would think not. Also it is most probable that you have all well nigh completely healed.
Amyinnc says, I don't think I should be feeling pain this far out, and she is right. Daisee says, The worst part is like I am crazy because no one believes that you still hurt.
You are right, pain is not normal at this stage but you have it. I think another commonality is that you are all doing exercises and the glenohumeral joint, that is the ball and socket has not yet been prepared for this activity. So you all have had your joint operated on, it gets cut, blooded and inflammed and takes a couple of months to settle down and heal. The capsule shrinks, gets taught and you loose range and you get pain, do too much and lots of pain which can last for several days, then you do it all over again. You have all lost the joint play in the joint. Joint play is the movements in a joint which can be done to a joint but you cannot replicate it yourself. For instance, pull on a finger and it can crack or pop and you can feel the movement. You can't do that movement without pulling it. Every joint except the ones in the skull and a couple of others have joint play. The shoulder joint has a very small socket compared to the ball. This gives it great range but makes it easy to damage. Think about the joint after the operation, the capsule shrinks and gets taut. It looses it's joint play. If this is lost and you say raise your arm the joint does not glide and rotate and swing as it should. What happens is that as it is stuck and it gets wrenched, say stuck at the top and strained at the bottom. I am sure some of you can feel this sensation. You do not want to exercise without first restoring joint play. Now a little practice session on the "good" shoulder, lets say a left shoulder, get your partner to stand behind you. They fix the bones at the tip of the shoulder with thumb and fingers with the right hand. With the left hand thumb and fingers around the humerus an inch or so below the point of the shoulder. Hold tight with the right hand and then move the top of the humerus forward and back. With a bit of practice you will feel the bone move forward and back perhaps half an inch. Now try the not so good side and compare. Report back to us if you wish with what you feel and I will resume soonest.
James

 
Old 09-18-2011, 01:11 PM   #10
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Re: Help! 7 months after surgery more pain!

i still have pain and i am finally done with pt. my dr told me it would take a full year. i do have partial frozen shoulder, but my dr wants me to use my arm/shoulder in any way possible. its all tightness. i need to be doing more exercises for my shoulder. i am bad

 
Old 06-08-2012, 07:40 AM   #11
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Smile Re: Help! 7 months after surgery more pain!

I have had both Shoulders repaird and I still feel pain and hear grinding in my shoulder.. Excercise has been the key for me. While in the gym the endorphin kick and I feel great... Yes I hurt when I stay out the gym too long ... 4 days or more. Unfortunately the doctor says there is no remedy for the pain since after surgery, the continued use degradades the shoulder further, on the other hand not moving it causes atrophy and let's arthritis set in. So it's lesser of the two evils , your choice. I prefer using it more, I am an extremist at heart and won't quit, I think that's how I hurt myself in the first place.. Lol.. Any way look into cortisone shots they help for months at a time , but are no permanent fix. I get some about once a year... It helps.. If this combo of Excercise and cortisone don't help then either your at the point that you need a replacement or simply need to stick with the exercise.. You can't give up, make pain your friend, pray to lord for strength and endure... You will have some bad days but you will have some great pain free days as well... We can do it, c'mon Gym time... Remember you will feel plenty of pain and discomfort initially at the gym but this too shall pass... God bless and good luck..

 
Old 06-08-2012, 12:21 PM   #12
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Re: Help! 7 months after surgery more pain!

Hellokitty,

How is your shoulder doing these days?

 
Old 11-07-2012, 01:46 PM   #13
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Re: Help! 7 months after surgery more pain!

I also had rotator cuff surgery, and my bicep and tendon came off,also had a tear in the deltoids with a bone spur,it has been seven months since my surgery and I am in constant pain. I went to physical therapy for a year but now my Dr. Says that this is as good as I'm going to get. My left shoulder ( which is the one I had surgery to repair) hangs lower than the right. Ive tried many medications, but none of them help. The only relief I get is from heating pad and scalding baths., my pain goes from my neck to my shoulder behind my shoulder down my side and around my ribcage on my left side the doctors call mine myofacial pain, I don't know what else to do....
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Misty800 View Post
Sorry you are still having pain, however, that is normal after shoulder surgery.

I had surgery on left shoulder 3-18-2010 and on the right shoulder 8-9-2011. Recovery took the length of time the doctor said. You feel better at 6 months, better at 9 months and close to normal in 12 months. I still have sore spots and discomfort now, however, the left shoulder is having to do everything since right shoulder surgery.

Please have patience, it will get better over time, can't rush it. Shoulder recovery is a very long process.

The best relief will come from changing your attitude, resolve yourself to misery for a long time and go on with your life.

Think of the alternative had you not had the surgery.

 
Old 11-13-2012, 05:41 PM   #14
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Re: Help! 7 months after surgery more pain!

Hope you are doing better

Last edited by lprl1234; 11-13-2012 at 05:45 PM.

 
Old 11-19-2012, 12:18 PM   #15
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Re: Help! 7 months after surgery more pain!

Has anyone posting noticed that the original poster Misty is gone??? Just saying.
I had 3 surgeries on the right shoulder, the first one was to repair a "downward sloping acromium causing impingement" which is the very tip at the end of your shoulder. I had a busted bursa and bone spurs galore. After one month in PT, I was getting nowhere. Repeat MRI showed the same as pre-surgery, the orhto missed a few cm of the acromium. Instead of "owning up to it" he passed it off as a neck problem. Got another otho. he repaired that. PT for three months then the ac joint blew out a year later. Long story short, get a second opinion. You should not be in that much pain!!! After 3 months and you can't get by with just Tylenol, there may be more going on. Get a repeat MRI or second opinion, or both!!! It is also very helpful to do PT at home in between appt.'s. You've got to get your range of motion back or end up with worse, a frozen shoulder. But that can happen at any time. On the bright side, once you've had a frozen shoulder, it can never happen again!!! (of course on that side!!!) Good luck and I hope everyone gets well!!!

 
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