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Old 11-04-2011, 07:13 AM   #1
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Struggling with Acute Pain 3 1/2 Monthss After Rotator Cuff Surgery

On July 28, 2011, I had laparoscopy surgery for a 1.5 cm complete tear in my left rotator cuff. There was no event or accident. Surgery went well -- great surgeon -- but I have most assuredly struggled with pain issues. Maybe I'm a wimp on pain .......... but the multi-day residual pain which follows every Physical Therapy session still has me 'thrown under the semi'. I am allowed to take 2 Percocet an hour before my therapy. I have a very knowledgeable/empathetic/expert PT Therapist that has worked with me for weeks on my full-range motion. Wed (2 Nov.) I achieved 180 degrees for the arm going straight up and over the ear....but not without its high pain levels with strong nausea, which remains with me constantly.

Since I have finally completed the protocol for full-range-motion I can now begin exercises for a possible nerve issue. I am aware that nerves can easily become compacted during/after surgery. My arm feels as if it has had its 'funny bone' smashed -- lots of pain under the arm and up the neck -- painful numbness, etc. The struggle to achieve full-range-motion was logical, of course, because a 'frozen shoulder' can happen all too easily.

Has anyone had experience with nerve issues following surgery? Or -- does anyone know whether this type of nerve pain is common following a shoulder surgery? I don't allow myself to take perocet any other times of the day other than when I do PT or go to the gym the other 4 days of the week. The 7-day regime has allowed me the progress I have seen -- but these pain levels are difficult to endure daily. Most days I can handle getting the exercises completed in the a.m. -- make it until about noon -- and then need ice packs, ibuprofen, etc. to make it thru the afternoon. I have confidence in my medical personnel -- but I'd love to hear from any of you regarding your knowledge and/or opinions regarding the length of this strong pain.

Last edited by xilch; 11-04-2011 at 07:16 AM. Reason: misspelled word

 
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Old 11-04-2011, 12:06 PM   #2
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Re: Struggling with Acute Pain 3 1/2 Monthss After Rotator Cuff Surgery

I had both of my shoulders worked on for the AC joint and a tear of the supraspinatus tendon of the right rotator cuff....and it turned out most of my pain was coming from herniated disks in my neck. Since I could move my neck okay, the surgeon felt it was shoulder....wrong.

If this keeps up, I'd suggest you get an MRI of your neck. You may not have ANY pain in your neck itself....it shows up down the nerve into areas of the arm, usually in between the joints, as a deep burning type pain consistent with nerve pain. Can go all the way to the fingers.

Once you rule out the neck as the source, then you can go to the nerves that might have been damaged during surgery in your shoulder.

Jenny

 
Old 11-04-2011, 04:11 PM   #3
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Re: Struggling with Acute Pain 3 1/2 Monthss After Rotator Cuff Surgery

hi jennybyc-
thanks, jenny -- i value your input and when i see my surgeon nov. 8 i'm going to ask him to do just that..........evaluate my neck......

thank you.... thank you.......

 
Old 11-04-2011, 08:05 PM   #4
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Re: Struggling with Acute Pain 3 1/2 Monthss After Rotator Cuff Surgery

Firstly, sorry to tell you this but you should have no fear of a frozen shoulder, you are too old !! Next thing is why are you having pain? Try this and let us know the result. Face away from your partner or friend or PT with your back bare. Raise your arms straight up to the side above your head as far as you can go. Do your shoulder blades move equally or does the painfull side blade have to move more. This is to make sure the movement is really in the ball and socket and not extra shoulder blade movement. Let us know.
James

Last edited by Administrator; 07-25-2012 at 09:16 AM.

 
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Old 11-05-2011, 04:37 AM   #5
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Re: Struggling with Acute Pain 3 1/2 Monthss After Rotator Cuff Surgery

Oh boy, I can hardly wait to argue with my 25+ year experienced surgeon that my 69 years puts me in the category of being too OLD to have to worry about frozen shoulder syndrome and then of course stop his PT regime............................ NOT.

 
Old 11-05-2011, 11:34 PM   #6
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Re: Struggling with Acute Pain 3 1/2 Monthss After Rotator Cuff Surgery

]

I don't quite understand your reply but let me explain. Folks under 40 years and over 55 and most certainly at 69 don't get a frozen shoulder. There is even much less chance of me than you! A freezing arthritis normally arrives for no apparent reason in middle age. It lasts from about a year, up to two years. So it freezes, stays frozen and then defrosts as they say. The reason I asked about the movement of your shoulder blades was to see if you really had good movement in the ball and socket or were you attaining the apparently full movement from your compensating scapula. If you have full movement in the ball and socket you should not be having multiday residual pain. I suspect that your ball and socket joint has lost its joint play and needs passive movements to restore full range which will then allow you do complete active movements with little or no pain.
James
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Last edited by Administrator; 07-25-2012 at 09:17 AM.

 
Old 10-13-2012, 06:34 PM   #7
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Re: Struggling with Acute Pain 3 1/2 Monthss After Rotator Cuff Surgery

Regarding a frozen shoulder and being too old at 69 to get one. This is noy completely true. My grandmother at the age of 79 developed a frozen shoulder and was given prednisone (a steroid) for it. I also have a friend who developed a frozen shoulder before he was 44 and co-worker got it when she was in her 50's... Although you are correct that a frozen shoulder can last up to 2 years, this is not always the case either. My grandmother and the others I mentioned regained full use of their arm, after treatment and therapy well within a year.

 
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