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Shoulder / Rotator Cuff Problems Message Board
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Old 10-26-2012, 01:24 PM   #1
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Unhappy Shoulder surgery incision/pain issues

I've had 5 surgeries on my left shoulder. The first being in 2006 with a SLAP lesion repair. Then 6 months later my biceps started to fray so my surgeon had to go back in and repair that. One year of physical therapy and I was not improving in range of motion and pain intensity so another surgeon did an exploratory and determined I had no cartilidge in my shoulder and it was just bone on bone so he suggested doing a partial replacement (he replaced the ball at the top of my shoulder) and scraped the socket. I did pretty well and gained more range of motion but the pain still persisted. I had returned to work and about a year later I just stretched out my arm to stop an animal and I felt a burning pain and my shoulder was spasming and continued to do so for another year with excruciating pain. PT did not help so my surgeon again went in and replaced the socket hoping that would relieve the spasms and the pain. It has been just about 1 1/2 years since the final surgery and I still have bad spasms and my biceps feels like someone is squeezing it with vice grips. Spasms come on with external rotation and when I hit a certain spot when I raise my arm up and then it spasms on the way down. Now, the pain is chronic, I have severe burning running the length of my incision and when I rub the incision itself is numb but when rubbed I can feel the rubbing about 2-3" below the bottom of my incision...nothing on the incision itself. I've also noticed more tingling in my middle and ring finger especially during exercising. My toenails have become really thick and layered and bruise easily...I've heard that this can be a sign of RSD and it concerns me. I cannot take any narcotics and the pain specialist has put me on a low dose of Naltrexone (6mg at bedtime) which has helped with the pain but now I've really noticed the burning. Any suggestions??? My surgeon and PT are both at a loss about the whole situation

 
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Old 10-26-2012, 01:55 PM   #2
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Re: Shoulder surgery incision/pain issues

Would the toenail have anything to do with the shoulder? I would be getting a second opinion. I know it is tough to do that after so many surgeries, and you may not have any further options. I had five surgeries in just over 2 years on my right shoulder, the last being a TSR in May. That one has failed as well as there is anterior subluxation (can see that without an xray) and chronic fairly severe pain. I am seeing my surgeon in two weeks to discuss options. My PCP and local doc (my current surgeon is the "surgeon of last resort, for the truly hopeless) said I should NOT have more surgery. Luckily I can take pain meds, but limit it to nucynta, for now.

 
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Old 10-26-2012, 05:21 PM   #3
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Re: Shoulder surgery incision/pain issues

My toenails did actually start before I even had the initial injury with my shoulder and had pretty much cleared up until like the last year or so when it got real worse. My last pain med I took was Nucynta (I had to take it with Promethazine because it made me sick to my stomach). It worked really well but is very expensive and now that I'm on the Naltrexone (which in high doses is actually for drug and alcohol addiction) in low doses it's supposed to help pain. I can't take any narcotics at all with it because it will mess with my head and I'll have to take more because it would decrease the efficacy of the Nucynta. I did go to a specialist that deals with chronic pain...it's called Calmar Pain Relief and luckily the only place that offers it is in Rhode Island which is just a stones throw away from me in Massachusetts. But it's very very expensive and most insurance companies don't accept it. So I dished out $1700 for 12 treatments and it worked great and I was on my way to full recovery till I got hurt again then everything went downhill and I couldn't afford to continue therapy (each treatment is $100.)...there's no medication to take...it just works on the idea of e-stim but sends "no pain" signals to the brain and it actually does work. You can look it up at cprcenters.com. I was recommended another surgery my last visit last week to scrape a bone spur that occured recently and that may help alleviate my pain but I don't want another one at all.
Good luck with your appointment...hopefully you will get some sort of answer. Thank you too...glad I'm not the only one who seems to be suffering and having no one understand why or really what to do!

 
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Old 10-27-2012, 11:30 AM   #4
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Re: Shoulder surgery incision/pain issues

I never heard of that - sounds interesting. My whole saga started with an injury - tendon and bone injury. The first was rotator cuff repair (complete tear of supraspinatus and part of infraspinatus) - it was downhill after that. That was followed by lysis of adhesions, which was followed by bicep tenodesis and distal clavicle resection, which was followed by humeral head resurfacing (misplaced) which was followed by the total replacement. I ended up going to MGH for that and now have to travel between Ohio and Mass to see the surgeon. I have no idea what will be up his sleeve this time - he said something about not wanting to be too aggressive with the number of surgeries I've had. The only good thing was that I lost 65 pounds. I haven't been this thin ever (115). I've had 2 pain management docs, but now my PCP is handling it. I was taking oxycontin and percocet for awhile, but wanted to get off so we could truly assess the extent of my pain. The only time I've had pain relief were the 8 or so weeks after the TSR, then it started slipping out of place again. I had the TSR in May, and am worse now than I have ever been.

 
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Old 10-27-2012, 05:40 PM   #5
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Re: Shoulder surgery incision/pain issues

Geez...sounds like you've had just as much luck as I have with my shoulder...just one thing after another and each time I'm worse than before. I have talked several people out of having surgery...I think I would have been better just dealing with the SLAP lesion instead of having it repaired because that's where it all started. And funny thing is...through all of this...my rotator cuff has been perfectly fine. No one has had to touch it. And when you tell people that you have shoulder surgery that's the first thing they assume, that it's the rotator cuff. Let me know what Dr. you are seeing in Mass because I may have to travel to Boston to see a surgeon there since my insurance changed and I will only be able to deal with Dr's in Mass. (All my other Dr's are in R.I.). Maybe that is what I need to finally end all this suffering! Well good luck and let me know how you make out...especially if he does help you, maybe then he can help me!

 
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