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Old 05-01-2010, 03:32 PM   #2
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Join Date: Feb 2001
Location: Burnet, Texas USA
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Re: Therapist damaged shoulder after surgery

I strongly advise you get a second opinion from a surgeon who specializes in upper extremities. Get your medical records, and copy of the MRI.

I realize it has been about 4 months since your surgery, however, maybe my present experience will be of help to you.

Shoulder surgery is one of the most painful surgeries a person can have. Yes, I have given birth to 5 children and had several other surgeries along the way. I have good pain tolerance. Took me a year to finally bite the bullet and have the surgery. I also need same surgery on the other shoulder as soon as this one is back in operation.

Did the therapist "heat" your shoulder first as well as warm up exercises before she started moving your shoulder? Afterward "ice" shoulder?

Therapist are to do only the therapy prescribed by the surgeon. My surgeon gave detailed instructions.

It does not take long after therapy for the shoulder to stiffen up again, therefore movement will be more painful.

I am in physical therapy now after shoulder surgery (bone spurs, shoulder looked like shag carpet, thought there were tears). Surgeon did not start "passive therapy" until after 10 days for 6 weeks then shoulder would be evaluated and therapy prescribed again. Yesterday the therapist measured my arm, stretches, etc. and sent the report to surgeon, will see what he prescribes now, hopefully some strengthening therapy. I was told I would be in therapy for a very long time. I was in a sling for 6 weeks day and night, could take out off and on to straighten arm, move hands, etc for circulation.

It takes 6 weeks for the incision and tears to heal, reason for passive therapy for that long. Otherwise damage can be done if you move your shoulder yourself too soon.

My shoulder is still uncomfortable 24/7 and pains me off and on.

Five days after shoulder surgery your shoulder will be VERY SORE and therapy will be painful. After 10 days I took 2 Advil an hour before therapy so I could stand the pain. Later went to Extra Strength Tylenol and now no pain med, just ice.

I believe your shoulder was so sore at that stage when the therapist put her hand/pressure on shoulder while moving the arm, it was very painful for you (I could not stand for clothes to touch skin much less anyone touch my shoulder). Putting her hand and pressing in a certain way helps to keep shoulder in right position and they can feel the movement within the shoulder as they move your arm, otherwise they could overstretch the shoulder/arm.

Therapist told me I would hear lots of popping the more shoulder was moved, so far I have had very little. Yes I do have automatic jerks/shakes, shoulder/arm rebelling.

Yes, I have pain after therapy, usually worse in late afternoon, evening and middle of the night. I keep a small ice chest with frozen ice packs beside of bed at night. Ice does help, not a cure. Have used lots of ice packs during the day, on 20-30 minutes, off 1 hr....repeat, repeat, repeat. Not as much now that is 6 weeks post surgery. I do the exercises 3 times day 7 days a week.

I always heat shoulder before passive exercises and ice after.

After stopping narcotic pain med I took Advil until it bothered tummy then Extra Strength Tylenol. It wasn't until about the 5th week I was able to omit taking anything for pain on regular basis. I now do not need pain med before therapy, may need to later when more advanced therapy is started.

My surgeon told me I would not have full use of shoulder without long term therapy, it was absolutely necessary.

It has been a few months for you, so, you definitely need to have a good upper extremities specialist check your shoulder and go from there.

My orthopedic surgeon specializes in upper extremities.

Good luck, this is not fun.

Last edited by Misty800; 05-01-2010 at 09:18 PM.

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