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3 weeks after sub decomp. on shoulder can not move arm

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Old 09-08-2008, 06:34 AM   #1
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upsetdad HB User
3 weeks after sub decomp. on shoulder can not move arm

Hello new here i had sub. decompression on my shoulder 3 weeks ago the surgeon told me it was a simple opperation should have been able to move my arm by 3 to 4 days after surgery been going to pt for 2 weeks going on 3 know matter what i do to try and move my arm it hurts so bad pt sent me to emergency room last week nothing was done because there was no specialists there for shoulder been back to the surgeon twice for the pain and not being able to move my arm he tells me i dont know why there is so much pain and he thinks it will get better with time and gives me perscription for percs i know people that have had torn rotator cuffs and not have as much problems after there opperation as i am with mine i am affraid that i am starting to develope a frozen shoulder and so is my pt and the emergency room told me i was in the first stage of developing it but the surgeon is telling me nothing but i think in time it will get better i had an mri done last year and was told that it came out all fuzzy and hard to read instead of sending me for another mri he went by the one that was done over a year ago the fist doctor that read it told me i twisted the tendon and 2 shots afterwards and pt the problem came back then i went back and was told i had a tear in that tendon in my shoulder thats when we set a date for this surgery now went for the pre opp and the surgeon told me it wasnt torn that it was only arthitis so i was told three different things that was wrong with my shoulder so it went from a twisted tendon to a torn to arthritis has anyone ever had this problem i dont know who to believe it just seems like i am getting the run around from the surgeon

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Old 09-08-2008, 02:52 PM   #2
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Re: 3 weeks after sub decomp. on shoulder can not move arm

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Old 09-08-2008, 08:14 PM   #3
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Re: 3 weeks after sub decomp. on shoulder can not move arm

Well upset, I had decompression last Jan, & it the pain was something I was not prepared for. I did have the chair at home that moves the arm for you, forget the name of it, my surgeon ordered it for part of my rehab. I used that before ever starting PT, I believe it was a month at least before I even was told to start PT. I still had pain 3wks later, 3 months & even longer.
I also had bursitis & a bursectomy, along with arthritis. I do believe sometimes we under estimate the pain athritits alone can cause. I did have to stay on pain meds & my surgeon said that this pain could last 6mths & for some longer. There is another member (feelbad, thats her user name) that went through shoulder surgery 1 wk after me, she also had pain for some time. Although she had the torn rotater cuff. Hopefully she will see this & chime in, she is pretty knowledgable about that area & really helped me through, still does.
You can also go on the bone disorder board, sometimes there are alot of shoulder issues there. I am hoping your surgeon did have you on pain meds, because no way could I have moved my arm an inch without meds & I am going to take a guess that others who went through this will agree, cant move that arm without pain control.
I would have fainted if I had to attempt PT that soon with no meds.
I am serious & I think you'll have the same reaction from others who went through decompression.
I would really express your concerns to your surgeon. Frozen shoulder does occur & it was a fear for me & my surgeon. I could never complete PT due to other issues & what is believed to be muscle damage. I can tell you I had some agonizing days following that surgery, even with the pain meds & double ordered by the surgeon the pain could get unbearable. I iced like mad & that was the only thing that kept me out of ER at times.
Good luck & let us know what happens, your recovery sounds abit like my own & it was no cake walk. Took along time for me & I was worried sick, so stay on that surgeon of yours & verify that its not frozen shoulder or that its not setting in. I feel for you. Sammy

Please post back & am really curious to see if your surgeon had you attempting Pt without pain control, I believe the other person I mentioned did not start PT for at least a month after surgery also, & I know we both had sufficient pain control from our surgeons, at least starting Pt.

Last edited by sammyo1; 09-08-2008 at 08:23 PM.

Old 09-09-2008, 07:44 AM   #4
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Re: 3 weeks after sub decomp. on shoulder can not move arm

honestly, i really am shocked at what you have been thru and were told and the fact that your ortho actually even relied upon for surgery,an MRI that was not only 'fuzzy" but well over a year old! when you say you had a "sub' decompression,just exactly what did that involve? was this the acrominion? i just need to know what they did on you to best help you here thats all. if you can get your hands on your medical records from the hosp where you had surgery done,there will be something called the 'op notes' in there? this would state just exactly what was and was not really done on you during surgery.

personally,i really do think you need to seek out a totally different and unrelated ortho surgeon to this one and just get their opinion on what was done and how it is affecting you. the best place to obtain these types of opinions is really a good teaching type of university hospital? these places are just used to seeing patients who have continuing problems post op. i just think you would get the best overall neutral opinion at one of these facilitys vs any other ortho group set up. the problem with already having had any surgery is trying to find another ortho to even touch you. thats just kind of the way things are for us as patients. most orthos/surgeons simply do not want to take on some other docs "liability',you know what i mean? i am just really amazed at the inability for someone to have just given you a actual real Dx of what was going on BEFORE doing any surgery. your operating ortho really sounds like an idiot,no offense,but some surgeons really are not good at their jobs and should have decided on another carreer choice ya know? no 'good" surgeon would actually go ahead with any surgery based upon an old and fuzzy MRI for gods sake. that was negligent on his part actually.

have you actually had a recent follow up MRI just to actually see whats up inside that shoulder at this point? i really do think in your particular case,you really DO just need that look inside just to really know whats going on in there right now. it would kind of dictate what your next step really should be.

when both sammy and i had our rotator cuff repair surgeries,we were both started on this CPM(continuous passive motion) machine within only days of our rotator repair surgeries. this was a chair type thing that sat in our livingrooms(it was rented by the ins co) that we sat in,with our arm strapped to an arm that moved for us? every single day for about a half an hour a few times day for about a month or so? this machine just simply allowed only joint movement but did not actually involve any muscle or tendon movement. this is what helps keep that joint from forming that capsule that will eventually create frozen shoulder.

knowing just exactly what this ortho did as far as any real cutting and fixing would help alot in being able to just give you the best possible advice. but keeping that joint as mobile as possible is what will help with preventing that frozen shoulder from developing,you just have to be managed by a good PT who knows what your real limitations are in order to make certain you are not actually causing more damge just doing the wrong type of PT for your needs.

i have to tell you,and i know sammy would back me up on this as well,that rotator cuff repair surgery we had done was by far one of the top most excruciating surgeries i have ever had in my life. it was horrid pain there for at least the first two weeks,with the first few days just unbelievable levels of pain and very horrid hypersenstivity in that whole arm area. i actually puked the very first time we tried PT while i was still in the freaking hospital. the pain was just that bad. but despite that pain,you had to just force yourself to work thru it. i have had to have six surgeries within just the past eight years or so and with the exception of my spinal cord surgey which had its own ugly pain scale all by itself,the rotator was by far the worst of them all post op pain wise and PT. your surgeon does need to be helping you with the pain here at least thru the first six weeks or so,espescially if you are in PT. it just is that needed. if nothing else,speak to your primary doc about this,someone needs to help you with this.your primary doc is just the person who is in charge of your overall medical care. if there is a problem,he needs to step up for you and try to help,thats just part of a primary docs job he should be doing for you.

i would also ask your primary about sending you for that MRI too since the one actually used for the surgery should NEVER ever been used as any sort of guideline. it was very very much off the mark as you know as far as actually eventelling what the true problem was. it just should nOT have been used as that type of guideline. you simply need to know NOW,just how it looks an what may have actually been completely missed on it and when your stupid surgeon actually even went in there too.

i really am sorry for what you have had to go thru. i would gather up any and all records not only from the hospital,but from your current ortho too just to see what is in them that he "felt" about you and your surgery. this is just a really great source of medical info on you and your surgery along with any and all copies of actual test results. getting that 'new" MRI in your particular case,i really do think is rather crucial right now just to really know what is there and what you need to do as far as rehab and PT. right now,you are only taking the word of someone who honestly,i would not trust to even operate on my dog. and he just doesn;t seem to care at all about you,his patient either. you need someone who does,and also just knows what the heck is actually going on in there. you need better defiition on alot of things here in order to just get that arm moving properly again.

i do wish you luck with this. please keep us posted. Marcia
3-22-01,herniated C-6-7
11-20-01,placement of hardware for failed fusion
9-22-03,removal of cavernous hemangioma that was inside spinal cord. Neuro damage to L hand L leg and R leg.

Old 09-09-2008, 06:10 PM   #5
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upsetdad HB User
Re: 3 weeks after sub decomp. on shoulder can not move arm

iit was subacromial decompression with distal clavicle i went to pt today all they have been doing for me is the electrode treatment and some ice for the swelling and heat for my neck muscle they are asking the piece of blank surgeon for a perscription for the tens unit and sugested i call my workers comp and ask them to ok a second oppinion my pt said she has had the same surgery as i did but she never had any problems with her recovery and never seen anyone like me not being able to move my arm after 3 weeks i am going to make a ton of phone calls in the morning and i hope i will get some where i am going to get my med. records i am going to ask my insurance if i can see a doctor that is not part of the same hospital i had this god forsaken surgery done at i think it is part my fault for not requesting another mri but i went by what he told me and i just wanted to get rid of the pain i was in but come to find out afterwards im in 3 times the pain than before i am so glad i found this site and someone i can discuss this with and i want to thank you and sammy01 for replying i will let you know what happens

Old 09-10-2008, 03:40 AM   #6
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Re: 3 weeks after sub decomp. on shoulder can not move arm

I can tell you now that the pain before I had the decompession was enough to make me jump at surgery, so dont be to hard on yourself there. If anyone even attempted to move that arm before I went in for surgery I was in agony. So I can see why you wanted it done. I was still suffering after three weeks post op, I remember that but I could move it some,but very little. It was hard for me to get past a certain degree of movement though.
Unbelievable how different these surgeons are, mine said no PT directly after surgery, I want to say 6wks, but I know not sooner then I month. Have to look back at Marica post to see if she mentioned it, she had the same time between surgery & PT, but we had the chair & that moved that shoulder very little in the beginning. If I would have had to go to PT I would have not made it. I do know that.
My question is did this surgeon let you attempt PT with nothing for the pain?
Even when I started PT the therapist said make sure you take something before you come in, she said that it was one of the most painful & longest recovery surgical procedures, as did my surgeon. Just thinking about you attempting Pt that soon with no pain med makes me cringe. I woud indeed get a second opinion to. If the MRI was not conclusive it would have been up to the surgeon to order a new one so dont beat yourself up to bad. Pain control is part of being able to regain movement. Controlling the pain during rehabilation allows you to be able to gain use through exercise. No pain control, no rehab. At least thats how it would have been for me & I am sure you would get the same answer from anyone else to. I relied on ice, through out the entire ordeal, without icing even the meds would not have worked well enough to get me through any moving of that shoulder. Please get it looked at & let us know how it goes.
Good luck, Sammy

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