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mashreed 05-01-2010 11:37 AM

Therapist damaged shoulder after surgery
I had pain in shoulder since Dec of 2009, after many visits to different doctors and MRI. I was told I had a small tear in rotator cuff, bone spur on my collar bone and frozen shoulder had set in. They tried physical therapy, cortizone shot in shoulder but nothing helped. 04/15/10 had surgery, but the rotator cuff was only worn not torn, surgeon said would heal on its own. They remove bone spur and broke up frozen shoulder. I stopped wearing sling on the 5th day after surgery and started physical therapy on the 6th day. It hurt so good! The pain wasn't near as bad as the therapy I did with the frozen shoulder before surgery. I made great progress in just a few days of doing the exercises. It only hurt while I was doing the exercises but I was gaining movement with each exercise, it was so encouraging. I even stopped taking pain pills, the pain was not that bad. The second visit to therapy, I told the therapist how great I was doing that I wanted to call the surgeon and thank him for doing such a great job on fixing my shoulder. The therapist started pushing so hard on my shoulder and pulling the heal of her hand over my shoulder so hard it felt like she was ripping my incisions apart, I had to stop her twice and told her just that. It caused a pain in my shoulder that wouldn't go away, I had to go back on pain pills, it was hard to do the exercises because of the pain, no relief from the ice either. I couldn't sleep it hurt all the time. After 5 calls to the sergeon I finally got an appointment a wk after she did this to me. I didn't go back to therapy after she did this. I kept on doing the exercises in the mean time and iceing down my shoulder, but I was losing movement because of the pain. When I seen the surgen he took out the stitches and said there was nothing wrong with my shoulder, I asked him how does he know, he said I am looking at it, he did no kind of exam other then looking at the incisions. I know shoulder surgery is painfull, but I know the difference between recover pain and injury pain, even after explaining I have a knot in my shoulder that wasn't there before she did this to me and now I have pain all the time in my shoulder, then after exercising it will hurt in my neck and back or down my arm into my hand, the pain doesn't ease up no matter what I do or don't do. He asked if I want Oxycottons for the pain, I said no, I will just deal with the pain, I don't want to get addicted to those on top of everything else. I talk to my insurance co and they sujest they find a different doctor for me. My question is, am I being rediculious about the pain? And why would a therapist do this, cause so much pain when I was doing great before she did this.And how can this doctor be so sure she didn't do damage without checking anything. Now I have popping and grinding in my shoulder every time I move it and do my exercises.And I am scared to death to go to any Therapist, afraid of what they will damage.I would appreciate any experiences anyone has had with Therapist and Doctors and is it just me or could they be wrong and just don't want to admit

Misty800 05-01-2010 03:32 PM

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.

InNJ 05-04-2010 03:21 PM

Re: Therapist damaged shoulder after surgery
Hi Mashreed I understand and most of all feel what you are going through! I had ortho shoulder surgery (for a torn labral) on 3/23/10. My surgeon said no PT for 3 weeks post op except for streching exercising I did at home. I started PT after he took out the stitches. So I start and they do the stim and PT who is known for making people scream stretches me out and feels my shoulder just like that PT. Two days of pain and twitching. When I went back in I told them what happened and they gave me someone else who was milder. No twitching the way they did it. You may want to get another PT.

Also from my own experience I've found is get right back out there and stretch even with the pain because it get's better. It sure is hard to do that! I'm on vacation right now and was stretching and swimming alot and one day I had such pain you wouldn't believe. Just like you are saying with the noise in your arm etc. I thought I would have to cut short my vacation. I gave it two days and said heck with it I'm not ruining my vacation so then I went into the pool and stretched but not as hard and the next day it was better. I still have pain but not as bad. Just hang in there and keep stretching and you will feel better.

It really stinks when they are that sensitive to your pain which really makes it seem worse. I hope your situation is better!! Feel free to ask me any questions!

swimmer17 06-14-2010 11:32 PM

Re: Therapist damaged shoulder after surgery
I know it has been a long time since the last post on here but I thought I would add my input anyway. :)
I really hope you decided to go back to physical therapy. Maybe a new PT though. that really is pretty normal to have the pain you were having. They should have been a lot more sensitive to the fact that your incisions were still healing because I know how painful it is to have them pushing on the shoulder. I didn't start rehab until week 5 and it was very painful even for me. Still is, even after 11 months.

The nerve pain is normal. I have nerve pain leading down my hand everyday. Sometimes to my pointer finger and thumb. Sometimes to my pinky. Depends on the nerve. I am hoping that will go away. But I think it happens alot because I even had that before the surgery.

As far as popping and things go, you probably have a lot of scar tissue and that should clear up as you do better in your physical therapy. It takes a long time to break the scar tissue and you will always have some in there. It shouldn't be something to be super concerned about.

Shoulder surgery is extremely painful. I would NEVER wish it upon my worst enemy. Your going to be in a LOT of pain. That's just how it has to be unfortunately. But you can get through it. I'm actually a little jealous of how well you were doing. I had a capsular plication (tightening of the capsule) and was on hardcore narcotics and literally couldn't move an inch for 12 days. Wasn't allowed to move my shoulder at all or take it out of the sling for 6 weeks. What kind of shoulder surgery did you have? Whatever it was, I wish I had that one instead. lol.

mashreed 06-30-2010 10:21 AM

Re: Therapist damaged shoulder after surgery
Thanks for your input Misty800, but I am doing fine today. I stopped doing all therapy and went to see another specialist on my shoulder. I was only moving my arm to keep it from freezing up again, but no therapy. I figured if you strain a muscle in your leg they tell you to stay off it till it heals, then slowing start using again. So that is how I decided to treat my shoulder. And it worked along with getting a steroid shot, correctly, in my shoulder from the new Dr. I went to. I slowly started doing easy therapy, on my own, not going to any therapist, I have had 3 different theripist, and none helped only made it worse. I figure I am the only one that knows the kind of pain I was experiencing, and you know the difference between stretching pain and something not right pain, and just handle it myself. I have made great progress and my pain is about a zero most of the time during a normal day doing normal things. It still hurts doing the therapy but stops when I am finished. The progress is slow but atleast I am making progress, I will know just how much when I go back to the Dr. tomorrow. I am no longer taking any meds, and don't even need the ice any more. I could live with the progress I have made, if I don't make any more progress from here out, but I would like to get my arm up a little more and behind me a little farther before giving up. I feel no one knows your body better than you, so I will treat and do my own therapy and have made so much better progress and I am pain free 99% of the time. I am very happy with results so far. I think he may give me another shot tomorrow it has been 6 wks since the last one. The shot helped very much also, with the swelling and natually that helped then with the pain. But the continuance therapy was only making it worse, after taking a break and letting the swelling go down and letting the muscle heal, I am building streath and movement everyday, inch by inch. But I want to thank everyone for their comments and experiences, it helped me to do what I thought was best for me, not what Dr's and Therapist thought, and after taking control of what I would do and not do I am doing 100% better. I wish you all the luck. One thing I read on line one day was, If it hurts STOP! So that is how I do my therapy now, if it hurts so bad I can't stand it I don't do it. And thats what the Therapy I was doing for the Therapist hurt so bad I couldn't stand to do them, but I would anyways, and only caused more pain. They would just say, its going to hurt. Well now I push myself at the pace that I can handle and doing great! Good luck and thanks again.

Misty800 06-30-2010 04:01 PM

Re: Therapist damaged shoulder after surgery
Glad to hear your progress report, sounds like you are doing well.

I saw my surgeon last week and he told me again that it will take 9 months before shoulder will stop hurting and not be so much aware of it. Also takes 1 year for complete healing. So, do not be surprised if your shoulder takes that long. He also told me there is no way to rush the healing. He did say eating plenty of protein will help to build and rebuild cells.

swimmer17 07-05-2010 11:15 PM

Re: Therapist damaged shoulder after surgery
i'm so glad you managed to do so well all on your own. I completely agree with the knowing your own body. You can just tell what you need and your always right. I knew I needed surgery for 3 years before the doctor agreed with me. Quite frustrating. I also knew that I needed to rest my shoulder from PT because it was so ridiculously flared up but they insisted we keep pushing. Then I had another surgery on something else and was forced to rest for 2 weeks and it turns out my shoulder is a lot better after that nice little break. I'm glad you could make your own exercise program. I definitely needed the guidance of physical therapy because i wouldn't have known what stuff to do. Although I did add some stuff into my PT.

Misty- My doctor also told me that it could even take 2 years to feel normal from the surgery. But of course I was optimistic and thought I would be a special case who achieved results in expert time. lol. How naive I was. :p

swimmer17 07-05-2010 11:17 PM

Re: Therapist damaged shoulder after surgery
I've also got a question for you. Since you have been doing your therapy at home, how do you achieve results with stretching? I can't get much results on my own with that so I was just wondering how you do it?

mashreed 07-08-2010 09:00 AM

Re: Therapist damaged shoulder after surgery
[QUOTE=swimmer17;4280157]I've also got a question for you. Since you have been doing your therapy at home, how do you achieve results with stretching? I can't get much results on my own with that so I was just wondering how you do it?[/QUOTE]

I would lie on the floor on my back, and have a broom or mop in both hands, I would slowly and I stress slowly raise it as far over my head as I can till it really hurts, then lower it. I would take small breaks each time I did that, let the muscle relax, then try again. Each time I was able to get a little further. Right now I can touch the floor with arms over my head, it still hurts, but I am trying to get to the point it doesn't hurt. I also try to put my hands behind and/or on top of my head with my finger inter locked. At first I couldn't even get my bad arm past my ear, now I get them on top of my head, still painfull but again move slow and let the muscles stretch and don't strain muscles, and let it relax before trying again. I use my bad arm as much as possible for everyday things too. My husband has notice how much more I use my bad arm. But all the pain is from pushing too hard and straining the muscles. You have to let them relax and each time you will get a little farther. It is a very slow progress but it is pain free once you stop, as long as you don't over do it and push too hard. The more I use my bad arm the stronger it is getting. If I wake up a little sore and stiff, it ussually goes away from just moving around, but if it doesn't then I don't do any exercises that day or untill it stops hurting, then start again, you might loose a little progress but will get it back quick, just take is slow and don't push too hard.

mashreed 07-08-2010 09:45 AM

Re: Therapist damaged shoulder after surgery
[QUOTE=Misty800;4276828]Glad to hear your progress report, sounds like you are doing well.

I saw my surgeon last week and he told me again that it will take 9 months before shoulder will stop hurting and not be so much aware of it. Also takes 1 year for complete healing. So, do not be surprised if your shoulder takes that long. He also told me there is no way to rush the healing. He did say eating plenty of protein will help to build and rebuild cells.[/QUOTE]

I agree, my last doctor told me the same thing, 2 yrs. and at the time I was still in pain and still seeing a therapist, I cried. I thought I can't live like this for 2 yrs.(with the pain). He recommended I go back to the doctor that did the surgery, but if for any reason I wasn't happy with that doctor, I could come back and see him. I had an appointment with first dr. but when it came time for the appointment I was having panic attacks so I canceled. I called and made appointment with the new dr and he asked if I went back to first dr and I told him, I couldn't, he scares me and is too rude. He just laughed. By this time I had stopped doing all therapy for about 3 or 4 wks, just using my arm without straining it, to keep it from freezing up again. I wasn't in pain at this visit, but he went ahead and gave me a steroid shot in my shoulder and 3 days later I started my own therapy. I went back to see this dr after 6 wks, and I had made progress, but he kept reminding me not to over do it, its a long slow process. I could live with the progress I have made if I didn't get any better, but I feel I can get better, it will just take a long time. As long as I am not in constant pain, I can handle that.For all you people that are living with constant pain, and therapist that insist you push on, STOP! Give your muscle a break, let them relax, once the pain stops, then start again, when it hurts and you have stopped doing the exercise, then you need to give it more time. The pain should stop when you stop doing the exercise. It may feel tight, but no pain, otherwise you are straining the muscles and that is the pain you are having. No one knows the pain you have, but you. I think therapist think we are all just winers and thats why they push you. It should only hurt when you are doing the exercises, just don't push too hard. You know what you can tolerate, and listen to the pain, if it still hurts after you are finished, then you pushed too hard. Give it a break and let it relax, just don't let it freeze up. Then you actually look forward to exercising, because you can tell you are gaining more movement and your muscle get stronger the more you use your arm.Good luck.

mickie007 08-03-2010 03:14 PM

Re: Therapist damaged shoulder after surgery
tell the ins co that you want another opinion and go see another have that right. and to see a second surgeon for a 2nd opinion. sounds like you def have an unjury!

lavonlin 10-09-2010 01:18 PM

Re: Therapist damaged shoulder after surgery
I have gone to PT many times and have very good experiences. Sometimes the exercises hurt when you start, but get better after. Always take pain meds before PT. I had back surgery last year and got throught tht PT with good results. I mostly feel normal even with titanium rods and screws in my back due to good PT. I start PT again this week for rotator cuff surgery but I have good PT so am looking forward to feeling better. Just keep looking until you find a good one.

jazzmine 10-21-2010 11:55 PM

Re: Therapist damaged shoulder after surgery
Hi Everyone,

I came on here to get some answers on my own situation. I'm typing with my wrong hand because my right hand is in a sling. Anyway.. i just had surgery yesterday and I'm in great pain...which is normal i guess. The doc said I had a small tear and a bone spur he had to remove. His instruction is to start moving th arm the next day....not doing anything, but to let the arm out of the sling and let it fall and move in circular motion. I start therapy on monday...he said 3-5 days after surgery is when therapy should start. I'm reading here how everyone started several weeks after surgery. Why is my doc starting me so early? Is that heard of? He's supposed to be really good. I'm 35 years old and female...if that makes a difference. I asked him if I'll be okay by december since i have a major event to attend he assured me i would be. I'm just thinking there is no way i'll be okay by then because i'm in soooooo much pain. can anyone give me answers?

mashreed 10-24-2010 04:46 PM

Re: Therapist damaged shoulder after surgery
That's what my Specialist did to me. I started Therapy within a few days, and lived to regret it. Its up to you what you do. I would go, but if you leave there in more pain then you went in, you might want to re-think about going back right away. You have to move your arm to keep it from freezing up but every PT I went to pushed too hard, and then I was in constant pain and then the DR answer was pain pills. I felt like they were doing everything they could so you needed the pain pills. I had my surgery 04/15/10 they removed a large bone spur and my shoulder was frozen when I went in. Look back on my other comments and you read what I went through and what I ended up doing on my own. Today I can move my arm up over my head again and no pain, no pain pills. no meds of any kind. If I had done what my original Specialist wanted me to do, I would still be in pain, taking oxycottons or some other pain pill and adicted by now, and misrable. I really think its to keep you dependent on them and thats more money. You can do this on your own, I know too many other people that have gone through the same thing and stop doing it their way and now are doing much better. DR's are not GOD! but they think they are, so be carefull. Get 2nd oppions and don't be afraid to take things in your own hands its less painfull and quicker recovery.

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