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SherPain 12-15-2010 11:45 AM

Great ROM but still in pain
Hi everyone....First time here. I had surgery on my rotator cuff on 11/2/10. Repaied the rotator cuff, and also a torn labrum. I have been doing PT since about 2 weks post op. My ROM is fine, but I am still in a lot of pain. I wake up at least 3 times a night because of the pain, and when I wake up in the morning I want to cry it hurts so much. The pain isn't really in my shoulder, as much as in my bicep area. I feel like my dr. thinks I'm a drug seeker or something but I can't stand the pain, so I need the pain meds. He has actually scheduled me for another MRI soon, so we will hopefully find out what;s going on. I was just wondering if this has happened to any of you, or if you know what it could possibly be. It just doesn't make sense to me that I can do great on ROM, but still be in pain. Certain things definitely still hurt a lot, such as trying to bend arm behind my back, as if I was trying to hook my bra....That is still unbearable, but I can pretty much do everything else. I breeze through all the exercises the PT gives me.
Thanks for any input =)

jennybyc 12-15-2010 05:58 PM

Re: Great ROM but still in pain
Same thing happened to me. Had surgery on both shoulders before finding out that pain in my bicep came from arthritis in my neck. Herniated disks can cause the exact same pain, too.

If he doesn't find anything wrong with your shoulder, request an MRi of your cervical spine. I bet something is hitting the nerves going down your arm and that is the source of your pain. If you're like me, I couldn't tell until they fixed the obvious shoulder injuries and then we realized...I had another problem.

Got that fixed too!

Hope it's not that but it is worth knowing about in case things don't get better.


MountainReader 12-15-2010 10:53 PM

Re: Great ROM but still in pain
I had decompression surgery on my right shoulder in 2008. It wasn't as severe as a repair, but I was in a lot of pain and had lost a significant amount of ROM.

While I felt much better soon after surgery, it took about 3 months for my pain to really go away. I still have occasional twinges when I do something wrong or overdo.

When I started PT, I told my PT that one of my goals was to be able to fasten my bra in back. I'm not sure males really understand the significance to me in this, but he didn't laugh. Even bringing my ROM to the point I could wash, wipe and tuck anywhere behind me was a great achievement worth celebration. It was about 3 months before I could do this easily and without pain despite fairly rapid gains in ROM. I kind of like a good front-hook though. Found that out during this process as well.

I found that because I was using my shoulder muscles differently when my rotator cuff was out of whack, I ended up with bicep tendonitis as well. As I healed, that got better as well.

I agree with jenny on the neck thing. I've had a tight neck, shoulder and back for so long that it was "normal" for me. I blamed my shoulder all along and it wasn't until my shoulder healed that I found out I had other issues as well. I found a great Manual Orthopedic PT who has been working on my neck muscles and alignment and it really makes a difference. I just wish I could afford to see her more often.

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