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Shoulder surgery this Friday

Faith MFFaith M Posts: 287
edited 06/11/2012 - 8:40 AM in Chronic Pain
My shoulder has been painful since before my 1st cervical fusion in 2002. I've had 3 cervical fusions and each time the shoulder was very painful. After the 1st two my shoulder pain went away. But after the 3rd the shoulder pain stayed. Four months post op my surgeon poked my shoulder and said it was coming from the next disc up. I just knew there was no way I blew a disc while recovering. I had been so very careful! Turns out it was a shoulder issue. I've been told(and read)many different reasons why I have bone spurs tearing my rotator cuff. I was told it's normal aging(I'm 46), a weak joint, bad mechanics, related to my neck surgeries etc. I have arthritis in my toes, fingers, neck, and lumbar. Does the shoulder fall under the catagory of arthritis too? How can this be normal aging? It sure doesn't feel like a normal aging process to me. These's 2 things in this surgery I'm not familiar with. They will be putting in a pain pump that I remove with the bandage 3 days later. And they are giving me a nerve block to numb the whole arm. I am nervous about both procedures! If anyone has had this surgery and have any input concerning the pain pump or the nerve block, your response will be greatly appreciated! Thank you.

Faith M


  • I'm sorry you need to go to surgery for your shoulder. I had injured my shoulder in 1991 and had a compressed nerve. Finally after WC and therapy and cortisone I had shoulder surgery and I wasn't even able to lift my right arm pre-op. I didn't have the extensive surgery but had the bursitis cleared out and shaved the scar tissue. I haven't had any problems with it since. I hope this surgery helps you although I'm not familiar with the pain pump. I just wanted to wish you success and hope the surgery helps you. Take care and saying a little prayer for you and the healing. Charry
    DDD of lumbar spine with sciatica to left hip,leg and foot. L4-L5 posterior disc bulge with prominent facets, L5-S1 prominent facets with a posterior osteocartilaginous bar. Mild bilateral foraminal narrowing c-spine c4-c7 RN
  • I had the nerve block. They did mine while I was still awake presurgery. It was a piece of cake! Don't sweat it. I had avascular necrosis of the humerous and had been in pain for months. The nerve block was wonderful! The post op with the partial shoulder replacement, not so wonderful...
    Since you have had cervical surgery you should do fine. I was totally unprepared.

    I have heard of the pain pump, but did not get one of those. I wish I had.

    Oh, get a cryo ice chest! :D Beats the snot out of ice packs! Little cooler that pumps ice water over a wrap on your shoulder. Ask your surgeon if one is appropriate in your case. I hated the cold but it helped the after surgery pain and swelling a lot.
  • Hi Faith. I had surgery on my right shoulder in Nov 2009. I am 53 and the surgery was the result of a fall from 16' and I landed flat on my right side shoulder 1st. The surgery was in the morning and I spent 1 night in the hospital. I am not sure if the cause of your pain is partially caused by arthritis but my experience is once they go in they do try to fix what they then see which in my case beside what the MRI shows. In my case known injury was total tear in the cuff tendons as well as the bisep tendon was severed. I also had a nerce block as well as general anistisia(sorry for the spelling). Once they repaired the tendons they also dicovered arthritis,a large bone spur and an inflammed bursa. They did shave off the spur removed as much arthritis as they could and also removed the bursa. The surgery was about 3 hs. and I to was sent home after discharge with percs. and the pain ball. The only time the pain got real intense was after the nerve block wore off and I did need to start the percs as needed. The ball wore off @ day 3-4 and I pulled out the decathiter. Everyone is different of course but My pain was managable after about a week. I have been told that yes older age people are more prone to arthritis as well as rotator cuff issues. I do hope it goes well for you and please ask your doc about his plan to handle any other issues he finds once in surgery. Good luck and speedy recovery Jim
  • I appreciate all of your replies. Sue were both of your surgeries on the same shoulder? My ortho said that with his method the spurs are not likely to return. I hope this to be true. Hi Mouse, thanks for the info. I'm glad to hear it isn't too bad. It may be a bit of a challenge doing everything with my left hand, I hope I'm only in a sling for 3 days! I won't know until after surgery if I'll be in a sling for 3 days or 4-6 weeks. Thank you Charry for your kind words, and Wrambler I appreciate the pep talk. Hi Jim, thanks for the post op pain timeframe! That was going to be my next question. Have a good day everyone.

    Faith M
  • dilaurodilauro ConnecticutPosts: 9,837
    It really is something to see how one problem we have had with spinal surgeries start to impact other areas.
    That along with the fact that with multiple surgeries, arthritis really starts to set in , fast and furious.

    I can relate to your shoulder pain. From what I have been told, that for shoulder surgery, its best to get it done before the shoulder problem goes to far.

    Think about the pain relief you will have after this surgery. It may be a long recovery period, but lets all hope that this goes a long way in helping you
    stay as pain free as possible
    Ron DiLauro Spine-Health System Administrator
    I am not a medical professional. I comment on personal experiences
    You can email me at: rdilauro@veritashealth.com
  • Good luck tomorrow with your surgery.

    I will be thinking of you... and I hope your surgery rids you of your shoulder pain.

    Best wishes to you, during your recovery.


  • I have read your post and all the comments with great interest because I too have painfull shoulder issues. I have also had a cervical fusion but my shoulder problems started sometime after that. I feel sure the fusion has a lot to do with rhis right shoulder problem. I have arthritis in this shoulder and the arm joint has drupped in the socket causing an impingment. I do not have to tell anyone how painfull this condetion is. It feels like my whole shoulder is being held together by one ligament! I fell a few months back and thats when the screaming pain set in. I have had one injection that did help the pain for about 2 weeks and I also do excercises twice a day to keep my shoulder from freezing up. I see my Ortho again the first of Feb. to see where we go from here.
    Best of luck to you Faith with your upcoming surgery. Please do keep us updated.
    Sending a left arm hug.
    Patsy W >:D<
  • Surgery went well. Recovery is going well too. I'll post more when typing is easier.

    Faith M
  • My biggest issue was with that arm and shoulder all bound up against my body for a week, it was tough getting the ole brazierre in place. I even asked if I could just keep it on during surgery, cuz, well, I have some big girls and they do need to be kept in their place. LOL! Of course the doc said know, but it all worked out.. You'll do great!
  • For some reason, I was thinking it was this coming friday. Sounds like it was last. See, bet you did awesome!!! Too bad they can't do something similar for spinal fusion arthritis, that would be awesome...
  • dilaurodilauro ConnecticutPosts: 9,837
    went well. Dont push yourself, start getting back on line when the time is right for you.
    Take care
    Ron DiLauro Spine-Health System Administrator
    I am not a medical professional. I comment on personal experiences
    You can email me at: rdilauro@veritashealth.com
  • HI Faith,

    I am so glad It's over and you are on the mend. You probably don't think so yet, but it will come. I am glad you had the pain pump, I didn't. Only the nerve block and then vicodin (percocet makes me sick and isn't worth it.) But isn't that nerve block amazing? I remember waking up after my first shoulder surgery, thinking "Sweet Jesus, No pain!" Of course that nerve block wears off, then there's pain, but also relief.

    But think of it as now your pain is for a good reason. It's fixed and the pain is a "healing thing." You will soon be very, very glad that you had that surgery! And as others have said, you made it through spinal surgery, this should be not as bad or take as long.

    I will pray that you have a very speedy recovery. I will also try to check in more often to see how you're doing. Hang in there Girlfriend! You've come this far and it's going to get better!

    Hugs and prayers, marti

  • Happy to hear the surgery went well and you are on the mend. Yes do keep us updated when you are up to typing again. No rush.
    I see my Ortho Feb. 2nd to see where I go from here. I do hope he comes up with a plan. Although I am already on 15 mg Oxycodone every 4 houes it hadly touches my shoulder pain or my foot and leg pain either for that matter. I just gotta have something done!!
    Wishing you a speedy recovery Faith.
    Cheers :H
    Patsy W
  • I thank you all for being there for me! I'm doing well, feeling better every day. I only had the sling on for 24 hrs,I started excersizes that day and my ROM is improving daily. I didn't have the nerve block. I've had 2 fusions on the R side of my neck and they felt it was too risky. I was glad I didn't have it cuz my neck was very sore just having the sling on. The pain pump worked very well for me though. Taking all the bandages off and pulling out the pain pump catheter was very stressful. But my husband is my hero, he took care of everything! I'm looking forward to feeling better and I can't wait to try out my new improved shoulder this Spring in the garden. Don't worry,I only use a little trowel, no big shovels for me! I appreciate every one of you, thanks again.

    Faith M
  • So happy to hear you are doing so well.
    I too love to garden and hope to be able to put one out this spring!!
    Best of luck to you.
    Cheers :H
    Patsy W
  • I agree, I wish I had a pain pump for my lumbar fusion. That first week was so painful! I wonder why they aren't used neck or lumbar surgeries. I'm doing well, I've been able to cook dinner all week and took a drive yesterday. All is well.

    Faith M
  • j.howiejj.howie Brentwood, Ca., USAPosts: 1,730
    Please take it easy and I hope you get a good P.T. My wife's first shoulder surgery went so well that on the other shoulder a year later. She got cocky and rushed things and blew the surgery. They thought she would have to have a very hard revision surgery. But they tried P.T. and this guy was so good, he saved it!
    Good luck, Jim
    Click my name to see my Medical history
    You get what you get, not what you deserve......I stole that from Susan (rip)
    Today is yours to embrace........ for tomorrow, who knows what might be starring you in the face!
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