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still hurting after shoulder surgery, and neck worse

leocat46lleocat46 Posts: 125
edited 06/11/2012 - 7:25 AM in Neck Pain: Cervical
hello everyone, i just thought i would let you know that i have been in p.t. now for 10 wks. and my shoulder is not any better. my surgery was 8-21-08, and if anything it seems worse. the shoulder pain, and neck pain feels like someone is sticking an ice pick in there trying to dig out. my arm cannot still raise up. the pain, and burning in my upper back. i know it is commen to have shoulder pain with cervical issues. but i arm is still swelled somewhat. i finally made an appt with my P.C. dr., and let him know everything that was going on, and the way i felt. He listened , and told me he was not going to leave me hanging, like i have felt for a long time. so i went mon., and today i get a call from my p.c. dr. telling me that he did talk to my O.S. who did my surgery, and he tells me to STOP all p.t. , and he will see me on my next appt. , which is 12-19 . 2 wks. from today. that is all he said, well i have all these things running thru my head, like nerve damage, scar tissue, maybe i tore it again without knowing it. needless to say it will be a long 2 wks. , i know alot of do alot of waiting on here :W . i still have an appt. with N.S. on the 30th. i do not know what he will be saying to me also.
you know i thought p.t. was helping me somewhat with the strengthening, but these last few sessions my arms are so weak, i cannot even get through them, it like when i first started. my left shoulder is the one i had the surgery on, but also lately my right is bothering me alot also. i feel numbness, and shake, in my arms, and i also have occasionally have things drop right out of my hand. i am at my wits end. please does anyone have any thing to add, i would appreciate it. always LEO :''( :T @)


  • It sounds like you are really struggling. I don't have anything really of substance to add, but wanted to just acknowledge your frustration and pain.

    I was told a long time ago to view the exercises I do like a traffic light. If an exercise or activity causes no pain, proceed as a green light with no worries. If it causes pain but the pain goes away within an hour after doing the activity, proceed as if it were a yello light but go cautiously. If it causes increased pain that does not go away or causes you to be weaker overall, that is a red light and STOP. It does sound like a good idea for you to stop PT until after seeing your surgeon again.

    Hopefully someone else will come along who has had both shoulder surgery and ACDF. I know with my posterior surgery on my neck my shoulder muscles are shot, and I get spasms across that area that take my breath away. But it does sound like you have more going on than neck related shoulder pain. Please be sure to post a report after seeing the doctor.

    Gentle cyber hugs coming your way. ;)
    Surviving chronic pain one day at a time, praying for a reprieve because living another 40 years like this doesn't sound too fun!
  • I'm sorry to hear you are still having pain and swelling and I think it's a good idea that you're holding off on PT. May I ask what kind of surgery did they do on your shoulder? I'm having surgery on my right one on the 23rd. They are cutting off the ends of two bones bones in there and will be 'cleaning up' around the rotator cuff and ac joint.
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  • Wow Girl, I was hoping you were feeling better by now. Shoulders are really hard to heal up, since we move them all the time. But as I told you before, mine has never been the same since my surgery. And since my disectomy and fusion last June (year ago+) I am in constant pain and spasms. I just finished 23 sessions of PT last Thurs, with absolutly no improvement what-so-ever. Very frustrating. I worked overtime today, and now my left shoulder/upper arm is really hurting. :''( Wouldn't it be nice if just for one hour our docs could feel our pain, then maybe they would be a little more pro-active, instead of 2 weeks here, now a month, come back in 3 months, etc. I'm sure you know if the nerves in your neck are affected, it can cause you to drop things. Maybe you could ask for new MRI's of the cervical and shoulder area to see if something new has developed. Take it easy, and try not to use your shoulder too much until you see your surgeon. Hang in there, thangs have to get better soon! Don't they? :T

  • O.S. repaired torn rotary cuff, with 2 bone spurs.

    I know i feel the same way, i wish the drs. could feel what we do. I know surgery is not an exact science, and there are risks, but I really thought that i would be healed by now. that is what i wish for christmas , Santa please bring me a new MRI? O:) (that is sad isn't it?) I would really like to know if something new has appeared. I do not want to him to be guessing! =;
    Maggie - How is your ROM? are you able to move your arm all over? I cannot work like this if i wanted to. the doc said minimal movement until i see him. Listening to others on here, i know i am not alone. what are they doing for you and your shoulder and neck pain, Is he just letting you live with it? :/ that is what i don't understand , your body is trying to tell you something for a reason. why don't they listen? in the mean time we all are suffering from one thing or another. X( i guess i am just frustrated with the holidays here and all, and things are very rough here at our house, financially , and cannot do anything to help. i know everyone is going thru a rough time with the economy and all, but if i could work, my job is still there, i would bringing home a paycheck, and we would not be in situation we are in. I lost my position i was in, but they said if i could return, they would find something for me. Me and my husband know that i will not be returning anytime soon. sorry for rambling on

    thanks for responses everyone LEO :S
  • Hey, Leocat!
    Sorry I haven't been on here much lately. You sound in the same position I am. I am still in PT for my shoulder(surgery Aug 28, 08), and now the neck is acting up again!(Has ACDF in March 08 2 levels c5-c7) ~X( The PT did some traction on the neck, don't know if it made it better or worse. I am able to get my arm up over my head some, but OH the cramping!!!!!! :''( The PT just makes me cry when he wants to push it that little more. Now the PT is thinking that I have TOS, and the nerve at T1-T3 may be causing the spasms in the upper arm. OH, dear does this ever end?????????? 8}
    I was able to help put the lights on the Christmas tree, and then had to ice the darn arm for an hour after.
    I see my OS the same day you do. I sure hope he has something good up his sleeve to help the pain. I had a cortizone shot in Oct. that did nothing, and was put on methylpredisone pack for 6 days, and all that did was make me gain 7 pounds! Just what I didn't need. :S
    I will see my NS after the first of the year, and hopefully he will listen a little more than the OS does.
    The good news is, I am very slowly getting my range of motion back. Still can't really put my hand behind my back, or reach for high things and reach to pick something up, the darn upper arm just does terrible spasms. These spasms just take my breath away, and hurt :''( The neck seems to be tight now too, I get a lot of tenderness between the shoulder blades and the left Trapezius.
    If you find out anything let me know...
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  • glad to hear from ya. boy its rough isn't it? what is TOS? I was told by o.s. to stop p.t. It hurts to lift anything at all in my arms, and fingers, my cup of coffee, my hand shakes when i try to lift something with that arm, because the muscles are so weak. yesterday i was setting up in bed with my arm propped up, just because i still need to have something under it, because of just hanging there, and it was hurting no matter what. so i had the bright idea of calling my o.s. to see if i could get in any earlier, maybe there was a cancellation. she told me flat out no, they are booking up until the end of Jan. i am not a NEW patient! i should be taken care of for surgery he has already done on me. i am having problems, and she made it clear he could not see me. (the receptionist that is). i cannot even talk to him. :T i was so upset :''( i hung up, and burst out crying, and couldn't stop. i just want him to pay attention. my husband is mad and he is making sure he is going to dr. appt. with me. it feels sometimes like something is broken in there sometimes. it will not do any good to go to e.r. , because they will just probably give me pain pills, and send me home to wait on dr. appt. anyway . i am sorry to hear you having problems also. i cannot even begin to get my arm up like that. that darn pregnisone , i hope he don't give me that, it does put the weight on. i have gained weight also, which depresses me also, i used to be so active, especially at work.
    that is ironic we both go back to dr. on same day, my appt. is at 10:00 . i always look forward to dr's appts. , but come out not knowing anymore than when i went in. ~X(
    then i feel really let down. my husband said this time it is not going to happen. if he wants to pussyfoot around, we will be getting a different dr. , and a lawyer. i just want to be taken care of after surgery, is that to much to ask? i am sorry for going on , i hope we both get some results, if anyone else has input, please do, i would like to hear anything! thanks LEO @)
  • my neck has been hurting me for awhile.I do have 2 herinated disc in my neck. also fibro and osteoporosis and boy am I flaring bad today. hurt everywhere. Sue Brown :''(
  • can't believe you're having such horrible pain all these months later. If you're suffering this much, there is no excuse why they shouldn't try to work you in ASAP. I'm glad to hear your husband is going to your next appointment. Hopefully the two of you can light a fire under someones a$$ there and they can figure out what the heck is going on.
  • that is exactly what i have been saying! it will be 4 mths. on the 21st, (since surgery that is). this is ridiculous i think, no more pussyfooting around! this is his last chance to make things right, i am sick of being put off. today after some advice i read somewhere, i went and got the operative report from hospital for my surgery. i understand some of it.

    but listen to this preoperative diagnosis: torn rotary cuff
    Post Operative diagnosis: torn rotary
    cuff with impingement syndrome.
    it says digital palpation revealed that there was minimal for exercursion of the rotary cuff and it was elected to perform subacrominal decompression at that time. a l" osteotome was then used to remove a triangular piece of bone from the undersurgace of the acromion with its base located anteriorly. the bone was then removed and the undersurface of the acromion was polished with a motorized rasp to a smooth surface. there is so much more, but i thought i would share some of it with you. i did not know he removed any part of bone from my body! i will stop for now. i look forward to hearing anyone's comments. thanks again for listening LEO
  • That sounds a lot like what I'm having done. They are taking off the tip of the clavicle and the tip of the ac bone (or subacromion bone not sure which it's called) but it's a bone underneath. As far as we know or at least going by the MRI I had done in Feb. I don't have any tears in the rotator cuff just inflammation in two of the muscles there. So he's cleaning that up as well. From what I've read it's normal that with rotator cuff problems they do remove some bone and/or smooth them out to help the bones move like they should. He should have been very clear with you after the surgery that he'd done that. I would definitely push for an MRI at your next appointment because it sounds like they've either missed something or you've reinjured it somehow. I wonder if PT is to blame for that.
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