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Date of last update: 10/01/2017.

Forum Name: Joint surgery

Question: severe pain after shoulder revision

 misskitty102858 - Mon Nov 03, 2008 3:01 am

I have had 2 shoulder replacement surgeries in the last 2 1/2 years. Because of being a brittle diabetic, I form severe adhesions in the shoulder. I had 3 months of physical therapy but still have pretty much no range of motion. The pt folks kind of gave up on me as the pt was causing me more pain. I went back to the doctor who performed the revision and he told me, unfortunately, he could cut the adhesions out but they would more than likely just grow back. I am now going to a pain management clinic. They have me on Opana ER 40 mg, with Magnacet for breakthrough pain. The meds do not touch my pain. They only make me want to close my eyes. I am at my wits end. This pain is causing me to be on temporary light duty at my job, where I am a cashier. I work the self-checkouts at a grocery store. I am considering applying for disability, but I really don't want to. I just can barely get going. I have difficulty showering, dressing, etc. I do everything with one hand only. When driving, I cannot even reach up to turn on my turn signal and opening and closing my door is all done with the right hand reaching over. I need to know if anyone else has been like this and if they were treated and how? My life is really depressing right now and I am getting where I just want to give up. I hope there is some solution out there for me. I am willing to try just about anything for some relief from this pain. Thank you. Joyce Robertson
 Tom Plamondon PA-C - Wed Dec 10, 2008 11:50 am

User avatar Joyce,
Sorry about the delayed response. Adhesions in the shoulder are difficult to treat. They seem to have a life of their own. Often the shoulder will go through a freeze and thaw cycle regardless of treatment. The shoulder replacements complicate matters as range of motion is difficult to regain after this procedure. You are on strong narcotics for pain refief.
Despite these obstacles do not give up.
It may be worthwhile to see a massage therapist who can work on the muscles surrounding the shoulder joint. Since the joint itself is disabled and painful; message may release some tension and contributing pain in the surrounding structures.
A home remedy I often recommend is menthol (e.g. Icy hot) and salcylate (Aspercreme) - a dab of each and massage into the tissue...then apply a moist heat pack for 20 min. This often works well in chronic tendonitis and may help the shoulder.
Also, the orthopedic doc (or family doc) may prescribe an NSAID patch to apply directly on the shoulder (granted heart and kidney function are ok).
Grace be with you.
 misskitty102858 - Wed Dec 10, 2008 8:57 pm

Thanks Tom. I am now on Fentanyl 75 duragesic patch with Magnacet every 6 hours to help pain. So far, not so successful. I am getting ready to see another doctor about getting perhaps a nerve block. I have cut myself back at work to just 3 days per week. Right now, my financial situation will not allow for the cost of massages. I have been using a product called Freeze It roll on for a long time. I usually sleep with a heating pad on low. If the nerve block does not work we are going to try accupuncture. I just don't know how long I can handle this pain. Right now, it is shooting down my arm into my elbow into my wrist and center of the back of my hand. I can only thank God that it is my left arm and not my right. A lot of times I can just cry cuz it hurts so bad. It truly is ruining my life. We never realize how we take our body parts for granted until they don't work anymore. I appreciate your suggestions. I hope you have a great holiday.
 kco1013 - Wed May 20, 2009 5:14 pm

I had an injury at work were my shoulder was internally amputated, meaning the skin was the only thing holding my arm on. they fixed my shoulder with 9 titanium screws and a metal plate. they also did a vascular surgery to fix all the nerves and so on. they did a tendon transfer to give me a little use of my hand and unfortunatly its my right hand and I am right handed (or was). I have severe nerve damage and pain in my right hand for which I take lyrica, magnacet, and ultram er. I also take a sleepping pill to help me sleep. I tried a ganglian block and it did nothing, then I tried an electronic stimulator inserted in to my spine. I understand completly about giving up. workers comp put me on permanant total disability. I wake up some mornings and wonder if life is worth it, but then my two and four year old boys come jump in bed with me and say they love me. they are my only reasonfor sticking around. I was a retail manager working my way up the line going for a corporate position and now I am a stay at home,bored out of my mind,stay at home dad. I am about to start suboxone to see if that will help the pain. It is meant to treat drug addiction but my doctor says it will help the pain and is 40% stronger than magnacet without some of the mental side affects. well sorry i am so long winded but I have no one to talk to.
 Tom Plamondon PA-C - Sun May 24, 2009 10:02 pm

User avatar Hello,
Thanks for writing in.

I do believe everyone has a purpose for living and sounds like you have found yours.

Write back as needed.

I also believe that through hardship, we come through with more character and faith ...and ability to help others.

Take care.
 kco1013 - Sun Sep 20, 2009 11:33 pm

The suboxone made the side efects worse. I am back on the magacet,lyrica,and ultram and they just are not helping as much. sometimes i need to take an extra magnacet and it does help. What is stronger than magnacet so I can discuss it with my doctor.
 Tom Plamondon PA-C - Sun Sep 27, 2009 9:09 pm

User avatar Hello,
Morphine and fentanyl are other strong narcotic pain relievers and may be better options for chronic pain.

Take care.

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