View Full Version : 'Cleaning up' the shoulder surgery proposed....ANYONE, ANYONE?

New York Sue
March 22nd, 2014, 11:03 AM
I like to keep my forum activity, for the most part, to QUILTING. But I'm in a bit of predicament with an ongoing issue of nerve impingement of my right shoulder.

Over the last 2-3 years, I have had issues. Pain, numbness, tingling evolving into chronic nag-about pain that is interfering with everyday life. ZINGERS if I inflect a certain way!

I put my clothes on different, I bathe different, drive different now. Blow-drying my hair? Forget about it. Everything different! Yadda, yadda....

Injections into the shoulder (JAYZEE!), PT X 3 rounds... You get the picture?

I have a friend that had this shoulder re-contouring (arthroplasty) done, and she has NO regrets.
The getting back to work was a little much. Two months? CRICKEY!

No pity party please!
If you've had this procedure done, are you better off?
I'd like more than ONE opinion.

BTW, the orthopedic surgeon I am seeing specializes in shoulders. That's HIS thing....

March 22nd, 2014, 12:18 PM
No answers or suggestions but hope you get relief soon as I know how frustrating it is to be unable to do the simple little everyday things and being in pain at the same time. Good Luck!

March 22nd, 2014, 12:52 PM
I did not have it done on my shoulder, but on my elbow about 20 years ago. Prior to the surgery, it was constant pain and numbness. The pain is gone, however, slight numbness remains in my hand to this day. I will tell you this....if I were not left handed (and that is the arm I had to have the surgery done on) I would not have it done. I had to go to PT afterwards that was brutal, trying to get my arm to straighten out again. I know others who have had the same surgery done w/no problems, but because they thought some bone was going to have to be removed, I have a HUGE scar. They also shortened the muscle, so I have a dip where it no longer is, but nobody else would notice it. There has always been swelling in the area since, but nothing that causes any pain at all.

March 22nd, 2014, 02:43 PM
No surgery for me, but wishing you well whatever you decide to do. Chronic pain sucks, JS

Sandy Navas
March 22nd, 2014, 06:39 PM
From an old lady who has gone through TWO TOTAL SHOULDER RECONSTRUCTIONS (deep surgical procedures with 5 inch scars - no arthroscopy for this old broad) - DO IT! Do it NOW! I worked my way through college typing medical reports and then spent years on the computer in other jobs - all contributed to former injuries and I lived with pain for YEARS TNTC. The surgeon who did my surgery specialized in sports injuries. He said my right shoulder was 'worse than any football injury' he'd ever worked on. The supraspinatus muscle ligament had a hole in it large enough to stick his thumb through . . . I now have wires holding the shoulder in place. Six weeks and I was back to 'better than ever' normal and haven't looked back. Oh, and I went to PT one day and was so discouraged that I said no more. They told me I would NEVER be able to lift my arm above shoulder height - yet I can raise both arms and clap my hands directly over my head. Phooey on medical predictions. So, when they told me my left shoulder was as bad as the right, I went for it and had it fixed too!!

GO FOR IT. Yes, you will be out of work for a while recuperating, but you will definitely get better and will be able to function without pain. And, one of the things I did while recovering from the surgery was to sit and applique Amanda's twin quilt (look for the pictures of the poppy quilt in my albums).

March 22nd, 2014, 10:02 PM
I say "go for it". I had pain in my shoulder for about a year before I finally did something about it. Had the surgery in January of 2012, PT until early May. Everything is good ever since. No regrets, would do it again.

March 23rd, 2014, 07:22 AM
I did not require surgery, but I did injure my neck/shoulder, so I understand your frustration with the unrelenting pain... Then, I broke my arm...the same arm.... Yikes!

I went to PT once, decided I could not pay the fifty collar co-pay ( 3x weekly)..... So I got in the warm pool at the Y... The pool in the Senior Center is heated up to 91 degrees), and exercised my arm there.... It's fine, now... Still am not comfortable reaching clear around my back, but no complaints.

Go for it, if you think the surgery. Will help.... Living with constant, debilitating pain is awful.... The pain, and loss of mobility make even simple daily tasks difficult...as you already know.

March 23rd, 2014, 08:23 AM
Sweet Sue,

Severe shoulder pain changes everything. I had a badly torn rotator cuff and I was trying to live one-handed. I had to lay on the bed with my head hanging off to brush my hair into a ponytail. Forget putting on a bra or using a curling iron. There was no position I could find in bed to get comfortable. My pain was unrelenting and was so severe I would break out in a cold sweat. Let's not mention what the pain did to my blood sugar.

My surgery and recovery was not easy, but it was totally worth it. I did not get a new shoulder, but had mine repaired. My surgeon also trimmed off some of my clavicle. My should is better than ever...no pain, good strength and flexibility.

If you are in unrelenting pain or discomfort, I think you should have the procedure. Best Wishes & Hugs.

PS While I was recuperating I learned English paper piecing and made 100 hexagons.

March 23rd, 2014, 08:28 AM
I would do it only because my sister waited too long and lost feelings from nerve damage. Now she would not get anything from surgery.

Patio Gal
March 23rd, 2014, 08:46 AM
Constant pain not only changes your life, it changes you......I say try the surgery if you doctor thinks it will help. You've had pain and discomfort a long time, so don't expect a quick recovery. I believe in physical therapy and have been thru it about 4 times....knee, back, shoulder surgery and broken arm. That is no fun, either, but a good therapist is as important as a good doctor. "Easy Quilts" has a great idea to exercise in very warm water, but I say do that IN Addition to therapy.....take all the PT you can afford. I wish you well and I wish you pain free and many more years of quilting!

March 23rd, 2014, 11:01 AM
Get it done, the sooner the better!
Rehab is the pits, but well worth it and you will not regret it!

New York Sue
April 6th, 2014, 07:14 AM
After much consideration, I believe shoulder arthroscopy is in my near future. (Mid-May)
I really can't thank you guys enough, for the advice given! Overwhelmingly, I heard 'do something now, before it becomes a bigger problem' and I do agree! I'm losing range of motion every day, and compensating.
Bottom line...

I can 'ice down' until the cows come home, but the problem will always be there. (The ice DOES help, btw! I blew it off for a week or two, but found an icing system I can live with at Walmart, that I can apply myself.)

But I don't see it as an overall cure. Just an alleviation of symptoms.
Besides that, it's getting to be annoying! And my insurance only covers so may PT visits a year....

Again, Thank You for sharing your experiences! HUGE factor, in my decision. ;)

April 6th, 2014, 07:19 AM
I have been guarding my shoulders since everything else is going bad. Hip replacement tomorrow..... My sister in law had nerve damage because she didn't get her shoulder fixed in time . She waited too long. Don't wait just get it done.

New York Sue
April 6th, 2014, 07:59 AM
I have been guarding my shoulders since everything else is going bad. Hip replacement tomorrow..... My sister in law had nerve damage because she didn't get her shoulder fixed in time . She waited too long. Don't wait just get it done.
Aw, Miss Mary. Best wishes for your hip replacement, chica!
I wish I had 'insider' advice on that procedure!
If it was knee replacement, you'd be GOLDEN!
DH has had both knees replaced..... ;)

April 6th, 2014, 08:53 AM
Had dinner last night with a friend who is now recovering from her second shoulder surgery in less than a year-and she says now in hindsight she wishes she would have just gotten a replacement instead of reconstructive surgery---she will never have full range of her arm. She is a golfer, and luckily it's the side of her golf swing,elbow needs to stay close to body. Probably a good idea to get several professional opinions.

April 6th, 2014, 09:51 PM
I was in a very serious car accident in 1987 and broke my shoulder blade. This was before MRIs came out so the doctor was limited in what he could tell about the muscles and tendons. It turned out the muscles and tendons were very inflamed and a year later I had a decompression on my shoulder. Before the surgery I didn't have numbness and tingling but what I did have was constant pain. I'm right handed and had to learn to do everything left handed. To this day when I drive I keep my hands at the lower part of the steering wheel because raising them hurt too much. I don't regret the surgery at all. I very seldom have pain.

I recently underwent a microscopic lumbar discectomy for a herniated disc. Now I did have numbness and tingling down my leg with that. My surgery was January 21 and I still have some numbness in my right foot. But I'm okay with that because I can function normally. I walk 2.5 miles 4x a week, and am working up to 10,000 steps a day. I have no pain. I have to watch the type of chair I sit in because my back stiffens up and begins to hurt. But I have no pain!

April 7th, 2014, 08:47 AM
ny sue how did your husband go with his knee replacements l'm facing having it done hopefully sometime this year ..its been a long 2 year process and treatment l've lost 40 kilos or 90 lbs

April 7th, 2014, 11:50 PM
Hi Sue, as a person who has had 3 surgeries in the last 7 months, I would tell you to go for it. Both of my shoulders and my hand have been done. I managed to rip the rotator cuff right of the bone and had a 4 cm. rip in the cuff of my left shoulder. That was done on September 29th. 2013. Then had my thumb done, and on March 6th I had the right shoulder done. My left one is doing better. I'm still going to O.T. for that, and starting O.T. on my right one this past week. The left one, I can now raise over my head. It still twinges a bit, but it doesn't kill me like it did. That one had to be put back into place with screws. The right one was rolled up and on its side with another large tear. They caught it just before it ripped off the bone. It still hurts but I'm working it everyday. Might I add, my Doctor would Not!!! let me go to a P.T. person. He sent me to Occupational Therapist instead. What a difference! I've had P.T. and it can do more harm than good in some shoulder cases. The O.T.'s in New York State can do more with you but do it gentle. The guy I have is Kyle Mahoney. I'll see if he knows anyone down your way. The Doctor is amazed at how well my left shoulder has done. When I lifted my arm over my head, he stood up and cheered. lol He said he thought it would take a year and a half before I would be able to get to where I am. It was only 6 months. I still have a ways to go but Kyle and I are getting there. I told him I was going to adopt him. He has worked on my shoulders, my hand, and when he saw that I was having pain in my back and neck, he worked on that too. He knew the other shoulder was a goner and sent me back to the Doctor. Good thing too, cause they caught it in time. I'll get back to you when I find out if he knows a good OT by you.
God Bless you and we will keep you in our prayers. Love & Hugs, Jan L.
By the way, You will probably get a Polar Care unit. Trust me, it will become your BFF! Use it, it really helps. Also, if they ask you on the day of surgery, if you want the nerve frozen before the surgery, say yes. I had the right shoulder done in 2000. What a difference! This time around they did both, and the after-surgery pain was non existent because of that and the Polar Care unit.