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Rotator Cuff Repair Momweb's shoulders not happy

momweb

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Well, here we go again! I had my second knee replacement this past August. I've been seeing pain management for my back and had a nerve ablation done before the knee surgery which worked really well. At the same time, both my shoulders were hurting, the right more than the left. I finally had an MRI the Friday night before my knee replacement (which was on Monday morning). I knew the knee needed help first.

So, the MRI showed 2 small tears in the rotator cuff, one full, one partial. There were a couple of bone spurs and some swelling. Nothing I could do as I recovered from the knee. Then in December it was time to get some help for the shoulder pain. I went to the same group as my knee and saw the APRN who ordered x-rays. Ended up giving me a cortisone shot and order physical therapy.

The cortisone injection worked really well for about a month and then I could feel it wearing off. I went to 17 sessions of PT and now my insurance says no more because I haven't made much improvement. Back to the OS. I have a trip to Hawaii coming up May 1st so after much conversation, we decided to hold off another cortisone injection until mid-April so it would be in full effect for our trip. Then today I returned to Pain Management to get help dealing with the pain until the shot. She said I can take Flexeril and Vicodin at night (which is my worst time). She'll refill my prescriptions as I need them. So, I signed my life away and went home.

Surgery is not an option until after August, my one year anniversary of the left knee. I'm so tired to not sleeping due to the discomfort of my back, shoulder and a little of my knee. Sorry for the rambling, but I'm so tired (literally) and I guess I'm hoping someone who's gone through the same can offer some support.
 

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I can offer support, though my situation is different. I don’t have much pain, it’s more in the discomfort zone and thankfully it doesn’t wake me at night.

My shoulders kind of feel like they’re loosening inside. They clunk a lot and feel a bit out of joint. I have trouble reaching my feet to put my shoes and socks on, so I suspect I’ve lost a bit of range of motion.

I haven’t seen an orthopedic doctor yet, I’m trying my chiropractor first. She thinks it might be more of a neck issue in my case. I hope it is, I’d much rather go to her than an orthopedic and I’m not fond of PT due to my experience with it after my knee replacement.
 

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Sorry you are hurting and I'm also sorry that you must wait so long to properly take care of your shoulder problems. It's tough to be in pain like you are feeling. Be careful not to further injure your rotator cuff. But at the same time, be sure you are continuing to move your shoulder as you can because lack of movement can result in the muscles contracting and atrophying....two things you don't want. I don't suppose you would reconsider having that surgery sooner, would you?

I had to wait 5 years from the time of my diagnosis of a "shot" left shoulder until February 22 when it was replaced. I was caring for my ill husband and needed to put off surgery as long as possible since recovery from the replacement or something like your rotator cuff surgery is no picnic and requires 6 weeks of immobilization of that arm....something I needed to avoid while caregiving. My surgeon was able to get me through that period with an arthroscopic cleanup procedure and some therapy. But, I didn't have damage to my rotator cuff and I had little pain during that time. However, when he did my replacement, he was surprised to find how contracted my subscapularis muscle had become. He was actually quite worried about it holding when he reattached it after the implant was placed (they must cut the rotator cuff muscles to do a shoulder replacement).

It sounds like you are doing all you can. You've tried the normal treatments - shots and therapy. You have someone who will provide pain medication for you to get you through until you have the repair work done. I hope this works okay for you. Please let us know how you're getting along.
 

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Hello Momweb,I can offer a bit of support too.
I also have both shoulders hurting too,the extreme pain is never ending.
I’m so sorry you have all this pain also. I see a consultant 25th June....but I wish it could be sooner, I desperately need this pain taking away.
No you were not rambling in your post, you are just telling it how it is.
You will find support on Bonesmart, all is not lost, there will be a good outcome although it doesn’t seem so now.As for PT it didn’t work for me.:mooncat:
 
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momweb

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Time for an update!

Had my second MRI December 27, 2019, which showed further deterioration of the rotator cuff. The pain at night is excruciating, but during the day it is tolerable. I've learned to compensate. I finally left my original Ortho group because I felt I wasn't getting anywhere. After 4 cortisone injections, 3 months of physical therapy and over a year it was time to do something.

So, on March 12th I will have Open Rotator Cuff Repair Surgery. I didn't qualify for an arthroscopy. I've been busy reading up on how to prepare, cooking and freezing dinners and cleaning my house from floor to ceiling. I am nervous, to say the least, because it's my dominant arm. But I'm also looking forward to ending this pain.

Thanks for listening. I'll be in touch closer to the surgery date.
 

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You'll be one week ahead of me (mine is also the dominant arm) so let's swap ideas and hold hands through the process! i think mine is supposed to be arthroscopic, but the insurance approval letter I saw today said "open" .
 
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momweb

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Hi @ SaraK,
I called the surgeon's office today. There is no pre-op visit, I'll get my sling at the surgical center. Good thing I already have an ice machine, because there will be none for the shoulder. That's ok. And I made my one week post-op appointment.

I met with a friend of mine for lunch yesterday who had the surgery about 6 weeks ago. We hashed over the crazy things like how to put toothpaste on the brush and what clothes to wear. She made me feel so much better by saying that yes, it will hurt and sleeping is a bear but that you'd be surprised how much you can actually do even while in the sling. That made me feel so much better.

I've frozen some meals already and I'm cleaning like a mad woman. Next week I'm going to switch over to my summer curtains. A little early but I won't be able to do it later. The only good thing is that I won't be doing window cleaning because we're replacing our windows and sliding this spring.

How are you handling all this? Are you ready?
Sue
 

Jaycey

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@momweb So sorry you are facing more surgery. You are in good company however. Our shoulder "community" here on BoneSmart is growing!

Please keep us update. We are here for you.
 

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@momweb - like you, I'm doing some organizing around the house and cooking up a storm (making sure everything can be easily forked with no knife required). Luckily, I have someone that cleans for me, so there's less of that to do. My youngest son is going to move in for a few days until I feel confident enough about taking care of myself (essentially, I'll weigh my ability v how much I want my house back every day).

One tip I got from a friend was to put shampoo and conditioner in pump bottles and to use hand towels instead of bath towels (lighter and easier to manipulate with one hand).

Don't forget the little personal hygienge/grooming issues beforehand - shaving, hair color, etc. I've been growing my hair out but will need to have it cut before surgery because it tangles so badly.

I have a lot of loose tanks that would probably work with a cardigan but also bought some oversized v-neck tees. And large scrubs with elastic wristbands and bras with front clasps. I usually wear slip on shoes but have put the elastic shoelaces in one pair of tennis shoes for walking and other leg work at the gym.

I'm generally trying to take note as I move through the day of everything I do with right hand or both hands and thinking through any accommodation needed (like will need to use reclining couch instead of my usual recliner because it's operated by a lever on right.

I don't have an ice machine but I have lots of gel packs and a couple of hip contraptions that can work for the shoulder.

I'm not looking forward to stopping my meloxicam 10 days before surgery! I do have to do a preop checkup but nothing major.
 
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momweb

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I haven't got my clothes organized yet. I bought 2 tanks that can be worn under shirts. I don't intend to wear a bra for couple of weeks. I have a strapless one that should work, but I want to get a couple front clasp ones.

I have a bunch of yoga pants that will be my mainstay. As for my hair it is short and straight. I will not be able to blowdry so I'm getting spiral curls on March 4th. Then I only have to scrunch. Should be a little easier.

I can't sleep in a recliner and my recliner needs the right hand to go up and down. So, I purchased a sit and read pillow. I slept with it the other night in bed and it seemed to work. I used my neck pillow and that helped too. I will sleep in my daughter's room so I won't disturb my husband every time I get up.
So much fun ahead. After my knee replacements I'm used to having others help, but I'm very independent so this is so different. UGH! Glad to hear someone's with me in this.
 
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momweb

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One more week!
Meals are frozen to help my husband prepare meals. I put aside 5 frozen crockpot meals which should provide 2-3 meals each. I also have stocked up on meats, sides, and veggies plus all the household essentials. Of course, I did this before the Corona Virus became such a nuisance.

I rearranged my closet so the clothes I'll be able to wear are easily accessible. My shampoo is already a pump so that's good. I needed to get spray deodorant, something I haven't used since I was a teen. I went curly to make hair care easier. I'm moving into my daughter's room so I'll have the whole bed to myself. No worries about my husband hitting me and I'll be able to watch tv in the middle of the night when I don't know what else to do with myself. :) The sit up and read pillow will help me stay somewhat upright which I understand will help. Time will tell.

Meds will be at the pharmacy on Monday. Then I wait for the call from the surgical center letting me know what time. I'll be back after the surgery. UGH!! Arthritis and getting older sure is nuts!!:badspidy:
 
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Well you certainly sounds organised @momweb ! All that's left is counting the days. Yes, getting older is not for the faint hearted! We will be here for you! Please keep us updated!
 

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Good luck - I'll be thinking about you tomorrow!
 
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momweb

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SaraK thank you. I go in for 11. Just finished putting things next to the bed that I'm sleeping in for tomorrow night. Did a quick vacuum upstairs, I'll vacuum downstairs later. You should have heard all the instructions due to the corona virus! If I or my husband has a temp of 100+ we will be sent home. Connecticut just declared a state of emergency yesterday. This is all crazy. We have 4 people, 2 of whom actually live in New York! I'll be glad when I'm home tomorrow. Will be in touch,
 

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I'll be watching for your recovery thread!
Yes, so much going on with coronavirus (we just had our first cases in MO this week and at least 1 family broke quarantine). The run on TP and soap makes you think some people are planning for doomsday (or didn't practice decent hygiene before).
My son goes to college in town but lives in dorm. They're on Spring Break now (I let him go to Puerto Rico - hope that doesn't defer me) and then having classes online for at least the first 2 weeks back. Meanwhile, I've been self quarantining - because of cold/flu, not coronavirus.
 

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Best of luck tomorrow, Hope you have a great recovery.
 

Jamie

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Hope things go well!
 

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Good luck to you & @SaraK !
My rcr was may 2019. Very glad I got it repaired.
I slept in an adjustable bed.
 

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