Rotator Cuff Repair Questions on shoulder

InkedMarie

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I come to you from the hip and knee forums; all four of mine have been replaced! I know nothing about shoulders but thought I’d post with questions.

Over the last few months, my left shoulder has become painful. It has gotten worse. I cannot sleep on that side. I had an MRI on my back today and they had my arm straight at my side and that hurt. I’m used to putting my right arm in my jacket first, then the left and that hurts. Holding my left arm up for any length of time hurts. Sitting here in my recliner, if I put my arm up on the armrest, I can only do that for a few seconds. I believe it is also swollen on the top of the shoulder.

I’ve had no falls, no pulling of the arm. I did call today to make an appointment With the physician assistant who works with the shoulder docs but figured I’d ask here what this sounds like it could be. My appointment is January 27th.

Marie
 
I am sorry I can't answer your questions, Marie, but as I age I notice some of this occasionally with my shoulders also, so I will watch for replies with interest.

Have you tried icing the top of your shoulder where it feels swollen? It may help? I wish you comfort for those days when your shoulders are really bothering you. Please let us know how your appointment goes on the 27th. Have a nice weekend and a Happy New Year!
@InkedMarie
 
@InkedMarie I am so sorry you are having problems with your shoulder! Alas it sounds suspiciously like what each of my shoulders were like before I had them replaced. My diagnosis was osteoarthritis and bone spurs, but such pain and dysfunction could also be from a rotator cuff injury. I'm glad you have an appointment coming up with someone to look into this for you. Be sure x-rays are order specifically for that shoulder.

For now put left arm into jack/coat first and try putting a pillow (a slim one if you have one) under your arm when going to bed at night. I found the pillow thing helped keep the shoulder from moving too much and let me sleep a bit better.
 
Thanks @Layla . I have not tried ice but that may help.

@djklaugh thanks for chiming in! I’m almost afraid of the answer. I’d feel better if I fell or something but nope.....The Ortho office is great....when I scheduled the appointment, they asked if I had any xrays. From experience, I know that will be the first thing they do. I’m so thankful I don’t need a referral; I just called and got an appointment. I’ll try a pillow while sleeping!

Marie
 
@InkedMarie
Good grief, Marie!!! I hope you don't need another joint replacement!
I had pain in the shoulder for years before I went to a doc...thinking I was going to get a cortisone shot. You're smart for going early on. When you mentioned needing a support under shoulder for mri...same here. As well as sleeping. I slept on my back with small travel pillow under that shoulder. For years.
If you should need it replaced (and I hope you don't) it wasn't a difficult recovery at all. Nothing like knees or hips. I had to have it replaced before I could get this darn RTKR.
 
@InkedMarie
Good grief, Marie!!! I hope you don't need another joint replacement!
I had pain in the shoulder for years before I went to a doc...thinking I was going to get a cortisone shot. You're smart for going early on. When you mentioned needing a support under shoulder for mri...same here. As well as sleeping. I slept on my back with small travel pillow under that shoulder. For years.
If you should need it replaced (and I hope you don't) it wasn't a difficult recovery at all. Nothing like knees or hips. I had to have it replaced before I could get this darn RTKR.
PS.....3 of us from the 2018 TKR group have had shoulder replacements.
I don’t wait for much. I learned that PT, steroid injections are bandaids. Not that it wouldn’t help the symptoms but it won’t fix it. I’m obviously all about fixing!

A replacement has been in my mind. Rotator cuff tear as well but since I haven’t had an injury of any kind, I’m thinking it’s not that. I could be wrong. Don’t forget @beachy , I had no pain after my other replacements so IF a replacement is in store....it’ll probably be bad for me!
I told Steve if he wanted to trade me in for two 31yr olds.....now is his chance!

Marie
 
Ortho called me yesterday to ask if I wanted to come in today. Yes! They did xrays and I have rotator cuff tendinitis. Phew! No surgery unless the steroid shot I had today doesn‘t work. He said my tendons are very angry with me. So, got the injection and PT. My physical therapist has seen me through one hip, two knees, my back (finished with him with that last week) and now Tuesday I start with my shoulder.

Marie
 
@InkedMarie Whew! I sure hope the injection and PT help your shoulder! It is good news to know that surgery is not again in your future! :yes!:
 
I’ve never had a shoulder injection; pretty tender! I’m just glad it’s not serious.

Marie
 
The steroid injection that I had January 12th lasted a few weeks max. I did PT, had to stop for now due to too many medical bills…our deductible will be paid up shortly and I can go back. I do the exercises at home.

Today was my follow up. Unfortunately, the first injection didn’t last long enough. I had another one today and am scheduled for an X-ray guided injection in my AC joint on March 21.

I’m falling apart.

Marie
 
Hope someone reads this & can answer! To date, I’ve had two injections in the back of the shoulder & one in my AC joint. None have lasted very long.

I have an appointment for my second in the AC joint for June 29th. Unfortunately, I’m having problems. A couple weeks ago, I was passenger in my husbands truck, leaned over with bad arm to adjust radio and so much pain.

Last Thursday, I bought a bag of dog food. It was on a shelf level to my waist and only 15lb. I used my good arm to haul it up on my shoulder and used my bad arm to sort of guide it, no lifting. Holy heck, pain. Last Saturday, we were hanging some mosquito netting on our gazebo, my husband asked me to hold it up…..I didn’t think, just put both arms up. SO MUCH pain.

I called today to get an appointment with the PA. I don’t want to see him the end of June, tell him what’s going on and have him ask why I didn’t call.

I‘m wondering what people here think is going on. I was diagnosed the day of the first shot with rotator cuff tendinitis. Does this sound like it? When I first went, putting my hand behind me was what caused pain; the top and front of the shoulder & reaching up is newer.

Thanks to who read.
Marie
 
Tendinitis can be extremely painful and it takes a notoriously long time to improve. It sounds to me like you may have expected the shots to “heal” your problem and it really doesn’t work that way. The shots will reduce inflammation, so your body CAN heal. But in the meantime, you most likely will not be able to go on with life as usual. The activities you describe are obviously irritating your tendon. Healing from tendinitis can take 6 weeks to 6 months or more, depending on many factors.

You probably won’t like my suggestion, but you really need to totally give this should a rest for an extended period of time. The therapy you had should have showed you some gentle exercises to do during the healing to keep your joint mobile. That’s very important. But no lifting,, adjusting, leaning, or trying to hold things with that arm. Use ice and/or heat for comfort if something hurts….whichever feels best or a combination of both. You can really make things worse if you continue to try and do normal activities with an injured shoulder. If you can get in to see your PA before June, that would be good just to make sure that you haven’t created a tear. If you’re not experiencing pain when you’re lying down and not moving, that’s probably not the case.

Let us know how you get along and please take good care of that shoulder.
 
Thanks, @Jamie . I work at a school so I am off starting June 24th and thats the best I can do to rest the shoulder….til the end of August.

I don’t necessarily expect the injections to heal the problem but I was hopeful the relief would have lasted a bit longer.

The exercises aggravate the heck out of it…I feel worse after.

I forgot to say that I got in to see the PA next Tuesday. If it is just tendinitis, I’ll rest it when I can and live with it. My job involves lifting. My co-worker comes in at 9am but when my food order comes, it comes before 6am. Perishable food can’t wait til 9am & I’m the only one in the building so no help.

If I lay on my back, it hurts the shoulder. Luckily, I’m a right sided sleeper (bad shoulder is the left) and I do okay.

Thanks, Jamie!
Marie
 
I’m so sorry about your work situation. It does sound like your job requirements are going to continue to irritate your shoulder. If you are doing this much activity with that shoulder, perhaps consider dropping the therapy so you can rest it as much as possible. Don’t hesitate to ice your shoulder even when you’re sleeping. Or sometimes heat works too. You may have to try different things.

Have you talked with the HR folks at your school about your shoulder injury? Do you think it was job related? You might want to explore this option. If it’s a work related injury, any care should be covered by Workman’s Comp.
 
Hi @Jamie . I honestly have no idea what happened to my shoulder. Nothing Acute……it just started to hurt, couldn’t put my arm behind my back and I started seeing the PA.

I‘m the kitchen manager at a small elementary school. Only two of us work but as I said, the other doesn’t come in until three hours after my order comes in.

I‘m looking forward to Tuesdays appointment, hopefully get some answers! I just want to make sure it’s nothing more serious than the tendinitis.

Marie
 
I hope so too, Marie. I’ll be watching for your next posts.
 
This is the OP…had to make a new account.

@Jamie i saw the PA today. He said I have the rotator cuff tendinitis, bicep tendinitis and arthritis in my AC joint.

I am going back on Friday to get an injection of Toradol. I’m also waiting for scheduling to call to schedule an MRI. I’ll be back to see him a week after the MRI. We can make a plan. He asked if surgery was the best option, I mentioned new hips and knees and said “yep”. I explained to him that I work at a school. We’re done June 23rd. If surgery is what we decide on, it has to be done the end of June or first week of July as I have to be back to work the beginning of September. If not, I would need to schedule in a year from now.

Marie
 
Marie….why did you feel you needed to make a new account? I can merge this new one with your old account….just tell me which username you want to keep. I’m assuming it would be InkedMarie but will wait until you tell me for sure.

Hopefully you won’t need surgery.
 
Jamie, I could not log in. I tried to reset my password and it said a confirmation email was sent but it was nowhere, not my email, junk or trash
 

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