still hurting after shoulder surgery, and neck worse

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Last seen: 5 years 10 months ago
Title: Member
Joined: 06/27/2008 - 1:28am

My shoulder surgery was termed medically as "Right Shoulder Acromioplasty" A real mouthful. What it boiled down to is he went in and routed out the joint area, and took a quarter inch off of my collar bone, to allow the joint to more (somewhat) normally. It has never been right since, and the surgery was in 1991. Of course without the surgery it would have been much worse.. I have now developed arthritis and bursitis in the shoulder. And pressing on the very outside of the shoulder at the top point causes extreme pain, also all along the top of shoulder and along the collarbone. I guess it's a joint that really shouldn't be messed with, LOL Surprise I was off of work a year total, counting before and after the surgery, had PT, etc. The WC evaluator determined I could not go back to job I was doing when I got hurt, as I could not do any above shoulder height sustained work, as the muscles were permanently weakned, both by the injury, and the surgery itself. I'm sorry you are still in so much pain. I think chronic pain is one of the most debilitating things there is. Take care. When do you see your surgeon again? If you have any questions, please ask me, will help all I can.


Venu (not verified)
Title: Member
me too, Leo

My surgery also was on 8/21 and is going to be four months. I am still struggling on a day-to-day basis. I am done with PT. Some days I have pain and other days I have severe pain, spasm in upper back. I don't know what my next step should be. Hopefully something that will fix this for good. Good luck with your Dr's appt.

leocat46's picture
Last seen: 1 year 1 month ago
Title: Member
Joined: 06/30/2008 - 7:24am

hey that is ironic. tell me what did your dr. say to you on your last appt.? does he see a problem? is he just leaving it go,or do more tests or anything? sorry so many questions. i am at my whits end, and know something is not right. i am not leaving it go, even if i have to get another dr. you can see the swelling in my arm, even without touching it. i did nothing yesterday except lay around, and it was swollen last evening, hurts to touch, and move. darvocet is all i have. i hope to hear back from ya for more info. thanks LEO

Venu (not verified)
Title: Member
HI Leo

Well, My Dr. for now has asked me to continue the PT and see him after 3 months. I saw him last in November and scheduled to see him in January. And, yese I am not going to let it be. I work with Percocet / Vicodin and several OTC pain relievers. Yesterday, I could not move also. Sitting and not being able to do anything is upsetting, isn't it? This morning I am pushing myself to do something. I did my PT exercises and hope to do better. Hope you feel better.


missywah (not verified)
Title: Member
Rotator cuff surgery 5-19-09

My shoulder arm and wrist are still quite painful and my arm is extremely weak to lift after 5 months past the surgery, in fact I think my arm is getting weaker. Lately I notice if I put my elbow on the table with my hand up I get nerve issues as if I had hit my funny bone. I am getting really tired of my arm and neck always being tired and tense feeling. I am no longer taking pain relievers or even Tylenol, but now I take (starting last week) an herbal supplement for inflammation and a rub-on ointment. Initially I thought this helped alot, but the benefits seem to be diminishing. I can't go see the doctor as we currently live outside the US (where I had my surgery done. I would like some advice on whether I should back off these exercises and how long is it going to take to ever get over this all. What advice did your doctor give you?

Last seen: 5 years 1 month ago
Title: Member
Joined: 09/15/2010 - 7:56am
chronic pain after surgery

Hi all..I too have been experiencing nothing but chronic pain after having my shoulder surgery. I had it done in April 2010 and almost 6 months out, I can honestly say this is really getting old! The pain before surgery was bad I'm sure you can all agree, but I was not prepared to have such intense daily pain after it. I cannot sleep because the pain becomes so intense at night, I have tried all the pain meds available, licocaine patches, still in PT and nothing is helping to alleviate the daily pain. I almost wish that I hadn't had the surgery, which as a nurse I know is foolish, but, I can truly sympathize with everyone out there that is suffering from chronic pain. Is there anyone out there that has seen improvement? Is there a light at the end of the tunnel? Hope to hear from you guys and I wish you all healing and peace. Smile

Last seen: 2 months 2 weeks ago
Title: Member
Joined: 01/02/2009 - 1:25pm

Welcome to spine health. I'm sorry you're still having so much trouble. I haven't had the surgery you had but I just wanted to welcome you. I'm sure there will be others with more information reply to your post soon. There are some terrific members here who will gladly share their experiences and knowledge with you.
Again, welcome to sh.

Last seen: 11 months 1 week ago
Title: Member
Joined: 08/05/2009 - 6:23pm

Have your doctors looked to see if there might be other damage? Also what did they have to do in your surgery?

Last seen: 3 years 10 months ago
Title: Member
Joined: 12/17/2008 - 4:18am

Sorry to hear you are having such a difficult time after your rotator cuff surgery. I had my right shoulder done in 2003. Yes it is one of the most painful surgeries I have had to date. It also takes a long time to recover from. Some of it depends on the severity of your injury and what type of surgery you had. Did you have a complete tear? And was yours an open surgery or orthascopic (sp?) I had a complete tear with open surgery my father had partial tear with orthascopic. He healed so much faster than I but his was extremely painful and took a very long time to heal. I am no doctor so just telling you what I went through. After I was released from the hospital which was 3 days, they kept me in longer due to severity and pain issues. The very next day they started me on PT. It was horrendous, I think I cried every session and generally not a big baby. Finally what my husband and I thought was normal swelling turned out to be a bloodclot about the size of a large grapefruit. Surgeon immediately stopped PT and tried to aspirate the bloodclot. It had already solidified so that did not work. Due to lack of PT and waiting for the bloodclot to absorb into my body I then got frozen shoulder which required a manipulation under sedation. I honestly felt as though I had just had the surgery again. Unfortunately that did not work either so he decided nothing more he could do for me and released me from his care. My PCP ordered another MRI and found the rt rotator cuff was retorn. Much to my dismay of course as in between that time I was injured at work and ended up with a cervical fusion C5-6, C6-7. Also Lumbar problems L3,L4, L5 & S1.
Quite honestly six months seems like a long time but this is a very painful surgery. I was told it can take up to a year to heal completely under good circumstances. Keep the faith up. Are you still going to PT? I know my left should hurt so bad afterwards but have been told it is because we are babying the shoulder which was operated on and putting all the stress on our good shoulder. I tell you one thing that felt great and I happened to be going to aquatherapy for cervical and lumbar problems. I found that therapy felt great on my shoulder. I have been back to a surgeon in the meantime and he said the only way to check it out was another surgery to look inside and see what is going on. Perhaps another opinion and an updated MRI would be your next step. My heart goes out to you I remember laying in my living room in a chaise lounger like the ones you lay in the sun. My hubby put a blow up single mattress on it and for some reason that was the only way I could get comfortable.
I remember my dad calling me from FL and for some reason he could only get comfortable sleeping in his car. Another thing that is great is keeping a frozen bag of peas in your freezer. Believe it or not it really helps. Good luck to you.

Last seen: 21 hours 43 min ago
Title: Member
Joined: 10/21/2015 - 11:44am
Extreme Pain in Shoulder and Neck

I rotator surgery on May 7 2015 where I tore my tendon in my shoulder. I am still having extreme pain and swelling in my arm. At times it feels like
it is on fire. I also get a lot of numbness and am told that all of this is normal. I have had 2 MRI the first show extensive tearing and the last one said all they could see is inflammation and excessive fluid build-up around the surgery site. I feel that there is more to this. I should not be having this much pain after 5 post op surgery. I was given a steroid pack and shot neither of which helped. Dr. says there is nothing he can do for my pain.
I am suppose to get a FCE done in a couple of weeks not sure how I am supposed do that if I can't handle 1 hr. of PT and I am supposed to that for
3-4 hours not going to happen. Anybody have any advice as what to do.? Sincerely Denise

P.S. The first doctor I saw said that it was muscle sprain and spastic muscle. I was put on a 5 lb. weight lifting limit and worked that way for almost a month before they did the first
MRI and that is when they found that it was torn. I am in so much pain can't sleep at night and it hurts even while doing light duty at my job.