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Shoulder injury and possible surgery


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I was wondering if anyone who lives in Canada has had to have surgery during withdrawal and if so, were you able to discuss anethesia options?  I have a shoulder injury that looks like I might end up needing surgery because conservative treatment is not improving the situation. I am in constant pain and have tried a cortisone injection with no relief.
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Pianogirl has had shoulder surgery. Might want to talk with her.

 

Hi solitudeseeker,

 

Thanks for bumping this up so I can reply to this member!  :smitten:

 

Hi EclecticSoul,

 

I have actually had 3 (sigh) shoulder surgeries on my right shoulder and one on my left.  These took place at various stages of my taper and recovery. I'm a tennis player and pianist and had some pretty significant tears in my rotator cuff as well as a ruptured bicep tendon.

 

No matter where you are you should be able to speak to the anesthesiologist prior to the surgery.  Most often it's at bedside before the procedure. I was very up front and frank with all the anesthesiologists that worked on my case. I explained (the short version) about my issues with benzos and in addition my PCP added benzos to the list of allergies on my electronic chart.

 

I requested no benzos at any time.  I was given a small dose of fentanyl prior to being taken to the OR, this is primarily so that the patient is relaxed.  Fentanyl is an opioid pain medication.  I also requested the use of propofol as the anesthetic. I will say that in each case the doctors and nurses respected my wishes without any negative comments. 

 

I was a little worried that someone would decide differently so for my first surgery I had my husband "protect" my IV line and inspect everything going in and throw himself on the floor if they came near with a benzo.  ;D  Happily, there was no need for this.

 

Remember, this is your body and it is your right to have control over what goes in it.

 

I'm sorry the injection provided no relief, I only got minimal relief when I had one but I needed some help as I was practicing for a performance.

 

Good luck and let me know what happens.  By the way, have you had an MRI?

 

pianogirl  :smitten:

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Thank you for the very informative post...I have had rotator cuff tears and all the impingement crap for many years and am doing physical therapy unsuccessfully for the 4th time...It seems like my only choice is shoulder surgery and I have been frantic about anesthesia like many other ppl.

Again, thank you...

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Thank you for the reply pianogirl. I have injuries to both shoulders and have had an mri on one shoulder (rotator cuff tear confirmed) and I'm going to get an mri on the other side as it has been further injured since a chiropractor adjustment to try and help my frozen shoulder. I really regret letting the chiropractor touch my shoulder as the pain on that side was minimal, I just had significantly restricted movement. Now I can barely use the arm at all. I'm going back to the orthopedic surgeon this week.

 

Have you regained your ability to use your shoulder for tennis? I'm worried I'll never get back to weight lifting as I struggle to pick up a cup of coffee and can't sleep on either shoulder.

 

Thank you for easing my mind about anethesia. I think I should make an apt with my family doctor to add benzo's to my med allergy list. If I end up having surgery I'm going to make sure I'm not given benzo's since there are other options.

 

Thank you solitude seeker for bumping up my post.

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Thank you for the reply pianogirl. I have injuries to both shoulders and have had an mri on one shoulder (rotator cuff tear confirmed) and I'm going to get an mri on the other side as it has been further injured since a chiropractor adjustment to try and help my frozen shoulder. I really regret letting the chiropractor touch my shoulder as the pain on that side was minimal, I just had significantly restricted movement. Now I can barely use the arm at all. I'm going back to the orthopedic surgeon this week.

 

Have you regained your ability to use your shoulder for tennis? I'm worried I'll never get back to weight lifting as I struggle to pick up a cup of coffee and can't sleep on either shoulder.

 

Thank you for easing my mind about anethesia. I think I should make an apt with my family doctor to add benzo's to my med allergy list. If I end up having surgery I'm going to make sure I'm not given benzo's since there are other options.

 

Thank you solitude seeker for bumping up my post.

 

Hello again,

 

Yes, I do understand about not being able to sleep on shoulders.  You should be able to return to your activities following surgery, but not right away.  Physical therapy will likely start the week after your surgery where they try to get your range of motion back very slowly and very gently.  You will do "passive" exercises for a while, I think about a month. After this, bands will be introduced to slowly gain back strength. My biggest advice is to go to therapy and be religious about doing all the exercises.

 

Ice is a lifesaver following surgery. I had an ice machine which was wonderful and helps to reduce swelling and inflammation.

 

I can do a lot of things now and I think I will be back to tennis next year.  The first surgery on my right shoulder failed, I believe partially due to some mistakes in the surgery itself.  When I had the second surgery, the ortho found that the sutures were loose and pulled through the tissue of my rotator cuff that prevented the cuff from healing.  Remember, this is rare!!!  I had a 3rd surgery in May of 2106 to clean things up and also reattach my bicep tendon that they just clipped the first time.  I have range of motion and strength back. My issues stem from being immobile for such a long time, some muscle atrophy and nerve irritation.

 

My left shoulder is perfect following surgery.

 

It's a good idea to talk to your family doctor about your issues with benzos.  They are really not needed IMO, and this is coming from someone who has had a lot of surgeries.

 

Is your tear a full thickness tear?  Can they see the bicep tendon?

 

pianogirl

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Pianogirl- I have a partial thickness tear but it's very symptomatic. I have pain all the time and struggle to hold a coffee cup. I used to be able to carry up to 45lbs with one arm so this is a very drastic change. The biceps tendon appears intact but I do have referral pain that radiates down my bicep to my elbow and also down the tricep too. This side subluxates at times but they could not see a labral tear on mri. The orthopedic surgeon said the next step is to scope it if the pain continues after a few more months has passed.

 

I can not bear any weight at all with the other shoulder(the one the chiro screwed up). Right now I'm waiting for an mri for this side. I'm debating paying privately for the mri because our wait times are terrible in canada. The orthopedic said the chiropractor manipulations caused too much trama to the shoulder that my frozen shoulder is back to square one and I have tissue damage as well. He said he wouldn't even be able to operate on me at this time because I'm in the painful stage of frozen shoulder. I guess I'm already way too inflamed :(

 

The ortho suggested I get one of those cold therapy machines. I'm really considering it because I need more pain relief. Just another cost I can't really afford because I'm not working due to all of this.

 

I have a lot of atrophy too. I'm shocked and saddened when I look at my arms. You give me hope that I'm going to get past all this. It's just hard to see past the pain. It feels like it's never going to go away.

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  • 2 weeks later...

Got the mri done on the left shoulder and waiting for the results. I literally had to become the squeaky wheel to get it done in a timely manner. However, I found out that a typical shoulder mri doesn't look at the deltoid muscle and mine is a huge source of sharp pain from front to back. There is literally a horizontal line of pain. I can barely brush my finger across this large area and if i dont support my arm by sling it starts morphing into a severe tearing pain. I'm going back to the orthopedic this Thursday and hopefully will have a plan of action or maybe more imaging.

 

For some reason I tend to wind up with the injury that puzzles the specialists. It's like the frustration I experienced in early benzo withdrawal all over again.

 

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Got the mri done on the left shoulder and waiting for the results. I literally had to become the squeaky wheel to get it done in a timely manner. However, I found out that a typical shoulder mri doesn't look at the deltoid muscle and mine is a huge source of sharp pain from front to back. There is literally a horizontal line of pain. I can barely brush my finger across this large area and if i dont support my arm by sling it starts morphing into a severe tearing pain. I'm going back to the orthopedic this Thursday and hopefully will have a plan of action or maybe more imaging.

 

For some reason I tend to wind up with the injury that puzzles the specialists. It's like the frustration I experienced in early benzo withdrawal all over again.

 

Lucky you.... I guess.  The pain in your deltoid could be referred from some damage in the shoulder.  Hopefully the MRI will yield some information so you can move forward in terms of getting a solution to your pain.  I know just how bad shoulder pain can be and how it simply interrupts your life.

 

Let me know what the doc says about your MRI.

 

PG  :smitten:

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Pianogirl

 

I went to see the orthopedic surgeon today and he gave me both good and bad news. The good news is that I won't need surgery(the tendons are intact and in good condition on the left shoulder) the bad news is that he thinks I may have a condition called "complex regional pain syndrom" that was set off by the chiro trama. I may or may not have nerve damage so I will most likely be referred to a neurologist.

 

The ortho gave me a print out of info about the condition and suggested doing some research on the topic. I've read a little bit but it seems like the length, severity, and prognosis are highly variable. Whether or not there is nerve damage seems to be what makes the biggest difference.  :-\ 

 

 

 

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