Frozen shoulder - duration without treatment?

Posted , 16 users are following.

This discussion has been locked due to a period of inactivity. Start a new discussion

I've had frozen shoulder since September 2015 due to aggressive cleaning. I'm 44 and a Type1 diabetic and am hypothyroid, 2 risk factors for FZ. I live in the US and have gone to PT for about 3 weeks prior to diagnosis in January. I had to stop due to the severe pain and have now seen a second orthopedic surgeon this past Friday. I couldn't get a cortisone shot due to my horribly high sugars and a1c (which Isn't being helped by the stress of this FZ issue). I've read lots of medical papers on pubmed about this and am planning to ride it out. I guess this condition isn't well researched and I'm wondering what do people do for pain? I've tried codeine, ibuprofen 600, and salonpas patched but nothing is helping. Also I've heard that lots of scar tissue builds up in shoulder but 84% of people with no intervention get back to 100% in an average length of 15 months. So does scar tissue eventually melt away? Very odd. Also just wondering if anyone out there can tell me how long it took til they finally healed? I'm not sure what stage I'm in. Maybe 1 or 2. Pain is still very bad and my right shoulder is definitely already frozen. It's hard to keep a straight face or have fun when all you can focus on is the pain. Only positive is I'm getting good at left handed activities.

Thanks

Maddie

0 likes, 37 replies

Report

37 Replies

Next
  • Posted

    Hi maddie I hear you the pain is awful and even worse at night the lack of sleep is the worst thing ever as you end up walking round like a zombie but there is light at the end of the tunnel. I had pain for about a year and couldn't take it anymore and had surgery 8 weeks ago the recovery is terrible but there is a recovery with PT and strong pain killers I am starting to regain movement and the pain is lessening especially at night although it still wakes me up a dozen times or so through the night aching and feeling like a dead weight. I am not sure I could have rode it out without intervention but having said that the recovery from surgery has been the worst thing I have ever had to ensdure, good luck which ever way you decide to deal with your FS
    Report
    • Posted

      Sorry to hear you are still suffering after surgery. That would probably be me or worse, and I definitely don't want to take time off work or out of our busy life right now to be healing from surgery. My kids keep us so busy with sports, dance, etc. and my husband also works a lot so I'm the main taxi driver after work. These posts really make me believe my decision of no intervention is the way to go. Thanks for your honesty about your surgery.
      Report
  • Posted

    Isn't your doctor recommending surgery if the physical therapy doesn't work??  Perhaps your diabetes presents a problem though. I am not sure. Scar tissue does not disappear and needs to be removed through surgery.  Physical therapy didn't work for me so I had surgery and now I am fine. I would not wait for the pain to disappear. That sound ridiculous to me.  Find a reputable orthopedic surgeon who operates on shoulders only -- that doctor will help you.
    Report
    • Posted

      I am at a reputable group, thus the waiting so long. Now I'm being referred to another ortho group for pain management. I couldn't get a cortisone injection due to my sugars and a1c being too high. Even though truly I wasn't getting one regardless as I've read they rarely work. Same with surgery. All the research papers come to the same conclusion that no treatment and surgical intervention have same results. The adhesions break up on their own I heard back from minonda on that. I was wondering myself about that one. I'm glad you got quick results with surgery. I've got some pt exercises to do once my arm can handle it.
      Report
    • Posted

      I am scheduled to have surgery next week.   There is not much information on recovery time if you have this procedure done as out patient.  Can you share your experience?  My doctor is a shoulder specialist and told me that I would be moving my arm the same day and as often as I was I was able to keep things from stiffening back up again.  how long did you need to be off work?  I have a desk job with typing and spreadsheet work.  The shoulder I am having done isn't my dominate one.  Just want to ask some people who have hactually had it done.  Look forward to your response. 
      Report
    • Posted

      Sandy, I've had frozen shoulder surgery 4 times on my left shoulder. My original surgery was for a torn rotator cuff & Labrum. My shoulder froze up as I was doing PT after this surgery. My FS surgery was outpatient, I was there for 6 hours, surgery approximately 1 1/2 hrs. I started PT 2 days later, 5 x's a week for 2 hrs a day. NOT going to lie, very painful. They say the usual recovery time is 6 weeks. Mine never healed, I unfortunately ended up with CRPS Disease, but this is very rare. I wish you the BEST of luck and speedy recovery. Please let me know if you have other questions.
      Report
  • Posted

    We delete content if it doesn’t meet the requirements in our Terms & Conditions.

  • Posted

    Maddie, I'm a type 1 as well. It will take longer to heal just like anything else takes longer to heal or get over for a diabetic. How are your sugars most of the time? Are they just horribly high right now due to stress? You NEED to control your sugars so that your body can heal. Most surgeons will not do surgery if your A1c is high as your healing process is hindered. I was told to expect 3-5 years for full recovery without surgery. I have very tight control of my diabetes. I have had steroid injevtions, and a fluid distension as well as Pt. good luck and keep us posted! 
    Report
  • Posted

    With also having type 1 diabetes, it takes at least 3 years to fully recover. However, it is WAY more tolerable after about 2 years of dealing with it. Bad news is it is very likely to return in the opposite shoulder after recovery, or maybe even slightly before. My doctors highly discouraged invasive intervention with type 1 diabetes, and nothing really good come out of it from all that I read. I just "rode out" my frozen shoulders and am better off for it I believe. As far as scar tissue goes, it will continue to break up for years after the shoulder has resolved. My left shoulder pops and cracks so much it gets annoying, but no pain and full ROM. My right shoulder continues to "thaw out". Try and keep those glucose levels in check and it will help. I also used a lot of heat and massage which I think may have even speeded up really recovery. Best of luck to you.
    Report
    • Posted

      Thanks minonda. Besides heat and massage, what pain meds or patches have worked for you? I'm only on ibuprofen 600mg which does nothing. Every night I just want to cry and every morning is a struggle to get dressed and go work on a computer for the whole day. My whole right arm is affected and I get numbness and tingling into my fingers. The zingers of pain still hit and the vibration goes into my clavicle bone as well. It's ridiculous. My kids are still young so I'm still doing ridiculous things sometimes, like living. God, 2 more years? I'm glad I found your post as everyone else seems to resort to surgery but you have given me hope of beating this without surgical intervention.
      Report
    • Posted

      Maddie, keep us posted on the pain killers you try. I cannot take codeine and most go to codeine as it will last most of the night. I also cannot take NSAIDs so Aleve and Motein are out. I'm going to call my GP this week to see about some prescription strength cream like Voltaron, just way stronger. Maybe that would helpfully to? Ill post back here once I get something and let you know. Also I have been using an infrared heating pad and it seems to help more than normal heat. They are expensive but if you can swing it, while its in my shoulder it feels great. But like most things, as soon as I take it off in back to my odd self.
      Report
    • Posted

      Yeah I'm with you on the codeine. After 3 days using it I threw up at work and had to be driven home. Aleve gave me ulcers. Wish we could fix one problem without creating another. I'm going to buy that infrared heating pad as heat works better than ice for me too. I was referred to pain management so I'll see what they recommend when I get appointment. I'll keep you updated. Best of luck to you.
      Report
    • Posted

      I'll tell you something, but it may not appeal to you. I found excellent topical relief from using Captain HP creme. It's hot as hell, so many don't like it, but it works wonders for me so I love it. Use a glove when applying, and rub it in good. The burn will feel better than the frozen shoulder pain, and after it stops burning the pain relief will last from 30min to 3 hours. It's topical, but the effects get down deep to the capsule. After several days to weeks (depending on usage frequency), you will notice the creme no longer burns. That's ok, it still remains effective as a pain reliever. This is the only topical product I found that actually is effective. Everything else is a joke IMHO. 😀
      Report

Join this discussion or start a new one?

New discussion

Report as inappropriate

Thanks for your help!

We want the forums to be a useful resource for our users but it is important to remember that the forums are not moderated or reviewed by doctors and so you should not rely on opinions or advice given by other users in respect of any healthcare matters. Always speak to your doctor before acting and in cases of emergency seek appropriate medical assistance immediately. Use of the forums is subject to our Terms of Use and Privacy Policy and steps will be taken to remove posts identified as being in breach of those terms.

newnav-down newnav-up