How to manage the waiting....frozen shoulder is remaining frozen too long!

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Diagnosed with frozen shoulder which began it's gruesome trajectory of SEVERE pain and lack of mobility in January 2016.  

Had Xrays of shoulder and neck, 2 seperate cortisone injections (little to no help), several months of PT (no help), 2 different kinds of NSAIDs (neither worked), Vicodin (not much help), and 2 seperate consults with orthopedic surgeons who each didn't even examine me but just very callously dismissed me with a "Yep, frozen shoulder.  It sucks to be you.  Come back when it's been at least a year."

I see the Dr. on the internet for the OAT procedure, trigenics, who can cure the condition in one visit but I'd have to go to Toronto to get treated.  Why is this the only guy who can offer help?  How much does it cost?  I've actually consulted with them but wasn't able to find out just exactly how much this costs.  Does anyone know?

The physical therapist told me it's the WORST case she's ever seen in her 30 year career.  I don't understand how simple stretching exercises will correct the problem.  It seems that the rest of my skeletal structure is trying to contort to make up for the lack of ability to move the shoulder joint, which throws everything out of whack.  I see a chiropractor twice a week for upper back and neck adjustments, cold laser therapy, range of motion manipulation and subscapular trigger point accupressure.  Not sure if this is helping but if I miss an appointment...the pain definitely increases.

Overall, the pain is getting worst, the stiffness is getting worse.  I am taking Tramadol during the day and Xanax to be able to sleep at night.

Please tell me there is hope!  It is so discouraging and depressing!  I can't swim, I can't surf, I can't ride my road bicycle, I can't jog....I'm turning into a potato!

 

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  • Posted

    I feel your pain. My story was the same. I had 0.5 cm movement before my op. You need to insist on seeing the orthopaedic consultant. No amount of pt will sort it.

    Good luck

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    • Posted

      Thanks for sympathizing!

      I have seen two different orthopedic consultants.  In the US, insurance companies dictate the Dr's treatment options and the insurance company dictates that I must suffer at least a year before they can operate...it's all about money.

      They don't look at each person as an individual, which is very sad.  

      Alas, I must wait until january!

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  • Posted

    Hang in it's been a year for me and I'm almost 100% healed. I did mua in June then extensive pt for four months. Finally I am off all meds and am back to my excercise classes after a seven month break. And yesterdY could finally reach back to do my bra?

    (I am in Baltimore Maryland snd my doc was great if that helps )

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  • Posted

    Hi Kat

    I feel your pain !! I've had it for over 2 years now. Physio did nothing and earlier this year I had an MRI, Ultrasound and X-ray which also showed a torn bicep. In April I had surgery for that and the surgeon also 'removed the damage from the frozen shoulder ' but I have never 'recovered'. Four weeks after the surgery I was in a lot of pain and couldn't move at all , the surgeon just looked at me and said "You're one of the 5% genetically predisposed to frozen shoulder . ". I have since had 2 cortisone injections into it with no appreciable difference but 4 weeks ago I had 'hydrodikatation' and this has had the better result. Although it's still painful I have a lot more movement now. Still can't wash my hair but can lift my arm almost to shoulder level side ways and a little above my shoulder forward. I would recommend this. They inject 50ml of saline, cortisone and anaesthetic (mixed) in to the joint under MRI . The idea is that it 'blows the frozen shoulder apart". It is a bit painful but nothing compared to the continuous pain of frozen shoulder! Good luck !

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    • Posted

      Thanks Tracy....I will have to decide exactly what procedure to try when they give me the go ahead...wish I could do it now...

      The hydrodikation sounds like a better choice than surgery.

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  • Posted

    Hi Kat-

    I have had FS since June 2016...started PT too early (in the freezing stages).  Went to an Orthopedic Dr. end of August- He gave me a shot in my shoulder and I have been working with PTherapist- 2 x week ,along with doing my exercises at home. 

    I have seen a good amount of improvement- but it's a slow process.  Managing the pain is important too.  Ice, Tramadol, Trazadone (for nighttime) and Diclofenac Sodium Topical Gel helps.

    As you can tell by everyones comments, you will have to find what works for you to get back your ROM.  Diligence and patience along with a lil praying..wink

    Sue

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  • Posted

    Hi, im on my second frozen shoulder, my first time was early last year and i dont remember it been this painful or as bad or lasting very long, I attended physio sessions for it and it just seem to disappear, even my physio therapist doesnt remember it been as bad as this shoulder. Sometimes I wonder if the Pilates classes I attended for a while when I had it had anything to do with its recovery. Now its my right shoulder which is frozen. Its been like this since about February (9months). The beginning was very painful, any sudden movements would leave me weak and close to fainting with the pain. That has seemed to have stopped and the sometimes painful stiffeness is where i am now. This has been so painful and my ROM is very bad, cannot put my arm behind my back, my right hand in my pocket, cross my arms, do the usual, raise arm above head, tie my hair up, close my bra, personal hygiene is painful, shaving under my arm is a no-no and stretching my arm to reach something or close the car door is very uncomfortable. My sleep was a joke earlier on in the year, there was no way i could lie on my right hand side and when i lay on my left i had to tuck a pillow under my armpit to support it or the pain was excruitiating, Now that as cooled down a bit and although its not as bad im still woken a few times during the night with the pain. Right this is what ive done over the last few months on this never ending search for my road to recovery, ive been to doctor quite a lot, he sent me for an xray which showed up nothing, then for an MRI (which cost me 200euro to have done quickly or free if i wanted to wait on a list for about for 2 years!!) that came back with nothing too clear, some wear and tear, no tendons torn or signs of bursitus. No rotar cuff injuries. He then sent me for physio (to the same girl i had attended with my other frozen shoulder) which ive had about 5 sessions since and have practiced the home exercises and it doesnt help or improve my shoulder at all.( She thinks im so unlucky to have it in both shoulders within a short period of time - Im only 41) Ive used all the usual anti-inflammatory gels and Voltarol oral NSAIDs, Ive had one session of Cortisone injections with my doctor (about 3 areas of my shoulder) which done absolutely nothing, Ive used a Hydrotherapy Pool quite a few times (once with a physio therapist), taken Omega 3 tablets and Joint Supplements, used Arnica Massage Balm and Tiger Balm, Ive used Versatis Medicated Plasters, Ive upped my green tea intake and i even made myself a turmeric tea the other night, not nice! Im at my wits end to why this debilitating disease is so hard to get rid of. The doctor thinks surgery is not necessary! My physio says ive two more options, to try Acupunture or to have more Cortisone Injections done by a radioligist under fluoroscopy. She doesn't recommend MUA as it's not really done anymore and she doesn't know of anyone who has gotten it in years. At the moment Im off work on 2 weeks shoulder rest (under instruction from Doctor and Physio) while i take more NSAIDs and go through yet another tube of inflammation gel. . I dont think people (family, work colleagues etc) actually realise the pain and discomfort of this terrible infliction and I just want my shoulder and arm to be better.(I also get sharp nervey pains in my upper arm and in my wrist from this frozen shoulder). I feel my best option is to continue my light rotation exercises, keep using the gel and heat pack and let this run its course , maybe to accept it and have plenty of patience while it sorts itself out

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    • Posted

      Where are you located ? I did mua about five months ago (in united states) and it was AMAZing. I have almost all my range of motion back and no more pain. Would definitely do it again !!!!
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    • Posted

      Ireland. I had researched it. Was an option for me but today my physio said she wouldn't recommend it and she hadn't heard a case of it in years. Maybe it's not the done thing in Ireland I really don't know

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    • Posted

      It saved me. I would not have been able to make it to my daughter's wedding otherwise. I did procedure a month before and was able to dance and enjoy myself

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    • Posted

      You are so right that no one understands how painful this is.  We are an exclusive club...one that no one wants to belong to!
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    • Posted

      Looks like there are different options in different countries.  And also I have realized you get different treatment depending upon what level insurance you have.  HMO. PPO. etc.

      I'm in California....I want the mua!

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    • Posted

      I'm in ca! My dr wanted to do mua at the 4 month mark it was my decision to wait until the six month

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  • Posted

    Kat, I feel your pain! It's excruciating! Not sure I can be any help but just support as someone going through same thing! I have done all the stuff you mentioned even went as far as researching the Toronto thing! My dr is going to do the capsular release and mua even though I am not at the year yet! I have it on the 30th! I was told by a top surgeon yesterday that I was the 1/500 worse case senerio! But he dosnt take my insurance so I am stuck using my surgeon here just paid cash to get 2 extra opinions before I go in for procedure! Both of them said go do the surgery but there is still the chance you will just refreeze! I feel like it's worth the gamble I can't imagine the pain can be much worse then this):

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    • Posted

      Hi Alison, just to let you know , after the surgery my shoulder re-froze worse sad. I found that 'Hydrodilation' was the only thing that helped it get a bit better. I still have pain but not as bad.

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    • Posted

      Before surgery I could lift my arm to hold the steering wheel but not turn it. I couldn't brush my hair and gave up on bras completely! Not sure what mua is. I had to injections of cortisone over 8 months prior to the surgery but they didn't help much...

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    • Posted

      My UK consultant mentioned all the bad possibilities. I feel they have to to cover themselves. ....MUA plus 6 weeks no more chronic pain ..
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