Post capsular release pain. What's next

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I've had release surgery 2 was ago and he found a tear that was not seen on the MRI, which I understand is not unusual.  But the level of pain post surgery is much worse than I ever expected and more often than not takes 2 pills to get enough relief instead of one. By now I was hoping to not need heavy drugs to get through the day and the night.   I have been going to PT every other day and doing the exercises at home. Even so, I cannot lift my arm out in front of me, as in picking up a coffee cup, or lift it to the side hardly at all.  The therapist cannot get it to go there either, which worries us both.  Has anyone experienced these thing after surgery?  Am I possibly looking at another surgery?  Anyone had a second release on the same arm?  I stumbled on this forum by accident and really appreciate the practical advice and sharing of experiences as well as the feeling if hope. Thank you all for sharing. 

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  • Posted

    Hi maryboo,

    I am so sorry to hear that this has been your experience.  I had multiple fractures to my shoulder.  Let them heal for about four months.  Failed therapy because the shoulder froze.  Had steroid injections and pain meds until finally had the capsular release.  It was a lifesaver to me.  Day of surgery I went into a CPM machiine and had to be connected to it six hours a day for three weeks.  It was rough but I do believe it was a huge reason I soared after the surgery.  I continued therapy for a couple of more months and now am at about 92% function.  I do know that it is possible for a post op capsular release shoulder to freeze again.  That was why my physician had me in the shoulder CPM starting the day of surgery.  If you are not familiar with that, just google it and you will that the chair looks like something Hannibel Lechter would sit inbiggrin)  I wish you the best.  If I can answer any questions, just let me know.  

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    • Posted

      Very interesting! The surgeons who operated on me did advise passive exercise, and prescribed PT, but no one emphasized the importance of constant movement or the possibility of frozen shoulder. (Although I moved a lot doing my daily cooking and other light chores, I still got a frozen shoulder, possibly because the original physical therapist was too rough on my shattered armbones. I'm almost unfrozen now, 9 months later.) The CPM machine looks like it would do the job.

      Best of luck to you, Maryboo; I hope you heal well. it does take an awfully long time for some people, (me, for instance).

      May you heal quickly.

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  • Posted

    Maryboo, I had capsular release and still had to go to 4 months agrressive theraphy to get somewhat normal.  With frozen shoulder the old verse "time heals all wombs" hits it right on.  Just hang in there eventually you will get more movement wth physical theraphy and time.
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  • Posted

    Have you had arthroscopic capsular release? Keyhole? I had this in October and knew no pain like it. Months of tramadol and morphine. My physio kept saying that it wouldn't move as she'd hoped. I got my consultant review date brought forward and had a steroid injection. Temporary relief. Eventually, following physio, hydro and accupuncture, I had (mua )manipulation under anaesthetic. I'm now drug free 2 weeks post op. Movement is much improved, but I have weekly physio to keep working those wasted muscles. 

    It is a long process and I've probably got a year to go. 

    Don't delay, ask your consultant's secretary for an early review. Get pain relief advice from your GP. I had tramadol by day and naproxen & omeprazol, then tramadol low release for nighttime. Liquid morphine to top up if unbearable.

    i feel for you, as no one knows how awful that pain is. 

    Good luck!

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  • Posted

    I had a frozen shoulder and a capsular release on 1/14/2015 I am eight weeks post op and in PT 2 times a week with a weekly deep tissue massage. I am able to lift my arm over my head and have full ROM except for internal and external rotation which is slowly coming back I take Motrin for pain and ice three times a day it helps with inflammation and pain. You may need a manipulation to get full ROM back? So sorry this has happened to you. This by far has been the most painful thing I have ever experienced 
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