Shoulder Blade Pain After Surgery

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Twelve weeks ago I had shoulder surgery for a SLAP tear. I have been doing physical therapy since week four. Last week I noticed my shoulder blade area has been very sore. It is very uncomfortable to lay on my back, and even hurts when sitting. My PT has been massaging this area a lot during therapy. He had me do some neck exercises today, to see if the pain increased, which it did. He said the sudden pain was probably due to stiffness in that area from when I wore a sling. I have been out of the sling since week 5. I have a follow up appointment next week with my doctor. Has anyone else ever experienced this type of pain after surgery? It's just odd to me that it has just recently developed. I have not had any of this pain prior to last week. I an very active, and am ready to get my normal shoulder back!

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  • Posted

    the same problem for a while keep excercising with physio guidance and swimming helps and my gp prescibed codeine or paracetomol . write soon thank you healing prayers

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  • Posted

    There is a good chance this is compensatory pain related to your recovery. I also experienced this pain both before and then at various times after the 4 shoulder surgeries I have had. If you were behind me viewing my shoulder blades - worst pain would knot up at 7 o'clock on the right and about 4 o'clock on the left. i know the shoulder blade isn't round but best analogy I could come up with. What really helped (while continuing PT), was seeing a medical massage person once every week or two - who had spoken with my PT and concentrated on safe areas - (best $80 I have ever spent and truly should be an integrated trt in recovery plan at appropriate time) AND a tennis ball kept in a long sock or pillow case for home use. You basically place the ball in the area of soreness while up against a wall and use your body and knees to move yourself up/down to make the ball knead out the knot. you adjust the pressure as tolerated. this technique was taught to me by my PT and was a lifesaver for the times the pain was so bad from the muscle tightness that I couldn't think straight. Finally - this type of pain for me tended to layer and travel up my neck to the point that I literally could not close my teeth together. My MD Rx Baclofen/non-narcotic (after advil/tylenol and stronger NSAIDS didn't touch it) and finally it did help ease it enough that massage, PT and the tennis ball and the med helped me work through it. also make sure to stay hydrated.

    I would make sure you tell your doctor how significant the discomfort is, where it starts, time of day it starts and where/when it worsens. best case this is something that is related to normal recovery, but your doctor needs to know what you are experiencing so they can help determine diagnoses and best course forward. don't let them sweep it under the rug, though as this can impede your recovery process. Hoping you are able to obtain relief, hang in there!!

    *apologies for any grammar/punctuation errors as I am typing one handed...3 weeks post 2nd rotator cuff sgy on left shoulder - allograft this go-round

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  • Posted

    Welcome to the club! I had all kinds of pains in my neck, back, shoulder blades, legs, you name it. That immobilization and the long road back to gaining ROM and strength puts all kinds of stress on your ENTIRE body resulting in strains and pains because it throws everything off balance, not to mention the immobilization that results in those muscles losing tone because of inactivity.

    I had several therapists. Some were better at massage than others. One girl in particular was excellent. They all seemed to be able to detect knots and sensitive spots. They knew from experience where these knots and sensitive spots develop in your shoulder, elbow, back, etc. But one in particular was super good and could actually massage away those knots. A good therapist should be able to relieve some of that pain.

    You can also help yourself with ice ice ice...10-20 minutes at a time or maybe use an ice machine. Also a Tens unit is helpful for those times when you get those aches and pains. And don't be afraid to ask the therapist to try and massage those knots out of your back.

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  • Posted

    It could be cervical. I tended to lift my surgery arm with my neck for months after my surgery during exercises. My p/t seemed to think that I could just relax and stop it, that I was subliminally protecting my shoulder. If this is it, stop lifting your arm as soon as you start using your neck. Watch yourself in the mirror when you do your exercises. Your p/t should be able to show you how to lift your arm properly. If your p/t is not the person watching you do your exercises, ask them to watch you.

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