Up again in the middle of the night!

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I've had FS following a fracture to upper arm ( now totally healed) 3 months ago

I have never experienced anything like this in my life!!

And I have had fractures and sprains before

The nightly  pain is what really gets to me and reduces my ability to cope with life in general

Only last week I scratched my neighbour's car!!!!

I look after my husband who has chronic heart and lung conditions and he uses oxygen etc and has been so stoic about it, I feel an absolute wimp

Normally I'm a busy active and , though I say it myself, jolly person

2 days ago I had a guided cortisone injection with hydro inflation and was so optimistic that this would "do it"

It was expensive ( the NHS eating list was so long I opted for private feeling a bit guilty about that)

But here I am, up in the night again, 4 o' clock, dressing gown round my shoulders because I'm too scared to put my arm in the sleeve

You know the feeling!!!

I am using my other arm far too much and hope I'm not risking that one too

I work, in spite of being pretty ancient, drive long distances, and am trying to lead a normal life without frightening all my friends away with constant moaning!!

Help please and is there any hope that this injection has just not started working yet?

I was alerted by the consultant to " cortisone flare" but it's not ferocious 

Just the same  old 2 hourly night pain

0 likes, 18 replies


18 Replies

  • Posted

    Dear Kay,

    I'm so sorry! That deep pain is so hard to deal with. When mine was at its worst, I positioned pillows around my body, under that arm until it was in the most neutral/painless/supported position. As far as a shot goes, I'm not sure how long it takes. I'd call my doctor tomorrow and ask. Icing really helps reduce pain. I'd try 20 minutes, no more then you can repeat in an hour, I think. Ask your doctor about that, too. It reduces blood flow which is essential in healing. However, your doctor might ok it as a good alternative to pain meds. Don't give up. It will get better. Really. Ask questions. Get answers. Don't give up until you feel better. I'll say a prayer you feel better soon.


    • Posted

      Thanks Christine

      It helps to have heard from you

      Yes I will try ice 

      That has helped on occasions

      If this pain is going to continue, I will have to get into a routine before going to bed

      Pillows ice etc

      Thanks so much

  • Posted

    Chances are, the cortisone hasn't kicked in yet.  Mine took about 2 days but some for some people it can be longer than that.  If you have had a bit of a reaction to the injection, then maybe it will take a little longer,  Don't panic - chances are that it will help with the pain soon - and yes, we do all know that awful feeling!  Good luck and let us know how you get on.

    • Posted

      Thank Maria

      I was panicking a bit

      Was hoping that the injection would stop the pain and waking twice in the night again frightened me

      I do realise that it's early days

      I 'm so glad I found this forum

      Thanks again


  • Posted

    Hi Kay,

    Firstly you do not have a frozen shoulder. I can speak to you with some experiance regarding your condition. When you fracture your humerus it is not just the fracture it is the amount of soft damage that happens. Lots of bleeding must take place which forms scar tissue which does not want to stretch. When any movement takes place it acts like a hinge joint instead of gliding and spinning and rotating. These movements won't be helped I don't think by any amount of injection or trying to distend the capsule which is scarred. If you truly had a FS do you really think it will resolve on it's own with no treatments as FS do.

    You should consult a physiotherapist who has a post graduate diploma or degree in manual therapy. Easy to find on the web. Thats who I have seen in the past. My wife watched when I had mine done and continued to do it a few times for a few minutes a day. It is easy and not rocket science. And it is cheap! Just thinking, in this day and age take a friend or hubby and cell phone video the technique.

    Remember FS is a disease in its self nothing to do with trauma operations fractures or even lyme diease.

    All I have written is on the web.

    • Posted

      Thank you frozen stiff

      My orthopaedic. Consultant and the Consultant Radiologist both have given me the diagnosis of post injury adhesive capsulitis which I understand to be a form of FS

      But I joined the group for advice and information so will take on board any  contribution from those of you who know about the condition

      Thanks again


    • Posted

      My (extremely experienced) consultant agrees that you can get what he refers to as a secondary frozen shoulder following surgery or injury.  Mine was a primary idiopathic one, with no known cause but I believe the treatment is the same for either type - but of course the consultant should take into account any other factors present.  There's no guarantee that hydrodilatation will completely free up the joint anyway - though it does for some - but getting guided cortisone right into the joint should help with the pain (and healing) to an extent where physio can be more effective, without any need for extreme pain.  It is much more effective than any muscular cortisone injection you might get from your GP.  

      First time round, my shoulder was very badly frozen and though I got little immediate improvement in ROM, it did stop the pain and I got most of my movement back within the next couple of months.  Getting rid of the pain was the most important thing for me, as constant pain and the resulting lack of sleep were playing havoc with my physical and mental health.  If the pain had been minor, I'd have been happy to let my frozen shoulder run it's natural course but for many of us, it becomes unbearable.

    • Posted

      Yes my priority is getting some sleep

      Lack of sleep is making me forgetful and careless

      So tonight, I've made preparations with pillows etc and am going to use ice before I go to bed 

      Thanks Maria 

    • Posted

      Post injury capsulitis most likely, the adhesive part no. So what treatment have your consultants offered you?
    • Posted

      There are plenty of academic medical papers on the web describing both primary and secondary adhesive capsulitis - secondary being caused by injury, etc. Please don't take offence but I don't know your medical background to dispute this, without even seeing a patient.  I know that frozen shoulder can easily be mis-diagnosed (especially by GPs) but I'd rather take the word of a trained and experienced orthopaedic consultant after seeing and examining someone.  I can't and don't speak for Kay but it would seem she's had hydrodilatation (like me) and with any luck, she should at least find relief from the pain once the cortisone kicks in.

      There's a lot of disagreement, even amongst medical professionals about the causes and treatments of frozen shoulder.  Trials are ongoing - I know my consultant and his team have done their own trials on hydrodilatation, (claiming a success rate of over 70% in improving the movement of the shoulder and over 90% in improving pain) and he is involved in ongoing research into the causes.  Let's hope that research can find the answers, so that sufferers can find relief, without needing to suffer so much pain.

    • Posted

      Hi Kay, I would definitely take the diagnosis  of your orthopedic Dr. and radiologist, they are the ones that seen patients in a daily basis.

      Im sure you can even diagnose yourself since you are the one that has the symptoms. The people in this excelent forum can give you an advice but never a diagnosis. 

      Our own research is the best way to know what happens to our bodies.

      My best wishes to you hoping all this nightmare goes by pretty soon.

      All the very best!!!

    • Posted

      Frozen stiff, can you please stop telling people what have or they dont have, you are not the expert neither their doctor. Do not diminish people diagnosis and knowledege.

      Thanks for the attention to my suggestion.

    • Posted

      Frozzen stiff, do you realize that you must be confusing people with your assumptions??? They may even put treatments on hold because of your comments.  Please refrain of giving or dismissing diagnosis, that's up to the doctors.

    • Posted

      Thank you Oliveria

      I have an appointment to see my Orthopod soon

      I do have faith in the medical profession and agree with you and Maria

      Whilst I don't think the Cortisone injection did what I hoped it would do , there is some improvement and I'm feeling more hopeful

      Thanks everyone

    • Posted

      Hi Maria,

      Alternative frozen shoulder is a recent innovation coined by a Scandinavian orthopaedist in 1969 and embraced by some orthopaedists since. This Dr Lundberg postulated that FS should be subdevided into idiopathic and secondary. The secondary would be soft tissue injury, arthritis, hemiplegia and or any other known cause. The primary he said ideopathic or I don't know what causes it.

      We know now that FS belongs to the "formidable four" for men and the "terrible treo" for women. So Pyronies, Dupuytrens, Ledderhoses and frozen shoulder. These run in families, some members have one of the affore mentioned others all. The histology in these range from exactly the same or almost the same. You have to wonder what a hemiplgic shoulder or tendonitis would be mentioned in the same breath as FS. Amagine a heart doctor telling you you have an alternative heart attack or alternate stoke!

      So ask if your doctors alternate FS is a Autosomal dominal trait or not. Get a correct diagnosis.

      This is my last post on FS. I am now studying exercise physiology as it pertains to to high intensity super slow resisted exercises especially in the elderly. Good way to keep your aged parents out of the nursing home!

    • Posted

      I know of no other incidence of frozen shoulder in my family - or of the other conditions mentioned.  It would seem that the link to Dupuytrens is still being investigated - from the Dupuytren Society website:

      The similarities and connection between Frozen Shoulder and Dupuytren's diesease are still being debated. The collagen accumulation associated with Frozen Shoulder seems to be similar to Dupuytren's disease (TD Bunker and PP Antony "The pathology of frozen shoulder. A Dupuytren-like disease." J Bone Joint Surg Br. 77 (1995) p 677-83. Abstract frozen_shoulder_Dupuytren) but there seem to be also significant differences between "Frozen Shoulder" tissue and "Dupuytren" tissue: M. Bains, S. Lambert, V. Mudera "Primary Frozen Shoulder - the untold story" abstract. The authors conclude "These data suggest intrinsic differences in cellular activity and mechanisms between Dupuytren's and Primary Frozen Shoulder even though clinically they both manifest with a contracted extracellular matrix affecting function and requiring surgical intervention."

      I hope you don't mind me questioning your advice - it would seem there is much contradictory information and advice out there for what we all know to be a debilitating and painful condition.  I can only rely on the judgement of my own consultant, who appears to know what he is doing.  Hopefully there will be a definitive answer to the causes and treatments eventually - and the sooner the better.

      I wish you good luck with your training.



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