When can I reasonably expect a decent nights sleep after rotator cuff surgery?

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I had open surgery around four and a half months ago. This was originally for the SAD procedure but it transpired that I also had a 3cm rotator cuff tear.  My range of movement recovery was pretty good and both consultant and physio were pleased with progress but nobody seems interested in the PAIN.  My GP suggested sleeping tablets when I advised that the pain in my shoulder and elbow wakes me from a very fitful sleep every couple of hours, or painkillers - neither of which I want to rely on as painkillers tend to give me digestive problems and I am limiting myself to half of a sleeping tablet every ten days or so as I can at least claim one reasonable night (4 - 5 hours).  I have followed physio advice all the way through, and although I have tried to push through with strengthening exercise, it almost puts me back to square one pain wise.  My GP was concerned about a swelling above my collar bone but a scan didn't show up anything 'nasty' but it has been suggested to me, and also reading these forums that it could be neck related as the pain is deep in my bicep, tennis elbow like symptoms and waking up with a numb hand.  The shoulder just feels as if I have working with really heavy weights and muscle related.  Although signed off by physio, I have the option to return, but being NHS I am thinking that because of my good mobility, they see it as job done, and the associated pain and neck stiffness is not  part of the remit.  I read on a forum post that it takes a good year to feel normal after this surgery and I think I could cope with that if it was a gradual improvement but I feel I go one step forward and two back.  I'm sure the damp weather doesn't help joints either.  Anyone else been through similar?

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  • Posted

    Hi I had SAD procedure pain was off the scale took every painkiller prescribed. Had second procedure to release frozen shoulder and am feeling much better. Still have some pain in the shoulder and I'm not being signed of physio until it's right.

    I had a bad back a while ago and paid private for physio. They used acupuncture with electrical activity I found it very good.

    Good luck

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    • Posted

      Hi Jane.  Glad you are feeling better.  I had some acupuncture a week or so ago and also what they call wet cupping and at least my elbow feels easier if not my shoulder so perhaps I should persevere with it.  I managed to get a cancellation appointment with physio today and he reiterated that it was all normal.  Because I have good mobility, the fact that I am yet to get a decent night's sleep is not a concern.  I may also do as you did and get some private physio to help things along.  Meanwhile I'm going to follow today's advice and work through the pain and step up the exercises a bit.  They don't warn you how bad it will be do they?  Let's hope we both improve with 2016!
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    • Posted

      My consultant did say it could be painful I foolishly thought nothing could top child birth(ha ha) how wrong I was. I also got a physio ice pack worked better that peas. Between ice and pills I got through.

      Good luck and happy New yr xxx

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    Hi mate , i posted roughly last october at that time i was off work with severe frozen shoulder which had built up over the preceding months . This had been ongoing for around 4 years and have had steroid injections etc... Eventually i was talked into going to chiro after being off work for 10 weeks and obviously sick pay doesn't last forever . I went paid £300 for 12 treatments up till dec 27th , well it has been nothing short of amazing my range of motion is very good now although still sore when i lift arm fully vertical . I have the bicep nerve pain similar to yours deep inside my shoulder and arm , my chiro says it takes an average of 6 months for inflamed nerves which have been pressured in the shoulder to heal properly . I still have the odd bad night sleeping but on a whole i am just happy to have a decent measure of life bck , the NHS totally let me down left me to suffer fir months between consultations . The chiro has realigned my back/ neck and shoulder and i stress it was painfull to break the inflamation , dont get me wrong my shoulder still aches in the joint but a few inuprofen and i can put up with it . If u reaf my earlier posts i was in severe pain , now at least i am %80 and able to function. Let those nerves settle give it time no heavy weights just stretching slowly . Best of luvk to u and all the rest of us shoulder sufferers in the new year .... Gavin
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    • Posted

      Hi Gavin.  Many thanks for your post, very reassuring.  It is the bad nights that make this such a problem for me, but as I do have good movement, I am taking heed of the advice you were given re: six months to see any real improvement of pain.  I had a decent workout at the gym today - no heavy weights of course, lots of cardio and stretching.  As I tried to explain to the NHS physio, as soon as I do anything physical at all with my shoulder, the tennis elbow flares up again, but his remit was shoulder so I think I am going to need to pursue the private route to maybe get my neck checked out so that any progress isn't hindered.  To be fair, looking at my form in the gym, you wouldn't be able to tell that one shoulder is a bit dodgy, I am managing to keep decent posture so think a kick up the butt is called for and as I say, have taken your comments on board and will try to be a bit more patient and let the healing do it's stuff!  Happy New year to everyone suffering still.
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  • Posted

    Ref the nerve pain , i was speaking to my chiro about that issue and his reasoning was that if you have had a long term shoulder injury or just inflamation from wear and tear those shoulder nerves and trapezius nerves have been compressed for a long time . He said in my case my shoulder has been damadged for at least 4 years so will take at least 6 months for the nerves to " de-stress" as he puts it . It cant just revert bck to normal it has to heal . I drove 200 miles today got bck to work and it felt like i had toothache inside my shoulder joint , a deep dull ache . As to your tennis elbow i got rid of mine by holding a barbell with no weight sitting down elbows on knees and stretching the bar out as in a curling motion , hold it on the bottom and really stretch those tendons ... Took me 2 weeks of this every other day and it went . Also amino acids are good for muscle / ligament repair buy a good brand . At the end of the day it is up to you now m8 to get a good quality of life back , you can do do it , you will have good days and sh*t days but aim for a nice steady upwards graph . Keep posting every few weeks we'll stay in touch. Regards Gavin
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    • Posted

      Hi Gavin.  Well it's been another week and although I've had another acupuncture session with a Chinese therapist, I've pretty much been following your advice especially with the tennis elbow issue.  I am managing to do a fair bit in the gym - either very light weights or just a bar and although I still have the 'toothache' and a lot of broken sleep I do tentatively feel it's slowly improving.  I've taken on board the fact that nerve repair is lengthy so at least mentally I'm in a better place.  I cleaned a large area of floor today by hand, which was something I wouldn't have done a few weeks ago and I'm sure I will pay for it later but I guess it's progress.  How are you doing?  Are you still having chiro treatment?
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