Discouraged after shoulder surgery and bursitis surgery
I had shoulder tendonitis and bursitis surgery two weeks ago and I am still have pain. I have been told this could be the nerve endings;
Is this true? I have a follow up visit tomorrow and one of the surgeons informed me that I may need a cortizone injection, he said he always gives one after surgery.
I am starting to think something is more wrong with the pain. Please give me some answers.
Hi there. I'm glad you're looking for answers to this common questions.
Surgery, unfortunately, is not a cure all. Regardless of what you had going on in there, surgery cut through skin and connective tissue and tendon, and the body is responding appropriately to such an invasion.
Unfortunately, this hurts.
Shoulder surgery recovery, whether it includes a bursa or not, must include activities that counter the injurious effects of the surgery as well as the original Tendonitis problem.
This is likely why your surgeon routinely gives cortizone with the surgery...to cut down on the body's post-surgery inflammation response (inflammation causes pain).
As far as your question around pain coming from the nerve endings. Technically, this is true. Nerve endings are what allow you to feel pain.
The doctor's point in making this statement? I don't know. Probably saying it's your nerves hurting from the surgery and it will take time for them to become unirritated.
Remember, scalpels and such cut through tissue, including nerve fibers. It's going to hurt.
Should you get a Corticosteroid Injections?
That's up to you. At best it will drop your pain levels down for a while.
Pain sucks. I'm generally against anti-inflammatories and corticosteroids, but....pain sucks. No shame in getting one. Just keep in mind that it is nothing but a pain killer.
And, there are possible side effects, ranging from it not helping at all, to actually making you hurt worse, and or injure yourself more.
Should it still be hurting at this point after the surgery? That's the better question.
Two weeks? I'm not surprised you have pain still. Especially from surgery on the bursa. When bursae get irritated and injured, they can hurt, and hurt bad, for a long time.
I would expect at least a month of pain from a surgery like this, starting out bad and slowly getting better.
Getting back to surgery is not a cure all. What I want to know, is, did the surgery get rid of the -cause- of your shoulder tendonitis and bursitis?
For instance, if your bursitis
is from the muscles in the armpit area being too tight and pulling and compressing your shoulder down, which grinds the bursa? Kind of like a Shoulder Impingement?
My point is, you had tight muscles pulling on an unhappy shoulder tendon, and likely compressing the structure such that the bursa was getting compressed/irritated.
Surgery and pain causes the muscles to tighten up even more to protect you. This pulls on the newly injured tendon and potential compresses that poor, newly injured bursa even more.
My main suggestion for your doctor's visit tomorrow is, regardless of whether you get a shot or not, is to have your doctor get you (under a variety of names) one of those shoulder icing machines.
They probably won't, but it's worth a shot (make sure of the cost before you leave with one!).
You can get one for personal use, prices range up to a couple hundred bucks.
I HIGHLY suggest that you find a good way to ice your shoulder. This will be your best option to reduce pain and speed healing times.
Here is a couple random examples of home units I just found searching the web.
Or you could rig something up at home using those as an example.
Again, I HIGHLY suggest you Ice like a madman for at least a week. The more area you can cover, the better.
Ideally it's a few minutes on, several minutes off. A few on, several off. But however you do it, DO IT!. That's the best short and long term pain relief strategy I have.
Then once the pain is down, we start looking to see if the pain is going to go away totally, or not.
And then we go from there. First things first, knock the surgery pain down.
Does that answer your question?
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Joshua Tucker, B.A., C.M.T.
The Tendonitis Expert