Rotator Cuff Tendons 3 out of 4 have all but sepa... - PMRGCAuk

PMRGCAuk

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Rotator Cuff Tendons 3 out of 4 have all but separated. Have been told I need a shoulder replacement.

frangemini
frangemini

If there is anyone on this forum who has had a replacement shoulder I would really like to hear from you. I have had extremely limited use of my right arm for 18 months now with all the associated pain. Have just started on my 2nd course of physiotherapy, 1st one did not appear to achieve anything. I have seen the Orthopaedic Consultant who showed me my Ultra Sound Scan from which he has made this reccomendation and he set me on this second course of physio which is much harder than the first. I have had an MRI and a CT Scan as well so I think I am fast approaaching having to make the decision as to whether I want this shoulder replaced or to carry on having shoulder injections I have had 2 so far.

A 'warts and all' response would be very much appreciated from amyone who can offer an opinion.

16 Replies
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Hidden
Hidden

Hi frangemini,

Joint replacement surgery has improved so much in the past 10 yrs. The best advice I can give you is to seek a surgeon who has expertise in shoulder replacements. I would imagine that you would need fairly intensive physio post op.

Good luck with whatever you decide.

frangemini
frangemini in reply to Hidden

Thanks Keyes

I believe the surgeon I have seen does have the expertise and he has advised me that the result overall is as much down to me doing the pre and post op physio has him doing the op. So I think that's a plus sign.

Hidden
Hidden in reply to frangemini

Your surgeon sounds very honest, it's great to have a team approach.

frangemini
frangemini in reply to Hidden

Thanks again - I am doing as much research as I can before making the decision.

PMRpro
PMRproAmbassador

I suggest you try a rheumatoid arthritis forum to ask about shoulder replacement surgery as I know of a couple of people who have had it done because of the joint damage in RA. Otherwise it isn't a particularly common op and PMR wouldn't cause enough damage/problems to need one as a rule.

All I can find with a search is stuff from the USA and 4 or 5 years old - things move on pretty quickly in orthopaedics! If you have a search, bear in mind too that forums tend to feature people with problems - people who have a good experience rarely go to look for a forum!

frangemini
frangemini in reply to PMRpro

Hi PMR Pro

Many thanks for your advice. I thought that when I posted this it would also automatically go to the RA site which I am following. How do I re-post it there?

Nine years ago (well before I had PMR) I had a partial left shoulder replacement - hemi-arthroplasty to give it its posh name - not for rotator cuff issues, but because osteophytes in the joint were virtually dislocating the shoulder. It was incredibly painful and debilitating. The surgeon was brilliant. The anaesthetist put in a nerve block when meant I had no post-operative pain for 24 hours which would have been the worst period. I spent four nights in hospital and came home with a big sling which I needed for about 3 weeks. Physio was relentless but effective. It was a year before I could fasten my bra behind my back and even now I don't find it easy. I can swim breaststoke and a kind of modified front crawl. The arm is not quite as fully functional as my right one but as I am right-handed that isn't much of a problem. The best of it is that, since the op, I have never woken up in tears with the pain. I hope this gives you some help with your decision, frangemini. Good luck to you whatever you decide.

Hello Annodomini

This is exactly the sort of reply that I need. I do have pain associated with my shoulder, but not woken up in tears with it. I was advised by the surgeon that I would have a box sling for 3-4 weeks and then physio again for 3 months. I do worry about the limitations I will have because my husband has Alzheimers and I am his carer. He is very reliant upon me and hates having any one else in the house to look after him. I just have to weigh up the possible long term advantages against the possible disadvantages. If it is more likely that it will be more than a year, as you say yours was 9 years ago, before I can have anything like full movement then I am vearing towards not having it.

However, I shall take all the advice I can get before the final decision is made.

I hope you continue to improve, and thanks so much for taking to time to respond.

PMRpro
PMRproAmbassador in reply to frangemini

As far as I can gather - it is a long process getting back to fitness, not like a hip replacement. Shoulders are always rather sticky - look at the tennis players who need surgery, even though their aim is rather more than eating their dinner!

To get it onto the RA forum I assume you can copy and paste what you wrote into a new thread in the RA forum - but I'm no expert in the technical stuff on this forum! Sorry.

frangemini
frangemini in reply to PMRpro

Thank you PMR Pro I will do both - look at the tennis players who have needed surgery and cut and paste it onto the RA forum. Many thanks.

A friend has recently had this operation, her consultant told her that it would be a year before she thought she was glad she'd had it done. She's still on pain killers but has better movement.

frangemini
frangemini in reply to Mama48

Thanks Mama 48 I am thinking that a year is too long for me to be out of commission as it were. I am so glad you shared this with me. I hope your friend gets off pain killers and has even more movement before too long.

jinasc
jinasc in reply to frangemini

I snapped a tendon and my foot was turning out and would be at a 45 degree angle and I would have been in a wheelchair.

It took a fantastic orthopaedic surgeon who was only one of two in the UK who could do the op at that time. Yes, it took one whole year out of my life - but I could walk again and boy was it worth it. Mind ending up with one foot size 8 and t'other size 9 and I never did find anyone with the reverse sizes to share with.

frangemini
frangemini in reply to jinasc

I am so pleased to hear you found a fantastic surgeon. I believe that the surgeon I am seeing is absolutely fine, it's just me that isn't absolutely sure that I need it right now. I can't imagine having what seems likely to be a year out of commission is just something I can deal with at the moment.

Thanks for sharing with me, all the information I am getting back from the communities will help me to make up my mind.

I have a mate, whom we call 'Bionic', he has had two shoulder replacements, 1 elbow, two hips, two knees, one ankle it all started when he was about 50 and is now 76.

Yes it was hard work for him and we had many tears, laughter and swearing - but he moves.

frangemini
frangemini in reply to jinasc

No wonder you call him the Bionic Man - wow that is an amazing story. I am so grateful to you for sharing it with me, it really has helped me to appreciate what I do have at the moment.

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