frozen shoulder or bone metastasis ?

Hi, I was diagnosed with breast cancer in Feb 2011, had chemo, double mx, rads and finished that phase of the tratment in Oct 2011. I had a few MRI scans of my bones up to Feb 2012 and nothing else after that. In the summer I started to have pain and restricted movement in my shoulder. Both oncologist and surgeon said I needed physio because I had become “unfit”. I started physio in October, things did not improve, in fact they got worse. In the last two weeks I had a major worsening of the condition, going from being able to lift my arm up by 90 degrees to being able to raise it just by half that. Not only my movements are severely restricted but I am also in a lot of pain which is in the shoulder and arm as well. And this sudden worsening happened despite me doign all the daily exercises reccommended by the physio and using the ice pack every day as reccommended. When I saw the physio today he was very alarmed by this sudden worsening and told me to go back to the GP and push for a referral and said they would do X-rays and further tests as well.
Now, frozen shoulder is very bad of course but what I am really worried about is if this is caused by bone metastasis. Can anyone tell me if the symptoms of frozen shoulder and those of bone metastasis can be similar ? I need to know whether I need to push my GP to give me a referral to an oncologist and not just to an orthopedic doctor. He has been very reticent to write a referral in the past (I had to go back to him twice before I was referred when I had breast cancer, despite a lump in my breast, one in my armpit, and a known history of breast cancer int he family). I want to go to the appointment knowing if it is possible that bone metastasis give the symptoms I have described ?

Hi there barbwill

This must be a worrying time and dealing with pain is always difficult so it’s always best to get things checked out so another trip to the GP is a good idea.

I thought you might find it helpful to read our factsheet on bone mets which gives information about symptoms. Here’s the link:

http://www2.breastcancercare.org.uk/sites/default/files/bcc30\_secondary\_bc\_in\_the\_bone.pdf

Hope you find this useful

Best wishes

Louise, Facilitator

Thank you Louise, I saw my GP on Friday. He categorically excludes that it’s cancer but gave me a request for an X-ray which I have done on the same day. He should call me tomorrow with the results. I also left a message with the oncologist’s secretary and they have given me an appointment for Tuesday morning. I’ll let you know my news tomorrow.

I had frozen shoulder last year. It is very painful, stiff but also I had shooting pains down my arms if I picked something up without thinking. I had to go to a chiropractor for help. It is to do with the muscles in shoulder but mine was also round the front sort of above my boob. Eventually settled down but was a long ttime hope this helps a little although know you will not settle until you know for sure
Wendy

Hi the symptoms you desribe are just how i was after completing my treatment , I was Dx with a frozen shoulder, tried physio but did n’t really help, i had a cortisone injection which helped with the pain but I am still unable to use my arm fully , Onc told me it’s a Se of Rads and will take upto 18 months to recover.
Hope you get sorted soon.
Jean

Thank you Wendy and Jean, your messages are reassuring. I have corrected my post because there was a mistake with the dates. I finished my rads over a year ago and the frozen shoulder happened only now. I was fine in the months after the mx and rads, this started this summer but didn’t get bad until 2 weeks ago.

I too have been diagnosed with frozen shoulder,this has been going on since March,same side as the lumpectomy and rads I had in 2010.Steroid injection made no difference.Had xrays and ultra sound scan which reveled nothing.
Now going to physio and start acupunture this week to see if that helps.Mine is worse at night.
It will be interesting to see how you get on Barbwill.How long after your rads did you get it Tillybob?Can this affect you 2 years after rads?

Hi thank goodness it isn’t bone metastasis. Going to see orthopspecialist tomorrow. It’s very unpleasant but not life threatening. Thank you all

Hi. I had problems with my shoulder when I was first dx and had scans etc. It corrected itself ovr a few months. That was over 4 years ago.
Recently I’ve had problems with the other shoulder. It did worry me but again it corrected itself over a few months. Last October I took my grandchildren bowling. The pain in my arm was terrible & I had to bowl with my other arm. Now it’s fine. Just time.
Take care