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Frozen shoulder

7 REPLIES 7
Magical_Moon
Member

Re: Frozen shoulder

Fecinora,
Forgot to add, I am allergic to anti-inflammatories and strong painkillers like Tramadol, Codeine. Paracetamols gave no relief from pain.
Since taking Anastrozole, the severe chronic pain in most of my other joints (fingers, wrists, knees, hips and elbows) is controlled by Amitriptyline (for neuropathic pain). Thank goodness!
My GP hadn't prescribed Amitriptyline for me at the time I had the frozen shoulder.
M x
Magical_Moon
Member

Re: Frozen shoulder

Hello Fecinora and Butt,
I've had first hand experience of a frozen shoulder which occurred after my WLE/SNB surgery (two 'clear' sentinel nodes removed) and radiotherapy.
At first, the pain in my shoulder and reduced movement was diagnosed as
shoulder impingement/rotator cuff tendonitis. However, within weeks it had developed into a frozen shoulder.
I was referred to a Physiotherapist by my breast surgeon and my GP advised me to have a cortisone injection. I remember being extremely frightened of developing Lymphoedema and the thought of having an injection on my BC side scared me.
Below is the link to the post I put on the BCC Forum at the time.

https://forum.breastcancercare.org.uk/t5/Recovering-from-treatment/Rotator-Cuff-Tendonitis-Shoulder-...

I decided to go ahead with the cortisone injection after much deliberation and discussions with BCC helpline, BCN, GP and Physiotherapist. My GP assured me that the injection went into an enclosed space within the shoulder joint and was different to injections into arm veins which may cause Lymphoedema in some cases where a full node clearance has been done.
To be honest, no one could give me a definitive answer about my Lymphoedema concerns. However, the pain had become intolerable and simple daily tasks were difficult to do with very limited movement in my left arm. I live alone with no family or close friends for support so had to do something to improve my functionality.
The injection enabled me to commence a course of Physiotherapy. After four months of Physiotherapy (fortnightly sessions) including the prescribed exercises at home, the range of movement in my shoulder and arm was back to 'as near as' normal.
I am glad I took the risk. Nine months on, my shoulder joint and movement are still OK. Plus, I have managed to get the risk of developing Lymphoedema into a more balanced perspective in my head especially as I only had two 'clear' sentinel nodes removed.
Peace and Positivity,
M x
fecinora
Member

Re: Frozen shoulder

Hi Christine, Is the hydro dilitation that you had the same as the cortisol injection? I had a look at the patient UK site and it is mentioned in the same breath. Or is it cortisol together with other fluids?

I've had a look for more information. The BCC Publications here have a lymphodema risk booklet (look under R for risk). It seems the risk is mostly from the injection, so I'm wary now.

My physio said to use a heat pack before the excercises - now I'm a bit wary of that too. Generally you would avoid heat for inflamation.... Anyway, I think I will wait to see how it progresses with the excercises and continue as long as the physios will see me.

I tried brufen for a while, but it made no difference.

Butt, has anyone suggested meds for nerve pain - gabapentin, pregabalin, or amatryptyline? My plastic surgeon mentioned these, but I havnt looked down that road yet.

fecinora
Member

Re: Frozen shoulder

Hello everyone,

Butt, I found your post while searching for information on the risk of developing lymphodema following cortisol injection. The physiotherapist at my GP's suggested the injection for my frozen shoulder (or capsular constricture, as the physio at the reconstruction hospital termed it), but my BS says there is a very small risk of lymphodema from the injection.

I have not had swelling of my arm since cancer treatment, but even though I only needed two sentinel nodes removed, I have had cording, and ongoing pain in that arm, so I want to assess lymphodema risk before going ahead with the injection.

Apparently frozen shoulder will eventually resolve, but can take up to two years. My shoulder/upper arm was already painful before my double mastectomy/DIEP recon 4 months ago. It has become much more painful and debilitating since, and made worse by ?nerve damage? at the back of my upper arm. This started as episodes of localised sharp pain on my second day post op, and has now progressed to a numbness at and above that area. 

I hope this information is helpful. Get a physiotherapist assessment if not already done.

Meanwhile, if anyone has information or experience on lymphodema risk from cortisol injection, please would you share it here, Thanks, Anne

ChristineP
Member

Re: Frozen shoulder

I had this too. Frozen shoulder and radiotherapy. Agony.
Do they have the possibility of hydro dilitation at your hospital? Check patient.co.uk. It is a procedure where they inject fluid in your shoulder, under local anaesthetic, and in many people it is instant relief. I had it, and wow, it was excellent.

Seabreeze
Member

Re: Frozen shoulder

Hi ladies,
Not experienced frozen shoulder but did have nerve pain just behind/below my shoulder blade. Was quite severe. Found ampitriptyline really helped. Took it for a while and was able to stop without any nerve pain returning. Letting you know in case its something which may help - Butts suggest you ask your GP.
Hope your pain and stiffness eases.
Seabreeze
jannie13
Member

Re: Frozen shoulder

I have had this too..radiotherapy was torture but actually did help the cording so i know try to lie in that position for a few minutes twice a day. A long drive 8 hours put my neck in severe spasm so had to have diasipam and cocodamol as well as anti inflamitaries this help loads and made excercises easier once spasm died down. Took it for 5 days and the normal pain is esaing as i can do excercise now.
Butt
Member

Frozen shoulder

Hi! Since my operation I suffered from nerve ending problems for 2 months. I couldn't even bare any clothes touching me. Then I thought I was normal and recovering slowly only to be told I was suffering from an extreme frozen shoulder . I am having physio every 2 weeks, but told it can take 18 months to get back to normal . I have had to endure the almost torture of the Radiotheropy cuffs. Has anyone else had this problem any advice? I also suffer from cording in my arm and armpit and chest, so am massaging these areas to help. When will this all end? Any help greatly received. Butt