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Anyone developed a shoulder or upper arm pain long after axilla dissection?

5 REPLIES 5
Diana
Member

Re: Anyone developed a shoulder or upper arm pain long after axilla dissection?

 

HI PIppinx,

 

Sorry to hear about your shoulder too.  Mine was OK for 2years after the surgery - I did the exercises immediately after the op, but somehow after 3-4 years the internal scar tissue developed and strain the muscles & tissues which lock my arm.  Hope you find a relief soon.  I have been going to a lady who is an oncology masseur in Pinner, it helps a bit particularly to give more movement to my left arm.  But some days the pain moves to different sites of the shoulder and it bothers me at night. 

 

Diana
Member

Re: Anyone developed a shoulder or upper arm pain long after axilla dissection?

 

Hi mrsorangecat,

 

Thank you for your response, im glad to hear that I’m not alone. So far I’m trying not to depend on the pain killer at the only when the pain last a long time, so will try acupuncture next.  You are right that the physio and massage do not cure it, but it help a little. My knotted muscles are slightly softer now but the pain is still there.

 

I’m seeing my GP and no doubt the physio dept wants me too have the steroid injection on the shoulder.

 

best wishes 

Diana

 

Pippinxx
Member

Re: Anyone developed a shoulder or upper arm pain long after axilla dissection?

Hi I finished my treatment of chemo and radiotherapy in March this year. By the August I had severe shoulder pain and down my upper arm. I have been attending physiotherapist for 3 months now who diagnosed a frozen shoulder. They say this happened because my arm had to be in the same position after mysectomy and an infection. I hope you feel better soon.

mrsorangecat
Member

Re: Anyone developed a shoulder or upper arm pain long after axilla dissection?

Hi Diana, really sorry you're having lots of pain. I developed pain a few months after my mastectomy with sentinal lymph node removal (they took 3 nodes to check them) and then radiotherapy. I was prepared to try anything to get rid of the pain and i started by having 5 sessions of physio, which was so painful it brought tears to my eyes during every session. I then decided to try Bowen therapy, which did help and eased the pain for a few days but it came back quickly and was really dragging me down and making me feel very low and i wasn't sleeping, so i went to see my GP and she prescribed me Amitriptyline, wow! what a turning point, it really helped me. I take 20 mg nightly and i dont have any pain at all now and feel good. Maybe worth a discussion with your GP to see if it might help you? It rings a bell with me as the physio thought mine was frozen shoulder initially, but the exercises for that didn't do anything. Best wishes xx
Guest user
Not applicable

Re: Anyone developed a shoulder or upper arm pain long after axilla dissection?

Hi Diana

 

Hopefully other Forum users will respond soon. If you'd like to discuss your concerns with one of our breast cancer specialists, our Helpline is open weekdays 9am-4pm and Saturdays 9am-1pm

 

Best wishes

Nik

Diana
Member

Anyone developed a shoulder or upper arm pain long after axilla dissection?

 

Just wondering if anyone else has developed shoulder pain 2-3 years following the lymph nodes clearance surgery?  Did your shoulder feel locked?  What did you do to overcome the pain problem ?  What works?  Physio, steroid injection?  

 

I had an axilla dissection in July 2014 to have the lymph nodes clearance on my left axilla, after being diagnose with a recurrence.  I also had chemo and Herceptin.  All lymph nodes were removed. I exercised per instruction post surgery and recovered with no problem, no lymphodema thank goodness.

 

Life went on until last year, 3 years after my surgery, I developed slight pain on my left shoulder and went on for a while so I decided to try a chiropractor to have a treatment.  I was told it was a frozen shoulder despite telling him that I had the surgery before.  The treatment (quick massage and tapping the shoulder with a device) did nothing and my pain got worse and I could not raise my left arm fully, the muscle on my left shoulder and the connective joints are all became so tensed and knotted! It feels like cording. I then went back to Royal Marsden physiotherapist  to have the shoulder/axilla looked at.  Several exercises prescribed, the pain come and go, the arm movement is better one day but got worse on the next, on and off.  

 

I have been going to to a lady who does oncology massage twice a week for the last two months, which was painful, she works to soften all the knotted tissue and muscles, it helps with the tensed joints, one step forward but the pains are still there on and off, and some time is petty bad during the night that I have to take pain killer.

 

i had the MRI of the shoulder and the physiotherapist told me that if there is no improvement, then I need to see an orthopaedic doctor to have a steroid injection on the shoulder.

 

How is your shoulder a few years after the surgery?