Shoulder surgery.

dianel
dianel Member Posts: 48
edited 23. Apr 2009, 07:18 in Living with Arthritis archive
Hi Everyone,
Although I've posted a couple of times I'm new on the forum. I should like to thank those on this forum such as Scottishlass, Elna, Hobnobob, Jasperalty, and many more who've given both information and help through their postings. I'm sure there are many people such as myself who are "lurking" and do,indeed, get a great deal of help here.
I have either R.A or PsA which has manifested over the last five years. As usual, it's a long story which I won't go into except to say that most of my life I've tried to deal with my health problems the alternative way, and for ordinary ailments this has worked well for me. I tried to do this with this arthritis being on the treatment I chose for 10 months. This was both strict and expensive. However, it came to the point where I could stand the pain no longer, and realised in fact that things were getting worse.
I went to see a Rheumatologist last week and was told that both my shoulders and possibly my knee have been completely destroyed by the inflammation and there is no alternative but surgery. I'm being put on Sulphazalazine on 30th July when I go back again. I've refused steroids because I had a bad reaction after the six day "blast" when they were trying to get to a diagnosis. On the seventh day I passed out and was violently sick.
I don't feel inclined to go through that again.
The Rheumatologist asked if I wanted an injection in my knee to try and help with the pain. I thought this was worth a try as it wasn't going through my system - or so I thought. He drew fluid off my knee and injected. This was last Thursday. On Saturday my face was brilliant red and swollen, and is only now going down. Up to yet no difference with the pain in my knee.
I am now very nervous of taking these drugs but know I have to to try and stop more damage. Also I know I have to have the surgery on my shoulders not least because of the terrible pain and restriction of movement. If anyone has had either shoulder re-surfacing or a complete replacement I should be very pleased to hear of your experiences. Also experiences with sulphazalazine. If you're still with me - thank you for your interest!
Dianel.

Comments

  • elnafinn
    elnafinn Member Posts: 7,412
    edited 30. Nov -1, 00:00
    Hi Diane :D

    Well, you have been through the mill haven't you? I had a total knee replacement in January of this year and am pleased I had it done. I have written so much about it on this forum in past postings but if you want to know anything, then ask away and I will try to answer your questions, but you must always remember that this is my experience of the total knee replacement and we are all different in how we react to things and how good the outcome is.

    I now have no pain on walking which is brilliant and this is what I wanted the most. I also have a knee beyond beyond my wildest dreams! :lol::lol::lol: Even the consultant was happily surprised and they don't usually show much emotion :lol::lol:

    I know someone who had a shoulder replacement done a couple of years ago and she is older than me and she had no problems at all and absolutely no regrets.

    We all agree it is not great to have to pop pills but as you have found out, the alternative methods did not help your arthur and damage has been done. Now is the time, I would feel anyway, to bite the bullet and down the meds.

    Others will no doubt post regarding the sulpha. I have never taken that med.

    I have a painful shoulder but not initially due to arthritis and I can sympathise - it definitely is no joke doing certain things is it? I found for me physio did it some good and I exercise my shoulders and arms every day and have adapted how I do things but even so, it could be a load better.

    Wishing you all the best and hope to hear good news from you soon,

    Luv
    Elna
  • dianel
    dianel Member Posts: 48
    edited 30. Nov -1, 00:00
    Hi Elna,
    Many thanks for your reply.
    I'm really pleased for you that you've had a good experience with your knee replacement, and it's good to hear of someone who has had shoulder surgery and is doing well.
    No, it's no fun having both shoulders virtually out of action. Trying to do anything is extremely painful and of course everything we do involves them. I can't even reach to do my hair now and that to me is a problem!
    I did get as far as being offered a re-surfacing of my left shoulder and couldn't go through with it. This may sound awful to people who are waiting (at least someone else had the chance instead), and the reason was because I felt so very ill and in so much pain everywhere at the time. It was then that RA (or PsA) was found.
    I'm really wondering how much mobility one has straight after the op.? As I don't have a good shoulder I'm wondering how I'm going to manage. I think only someone who has had this particular experience could help me here.
    Yes, I have to bite the bullet with the meds. like everyone else so will let you know my experience as and when. Many thanks again for your interest. Diane.
  • dianel
    dianel Member Posts: 48
    edited 30. Nov -1, 00:00
    Thank you Alan for your imput. I'm pleased you had such a positive experience and hope the same applies when you need to have the second op. What you've said has certainly encouraged me.
    I suppose apart from the op. itself I'm concerned as to how I'll manage without a good shoulder and the other one in a sling. Trying to shower for instance. I'm sure there are ways round it and if anyone has tips and wrinkles I should be pleased to hear of them.
    Thank you too Scottishlass for the information you've given me. It is difficult to distinquish between RA symptoms and other problems at times - also med. reactions. It would also have helped if I'd been warned of the possible reaction to the injection as you were - it would have saved me some anxiety thinking I was developing something else to cope with. I really hope that you're now on the way to finding the best treatment.
    As everyone says, it's so good to come on here and ask questions etc. and feel you're not alone. Dianel.
  • elnafinn
    elnafinn Member Posts: 7,412
    edited 30. Nov -1, 00:00
    Hi Diane :D

    I have not got any tips unfortunately as to how you can manage with one arm in a sling after a shoulder op and the other shoulder not much use either. That is really bad luck. :( You would have to get some help in. There does not seem any other way around that one.

    It cannot be a breeze at the moment for you. As you said, previously, drying your hair must be a nightmare. :(:( I can also think of lots of other scenarios where it would be difficult for you too.

    Look at it this way, the situation is not going to get any better on its own, so delaying too long, does not really help. The problems of care will still be there.

    I hope something gets sorted for you soon,

    Luv
    Elna x
  • dianel
    dianel Member Posts: 48
    edited 30. Nov -1, 00:00
    Thank you both.
    Yes, I'm sure it's a pain in the backside Alan. The pain, as you say, is horrendous - I have to think twice before I do the simplest thing and brace myself if I decide to do it. I've been trying to imagine how I'm going to get a pair of tights on with my arm in a sling!! I shall have to hibernate for a few weeks just wearing a robe and letting everything go to pot! I dare say I'll have a comical story to tell.

    You're right Elna, I think I shall have to get some help in - in fact I've been thinking this just now. Anyway, I know I can't go on any longer. Have made an appointment to discuss with my GP who is very good and who will probably put me back on the waiting list to see the Orthopaedic Surgeon.

    Hope neither of you are in too much pain today. Dianel.
  • dianel
    dianel Member Posts: 48
    edited 30. Nov -1, 00:00
    Alan - I didn't ask you - did you have a shoulder replacement or shoulder re-surfacing? I was told I could have shoulder re-surfacing a year ago, but this may not be the case now. Yes, I hope I can get away with a month too. Dianel.
  • elnafinn
    elnafinn Member Posts: 7,412
    edited 30. Nov -1, 00:00
    Hi Diane :D

    :D That is a positive move to have made an appointment with your gp. I understand from what you have said that you get on with your gp. You must explain to him your fears about aftercare for a time after the op(s) and he will understand your predicament and be able to point you in the right direction, I am sure, if you have not got anyone nearby who could assist you.

    Let us know how you get on.

    Luv
    Elna x
  • dianel
    dianel Member Posts: 48
    edited 30. Nov -1, 00:00
    Yes Elna, I'll let you know how things go from now on.

    Re-surfacing is'nt quite so invasive as a full replacement, Alan, as I understand it. As I said, I may no longer be considered a good candidate for this. What I think happens in most cases is that once "they're inside" as it were, they can judge the situation and act accordingly. If anyone has any more knowledge, or indeed, experience of this I should be interested to hear of it.

    I don't like the sound of the agony of the first night. You said you were given morphine patches - didn't they work? Best wishes, Dianel.
  • elnafinn
    elnafinn Member Posts: 7,412
    edited 30. Nov -1, 00:00
    Hi Diane :D

    After my knee op I had a morphine pump for 24 hours.Unfortunately I did not use it enough as I was not in so much pain, when they removed it, after a while, I knew all about the pain, so if I ever have one again I shall use the pump much more regularly so get a build up in my body. I survived though as one does and have no regrets. Everyone is different with pain threshold and how they react to things. It is an unknown really and one has to have trust in the surgeon and staff and do as one is told.

    I have experience of the surgeon finding out when he opened me up that he could not mend my torn rotator cuff as the tear was massive and there was nothing for him to knit together. When I came round he told me the bad and good news. The bad being he could not repair it and the good news that I would not have to have my arm in a sling for 6 weeks. I now see a pain specialist as there is nothing else that can be done. Will probably need a new shoulder too eventually :lol::lol: :roll: If so, I will call on you and Alan for advice :lol:

    Luv
    Elna x
  • dianel
    dianel Member Posts: 48
    edited 30. Nov -1, 00:00
    Thank you Elna - I'll remember that. Dianel.
  • dianel
    dianel Member Posts: 48
    edited 30. Nov -1, 00:00
    I would think that was resurfacing Alan - it's encouraging to know he had a good result. Thankyou.
    Elna...for some reason the second half of your last post on this thread didn't either show up or register with me until I just re-read it. So sorry to hear of your rotator cuff problem. I'm sure you were pleased not to have a sling for six weeks, but presumably you went through a general anaesthetic for nothing? Nevertheless, I'm sure you're doing the right thing with the treatment you're having. Best wishes Dianel.
  • elnafinn
    elnafinn Member Posts: 7,412
    edited 30. Nov -1, 00:00
    dianel wrote:
    I would think that was resurfacing Alan - it's encouraging to know he had a good result. Thankyou.
    Elna...for some reason the second half of your last post on this thread didn't either show up or register with me until I just re-read it. So sorry to hear of your rotator cuff problem. I'm sure you were pleased not to have a sling for six weeks, but presumably you went through a general anaesthetic for nothing? Nevertheless, I'm sure you're doing the right thing with the treatment you're having. Best wishes Dianel.

    Hi Diane, :D

    Yes, as you say, I did have a general for nearly nothing, he did give the shoulder a clean and washout. Not that, that did much good :lol::lol: I mentioned this as you said about the consultants not really knowing exactly what they will find/what procedure they will perform, until their patient is on the operating table and they take a look.

    I hope you are not feeling to bad today and that so far your day is going fairly smoothly.

    Luv
    Elna x
  • jalith3
    jalith3 Member Posts: 19
    edited 30. Nov -1, 00:00
    Hello Elna once again (and hello to both you Diane and Alan)

    'Head,shoulders, knees and toes, knees and toes (remember the song for the small ones..?)
    Well my knees especially the left one is officially finished, kaput - the shoulder is going to need some attention and I'm sure my head needs looking at very very carefully - which leaves the toes.....they are fine ...but not a whole lot of use without the knees .

    Good to be back and will add something later
    Hope you can all manage to enjoy a little of the sunshine.
    Sarah (from the Netherlands)


    elnafinn wrote:
    Hi Diane :D

    After my knee op I had a morphine pump for 24 hours.Unfortunately I did not use it enough as I was not in so much pain, when they removed it, after a while, I knew all about the pain, so if I ever have one again I shall use the pump much more regularly so get a build up in my body. I survived though as one does and have no regrets. Everyone is different with pain threshold and how they react to things. It is an unknown really and one has to have trust in the surgeon and staff and do as one is told.

    I have experience of the surgeon finding out when he opened me up that he could not mend my torn rotator cuff as the tear was massive and there was nothing for him to knit together. When I came round he told me the bad and good news. The bad being he could not repair it and the good news that I would not have to have my arm in a sling for 6 weeks. I now see a pain specialist as there is nothing else that can be done. Will probably need a new shoulder too eventually :lol::lol: :roll: If so, I will call on you and Alan for advice :lol:

    Luv
    Elna x
  • elnafinn
    elnafinn Member Posts: 7,412
    edited 30. Nov -1, 00:00
    Hi Sarah :D:D

    Lovely to see you back from wherever you have been - forgive me if you told us :oops: :lol::lol:

    Loved your posting, so sing along and jaunty and you sound as though you are making the best of life. That is all we can do, isn't it? Onwards :lol::lol: 8) :D:D

    Look forward to hearing from you again soon!

    Luv
    Elna x
  • jane59mc
    jane59mc Member Posts: 3
    edited 30. Nov -1, 00:00
    I have had both shoulders replaced ,first one 11 yrs ago and it was brill even though I had pain it was nowhere like the pain before op and I could`nt press the morphine pump .did`nt know I was`nt getting any until the change over and they were amazed I had`nt needed it hehe...so next op got injections and pain was tolerable but also got elbow replaced after a fall at same time as shoulder and sadly shoulder is not as good as first one but almost painfree ,its mostly muscular pain anyways..... good luck with your op when it comes ....and you will probably need daily help for a week or so ..but its amazing how we manage anyway ..you can still use your hand but mostly not too far away from your body IYKWIM,if I can think of any other tips I`ll post them ok ...Jane xx
  • dianel
    dianel Member Posts: 48
    edited 30. Nov -1, 00:00
    Thank you for your post Jane. I appreciate knowing that it went well for you especially the first shoulder op. Do you think it was the complication of the elbow joint too that made a difference with the second op?

    I'll welcome anything else you can think of in relation to coping afterwards.

    Elna and Alan - my doctor is writing to the Shoulder Surgeon to get me an appointment to see him.

    Yesterday, I went to see the Rheumatology Nurse dealing with my case. She was extremely nice, approachable and helpful which was a relief. I've taken my first dose of Sulphasalazine this morning so keeping everything crossed that I'll be able to tolerate, although it's a low dose at the moment working up week by week.

    It was pointed out - although I've already read - that this medication isn't for pain relief, just to halt damage. The pain is pretty severe at the moment, so I may have to try and sort this out with my Doctor. Anyway this is a little update for those who have been kind enough to show an interest in how things are going.

    Hello to Sarah. Hope you'll be posting on here again before too long. Best wishes, Diane.
  • churchmouse
    churchmouse Member Posts: 1
    edited 30. Nov -1, 00:00
    I had my AC joint (in my right shoulder) removed 5 weeks ago and calcified tissue burnt away and washed out, its been very painful though getting easier.

    So far though the pain has been very different to my arthritic pain so I am hoping that thats an indication that its at least helped. I had many doubts before my op but I am 98 percent sure that I did the right thing.

    Wishing you the very best of luck
  • jane59mc
    jane59mc Member Posts: 3
    edited 30. Nov -1, 00:00
    Your welcome Diane ,I had a broken elbow and this weakened my whole arm totally so I think the second op would have been ok if not for that ..........Jane xx
  • gilliand70
    gilliand70 Member Posts: 1
    edited 30. Nov -1, 00:00
    hi daniel,

    I have recently had a total shoulder replacement done, if you have any other questions you would like answered then please email me at (edited according to Arthritis Care terms and conditions) and id be happy to help,

    thanks,

    gillian
  • dianel
    dianel Member Posts: 48
    edited 30. Nov -1, 00:00
    Hi Gillian,

    Thank you ...I'll do that. Diane.
  • jalith3
    jalith3 Member Posts: 19
    edited 30. Nov -1, 00:00
    elnafinn wrote:
    Hi Sarah :D:D

    Lovely to see you back from wherever you have been - forgive me if you told us :oops: :lol::lol:

    Loved your posting, so sing along and jaunty and you sound as though you are making the best of life. That is all we can do, isn't it? Onwards :lol::lol: 8) :D:D

    Look forward to hearing from you again soon!

    Luv
    Elna x

    Hello Elna, once again after such a long time.
    Still here in the Netherlands and still struggling. I don't get on the discussion forum because I am so busy just dealing with the day-to-day stuff . I need to get information quickly so help/advice would be appreciated.
    First though I need to give something back and will write about something close to my soul 'cycling' -with the view to helping others in the same situation as myself.
    Hope all is well with you and watch for a new topic
    Regards
    Sarah

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