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Onlinedoc, General Physician
Category: Health
Satisfied Customers: 2839
Experience:  B.A.M.S with experience in Medicine,Ayurveda, Integrative, CAM
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I had surgery (plate and screws and pins) to repair my shoulder

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I had surgery (plate and screws and pins) to repair my shoulder (humerus). I fell and fractured and dislocated my shoulder. My rotator cuff was also repaired. For the first 3 weeks after surgery, I felt a bit better each day--but now, 5 weeks later, I've been having a lot of bad pain for about a week. The pain is often very sharp (the percocet pills dull it somewhat) and is mostly not in the shoulder, but in my hand, thumb, and forearm (think a line from the thumb to the crease of the arm.) It makes no difference whether I'm in the sling or out of it.

My shoulder and upper arm hurt too, but not as badly.
What could be going on? I just started PT -passive ROM only-with pulleys and exercise ball. I don't feel the pain after exercising, though.


Do you have numbness,tingling sensation radiating to arm?

Swelling in forearm?

Have you seen your doctor recently?

History of arthritis?

Neck stiffness?

Customer: replied 4 years ago.

No, no numbness or tingling-more like a sharp pain-starts out about a level 8-9, then decreases to 6-8 on the pain scale. No forearm swelling (I measured both arms.) No arthritis history. My neck is stiff and hurts a bit. I last saw the doctor about 2 1/2 weeks ago. He checked the Xrays and was happy with what he saw. I have an appointment with him in about 2 weeks (also will have followup xrays.)

Customer: replied 4 years ago.

Does sleeping position have anything to do with this? I sleep at least part of the night propped up somewhat on 2 pillows. But I am not used to sleeping propped, and usually spend the last few hours lying flat on one pillow.

Thanks for providing more information.

Possible differential diagnosis causing neck stiffness,radiating pain in arm,thumb include Nerve compression most likely in the neck but could also be at the shoulder level,Cervical spondylosis.
An MRI of the neck should be done.

You should continue physical therapy and discuss your current symptoms with your physiotherapist and if required he'll add some more exercises for pain management.

You can do massage with muscle relaxant on back of neck.

It may be possible that poor sleeping posture can be a aggravating factor.

So avoid extra pillows.

If you have associated chest pain,heaviness in chest,shortness of breath alongwith severe pain then you should visit ER.

Cardiac pathology/Ischemic heart disease should be ruled out.




Hope this helps.
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Onlinedoc and 4 other Health Specialists are ready to help you
Customer: replied 4 years ago.

Thanks! I will talk to the PT Weds

You are most welcome.




Good luck.