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Dr.Sawhney, Orthopedic Surgeon
Category: Orthopedics
Satisfied Customers: 7240
Experience:  More than a decade of post qualification experience
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I am a very old woman - age 93 next week, who had a rotator

Customer Question

I am a very old woman - age 93 next week, who had a rotator cuff injury a few months ago. I am otherwise in excellent health. One cortisone shot helped, but subsequent ones did nothing. An xray shows no broken bones. It is very painful at times, and the only thing that helps for a few hours at a time is rubbing virgin olive oil on my shoulder and arm. Capzasin was prescribed by my doctor, but is no help. Physical therapy made the pain worse, and my doctor said to stop it.
Is the fact that olive oil reduces my pain any help in a diagnosis? Does it suggest anything further about the location of the injury? It was diagnosed as "disorder of bursa of shoulder region." Have you any recommendations for a permanent cure?
Any suggestions will be appreciated.
Alma H.********
Submitted: 1 year ago.
Category: Orthopedics
Expert:  Dr.Sawhney replied 1 year ago.


I am an Orthopaedic surgeon and I would be happy to help you today.

Expert:  Dr.Sawhney replied 1 year ago.

Relief with virgin olive oil does not help in diagnosis. The massage or rubbing may be helping by increasing the blood flow to the area which carries of any bio chemical mediators of pain.

If you have had no relief with cortisone shots and physical therapy ,surgical treatment for rotator cuff tear and excision of bursa may need to be considered. This can be done by minimally invasive techniques of arthroscopic shoulder surgery. A good sports injury specialist can do the surgery for you.

If surgery is not an option considering your age when you may consider having TENS that is transcutaneous electrical nerve stimulation. Physical therapist can give this to you.

Feel free to ask any follow-up questions.

Expert:  Dr.Sawhney replied 1 year ago.

Virgin olive oil is known to have painkilling activity which has been shown to be equal to Ibuprofen the drug present in advil in some studies.

This is a possible reason that you get pain relief with olive oil. It does not help us in diagnosing the underlying condition.