Cold hands and pain issues after having shoulder surgery
In May of 09 I had a scope performed to repair some damage sustained during the Hurricane season in 08. My left shoulder had a spur removed and also some "clean up" work. Three weeks later I had the exact same procedure performed on my right shoulder but added removal of a calcium deposit the size of a quarter on the outside surface of my shouder bone. After PT my left shouder is about 60% better and improving. My right shoulder actually feels worse. The doctor had an MRI ordered and also some test at a neurologist where he stuck a needle in my arm from shoulder to hand. That test came back normal. The MRI showed a couple of "buldging" disc in my upper back. The doctor suggested an "epidural"(?) shot into the problem disc areas thinking that it would relieve pressure on the nerves which he believes is causing my right shoulder pain. I don't understand why the disc problem didn't get addressed on the initial scope on the right shouder. Anyway, right shoulder pain is mostly when I move in certain ways. Outward putting pressure on something; slighlty twisted, palm to the rear, reaching above my body about 30 degrees above point of shoulder pushing on anything outward. Lastly, since both surjeries my hands have been constantly cold and in the mornings I have a fluid build up in both hands but mostly my right.
Questions: Could the right shoulder pain now be caused by nerve damage? And how or when could this damage have occured? I didn't have this type of pain before the surjery.
What could be causing my hands to retain fluid and become so cold all the time?
I am sorry for the late response. You may have some circulation issues. The cold hands are symptoms of poor circulation. Have you spoke to your surgeon about these issues?
I would definitely make an appointment and discuss these issues with him/her.
It is possible to have some nerve damage, I would advise having a nerve conduction study done. This will tell your doctor what is going on and if this is not the problem more test can be ordered.
Please let us know how your doing:)
Thanks for your response sandee. What you suggested was done. The nerve conduction study came back negative. It was suggested that the cold hands were poor circulation also. I said as much to my surjeon and there wasn't a definite response. Honestly, it never existed before and to the extent it is now I would have complained to my GP. I had a follow up visit today to see how the shot worked. For maybe a week I noticed a slight let up in the pain but it came back with a vengence. Once again, if I happen to move my right arm wrong in bed or put any weight on it while lying down it will instantly let me know, "wrong move, buddy!' It works a lot faster than my morning cup of coffee to wake me up! The Doc suggested "open surgery" today. I understand the reasoning that by "opening" up the shoulder, he can see more clearer what the issue could be and that scopes and MRI's don't allways show the whole picture, but I'm extremely concerned about recovery and more damage and the necessity, I guess. Could I just live with the pain at it's current level, probably so, although a few sleepless nights and the concern of more damage being done while I put the inevitable off would make me unbareable to be around. It really feels like a nerve is being mashed or pinched in this area: the point right above the armpit is where it starts or radiates from and it travels to the "ball" or point of the right shoulder then down halfway to the elbow, right in the center of the arm or bicep. I'm considering a second opinion but with so much being done already, is that feasible? I mean, wouldn't that aggravate the doctor if I asked for the medical records and then came back later and said, "You were right." My wife says with that type of "major" surjery I should get a second opinion. I'm just super confused and don't want to make matters worse by trying something else that might not work with a different doctor. I do like my current doctor/surgeon. I wouldn't like to think that he let me make the wrong decision and prolonged my condition or we went overboard by doing major surjery now. Super, super, confused.....
A tardy Welcome to the Pain Mangement Forum. I saw your first post but thought that Sandee addressed your questions well. I appreciate the update on your condition.
As far as a second opinion goes I wholeheartedly agree with your wife. You may very well hear the same from another surgeon but I think it would be wise to know all your options. Your assumption that waiting could only make matters worse is generally true. Left untreated that is a very real possibility.
I don't think that most surgeons are "aggravated" by a request for a second opinion. Today it is almost common place. If you approach it correctly I see no reason for any bruised egos.
Whenever I have requested a second opinion I explain that due to a close family members experience some years ago we all agreed that when any of us faced a serious medical procedure we would obtain a second opinion. I include that my husband is always emphatic about second opinions. It has never caused a problem with the surgeon. I also assure the surgeon that I am confident in his/her abilities and will return to him/her for the procedure.
I do agree that your symptoms needs a closer look. Imagining does not always give us the complete picture. Your symptoms sound more shoulder than spine related. The bulging disc(s) may very well be asymptomatic.
I wish you the very best and appreciate your update. I will look forward to additional updates.
Thanks for taking time to respond/comment Tuckamore. I recently found my long lost childhood friend and it turns out he is an ER doctor in a nearby city of decent size. He is supposed to call me tonight to discuss my concerns as a friend and a doctor. I guess ultimately I'll seek another opinion before making the jump. Amazingly my shoulder seems to be getting more achy as I move along in the process. Lol. I mostly believe it's my mind playing tricks but last night was a "toss and turn" night again. Even on my left side I can't get my right arm/shoulder comfortable. I'll continue to post updates as I move along and have something to report and I greatly appreciate the comments. This is all new to me although I've had two left knee scopes in the past. Nothing like an open surjery ever. One peculiar item I'm finding is that ---everyone--- has a different opinion of local surjeons. And it seems to me, opinion is more favorable as the city size increases. In this area I can't find any basis for this reasoning other than just city population and no physical evidence or proof exists. Really nice to find my old best friend again. I know he'll understand this small town turmoil of opioions and give me some good honest medical suggestions as to competent docs.
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