Frozen Shoulder - T1

I am having my 2nd surgery in the last 15 months for my 'frozen shoulder' on the left side. The 1st surgery worked to a point where the pain was gone but only got partial restoration of Range of Motion. Unfortantely, my left shoulder became frozen again. I did all the non-surgical stuff like PT, cortisone shots and so on. I hae had 4-5 cortisone shots in the past 3 years.

I have been dealing with frozen shoulder for the better part of 3 years. I can say it has changed my life signifiantly. I can no long golf which was my life's passion. Plus I spend more time ensuring I don't move my arm/shoulder in a way that results in unbelievable pain for upwards of 5 mins. I can no longer push a broom or use a vacummn for any length of time.

I am really hoping this surgery does the trick so the pain is gone for good and I can have a reasonable return of my Range of Motion.

My surgery is scheduled for 1/10/13.

So sorry for what your going through.I wouldn't wish frozen shoulder on my worst enemy. It does affect your entire life. I also did all the non surgical stuff for my right shoulder with no relief and I finally just couldn't take it anymore and went for the release. I wasn't back to 100% afterwards, but damn near close. While I was recovering from the surgery my left started, and so after 6 months of the same, I'm like, well, the first one worked great, lets do it again. Completely different result. Immediately post op I knew something was different about this one. And it was, even after the surgery it still took almost another year to "get better". I'm still not at 100% but at least now I can work, dress myself and do most things without pain. I decided after the failure of the second surgery that the freezing process is just that, an inflammatory process that will run its course and no surgery will change that. Just because the surgeon cuts the adhesion doesn't mean the body has stopped the process. With my first surgery, I was well into the 3 rd stage- great outcome, second surgery i was only in the first stage- failure. That's my take on the frozen shoulder thing. I know it SUCKS!

Thanks for your insight. While rehabbing for my shoulder I developed a condition that required a 2-level cervical spine replacement and fusion. So between that and the shoulder it has not been fun. My worst fear is I get frozen shoulder in my right one.

I now have to put my belt on my pants before I put them on. Otherwise it’s too painful to try to put it on. sleeping is a different story.

Thanks for posting this. It got me researching and I realized I have had frozen shoulder in my left shoulder for the past year or so. It is a mild case - I probably have 85% of my range of motion and have full strength and no pain if I keep in that range. It is only when I try to go beyond that (putting on a coat with left arm behind my back for example) that I feel pain.

From my research on the internet, it sounds like frozen shoulder normally resolves itself without surgery and without cortisone shots. I seem to be in Stage 3 (Thawing Stage), so will try to move it along with exercises. There is good info at the mayo clinic site including exercises: HERE

Based on what I've read, it sounds like this will usually resolve itself without surgery. Cortisone shots really screw with your BG's, making it harder to keep good BG control. Both those treatments have serious downsides for a diabetic. Are you sure you need the cortisone shots and that another surgery is needed?

I think there's a wide range of outcomes with frozen shoulder and it'd be hard for someone with a less serious version to understand why a doc would want to do surgery or not. I'm sure the docs look at X-rays and try to figure out what would be done but all that is way beyond me.

I had one cortisone shot that I felt "started" making things better but I got it at the height of the pain and as you note in the thawing stage things do get better on their own. The doc knew I was diabetic and made an effort to do the cortisone in a way to have minimal affect on my bg's and it seems to have worked - I saw no obvious effect on my bg's. At the same time, he was reluctant to do a cortisone shot more than once (I was still in some pain a month later and he pretty much told me "that's all I'm gonna get you kid").

In the past 10 months the sharp shooting pains (they were really bad, and could be triggered not just by hitting extreme of motion but just any jar to my body could set them off) have gone away and I have gone from maybe 60% range to nearly 95% range of motion in front of me and over my head. This is tracked by my PT. It's amazing, I can now reach straight up and touch my hands over my head with only mild discomfort - 10 months ago at this time I could barely extend my arm and raise it over my shoulder.

Some sources I read indicate that maybe lack of use of full range of motion, can contribute to frozen shoulder. If so, I wish I had been doing exercises etc. before the pain, not the PT after it. The link you have to Mayo clinic stuff is a good start, but you can also google "frozen shoulder exercises" and see a lot of the simple stretches that may help prevent loss of range of motion beforehand.

I know what you mean. I did all the research and was confident that cortisone and PT would be the answer. Well after 30+ PT sessions and countless home excercise and one surgery my ROM is actually worse about near about only 5-10%.

My last cortisone was May of 2012 and the affects were good for about 2 months then my shoulder re-froze.

In speaking with my orthopedic surgeon he said his experiences with insulin dependent via a a pump has a much lower level of success the 1st time around. I guess I fall into that 5% who having much difficulty getting relief from this condition.

I experienced frozen shoulder in both shoulders (at different times). I definitely experienced the 3 stages of freezing, frozen, and thawing. People who say that they can ward off frozen shoulder by stretching do not have the same thing that I had. My first frozen shoulder followed an injury. The second one came on about 2 years later. I knew that the shoulder was “freezing”, I stayed very active and did all the exercises from Day 1, my A1c’s were in the mid-5’s, and I still couldn’t stop the frozen shoulder process.

I have had close to 100% recovery in both shoulders. One thing that you have to careful about is that if you try to stretch your shoulder when it’s totally frozen, you can damage other ligaments, tendons, and muscles in the shoulder and neck area.

I believe that there is an autoimmune and maybe even viral component to frozen shoulder for many of us. According to my shoulder specialist, frozen shoulder is very much like the chicken pox in that most people only get it once (in each shoulder) and never get it again. Unfortunately people with diabetes are more apt to get a recurrence than the general population.

My 2nd surgery has been a success to a point. The daily pain is gone and my ROM was restored to about 75-80%. Doc said it will not get better than that no matter what. Still have bouts of pain for certain movements. Trying swing a golf club (chipping/putting) and that was a big no-no.

on Thursday, March 28, 2013, the hand specilaist said I have very severe carpal tunnel in both hands/wrists after going thru the painful nerve test and EMG. Only recommendation is surgery ASAP. The left hand is first next Monday then wait 45 days and do the right hand. I am hoping that due to my arm being immobile that my shoulder doesn't start to freeze again.

Anyone else out there ever been in a similair situation? I love to read your feedback on your experience.

Hi Marty, I've been through the frozen shoulder as well as trigger finger and carpal tunnel pain. Strangely, it all happened right about the same time period with me too. I opted not to have surgery because I know a few people who had the surgery and still have pain, so I was reluctant to take that step and opted to wait and see for a while.

I work at a computer all day so using the mouse was very painful for me for a while. Then I started wearing a hand brace while working and got an ergonomic support for my hand while working on the computer and the pain just eventually went away.

At the risk of jinxing myself, I have had no further problems. I wish you luck with your surgery - I know each of us is different and each case is unique.

Glad to see your shoulder is improving. Sorry about the carpal tunnel. I have also had multiple hand/wrist surgeries as well, twice during my 4 years with frozen shoulder.
My hand surgeon allowed me to do whatever exercises didn't require a grip, that lasted 2 weeks and then I was able to start slowly gripping and adding weight to that.
Keep your chin up and keep moving those shoulders :)

Feels great that I am not alone in this mysery of Frozen Shoulder (not that I would wish this on anyone). When I mention to people that I have it, no one understands the pain that you live through. I am in the thawing stage of my right shoulder but my ROM is still pretty bad. What terrifies me is that I am starting to feel it in my left as well. I do all the right exerises for it yet it is not helping. Well..maybe I shouldnt say that. I am not getting the extreme pain if I jar it like I had in my right but I can't keep my hand over my head for any length of time and the pain is there just not as extreme.