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Should I Go Back Under The Knife?

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posted on May, 4 2012 @ 06:18 PM
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Hello all,

About two years ago this July I had major shoulder surgery. It began with me being unable to sleep on my left side due to excruciating pain and progressed into surgery. I had a torn rotator cuff, bone spur and a ripped bicep tendon. The three months after the surgery were awful and I developed an addiction to the pain medication they prescribed me that was extremely challenging to overcome. Also the injury occurred due to my job, I do landscape design and installation (and have for nine years).

Well this morning I woke up to the exact same pain I was in just prior to surgery (the whole sleeping on my left side bit) and now I'm really worried to go back under the knife. One because of how painful the aftermath was, and two because I am afraid of relapsing. So my question is, what's your opinion? If I do have surgery I will need pain medication afterwards, there's no way around it, the pain is terrible. So, what should I do?

Note that I have not consulted my surgeon yet since this only began this morning, but it is the exact same pain intensity when I lay on my side, and the exact same pain during the day when I work as it was before I had the first surgery.

Thanks in advance for your answers.




posted on May, 4 2012 @ 06:32 PM
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You shouldn't look for medical advice in ATS, maybe getting a second professional opinion can help you. Hope you get better.



posted on May, 4 2012 @ 06:40 PM
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Wow, tough situation.

First of all, the trouble with orthopedic surgery is, once you have it, often you have to have repeats. But if you cannot function without the surgery, then you gotta go through it again.

Secondly, as somebody who had a horrific addiction to painkillers once upon a time, I understand how easy it is to slide into addiction. I had surgery about 7 years after I kicked the addiction, and I did require pain medication for a while after, but I remembered how bad the roller coaster of addiction was before, and how horrible the withdrawal was, so I was very careful to only take the amount as prescribed, and I took special care to taper off when I got better.

There will be times when you may need pain medication, that's what it's there for. Just know that you have ultimate control over addiction, and as long as you never let yourself go over the cliff, and work with your doctor, you'll be fine.

Good luck.



posted on May, 4 2012 @ 06:42 PM
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Is it the physical activity in your job that's causing the injury? If so, perhaps you should consider a new career.

It's premature, you might just have something simple that will soon go away. But let's assume it IS a return of your injury.

Here are your choices as I see them:
*Try to ignore the pain (not feasible)
* Repair surgery, no pain meds (not feasible)
* Surgery, pain meds with careful monitoring and drug counseling (possible?)
* Surgery, pain meds with no counseling (disastrous)

If you have to choose between debilitating pain or surgery, I think your option is obvious. But you are a different person than before. You've struggled with the addiction, you know its power, so this time perhaps you can overcome it easier?

Perhaps the doc can prescribe the lowest possible pain meds just to take the edge off?

Sending well wishes your way....



posted on May, 4 2012 @ 06:45 PM
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reply to post by Trueman
 


I'm not really looking for medical advice, I think I know what's wrong with me. Just looking for advice...



posted on May, 4 2012 @ 06:46 PM
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reply to post by smyleegrl
 


Thanks for the advice those are great points.



posted on May, 4 2012 @ 06:53 PM
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reply to post by FissionSurplus
 


Yes I agree that withdrawal is no picnic. And I think that just sticking to the prescription I will be able to avoid it. It's a tough situation though, as you very well know.



posted on May, 4 2012 @ 08:46 PM
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Originally posted by Bigfoot12714
reply to post by FissionSurplus
 


Yes I agree that withdrawal is no picnic. And I think that just sticking to the prescription I will be able to avoid it. It's a tough situation though, as you very well know.


As a woman who has been through 14 operations and countless months spent in PT, I can honestly say that I empathize with you. I've had my own issues with the abuse of pain medication in the past and I assure you that with the right frame of mind and personal responsibility, you can deal with your pain (& medication) better now than in the past.

The pain from your rotator cuff can be pretty bad and having surgery will require strong medication.. at least initially. If you follow the Rx as prescribed and wean off, or titrate to OTC medication when your surgeon advises you, you should be fine. If you feel otherwise be sure to mention your concerns with a trusted source or simply discuss it with the Dr.

Maybe a few rounds of PT will suffice, but if you do need surgery I hope you know that it's your honesty that will get you through. Quality of life is important and pain can rob you of that.



posted on May, 5 2012 @ 03:45 PM
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Originally posted by RobinB022

Quality of life is important and pain can rob you of that.


I agree with you completely with this and thank you for the advice.

Honestly everybody I really appreciate it.



posted on May, 5 2012 @ 03:50 PM
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I am about to go through this process with both shoulders, I have the genetic bone spurs,and the impingement syndrome from a car accident I had.

Bone spurs can be created from friction. It is very possible that you made more. Or retore the cartilage.


Do you have a friend you can trust with your pain medication?
edit on 5-5-2012 by nixie_nox because: (no reason given)



posted on May, 5 2012 @ 04:02 PM
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Originally posted by nixie_nox
I am about to go through this process with both shoulders, I have the genetic bone spurs,and the impingement syndrome from a car accident I had.

Bone spurs can be created from friction. It is very possible that you made more. Or retore the cartilage.


Do you have a friend you can trust with your pain medication?
edit on 5-5-2012 by nixie_nox because: (no reason given)


I didn't know that about bone spurs and thanks. Yes my girlfriend is very loyal and trustworthy and she knows all about my past problem and I'm 100% confident that she will be there to regulate my medications if need be. Hopefully you're right and it's just another bone spur and nothing too serious...



posted on May, 5 2012 @ 04:04 PM
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reply to post by Bigfoot12714
 


They are created from friction,or your born with them.

unfortunate in my case I was born with them, which makes them not only bigger but hooked.

You may also have weak cartilage. Or overuse.



posted on May, 5 2012 @ 04:09 PM
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reply to post by nixie_nox
 


Possibly, my surgeon (who actually works on the shoulders and knees of the Detroit Tigers and Pistons) told me that the reason for my bicep tearing was that I have very athletic joints; meaning that my joints bend further than most people's. Fairly common in good athletes (too bad I'm a musician
), but it also make me prone to hyperextending my joints and tearing cartilage like you said. I don't think my cartilage is weak though...



posted on May, 5 2012 @ 04:12 PM
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reply to post by nixie_nox
 


Also overuse would be an understatement, I work my a** off but I love it, physical labor (to me at least) is one of the most gratifying and soul pleasing, for lack of a better word, things on the planet. Aside from playing music of course...



posted on May, 5 2012 @ 04:21 PM
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reply to post by Bigfoot12714
 


If you reach overhead a lot that can generate impingement syndrome too.




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