PDA

View Full Version : Scapular Pain Post-op



jenparker
02-23-2010, 06:49 PM
Hi Friends

I have a question. The only real pain that I have had since I woke up from surgery on Jan 29th (Dr. Lenke) and it is still the reason for my needing pain meds now is scapular pain. The pain is on both the right and left scapulae (?) closest to my spine. The left scapular pain is the WORST! It has never let up.

My six year old daughter asks multiple times a day how bad the pain is on her pain scale: No pain= cotton balls, then to crayons, spoons, forks, knives, and lastly, swords. I have to tell her everyday (even with Oxycontin and Lortab) that the pain is at knives and swords. It feels like this along the edge of my scapulae whether I'm standing, sitting, walking, lying on my back or lying on either side.

Is this common?? I'm beginning to worry that it will never go away.
Thank you in advance for any input.
Jen Parker

LindaRacine
02-23-2010, 07:55 PM
Hi Jen...

Scapula pain is pretty common post op, but it sounds like yours is worse than most. Is it really unrelenting? I have left scapular pain (and have had, on and off, since my surgery 17 years ago!!), but it comes and goes. I feel like i can control it somewhat by keeping my head held high and and my shoulders back.

I've always wanted to know the cause of the pain, but have never heard any opinion on the subject.

--Linda

debbei
02-23-2010, 08:38 PM
I had it too post-op, and still get it from time to time. In the beginning it was sometimes sharp pains, sometimes pinchy feelings, or like bee stings. Those pinchy/bee sting feelings lessened over time, and probably took a whole year to totally go away.

Is your pain underneath your shoulder blade or to the side of it next to your spine? In the beginning I had both. Now, what I get from time to time is to the side of the shoulder blade, and I think are muscle spasms.

Your surgery wasn't that long ago. It takes time for all of these aches and pains to settle out. The hard part is not freaking out and thinking you'll have them forever, when in reality, you're in the healing process. Believe me though, I was the same way. It's all easier to understand AFTER the fact. :)

I hope you start feeling better soon,

debbei
02-23-2010, 08:42 PM
I've always wanted to know the cause of the pain, but have never heard any opinion on the subject.

--Linda

Linda,

I'm certainly no expert, but for myself, I find that if I exercise regularly and keep the shoulders loose, I have the least pain. If I don't exercise for an extended period (maybe a month or so) and then go back to what I used to do.....OMG I'm in so much pain for a week or so--exactly in that shoulder blade area. I don't get pain anywhere else in my back, just there. And for me, it's only on the left side.

I wish I knew for sure what starts it too, because when it does happen, I'm miserable.

KNOCK ON WOOD that I didn't just jinx myself. :)

jenparker
02-23-2010, 10:06 PM
Yes, Linda, the pain is unrelenting. It is like I traded my old back pain which wasn't this bad for something that is at an "8 or 9" on the pain scale ALL the time--even with the narcotics.

Thank you Deb for your comments. I keep hoping & praying that maybe during surgery with the retractors and all that it just got banged up and will heal.

Jen

jenparker
02-23-2010, 10:06 PM
Sorry Debbe to misspell your name!

joyfull
02-23-2010, 10:35 PM
Jen, Did you ask Dr. Lenke or someone in his office about the pain? It sounds as if the surgeons operate and then you are on your own. I wonder what he would say. Joy

jrnyc
02-24-2010, 12:54 AM
oh my gosh..i am so sorry for you guys for having such pain AFTER you go thru all that hell! that is really sad...& scary!

i hope that one of your doctors can figure out why...& most importantly...how to make it go away...permanently!!

trading little pain for really bad pain...how awful...you have all my sympathy on that one!!

jess

Shari
02-24-2010, 01:18 AM
I had some pain under my right scapula for several months post-op.

I had lost a lot of weight, and that pain was only provoked, when I would reach down into the washer or dryer. My Doc., told me to put some meat on my bones, and he said it may caused by being skinny, and that some of my hardware, (screw) may have been causing the pain.

I'm almost 5 years post, and it doesn't bother me at all.

Hang In There,
Shari

Jimbo
02-24-2010, 04:04 AM
Probably the hardware. Maybe they can get in there and grind a bolt down or something.

My surgeon told me this was one of his most common complaints post-op.

CHRIS WBS
02-24-2010, 09:17 AM
oh my gosh..i am so sorry for you guys for having such pain AFTER you go thru all that hell! that is really sad...& scary!

i hope that one of your doctors can figure out why...& most importantly...how to make it go away...permanently!!

trading little pain for really bad pain...how awful...you have all my sympathy on that one!!

jess

Jess,

I truly believe I am representative of most when I say I have no pain. I have never had to call my surgeonís office or email his nurse since my surgery. I never experienced issues with drug withdrawal, spasms or nerve pain.

ckieft
02-24-2010, 11:49 AM
I also had my surgery on Jan 29, and my number one complaint is the pain in my left shoulder blade!! It feels like a knife in my back. Other than that, I am doing great. Almost doing everything I was doing before (except working out). I'm back to cooking and cleaning and hardly napping at all!

A little off the subject, but I have a question about when did all the ladies start wearing a bra again? I am rather small busted, but I feel like I am going to look like the cover of National Geographic if I don't start wearing a bra again! But the thoughts of a bra strap across my back just freaks me out!!
Chris

jenparker
02-24-2010, 01:08 PM
Hi Chris!

So good to hear from you. It's sounds like you are doing wonderfully. I'm not up to all of that yet but happy that you are.

I still can't wear a bra yet. It will come I suppose.

Jennifer

titaniumed
02-24-2010, 02:33 PM
Jen

You are still very early....

I never had scapula issues, did mine with a broken shoulder however. The issues that I did have, suspected incisional hernia, were slammed down by 2 of my surgeons. My vascular surgeon told me that there was NO way he was going back in this early.(4 weeks post)

Try taking hot baths. Hot water, 105-107 degree I found helps with high pain levels. Drink lots of water as you lose it all in the tub.

You still need more time to pass. BTW we both have the same operation dates.
Hang in there
Ed

Doodles
02-24-2010, 02:54 PM
Jen--If this pain is this constant by alll means talk to the doctor. I know you said you were having trouble getting calls returned. Hope the e-mail might at least work. I often had pain under right shoulder blade and now it is more my right shoulder. However, nothing as constant and severe as what you describe. I have gotten help from pt with exercises and from my "hands on" pt--she helped the most. So sorry you're dealing with this. Hope you get some relief soon. Janet

briarrose
02-24-2010, 04:54 PM
Hi Jen,

I had horrible shoulder blade pain pre-op and post-op. Back in November, I went to see a shoulder/knee specialist and he diagnosed me with scapular tendonitis. He gave me a steroid injection and my pain was gone shortly after. The pain started to return so I started physical therapy. The PT helped a lot. Unfortunately, I've been slacking on my exercises and my pain is back.

I hope your pain goes away. I know how horrible it can be.

Shell

jenparker
02-24-2010, 05:30 PM
Thank you to all who have responded.

I just heard back from Dr. Lenke's office and Kelly said that this is very common pain. She said that it is what she hears 50% of the time post-op and that Dr. Lenke suggests pain meds until the muscles heal. My stomach is having a bit of a fit over the pain meds--so I will try the Darvocet but have to be careful that I don't get a gastric or esophageal ulcer.

Ed--thanks for your reply. I am still a week away until baths are allowed but I have noticed that using heat has helped. My daughter has an electric blanket and during the day I have used it and found it to be very helpful. **IT is funny that we both have the same surgical date!