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Patient Endures Six Surgeries For "Messed Up" Shoulder

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Gardnerville, NVJoanna S. has had her life torn apart because of a shoulder injury. She has endured 6 shoulder surgeries in the past few years, all because of a torn rotator cuff. Of those surgeries, the shoulder pain pump was used in 3 of them. Joanna says she has suffered severe pain and is unable to continue her career because of problems with her shoulder.

Shoulder SurgeryJoanna was a veterinary technician. One day, a few years ago, she tore her shoulder while dealing with a difficult animal. "I had a pain pump during that first surgery," Joanna says. "About six months later I had another surgery because my shoulder was torn again. That time, there was no pump used. I worked for 3 years between that surgery and the next, but my shoulder was never right. For example, in order to write on the surgery board [which is mounted on the wall] I had to have a friend hold my arm up. It didn't heal properly.

"After 3 years, I went in and asked to have my case reopened because my shoulder still was not healing. They did an MRI and found my shoulder was torn again. Since October 3, 2006, I have had 4 surgeries on my shoulder [in addition to the initial 2 surgeries]. I had the pain pump for the first, third and sixth surgeries.

"Before my most recent surgery, my shoulder was a mess, so they did a total reverse shoulder replacement. My shoulder is all titanium and mesh now.

"I had the same doctor do 4 surgeries and I thought he did something wrong. I didn't read the doctor's reports, but my rotator cuff was totally messed up. In those 3 years that I worked following the first 2 surgeries, I had no strength in my shoulder, a lot of pain, poor range of motion and I couldn't hold my arm up for any length of time. Even doing my hair hurt my shoulder. I still have pain—I'm in therapy now. It was hard, having the bone cut out and a total muscle reconstruction.

"My shoulder is worse than it was before, definitely. It is worse than what I had fixed in the first place. It's still pretty bad.

"I cannot be a veterinary technician any more. I can't type for more than 5 minutes and I can't move the mouse for more than 5 minutes. I used to do a lot of artwork on walls; I can't anymore. I can't go bowling or play volleyball. I can't do physical jobs at all. Even office work—filing—just the movement of putting files away is painful. I used to do a lot of physical activities. I worked very hard my whole life. I don't know what I am going to do.

"After the fifth surgery, I went right from my brace to a torn shoulder. I took the brace off, I didn't do anything strenuous—I just put my arm down and the shoulder tore right away. The whole area was just weakened.

"I read an article about the shoulder pain pump and I have the same symptoms as that person talked about. Increased pain at rest and with motion, I can't sleep due to pain, I can't get comfortable, increased stiffness, decreased range of motion, grinding and loss of strength.

"People should ask what kind of system the doctors use to keep patients out of pain that first 24 or 48 hours. The doctors didn't tell me what they were using—they just did it. People should ask about the pain and how doctors will lessen it. I don't think people think about the extreme pain after surgery and they don't know to ask."

READ ABOUT SHOULDER PAIN PUMP LAWSUITS

READER COMMENTS

Posted by

on
I had reverse shoulder last feb. Got MRSA. Iv meds 6 weeks. Pic line taken out....Doc never tested to see if infection was gone....3 weeks later sick again.....a month later 2 back to back surgeries to take replacement out. iv meds 8 weeks. Another surgery to put it back in.

6 months later hurting like crazy. Have different doc take xray. He said that is the worst shoulder he has seen in 35 years and send me to specialist. So now another surgery.

Posted by

on
Oh my god ! I just had surgery number seven cause of the first two surgery's were a torn labrum. Had a partial replacement the third surgery. The fourth was a cadaver that did not heal.Fith surgery was a total replacement . sixth surgery was a revision to make space. The seventh was the reversal that just happened Feb 19th 2016. And I'm in pain still. Have poor function of the shoulder. The first two surgery's were in 2006 and 2007 . Both had pain pump on them . I was told by the doctor that did the first two should have never used the pain pump , it FRIED my shoulder . I have been on Vicodin and percoset for 10 years now. I lost my job and my life because of this !!!!!! I can not understand why they are still being used !!!!!!

Posted by

on
I have had 3 operations 2 were Reverse Shoulder Replacement the device will not stay in place they want me to have a 4th operation with a different doctor i'm in ALOT of pain and have NO use of my right arm which has caused depression

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