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Shoulder Pain Pump Complications: Even Feeding the Baby is Difficult

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Tucson, AZJohn H. says he noticed soon after his shoulder surgery that his shoulder was not feeling as well as it should have. He says he is not positive his problems were caused by the shoulder pain pump but his symptoms are similar to those experienced by other patients. Now, he faces a possible additional surgery to fix his shoulder injury, but he is not sure he wants to endure another surgery.

"My pain pump was in for 3 days and then I took it out," John says. "I'm assuming, based on what the website [] said that I'm suffering from what everybody else is.

Feeing Baby"I've got popping and clicking in my shoulder, joint tightness and it fatigues really easily when I lift it up to do something. I have to lower my arm to take a break. Then, I've got a constant pain in my neck and I'm not sure if that's related to the pain pump or from my nerve block. That's just as aggravating as my shoulder.

"I had my surgery in January 2008. It was rotator cuff surgery. The pump was put in on Friday and I believe I pulled it out on either Sunday or Monday. The surgery was on my right arm and I am right handed, unfortunately.

"The popping and clicking happen pretty much every time I move my shoulder. I used to be active in softball and golf, but I no longer play softball because of the problems with my shoulder. Golf is not as much fun as it used to be. There is a limited range of motion compared to how the shoulder was before the surgery.

"I have newborn twins that were born in June and they have just started on cereals. Even just feeding them, I have to take a break. When I hold the bottle, I have to stop to give my shoulder a rest, which allows me time to burp them, but I can't deal with the fatigue in my shoulder. That's how my shoulder is. I have to take breaks because it gets so tired. That problem just has not gone away.

"As long as I'm keeping the arm below the shoulder, I don't have too much trouble holding weight. I mean, I'm not going out lifting rocks and boulders, but carrying groceries from the car is okay. Reaching for things, though, is hard. That's where I have trouble.

"I was 4 days post-operation when the pump was taken out and I have seen little improvement since the surgery. The nice thing is that I can at least lift my arm over the shoulder, but I can't push weight above it. I have to go back to another orthopedic surgeon to figure out what is going on.

"Without question this has affected my day-to-day life. I am not nearly as active as I would be or as I used to be. Now, I face another surgery that I don't think I want to go through."

Many patients may have experienced shoulder pain following the use of a shoulder pain pump and not realized that their pain was related to the pump, rather than being a normal side effect of their surgery. However, in some cases, the problem could have been the shoulder pain pump and those patients might not fully recover, even with additional surgeries to repair their shoulders.



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