Thursday, March 3, 2011

It’s Cold Up In Here

I should really be ashamed of myself for that title, but it’s the first thing that came to mind and I’m sticking to it.  ;)

Okay, I saw the orthopedist, same one I saw when I broke my toe.  He examined me and took x-rays.  He says I have adhesive capsulitis (it is so a word spell checker!) a.k.a. frozen shoulder.  It affects only 2% of the population and mostly women over 40.  I tell ‘ya, every stinking year that goes by I really, really hate being a woman over 40.

Basically, you hurt your shoulder in some manner.  Most likely I did something to it during a workout.  As the pain sets in you use the shoulder less.  As you use it less, adhesions form on the ball and socket joint.  As the adhesions form you lose movement in the shoulder.  They don’t know why some people get this and some don’t (obviously not everyone who hurts their shoulder develops this.)  They think women over 40 get it more often because of hormones.  My dr says he’s had people with their arms in slings for several weeks for injuries and one will come out fine and the other will develop frozen shoulder.  No idea why.

Next up is treatment, in the form of physical therapy.  They are going to lead me through some exercises to help regain use of my shoulder and stop any further loss of motion.  If this doesn’t work there is surgery or arm manipulations (under general anesthesia) to break up and remove the adhesions.  Either way, it’s gonna hurt.  The dr gave me some Tylenol with codeine to take at night so I can sleep, but I haven’t done so yet.  I don’t like taking pain pills, plus dh is on call and he actually did have to leave and go in to work last night.  What if something happens with one of the kiddos and I am impaired and can’t drive or make a clear decision?

So there ‘ya go.  I am, I admit, confused and a bit wary of the diagnosis.  It sure feels like an injury or tear or something in my arm.  And some of this stuff sounds almost made up (“We don’t know how or why you got this but that’s life missy.  Deal with it.”) But I’ll be a good patient and do the prescribed therapy (sure hope they have a waiting room for the kids) and I’ll get through the ordeal of The Arm.  At the very least I’ll have something to blog about.  :)


  1. My Mama had this two years ago! How random! She also had intense physical therapy to fix it. It was hard. "Stay-home-from-work-with-meds" kind of hard.

    She let her pain go way too long and they weren't sure how much motion she would regain. After 2 months of therapy, she regained over 90% of her movement. And she is like brand new now!

    We will keep you in our prayers. It'll be hard, but you can do it!

  2. Ooh, my favorite thing about physical therapy was the moist heat. And once he did some ultrasound on my shoulder and it was amazing! (I went for about six weeks for a weird thing that was happening with my neck and shoulder.)

    I hope you find it helpful!


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