Frozen shoulder???

liz11808 Member Posts: 34
edited March 2014 in Breast Cancer #1
Hello Everybody,
Does anyone experiencing stiffness and aches on the shoulder where the surgery is done? My left shoulder is having this problem. I can only reach up to a certain height. In the morning when I wake up, I feel like really really old and it hurts. The pain will go away thru out the day but the stiffness is still there. I had mastectomy w/out recon, completed 4 rounds of taxotere and rightnow taking tamoxifen twice a day. Any advice, please help.

God bless, Liz


  • cabbott
    cabbott Member Posts: 1,039 Member
    Chemo can cause some aches and pains, but so can surgery. Call your insurance agent to see what you need to do to be evaluated and referred for physical therapy, preferably with an outfit that has worked with mastectomy patients before. My hospital clinic had a rehab specialist on the team, so you could call your surgeon to see if your hospital has anything similar. Rehab can work wonders! They can get you started toward recovery and give you exercises to do in the future so that the pain and stiffness don't come back. The oncologist may be able to address any joint pain caused by the meds. Vitamin D deficiency can aggravate some of the joint pain caused by cancer meds. You need the test and to be monitored by a doctor. It is possible to overdose on Vitamin D so you don't want to go popping megadoses just to see what happens. But it is a cheap test and sometimes it works. Good luck!

    C. Abbott
  • mmontero38
    mmontero38 Member Posts: 1,510
    Hey Liz: Just came back from the dr for the same complaint. Turns out that the tendon around my rotator cuff is stiff from lack of use. I guess that between the mastectomy and reconstruction, I was babying the arm and although I used it to reach up high in my kitchen cabinets I was not using it enough. (probably from my fear of developing lymphedema) so, I am now going to have to set up physical therapy to get the movement back in the arm without seeing stars. Talk to your dr about this, you may need therapy until the tendon relaxes. Hugs & prayers, Lili
  • seof
    seof Member Posts: 819 Member
    I had some of the same problem, but the excersizes prescribed by the surgeon were enough to deal with it. I think the PT is probably a good idea. My Doc suggested it to me, but I did not feel like I needed it, since the other worked.

    Best wishes, seof
  • liz, I had 2 radical mastectomies at different times. The first one (right side) recovered with no ill effects to the shoulder. I think this was because I am right handed and had a 1 year old at the time so not exercising the arm was NOT an option.
    However, less than 2 years later when I had the left side 'done', I did have remarkable trouble getting that shoulder back to normal. I did the exercises but the rest of the time I often found myself 'coddling' my left arm unconsciously.
    I never have regained absolutely normal use of my left shoulder, but I only notice the difference now when I do something extreme or raise my left arm very high. I don't consider it a disability by any means.
    Just do the best you can and realize that 100% is not always necessary to carry on as usual.
  • LindaR48
    LindaR48 Member Posts: 26
    It doesn't sound like frozen shoulder. I had it in both shoulders at the same time before breast cancer. The pain is so severe you don't want to move it again. You should talk to your onc about pt. Believe me you never want frozen shoulder.