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Frozen Shoulder Experiences Post Mastectomy

Posts: 1191
Joined: Dec 2010

I was wondering if anyone has experienced frozen shoulder after their mastectomy with or without node removal. Can you tell my your experiences with it? Is it something you felt all of a sudden, did it come on gradually? What were the feelings and/or sensations accompanying it? Thanks.

DianeBC's picture
Posts: 3886
Joined: Jun 2009

I had a lumpectomy cinnamonsmile, so, I can't help you with answers for your question, but, I am sure those that have gone thru this will post.

Very sorry and I hope you can get some help. Perhaps a physical therapist?

Hugs, Diane

jessiesmom1's picture
Posts: 874
Joined: Jun 2010

I had a complete axillary dissection, right mastectomy and then 16 rounds of chemo. After the axillary dissection I had some problems with the range of motion in my right shoulder but by the time of my mastectomy 3 months later it had improved a lot. After the mastectomy the range of motion was pretty poor. It was even hard to extend my arm forward to turn on a faucet. I couldn't tie an apron behind my back. I could not raise my arm above shoulder height, etc. It was a feeling of stiffness in the joint. It was not particularly painful. I went to PT for 3 months until the chemo made me so ill that I just couldn't do it any more. By the time chemo was over my arm was in pretty bad shape. There were just so many things I was unable to do. It was distressing.

I went to an orthopedist who said (after various diagnostics) that because it had been going on for so long I was not a candidate for Manipulation Under Anesthesia. Instead I had to have surgery. This could be done either arthroscopically or by open surgery. He opted for an open surgery. It was called a Mumford Procedure. It was done at an outpatient surgery center under general anesthesia. Afterwards he told me that amongst other things there were "very dense adhesions" in the shoulder joint that he removed. I was given exercises to do at home. I was not happy with my progress and requested that he refer me to physical therapy.

I have been going to PT 3x/week for almost 4 months. The therapist recently reduced me to 2x/week because my range of motion has improved so much. I probably only have another 3 weeks left. I can do most of the the things I need to do without a struggle. I can reach above my head to open the gate in my yard. I can turn on the light in the garage. I can wash my hair (now that I finally have some) with both hands. I still have trouble reaching behind my back but overall I am SO much improved.

Hopefully hearing about my experiences has helped you some. IRENE

Marcia527's picture
Posts: 2749
Joined: Jul 2006

I babied my arm after my mastectomy and it froze up. I should have asked the surgeon for exercises and when to start them. But I didn't know any better. So I had 9 appointments with a physical therapist and it restored range but it was painful. However, it was necessary.

Posts: 6587
Joined: Oct 2010

I had frozen shoulder years ago but nothing to do with BC...so sorry you are going through this...I did have to have manipulation and much PT for long time.

good luck

CypressCynthia's picture
Posts: 4014
Joined: Oct 2009

Totally frozen. Years after left mastectomy with node removal and left frozen shoulder.

jo jo's picture
jo jo
Posts: 1175
Joined: Jun 2010

Im going thru the frozen shoulder thing now. I have been going thru it since about last july after my implant exchange surgery. Mine was due to having to baby it so much cuz i kept getting infections and the wound site kept trying to reopen so i couldnt do anything with it. So naturally it froze up. I couldnt move my arm from my elbow up but i had no problem from the elbow down. It was very painful if i tried to lift it up to far. Its like when it got to a certain height it just didnt want to move anymore like something was stopping it. Like Jessies mom i was very limited on what i could do. I couldnt lift it very far and cant put it behind my back. I have been going to physical therapy weekly since before it started for the breast cancer therapy...so they were already aware of what was going on but we couldnt do anything about it then but now they have a little over half of my range of motion back....woo hoo! Now i can raise my arm just above shoulder height but i still cant put it behind my back, but its a slow process and im getting there! Hope this helps!

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