Tuesday, August 30, 2011

raise your hand (if you can!)

Frozen shoulder, or adhesive capsulitis, is a condition that causes restriction of motion in the shoulder joint. The cause of a frozen shoulder is not well understood, but it often occurs for no known reason. Frozen shoulder causes the capsule surrounding the shoulder joint to contract and form scar tissue.

Patients with diabetes are at particular risk for developing a frozen shoulder. Other endocrine abnormalities, such as thyroid problems, can also lead to this condition.

About 20 percent of diabetics are affected by frozen shoulder, possibly because excess glucose contributes to abnormal deposits of collagen in the cartilage and tendons of the shoulder, which causes the shoulder to stiffen.

i have been living with a frozen shoulder for almost 18 months.  at least i think that long, although it may be longer actually.  i had the same thing in my right arm in 1998.  i went for physiotherapy, and cortisone shots.  did exercises at home, but nothing helped.  i am right handed. 

i started working at a grocery store as a cashier.  scanning groceries with my right hand, over time, my shoulder "unfroze".   i didn't even notice it happening. 

this time it's in my left shoulder.  i have gone for phsyio 3 times a week for months on end.  i have seen a Sports Injury Doctor, and had 3 cortisone injections to no avail.

i admit, this time i am not doing the exercises at home.  it seems to me that trying to stretch, and maneuver my arm in ways that it refuses to go seems, besides painful, pointless.

i have been doing a little internet browsing, and it seems to me that my next option may be surgery. if this is the case, the surgeon may perform a manipulation under anesthesia. a manipulation is performed with the patient sedated under anesthesia, and the doctor moves the arm to break up adhesions caused by frozen shoulder. there is no actual surgery involved, meaning incisions are not made when a manipulation is performed.

i also have a condition called Dupuytren's Contracture (apparently fairly common in diabetics also).  i am having surgery for this on November 2nd.  i am wondering if it would be possible to have the two surgeries performed at the same time.  and since i will have to have physiotherapy after the hand and would also need phsyio after the manipulation, why not kill two birds with one stone? 

if you agree, raise your hand!! (unless of course, your shoulder is frozen!)

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