Frozen Shoulder Thawing Stage

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Topic Title: Frozen Shoulder Thawing Stage
Created On: 03/09/2009 01:39 PM

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 02/02/2015 11:21 PM

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NickyW

Posts: 1

Hi I am in the defrost stage of a FS but on top of this I broke my humerus about 10 weeks ago and now have daily very painful phsio. First question ishowcsore should phsio be? Secondly I am now getting occasional sharp spasm or pain is this a goood sign of improvement or should I be concerned? Thank you

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 11/26/2014 01:51 PM

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angelrobert

Posts: 104

I wanted to have surgery but the surgeon says to wait it out while another says to have it if I am to get back my room. This is a very confusing situation.

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 07/12/2014 11:14 AM

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Fitzroy

Posts: 676

Mayee,

The trouble with that advice is it usually takes several weeks to diagnose FS.

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 07/12/2014 03:35 AM

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mayee

Posts: 1

To those in the first week of frozen shoulder,start your physical therapy immediately with a license physical therapist, it can save you long term suffering if you address it immediately..do not wait for the thawing stage.

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 05/17/2010 03:59 AM

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herta

Posts: 46

  • Hi Sunriver, I think every shoulder is different. I was in intense pain with no lose of movement from June 09 to August 09 at which point I couldn't even sign a check. Then my right arm froze to 0 rom but my left arm never really froze. I would say my right arm started thawing in Dec. 09 and now five months later I can lift to 90° to the front, 45 to the side 45° to the back and touch my tailbone.
  • Doctors think I'll be back at work in September
  • Herta
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 05/17/2010 12:36 AM

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Sunriver

Posts: 9

Thanks for all of the insight. I was wondering, how long does the thawing stage last?

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 05/15/2010 10:50 AM

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jmaune

Posts: 14

Sunriver, my comment to you is exactly the same as elizabethr. I had orthroscopy/manipulation on April 9, and I believe PT is a critical part of my recovery post-surgery. Having said that, after my two frozen shoulders, I am NOT a believer in PT pre-surgery. For me, it was ridiculously painful with absolutely no benefit.

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 05/07/2010 10:11 AM

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elizabethr

Posts: 431

Your situation sounds normal to me. I don't really know how long the frozen stage was for me - several months each time, but then it didn't have exact starting and ending dates.

The PT probably didn't make your FS worse - it was getting worse all by itself. But it just doesn't help in the freezing stage. And the cortisone may well not have done anything if you didn't have it done under fluoroscopy - there is research that says that something like 60% of all shoulder injections done in the doctor's office, using external landmarks for targeting, miss their mark and are therefore useless.

I think you're right to take the conservative approach and avoid surgery if at all possible, since the outcome for most FS is positive, regardless of intervention. I know it seems right now as if this has gone on forever and there is no end in sight, but there are significant risks to the various procedures, and they must be followed immediately by aggressive and often very painful PT. Some people on this forum have had good results, but both my physical therapists said they had seen patients actually regress after MUA. Of course, there are the stubborn cases - those are the ones where it's worth trying something more aggressive. But you aren't there yet - the amount of time you've spent is not out of the ordinary at all - the average FS takes, depending on the source you read, 18 months or one to three years to resolve. With or without treatment. I was through the worst of the first shoulder in about 14 months, if I remember correctly, and less than a year on the second one.

Good luck!

Elizabeth



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 05/06/2010 09:58 PM

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Sunriver

Posts: 9

I'm not sure if I have a "hump", it is very stiff and sore, what I do have is my entire shoulder moves and the shoulder blade sticks out in back. My ROM is very limited, so when I try to extend past my comfort level my entire sholder lifts. According to the doctors I am in the frozen stage. I'm out of the intense pain and have more of a constant ache and/or cramping down into my hand. I gues what I am wondering is how long this stage has lasted for you both? I'm about 6 months into this, (4 months freezing, 2 months frozen) I had P/T for serveral months but I think it might have made it worse and 1 cortizone shot. I am now trying acupuncture, I am not sure if that will help. I wanted to have surgery but the surgeon says to wait it out while another says to have it if I am to get back my ROM. This is a very confusing situation. Thanks for taking the time to answer my questions I don't know anyone who has had this or if they did they don't remember which I find hard to believe that you could forget something like this although I do hope to do exactly that.

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 05/06/2010 04:21 PM

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elizabethr

Posts: 431

Hi, Sunriver! Yes, I'm still around, mostly I just check in every few days to see if I can be of help. As Kelly says, the pain will become more bearable and your range of motion will start to return. It will feel like a stuck joint in a piece of machinery that gradually loosens. Physical therapy can be really helpful at this time to jump-start it and to help you regain the most motion possible. You won't wake up one morning and know that you're in the thawing stage. But when you start to regain even a little bit of mobility you'll have a good idea! Also, mine (first shoulder) was preceded by the "hump" going down - if your shoulder became somewhat misshapen you'll know what I'm talking about. It doesn't happen to everyone, and only one of my FSs developed a hump. Good luck!

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 05/06/2010 12:32 PM

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KellyN

Posts: 10

Hi, I'm in the thawing stage. I decided to have the arthroscopic surgery and manipulation under anesthesia less than 3 months ago because I wasn't getting better and the pain was more than I could tolerate. For me the thawing stage has been a huge reduction in pain and the jabbing, jerky pains I used to get are now gone. I had a constant ache for about 7 weeks, but I'm happy to report that I no longer need prescription pain killers to cover the pain. I've been in PT since my procdures and it's helped immensely. My range of motion is slowly coming back, although I'm still working on improving my internal rotation. Definitely, a lot less pain and ROM slowly comes back in the thawing stage. I had PT pre surgery/MUA and it didn't help at all. In fact, it caused a lot of inflammation and I think it just made things worst and within a month I had frozen shoulder. You'll know when your in the thawing stage b/c you won't be thinking about your shoulder pain all day and night, plus you'll start to see improvements with your ROM. Hope this helps! Kelly



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 05/05/2010 10:37 PM

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Sunriver

Posts: 9

Are any of you still on this forum and if so are you any better? I am currently in the frozen stage but would like to know what to expect in the thawing stage. Any information would be greatly appreciated. Thanks in advance.

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 03/11/2009 08:28 PM

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elizabethr

Posts: 431

I didn't wake up one day and say "oh boy, I'm thawing!" But those drop-to-your knees pains gradually subsided, and the shoulder started having the tiniest bit of "give" to it - not really ROM but a feeling that it might begin to start to move.It did still hurt - but more the achy type of hurt. You're right to consider doing PT - it WILL help.
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 03/09/2009 02:59 PM

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Lilyrose

Posts: 136

I think I'm thawing (lol) but not entirely sure.I regained a small amount of ROM after Christmas but not really any more since I don't think.The awful fainting nauseating pain on unexpected jerky movement in that arm has gone, thank-goodness.My shoulder is still often sore, especially during and after swimming (which is the only exercise I get.) It's a dull ache though, not really a problem.I often get weird fluttery feelings on the outside of the shoulder.Muscles in the arm are obviously very wasted.I can sleep on that side as long as I have lots of pillows! Hooray!HTHx
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 03/09/2009 01:39 PM

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Susielaen

Posts: 5

Hello to all,I'm in the "frozen" stage of FS. I have decided to "go it on my own" but do feel that PT could be quite beneficial, although I agree with some other members that believe the PT should begin at the "thawing" stage. Since I haven't gotten to that stage yet, I was hoping someone could help me understand/describe what the thawing stage felt (or is) like. I know this is probably a difficult question to answer, but I would appreciate any and all attempts.This board has been a great source of information and personal experience.Thanks to all!
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