U.S. doctors online nowAsk doctors free
A 38-year-old male asked:

Have a problem shoulder, two surgeries and still in pain..haven't slept a full night in over a year...whats my next step? i tore my labrum almost 3/4 of the way off my shoulder bone and had reconstructive surgery with 8 anchors. one year later i'm still i

2 doctor answers4 doctors weighed in
Dr. David Ring
Hand Surgery 34 years experience
It's : It's disappointing when there isn't a fix. Even with all the advances in our field, we orthopaedic surgeons have to manage this on a daily basis. For anyone with ongoing musculoskeletal pain (e.g. Arthritis, an old injury, etc.) the most important pitfall to avoid is the sense that you will only be able to depend on your body when it not longer hurts. The truth is that people have very rewarding lives in spite of pain. Research shows how this is done. It basically amounts to turning off (or filtering) the "pain alarm" (the sense of ongoing damage with pain or inability to trust a body part that hurts)--separating true and false alarms. The rest is development of what psychologists call "self-efficacy", which is a sense of control and an optimism that things will work out. We tend to admire our grandparents and the so-called "greatest generation" for these qualities--they have self-efficacy off the scale and you can see the benefit. You can cultivate this with a technique called cognitive behavioral therapy. You could start with a workbook called "managing pain before it manages you" (which fits the smoke alarm analogy--you need to use pain as a tool and not be mastered by it). I recommend you get a few shoulder specialists to look over your shoulder for obvious problems (errant anchors, instability, pinched nerves) and hopefully they can reassure you that there are no issues and no overlooked operative targets. Then work hard on your recovery and you'll get there!
Created for people with ongoing healthcare needs but benefits everyone.
Dr. Vivek Agrawal
Orthopedic Surgery 33 years experience
Second Opinion: It's unclear from your question why you had two surgeries and the exact nature and cause of your pain. Along with a pain management specialist, i would recommend you consider a second opinion with a shoulder specialist to help establish the true cause of your pain and your options. http://www.theshouldercenter.com/suprascapular-nerve.htm http://www.Theshouldercenter.Com/shoulder-specialist.Htm.
Created for people with ongoing healthcare needs but benefits everyone.
Last updated Oct 3, 2016


Content on HealthTap (including answers) should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment, and interactions on HealthTap do not create a doctor-patient relationship. Never disregard or delay professional medical advice in person because of anything on HealthTap. Call your doctor or 911 if you think you may have a medical emergency.