Taking the pain away from frozen shoulder - KPLC 7 News, Lake Charles, Louisiana

Taking the pain away from frozen shoulder

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LAKE CHARLES, LA (KPLC) -

Lifting, stretching and pulling are typically mindless body movements - until pain is involved.  Shoulder pain can force you to change the way you move, creating a condition called "frozen shoulder."

Mike Duhon owns a store in Moss Bluff where his upper body is important for lifting and reaching. "There were times when I had to lift above my head and that hurt really badly," he said.

Duhon cannot recall a time he actually injured his shoulder, but he knew the pain he lived with for nearly two years could not be tolerated any longer. "It felt like an ice pick, like someone sticking an ice pick in my shoulder," he said.

Orthopaedic surgeon and shoulder specialist J. Trappey with Center for Orthopaedics says a condition called adhesive capsulitis or frozen shoulder was the problem for Duhon. "The two bones in your shoulder are held together by a soft tissue that we call the capsule," said Dr. Trappey, "adhesive capsulitis is when you get inflammation and scarring in that capsule."

Frozen shoulder is often triggered by minor trauma, leading to shoulder swelling, stiffness and pain. Those feelings can cause a patient to lose some of the range of motion, leading to even more stiffness, pain and swelling. "We will start off conservatively with an injection, then try medicine, then try therapy," said Dr. Trappey, "and I usually give people six weeks to get better."

Six weeks passed and the pain was still there for Duhon. Surgery was the final option, starting with Dr. Trappey physically moving Duhon's arm past a 90 degree angle for the first time in months. "You can kind of feel the capsule actually tearing as you do that as they regain their motion," said Dr. Trappey, "after that, we put the camera inside the shoulder and we do a capsule release that releases any remaining tissue holding those two bones together tightly."

There were no signs of arthritis in Duhon's shoulder, so he was immediately referred to a physical therapist post-surgery to keep his shoulder from re-freezing.    

Now, three months later, Duhon is back to the daily grind without pain and stiffness. "I can operate my business the way it needs to be operated," he said, "I can do my yard work, I can do whatever I need to do."

Shoulder pain and stiffness is not a normal part of aging. If you want to learn more about relieving shoulder pain, Dr. Trappey is hosting a free seminar Thursday, July 25th at 5:30 P.M. It's at Center for Orthopaedics on Imperial Boulevard in Lake Charles. Pre-registration is required. Call 337-721-2903 or click here to register.

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