I am a daughter of an incredible woman who had polio when she was 16.  Polio effected her legs.  During the 61 years since Mom has worn out her shoulders due to over-use and compensation for her weakened legs.  Her shoulders are so damaged that surgeons have told us surgery is not possible to repair her rotator cuffs.  The suggestion is to manage the pain with medications.  We cannot accept this.  I am looking for any other avenue to give my mother relief from the pain of blood and fluid build up in her damaged shoulders.  Any one who has experienced this and has been able to have the condition treated surgically, medically, through therapy, PLEASE let me know.  We are praying for 'Hope' for an innovative solution to this problem.

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I was offered shoulder joint replacement surgery when I ruptured two rotator cuff tendons.  I'm told that with the ruptured tendons (that cannot be repaired) eventually I will need the surgery, due to on-going joint trauma, but the recovery is quite lengthy, so I didn't want to do it until the need was more obvious (which it still isn't after two years).

Basically, the arm has to be immobilized for 2-3 months, which will mean that a lot of strength will be lost.  (It seems to me that polio muscles lose strength to disuse faster than "normie" muscles.)  And you'd definitely only want to do one arm at a time.

But I'm told that the new joint is quite robust and in some ways superior to the original.  Not sure why the surgeons would be saying that this is not an option for your mother.

I also had polio at age 16 but mine left me to wheelchair usage right from the beginning thereby saving my shoulder and arms. Today am almost to the point of using a lift as not due to pain but to weakness that has really  been evident in the past year. I did have a tear in my rotator cuff and has taken almost a year to heal and get past the pain issue at night. I assume your mother can still walk but if she is using a chair exclusive you have to consider the non movement for 2-3 months. There is no way that a person can be independent in a chair that I can figure out with only 1 arm, just saying. Good luck and keep us informed.

Hello Debra, I am 57 yrs old and was stricken with polio at the age of 3yrs 10 months severly affecting both legs from the waist down. A couple of years ago I complained about pain in my right shoulder to my orthopedic doctor. At the time I had fallen and tore the tendon in my left elbow and was having to compensate with overr using the right arm. He gave me a cortisone shot in the shoulder but said it was only a temporary fix and would only relieve the pain for a few weeks but  could not give me any more shots. He said my right rotator cuff was worn out from over use (like your mom, over compisating for the weak legs). Now and then the pain is severe but you would be surprised at how the brain deals with pain and the discomfort will go away with rest. Occasionally I will take the over the counter Ibuprofin gel caps with the liquid inside and this seems to help, but again, I only use this when the pain is almost unbearable. I know you want your Mom to be comfortable but as one of the few survivors I'm not so sure there is anything that can be done other than to do your best to make your mom as comfortable as possible. One other suggestions it for her to lay down or while sitting,  place pillows under her elbow(s) or sit in a chair where she can rest them on the arms of the chair that will take weight off her shoulder(s) to keep them from sagging. I'm not sure this makes sense but it seems to help releive the pain for me. Currently I am having neck and upper back pain and the only way to relieve the discomfort is to lay down with lots of soft pillows behind the head and back. The key for me for pain relief seems to be to find a way to take the weight off these joints. It isn't always easy since I work 40 hours a week sitting at a computer or getting around at work in a wheelchair which seems to only worsen the pain in the shoulders, back and neck. Give your Mom my best and let her know she is never alone. Polio survivors are tuff and we refuse to allow it to get the best of us!

Yeah, I've always used the armrests in my car, even before I tore up my shoulder.  The armrests take the weight off the shoulders and can make them much less painful, and maybe even allow them to heal a little.

I was told the same thing, ok the only thing I will say is I got a doctor that was willing to go all the way and I mean I left  it up to him with me not telling him about me I let him come up with his plain,ok now. I was lucky that I came to him that he would go in do as much repair as possible and then we would have to come back and complete the rest, he had to leave a exit to come out of the surgery. It took one and a half hours longer then he expected. This doctor is in the state of Washington his name is Dr. French in Colfax WA. This man is one of the best and he will help. His nurse is Debbie, phone # 509-397-9005.He will not cut her, he will go in four little holes and she will come out of this in no time at all and very little therapy. My Bicep was tour off also, I will say no more. You can us my name Ritchie Norman,he has done all my fings also, he invented the finger joints himself. Good luck.



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