My mom has bone on bone arthritis in both shoulders. Docs have tried several pain meds, nothing is helping...what should I do? - AgingCare.com

My mom has bone on bone arthritis in both shoulders. Docs have tried several pain meds, nothing is helping...what should I do?

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She can't have surgery because she has pulmonary fibrosis. I don't know what to add other than we have contacted the orthopedic department at Mayo...She is going to PT twice a month....I caregive part time and an agency does the rest. She lives in her own home and uses a walker...

I feel powerless and ignorant to what other options we have. She was crying this morning...she said she can't take it anymore..and she's not a complainer....I feel helpless watching this happen. Thanks for listening

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Thanks Veronica. I was thinking that with technology these days there has to be some sort of solution. My sister had a resurfacing done on her knee. One bad knee has been hereditary for myself and all of my sisters.
I will ask the ortho doc. Thanks
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Smitty, Resurfacing is the replacement of just the ball of a ball and socket joint as in knee, hip or shoulder. I am not personally familiar with it but from what I have read the surface of the damaged ball is shaved off and a cap placed over it which goes back into the socket of the joint. The new cover has a prong on the back which is driven into the remaining part of the ball and is either cemented or new bone is allowed to grow in and stabilize it as with total joint replacements. full use can begin at once and there is minimal physical therapy involved so co-operation from a demented patient is not required she would either use it or not.. It can be done under sedation and regional anesthetic but usually everyone is happier under a general. I doubt that with your mother they would consider any intervention at this stage but it never hurts to ask. I have seen long bones pinned for patients with metastatic cancer to stabilize them and allow them to continue to walk as long as possible but they did not have lung disease.
I was thinking of resurfacing for Pink's mother because of less need for PT.
I believe it is more common in Europe than here so anyone would need to find a center that had experience in the procedure but any orthopedist should know about it even if they don't do or recommend it. The key question is "How many of these have you done?" as of course with any procedure that is relatively new.
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Veronica, what is resurfacing? Does it require anesthesia? Thanks for the natural tips...I will try the turmeric and Deep blue and arnica..
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Pink, I agree that you're right to get your mom to an orthopedist. And we've all learned from our mistakes, since none of us are perfect. One thing I've learned the hard way (with my own health) is that doctors often won't tell you that other options exist if they're not the ones who can provide that kind of care. So you have to demand it (like your demand for a referral) or find it yourself. It's a sad but true fact.
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Pink
You are right to insist on seeing an orthopedist. once he has seen the X-rays he may be able to recommend a lesser procedure such as resurfacing which may need less PT. You don't know till you ask.
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pipruby, there is also a great product by DoTerra called Deep Blue rub. I like arnica and the creams.
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Veronica, that was what he doctor thought would be the problem, that she wouldn't cooperate with the PT after a replacement. He didn't think that she would benefit from an ortho doctor either but I pushed for the referral so that I could get a specialist to check it out. I wish we had it checked out sooner but hindsight is 20/20.
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Try Turmeric capsules, an anti-inflammatory spice. Also talk with her doctor about lavender oil and/or Arnica massage to relieve pain. Consider a gel foam top pad on her mattress, or if she is heavy, a Temurpedic mattress or something like that.
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Nightingale
You did not mention in your first post that Mom has cancer in her bones. This makes it a whole different ball game and increases the reasons she can't have surgery. Does she have the cancer in her shoulders. if so they can do palliative RT to the tumors which will may ease some of the pain. and won't be too difficult for her to tolerate. Have you considered having hospice come in?
I do not agree with placing her in a nursing home. As long as you can provide 24 hour care the best place is in her home. That is unless she wants to go. Her care will be far better at home. Hospice may be able to use better medication to control her pain. Again hospice is very very good about pain management and pain clinics often abide by the "we do not want to get her addicted" My answer to that is "Why does it matter she needs whatever it takes to keep her comfortable" With cancer in her bones her life in this world is coming to an end. Has anybody considered giving her Prednisone.

Pink LA
Get thee to an orthopod ASAP.
I can not predict whether surgery would worsen your mothers dementia, that is obviously a risk to be considered but living with such pain does not improve her quality of life either. These days a knee replacement can be done in less than 1
1/2 hours. The anesthesiologist can use a spinal anesthetic and heavy sedation so she will be asleep while it is done. There is little blood loss with a knee but of course it will be painful and she will have to co-operate with the PT and probably spend a little while in rehab. If you think she can cope with all that at her current stage of dementia I would certainly ask about it. Don't be brushed off till you know the facts. Many people tolerate it just fine. Depends on any other health issues she has besides the O/A and dementia.
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My mom has bone on bone in her knee. It is very painful for her and she takes acetaminophen four times a day. the doctor said that she could take up to 2000mg per day to help with the pain. He said no "unnecessary" surgery for her because it could worsen her dementia, so a knee replacement isn't in her future.
She walks with that one leg straight and drags it. That is why she fell a couple weeks ago, it caught on a small lip in the road. She has to be watched most of the time because she can easily lose her balance because she doesn't want to use that leg. She uses a walker when we go out but refuses to use a cane inside the house. Stubborn lady.
Her MD thought that PT wouldn't be helpful and I pushed for her to see an orthopedist. We will can get her in to see him in a couple of weeks. I'm hoping that he has a solution. I will be sure to ask about the synovial fluid possibility.
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