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2 months post - Chest and shoulder pain



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Hi! Anyone have chest/shoulder pain not immediately after surgery? I am 2 months post op and it started 2 weeks ago and is getting more frequent and lasting longer. Gas meds don’t work, Tylenol works a tiny bit. I have one pain under/behind my left clavicle that hurts mostly when compressed or when I open my jaw. The other pain is behind the incision on my chest (right under bra line on left side), like behind the bone. It’s where the sternum and ribs meet and radiates backwards to my spine. The weird thing is - my spine gets pins and needles when I have this pain. No weakness in my limbs. I can exercise through the pain, no problem. No shortness of breath or fever. These two types of pain never happen at the same time. It’s like it moves around. My mom has paracarditis, which is autoimmune and not hereditary, but it kind of matches this pain. I also read that it could be a leak - could it be this far out? I messaged my care team and hope to reach them before Xmas. It all started when I returned to working from home and was sitting all day. I thought it was muscular. It was also when I upped my exercise to 5-6 days/week, began running, and started Pilates. Can anyone relate or have an insight? Thank you!!!

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Yes, I've had pain like that off and on. They checked me for a leak and it wasn't that. They checked my lungs to see if it was a clot, it wasn't that. They told me it was likely just inflammation of my chest wall. I take turmeric and valium and I'm fine after that.

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Could it be GERD? That gives shoulder/chest pain too.

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8 hours ago, Lilfootie said:

Hi! Anyone have chest/shoulder pain not immediately after surgery? I am 2 months post op and it started 2 weeks ago and is getting more frequent and lasting longer. Gas meds don’t work, Tylenol works a tiny bit. I have one pain under/behind my left clavicle that hurts mostly when compressed or when I open my jaw. The other pain is behind the incision on my chest (right under bra line on left side), like behind the bone. It’s where the sternum and ribs meet and radiates backwards to my spine. The weird thing is - my spine gets pins and needles when I have this pain. No weakness in my limbs. I can exercise through the pain, no problem. No shortness of breath or fever. These two types of pain never happen at the same time. It’s like it moves around. My mom has paracarditis, which is autoimmune and not hereditary, but it kind of matches this pain. I also read that it could be a leak - could it be this far out? I messaged my care team and hope to reach them before Xmas. It all started when I returned to working from home and was sitting all day. I thought it was muscular. It was also when I upped my exercise to 5-6 days/week, began running, and started Pilates. Can anyone relate or have an insight? Thank you!!!

Have you tried resting from exercise to see if it gets better?

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leaks usually happen pretty quickly after surgery, so it would be pretty unusual to have one this far out. I'd just run it by your surgeon...

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I have had left shoulder pain since surgery that is worse when coughing/doing the breathing activities or sneezing or trying to sleep. It has been my biggest complaint post op! In the hospital I was told it was gas, which made sense. At my one week check-up, there was a bruise on my left shoulder. I thought I bruised myself from trying to press it, hold it. My surgeon thinks a bar was against my shoulder in surgery that caused the bruise. He isn't concerned but said that I'm the first patient he has seen with a bruised left shoulder post-op. I'm now two weeks post-op and it still hurts but not as bad, the bruising has gone away and otherwise I feel great.

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On 12/21/2020 at 8:34 AM, NovaLuna said:

Yes, I've had pain like that off and on. They checked me for a leak and it wasn't that. They checked my lungs to see if it was a clot, it wasn't that. They told me it was likely just inflammation of my chest wall. I take turmeric and valium and I'm fine after that.

Mine are like “Oh that’s weird! No fever, no need to check you. Go to the ER if the pain gets worse.” Terrible time to go to the ER. It does get worse with stress! Hmm thanks for the reply! Glad I’m not the only one.

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On 12/21/2020 at 8:52 AM, GreenTealael said:

Have you tried resting from exercise to see if it gets better?

I have tried resting after your suggestion. Initially it helped a lot, but the pain has since creeped back in pretty bad without exercise.

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On 12/22/2020 at 10:26 AM, displacedhoosier said:

I have had left shoulder pain since surgery that is worse when coughing/doing the breathing activities or sneezing or trying to sleep. It has been my biggest complaint post op! In the hospital I was told it was gas, which made sense. At my one week check-up, there was a bruise on my left shoulder. I thought I bruised myself from trying to press it, hold it. My surgeon thinks a bar was against my shoulder in surgery that caused the bruise. He isn't concerned but said that I'm the first patient he has seen with a bruised left shoulder post-op. I'm now two weeks post-op and it still hurts but not as bad, the bruising has gone away and otherwise I feel great.

The pain by my clavicle is a lot like my gas pains right after surgery, but it is not gas.

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Thank you for your input everyone!!! Team said they don’t want to see me. I have no fever or nausea, so it’s not a leak, and it feels like they are saying “not my problem!” Never seen this type of attitude from my team, but in all fairness, all nurses, NPs, and PAs in the practice were sent to the ICU (COVID) except one, so I’m sure they are stressed and overwhelmed. They said to go to my primary, or the ER if my pain gets worse. I don’t think my primary will see me right now either, but I will reach out after New Years. This pain is really getting to me. It is now getting exhausting! I need to sit down because it hurts so much. I am hunching over, which makes it worse, but I just don’t have the energy to stand up straight all the time. I think it is making me a bit depressed ☹️.

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6 hours ago, Lilfootie said:

I have tried resting after your suggestion. Initially it helped a lot, but the pain has since creeped back in pretty bad without exercise.

Did you exercise this much before surgery?

Have you resumed exercise again after the pain subsided?

I know it sounds terrible but if it isn't Bariatric related your team may not see you (they are specialist)

When all else fails, definitely go to your Primary who can refer X-rays, CT scans and MRIs. Because those are usually expensive they may want to rule things out first with labs. But if you are truly in significant worsening pain and really believe something is wrong trust yourself and see someone.

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