Shoulder pain from mastectomy with reconstruction?

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Question from Nanc: Two weeks after a double mastectomy with implant reconstruction with the muscle lifted above the implant, I began having shoulder pain. I have been doing physical therapy now for about 6 months. While greatly improved, the shoulder still is a problem. How might the surgery relate to the problem and do you have any recommendations for remedies?
Answers - Kristin Brill, M.D., F.A.C.S. That's a good question. Shoulder pain can come from many sources. It may be due to irritation of nerves that supply the shoulder joint and shoulder blade. It can be related to positioning during surgery or as part of recovery. It can be a primary shoulder joint or rotator cuff problem. If it persists, a shoulder MRI may be helpful to evaluate the cause.

The Ask-the-Expert Online Conference called After Surgery: Short-Term and Long-Term Effects featured Kristin Brill, M.D., F.A.C.S. and Linda Miller, P.T. answering your questions about short-term and long-term side effects of breast surgery, and what you can do about them.

Editor's Note: This conference took place in May 2008.

The materials presented in these conferences do not necessarily reflect the views of Breastcancer.org. A qualified healthcare professional should be consulted before using any therapeutic product or regimen discussed. All readers should verify all information and data before employing any therapies described here.

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