Rotator Cuff, Trigger Finger, Cortisone, other things

Hi again – bear with me, there may be some useful info here, if not for you – then rest and read! I met with “my” specialist again today, we have decided not to risk surgery to my left shoulder because:

  • It may result in less mobility if the op went like one of my trigger finger ops (i.e. a lot of scar tissue and a very swollen finger, so now it won’t bend down all the way – left hand ring finger so maybe that’s not so bad!). That is too risky for me.
  • I really don’t want yet another op.
  • I have almost adapted to the less mobility of that arm, but continually use it as much as I can as normal. (Definition of normal to RSI complaints?)
  • Since having 3 cortisone jabs (2 by GP and 1 by specialist) the pain has subsided. I still can’t sleep on it for any length of time, but then I have tendonitis in the whole arm anyway.

I asked him whether it was worth having the remedial soft tissue massage on the shoulder, but he thought that as things were calmed down to leave well alone. The massage is good for muscle strains, etc. (proved by the neck manipulation a few weeks back), but that this was a “mechanical problem”. He did state that they are finding a common thread between diabetes and tendonitis in the rotator cuff (I have been a D for 33 years!), but at present they are not sure why. Does anyone have any official type info on this? Not that I feel there is a real case here, but you never know. The tenosynovitis and finger probs. were almost mixed up with diabetic neuropathy by “my” dia. spec. some time back – soon proved him wrong!!

Arthritis was also a prime suspect at one stage: my grandmother, mother, father all had/have the rheumatoid / osteo arthritis. I had my first “flare-up” in a big toe, which they nearly said was gout – I was 24! Since then my knees have been the trouble – yet another corti.jab in one knee! However, the specialist has never mentioned the dia. or arth. Again, although some symptoms are similar my mother and I match notes: the tendonitis/tenosynovitis v. arthritis is definitely different. Again, hard to put in words why exactly.

I also asked him if there was much danger with cortisone jabs, as I have now had a total of 7 (3 fingers, 3 shoulders, 1 knee, keep moving – sorry, couldn’t resist the old song!). His reply: Cortisone is only given either when the pain is extreme or to reduce traumatic inflammation – it is not handed out without thought – however, it is not always a “cure” and the symptoms may return. He saw no “danger” in the no. I’ve had. So far my fingers have been OK; I wait to see about the shoulder. (My knee does seem to be causing problems again, although not swollen this time.) The “clicking” I mentioned with regard to trigger fingers: having experienced 4 and had ops, I got to recognise early symptoms – they are hard to describe, but it can be in a finger joint or actually within the hand. The spec., years ago, described trigger finger as an advanced form of tenosynovitis (which I have in both arms now).

I’ll also mention here that the spec. has NEVER stated on any official report or to me that I have RSI, but that my symptoms are caused by repetitive motions due to my work. I just wonder IF the “powers to be” don’t like to give an umbrella reason for something, but prefer to be more specific. I have managed to get through all the Industrial Injury sessions, including appeal, fit for work Incapacity, DLA, without mentioning RSI, but then again I have definite diagnoses. I do appreciate there a lot of people out there who have not or even, cannot be diagnosed, but still suffer intolerable pain.

Tendon/itis: Tendon – inflammation
Teno/synov/itis: Tendon – synovial sheath (I think) – inflammation
Could I have got this right??!!
The wine: yes, I’ll own up, I think I’ve got de-sensitised to it now, but I still feel a little more relaxed when I go to bed & after all they keep saying red wine is good for you! The soft tissue chap told me that cold reduces inflammation, but heat helps the nerves? I think I’ve covered most of what I’ve got to say (for now – beware!). I hope this “report” might help someone & please reply if you feel I’ve got anything wrong or you’ve been told something different by your specialists. My don’t I go on! Did anyone see The Times over the weekend? There was an article about some chap who plays drums, the headline went something like this “Just watching him is enough to give you RSI“. Well, not perhaps the best way to advertise RSI, but then again people may ask what is RSI? Also there was a “gadget” advertised claimed to help you prevent getting RSI (there was a website: – although I couldn’t get through tonight, wish I had a scanner) I do hope that some people are not going to “cash in” on this problem. On the other hand, maybe it would work – too late for us. I’ve not got voicemail yet, but have spent the afternoon and evening “off and on” doing this – enough! Off for a deep soak in a Radox bath.

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