Pacemaker shoulder pain

I had a Biotronic pacemaker inserted on June 22, 2019. I needed a second lead. This is my 3rd pacemaker since initial insertion in October/2009. The first one had an abscess in behind the pacemaker. That pacemaker was removed in Dec/2009 and a new one was installed in the right side of my chest. In August/2017 I had a battery change.My shoulder was sore in January and after an ultrasound, showed there was inflammation. My doctor recommended a cortisone needle in the shoulder. I got the shot two weeks ago. However my arm has been sore before this. My pacemaker surgical site is healed, but gets very itchy. I also have pain through the site. Was wonderingif anyone else has developed an infection this long after their surgery.


Shoulder problems after pacemaker

by Gotrhythm - 2019-09-24 10:05:54

I don't have ecperience with infection, but I've had to learn a good bit about shoulders.

Joints anywhere in the body are designed to move. If you don't move them, they develop problems. They become tight and painful to move, and in a fairly short amount of time.

The shoulder is the most complex joint in the body. It moves in a lot of directions. Unfortuately, one of the consequences of all the surgeries you've had is your shoulder(s) has been kept still a lot.

When the incision is fresh you keep the shoulder sitll in order to allow the incision to heal. But even after the incision is thoroughly healed the shoulder might continue to hurt. Why? Because you didn't keep your shoulder moving. The longer it goes on, the stiffer and more painful the shoulder* becomes.

* Because the shoulder is so complex, the pain might be felt in the neck, the arm, the back, the chest, or the shoulder.

**There are gentle, easy to perform, exercises the doctor can prescribe to start within a couple of days after surgery to prevent shoulder problems, but for some reason, a lot of them don't.**

What to do?

If your shoulder/arm isn't too painful, you can find shoulder exercises online that will help you get the everything moving again.

If things have gotten really stiff, you might need physical therapy. I also found deep tissue massage to be helpful.

Itching is a common part of healing. My pacemaker site would itch occasionally,  deep down inside where I couldn't reach it, for a couple of years post-surgery.


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