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Suggest treatment for left shoulder pain in an elderly person

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Posted on Fri, 19 Aug 2016
Question: I'm an 89yr old female. In the past 10 years, I have been treated for osteo arthritis, hypothyroidism, COPD, depression, burning mouth syndrome, dry eye, dry-skin rash, GERD and insomnia. The arthritis started in my shoulders along with torn rotator cuffs. The pain in my left shoulder worsened following surgery seven years ago. For 5 years I have been unable to move my left arm without searing pain. I have little hard nodules in my fingers; some fingers are bending. The only treatment for my pain has been Hydrocodone. I persuaded my doctor to prescribe 5mg of Prednisone daily instead of Hydrocodone, after noticing its effectiveness during a COPD flare-up. My other medications are 12.5 mcg of Synthroid, 40mg of Omeprazole, 10mg of Zolpiden; plus my monthly self-administered B12 for my pernicious anemia. I also take a daily aspirin. I have the heartbreaking job of caring for my dear 91-year old husband: a retired Ph.d nuclear physicist in great physical condition but for 5 years suffering with Alzheimer's. Thanks to our long-term-care insurance, we each receive 5 hours care daily and are, mercifully, still in our home. I just need to feel I am doing my best to stay strong for XXXXXXX I did not find him until 26 years ago! Do you have any advice? Thank you so much. XXXXXXX XXXXXXX
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Answered by Dr. Mahaveer Patil (1 hour later)
Brief Answer:
you are perfectly doing alright dear

Detailed Answer:
Hi XXXXXXX
Hope this message finds you in good health.
I have gone through your complaints and understand your concern.
I generally see many cases like this at my clinic and find low on self esteem,not willing to do anything. But frankly speaking,i am stunned to see the commitment, concern and love you still have for your dear ones and the urge to stay healthy and fit even at this age. Hats off to you. I really respect you from bottom of my heart : )
Lets come to the medicines part. the tablets you are taking are absolutely fine. i am just concerned about hydrocort/prednisolone. These are steroids,potentially harmful for kidneys and liver and all organs and should better be avoided. instead you can try these new pain killer skin adhesive patches now in the market,u apply it on skin and the pain killer effect remains for almost a week.
u may try very low dose of safe analgesics in divided doses in 24 hours.
rest all tablets you are taking seem to be fine.
You should eventually get back to normal in coming few days.Nothing to worry about,neither about your husband or yourself for that matter,as long as i am there to help you.     
I hope your question has been answered.
If you have any follow-up queries,feel free to consult me anytime.
Thanks,Take care,God bless.
have a great day dear and best wishes for coming days : )

Above answer was peer-reviewed by : Dr. Veerisetty Shyamkumar
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Answered by
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Dr. Mahaveer Patil

Orthopaedic Surgeon

Practicing since :2002

Answered : 1209 Questions

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Suggest treatment for left shoulder pain in an elderly person

Brief Answer: you are perfectly doing alright dear Detailed Answer: Hi XXXXXXX Hope this message finds you in good health. I have gone through your complaints and understand your concern. I generally see many cases like this at my clinic and find low on self esteem,not willing to do anything. But frankly speaking,i am stunned to see the commitment, concern and love you still have for your dear ones and the urge to stay healthy and fit even at this age. Hats off to you. I really respect you from bottom of my heart : ) Lets come to the medicines part. the tablets you are taking are absolutely fine. i am just concerned about hydrocort/prednisolone. These are steroids,potentially harmful for kidneys and liver and all organs and should better be avoided. instead you can try these new pain killer skin adhesive patches now in the market,u apply it on skin and the pain killer effect remains for almost a week. u may try very low dose of safe analgesics in divided doses in 24 hours. rest all tablets you are taking seem to be fine. You should eventually get back to normal in coming few days.Nothing to worry about,neither about your husband or yourself for that matter,as long as i am there to help you. I hope your question has been answered. If you have any follow-up queries,feel free to consult me anytime. Thanks,Take care,God bless. have a great day dear and best wishes for coming days : )