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Dr. Andrew Rynne
MD
Dr. Andrew Rynne

Family Physician

Exp 50 years

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What causes persistent pain in shoulder after receiving pace maker?

Hello; My son David is 33 and he received a pacemaker at age 30 he immediately was experiencing shoulder pain and a week lator they moved it 1/2 inch over but the pain did not stop. Now his pain is so debilitating that he has to lay down to get any relief. the only problem with that is that he now lays most of the day and can only get up for about 20 to 30 min befor the pain is so bad he has to lay down again. We have gone to many Doctors and no one seems to have an answer. He takes digoxin 0.25mg , lisinopril 5mg, spironolactone 25mg, carvedilol 25mg, furosemide 40 mg, omeprazole 40 mg. This has progressively gotten worse over the years, I do not understand why the Doctors don t know about this.
Mon, 29 Jun 2015
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General & Family Physician 's  Response
Hello there,
If the pacemaker is somehow irritating the diaphragm or compressing on the nerve that supplies the diaphragm(phrenic nerve) it may lead to something called referred pain . the way this works is the body interprets the diaphragm irritation yet cannot locate it specifically ...so it manifests as shoulder pain . You can visit a neurologist who may conduct a nerve conduction study to notice any changes in the phrenic nerve. If that is the case then the pacemaker can be placed such that it does not irritate the diaphragm.
Hope this helps,
Please feel free to address further queries to me,
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What causes persistent pain in shoulder after receiving pace maker?

Hello there, If the pacemaker is somehow irritating the diaphragm or compressing on the nerve that supplies the diaphragm(phrenic nerve) it may lead to something called referred pain . the way this works is the body interprets the diaphragm irritation yet cannot locate it specifically ...so it manifests as shoulder pain . You can visit a neurologist who may conduct a nerve conduction study to notice any changes in the phrenic nerve. If that is the case then the pacemaker can be placed such that it does not irritate the diaphragm. Hope this helps, Please feel free to address further queries to me,