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Swollen Shoulder, arm, pain, rotator surgery 10 yrs ago

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I have a history of rotator cuff surgery 10 years ago. I have been having pain for at least a year and now the bicep swells like a tennis ball and causes the forearm to swell. I have very limited range of motion with the arm. I can't put on a coat and winter is coming. Doctors shrug their shoulders, but not one has even look at my arm or shoulders, they just ask me to demonstrate my range of motion. I have seen rheumatologists. They say I should go back to the surgeon that operated ten years ago. She is not available any longer. Being over 60, the orthopedists that specialize in sport injuries will not see me. What can I do? No x-rays or other tests have been done.
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replied September 16th, 2011
Especially eHealthy
MoTo70,

The detail of your biceps swelling up like a tennis ball, is that when you use the biceps muscle or is it all the time or does it just swell up from time to time.

If it is there all the time, or when you use it, it sounds like you have ruptured the long head of the biceps. The long head goes through the bicepital groove and into the shoulder joint. It then attaches to the glenoid (socket). It is very common for this tendon to become frayed and ultimately for it to rupture. And this occurs most commonly in patient who have had previous shoulder surgery, be it for instability or for rotator cuff arthropathy.

You don't necessarily need to see a sportsmedicine orthopedist, but do try to see a shoulder specialist. If there are no subspecialists in your area, a general orthopedist will be able to do the proper exam, do determine exactly what is going on.

Good luck.
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