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Discussion in 'Shoulder surgery recovery area' started by brs0660, Jun 15, 2019.
Thanks for sweet wishes @marieltha
Interesting experience. Seems like I’ve become the “Learning Lab”. So Long acting block is wearing off very slowly. I have zero sensation in part of my arm and zero sensation in my hand. No prickles—nothing but a warm hand. Sounds nice right?? Not! My mind has created a “phantom” arm! And it hurts like heck. Periodic shopping pain up to level 8-9. Not great for sleeping. In just a few days I have learned such respect for amputeees.
The affected hand is another unanticipated side effect of shoulder surgery. @winemama described using her fingers/hand a lot at first (humorous account actually—read her thread if you haven’t already). I had no desire to use mine. Numb, painful, tingly, crampy, swollen, stiff. All gradually wore off, but I am 8 weeks tomorrow and it still isn’t normal.
I very cautiously did the gentle hand/finger wikihow.com exercises after the first couple of weeks. Tried the Chinese bao bao balls, which are still too much, even the small ones. Left hand is getting pretty good with them.
LOL, I saw lavender-scented therapy clay advertised on thegrommet.com, and thought that might help the hand, but it was pricey. So I got out my play dough. I actually like the smell of it (Proustian childhood memory?), but it would be easy to add lavender oil to it. The left hand loves squeezing it as a stress reliever as well as ROM aid. I think it is helping the right hand, too; I use a small ball and just gently squeeze it. Something for you later on.
My OS reminds me at every visit of the extent of the tendon involved: From the neck, to the shoulder, down the arm, and all the way to the fingertips.
Been awhile since I posted. Truly I’ve been putting off posting. I had my stitches removed from surgery performed 7/12. Incision is healing well. Doctor says 6 wks in sling—3 down.
Now for the not progressing so well part of the report. I still have no feeling from elbow to hand unsure about the shoulder. I have an appointment in two weeks for an EMG and then appointment with doctor to discuss results and develop a plan. Lots of unknown territory.
@brs0660 Oh dear - your news isn't the best! Has this gotten worse since your surgery. Please keep us updated!
Goodness....I'm so sorry to hear that your feeling has not returned to your lower arm. The EMG should tell you a lot about what is going on. Here's hoping that the results give you a clear path to improvements. I'm glad you're having the test done and you're keeping on top of things. Sending (((HUGS)))) your way!
@Jaycey. This last surgery was to Supraspinatus Group. Doctor had already secured repaired the supracapularis and labra lt tears. He had a hard time separating scar tissue and essential tissue. He secured the Supraspinatus group carefully to avoid additional tears. The numbness has not gotten worse as time has passed. However most of my discomfort is related to phantom pain. This feels like pain in an imaginary hand. Rubbing my injured hand seems to help. I’ve tried to use sensible pain control using acetaminophen during day and 2 oxycodone at bed. He started me on prednisone to reduce inflammation. Hopefully helping. At peace.
Hope the EMG leads to improvement.
I am 9 weeks post RCR and am still surprised by the affect when I sleep of my head position and pillow choice and neck support —and even where my arm and elbow and recovering shoulder are—on the whole arm, from neck to fingertips.
You might want to experiment.
I’m still sleeping in the recliner. I am a restless sleeper so it helps me not to toss and turn. Doctor has me very restricted in motion since my shoulder has been so problematic!!
My sling holds arm and hand close to body. Good hygiene is tough. No shower for at least two more weeks. Just call me Pepe la pew. Not really but spit shines seem so inadequate.
But I am at peace for the moment. As time for EMG approaches I’m sure my anxiety will go into overdrive. I know the possibilities however whatever is to be will be.
Many people stay in recliners a long time. We have a lovely one (Swedish, orthopedic), but my shoulder surgery was so close to my left partial knee replacement that I could not get the leg comfortable. So I switched to a couch (L- shaped sectional) which my legs liked better than the recliner. Shoulder did not like it, no matter what pillows, etcetera, I tried. Lasted there 2 nights I think. Switched to the bed with an elaborate array of pillows to keep upright for the shoulder and try to please the legs. Then my husband ordered the adjustable frame (head and foot) for our existing sleep number bed. Heavenly. So easy to adjust with the remote. Huge improvement. I can lie flat to do the stretches that require that, but I still cannot sleep flat, but the angle seems to be getting better (lower).
We must must must sleep. However. Wherever.
Showering with a shoulder injury is quite a challenge. My husband washed me in the shower. I slowly could wash myself with the left arm and hand, with him standing nearby to assist. I have started being able to shower myself recently (week 10). And I sit to wash my hair (long, long hair). I make sure to shower when he is home, though, just in case.
Keep us posted. Hope you feel better.
@Jamie See surgeon tomorrow. EMG and nerve conduction studies were done yesterday. Results were not good. No communication to lower arm or hand. Any questions you think I should ask?? Main one is where do we go from here??
Barb, I wish I had some sterling words of wisdom, but your problem is new ground for me. If I were in your shoes, I'd want to know what the heck happened, but I'm not sure anyone is going to be able to tell you that. Definitely the question of what options are now available to you will be an important one. Maybe ask if there are any neurosurgeons or other specialty doctors you could see for another opinion. I would like to know exactly where the damage is (the point where communication stops) and is the problem with one nerve or multiple ones.
I'm so sorry this is happening to you. Please let us know how things go tomorrow.
Diagnosis Brachial plexus injury. Injury probably occurred when trying to reconstruct Supraspinatus bundle. ..there was lots of scar tissue. Meeting with doctor yesterday went well. He said that in can take up to 3 months for improvement.
One problem I’ve been experiencing is that the limp hand/arm keeps flopping out of the sling (it’s dead weight). So we found a sling that surrounds my arm better and added a wrist brace resulting in a more stable arrangement. Best medicine for nerves at this time is rest, so no PT or OT. I return in a month for reassessment.
I am determined that whatever my lot, I am not going to allow this to stand in my way. I will make the best of my circumstances.
Bravo for you for having such a positive and determined attitude. This is good news as it sounds like the problem may resolve itself with some rest and time. I'm so glad you got this checked out quickly so you have a good plan going forward.
@brs0660 So sorry the news was not good but it sounds like you just need time and of course endless patience. Well done on staying positive. That goes a long way during these challenging times.
Please keep us updated!