The original version of this page can be found at :
Posted By : specialwomen10 - 5/28/2017 11:05 PM
I had the surgery 10 months ago and I still can not straighten my arm and the numbness in my elbow is driving me insane and it has me in pain almost constantly. I bumped it on a cupboard today and I instantly fell to my knees in pain even setting my elbow down on a table is almost unbearable. I guess I am asking someone anyone is this pain and not being able to straighten my arm going to go away or should I go see another doctor since the one I was seeing just stopped making appointments and when I was going it was pretty much pointless. I waited 45 mins to get into the room with the nurse waited 20 more mins for the doctor just for him to come in tell me to give it 10 more weeks and it should be better. EVERY time this is what I was told for the first 9 months after my surgery.

Posted By : pitmom - 5/29/2017 7:17 AM
Hello. Welcome to the forum, sorry you had to find us.

I don't know if you had an injury or the entrapment was from repetitive stress, etc. Were you casted after your surgery?

Did you do any physical therapy after surgery?

It took me probably a couple of years before the nerve calmed down. I still experience discomfort resting my arm on a table. I still don't place it on the edge. Another thing I've noted is that 'cold' is interpreted by my brain as 'wet'. 'Hot' is still 'hot' thank goodness.

Strangely, hitting my 'funny bone' is still uncomfortable but hitting that part of my forearm where the nerve now 'lives' causes the pain and tingling as though I had hit that part of the elbow!

I found that ibuprofen and my heating pad were my best friends. Pillows were a must!

If you can get into a pool, using the water resistance as you move your arms forward, might be the best rather than using any weights.

Eventually, you will learn new habits for where you place your arm day to day. There are medications on the market now that didn't exist back when I had my surgery. Are you taking anything?

My physical therapist would massage the forearm to help desensitize the nerve. Have you done any of this?

Keep posting. Let us know how things are going. You may want to get a second opinion, or even a third!
multiple surgeries for rotator cuff both shoulders with residual chronic impingement syndrome, ulnar nerve transposition, carpal tunnel release, wrist ganglionectomies/denervectomies/tenolysis, multiple herniated discs, tarlov cyst, whiplash, bursitis of hips, tendonitis, torus, 3rd degree shoulder separation, torn labrum, ovarian cysts, fibroid tumors of the uterus

Posted By : straydog - 5/29/2017 10:44 AM
Hi SpecialWoman, I am glad to see that Pitmom has responded to your post. Your surgery is a tough one to recover from & often the patient is left with some bad after affects. It takes a long time for the nerve to heal & calm down.

I would consider getting a copy of the operative report & follow up office visits for my own records. Then perhaps look for a specialist that deals with upper extremity issues only & get a consult. Make a copy of your records to take with you for the dr to review. Another dr may or may not have some ideas, it would be worth the time to at least get a consult. It is frustrating when a person has surgery & the recovery is like what you have going on & the dr doesn't offer up much. That is something that happens with surgeons a lot. They have done their surgery so everything is good as far as they are concerned.

We have a lot of older threads here at Healing Well about this type of surgery. If you want to read the posts just type in your surgery & there should be plenty to read. We do ask that you not post on those older threads because the members are no longer active here.

Take care.
Moderator in Chronic Pain & Psoriasis Forums

Posted By : specialwomen10 - 5/29/2017 11:15 AM
Thank you for the reply 🙂
I had to have the surgery because of repetitive stress. I am a PCA currently caring for a quadrapligic gentleman and I work the night shift so I have all the lifting, pulling , pushing. Everything that requires my arm. Also most of my job is the same stuff I've been doing for the last 13 years as a mom.

I did go to PT but it only made things worse. I am not currently taking anything for pain or discomfort.

I was assured that the surgery would work and since this was my first surgery ever aside from getting my tubes tied I never thought that the surgery would make things worse for me. It is really putting so much more strain on my arm at work and many home things too. Trust me I love my job but if I could find a less physically demanding job I would lol

Posted By : pitmom - 5/31/2017 4:56 AM
What happens when you try to straighten your arm? I'm trying to figure out what might be keeping it from extending properly. Is it painful? In what way? Pulling? Resistance? Locking?

Your nerve, which is only a certain length, is now buried under/in muscle tissue of the forearm. Any time you use those muscles, you irritate the nerve. Most of the time, the nerve 'adjusts' to this new stimulation and calms down. Overuse of the forearm muscles can irritate the nerve.

I garden. Weeding, raking, digging...using those muscles...probably going to cause a reaction. I take ibuprofen BEFORE these tasks to help keep any inflammation from developing. I've used Epsom salt soaks after. As I've already said, heating pad, pillows, massage, are all helpful.

The "elbows off the table" training I had as a kid has gone 'out the window'! Arm placement is a big deal! I have to consider my left forearm when choosing a car to drive! Can I rest my forearm comfortably? Does the arm rest irritate? The same questions go for chairs and sofas.

I tend to place the elbow pointing inward on a table, towards the center of it. Then the area of my arm that rests on the edge is closer to the wrist, with the hand dangling off the table surface. When typing, I have the keyboard on an angle, so that my wrist is on the edge of the desk. You will figure out which modifications you will need to make.

My injury was back in 1996. It was a few months before an E.M.G. was performed and surgery was scheduled. By this time, the nerve had been moving back and forth over the bone and had shredded. I'm tiny (the doctor noted 'diminutive female') so there's not much cushioning from muscle tissue now. Post operatively, I noted a 'pulling' sensation when I would extend the elbow. The electric shocks that followed were excruciating! My surgeon ordered Elavil, a drug that was used as an anti depressant but had a beneficial side effect of calming nerves tissue. While it didn't work 100%, it helped. These days most doctors order gabapentin for nerve pain. You may want to inquire about it.

My physical therapist used a method he referred to as 'points'. A stylus would be placed at intervals along the nerve and an electric pulse would travel through the stylus to the nerve. This was the MOST uncomfortable treatment, but the nerve would remain 'calm' for hours afterward.

I'm currently looking into magnesium supplements. I've heard that they can be helpful for 'nerve health'. I still have some numbness/burning/tingling issues and probably always will, but if I can calm it even more it will be worth it. I have full use of the arm, full use of the ring finger and pinky. Making a fist or any gripping hard will cause discomfort but I manage quite well. Typing a lot requires frequent breaks and does cause some irritation like the achiness one feels from flu, localized along the nerve path, but it passes soon enough. On very rough days I plug in the heating pad and wrap the forearm or have a nice soak.

I hope some of my experiences will prove useful to you. Keep posting.
multiple surgeries for rotator cuff both shoulders with residual chronic impingement syndrome, ulnar nerve transposition, carpal tunnel release, wrist ganglionectomies/denervectomies/tenolysis, multiple herniated discs, tarlov cyst, whiplash, bursitis of hips, tendonitis, torus, 3rd degree shoulder separation, torn labrum, ovarian cysts, fibroid tumors of the uterus

©1996-2017 LLC  All rights reserved.

Advertise | Privacy Policy & Disclaimer