Rotator Cuff Surgery - Update

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Date Joined Dec 2012
Total Posts : 706
   Posted 4/7/2017 4:38 AM (GMT -7)   
The wearing of the shoulder suspension sling may well be the source of the pain radiating to your pinky and wrist and the bluish discoloration noted by your wife.

The wearing of a sling for a protracted time, as has been required in the post surgery course of your shoulder, secondarily keeps the elbow and wrist and hand more mobilized than intended. A consistently bent elbow will cause reduced blood flow perfusion to the lower arm and hand (the bluish discoloration noted by your wife) and transient nerve compression of the ulnar and median nerves more than the radial nerve.

Patent vascular perfusion depends on active movement of the body part in question. It is the act of muscles contracting and relaxing that serves as a type of internal muscle and soft tissue massage, keeping the flow of blood and lymph fluid circulating and nerve signals traveling as they are meant to.

In wearing a sling, it is second nature to limit active movement of the elbow, wrist, hand, and fingers. Bit this lack of inherent movement of joints distal to the shoulder comes with a cost - low tissue perfusion, sluggish blood and lymph circulation, joint stiffness, disrupted transmission of nerve impulses, swelling, et al.

Your MD aid on tract with referring you for additional physical therapy sessions. Always communicate to your therapist regarding how the PT treatment sessions are affecting you. A good therapist is constantly evaluating and treating - adjusting the treatment plan in response to you the patient, individualizing your plan of care. Speak up if an exercise or modality feels "wrong" to you and your body.
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Date Joined May 2015
Total Posts : 651
   Posted 4/15/2017 11:54 PM (GMT -7)   
Update 4-15-17 2 months post surgery

Well I have been having my PT 3 times weekly. Still a little brutal with the passive stretching of shoulder but good news I can straighten my elbow. Still fair amount of daily pain in shoulder. I ice when it hurts to relieve pain.

So here is my issue. It seems that I still have a pinched ulnar nerve and possibly a pinched radial nerve. I am having a great deal of pain in my hand. The pinky and ring finger tingle with pain and it travels up through my palm and past my inside wrist. The other pain is on the back of my hand, which I can't flex upward. My thumb hurts also. To top it off, my hand seems to be slightly swollen. I can't get my wedding ring on and my palm looks several shades of red to hint of blue most of the time. My physical therapist told me it shouldn't be discolored for a pinched nerve. Anyway, since my next follow up was five weeks away, I called my doctor to get in as soon as I can. That means one week from now.

Anyone experience this after their surgery?

Thanks. -JR
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Chronic Pain Forum: Rotator Cuff & SLAP Repair 2-16-2017
GERD Forum: Nissen Fundoplication Surgery 7/2015
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