Swelling in Hand

Posted , 5 users are following.

This discussion has been locked due to a period of inactivity. Start a new discussion

Fractured my humerus bone two weeks ago. Hand is very swollen because I can't elevate it. Going to PT twice a week which isn't helping the swelling yet. Moving my fingers several times a day, Any suggestions on getting the swelling down?

0 likes, 14 replies

Report

14 Replies

  • Posted

    Hi Sue, I am 9 weeks into a fractured numerous and fingers are still swollen. Physio warns they may well be for several months, because a feature of humerus fracture is you cannot raise your hand for so long. I have seen posts on here where people are talking about having swelling for months and months. There's not much you can do. Drink plenty of water and when you Can, massage hand and forearm away from hand to encourage drainage.

    Conversely, I am seeing the physio privately because of worries about my elbow stiffening. She has really helped me get my arm straighter but that requires relaxing it downwards so more time for blood to pool in fingers.. Just need to keep on keeping on!

    Where is your humerus fracture out of interest?

    Report
  • Posted

    Hi Sue! Sad to say but you might expect to have swelling for several months to come just by nature of the injury and immobility. I am 12 weeks post and still have considerable swelling you although I can now see my knuckles most of the time. You might want to try alternate water therapy where you alternate between hot and ice water. Allows for greater movement. That and therapy are the keys to bringing down the swelling. Much luck.

    Report
  • Posted

    Hi Sue,  I posted an almost identical problem about three weeks ago! I fractured my humerus beginning of May and my hand is still swollen. One thing which can help is squeezing a tennis ball as often as you can that may help the swelling go down. I have been told it can take many weeks longer before it goes completely.  Probably not what you are wanting to hear but at least you know you're not alone! 

    Report
  • Posted

    They gave me a foam thing to squeeze, & Ice packs really help with the swelling.  I have used heat on occasion when the swelling is down, but there is pain in the hand.  It has been 9 1/2 weeks since my humerus fracture.  

     

    Report
  • Posted

    Thank you for all the replies. It's nice to know I'm not alone with the swelling problem. The bone is fractured in the upper part of the bone, Last set of x-rays showed it was beginning to heal correctly. I tried to sleep flat in my bed so I could elevate the arm but I get severe pain when I try to lay down. 

    Report
    • Posted

      It has been 9 1/2 weeks & I'm still sleeping in a recliner.  Are you in  splint?  I am in a compression splint, & it just feels heavy at night. 

      Report
    • Posted

      Hi Cathy we are at the same point timewise. I slept in a recliner until a week ago when I decided to move to bed and prop myself up a bit. I've woken each night for painkillers as its difficult to adjust position obv... but I took the decision because my feet were still swollen after 8 weeks on the recliner.

      I am in a functional brace but am probably heading for non union as no sign of callus at 7 weeks. I have taken my arm out of the sling at night to give my arm a chance to relax down and straighten.

      Physio told me not to bother with squeeze ball yet as that is more about regaining muscle strength. Instead she said to focus on giving my hand lots and lots of sensations and to massage. Nerve damage and soft tissue deterioration is the main concern.

      Report
    • Posted

      You are lucky it's showing signs of healing already 😊. Sooner it knits sooner you can do rehab. Mine is mid-shaft, and a short fracture (almost straight across- clean break) so harder to get it to join 😕.

      Report
    • Posted

      Hi Kathy,

      So nice to hear from you. Are you taking Calcium & Vit D? That was recommended to me.

      Where is your break? Mine is a complete break mid-shaft om my right (dominant arm).  I switched doctors.  And at 5 weeks was told to discontinue the sling & get a compression brace that did not have the shoulder stabilizer.  That was huge improvement for me, in being able to regain some movement.  I will be in theis brace for at least four more weeks.  I still cannot fully straighten my arm, can only lift it to chest height, & was told to not lift anything over 2lbs. I will be starting Physical therapy in 2-3 weeks.  I keep the brace tight, but not cut off my circulation/turn my fingers purple tight like the 1st doctor wanted - I think that was damaging to my nerves. 

      Make sure you are drinking enough water, that should help with the feet swelling.  I went online & found some finger exercises that were very apinful to do at first, but are easier now.

      Good luck with your healing.

      Report
    • Posted

      Hi Kathy,

      I was told that also, because of less surface area it can be harder to get them to join non-surgically.  I would have thought that would have been a good thing.  It does sound like we are going through alot of the same things.  If you don't mind my asking, what is your age?  I am 52.

      ~Cathy  

      Report
    • Posted

      I'm 50 😊. Have already been for a bone scan at Doctor's insistence - was normal. I broke my humerus in a dive onto tarmac while playing netball. I ran, turned, and stumbled and consciously took the weight on my arm to avoid smacking my head on the ground. I was just very unlucky. It was a clean, short fracture mid shaft. As you say, hard to join because it's like getting two pencil ends to meet. I do not doubt the doctors have followed standard protocol for this type of break. But I am not too impressed with my specific registrar at clinic and I'm under a consultant who turns out to be a leg specialist. I'm interested that you changed doctor at 5 weeks, was that your choice?

      Report
    • Posted

      It was my choice to change doctors.  I wanted someone who I could have a dialogue with. And, also someone that I would feel comfortable with if it was determined at a later date that surgery would be required. They do try to repair this type of break non-surgically, but I've heard of people 12 weeks in having to have surgery.  

      Had to chuckle at how you broke your arm.  Sounds like we are a bit alike.  I broke mine when I stepped from my nephew's hover board & I fell back & landed on my arm.

      Report

Join this discussion or start a new one?

New discussion

Report as inappropriate

Thanks for your help!

We want the forums to be a useful resource for our users but it is important to remember that the forums are not moderated or reviewed by doctors and so you should not rely on opinions or advice given by other users in respect of any healthcare matters. Always speak to your doctor before acting and in cases of emergency seek appropriate medical assistance immediately. Use of the forums is subject to our Terms of Use and Privacy Policy and steps will be taken to remove posts identified as being in breach of those terms.

newnav-down newnav-up