Swollen hand following fractured shoulder

Posted , 13 users are following.

It's about 14 weeks since I fractured my shoulder. When this happened my arm and hand became very swollen . The arm has gradually improved but my hand and particularly my fingers are still swollen and painful. My wedding ring only fits to the first joint! It is difficult to bend the fingers and use the hand. Has anyone any tips to help reduce this swelling please?

1 like, 38 replies

Report / Delete

38 Replies

Next
  • Posted

    When you say it was a shoulder fracture, do you know what bone you fractured e.g. collar bone, humerus?

    The shoulder is a very complex joint, so it would help to know where the damage is/was in order to understand what could be contributing to your hand swelling.

    I'm not a Dr, but information like this helps respondants on this forum.

    Best wishes, NICK

    Report / Delete Reply
  • Posted

    My hand also was very swollen after breaking my humorous at the shoulder joint. I started moving my fingers as much as possible and whatever helped promote bloodflow. It lasted for a couple weeks but eventually went back to normal. I'm just at about 3 months and started PT. You should definitely bring this to your doctors attention because honestly 14 weeks of swelling seems too long. The orthopedic surgeon I saw was very specific about blood flow through the broken joint which was exactly why he didn't want to do surgery unless it was necessary. Hope this helps you...I know how rough this injury is and its the worst I've ever hurt myself.

    Report / Delete Reply
    • Posted

      Thank you for replying. I am glad your hands recovered quickly. I was referred early for PT because of my swollen arm and hand. The physiotherapist has improved matters by massages and oedema gloves but has not been able to cure it completely. When tested last week my hand grip strength was zero!  I have some hand strengthening items suggested but wondered if anyone has had success with anything else. As you say, this is a very troublesome injury- I hope you make good progress with your PT.
      Report / Delete Reply
    • Posted

      The first two weeks I didn't sleep much. Sleeping sitting up has never worked for me so I had to force myself into lying flat so I could stay asleep a little longer...worst part of this injury I think. Hope your therapy helps and hand strength recovers. This site has a lot of great info that can help. Peoples differing experiences definately helped me out!

      Report / Delete Reply
  • Posted

    I fractured my shoulder humerous 8 months ago and the orthopedic doc says I need an op to put screws in but he does not seem concerned about my finger movement and flexibility I am beginning to think it is arthritis, fingers feel. swollen but not misshapen like rheumatoid has yours improved?
    Report / Delete Reply
    • Posted

      Goodness, 8 months is a long time. Poor you. These shoulder injuries certainly teach us patience don't they! The back of my hand is less swollen but the knuckles and fingers are still very swollen. When I wake up, the hand is rigid. I have to force the fingers to bend with the other hand. I wondered about arthritis but the timing is a bit of a coincidence. Do you know when they'll operate? Good luck!

      Report / Delete Reply
  • Posted

    I did not need surgery for my shoulder after all but both my hands are now affected I thought it was arthritis and went to rheumologist she says not but it could be CRPS he has given me 3 weeks of NSAIDs metroxil only on 4th day cannot really see any improvement. I wondered if yours had improved, it seems to all stem from the fracture, not having PT, someone mentioned oedema gloves I wondered if this helped, don't know where the go next or just put up with it.

    Report / Delete Reply
    • Posted

      Hello Heather, sorry to hear you too are having problems with swollen hands. I am lucky that it was only one hand affected but it was still like wearing thick gardening gloves all day - impossible to do much and really stiff and achy. There has been a slow but steady improvement. I have been seeing a Physio who specialises in hands and she does a weekly treatment which I follow up using hand exercise putty, exercise ball and a

      grip strengthener. She also used oedema gloves when the whole hand was swollen. Over the last two weeks there has been a marked improvement since I had  the shoulder( which had very limited movement) dilated with a mixture of saline and steroid. What I don't know is whether the hand is more flexible due to the steroid or the fact I can move and raise my arm more. I still can't wear my wedding ring but feel I'm getting near.

      i shall persevere- not much option reall! I hope you find someone/ something to help you.

      if you have 3 weeks medication, it may be early days to see any improvement so I would persevere. It wouldn't harm to use some exercise putty or similar ( Available from well known on line retailer). If you are still having problems in a week or two, would your GP refer you to a Physio?

      Report / Delete Reply
    • Posted

      where do u get exercise putty? I have a ball which ortho said squeeze in hot water with salt and then cold for 10 mins a few times a day needless to say I am not doing it often enough . If no improvement I will ask for PT but see the rheumy in 2 weeks so will ask her if no improvement - did you ever have a bone density scan after your fracture?
      Report / Delete Reply
    • Posted

      I've had hot and cold water mentioned too and my Physio dips the hand in hot wax to heat it up rapidly before massage/ manipulation.As you imply, this isn't easy in the course of everyday activities! The beauty of the therapy putty is I can "play" with it whilst reading or watching tv. My Physio suggested it may help to have hand on a slightly sloped cushion to help fluid drain. I bought mine from Amazon. There are different firmness levels so I chose medium. Tip: you need to keep it moving or it becomes sticky. If some does stick to hand or cushion, use another piece to pick it up!

      Good luck!

      Report / Delete Reply

Join this discussion or start a new one?

New discussion Reply

Report or request deletion

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