Wrist and hand pain and swelling post shoulder surgery

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Its been 11 weeks since i had rotator cuff surgery. about 3 weeks ago I started having swelling and pain and stiffness in my wrist and hand. Much like arthritis. It is very painful at night. I cannot lay down for more than a few hours with out lots of pain in lower arm. I have talked to my surgeon and PT about it but they have no answers. What next?

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  • Posted

    Hi, I'd hazard a guess that it's more to do woth your instinctual subconscious stopping you from using it, in an ordinary manner.... Hence why it hurts alot at night.

    In my experience night was worse for me, as I would wake up in agony where I had kept my arm still the whole night. Through the day I still used my arm, but in a disabled manner, like over caring... As soon as I realised this, I pushed through the pain and made a point a of using it.

    Its worth noting your 11 weeks out and honestly shoulder surgery is seemingly one of the more painful surgery's we can have.

    I had alot of muscle wastage and that in itself is painful. Persevering is key... One day you will wake up a little better. I'm 4 and a half months post op... Its cold in the UK atm, and it hurts a lot again. What's the weather like there?

    Take some ibuprofen if possible.

    Elbow and wrist pain is common with shoulder Injuries.... I still get pain in my elbow if I lift over approx 10kg in that arm.

    I'm unsure of how you injured yourself... Did you get your whole arm xrayed?


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    • Posted

      i am 64 years old and my injury was quite simple i was lifting with both arms fully extended i front of me. At about shoulder high my left shoulder tore in the back. i tore the tendons and labrum. The swelling in my wrist and hand radiate from my bicep. My knuckles are quite swollen and I can not close them at all. Wrist is also swollen. and the back of hand swells enough that my knuckles are not visible. Thanks

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    • Posted

      That's strange, sounds like you have circulation problems.

      I broke my hand many yrs ago, it was quite a simple break, but nasty at the time as it was in a few places... Non the less...my bones remained relatively in the correct position... My point is that I get a very swollen hand and bad circulation. I believe this is down to pressures on certain blood vessels.

      I wonder if the Injury has misaligned some tissues/vessels?

      Its worth noting shoulder hand syndrome might be the reason. It's usually because of surgery in the shoulder that you get issues like you mentioned in the hand.

      Read this.... There a part on shoulder hand syndrome a little down the article


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  • Posted

    When I started to do my physical therapy and just normal activity after my shoulder surgery, I'd get pains all over my body including legs, back, neck, forearms, etc. I figured out it was from the imbalance that the restricted movement of the shoulder puts on you.

    This restriction makes you move in ways you usually don't and it causes strains and pressure on the rest of your body. For example just using the bands doing those cuff exercises caused a lot of pain in my forearms. I've attached a pic of that exercise. I realized that I wasn't using proper form and when I corrected that it was better.image

    You might want to carefully review those exercises you are doing and make sure you are using proper form, not too much resistance and maybe even cut down the reps.

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