About 2 weeks after surgery for a fractured shoulder, my hand started swelling and I'm not able to use it for anything and can't make a fist. It has been swollen now for about 1.5 months... My orthopedic surgeon doesn't seem to know what's causing the swelling and I'm trying to find out what I can do to gain use of my hand again. Anybody have similar experience?
Hi reallytired, I used to be the orthopedic coordinator in a busy OR. I really have no answers for your problem. Sounds very painful and frustrating. Is your hand also cold, maybe a little discoloration? Could be some kind of nerve impingement, if I were you, I would go see an orthopedic surgeon that specializes in hand surgery and get a 2nd opinion, and a 3rd, 4th, until someone can give you answers and appropriate treatment. There has to be a solution to your problem. Start demanding answers!! Remember, they work for you!!! I am sure you paid for their services, so keep it up until someone can help you solve this problem. Sorry I didn't have any answers to your problem other than the advice I gave you, but that's what I would do!! Best of luck, and let me know how it goes!!
I am going through the same thing. Did it ever resolve?
I had my shoulder surgery in February my hand is swollen and very sore. Can anyone give me any advice to help the swelling?
6 weeks post surgery I noticed significant swelling in my left hand. Met with the surgeon twice and a hand/wrist specialist. Neither could clearly diagnosis the cause but outlined a course of action that is starting to show some results after about 3 weeks. First step was an X-ray to confirm there were no broken bones, an ultrasound to confirm there was not a blood clot and then an MRI, which didn't identify any underlying issues causing the swelling (thankfully). The course of action included a Medrapack followed by 30 days of an oral and topical anti-inflammatory (started on Diclofenac but recently switched to Meloxicam, orally) along with hand therapy by a certified OT hand specialist. It's hard to know what has contributed to the improvement I'm seeing but I think it's mostly been from the work with the OT person.
See her 3x per week and she dips my hand in paraffin wax and then stretches the tendons for about 30 minutes followed by 30 minutes of targeted ultrasound sound waves in the tightest areas. She has also given me homework which includes soaking the hand in a contrast bath (1 tub of very cold water and 1 tub of warm water) for 10 minutes, alternating 1 minute cold and then 1 minute warm for a total of 10 minutes. The homework exercises are focused on stretching the tendons to get them functional again. She has seen this before and is confident she can get my hand back to normal. She mentioned it could take months but it will be better. My state of mind is much better after working with her as I was concerned the situation could be permanent but she assured me it would not be and I'm encourage to see some progress. 2 of 5 fingers are much improved (two on the ulnar nerve); those on the medial nerve has not responded as quickly. What a crazy situation we all find ourselves in. Hope this info helps someone.
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