I had right shoulder surgery (by scope) that included repair of the supraspinatus (95%) and work on the acrimon and clavicle to relieve impingement problems. About two and half weeks later, I woke up one morning to find the back of my right hand highly swollen. The doctor's explanation is that it's due to gravity, i.e., swelling moving down from the shoulder. While shoulder rehab has gone very well - I'm weeks ahead of the average customer - it's now a full month and the swelling has not diminished at all. Up to the time it started, I could grip with my right hand and use it carefully (in the sling) for a number of things, including cutting cheese. Since then, I can barely curl my fingers to top of palm level and generally use it only for "gross" actions and fingertip ones like typing. There is no reason, either by cause or pain, to believe that it's broken, and I'm not interested in palliatives (tight gloves, etc.) but rather getting a sense of how long this will likely continue. Thanks,
Perhaps there is 90% chance that your and other people here have the problem in neck. I had the similar problem and many months after shoulder surgery I was having very stiff and slightly swollen hand (it felt like blood was not draining out) and continued shoulder pain, but somewhat better in shoulder than before the surgery, I found the culprit. Mine was settled immediately after a cortisone shut to the neck. In a long run I probably need a neck surgery. OK you may ask, you did not have the hand problem and it happened after shoulder surgery so it must be the shoulder, and all these dumb doctors try to explain it by not having motions, trapped nerve, this or that, which it could be,but 90% of the time it is neck, why does the neck acts up after shoulder surgery? it is foremost the sling you wear after the surgery, it goes over your shoulder around your neck, it put pressure on your posture, other culprit is the compromised positions that you sleep and sit and walk.
You most likely had a dormant spine situation that was in border line and it started acting up due to abuses from the shoulder surgery. That was my finding and you better look at it before barking at the wrong trees, explore this most obvious place. My symptoms were stiff and slightly swollen hand, woke up every night with pain in shoulder and hand and arm, and finally the night after cortisone shut to the neck I had a decent sleep and no swollen or stiff hand anymore. I thought I owed it to this board to post my findings and perhaps end the agony of the pain and not knowing what the problem is for some of you. oh, just that you know, you would need a MRI of the neck to identify the spine level that you need to inject the cortisone, most likely it would be C6C7 level, this is the level that sends that nasty signals to the hand and shoulder at the same time. It is also quite possible that your shoulder pain might have been coming from the neck to begin with, many times the MRI of the shoulder is misguiding, not everything that shows up on MRI of the shoulder causes pain, neck MRI is more reliable indicator of pain, specially when your shoulder MRI shows only small tear or minimal issues, in cases like that, your doctor should ask you to do an MRI of neck before doing a shoulder surgery.
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