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.
Glad to have found all of your questions and responses as I was needing info on whether I need a doc's appt..I have an 8 wk checkup in 2 wks. I had (dominant) rt shoulder arthroscopic, subacromial decompression, acromioplasty, extensive debridement and repair of 2 tears on bottom side of rotator cuff abt 6 wks ago. as having mild swelling since the surgery and last week, it became as you all are describing. My PT says it's to be expected (gravity). It is so annoying and uncomfortable. Fingers can almost touch palms right now, but it will re-swell when I do my pendulums. Hand has not completely unswollen. Was told to use the ball..squeeze..soak in Epsom salt, and warm water in shower,. exercise sometimes makes it better, other times it exacerbates it. Seems like I'm in for challenges in using and resting that arm..figuring when to do what..Oh also use to have wrist, hand pain yrs ago and wore a brace - for pain similar to carpal tunnel ...
wonder if that contributes as well to my swelling. ..or if this is all par for the course in recovery from this surgery. Feeling relieved after reading your posts.
I'm 7 weeks out from rotator cuff surgery (shoulder "reconstruction", actually - human graft and 7 large anchor screws - to repair a LARGE hole where the tendon should be) and I am curious as to whether anyone on this thread can tell me if/when the pain, swelling and stiffness finally subsided in their hand? My wrist, hand and fingers continue to swell and now hurt so bad I can't sleep at night and my fingers are so swollen they feel like they're going to pop. They began to swell around 2 weeks post-op and are progressively getting worse - despite physical therapy. Can someone who's been through this please let me know when their swelling subsided? And what they found helped reduce the swelling? I noticed no one as far as 4 months out has complained. Does that mean it starts to improve after several months? Trying to be patient, but its hard when your hand is in so much pain you can't sleep.
And its my "right" hand, at that! My shoulder seems to be healing nicely. But I do have neck issues, wondering if that's contributing or if its just fluid from the surgery. Don't know if the exercises are helping or irritating it. Tried elevating it, icing it, soaking in Epsom salts bath, etc. but nothing seems to help. Any suggestions would be appreciated.
Search for questions
Still looking for answers? Try searching for what you seek or ask your own question.
Updated 18 Jul 2013 • 1 answer
Updated 10 Apr 2014 • 1 answer
Updated 23 Jan 2016 • 1 answer
Continued pain & suffering almost been 9 mo since surgery to repair severe complete rotator cuff te?
Updated 1 Dec 2016 • 2 answers
Updated 21 Sep 2018 • 1 answer