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Biceps surgery done. Having pain, swelling, stiffness in entire upper extremity. What can be done?

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Orthopaedic Surgeon, Joint Replacement
Practicing since : 2004
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My husband had bicep surgery1-1/2 yrs ago. Still have pain, extreme swelling of hand and cold extremity. Has had MRI, venogram, blood flow, CT scan, all negative. His doctors have no clue what else to do. Unable to work due to this condition as he losses grip and use of hand. Any suggestions as to what test or what else can be done?
Posted Sat, 24 Nov 2012 in Bones, Muscles and Joints
 
 
Answered by Dr. Saurabh Gupta 1 hour later
Hello,
Thanks for sharing your concern with us.

Your husband might have developed a condition called shoulder-hand syndrome.

In this condition there is pain, swelling, stiffness in entire upper extremity occurs as a result of proximal injury to neck, chest or shoulder.

In your husband's case there might be a possibility of injury to nerve at shoulder either during an injury or biceps surgery.

This might cause pain, swelling, stiff, cool, atrophic extremity and weakness in hand grip.

Radionuclide bone scan can aid in diagnosis of this condition. A diffusely increase uptake in delayed images was found to be diagnostic.

Early sympathetic block combined with physical therapy is the most widely recommended treatment.

So, I suggest you to consult this possibility with your doctor and investigation and treatment can be planned according to that.

Hope I have answered your query. Let me know if you have any more concerns.


Wishing you good health.
Regards.
Above answer was peer-reviewed by
 
Follow-up: Biceps surgery done. Having pain, swelling, stiffness in entire upper extremity. What can be done? 43 minutes later
He has had quite a few sessions of physical therapy and been seen by a neurologist. They suggested a ganglion injection. Is this the same type of block that you are referring to?
 
 
Answered by Dr. Saurabh Gupta 38 minutes later
Hello,
Thanks for posting your query again.

Yes, ganglion block is the same block. It is used to numb the affected nerves or pain fibers around the spinal column.

It can help both in treatment and in establishing the diagnosis.

Hope I have answered your query. Let me know if you have any more concerns.

Please close this discussion in case you do not have further queries.

Wishing you and your husband the very best
Regards.
Above answer was peer-reviewed by
 
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