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Have hard swelling and discoloration from carpel to elbow, lost grip strength. Suggest?

Jul 2013
User rating for this question
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Answered by

Orthopaedic Surgeon, Joint Replacement
Practicing since : 1996
Answered : 2148 Questions
I have hard swelling and discoloration on the pinky side of my forearm- from my carpels all the way to my elbow. I have almost no grip strength and typing is extremely painful. What is wrong with my arm?
Posted Mon, 21 Oct 2013 in Bones, Muscles and Joints
Answered by Dr. K. Naga Ravi Prasad 20 minutes later
Brief Answer:
Need some more information on your symptoms.

Detailed Answer:
Hi, thanks for writing to XXXXXXX

I need some more history regarding your symptomatology to arrive at a possible diagnosis of your problem.

- duration of your symptoms and chronology of symptoms (whether swelling developed first or discolouration)
- did your symptoms developed suddenly overnight or did they developed gradually
- any history of trauma or injury
- any history of fever
- whether the swelling is painful and whether it is tender to touch
- are you able to feel the sensations in all your fingers and any numbness in fingers
- are you able to perform movements of fingers and wrist joint

Please answer the above queries and furnish any other relevant information with regard to your symptoms. If you can send me the clinical picture (photograph) of the affected area, it will be much useful.

Above answer was peer-reviewed by
Follow-up: Have hard swelling and discoloration from carpel to elbow, lost grip strength. Suggest? 11 minutes later
I believe my arm was injured Saturday the 28th of September while I was attempting to Wakeboard. I felt a hard jerk in the muscle and then a lot of numbness and searing pain followed. Swelling occurred within 5 minutes, discoloration formed that night about 5 hours later. Had many previous injuries- none to the left forearm- just the left shoulder dislocation in december of last year. Very tender to touch, constant dull almost numbing pain where swelling is present. fingers numb when extension is attempted. Movement is possible but very painful and lifting objects over a pound is not possible. cannot hold a soda can- no grip power
Answered by Dr. K. Naga Ravi Prasad 22 minutes later
Brief Answer:
It could be a Muscle strain with Hematoma.

Detailed Answer:
Hi, Nice to hear from you.

Based on the information provided by you, I suspect that you could have suffered a Muscle strain along with Hematoma (blood clot) formation that are causing you the symptoms.

An Xray is needed to know if there is any bony injury. An MRI scan of the involved area will pick up any soft tissue problem involving the muscles, tendons and fascia etc.

The initial management of your problem is as follows -
- rest to the involved part and avoid any activity that produces pain.
- Ice packing the painful area for the first 48 to 72 hours after the injury. Apply ice wrapped in a damp towel to the injured area for 15 to 20 minutes every two to three hours during the day.
- Use an elastic compression bandage around the injured area to limit any swelling and movement that could damage it further. It should be wrapped snugly around the affected area but not so tightly that it restricts blood flow.
- Keep the injured area raised and supported on a pillow to help reduce swelling.
- Oral anti-inflammatory medications (such as Aleve or Motrin) can help relieve symptoms of pain and also calm the inflammation.

If your symptoms are not resolving with the above measures or if your symptoms are becoming worse, consult an orthopedic surgeon for further evaluation and management.

Hope I have justified your query. Good day
Above answer was peer-reviewed by
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