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Unable to stretch right arm without pain. Vein like line is swollen and red. Advise?

Jul 2013
User rating for this question
Very Good
Answered by

Orthopaedic Surgeon, Joint Replacement
Practicing since : 1996
Answered : 2148 Questions
Good day:
I woke up with a pain in my right arm. I was unable to stretch out my arm without feeling pain. In the night a vein like line became swollen and red on my arm (bicep). It also pains whenever I touch it. The swollen red line runs from the opposite side of my elbow up to my bicep closer to my armpit. I did not lift anything heavy. I am 26 years old, 5'6'' and weighs 160 lbs. Any advise would be greatly appreciated.
Posted Mon, 21 Oct 2013 in Bones, Muscles and Joints
Answered by Dr. K. Naga Ravi Prasad 19 minutes later
Brief Answer:
It's Superficial thrombophlebitis.

Detailed Answer:
Hi, thanks for writing to XXXXXXX I have observed the clinical image that is sent.

All your symptoms including the clinical picture are typically suggestive of Superficial thrombophlebitis (inflammation in the superficial vein) in the arm. To confirm the diagnosis of this condition, a doppler ultrasound is necessary.

Superficial thrombophlebitis is usually a short-term condition that does not cause complications. Symptoms generally go away in 1 to 2 weeks.

To reduce discomfort and swelling, support stockings and elevation of the affected limb are recommended.

A warm compress in the form of moist heat fomentation to the area may also be helpful.

Non steroidal antiinflammatory medicines like Advil or Aleve reduces the pain & inflammation.

Appropriate antibiotics are needed , if there is an associated infection.

Hope I have addressed your query. Happy to help further

Above answer was peer-reviewed by
Follow-up: Unable to stretch right arm without pain. Vein like line is swollen and red. Advise? 29 minutes later
Thank you very much for your response. Due to my working situation I am required to be seated most of the time. I have realized that I am feeling pains in my legs and thighs. It is a numb feeling or 'pins and needle'. I also have a few small red varicose veins on my legs and thighs. Should I be concerned about this?

Thank you.
Answered by Dr. K. Naga Ravi Prasad 12 minutes later
Brief Answer:
Get an evaluation for a DVT also.

Detailed Answer:
Hi, Nice to hear from you.

If you are concerned and have any suspicion, its always better to get a Doppler ultrasound examination to rule out the presence of DVT (deep vein thrombosis) which is a serious entity and leads to problems, if left untreated.

Your pins & needles sensations may be due to the compression of the nerves due to prolonged sitting position, which can be considered as physiological (normal).

Sometimes, Superficial thrombophlebitis is associated with Deep vein thrombosis. So, there is no harm in getting an evaluation done to rule out any serious underlying problem.

Hope I made it clear for you. Good day
Above answer was peer-reviewed by
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