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Is it normal to have swelling in arm after partial shoulder replacement?

Apr 2013
User rating for this question
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Answered by

General Surgeon
Practicing since : 2008
Answered : 9351 Questions
My mother just had a partial shoulder replacement and her arm is bruised, very swollen to the point of feeling hard, and hot to the touch. She doesn't have a fever. Is this to be expected or should we contact our doctor. ( the swelling is from mid-humerus to mid- forearm). Thank you.
Posted Thu, 6 Feb 2014 in General Health
Answered by Dr. Ivan R. Rommstein 26 minutes later
Brief Answer: Hi and welcome to XXXXXXX Detailed Answer: Thanks for the query. Certain degree of swelling and bruising is normal and epxected in first 2-3 weeks after surgery. But you should be carefull and watch for signs of infection such as redness,fever and pain. If there is pain and redness around sutures then it may be wound infection which is less serious than prothesis infection. If there is deeper pain and inability to move arm,with fever or pus secretion then it may be prosthesis infections or even osteomyelitis and she needs to see doctor and start with antibiotics.So I suggest to put cold compress,keep arm elevated and take antiinflamatory painkillers at this point. if symptoms persist for 5 more days or those signs I ve mentioned occur,then you need medical attention. WIsh you good health.
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Follow-up: Is it normal to have swelling in arm after partial shoulder replacement? 10 minutes later
The swelling is not near the incision. It's more around the elbow. No fever at all, just heat radiating from area of swelling. Do we just wait it out with ice packs and Norco? We see the doctor in about 10 more days
Answered by Dr. Ivan R. Rommstein 14 hours later
Brief Answer: Hi Detailed Answer: I dont think this is emergency so you dont have to visit doctor now. Swelling is expected as I said and it should subside on conservative therapy. there is no something more that doctor can do. If there is no infection you dont need antibiotics. Everything else will pass spontaneously.
Above answer was peer-reviewed by
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