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Unable to lift arm after Cardioversion, MRI of head normal, rotator cuff tear in MRI of shoulder . Cure ?

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Practicing since : 2001
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My husband had a cardioversion due to a fib. Immediately following the procedure he was unable to life his right arm. His cardiologist kept him overnight and did an MRI of his head to rule out stroke. There was no stroke so his Dr sent him home. ( no consult and no referral) he can move his arm easily from hand to elbow but cannot lift his upper arm. It is not numb but very weak. Have you ever heard of this type of injury? What type of specialist would you recommend he see?
Thank you.
Posted Tue, 17 Apr 2012 in Bones, Muscles and Joints
Answered by Dr. Rakhi Tayal 35 minutes later

Thanks for writing to us.

Based on your history, it seems that during the procedure of cardioversion, your husband has suffered a nerve injury due to which he is unable to lift his arm.

A Neurologist.

In most of the cases, such a nerve injury recovers with the help of systemic steroids and Transcutaneous Electrical Nerve Stimulation (TENS). The prognosis depends on the type of injury the nerve has incurred.

You may get the initial physical examination, relevant tests and treatment done under care of 'Neurologist'.

I hope my answer and recommendations are adequate and helpful.

I will be available for your further follow up queries if any.


Above answer was peer-reviewed by
Follow-up: Unable to lift arm after Cardioversion, MRI of head normal, rotator cuff tear in MRI of shoulder . Cure ? 1 hour later
We had an MRI of the shoulder and it revealed a large orthopedic surgeon recommended surgical repair. This will mean that my husband will be off his blood thinner for three days. That makes me a little nervous because of the possibility of stroke. He is 72 years old and is golf teacher. No more than you know about this...would youbthink surgery is a
The best option for him?
Answered by Dr. Rakhi Tayal 8 hours later

Thanks for writing again.

In a case of rotator cuff injury surgery treatment is usually the last option. However in severe injuries surgery can be considered. If you are worried about surgical risk you may go for conservative treatment by giving adequate rest to the arm using broad arm sling for three to four weeks. Doing hot fomentation during this time will help healing.

The time of healing is delayed with conservative treatment. And if after a month, there is no recovery then we can consider surgery.

Blood thinnners would be restarted immediately on the day after surgery.

Hope this is helpful.

Wishing your husband good and healthy recovery.


Above answer was peer-reviewed by
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