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Fell and broke thumb, pain in scapula of back and shoulder. Done MRI. Buldging disc in the vertebrae with pinched nerve, edema, indigestion. Taken cortisone injection. Whats the relation between swelling and nerve?

Two years ago I fell and broke my left thumb . After a short period of time I began to have pain in the scapula area in my back, then my left shoulder began having tremendous pain and limited motion in my left arm. I have had two MRI s and a torn rotator cuff was eliminated. It was determined that I have a bulging disc in the 5-6 vertebrae with a pinched nerve causing the limitation of motion and pain in my back and down my left arm to the left thumb. This may have been caused by the fall. Now I am having pitting edema in my left ankle. Also I have severe indigestion (which I feel is not connected) and I am not taking any medications. I did have cortisone injections in my neck which helped the pain for a short while, but is returning. Is there any connection with the swelling and the pinched nerve?
Asked On : Sun, 8 Apr 2012
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General & Family Physician 's  Response
Hello elmogreeneyes. Welcome to

A broken thumb does not cause a pinched nerve at the c5-6 level. That is coincidental.

The fall could have caused the pinched nerve at the same time that your thumb was broken. The nerve intervations of c5-6 may explain the pain in the left arm that radiates to the thumb, however, those nerve paths do not have a connection to the difficulties of your left leg.

Unilateral swelling (swelling on only one side) indicates a disease process that is not related to your heart. Some causes of unilateral swelling include fractures, ankle sprain, thrombophlebitis (blood clot), cellulitis (skin infection), venous stasis dermatitis (skin infection due to pooling of fluid in the lower extremity).

If your leg is hot and red, go in for emergency evaluation of your swelling, if not, contact your family physician for evaluation of your condition.

Be well, Dr. Kimberly
Answered: Sun, 8 Apr 2012
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