I'm a Newbie in Western NY

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Posts: 1
Joined: Sun Oct 30, 2016 5:56 pm
Injury Description, Date, extent, surgical intervention etc: TBPI - damage from surgery, left arm
Location: Hamburg, NY

I'm a Newbie in Western NY

Post by medylik » Tue Nov 01, 2016 12:30 pm

Hi everyone. I'm Mary, and I was diagnosed with TBPI just a few weeks ago. I'm grateful to finally have an answer to why my arm doesn't work, but pretty upset to know I may never get back to full function.

My saga started in September 2015 after having an intramuscular ulnar nerve transposition on my left arm. I had injured my elbow several years prior, and was slowly loosing feeling and motion in my forearm and half of my left hand. Turns out my ulnar nerve was "in horrendous condition." My surgeon's exact words. Surgery went well, I was put in a cast for several weeks to allow the muscles to knit and the incision to heal. About about ten days after surgery I started to have intense shoulder pain; felt like someone was trying to pull my arm out of the socket.

I had X-rays, an arthrogram, and MRI of the shoulder - which were inconclusive - and was sent for PT for my shoulder along with OT and PT for the rest of my arm and hand. I regained function of my elbow and hand, but my shoulder steadily became worse. I had zero ROM, and was in constant pain. Further tests showed that I'd developed severe adhesive capsulitis. I had several cortisone injections and was prescribed oral steroids to help with the inflammation. The PT and anti-inflammatory treatment continued, but nothing improved.

Finally, I saw a shoulder specialist at the University of Pittsburgh Medical Center (UPMC) Sports Medicine Center. In June of 2016 I had my shoulder scoped - manipulation under anesthesia, and a depridement of the joint to create space for movement. I started PT the day after surgery. After several weeks of extensive PT I still couldn't move my arm, was in horrible pain, and my entire arm and hand were numb with constant pins and needles. More tests followed, which showed that I have disc herniations from C2 through T3, though the doctor didn't think they were severe enough to cause my symptoms. I was sent for an EMG and nerve conduction study. Those tests finally showed what the problem was - nerve damage, particularly the axillary nerve, from surgery. There's a laundry list of muscles that aren't getting a signal.

So, here I sit, typing (slowly!) with one hand. I can't tell you how happy I was to find UBPN. I've been so frustrated, annoyed, and hurt by the lack of understanding people, including medical professionals have. It's been therapeutic to read posts and know I'm not alone.

I'm on a new regiment of specialized PT and massage therapy. It's been over a year since my shoulder has worked, so I'm not exactly feeling all that hopeful right now. Does anyone have any words of wisdom for me??? What PT exercises have been helpful??? Has massage been beneficial??? Any tricks for battling pain and getting some decent sleep?????

Jeepers, I've written a book here. Thanks for reading. It's liberating to have someone out there who knows what this feels like, and what it does mentally, emotionally, and spiritually.

Posts: 4
Joined: Fri Sep 16, 2016 4:44 pm
Injury Description, Date, extent, surgical intervention etc: 5/14/15 surgical error. Right arm lower trunk focused

Re: I'm a Newbie in Western NY

Post by Mkusher » Thu Feb 02, 2017 9:46 pm

Hi Mary. Thank you for writing your story. You can see some of mine in another post. I would love to discuss this situation we're trying to endure, and share what we're doing to try to regain function and decrease pain. Please respond vwhen you can.

Posts: 170
Joined: Wed Jun 28, 2006 9:08 pm
Injury Description, Date, extent, surgical intervention etc: Injured 5/11/86, had just turned 18 yrs old
Evulsed C5-T1
Intercostal into Bicep 10/86
Location: Los Angeles

Re: I'm a Newbie in Western NY

Post by Dan » Mon Feb 13, 2017 5:28 pm

Hi Mary,

Lot's to respond to but I'll see if I can at least cover a few questions. Each person experiences brachial plexus injuries differently, depends on the nerves injured and at what location. I avulsed all five, so I can respond based on my injury. Massage helps me with pain relief, helps get the fluids moving around, doesn't do anything for the phantom pains. Exercise, activities and just basically doing life are my pain management techniques. The more I do during the day to get my mind active and focused on something other than the pain, not only helps during the day, but also carries over to the night.

Hope that helps a bit and glad you found some comfort in knowing there are plenty of us out here that know what you are dealing with and can offer help.

My best to you,

Posts: 744
Joined: Tue May 05, 2009 11:51 am

Re: I'm a Newbie in Western NY

Post by Master DIVER TOM » Mon Feb 13, 2017 6:15 pm

Thank s Dan!!!

I am so glad you and others responded,
Being home along dealing with these issues and lack of response , leaves a void. I am so glad when other response there way is Great, because they find the doctors and treatments needed !!! Fact is everything does work out with or without help in life with these injuries.
There is so much to say when the direction for help you an Chris have found.
Thank You,

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