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Thread: Swollen hand and arm??

  1. #1

    Swollen hand and arm??

    I am a C5/6 quad 40 years post. My left hand and arm are swollen. The hand looks puffy and is swollen just enough to fill the loose skin. The swelling of the arm is less noticeable but more so at the wrist. The swelling of the hand and wrist has been a recurring problem for the past year, but it would come and go, only happening occasionally. Up until this week, everything would be back to normal by morning. It does parallel a similar recurring change in sensation and strength in the same arm that has become noticeable over the past couple of years. My last evaluation was in December, the pin prick and strength test by the rehab doctor did not reveal a noticeable change. I had an ultrasound of the arm and shoulder done yesterday, they were looking for clots and everything was clear. I do have arthritis in the left shoulder. There have been no changes in my lifestyle or activities. I peddle my FES bike 2 to 3 times a week and I am generally very healthy.

    I forgot to mention, when I saw my GP they did the standard oxygen check on my finger. The lift index finger was 94, and it was 97 on the right hand.
    Last edited by QuadmanJr; 09-01-2018 at 11:15 AM.

  2. #2
    Is it red? Possible cellulitis? Lympadena of some sort? The most important is to rule out clots which could dislodge and go to the lungs. CWO
    The SCI-Nurses are advanced practice nurses specializing in SCI/D care. They are available to answer questions, provide education, and make suggestions which you should always discuss with your physician/primary health care provider before implementing. Medical diagnosis is not provided, nor do the SCI-Nurses provide nursing or medical care through their responses on the CareCure forums.

  3. #3
    The color is normal, the temperature is normal, no clots. My hand and forearm feel heavier, perhaps weaker, because the swelling is not enough to add real weight.

  4. #4
    Could this swelling in my hand and arm be caused by arthritis or perhaps atrophy in the shoulder? I have also noticed more popping and grinding of the shoulder joint.

    I spent the last week in bed with the flu (fever, achy, no energy, scratchy throat, at one point even nauseous). The swelling disappeared. After one day back up in my chair from the swelling starts to return.

    So my new question is; what is the best style of orthopedic support for quads with bad shoulders? Yes, I know that everyone is different, just looking for suggestions and ideas.

    Thank you

  5. #5
    It could be a fracture or shoulder out of socket or ruptured muscle
    i hope you get this arm examined soon

    pbr
    The SCI-Nurses are advanced practice nurses specializing in SCI/D care. They are available to answer questions, provide education, and make suggestions which you should always discuss with your physician/primary health care provider before implementing. Medical diagnosis is not provided, nor do the SCI-Nurses provide nursing or medical care through their responses on the CareCure forums.

  6. #6
    Quote Originally Posted by SCI-Nurse View Post
    It could be a fracture or shoulder out of socket or ruptured muscle
    i hope you get this arm examined soon

    pbr
    My arm and shoulder were examined by my Dr. last week. No signs of a fracture or displacement, or rupture. The most recent MRI revealed severe arthritis in both shoulder joints.

    CWO brought up the question of Lympadema. After looking back at the most recent modifications to my chair I need to investigate the lateral supports that were added approximately 1.5 years ago. The left side support is right below the armpit. I wonder if pressure to the lymph gland is causing this? By simply looking at it, the support appears to be down low enough not to be a problem. Nevertheless, I will remove the supports and see if there's a noticeable change.

  7. #7
    Your description of the symptoms does sound like lymphedema. There are some kinds of lymphedema that arise on their own (primary lymphedema), but most are secondary and caused by surgery or other injuries, infection, cancer treatment or radiation. The left side support on your chair might have caused compression of the nodes, and I hope that removing it solves the problem. If it doesn't, see your doctor for a medical diagnosis - he or she can recommend an arm sleeve that is worn to help even out the distribution of fluid in your arm. There are also lymphatic drainage massage techniques that can help.
    MS with cervical and thoracic cord lesions

  8. #8
    I sleep on my sides. When I get up in the morning the arm and hand on the bottom side are noticeably swollen. By bedtime they are the same.
    You will find a guide to preserving shoulder function @
    http://www.rstce.pitt.edu/RSTCE_Reso...imb_Injury.pdf

    See my personal webpage @
    http://cccforum55.freehostia.com/

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