Reply to broken re metal plate in arm, numbness
A little over 7 years ago I had a bad bicycle accident and broke my forearm (radius). The repair also required surgery with a plate and 6 screws. Initially, my only thought after the cast came off was to get into physical therapy and get full rotation and motion in my hand/wrist/arm. Was able to achieve that much, however, my strength was lacking. The break was not my dominant hand, but I am physical, active, and have many hobbies which require using both arms/hands.
Over the years I noticed that I was not getting my strength back; I could not lift heavy items with that arm/hand without my hand/fingers "tightening" up and in pain; and a dull constant ache/sensation. In fact, I still get a total tightening up and weakness of what feels like the inside of my forearm to the whole circumference of my hand. It's a weird feeling. In addition, I have adhesions and when I'm lifting a heavy (or even not so heavy) objects, my whole incision "pulls forward!" This in itself creates an uncomfortable feeling/sensation.
Initially, I took months off of my job to recover and added physical therapy when I complained to my doctor about my symptoms. A year later, was back in physical therapy. I was released as no strength progress was made.
I really didn't know what to make of it, and, I have an HMO. Not the best situation to be in...especially, if you are going back to the same surgeon and complaining about the hand/arm they worked on. I was dismissed several times.
Finally, I was granted a visit with a hand specialist. They took x-rays, did not take strength or rotation measures, but after listening to me, the doctor told me that I may want to have the plate/screws removed. That had not occurred to me. He said that some people respond to that, but that there were no guarantees, along with the surgery risk, etc. Hence, my internet search for those possibly in my situation, or that have experienced the same or similar symptoms. For my symptoms and the number of years since the break, I am really thinking that removal of the plate/screws may be in my best interest to make a "fuller" recovery.
BTW--you can have a nerve diagnosis (can't remember what they called it) in the arm/hand that you get numbness. I had that done and it came back normal. When I got that result, it was off to the specialist. Good luck with yours.
I am grateful to be alive!
Last edited by moderator2; 08-04-2010 at 08:15 AM.
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