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metal plate in arm, numbness

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Old 09-13-2008, 02:04 PM   #1
Join Date: Sep 2008
Location: Miami, fl
Posts: 1
broken1 HB User
metal plate in arm, numbness


I was in a car accident 3 years ago, broke my arm and had surgery. i still have the metal plate and 6 screws that were placed during surgery.
Its been three years and my arm still hurts from time to time , when i carry heavy objects and especially when it humid ( i live in Miami). Is this normal?

Also, what bothers me the most is that in the past 6 months or so i wake up in the middle of the night and my lower arm and hand are completely numb and feels cold to the touch. It usually happens when i'm sleeping on my back. When i touch the arm its as if it wasn't there, as if i'm touching a foreign object, i don't feel a thing. I have to shake it and place it in a vertical position for the feeling to eventually come back. Once it does, the place in my arm where the hardware is located usually aches. This has been freaking me out lately. Is this normal?

Thank you

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Old 06-01-2010, 01:59 PM   #2
Join Date: Jun 2010
Posts: 9
Falconator HB User
Re: metal plate in arm, numbness

I'm glad to find someone else who has metal plates and screws in their arm.

Are they in your forearm or your upper arm?

I have 2 plates and screws in my forearm (both ulna and radius) and I definitely get some pain there whenever I do weight lifting or anything else that requires a lot of strength. It really sucks and I'm thinking about getting them removed.

I've had the hardware in me for about 4 or 5 years but I don't recall having any extreme numbness the way you describe it. If I was in your position, I would contact my doctor. That could possibly be an allergic reaction to the metal but I'm not sure.

Last edited by Falconator; 06-01-2010 at 03:12 PM.

Old 08-04-2010, 01:31 AM   #3
Join Date: Aug 2010
Posts: 1
Gr8atful2B HB User
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 07:15 AM. Reason: please do not post websites except as described in the Posting Policy

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