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Nerve Damage? -- Severe Stabbing Elbow Pain

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Old 11-26-2010, 07:12 AM   #1
Join Date: Nov 2010
Location: boston
Posts: 2
kyoun1e HB User
Nerve Damage? -- Severe Stabbing Elbow Pain

I've been battling shoulder pain for over a year now and my story just took an interesting twist. I woke up two weeks ago with sharp, stabbing pain when I bend my arm at the elbow. The pain stops me in my tracks and if I'm holding something I'll drop it.

What's strange is that this pain is exacerbated if a) my elbow is away from my side, and b) I then bend my arm. Even stranger, if my elbow is at my side and I conduct a bicep curling motion there is no pain. I also don't have any pain if the arm is fully outstretched. In fact, I've been trying to keep my arm fully outstretched in order to avoid this excrutiating pain.

A little history:

* About a year ago I injured myself doing a latpulldown.
* Pain experienced in the posterior right shoulder. Pain exacerbated doing horizontal press movements and internal rotation.
* MRI arthogram results showed some partial tears in my posterior ligaments in the right shoulder. Three different orthos deemed these issues as insignificant and something a few weeks of PT could settle down.
* Proceeded to engage in PT where things got worse. New "nervy" symptoms emerged -- burning feeling on the right scapula / outter armpit area. At times, it travelled into the upper arm / tricep area.
* A year later, still experiencing both original shoulder pain along with "nervy" symptoms above.
* Shoulder surgery was scheduled for December 3rd (a week from now).

But now this sharp elbow pain emerges two weeks ago.

Recently I visited a neurosurgeon who ruled out a cervical spine issue due to a) physical exam, b) EMG results for right shoulder/arm, and c) A cervical MRI.

I also got a third opinon from a sports medicine ortho at Beth Israel in Boston. He indicated that a) my shoulder seems strong, and b) my condition may be nerve related. His recommendation: Start taking neurontin and strengthening the muscles around the shoulder.

So I'm 3 days in with neurontin and the symptoms have diminished slightly, but they are still there. I am desperate to determine the cause of this so it can be treated.

What's possible here?

Could an original shoulder injury cause some kind of nerve entrapement? I feel like the nervy symptoms have blown up. They started in the scap/armpit area and have now blasted their way down to the elbow.

Please help. I'm at my wits end.



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Old 11-27-2010, 11:20 AM   #2
Join Date: Nov 2010
Location: boston
Posts: 2
kyoun1e HB User
Re: Nerve Damage? -- Severe Stabbing Elbow Pain

Wow. This site sure is helpful. 53 views no replies. Similar across all threads.


Old 11-30-2010, 08:23 PM   #3
California Ann
Join Date: Mar 2006
Location: Fort Bragg, CA USA
Posts: 82
California Ann HB User
Question Re: Nerve Damage? -- Severe Stabbing Elbow Pain


I am having L shoulder impingment, rotator cuff repair next month. I had c4-5 c5-6 fusion about 10 years ago. I as well thought my shoulder was from my cervical spine. Now in the past few weeks I have been having stabbing pains in my L elbow. It has been so bad I can't pick anything up or even scratch my head. It just started out of the blue. I guess we will find out if it is related after the 14th. I will let you know.

Ann (
Originally Posted by kyoun1e View Post
Wow. This site sure is helpful. 53 views no replies. Similar across all threads.


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