Q & A on arm injuries

They say that the phrase "it won't cost you an arm and a leg" dates back to WWII when many US servicemen suffered arm and leg amputations.  And, while you might not be shipped out to fight a war, you could still come up against an illness or injury that affects your limbs at some time or another.  CyberDoc answers your questions about arms.

Q:  Bruised Bone

I think I have a bruised bone injury (in my left arm, left, outside section of the arm, just above my wrist). If I press against it anywhere, it doesn't hurt, but as soon as I pick something up or apply pressure to it in some way it hurts. A friend told me that he had the same and it was a bruised bone. Any tips on healing that? According to him you have to wait it out. I do Jiu Jitsu and really need the use of my arm. Any advice would be appreciated.

Expert:  You will have to rest your arm and avoid strenuous exercise for at least four weeks. I suggest that you take Myprodol capsules, two capsules, three times a day for at least 5 days to alleviate the swelling and inflammation. If it's very painful, you can apply a cold pack for at least 10 minutes, followed by a heat pack for at least 10 minutes.

Q:  Numb arm

My boyfriend is currently in Thailand on holiday and slept on his arm the other night. Since then it has been dead/numb from the shoulder to the elbow.  About 30 hours have passed and his arm hasn't eased up. He went to see a doctor in Thailand, who said he needed acupuncture? He is there for another week. Please provide some advice as to what he should do.

Expert:  The numbness is due to inflammation surrounding the nerves. I suggest that he consults a neurologist as soon as possible to evaluate if there is any permanent damage to the specific nerves involved. It is very important to have tests done to locate the specific point of pressure on the nerve and to treat it adequately.

Q:  Left arm pain

I have been experiencing excruciating pain in my left arm for more than a month. I've visited the Dr twice - he gave me voltaren and panado, but the pain does not go away? What could it be? He wants to refer me for physio. To explain the pain: where the shoulder joint moves up and down (like a ball in a socket) and only where the ball moves my arm hurts, but not my whole arm.

Expert:  It sounds like the cause of your pain is due to muscle spasm in your neck and shoulder muscles. Physiotherapy is in fact the next step of treatment. You can add a muscle relaxant, for instance Robaxin 750mg.

Q:  Sharp nerve pain in left arm-pit at NIGHT

For the past 3 weeks I have been experiencing (on a daily basis) nerve pain at night which starts in my left armpit, and extends into the muscles of my left arm and left hand. It is mainly when I am lying down that I feel it, and especially when I change position, for example when I have been lying on my back and I then turn over onto my side.

What could be causing this pain? I have heard that pain in the left armpit at night could be gallbladder related, but I have no other gallbladder symptoms (no nausea or gas or anything like that). I am inclined to think that it may be MS related (I have had multiple sclerosis for at least nine years). Is this possible? Should I be concerned? I am in my mid-forties.

Expert:  It is possible that it is due to MS or due to nerve irritation in the cervical/neck area. I doubt that it is gallbladder related. It is imperative to consult your doctor for a full examination and x-rays of the cervical spine. Your doctor should also evaluate if there is a flare of your MS.

Q:  Sore arm

I wonder if you can help. I had a D& C done 8 days ago. They had me on a drip. Since then my arm has gotten progressively more painful each day. They whole vein that runs up my arm is very hard and quite swollen, and my arm in general is quite sore and lame most of the time. Should I go and see someone or will this get better all on its own?  Thanks for your help

Expert:  It sounds as if you have an infection/inflammation in the arm. Please see your GP if possible as you may need antibiotics. It may also help to put Voltaren Gel on the area.

More info:

Neck, arm, leg and back pain

Send your questions to the Orthopaedic Specialist or CyberDoc

Armpit lump

(Joanne Hart, Health24, October 2011)


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