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    Arm is stuck

    Has anyone ever had this happen before? I got up this morning and my arm is stuck in a bent position. It won't let me straighten it out. There is no pain except for when it is touched. Then it feels like it has been bruised. I'm thinking about calling someone and going to the er, because I'm not sure if I can transfer tonight for bed. Right now I have it wrapped with an ace wrap. It is helping a little, but not a lot. Does this sound familiar to anyone? Any ideas on what it could be and what to do for it?

    #2
    What level is your injury?

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      #3
      Once, in rehab while long sitting, with my arms behind me for support, I dislocated elbow causing me not to be able to lay correctly... had to get it popped back in and stopped doing those stretches.

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        #4
        I'm a T6 para complete. I just got back from the ER. I have a large bone chip in my elbow. I have to see an orthopedic surgeon on Monday. My arm still will not straighten. I have to be very careful with it. It hurts quite a bit when I try to transfer. I don't know what happens next. I'm hoping for the best. Thanks for your responses. Please wish me luck on Monday.

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          #5
          I'm surprised they didn't find it before now. Most rehabs insist on head to toe xrays before touching you just because of this kind of stuff. I'd say in this case bigger is better and do start a list of questions you want answers to if removal is the final answer. Things like how long not using it, possible complications, more rounds of PT and OT needed to make the most of it. And insist on tiny stitches so you have pretty elbows by next summer.
          Courage doesn't always roar. Sometimes courage is the quiet voice at the end of the day saying, "I will try again tomorrow."

          Disclaimer: Answers, suggestions, and/or comments do not constitute medical advice expressed or implied and are based solely on my experiences as a SCI patient. Please consult your attending physician for medical advise and treatment. In the event of a medical emergency please call 911.

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            #6
            Let us know what they say onMonday. Sue is right- go in as prepared as you can be with questions. You might also want to add to the list " is surgery the inky option? If not, what is the expected time frame to recover? CKF
            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.

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              #7
              And where did the chip come from?
              Courage doesn't always roar. Sometimes courage is the quiet voice at the end of the day saying, "I will try again tomorrow."

              Disclaimer: Answers, suggestions, and/or comments do not constitute medical advice expressed or implied and are based solely on my experiences as a SCI patient. Please consult your attending physician for medical advise and treatment. In the event of a medical emergency please call 911.

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                #8
                Sue has a good idea, find out where the chip came from. Back when I was in high school I chipped a bone in my knee and had to have surgery on it because the chip would float and make my knee get stuck or lock up on me. Very painful. I put it off too long and had a lot of damage to repair when I finally got around to it. This was prior to arthroscopic surgery techniques they have today. See about having it taken care of by arthroscopic methods.
                Anything worth doing, is worth doing to excess

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                  #9
                  They kept asking me if I had some type of trauma. I don't know how long the chip has been there. The doctor told me that is was on the anterior part of my arm and that it was stuck in the joint. She said that that is a good thing for surgery. I'm not sure why. They didn't tell me much more than that. I think they are leaving the rest for the orthopedic doctor to tell me. I will write down a list of questions. I'm starting to get a little overwhelmed. I will let you all know what happens on Monday. Thanks for listening everybody, it helps to vent a little.

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                    #10
                    I think that is what is going to happen. The joint is still stuck and transferring with it that way is really tough. I wish that it would dislodge from the joint and give me a little more rom. A friend of mine also told me that, even if it is not in the joint, that it can still cause a lot of damage. So, I think you are right that it will have to be removed, regardless of where it is. I hope that it won't be a long recovery though. I don't want to stay over night in the hospital either. There are a lot of unknowns. I'm working on some questions, as everyone has suggested. I hope I won't forget anything. Thanks for the advice. I'll take all I can get. lol

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                      #11
                      I would encourage you to take someone with you. Have them write down important information for you. That way you can focus on listening to what the doc says. Good luck! CKF
                      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.

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                        #12
                        Thank you! My brother is taking me. I'm heading out now...so nervous..I'll keep you all posted.

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                          #13
                          Well, I am scheduled for surgery. There are at least 4 bone fragments that need to be removed. He said that my rom is 40 to 60, which is about 50% loss of function. I'm not sure if I am going to go through with it. There is a lot to think about.

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                            #14
                            What is there to consider? You have 50% reduced function and four fragments floating around. Why would you question having the surgery?
                            Wife of Chad (C4/5 since 1988), mom of a great teenager

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                              #15
                              I'm worried about getting help. The doctor told me that I will likely have two incisions. I have bone fragments on the top and bottom of my elbow. He wants to remove the bones from both areas. He said that it has to be done with open surgery as opposed to orthoscopically. He doesn't think he can get to the all of the fragments otherwise. He also wants to "debride" the entire joint space to make sure he gets everything.

                              My brother and I seemed to have gotten different ideas as to how long the recovery will be. My brother says I should be up and going in a couple of days. My understanding was that it would be at least three weeks before bearing any weight on the arm. I remember the doctor saying that within the first 24 hours or so, we would be starting with physical therapy, but only for range of motion. My brother is telling everyone that is wrong, so when I asked about help, they are taking his word not mine. I know that I have the tendency to let things "go in one ear and out the other" when I get overwhelmed and scared, but I think I got this one right. I hope I am wrong.

                              If I am right about the recovery, I will not have a lot of help at home. Some of my family might be able to help with things like shopping and getting my prescriptions, but that is about it, because they all work. That makes me worry about everything else, especially getting in and out of bed, and my bowel program.

                              Right now, I am able to do all of these things without help. It may be painful at times, but I am doing it. That is why I am considering not having the surgery.

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