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Saturday, October 10, 2009 bunnylover, Community Member, asks

Q: I have nerve pain down my arm to my hand, after surgery to remove lymph nodes that contained cancer.

I have a question regarding pain and swelling down my arm after just having a lymph node disection to remove metastatic adenocarcinoma. Only three out of the eight lymph nodes that were removed were cancerous. I am trying everything possible to handle this nerve pain that travels down the back of my arm to my hand. Most of the swelling is at the auxilla area but does carry down my arm some. I have tried slight stretching to help, ice, elevating my arm, lightly massaging my arm, and I am not sure what else if anything I can try. As a last resort I will try a pain pill or an anti inflammatory which help only temporarily. Has anyone had this issue and have any suggestions at all? This is more difficult as I am right handed and this is on my right arm and hand. Thank you. 

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Answers (3)
PJ Hamel, Health Guide
10/10/09 7:16am

Hi - Sounds like you have lymphedema. Please see your doctor about this for a referral to a physical therapist who specializes in lymphedema; you really need to get it treated, and it's not something you can treat yourself. Good luck - PJH

Laura A. Learn-Hack, Community Member
10/10/09 10:27am

I have the same pain. Sometimes its so bad , like tiny needles traveling down the back of my arm. My surgeon told me to just take ibuprophen and there was little else that could be done. Is it different because my surgery was only a few weeks ago? He says it takes time for those nerves to reconnect and that nerve pain can take months to heal. It truly drives me crazy because it is so constant. I also have tried the methods of massage and stretching nothing seems to bring relief. I was not aware that physical therapy was an option. Laura

Angi, Community Member
10/11/09 11:08pm

I have the same type of pain, and have for several years now.  I've tried to controll my lymphedema, and to an extent I do ok with it.  My pain doctor has me on Lyrica and it has done wonders for my nerve pain.  Now the only thing that bothers me is laying on my side with my arm stretched out under the pillow.  For some reason the sensation in my armpit is too much to bear. 

Good luck getting it under control.


Sally LaFleur, Community Member
12/21/10 11:28am

I had surgery in may of this year stage 2B spread to one positive lymph node with 16 removed one month ago starting having pain in my right forarm which

I was told that it was in the nerves that is called cordein that has to be stetched out with  exercises lying on your back with your knees bent bend elbows and raise up over head then bring down then bent knees to opisite side andput hands together slightly bend elbows raise up and slowly staighting arm do 10 min. three times a day. hope it helps....

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By bunnylover, Community Member— Last Modified: 12/27/10, First Published: 10/10/09