Mayo Clinic Connect
Has anyone on here had a frozen elbow?I do . Six weeks after a bad break and PT.
Hello @martydav . It sounds like your post-surgery pain has moved to other symptoms including a frozen elbow.
You will notice that I moved this discussion to the Bones, Joints & Muscles group so you may connect with other members who have had elbow issues either post break/surgery such as @artscaping and others such as @lotsofpain @fourof5zs who have mentioned ulnar nerve issues in their elbow causing symptoms that may resonate with you.
Have you heard of issues with the ulnar nerve that can get trapped and on occasion will need to be released?
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No, I have not.
Movement should be better after PT and not worsen. Is it just stiffness or is it painful to move?
Talk with your surgeon. It could be a nerve entrapment. Sometimes the doctor can tell by just a physical examination, but you may need a scan of the area.
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It moves slightly and then stops at a point of pain trying to go farther. Will not move farther.
Mine is not exactly frozen but I broke it when I was a child and now I cannot completely straighten my arm which
Allows the ulnar nerve to get trapped and inflamed causing numbness and tingling in my little finger and ring finger the only remedy is to keep my arm entirely straight and not bend my elbow which is difficult at night so I have to wear a rigid brace
Good evening @martydav. I am sorry that you have had such a problematic injury. I don’t think I can be very helpful. However, @amandarjro did tag me to share my experiences.
I fell down the mountain and broke my elbow in three places. I was in the hospital for three days because I also messed up my shoulder on the same arm. That led to multiple surgeries and a reverse shoulder replacement. But what about the elbow. First there was much less pain than the shoulder. Secondly, the arm and elbow was casted which kept me from banging it around and making it worse.
Here’s the smile……….When I went to the orthopedic clinic to have the surgeon cast the elbow, I was shocked that I was the only adult in the waiting room. It seems that in the summer there are a lot of young baseball players and other athletes getting broken bones.
I didn’t know that casts came in colors…..so I chose purple and then let the kids decorate it. Some fun……
What is your next step? Have you had X-rays?
May you be free of suffering and the causes of suffering.
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Did you go to an orthopedist and have it assessed.. physical exam, x-rays, or scan? The surgery for an entrapped ulna nerve only takes a short time. I cannot tell you much about the pain because I had shoulder surgery at same time and that was my overwhelming any other pain I had. Now it gets a little tender if I lean on it when sitting or crook my arm wrong when sleeping. I use a pillow in my chair to rest my elbow on. The surgery elbow is on my left side and I have to lay on my right side. For another problem I lay my arm on a travel size pillow between my rib to hip area to rest my arm on. I sometimes use elbow brace to help out when I am working on something that causes my elbow to work a lot. The numbness is gone and only painful if I lean on it too hard or overwork it.
You need to get it looked at before the damage cannot be reversed.
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That is what my shoulder used to do. Years before I had been in a car accident.. t-boned on the passenger side of car and I was driving. No one with me. I banged my shoulder twice in the jolts of the car. I mostly felt bruised and achy at the time. I had arthritis buildup where the outer arm meets the shoulder, and some kind of entrapment near the shoulder blade. Hard to remember that far back. I was better after surgery cleanup. I had thought my elbow (numbness in pinky and ring fingers and could not grasp with thumb and index finger) had something to do with the shoulder, but it was an ulnar entrapment. I had both surgeries at same time.
You need to be evaluated by your surgeon to tell what is causing your elbow to freeze up. Hopefully it will not mean more surgery.. maybe a different physical therapist. Some are better than others with certain injuries.
Can you still use your arm? I also had a reverse shoulder surgery at the same time.
I have had xrays and they don’t explain why I cAnnot bend my elbow. I am so handicapped right now.
I appreciate your story. I am going for a second
Physical therapy is brutal because they want to bend the joint past my threshold of pain .
Found out with a new surgeon that the shoulder hardware is broken inside and will need to be fixed. Will also need new Surgery on my elbow. My first dr was not great. I’m hopeful that someday my arm will work again.
Thanks for your story.
@martydav No way………..and no one saw it on the images. Would you please continue to share your journey with us. That will be so helpful for other members to learn how do continue the journey in spite of hardships.
May you be safe and protected.
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No one saw it until I hired the best elbow expert in Dallas. He took more xrays from so many different views and that is how he found it.
I go for revision sometime in the first of December.
My heart aches that I must go thru this again.
I have been in terrible pain since September , daily.
Going thru 8 weeks of aggressive physical therapy
Per doctor’s orders only now to find out it was in vain.
I am so sorry that you have to go through the surgery and therapy again.
I am happy that you did get the answers to the why. I hope all goes well this time.
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