A friend of mine had shoulder surgery one month ago to repair a tear after an accident.
I really don't know the exact procedure he had, but he had a nerve block in his shoulder prior to the surgery. Immediately after surgery, he was not able to use his left hand at all (nerve block on left side). He still can not use his hand at all. Very limited movement of fingers, etc. He has to wear a brace to support his wrist and hand. Without the brace, his hand would just hang down.
To make matters worse, this is his left hand and he is left-handed! He has had the EMG twice and has had 2 MRI's. The surgeon is saying he thinks it is from the nerve block. Noone has been able to help him and he is very worried he will never be able to use his hand. Has anyone heard of this happening before? We haven't been able to find anything on the internet regarding complications of this type related to a nerve block in the shoulder. Please help! Thank you.
Has he looked into Radial Nerve Palsy? I had that (though not after a nerve block), and the symptom of the "limp hand" was identical. It took from December 26 (I remember because it started the morning after Christmas when I had fallen very deeply asleep at my computer with my arm in a strange position) until about a week or two after Valentine's Day (Feb. 14- note this was about 3 years ago). I saw my internist, a neurologist, and even an acupuncturist with no effect (except to recieve a diagnosis). It was very scary not being able to lift my hand and not knowing when/if it would come back. But it did. I attributed my recovery to both time and found that swimming in a warm ocean on vacation around Valentine's days was the first thing that helped. It was painful at first when I began recovering (slowly), but I was over it by March and I no longer needed the wrist brace. Hope that helps. :) p.s. Was he sedated during the nerve block? Is it possible that they didn't position his arm correctly?
It is difficult to say that the problem is due to the block. The nerve may have been injured in the accident itself. What kind of surgery was done? Was there any bony fracture involved in the accident?
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