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Loss of sensation/muscle strength after surgery
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Loss of sensation/muscle strength after surgery

My husband (28 year old) went in for a lipoma removal surgery last Wednesday (8/17/11). The lipoma was on his upper right arm, medial aspect. It was performed at an outpatient surgery center and he was given Versed and local anesthesia. The surgeon removed it (along with 4 others in other locations) and said that it was very superficial so he had no problems with it. However, since the surgery, he has had problems in his arm. Here are his symptoms:

1) His whole arm was numb/tingling
2) He lost strength in his arm, particularly his bicep muscle. It is very weak when he tries to flex his biceps and bend his elbow up.
3) He has fasciculations when he tries to perform fine movements. Like when he tries to hold an object still, his muscle twitches.
4) He lost muscle tone in his biceps.
5) He lost dexterity.

It has improved slightly since then. For example, his whole hand is not numb anymore, only his thumb and pointer finger. However, his muscle is still weak and he still has not fully regained his dexterity. When he flexes his arms up, it is apparent that his right arm has lost muscle tone because you can't see the muscle flex. He is weak when he tries to flex his elbows. He has no problems raising his arms above his head. Otherwise, his muscle fatigues very easily. It seems like his muscles in his forearm is attempting to compensate for the loss of strength in his biceps because he says that he can feel that muscle burning, like he is overusing it.

From what I have read on the internet, it sounds like damage to the musculocutaneous nerve. Could it have been positioning during surgery that could have caused damage to the nerve? If it is damage, what are the chances that he will make a full recovery? He has an appointment with a neurologist on September 15 but I just wanted some answers now so he can stop worrying so much about it.

Is there anyone else out there that has experienced something like this? We would just like to know how your recovery went. Thanks!
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Avatar_f_tn
I just had surgery with stitches a month ago in my upper chest region, and I can tell you that it did all sorts of oddball things to my nerves in general, but that was in the beginning.  I had numbness, loss of strength and full range of motion, and I was so tired and sore.  Gradually sensation returned, muscles strengthened, but I still have a ways to go.  I do some very simple stretching and movement exercises with my arms, I also squeeze a ball with my hands, but I do not overdo.  It's to kind of "wake up" my nerves again and recover range of motion.  So, it could very well be all this wierdness with your husband is just ordinary aftereffects of surgery, but the neurologist will know for sure what's going on.  Just wanted to give you some feedback from someone else who has had surgery that affected arms.  Surgery is very hard on a person.
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Avatar_f_tn
My husband is going through the exact same thing after out patient leg surgery Dec. 2011.  We feel it was due to the blood pressure cuff being too tight and the IV placed in the same arm.  After a nerve conduction test, we were told the musculocutaneous nerve was not "firing" .  We also were told that nerves are slow to repair and it might take 6 months to 2 years.  Even after that time, it may not be 100%.  After 8 months, some of the numbness has regressed in his thumb.  He lifts weights 3 days a week and feels he has increased muscle strength in other muscles in his arm that are compensating for the bicep.  I would be very interested in hearing what your doctor tells your husband.
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Avatar_m_tn
I had surgery two weeks ago, lipoma removal in my arm (between elbow and wrist).  My thumb and most of my arm and half of my hand is completely numb - I cannot feel anything!  It also has pain running through those areas all the time.  The surgeon told me it would go away - after reading all of these posts, it may not go away.  This is a problem I am very active and I have already hit those areas with heavy things and did not feel it.  I am very unhappy with this, it is like having a condition that is un-correctable!  
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