Seven years ago, while I was in college taking a weight training course for health credit, I once overexerted myself and managed to pop my left arm's ulnar nerve out of its groove for the first time. It was not so unbearable back then, but got progressively worse over the years as the nerve itself became more unstable and was constantly right under the skin of my inner elbow. I never experienced any prolonged numbness or tingling, thank goodness, but it reached a point where I could not lay my arm down on anything and even a strong breeze or a drip of water down my arm in the shower could give me a good jolt. Lifting heavy things could produce a painful snapping sensation.
So, in 2011, I finally caved and saw a doctor, and soon after, I had a transposition surgery. He placed the nerve behind a muscle in the arm to protect it, and I thought with that, it was all over.
A few months later, I was back and complaining that the "snapping" hadn't stopped. It was hard to demonstrate an arm-bending motion that could always reproduce the issue, but I eventually did (bending my arm behind my back) and after a second surgery, I had a band of muscle in my arm removed that the doctor said he saw obstructing the nerve while I was cut open.
Today, my symptoms are not as extreme as they used to be, but I still feel odd sometimes when moving my arm around, like there's a constant "pulling" sensation in the background and random minor jolts here and there, and it drives me crazy and puts me on a constant edge, especially while I'm at work trying to find a comfortable position to sit in (which I rarely do). I still cannot lift anything heavy without the snapping, and I can still predictably (and loudly) cause my nerve to snap over god-knows-what-now when I fully bend my arm up if the palm of my hand is facing toward me.
I... don't know what to do now. I know that I can't keep trying surgeries forever like this, but I just can't see myself living this way for the rest of my life without eventually losing my mind and hacking my own arm off. So conflicted.
I understand the predicament caused by the recurrence of symptoms. There is the possibility of something causing irritation to the nerve such as scar tissue formation, while a re-surgery may not be recommended. I would suggest seeking review with your treating orthopedician if physiotherapy to smoothen movements so as to avoid trauma to the nerve would be advisable in the case.
Hope this is helpful.
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