Can´t straighten my arm pain horendous?

Hi I´m really having trouble in straightening my arm ivé now got like ridges in my elbow joint where my veins are and to touch them it´s agony, anyone else had this, Oh a large hard ridge at the top of my underarm I am really getting worried I am 8 weeks post op.
Thanks love Teresa x

Hi Muffett

Have you been doing your exercises? Have you been able to stretch your arm out prior to now? It might be some form of cording following surgery - speak to your bcn tomorrow to explain exactly what is going on and get advice.


Sorry to hear this has got worse for you. I agree with Kinden, you need to see someone about this. That level of pain isn’t normal and you need to see the surgeon. I’d speak to the breast care nurse first.

take care
elinda x

I agree, it sounds like an extreme form of cording. This is usually treated with physiotherapy, although I believe it is possible to have surgery to remove the cord in rare cases.

Hi many thanks I don´t have a bcn out here but i am seeing my onc on the 11th Feb, when i came out of hospital after my op they told me not to exersise my arm, dont move it, it was only the research on here that told me that i should be and of course the lovely advice give in the forum,

Many thanks to all, I have been streching it today with a tin of tomatoes in my hand, this seems to have helped. xxx

one of the best exercises to do so I was told is…stand in front of a door/wall and “walk” your good hand up as far as you can reach using your fingers,hope that makes sense…then do the same on your op side.At first you can’t get anywhere near but do it 4x a day and just gently stretch it out. Even if I was sitting watching tv I was waving my arm about to get it moving and stretch it,didn’t over do it but made sure I did my exercises regularly.Good luck.

Sandra x


I got cording in armpit where nodes were removed - physio told me in addition to exercises mentioned before was to lie on bed with arm outstretched over side of bed so it sort of hangs and then let wrist fall floppy - hold it for a few seconds and then straighten wrist then repeat a couple of times.

I also developed a problem in left arm with vein hardening around wrist and elbow joint from chemo. Turns out I had developed thrombophlebitis as a result of all the needles from surgery, bloods etc. GP prescribed Hirudoid cream (steroid) which has really helped. Always worth getting it checked.

Hope you get more comfortable soon.

Leigh xx

Hi Muffet - I got bad cording also and got referred to a physio. I just went once and she gave me some different exercises to the ones I had been doing, but most importantly gave me the confidence that I couldn’t do any harm. In the meantime, the exercise that Sandra suggests is great. It’s now 6 months since my mx with full clearance and I’ve prettty much got full movement back.

Good Luck Clare X

Hi Muffet

BCC have published an ‘Exercises after breast surgery’ booklet and a ‘Your operation and recovery’ one which you may find helpful too, here are the links:*/changeTemplate/PublicationDisplay/publicationId/101/

Hope this helps.
Take care


I’d echo what all the others have said. I had bad cording but physio sorted it with massage and pulling/stretching. I also had exercises to do - very much like Sandra’s along with the same one but standing at right angles to the wall. I also developed lymphoedema and have had physio for that. Still get it looked at asap so it can be nipped in the bud quickly. It’s important to do a few basic exercises too.

Good luck, Liz

I’d agree with CleesyB/Leigh - I had a similar problem and would stretch my arm out while watching TV, just gently flexing my wrist and trying to pull the arm straight very very gently. Keeping doing it every evening and eventually I noticed I had full movement! Took a couple of weeks. I can now reach as far in every direction with my surgery arm as I can with my normal arm.

i had bad cording after my 1st WLE in 2006 in my right side and had thrombophlebitis, cellulitis and lymphoedema in my hand over the years plus cording off and on since… had cording in left side after WLE in 2009 and now have vein damage and cording in both sides after i had chemo i lot through right and the others in left… right side is def still worse both have problems in my fingers which are very painful when clenched… eg writing and also on waking in the morning.

i have seen the physio off and on over the past 3years, but she now says that i know the excercises to do but it will just take time… i also use ibuprofen gel which i rub into the veins and helps a bit.


I have cording which started about 2 weeks after my axilliary clearance. I had been doing exercises and had full movement in my arm and shoulder. It occurred the same time as fluid appeared in the armpit and had to be aspirated a couple of times. My surgeon stretched my arm and pressed the cords until they ‘cracked’ and that gave me a lot of relief. However, cords still developed in my armpit and a month after the op and having just started chemo I am having some physio as well as continuing the exercises. The physio reassured me that they would go of their own accord in about 3 months and she could help - so hopefully that will be the case but I am very rigourous about doing the exercises so at least if the cording doesn’t go I will maintain full movement. It seems to be a subject about which the medical profession aren’t totally sure of the cause and treatment.