Cording a year on?

Has anyone had cording a year after surgery? I was warned about it and the thought of it made me feel ill. I have had no problems of this nature since surgery apart from the initial lack of movement in the first few weeks after surgery. Literally a year after surgery I started to feel pain in my lower arm when doing certain movements but mainly just when straightening it out. At first, I thought it might be some sort of repetitive strain injury. Then after a week, I decided it was actually swollen. I had a blood test booked so after decided to go to the utc, where they thought cellulitis and prescribed antibiotics. The swelling on my arm only went down on the last day of antibiotics. Well the oncologist says she’s not worried about any type of infection, I had an ultrasound to check for blood clots. I am now thinking this is cording but it’s at my elbow and not my armpit, where I had thought it would be. I have had full movement in my arm for just under a year and now I can’t lift it to right angles with my body without pain. I could also see one of the tendons when straightening my arm, which I can’t see on the other arm. Seeing it made me feel quite queasy too! It does seem like it’s cording but a year after surgery, did anyone else have this?

Hi , I, too, have pain in my shoulder 18 months on fron my surgery. I’m not sure if it’s a frozen shoulder or joint pain from Letrozole. Should be seeing my dr soon to establish what it is and what can be done. I also had cording and you know its cording in the armpit because it snaps like and elastic band and causes severe pain. Not pleasant at all hoping you get yours sorted :slightly_smiling_face:

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Thankyou, this isn’t in my armpit but from the blue dye area down to my wrist. Snapping sounds awful! Think I’m too scared to push it that far though. I have remained active and had no problems of this sort up til now so it’s really stumped me. I will just have to monitor it and see how it goes.
Good luck with your shoulder, I did have a frozen shoulder just before this happened too, I did manage to free it fairly quickly. It was odd because my shoulder has been numb since the surgery so I took it as a good sign :person_shrugging:

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Sorry to hear about your new issue. I had slight cording on my surgery side, in my armpit. It can go further down the inside of the top of my arm. Daily stretching means I am rarely troubled by this and the strong cording has gone (without snapping).
I do however suffer from cording (not Axillary web syndrome which can result from lymph nodes removal) on my other arm which I believe was caused by the intravenous chemo (prior to getting a picc line). This video explains and shows a picture of what it looks like. It is a tight pulling sensation (sometimes painful) especially if I put my arm up and bend fingers towards hand. This is in the vein in the location shown in the picture which can run up into my elbow. Also on top of my hand, wrist and front of arm. Ah the joy of it!!! Nurses, physio and oncologist all said just to keep stretching which does stop things tightening up.
Sorry this may not be too helpful. Other than ‘The Breast Cancer Physio’ you could take a look at Kelly on you tube at ‘cancer rehab pt’ who I found to have helpful videos.
I read forum guidelines and think I am ok to post the link.

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I also got cording about 1 year post mastectomy/axillary clearance and about 6 months post radiotherapy.
I had quite a lot, which ranged from wrist to mid arm, front of elbow down and front of elbow upwards, armpit… physio managed to snap quite a few (sounds worse than it sounds). I still have quite thick one in armpit which limits upward stretch but think others all gone (for now).
Depending on how I moved my arm you could see them, others you had to feel for. Still can’t put down car boot with that arm but if that’s the worst effect, I can live with that.
I’m sure my physio said they do eventually stop/go on their own at some point?
Hope you get sorted.


Thankyou, I will take a look. I don’t think I have cording on the other arm thank goodness. I did have a picc line from the off for chemo, so that’s something.

Thanks for the reply, it does sound like what I’ve got. I really thought I’d got away with it. Just thinking about it puts my teeth on edge though. All this talk of "snapping " makes me want run away or curl up. I have been referred for physio and have started the exercises again but can only do the easy ones. I am doing gentle stretches to try and ease it.

Think of it more as massaging them out…
Sometimes the physio massage would be deep and painful so just a thought. She used to watch my face/neck which apparently gives involuntary flush reaction when she should pause even if I would say just to keep going.
Sometimes she could totally massage out if thin and spindly, other times, lots together and too thick so took several visits. My understanding is the exercises you’re doing should stretch and soften the cords so keep doing.
The cords feel like guitar strings and when I used to extend my wrist back, you could see the cords run up the inside of my lower arm, or sticking out under my arm if I raised it.
I stopped the mastectomy exercises after about a year which is when the cording came-not sure if that was the cause or not but they all seemed to just come within short period of time. The physio I had seen a few weeks before was also surprised how quickly so many had appeared. I would always now recommend continuing daily arm exercises which is great that you’re doing.
So dont think physio for cording but massage for your arm :grin:

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